It would not be NBA if you are not able to dunk over your opponents in a live match. NBA 2K23 naturally brings that feature back with new vigor alongside Contact Dunk, one of the older gameplay mechanics from the last installment.
The following guide will relay some dunking tips while pointing out the Contact Dunk requirements you must fulfill in NBA 2K23.
How to dunk in NBA 2K23
There are two ways you can dunk in NBA 2K23. You can either move the right analog stick towards the rim or hold the shoot button which is Square/X (PlayStation/Xbox), but that must be down while holding the R2/RT (PlayStation/Xbox) buttons as you drive towards the basket. There is, however, so much more when it comes to dunking in NBA 2K23.
Dunking relies on both you, the player with the basketball and your opponent, the one who you are dunking on. It is vital that you know the dunk rating of all your players and the defensive abilities of your opponents.
Even with all of that information, dunking is still something that you need to get used to. They are not that easy to do in an actual match. You should hence spend some time practicing dunks to actually nail them in a high-stake situation.
You will find out the difference between making an open dunk and a contested dunk yourself when in the situation. Granted that dunking can be difficult in NBA 2K23, but that doesn’t stop us from wanting to humiliate opposing players and turn the tide of the match, not to mention all the Oohhs and Aahhs you get from the audience after that.
How to use the 2K23 Dunk Meter
Dunking in NBA 2K23 is similar to shooting in NBA 2K23 but is made much harder in this game compared to previous ones. Similar to the Shot Meter, you now have the Dunk Meter, which is a scale that determines the timing of your dunk.
As you start to execute a dunk, a meter will appear beside the player and the bar displayed would go up quickly, reach the maximum (green) point and then start to go back down after that.
Timing the dunk is quite simple really, if you land the dunk at the green point at the top of the scale, you have a perfectly timed dunk, and vice versa.
The Dunk Meter in NBA 2K23 will automatically pop up while performing a signature/flashy dunk otherwise known as a skill dunk.
How to turn off the dunk meter in NBA 2K23
Feel like you’ve practiced enough and don’t need the dunk meter anymore, do you? Well, you can actually turn the dunk meter off to make things a bit more challenging for you. To turn off the dunk meter, you first have to pause the game and then follow the steps below.
- Go to the Settings menu
- Open up the Controller Settings section
- Toggle the Shot Timing option to Shots Only
There are a whole lot of variations when it comes to dunking in NBA 2K23. All the dunking moves mentioned below such as flashy dunk, aggressive dunk, and standing dunk will help you make the best dunk build in NBA 2K23.
If you’re here to find out about a specific type of dunk, you can jump to the following:
- How to do a two-handed dunk
- How to do a flashy dunk
- How to do a dominant, strong-hand, or off-hand dunk
- How to do putback dunks in NBA 2K23
- How to do standings dunk in NBA 2K23
- How to do an aggressive dunk
- How to hang on the ring after a dunk
- How to dunk instead of a layup
How to do a two-handed dunk
The two-handed dunk, in reality, is one of the hardest to perform and is also the classic old-school dunk. But, in NBA 2K23, everything is made simple with the help of a few buttons.
To pull off a two-handed dunk and pulverize your opponent, you need to run toward the basket while holding the Right Stick UP. Although one of the simplest dunks to perform with respect to the buttons associated, your character might struggle to pull this off if there’s a defender right in front.
How to do a flashy dunk
A flashy dunk has many variations to it and is way harder and cooler than a standard dunk. You might want to perform a flashy dunk somewhere in the game to make it to the Highlights, which might be something from a windmill, reverse, or 360 dunks.
Performing a flashy dunk might be a little tricky to pull off if you haven’t got the timing right. If you mess something up during the process, you might end up making a normal dunk or missing it completely. To make sure that your timing is perfect though, you’ll require a lot of practice first.
There are two different flashy dunks in NBA 2K23; a single-handed flashy dunk and a two-handed flashy dunk.
The steps to make a single-handed flashy dunk are as follows:
- While driving in towards the basket, Hold R2
- Flick the right stick Down as the dunk animation starts
- Hold Down the right stick
- Release the right stick
The steps to make a two-handed flashy dunk are similar to the previous one, and are as follows:
- While driving in towards the basket, Hold R2
- Flick the right stick Up as the dunk animation starts
- Hold Down the right stick
- Release the right stick
How to do a dominant, strong-hand, or off-hand dunk
This type of dunk is a single-handed dunk, which in some cases might look cooler than a two-handed dunk given the variety of skills you can perform with it. In this case, you have the option to dunk either with your dominant/strong hand or with the weaker/off-hand.
If you want to finish stronger and harder at the rim, then you need to go with the strong-hand dunk. On the other hand, if you’re planning to show off and humiliate your opponent, you can go with the off-hand dunk.
