The Fastest Way to Unlock Badges in NBA 2K23

Image credit: 2K Sports

Player badges are one way of differentiating a player’s skill apart from attributes. Builds revolve around these badges and sometimes become the lifeblood of a specific build.

These badges can take several hours to grind and a lot of commitment. This guide has calculations to show you the fastest way to unlock badges in NBA 2K23 and cut down several hours of the grind.

We have experimented with difficulties, minutes, and training sessions to see the best way to get all these badges. To start off the guide, let’s start with the methods of unlocking badges.

Ways to Unlock Badges

There are four types of badges – playmaking, finishing, shooting, and defense/rebounding. Each type has its own “leveling meter,” where you need to do certain actions in that category to level up the meter.

For example, sinking wide-open shots will improve your shooting badge level.

Now that you know the mechanics – let’s get to the methods.

Playing MyCareer games

Playing normal NBA games will give level up your badges. Each positive action you do will give you points at the end of the game. These points will be categorized for the specific type of badge.

You can potentially earn past 10,000 points split among all badge types for a single 5-min per quarter game.

Stealing, blocking, rebounding, good shot contests, poking the ball free, and other defense or rebounding actions will level your defense/rebounding badge.

Hitting open jump shots, 3-pointers, free throws, and other shooting actions will level up your shooting badge.

Good ball movement, assists, pass leading to assists, pass leading to fouls, and other playmaking actions will level your playmaking badge.

Finishing with layups or dunks and converting and-1s will level up your finishing badge.

All of these actions will be calculated at the end of the game. Playing longer games or changing difficulties can be an option, but we will discuss it later in the guide.

Playing MyCareer games is one of the fastest ways to earn VC, and it is the main way of getting your player to 99.

Earning badge points is a good added bonus, which we will talk more about later.

Completing team practices

If your team doesn’t have a back-to-back game, you will have team practices you can participate in after each game.

Each practice will give you a total of four drill actions. Each type of badge has a lot of unique drills you can finish. They are categorized in difficulty – easy, medium, and hard.

You will be rated from one to three stars whenever you do a drill. The number of stars and the difficulty level will decide how many points you will get to level up your badge.

Difficulty1-Star2-Star3-Star
Easy50350650
Medium75400700
Hard100450750

You can finish up to four drill challenges each practice. If you 3-star each practice on hard, you could get a minimum of 3,000 badge points.

You can earn more than 3,000 badge points because, during the practices, the trainer can call the whole team up and set their own drills for free.

These drills are random, but they will earn you badge points depending on which category the drill falls under.

The trainer can even call a scrimmage where everyone will play 5-on-5 basketball for a single quarter. You can earn badge points across all types from this drill.

These random drills from the trainer will have a badge leveling bonus. The coach drill bonus gives you a double multiplier on leveling your badges for each drill.

These coaches can set out to give more than one drill. Sometimes, they don’t even call up a random drill. Capitalize on it when they do.

Fastest Way to Earn Badges

With the two methods to earn badge points explained, which one is the best?

Practices earn you badge points relatively lower than playing regular games, but it is definitely faster to complete.

Playing regular games can sometimes give you a small amount if you have a terrible game.

It takes less than 2 minutes on average to finish a normal drill. Rare coach scrimmages can last up to 5-6 minutes. Since you can have more than four drills per training session, you can earn up to 3,000 to 6,000 badge points per practice day.

Without the rare scrimmage, let’s say you 3-star every drill. Five drills (4 drills + coach/trainer drill) will take you roughly 10-12 minutes to finish. This is because not all drills start instantly, and they chirp a lot.

You will probably average around 3,600 badge points for all of these. After the computation (3,600/11 minutes), you will earn 327.27 badge points per minute.

Now let’s get to the regular NBA games.

Upon testing, difficulties don’t affect your badge earnings as much. After completing a game on the pro difficulty, I earned 9,863 total badge points split across four types.

I was already a starter when I tested, so my minutes are pretty high already. Each 5-minute per quarter game can take 17-22 minutes to finish. For the computation (9,863/19.5 minutes), you will earn 505.79 badge points per minute.

That is significantly higher than training. Here is the catch. The 9,863 badge points were mostly allocated to my player’s strength, which is playmaking. Rebounding as a point guard was incredibly hard for me, so defense/rebounding badges will take a while to level up.

However, you can earn less than or more than 9,863 badge points. My highest was earning 13,340 in total for a single game so far.

Once you factor in your player’s attributes and skills, the numbers can go even higher. Since you have limited resources or VC, you need to focus on upgrading a single attribute type for your player to perform better.

For example, increasing your ball handling, pass accuracy, and speed with the ball can help you do playmaking actions in the game and level the badge up.

If you are a scorer, you can increase your driving layup, close shot, and dunks and do finishing actions in the game to level your finishing badge up.

For the game settings, you can increase or decrease your minutes per quarter to lengthen or shorten each game. You might think it heavily affects your badge points earning, but it really doesn’t.

The badge points you earn are only linked to your actions in the game. Assisting, scoring, rebounding, stealing, and everything else gives you the badge points.

Playing longer games might give you more chances to perform those actions and earn badge points, but you can just play more games to compensate.

Once your player gets better and better, the more you can earn badge points. Playing an easier difficulty can give you more badge points because you can perform more successful actions in the game.

However, you will lose precious VC when you lower the difficulty. It is up to you how you want to handle this.

Once your player is good enough to virtually have no bad games, I suggest skipping all the practices and finishing 5-minute per quarter games on a difficulty you can perform better (Pro or All-Star) as fast as possible to level up your badges.

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