Want to know how to check your player’s Hot Zones in NBA 2K22? This guide will break down some key fundamentals you need to be able to check where your player is hot and cold on the basketball court.
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The past two NBA 2K games have proven to be quite brutal for the series’ faithful. A refined shooting mechanic in NBA 2K21 fed ongoing frustrating among players, with claims it increased the difficulty and burden on players to a degree that diminished the game’s enjoyment.
Ironically, changes to NBA 2K‘s shooting came as a way to make the game more realistic: in enhancing the reliance on things like spacing, positioning, defense, movement, and Hot Zones, players were forced into being more mindful and particular about when — and where — they shot the basketball from.
In NBA 2K22, Hot Zones play as important a role as they did in NBA 2K21. It’s still not rocket science to master shooting in NBA 2K22, but it’s going to take a lot of practice and refinement. Hot Zones play an important role, and ignore them at your peril.
Last year, Hot Zones fundamentally changed how we played the game. In past years, Hot Zones were tied to specific modes, but as was the case this year as well as in NBA 2K22, your performance in the Neighborhood, The City, My Career and elsewhere will all impact your shooting performance. If you go cold in one, you’ll go cold in another.
Want to get a better understanding of where to find your Hot Zones, how to change them, and why they’re important? Read on!
Why you need to care about Hot Zones in NBA 2K22
Prior to last year’s game, it never seemed like Hot Zones had much of an impact of the performance of your MyPlayer. They existed as a guide for how well you were shooting in different areas of the court, but they never seemed to be truly game-changing in the way they are in NBA 2K22.
As it stands now, Hot Zones have significant impact on a number of key gameplay fundamentals. The percentage, value and impact of your shot are all going to be influenced by the state — hot or cold — of an area of the court. The colder you are in an area, the less likely you are to start suddenly draining shots from that spot.
There’s quite a bit of data analysis and insight into the true impact of Hot Zones, and while we’re not going to go that deep into it, we can look at the impact of Hot Zones at a high level. For example, let’s say you have a player with a 90+ mid-range shot. That’s a pretty high rating, right? You’d think with that rating that the player is bank from any mid-range spot on the court. But it doesn’t quite work like that.
Why you might be missing a lot of shots
There are a very different variables for why you might be missing shots. Firstly, you could be forcing poor shots against tight defense with high coverage. Typically, anything above 10% body coverage from the defender is going to reduce the green spot for your player to make a shot. Taking more shots like this is going to see your player go cold, and the more cold spots you have the lower the percentage likelihood you have to be able to make shots in those points.
Let’s go back to that mid-range rating. You’re a 90+ mid-range shot. Let’s say you have established a hot zone at the top of the key. You can count on shots from there having a +20%-25% higher likelihood of going in — regardless of your timing — than shots taken at mid-range in a cold spot. That’s the difference between going 8/10 vs 6/10.
Hot Zones play an even more important role in the early stages of your MyPlayer’s career. At 90+, you already have a higher likelihood of draining a shot. Let’s say you’re in the 70s early on: your window for error is much, much smaller. If you’re going into NBA 2K22 with a poor range of shot knowledge or experience, you need to work extra harder to find space and get clean shots.
How to find Hot Zones in NBA 2K22
Finding your MyPlayer’s Hot Zones is as simple as checking your stats. Navigate to “Stats” in the My Career menu, and then go to “Roster”. Select your player, and navigate through the range of stats until you land on Hot Zones. This will present you with a map of the court showing all of your hot (red) and cold (blue) areas of the court.
If your court doesn’t list any hot or cold zones, this is because you haven’t played enough games for it to reflect your shooting performance yet. This is why it’s recommended you start things off on “Pro” difficulty setting with 5-minute quarters so that you can quickly get through the required number of games to show your Hot Zones.
Improving your Hot Zones
In NBA 2K22, the Hot Zones map looks at your past 25 matches, with a minimum requirement of 10 3-point shots to show Hot Zone performance for long-range shots. If you’re blue in some areas on the court, your best approach would be to look at performing stronger in these areas for the next 25 matches: hence the need to play short quarters and get through matches as quickly as possible.
It’s not possible to reset your Hot Zones: if you’re staring down the barrel of a 10/100 cold zone, you have a lot of work to do to get that back within a Hot Zone.
How to quickly get Hot Zones
- Set match difficulty to “Pro”
- Set quarter length to 5-6 minutes.
- Change your shot meter color to “red” in the game’s Settings. I highly recommend this, as it makes the visual cue for timing much more obvious.
I encourage the use of the shot meter, because it rewards good timing, positioning, and overall, a better gameplay experience. You should always be focusing attribute points early on across shooting areas you want to improve in — across both Shooting and Finishing attributes — and really target a 90+ rating for mid-range and 3-point shots.
Your Badges as well are going to have significant impact on your capacity to adjust and improve your Hot Zones.
Best Shooting Badges in NBA 2K22
- Difficult Shots badge: Improves the ability to shoot difficult shots off the dribble. High difficulty jumpers such as hop steps, spins, stepbacks, and pull-ups receive a shot percentage boost.
- Catch & Shoot: This badge will give you a boost to the chances of hitting a jump shot immediately after catching the ball.
- Corner Specialist Badge: This badge will give you a boost in shots taken near the corner on deep and mid-range shots.
- Deadeye Badge: This badge will see a reduction to the impact a defender may have in closing you out when taking a shot.
- Volume Shooter badge: This badge will boost the shot percentage of any shot attempts accrued during a match.
You can check out the full range of NBA 2K22 Shooting badges to see what else might be suitable for your player.
Have any tips or suggestions for NBA 2K22 players to improve their Hot Zones? Sound off in the comments below!