Both of these dunks have a slight button variation to them. If your player is right-handed, then the dominant hand would be the right-handed dunk, in which case you need to move the Right Stick to the right while driving in toward the basket.
How to do putback dunks in NBA 2K23
Putback Dunks are something of importance if your team’s shooters haven’t got a great shot. In Basketball, you always want to make the possession count, and putback dunks are perfect for that, but to pull one off, you need to be right below the ring as your teammate shoots to grab the rebound.
Performing a putback dunk is really simple. All you have to do is to be in the correct position and hold down the shoot button as the ball rebounds. If your character has it in him, he’ll take the rebound and slam the ball into the rim mid-air.
How to do standing dunks in NBA 2K23
The standing dunk is the simplest form of dunk you’ll ever see, although it does require a lot of vertical on the player.
Before we move on to how you can actually perform a standing dunk, you need to make sure that you’re standing right under the basket with no defenders around to guard you.
How to do an aggressive dunk
An aggressive dunk is exclusive to an Elite Dunker, who has the skill required to push through defenders and slam the ball into the basket regardless of whether there’s a center guarding it or not.
How to hang on the ring after a dunk
The trick to hanging onto the ring after performing the dunk is to flick down and hold the Right Stick. Once you do that, you can use the Left Stick to move your legs around and also move the Right Stick Up to pull yourself up toward the ring, for as long as you want!
How to dunk instead of a layup
You’ll notice often that whenever left for the computer, your player always makes a layup rather than a dunk. This is because the system of NBA 2K23 was designed to let the players make the best shot possible depending on the situation, which is most often a layup.
To make sure that your character goes for a dunk rather than a layup, you must ensure that you take to use the Right Stick while going for it. This will override the automatic commands and make your player go for a dunk.
How to do the dunk contest in NBA 2K23
Listed below are the steps to make a dunk in NBA 2K23’s Dunk Contest:
- Start from the Three Point Line
- Run towards the basket while holding R2(Playstation), or RT(Xbox).
- Optional: During this phase, if you want to toss the ball, press Triangle (Playstation) or Y(Xbox)
- Move and hold the Right Stick in the direction of your preferred dunk, then press and hold the Square button (Playstation)/ X button (Xbox)
- Release the Right Sticks to execute the dunk
Listed Below are all the dunks you can perform in the dunk contest and take home the win:
- Windmill Dunk: Move and hold the Right Stick either to the Left or to the Right
- Double Clutch Dunk: Move and hold the Right Stick upwards
- 360 Dunk: Turn the Right Stick Clockwise or Anti-Clockwise
- Between The Legs Dunk: Move the Right Stick left and then quickly right, or vice versa
- Reverse Dunk: Move and hold the Right Stick downwards
- Bounce Dunk: Move the Right Stick up and then quickly down, or vice versa
Who is the best dunker in NBA 2K23
We’ve seen a lot of great dunkers in the history of basketball and with a lot of variations as well. Some of the players have left their mark as one of the best dunkers of all time, players like Aaron Gordon, Ja Morant, Vince Carter, and of course Taurian Fontenette’s wild 720 Dunk.
Currently though, in 2K23, Zion Williams ranks at the top as the best dunker with a nasty rating of 97 in standing dunks.
NBA 2K23 dunking tips and tricks
Practice Your Moves
Dunking is not an easy task in NBA 2K23. If you try to dunk the ball in the game without having much experience in it, you’ll be surprised to see it miss. Therefore, it is recommended to first practice the dunks off-game and form a muscle memory/get a hold of the mechanics involved.
Perform Dunks According To The Situation
Assessing the paint is a very important aspect of dunking. The game gives you complete control of what type of dunks you can perform, but that doesn’t mean that you can always perform them.
You have to be smart about making dunks, for example, you’d want to switch to your off-hand when there’s a defender guarding your dominant side, or simply, don’t go for a dunk at all if there’s a shot blocker in the paint.
Similarly, the best way to make a two-handed dunk would be in a fast-break situation.
Read The Defense
It is not wise to go for a dunk every possession that you get. If you do that, you’ll become pretty predictable and your opponent will always know how to guard you. Therefore, it’s important to read the defense and adjust your offense according to it. For example, if there’s a taller defender in the center, you’d want to take a pull-up rather than go for a dunk.
Know Your Players
Knowing your players’ stats well is very important. It might be possible that not all of your players are efficient in dunking, provided that they have low stats in vertical, etc. Keeping that in mind, you should always go for a dunk with a player you know is efficient at dunking.
For example, you’d want to select a player with high vertical and dunking stats to go for a dunk for the majority of times; players like Lebron James, Vince Carter, Blake Griffin, or Kevin Durant.