NBA 2K21: Must-Know Dribbling and Animations Tips

Learn how to become a better dribbler and use the best animations in NBA 2K21 right here.


Dribbling is one of the most basic skills in the game of basketball. At the same time, it is also one of the most difficult skills to master in NBA 2K21. Arguably one of the most important skills in the game, dribbling separates the mediocre players from elite ones in the game.  

If you want to bring your game to the next level, it’s certainly a skill worth developing as it will open up many doors and give you the opportunity to be a more dynamic player.


Here, you’ll learn how to set yourself up for success and become the best possible dribbler in NBA 2K21. 

Basic requirements needed to become a good dribbler 

To become a great dribbler in NBA 2K21, your player will need to have good ball handling: it is an essential basic requirement for all good dribblers in the game.

Without a sufficient ball handle rating, your player will not be able to Speed Boost, which is a crucial skill that’s paired with the majority of dribble animations to get past defenders. 

Additionally, your player will not be able to unlock pro-dribble move animations – another key component that is required for most advanced dribblers. 


Your player will need at least an 80 ball handle rating to become a good dribbler.

Generally speaking, one of the first things that you should do when analyzing your current builds is to see if your player’s ball handle rating has a minimum of 80 when fully upgraded. 

If your current build does not fulfill this basic requirement, it will not be able to excel as a dribbler in the game. Therefore, it might be worth going back to the 2K Lab to make a new build that fits this essential requirement.

Things to consider for a new build

When making a build for dribbling purposes, the best way to set your player up for success is to ensure that you choose playmaking (the yellow pie chart) as one of the primary skills.This will make things a lot easier from the get-go, as your player will start off in MyCareer with a much higher ball-handle rating. 

Equally as important, you will have the option to equip important playmaking badges like Quick First Step, Tight Handles, and Unpluckable to the Hall of Fame tier. Compared to builds without playmaking as a primary skill, you will have a huge advantage as they will only be able to equip playmaking badges up to Gold or Silver. 

How to access and equip dribble animations for your player dribble 

To access and modify your player’s dribble animations, you will need to do the following: 

  1. Go to MyPlayer Appearance;
  2. Select Animation Store;
  3. Select the Dribble Moves that you want to purchase;
  4. Go back to MyPlayer Appearance;
  5. Select My Animations;
  6. Equip your player with the purchased Dribble Moves and animations.

Types of dribble animations

Simply put, 2K21 offers you a wide array of animations. Essentially, they are organized by groups, with each one being related to the different nuances of dribbling. 

Regarding this range of animations, you will be able to purchase and equip them from the following different categories: 

  • Dribble Style
  • Moving Crossovers
  • Moving Behind the Backs
  • Moving Spins
  • Moving Hesitations 
  • Signature Size-up
  • Park Size up
  • Basic Size-up Packages
  • Size up Escape Packages
  • Triple Threat Styles

2K21 gives you the opportunity to buy and equip animation styles based on the best dribblers in the NBA, including the likes of James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Steph Curry, to name a few. 

Not only does this enhance your gameplay experience, but it also gives your player an advantage over other players with basic and default dribble animations. 

As most already know, there are almost 100 different types of builds in 2K21. With so many different builds and playstyles, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all style or set of animations that every player should equip.

Instead, it is recommended that you set aside some VC and test which animations fit your playstyle and position the best. 

Popular animations that you could try in NBA 2K21

To help you grab the best dribble animations for your build, here is a high-level breakdown of some of the more popular animations equipped in NBA 2K21:

  • Moving Crossovers: Pro 8 and Pro 2
  • Moving Behind the Backs: Pro 3 and Pro 5
  • Moving Spin: Basic 1 and Pro 4
  • Moving Hesitations: Pro 3 and Pro 5
  • Park Size-Up: Park 13, Park 5, and Park 11
  • Basic Size-Up Packages: Pro 6 and Pro 5
  • Size-Up Escape Packages: Pro 2 and Pro 4
  • Sig Size-Up Dribble Style: Quick 
  • Triple Threat Styles: Normal 2, WNBA 4, and Normal 1

With the information above, you’ll be on the fast track to becoming an expert dribbler in NBA 2K21.

How do you change dribble moves?

Being able to modify your player’s dribble moves is one of the more unique features of NBA 2K21. This gives you the ability to customize your playstyle and perhaps even mimic some of your favorite stars in the game. 

Below is a step-by-by process of how you can change your dribble moves in NBA 2K21.

  • First, enter the MyPlayer Appearance tab from your player’s options menu.
  • Under MyPlayer Appearance, select My Animations.
  • Within My Animations, scroll over to Dribble Moves (category two).
  • To change and modify your animations, scroll down and select the dribble move category that you want to change. 

Bear in mind that your player will be given default dribble moves to start the game. So, you will need to save virtual currency to purchase more advanced animations before you can equip them.

