NBA 2K23 will do away with a number of fan favourite MyPlayer Badges, as 2K Sports looks to refine and streamline builds on new-gen consoles. Old faithfuls like Hot Zone Hunter, Bullet Passer, and Chef will be retired in favour of revised Badges that now feed into a tiered system. This format will force you to be more specific with your picks, demanding that you invest into the lower tiers before you unlock the higher ones.
“The motive behind this change was to encourage players to make some tough choices when creating their Badge recipes, make loadouts more valuable as a feature, and bring a better overall balance to the Badge game in general,” the publisher said on its official website. It’s also adding new Badges to the mix which have a specific challenge you’ll need to fulfil attached, and therefore don’t require Badge Points to equip. Interesting.
Among the core gameplay changes this year are alterations to the Pro Stick, adding new ball handling weapons to your arsenal. Skill dunks have also been revised, with the ability to hang from the rim incorporated. You can even control your swing as you cling to the basket, and really flex in front of your opponents. The firm’s balancing all of the new dribbling moves with a rejigged stamina meter that will persist throughout each individual possession, and prevent you from spamming certain moves.
To add depth, the publisher’s also adding statistics to individual jump shot animations, so they actually have an impact on gameplay – as opposed to being purely aesthetic. And this will all be complemented by five new shot metres, with a further 15 to be unlocked over the course of the game’s lifespan. Of course, defensive gameplay – which was already quite strong in NBA 2K22 – is being tuned to help counter all of the new offensive capabilities, resulting in better shot blocking outcomes and more.
Obviously, you can read the full suite of upgrades and improvements in the latest Courtside Report, which goes ridiculously deep into all of the AI tuning and changes to the Team Takeover mechanic. To be honest, the alterations don’t sound as drastic as last year’s game, but NBA 2K22 was already in a pretty good place on the court, so we’re hopeful these tweaks help improve the flow of matches without affecting where the gameplay already excelled.