Dribbling is one of the harder skills to master in NBA 2K21. Luckily, aside from hours of practice in the gym, there are many other important factors to help you to become a better dribbler.
In fact, not having any of the fundamentals setup can severely restrict your MyPlayer’s ability to reach their full dribbling potential.
On this page, we’re breaking down everything that you need to know to help you to improve your dribbling ability in NBA 2K21.
Mastering the fundamentals of dribbling moves
Dribbling in NBA 2K21 is more advanced than ever, but the advanced pro-stick dribbling mechanisms are a great place for many casual players to start.
If you can master some of these dribbling moves, you’ll become an great dribbler quickly.
|Dribbling Moves||PS4 / PS5 Controls||Xbox One / Series X|S Controls||Context|
|Triple Threat Jab / Stepover||Tap right stick left/right/up||Tap right stick left/right/up||Triple Threat|
|Triple Threat Pump Fake||Tap right stick down||Tap right stick down||Triple Threat|
|Triple Threat Attack Hesitation||Move + hold right stick up-left or up-right||Move + hold right stick up-left or up-right||Triple Threat|
|Triple Threat Start Dribble||R2 + tap right stick up||RT + tap right stick up||Triple Threat|
|Triple Threat Spinout||Rotate right stick, then quickly return to neutral||Rotate right stick, then quickly return to neutral||Triple Threat|
|Triple Threat Stepback||R2 + tap right stick down||RT + tap right stick down||Triple Threat|
|Signature / Rhythm Size-up||Tap right stick up||Tap right stick up||Dribbling|
|Hesitation (quick)||Tap right stick right (when dribbling with right hand)||Tap right stick right (when dribbling with right hand)||Dribbling|
|Hesitation (escape)||Move + hold right stick right (when dribbling with right hand)||Move + hold right stick right (when dribbling with right hand)||Dribbling|
|In and Out||Move right stick up-right or up-left towards the ball hand, then release quickly||Move right stick up-right or up-left towards the ball hand, then release quickly||Dribbling|
|Crossover (front)||Tap right stick left (when dribbling with right hand)||Tap right stick left (when dribbling with right hand)||Dribbling|
|Crossover (between legs)||Move right stick left, then quickly release (when dribbling with right hand)||Move right stick left, then quickly release (when dribbling with right hand)||Dribbling|
|Behind Back||Tap right stick down-left (when dribbling with right hand)||Tap right stick down-left (when dribbling with right hand)||Dribbling|
|Spin||Rotate right stick from ball hand, around the player’s back, then release to neutral quickly||Rotate right stick from ball hand, around the player’s back, then release to neutral quickly||Dribbling|
|Half-Spin||Rotate right stick clockwise, then release quickly (when dribbling with right hand)||Rotate right stick clockwise, then release quickly (when dribbling with right hand)||Dribbling|
|Stepback||Tap right stick down while driving||Tap right stick down while driving||Dribbling|
After mastering these dribbling techniques, you’ll eventually want to graduate to more advanced moves. Depending on your preference, position, playstyle, and most importantly, your build, certain dribble moves will be more suited to you than others.
As a result, one of the key starting points for anyone looking to be a good dribbler has to be their chosen build.
Dribbling starts from the build
In order to be a good dribbler in NBA 2K21, having a high ball-handle rating of at least 80 is arguably the most important first step. The easiest way to set this up is to select a pie chart with playmaking abilities (yellow) as one of the main attributes.
Not only will this give your player a high ball-handle rating to start with, but it can also give you the option to have Hall of Fame-grade playmaking badges once your player is fully upgraded.
As for badges, equipping your player with playmaking badges that are HoF-tier – instead of Gold or Silver – can make a world of difference. Doing this gives them a significant boost in various aspects of dribbling, including ball control, protection, and attacking out of the triple threat.
On top of having high playmaking abilities, speed and acceleration are other important physical attributes that a player needs to become a good dribbler in NBA 2K21. As a result, it is highly recommended that you choose a build with sufficient agility.
Essentially, setting up your build with these two criteria in mind gives your player a solid foundation to start their progress towards becoming an elite dribbler.
Best badges for a dribbling build
Equipping your player with the right badges is the last important feature, and one that can separate the average dibblers from the great ones. If you neglect the badges, your player will not be able to dribble at an efficient rate without losing control of the ball or getting it picked off by an opponent.
So, these are the best playmaking badges that we recommend:
- Quick First Step
- Tight Handles
- Handles for Days
To see optimal results, having these badges to at least a Silver grade – HoF if possible – is the best way to go.
Being able to Speed Boost is key
Speed Boost is another main feature that all great dribblers have in NBA 2K21. For those unaware, extra acceleration is given to your player once they successfully execute a dribble move.
Not only does this make your player a lot harder to guard one-on-one, but it helps to create double team and odd-man situations. In fact, most good Pro-Am teams in 2K21 have at least one or two great ball-handlers with the ability to Speed Boost.
To use the Speed Boost ability, your MyPlayer build needs to have an 80 or better ball-handle rating. Once you hit this requirement, you’ll be able to use to following controls to Speed Boost:
- Flick the right stick upwards to trigger the size-up animation;
- As the ball is moving to the side of your player, press the turbo button (R2/RT) and flick the right stick;
- Get the timing right, and you’ll activate the Speed Boost out animation.
Making use of the dribble packages
Dribble packages are another key component that many 2K players equip to elevate their game to the next level. As with the Speed Boost, the basic requirement to unlock the pro-dribble moves is having a ball-handle rating of 80.
Here’s how to buy and equip Dribble Moves for your MyPlayer:
- Go to MyPlayer Appearance > Animations > Store > Dribble Moves.
- Go to MyPlayer Appearance > My Animations > Dribble Moves to equip the new moves and animations.
Types of dribble packages
NBA 2K21 offers a wide array of dribble packages. Players have the ability to choose from styles for different positions to unique styles that replicate those of the greatest NBA ball-handlers of all-time, such as Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, Steph Curry, and James Harden.
On top of that, you can use signature size-ups, park size-ups, moving crossovers, moving behind the backs, and more. Basically, every dribble detail for your player can be customised and adjusted to your liking.
Due to the numerous combinations available, it’s hard to say which set of packages or dribble moves is best for each player. It is recommended that you do your own due diligence and test packages and combos to find out which ones suit your player.
If you want to improve the dribbling ability of your MyPlayer build, be sure to make the most of dribbling packages, activate the Speed Boost, and apply the best dribbling badges.