Over the past decade, dunking has evolved drastically in the world of NBA 2K.
Unlike in previous generations, where posterizing dunks could be executed by simply pressing a button, things are a little more complicated in NBA 2K21.
In MyCareer, it is one of the most exciting plays for players to execute. However, many quickly realize that it is a lot more difficult to finish dunks consistently – especially if they don’t have the right attribute ratings, badges, or animations equipped.
These are the foundational setups that many casual 2K players seem to neglect, thus limiting their potential to be the best dunker possible in MyCareer.
So, here is a breakdown of the most important dunking tips to know for NBA 2K21.
The basic dunks in NBA 2K21
To start things off, there are basic dunks that most builds should be able to execute, assuming that the player has a high enough driving dunk, standing dunk, and vertical rating.
In NBA 2K21, the basic control required to execute these basic dunks is holding down R2/RT (the sprint button) while driving to the basket.
However, it’s important to note that the success rate of these dunks varies. Your player’s dunking ability and your opponent’s defensive rating often play a huge role in determining the outcome of each dunk attempt.
To perform a Two-Hand Dunk, press R2 on the PS4 or RT on the Xbox One, and move and hold the right analogue up while driving.
For the Flashy Dunk, hold R2/RT, move and hold the right analogue down while driving in close, and then release the right analogue to finish the dunk.
Dominant or Off-Hand Dunk
For these NBA 2K21 dunks, hold R2/RT, move and hold the right analogue up-left or up-right in close range. Next, move the right analogue in the direction of the dunking hand.
Essentially, you will find the most success by executing all three of these dunks when you are driving to the rim with momentum, and have a clear path to the basket.
Things to consider when making dunking builds
As a general rule of thumb, when building a player, it is crucial to remember that sufficient attribute points must be added to the following finishing categories:
- Driving dunk (for smaller players or guards);
- Standing dunk (for bigger players or forwards).
It is recommended that your player has at least a 70 driving dunk (for PGs, SGs, and SFs), or at least a 70 standing dunk (for PFs and Cs), to be considered an above-average dunker.
When choosing a skill breakdown pie chart, it is recommended that you choose one with a sufficient blue (finishing ability) segment.
Additionally, two other very important physical attributes to keep in mind are the acceleration and vertical potential of your player.
Acceleration is a key factor that allows smaller players to be able to gather momentum for a dunk. Without decent acceleration (75 and above), it will be very difficult for players to build enough speed to attack the basket consistently.
Meanwhile, vertical is another important component for dunking – especially for those that want to catch lobs or finish consistently in transition. Without a vertical of at least 65, it will be far trickier for your player to successfully execute high-flying dunks, alley-oop plays, or the fast break.
When choosing a physical profile pie chart, it is recommended that you choose one with sufficient agility (purple) and vertical (pink).
Dunking beyond the basics
Realistically speaking, in MyCareer, seldom do players have open runs at the basket. In fact, most of the time, there will be defenders in the way trying to block your shots.
As a result, the basic dunks mentioned above are rarely enough to make you a dominant dunker in the game. In fact, being able to successfully make contact dunks separates great players from beginners.
Bring your game to the next level with contact dunks
Aside from physical and primary attribute ratings, a player’s dunking potential can be severely limited without the right set of badges and animations equipped. Generally speaking, these three aspects can separate average dunkers from elite ones.
Accordingly, when building your player at the start of MyCareer, be aware of the total badge count that your build is capable of equipping when it is fully upgraded.
Maximize your chances of getting contact dunks in NBA 2K21
Contact dunk packages
Contact dunk packages can be found in the animation store, under ‘NBA Dunks and Layups.’ There are four different types and having at least one equipped will significantly increase your chances of catching bodies in games.
As many 2K players will tell you, certain contact dunk animations are truly overpowering.
Each of these animation packages has a minimum player overall and driving dunk rating requirement. They can be broken down into the following categories:
- Pro Contact Dunks: 70 Overall, 84 Driving Dunk;
- Elite Contact Dunks: 70 Overall, 85 Driving Dunk;
- Small Contact Dunks: 65 Overall, 85 Driving Dunk, PG, SG, SF;
- Big Man Contact Dunks: 65 Overall, 75 Standing Dunk, 50 Driving Dunk, PF, C.
If you want to consistently execute contact dunks in the game, having one of these packages equipped will make a huge difference. So, once again, it is crucial to plan early.
When making your build, you must ensure that your player meets the requirements of these animation packages once they’re fully upgraded.
Vital badges for dunks in NBA 2K21
Badges are another vital tool required for your player to be able to make contact dunks successfully. Simply put, without any badges equipped, your player will not be able to make contact dunks.
One of the main finishing badges that you’re recommended to get is Contact Finisher, which has the following description:
- Contact Finisher: Improves the ability to convert contact layups and dunks in traffic.
Tested and proven by many 2K players, have this badge equipped and upgraded to the highest tier possible to see optimal results.
In addition to Contact Finisher, the following badges have proven to be activated often whenever contact dunks are made.
- Relentless Finisher: Reduces the fatigue effects from continually finishing at the rim with contact.
- Fancy Footwork: Improves a player’s ability to beat defenders with an advanced layup or dunk gather.
Besides finishing badges, playmaking badges are also important – particularly for smaller players playing in the PG and the SG position.
With the following two badges equipped, your ability to convert dunk attempts is significantly increased, as the player is able to conserve enough energy to gather speed and propel themselves into dunk gathers.
- Quick First Step: Provides more explosive first steps out of triple threat and size-ups.
- Handles for Days: Reduces the amount of energy lost when performing dribble moves.
With these moves, builds, and badges, you’ll be able to master the art of the dunk in NBA 2K21.
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