NBA 2K21 Shooting Tips & Best Shooting Badges

Shooting in NBA 2K21 and best shooting badges have been a point of contention among the fanbase, causing some to call the NBA 2K21 shooting broken. It is not broken, but it’s significantly different from previous entries. As a result, people are wondering how to shoot in NBA 2K21, how to make free throws, how to change the shot meter, and what the best shooting badges are. We’re going to be answering those questions in our NBA 2K21 Shooting & Best Shooting Badges guide.

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NBA 2K21 Shooting & Best Shooting Badges
NBA 2K21 Shooting & Best Shooting Badges
  1. How to Shoot in NBA 2K21
  2. How to Shoot Free Throws
  3. How to Change Shot Meter in NBA 2K21
  4. Best Shooting Badges in NBA 2K21

UPDATE: The developers have released a hotfix on September 6th that makes shooting easier on Rookie, Pro, and All-Star difficulties. This is, of course, in response to all the complaints they’ve been getting about the new system. The patch should not have any effect on higher difficulties and 2K Beach modes. Original text follows below.

NBA 2K21 Shooting Broken – How to Shoot

Shooting in NBA 2K21 is not broken necessarily, just different. To shoot in NBA 2K21, there are two options. You can either press and hold Square on PS4 or X on Xbox, then release when the ticker is in the highlighted, yellow part of the shot meter, or pull the right stick straight down and release it with the ticker in the highlighted area. It’s tricky, so let’s go into some details.

If you opt to shoot with Square or X, the yellow area is going to be off to the side, depending on which hand the ball is in, not your position on the court. So, you’ll always have to make sure that the ticker hits the sweet spot. It’s not too hard once you get into the rhythm of it.

If, on the other hand, you shoot with the right stick, the highlighted area will be right in the middle. However, the ticker won’t necessarily be there, too. It seems it depends on your position and the placement of the sticks. So, if you have to make corrections, flick the right stick right or left, depending on where the ticker is, and release. DO NOT hold the stick to the side, just flick it, and you should be fine. We recommend practicing for a while in training mode to get a feeling for the new mechanic.

How to Shoot Free Throws in NBA 2K21

To shoot free throws in NBA 2K21, you basically have to follow the same system as with regular shots. Option one is to press and hold Square on PlayStation / X on Xbox and release it when the yellow ticker is in the yellow, highlighted part of the meter. Option two is to move and hold the right stick straight down, get the ticker in the highlighted area, then release. It really is no different than any other shot in the game. Of course, there’s the fact that nobody’s trying to stop you, so it’s a good opportunity to practice shots outside of the training mode.

How to Change Shot Meter in NBA 2K21

To change the shot meter in NBA 2K21, you have to go into the Controller options. You can get there from the main menu from Features, or pause a match and go into Options. Either way you get there, head into the Controller section, and find “Shot Meter.” The options you currently have are to turn the meter off completely, have it for free throws only, and the standard option of having it on at all times. There might be more customization options down the line, because most players are not too happy about the new mechanic, but for now, this is all you’ve got.

NBA 2K21 Best Shooting Badges

The best shooting badges in NBA 2K21 are going to depend on what your overall play style is. Some people prefer to shoot threes, others like to go for close or mid shots more, you get the idea. So, we’re going to present you with a list of shooting badges that can be universally useful. Feel free to share the badges you use in the comments.

  • Range Extender – Increases player ability the further out you are.
  • Hot Zone Hunter – Increases likelihood of making shots from a spot on the court that you shoot most often from.
  • Deadeye – Reduces impact of nearby defenders while shooting.
  • Catch and Shoot – Increases ability to make shots after receiving a pass.
  • Tireless Scorer – Allows you to make shots even when your player is winded.
  • Green Machine – Increases bonus for consecutive excellent releases.

And there you have it, those are some basics you should know about shooting in NBA 2K21. If you need more help with the game, we’ve got some more guides for you to check out. Specifically, we’ve got NBA 2K21 Dunk – Contact Dunk Requirements & Best Badges and NBA 2K21 VC Not Working – Pre-Order Bonus Issue. Hope you find them useful!

Author JoeTheBard profile picture
A language teacher and video game enthusiast turned rogue, Joe is on a quest to become the ultimate gaming journalist. This is somewhat hampered by his belief that the golden age of gaming ended with the PlayStation One, but he doesn't let that stop him. His favorite games include Soul Reaver and Undertale. Other interests are D'n'D, dad rock, complaining about movies, and being the self-appointed office funny man, which nobody else agrees with.


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