As you upgrade your player’s ball-handle rating (to 80 or above), you will be able to unlock and purchase more advanced dribble moves to upgrade your player further. 

Best dribble moves under 80 ball-handle

As mentioned above, your player needs a minimum 80 ball-handle rating to unlock pro-dribble moves and animation packages.

If your player does not reach those basic requirements, here are some of the best dribble moves that you can equip.

  • Moving Crossovers: Normal 5
  • Moving Behind the Back: Normal 2, Normal 4
  • Moving Spin: Normal 4, Normal 5
  • Moving Hesitations: Normal 3, Normal 4
  • Park Size-Up: N/A
  • Basic Size-Up Packages: Normal 4
  • Size-Up Escape Packages: Normal 2
  • Sig Size-Up: Normal 
  • Dribble Style: Quick, Kyrie Irving
  • Triple Threat Styles: Normal 5, Normal 1, Normal 6

Best dribble moves for current-gen 

If your player has a ball-handle rating of 80 or higher, they’ll be eligible to unlock some of the best pro-dribble moves and animation packages in the game. Here are some of the best dribble moves that you can equip for your player on current-gen editions of NBA 2K21. 

  • Moving Crossovers: Pro 2, Pro 8 
  • Moving Behind the Back: Pro 3, Pro 5
  • Moving Spin: Basic 1, Pro 4
  • Moving Hesitations: Pro 3, Pro 5
  • Park Size-Up: Park 13, Park 5, Park 11
  • Basic Size-Up Packages: Pro 6, Pro 5
  • Size-Up Escape Packages: Pro 2, Pro 4
  • Sig Size-Up: Stephen Curry, Kobe Bryant, Damian Lillard
  • Dribble Style: Quick, Shifty, Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, Allen Iverson 
  • Triple Threat Styles: Normal 1, Normal 2, Normal 6, WNBA 4 

Best dribble moves for next-gen 

The gameplay and animations for next-gen are a little different to those on current-gen consoles. However, to unlock some of the best dribble moves and animations in the game, your player still needs a minimum ball-handle rating of 80.  

Here is a list of the best dribble moves to equip to your player on next-gen versions of NBA 2K21.  

  • Moving Crossovers: Pro 2, Pro 8
  • Moving Behind the Back: Pro 3 
  • Moving Spin: Basic 1, Pro 4
  • Moving Hesitations: Pro 1, Pro 5
  • Park Size-Up: Park 5
  • Basic Size-Up Packages: Pro 1, Pro 2 
  • Size-Up Escape Packages: Pro 2 
  • Sig Size-Up: Elite, Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant
  • Dribble Style: Quick, Kyrie Irving, James Harden 
  • Triple Threat Styles: Normal 2

Best dribble moves for a point guard

As a point guard, you are expected to safely transport the ball up the court to create plays and quality shooting opportunities for yourself and your teammates. 

Here is a list of the best dribble moves to equip to your point guard. 

  • Moving Crossovers: Pro 2, Pro 8
  • Moving Behind the Back: Pro 3, Pro 5 
  • Moving Spin: Basic 1, Normal 1
  • Moving Hesitations: Pro 3, Pro 4, Pro 5
  • Park Size-Up: Park 13
  • Basic Size-Up Packages: Pro 3, Pro 4, Pro 6
  • Size-Up Escape Packages: Pro 2
  • Sig Size-Up: Kyrie Irving
  • Dribble Style: Quick, Kyrie Irving
  • Triple Threat Styles: Normal 2

Best Dribble moves for a playmaking shot creator

As a playmaking shot creator, you are often relied upon to generate offense for your team: whether it’s to create your own shot or exploit the weakness of your opponent’s defense. 

Here is a list of the best dribble moves to equip to your player if they perform in a playmaking shot creator role. 

  • Moving Crossovers: Pro 2, Pro 8
  • Moving Behind the Back: Pro 3, Pro 6
  • Moving Spin: Basic 1, Normal 4
  • Moving Hesitations: Pro 2, Pro 3, Pro 4
  • Park Size-Up: N/A
  • Basic Size-Up Packages: Pro 5, Pro 6
  • Size-Up Escape Packages: Pro 2
  • Sig Size-Up: Kobe Bryant, Trae Young
  • Dribble Style: Quick, Power 
  • Triple Threat Styles: Normal 6

Best dribble moves for a stretch-four

As a stretch-four, your primary purpose is to space the floor and give your team a legitimate scoring threat at the forward position. You may not be the best ball-handler on your team, but you should have above-average shooting and offensive skills for the position.  

Here is a list of the best dribble moves to equip to your player in a stretch-four role. 

