The full NBA 2K22 Gameplay Update was released on Tuesday morning, August 31, and it is clear that defense has received a ton of attention this year.
According to the NBA 2K22: Gameplay Update, NBA 2K22 introduces a variety of new gameplay innovations, including:
Defense & Defensive AI: Completely rebuilt shot contest and blocking systems, a “significant update” to the fundamental defensive rotations, and much more.
Dribbling: Players will experience “a unique feel and rhythm when sizing up … significantly faster overall pace and much tighter control” in navigating the court, and a ton of other new combos, cancels and move chains.
Post Play: Upgrades highlight “loads of new content, including new movement and a new arsenal of back-to-basket moves.”
Shooting: The new shot meter will dynamically expand when players take “high-quality shots with good shooters, but will shrink when heavily contested, shooting with a low-rated shooter, or fatigued.” NBA 2K22 puts more emphasis on Shot IQ, meaning “the teams that work for open looks and take smart shots are going to see much more success than the teams that force up bad shots.”
Finishing: Along with a focus on creating more of a skill gap for finishing at the rim, players can also “completely customize your dunk repertoire with an all-new Dunk Style Creator.”
Builds, Badges & Takeover: Adjustments to create more balanced builds and an increase of the total badge count to 80 offer many ways for players to impact the game. Additionally, NBA 2K22 for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles introduces Takeover Perks, which players can unlock to strengthen existing Takeover abilities.
As much as we could focus on the many changes to blocked shots, steals, shot contests as well as dribbling and shooting, for this article, the spotlight is on new badges.
While badges were originally created to differentiate special traits amongst NBA players, they have become a major part of the PARK and Pro-Am experience over the past five to seven years.
For the sake of reference, I’ve taken it back to the NBA experience listing each new badge and a player who will almost certainly have the skill equipped in NBA 2K22.
New NBA 2K22 Offensive Badges
The overall badge count is now at 80, thanks in part to 14 new offensive badges. Each badge is described below, per the Gameplay Update, and paired with a player reference:
Fast Twitch – Ability to get off the floor quicker for standing layups and dunks (Knicks, Mitchell Robinson).
Grace Under Pressure – Ability to convert standing layups more effectively (76ers, Joel Embiid).
Limitless Takeoff – Ability to soar from further away on driving dunk attempts (Bulls, Zach LaVine).
Mouse in the House – Ability for bigs to finish over shorter players more efficiently (Embiid or Nikola Jokic, Nuggets).
Unstrippable – Ability to secure the ball better when gathering for a layup/dunk in traffic (Kyrie Irving, Nets).
Chef – Ability to knock down Steph-like off-dribble deep 3’s (Stephen Curry, Warriors).
Limitless Spot-Up – Ability to hit logo-range 3’s off a catch and shoot (Damian Lillard, Blazers).
Lucky #7 – Boosts your ability to score when shooting early in the clock (James Harden, Nets).
Mismatch Expert – Ability to successfully shoot over taller defenders on a switch (Irving).
Glue Hands – Ability to make difficult catches and quicker branch out to a shot or dribble (Karl-Anthony Towns, T’Wolves).
Hyperdrive – Boosts the speed and effectiveness of moving dribble moves (Ja Morant, Grizzlies).
Quick Chain – Boosts the ability to quickly chain dribble moves together (Irving).
Post Playmaker – Boosts the effectiveness of both shots and moves when playing in the post (Embiid).
Triple Threat Juke – Increases the effectiveness of triple threat fakes, jabs, and go moves (LeBron James, Lakers).
New NBA 2K22 Defensive Badges
It would seem we might see more than three new defensive badges with such an emphasis on defense, but alas, here’s all we have this year, per the Gameplay Update:
Ball Stripper – Ability to strip layup and dunk attempts more effectively (Matisse Thybulle, 76ers).
Hustler – Ability to get to those scrappy 50/50 balls quicker than opponents (Facundo Campazzo, Nuggets).
Menace – Significantly drops the offensive ratings of opponents when you smother them (Jrue Holiday, Bucks).
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