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Why NBA 2K22 ratings are more than just a number

If you’re an NBA fan, chances are that the release of NBA 2K each year comes with a rush of excitement and hype. NBA 2K22 is likely no different, and as the second game on the next gen Xbox Series X and PS5, there’s been a lot of focus on the game’s quality, depth, and overall experience.

As is the case every year with NBA 2K, player and team ratings are the cause of much conjecture and debate within the community. Ratings fluctuate during a real NBA season, and so what’s in the game at launch is never static. That said, a lot of trash-talking and bickering about player ratings is a waste of energy: you should be channeling the energy into understanding just how useful player ratings can be for you.

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I am of course referring to the MyPlayer Builder, which I’ve already spoken about at length here, and have used to create a host of different player builds, including a Kobe Bryant Build, LeBron James Build, and Stephen Curry Build. I have a stack more to come. But what do player ratings have to do with the MyPlayer Builder? Well, a lot: if you want to truly master the builder, you need to appreciate that player ratings are, in essence, a guide, a tool gifted to us by the developers to create our own NBA stars.

You might be thinking, “What the hell is this guy talking about?” That’s okay: most of the time I don’t even know what I’m talking about. But think about it for a second: when you create a player build, the game presents to you a “Shades Of” breakdown of NBA stars that you build is similar to. Some players are tougher to build in the shadow of. Think Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Giannis. If it was easy to create a build like these players, everyone would have Michael Jordans running around The City. However, you can effectively create a player that has as high a ceiling as Michael Jordan, be it ’89 Jordan, or ’98 Jordan.

nba 2k22 ratings

How do you do? How do all of these YouTubers create build after build of NBA stars? Is it luck? Sometimes. Is it planned? It should be! I’m going to guide you through a fool-proof focus on building a player in NBA 2K22 that is as close to your favourite NBA star as possible. It is fool proof.

Let’s use LeBron James as the guinea pig here. He is the highest rated player in the game, as of 12 September, 2021. When we look at LeBron’s player profile, we should note down a few key things:

  1. His Archetype. His profile tells us that he’s a two-way slashing playmaker. What does that mean? Well it means he’s effective on both ends of the court, is dangerous in transition either way, and he does a great job of getting his teammates involved. This means he’s effectively an all-rounder, which places even more importance on perfecting some of his key attributes.
  2. His body type. This is important, as weight and wingspan impact the potential range of particular attributes,
  3. His position (for obvious reasons).
  4. His badges. LeBron has a total of 61 badges: 14 for Closing, 18 for Shooting, 12 for Playmaking, and 17 for Defense/Rebounding. That’s about as even a spread as you’re going to find in the game. This tells us that we can’t really prioritise one selection of attributes over another: we need good balance to get a LeBron build.
  5. His attributes. Note down every single one of his attributes. You can either get this from the game, or from the countless number of resources out there.

Once we have all of this information, we can set out to create our build. The first thing you’ll notice is that some attributes just simply cannot be matched one-to-one with your build and LeBron’s actual attributes. For example, if we want to main a good set of Physical attributes, and strong Playmaking and defensive attributes, we have to make some compromises in the Finishing category. So our build takes a big hit in Driving Dunk (78 in our build vs 90 for LeBron) and Post Control (68 vs 87). I think this is okay, because we want LeBron hitting tough mid-range shots, driving into the lane, and pass well, so we can get more consistency across those attributes.

nba 2k22 ratings

Our Build’s Speed with Ball (63 vs 85) and Ball Handling (79 vs 87) are well down on LeBron’s actual attributes, but that’s okay, because his Pass Accuracy is high, and he ultimately end up with a similar range of Badges: 22 for Closing, 22 for Shooting, 23 for Playmaking, and 17 for Defense/Rebounding. We end up with a LeBron James build, simply by trying to create a player as close to the real-life ratings of LeBron as possible. And it’s truly as simple as checking the player profile, and trying to recreate it yourself.

If you follow the above steps by noting down key pieces of data from your favourite NBA stars, their ratings take on a whole new meaning. Use the ratings to your advantage to help build out the MyPlayer superstar of your dreams!

What tips and tricks do you have for NBA 2K22 players? Sound off in the comments below!

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NBA 2K22 Badges Guide: Attribute Unlock List