  • Moving Crossovers: Normal 2, Normal 3
  • Moving Behind the Back: Normal 1, Normal 2
  • Moving Spin: Normal 2 
  • Moving Hesitations: Normal 1, Normal 3
  • Park Size-Up: N/A
  • Basic Size-Up Packages: Normal 4
  • Size-Up Escape Packages: Normal 2
  • Sig Size-Up: Normal 
  • Dribble Style: Big
  • Triple Threat Styles: Normal 8

Best dribble moves for a slasher

As a slasher, you are most effective when you push the pace and attack the basket. Consistently doing so will put constant pressure on the opposition and help to create better jump shot opportunities for your teammates. 

Here is a list of the best dribble moves to equip to your slasher build. 

  • Moving Crossovers: Normal 2, Normal 3
  • Moving Behind the Back: Pro 5 
  • Moving Spin: Basic 1, Normal 1
  • Moving Hesitations: Pro 4, Pro 5
  • Park Size-Up: Any 
  • Basic Size-Up Packages: Pro 5, Pro 6
  • Size-Up Escape Packages: Pro 3, Pro 5
  • Sig Size-Up: Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook 
  • Dribble Style: James Harden
  • Triple Threat Styles: Normal 6

Best dribble moves for scoring machines

As a scoring machine, you have the ability to put up points in many different ways. Most players in this role have skill and dribbling ability to exploit weaknesses on the other team’s defense. 

Here is a list of the best dribble moves to bolster a scoring machine build. 

  • Moving Crossovers: Pro 2, Pro 3
  • Moving Behind the Back: Pro 3, Pro 5 
  • Moving Spin: Pro 4
  • Moving Hesitations: Pro 4, Pro 5
  • Park Size-Up: Any 
  • Basic Size-Up Packages: Pro 3, Pro 5
  • Size-Up Escape Packages: Pro 2, Pro 3
  • Sig Size-Up: Russell Westbrook 
  • Dribble Style: Quick
  • Triple Threat Styles: Normal 6

Best dribble moves for a sharpshooter

As a sharpshooter, you’re a constant threat from beyond the arc. Most great sharpshooters can use screens, get open, and take good shots from deep. 

Here is a list of the best dribble moves for a sharpshooter in NBA 2K21. 

  • Moving Crossovers: Normal 1
  • Moving Behind the Back: Normal 2
  • Moving Spin: Normal 5
  • Moving Hesitations: Normal 3
  • Park Size-Up: Any or None
  • Basic Size-Up Packages: Normal 4
  • Size-Up Escape Packages: Normal 4
  • Sig Size-Up: Stephen Curry
  • Dribble Style: Chris Paul
  • Triple Threat Styles: Normal 1

Equipping the optimal dribble animations will go a long way towards helping your player become the best version of themselves. However, it is important to remember that some of the suggested animations may not be the perfect fit for everybody’s style of play.

Therefore, it is recommended that you try some of these animations to figure out what’s best for your build and playstyle. 

FAQ

Here are some quick-fire answers to some of the common questions about dribbling animations in 2K21.

What dribble move is the Curry Slide in 2K21?

The Curry Slide is one of the most dominant dribble moves in 2K21, and there are several ways that you can do this to set your play up for success. To keep things as simple as possible, it is recommended that you equip your player with the following animations;

  • Park Size Up: Park 7 Animation 
  • Basic Size Up Packages: Pro 5

How do you get pro-dribble moves in NBA 2K21?

As mentioned above, in order to get pro-dribble moves, your player’s ball handle rating needs to be at least 80 in NBA 2K21. Therefore, if your current build does not meet that requirement, ensure that your new build has playmaking as one of its primary skills.  

How do you stop fast in NBA 2K21?

Being able to stop quickly is another dominant move used by many skilled players in the game. One of the easiest ways to execute this play is by pressing L2/LT with the ball in hand.

Before shooting the ball, quickly press the L2/LT: this will quickly stop your player’s movement, giving them the option to either go up for a shot or pass to a teammate.  

What does boost do in 2K21?

Simply put, “boost” in 2K21 gives your player a competitive edge and provides a temporary lift for your player’s skills and physical attributes. 

Essentially, it makes life easier when competing against others in the community. For skills like shooting, dunks, and ball-handling, skill boosts are available for purchase at the boost stand on Beach Pkwy. 

For other attributes like stamina, speed, and acceleration, you can purchase an upgrade at the fuel station inside the Gatorade Training Facility, or do weekly workouts inside to receive a temporary boost. 

Who has the best dribble style in NBA 2K21?

This question is a bit subjective, and it’s tricky to say that one dribble style is definitely better than another as it depends more on your player’s build and playstyle. However, without knowing anything about your build or playstyle, Kyrie Irving and Steph Curry always seem to top the list of the best dribble styles equipped in the game. 

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C.P Ching

An avid sports gamer with an open appetite to give any game on the market a shot.
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