The 5 best builds in NBA 2K21

Use these tips to create dominant players in NBA 2K21 MyCareer mode.

Image via 2K Games

If you want to succeed in NBA 2K21’s My Career mode, which includes The Long Shadow campaign and online games, you have to create a great build for your character. The builds are custom basketball avatars that are made up of pie charts that consist of four major pieces: finishing (blue), shooting (green), playmaking (yellow), and defense/rebounding (red).

The builds section comes after you choose your name, position, shooting hand, and jersey number. The attributes you assign to your build will determine the type of player you get. This guideline will help you create some of the best builds that are available in the game. But keep in mind that you should use the one that best fits your playing style or one that will make you better in the position you want to play. What we offer here is a great baseline to work from, though.

Here are the best builds in NBA 2K21 in the order of primary ball handler, secondary ball handler, and big player.

1) Playmaking shot creator

This is one of the best offensive builds in the game since it’ll allow you to score a lot of points in every game. Your player will have great shooting, great speed with the ball, and will be a three-point specialist, meaning you’ll be able to score from anywhere on the court. Spending so many points on offense means your player will defend poorly, but some may say that the best defense is to never stop attacking.

This build of playmaking shot creator is better for a point guard who’s 6-foot-3 or 6-foot-4 with minimal weight and wingspan. The focus must be putting a lot of points on his shooting stats, for example, mid-range shot (94), three-point shot (91), and free throw (89). Then you’ll have to decide whether you want to spend more points on playmaking or finishing. We’d advise you to go for finishing if you want to carry your team.

The last screen is the takeover menu, in which you choose a badge that will boost your player’s stats when you’ve done several positive plays during a game. Just pick the one that fits your playstyle the most and you’ll have a player similar to some of the best NBA shooters, such as Steph Curry, Trae Young, and Damian Lillard.

2) Perimeter lockdown

This type of build is perfect for players who like to defend and still score as well. The perimeter lockdown build suits either point guards or shooting guards. It’s best if you go with a 6-foot-5 height, around 180 pounds, and maximum wingspan because you want to defend well. Your player will have great athleticism, decent shooting and speed with the ball, and plenty of defensive skills.

Let’s start with the defending/rebounding stats. You’ll have to be great at perimeter defense (87), lateral quickness (87), steal (94), and defensive rebound (76). The fewer points you spend on playmaking, the more you’ll have to put into finishing and shooting. But we’d advise you to at least boost your player’s ball handling to around 75 overall.

If you don’t put too many points into pass accuracy, you’ll have plenty to spend on key stats such as mid-range shot (79), three-point shot (78), free throw (88), and close shot (87). Pick the takeover badge that you want the most and you’ll have a player who reminds you of the playstyle of Russell Westbrook or John Wall.

3) Two-way finisher

Although most players go with the playmaking shot creator build for guards, there are some people who prefer to counter that with the two-way finisher build. For this one, you’ll have to be tall and fast, so go with 6-foot-8 and around 185 pounds. Set the wingspan to 90 inches and you’ll have a player who can frustrate your adversary on defense and brute-force his way on the attack.

With this build, you’re looking for a player with great perimeter defense (87), lateral quickness (87), steal (87), block (92), offensive rebound (91), and defensive rebound (93). Now that the defense/rebounding section is all sorted, we can start spending points on finishing.

Ideally, your player will be good at close shots (87), driving dunk (93), and standing dunk (94). The positives of this build are that it’ll make your player a beast at both defending and rebounding, as well as in some of the finishing aspects. But he’ll be a poor playmaker and shooter. The two-way finisher is perhaps a build that’s better to try after you’ve already played with a playmaking shot creator because this way you’ll know how to counter them. Your character will be similar to Penny Hardaway and Ben Simmons.

4) Stretch four

This type of player has become quite meta in the real NBA. Big men nowadays must know how to shoot the ball from mid-range and the three-point area. The stretch four is an offensive build, so your character will be average at best when defending.

Create a player around 6-foot-8 and reduce the weight down to 185 pounds because he isn’t going to have a great presence inside the paint. Set their wingspan to 87 inches to help with his shooting mechanics. Start spending as many points on shooting as you can: mid-range shot (87), three-point shot (86), and free throw (93).

Aside from shooting, your player won’t really excel at anything. You will, however, unlock some defensive badges after hours of gameplay that will help him defend better, even though he isn’t a rim protector. The advantage of the stretch four is that most of your adversaries won’t know how to defend your deep shots. The stretch four build creates players similar to Kevin Durant and Jason Taytum.

5) Paint beast

The paint beast build is the exact opposite of the stretch four. Forget the modern NBA and remember the old school days where teams had dominant big men like Shaquille O’Neal and Shawn Kemp. Many NBA 2K21 players won’t use this build, but we can guarantee that the paint beast is a great build and, perhaps most importantly, one that’s wildly fun.

Go with 7-foot-1 height, max weight (290 pounds), and a 95-inch wingspan. These attributes will allow you to have a machine inside the paint: close shot (90), post hook (81), and standing dunk (95). He won’t have any shooting and playmaking relevant skills, because you’ll spend points on defending and rebounding. You’ll be able to set a lot of your teammates up for success if you abuse screens, but remember to ask for a pass so you can dominate inside the paint.

Your character will have great defending stats, such as interior defense (94), block (92), offensive rebound (90), and defensive rebound (90), which will put him up there with the best rim protectors in the league.