The launch of NBA 2K20 was a turbulent one, to put it lightly. Between the egregious commercials that painted 2K20 closer to a gambling simulator than a basketball one and the poor state of the game upon release, NBA 2K20 quickly became public enemy number one. A few weeks later, the state of the game has undoubtedly changed. That isn’t to say the game is without its fair share of issues; it has become playable to the level of enjoyment. That isn’t why you are here though. By reading the headline, it is likely you are looking to perform in MyPlayer modes such as The Park and Rec on your path to Legendary status. For anyone veteran of NBA 2K, it is common knowledge that player badges are king on the court. A player with all of their Hall of Fame badges is arguably better than a player with more attribute points assigned to their player.
This year, selecting badges have become a more intuitive process, allowing players to swap out badges whenever they deem necessary. This, of course, is only possible upon a new badge upgrade or earning maximum badge progression in a specific category. That said, your precious badge upgrades need to be carefully deliberated as they can be the difference between making a shot and outright bricking it.
After plugging many MANY hours into MyCareer, The Rec, and The Park I’m here to give you the top 2K20 badges you can equip for your player right now. It is important to note that changes to the game come quick and fast so these choices are subject to change over the months to come. In addition, these choices will come from the perspective of a guard, big men, you can prioritize as you see fit. Let’s break it down per category:
1. Fancy Footwork
2. Slithery Finisher
3. Consistent Finisher
4. Giant Slayer
5. Contact Finisher
With acrobat not working properly at the time of writing this, a sleeper badge has emerged as the undisputed champion of the finishing category: Fancy Footwork. The Hall of Fame badge variant for Fancy Footwork is a must for anyone looking to finish in the paint due to the powerful set of animations it provides. Slithery finisher allows finishers to avoid a collision that would normally alter their shot. Consistent finisher is a badge that works wonders for finishers due to the unpredictable nature of animations under the basket. Giant Slayer best for smaller guards but is a near must for any build considering it boosts both layouts and dunks. Finally, contact finisher finishes last due to it not nearly being as powerful as previous years but still is a potent badge to have for slashing builds.
1. Quick Draw
2. Range Extender
3. Hot Zone Hunter
4. Green Machine
Shooting is the most important category in my opinion, particularly for sharpshooter builds. Quickdraw is a MUST have for anyone, no matter the archetype. In 2K20, shot speeds can only be increased with the Quick Draw badge and, with every shot being slower than last year, this badge becomes invaluable. Next up is Range Extender. Since this badge effects both long twos and deep threes its nearly always active, especially for shot creators. In addition, if you are more than a foot away from the three-point line, the only consistent way to nail shots is with this badge activated. Hot Zone Hunter makes its debut in 2K20 and is an instant stand out badge.
If you are a shooter who plays MyCareer, you will probably find your hot zones to be mostly everywhere on the court. This effectively means you will receive a boost on every shot you take. This badge is active for all game types. Green Machine is another newcomer to 2K. While the 2K20 community was initially puzzled by the description of the badge, they found it to be a huge asset for consistently getting excellent (green releases) shots in the game. For this badge to be effective, the player must be consistently within the green window of their shot already.
Last but not least is Deadeye. While Deadeye isn’t as effective as it has been in previous years, it still is a must-have badge for sharpshooters. This badge activates on closeouts. Deadeye is useful due to it allowing your jumper to receive less of a penalty for closeout defenders. To be more specific, Deadeye calculates shot contests from where the defender was when you began your jumper. On the Hall of Fame Deadeye, your shooter will practically be unfazed by a late closeout.
1. Quick First Step
4. Space Creator
5. Needle Threader
The best playmaking badge in the game, no matter the build, is undoubtedly Quick First Step. Out of a triple threat and from certain dribble moves, the playmaker can burst into a quick move towards the basket. Formally known as “speed-boosting” Quick First Step Hall of Fame badge can create the separation needed to get free from stingy defenders. Dimer returns and is just as good as previous iterations. 2K Labs, a site that’s dedicated to testing badges and jumpers, states that dimer can have up to an 11-12 percent increase to a teammate’s chance of making their shots.
This badge has diminishing returns, however, meaning that the better shooter your teammate is, the less they benefit from the effects of dimer. Unpluckable would be number one on our list, but it has built a bad reputation for being underpowered at the moment. Still, I wouldn’t feel comfortable not putting at least one badge point into it for the extra ball security. Space creator is a better badge than the underpowered ankle breaker this year. If you are your squad’s primary ball-handler, this badge is crucial for creating for yourself and your team. Last on our list is the often-overlooked Needle Threader. While this badge doesn’t do much good against inexperienced players, it is a must-have against a pre-made five-man team, as zone defense often times can dismantle conventional passing lanes.
3. Tireless Defender
4. Pick Dodger
5. Rebound Chaser
The Defense and Rebounding category are more build dependent than any other. While we can make these 2K20 badge recommendations, they most certainly would be different in the lens of a big man. The only badge to consider universally crucial no matter the build would have to be Intimidator (the only MUST Hall of Fame Badge in this category), which can negatively affect the success rate of a shot going in. Clamps and Tireless Defender are great for guards who find themselves up against crafty ball-handlers, while pick dodger would be higher if it weren’t under-powered in 2K20’s current build. Finally, Rebound Chaser is mostly useful for your frontcourt but for you Russell Westbrook type guards this is a must-have to round off your Swiss army knife MyPlayer.