Mlb The Show 21 Guides Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Mlb The Show 21 Guides RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network MLB The Show 21 Batting Tips: Settings, Check Swing, Guess the Pitch, More Wed, 21 Apr 2021 11:16:38 -0400 Mark Delaney

It's Opening Day for MLB The Show 21, and this year's game is both great, as you can read in our MLB The Show 21 review, and multiplatform for the first time. That means some MLB The Show 21 batting tips could go a long way to helping players new and old compete on the diamond.

Whether you're playing on Xbox for the first time or jumping in on PlayStation, there is always more to learn. Here are our best MLB The Show 21 batting tips to get more hits and raise your batting average.

Pick the Batting Settings Right For You

One of the coolest features in MLB The Show is its multitude of control settings schemes. Other sports games may remap buttons, but none go to the lengths The Show does.

There are three distinct batting settings and mechanics to choose from in The Show 21, including:

  • Pure Analog
  • Zone Hitting
  • Directional Hitting

There are no wrong answers, really, so try out each style and see which one is right for you. In our review, we used Directional for the most part, but it's a matter of taste and what gets you on base the most. The key thing to remember is practice, practice, practice. 

Use the In-Game Swing Feedback

After each swing, whether you whiff or foul off, you'll get info on your swing in a small on-screen infographic opposite your batter that shows you where you messed up.

Maybe you were too early or too late, causing you to miss the ball entirely, or maybe if your swing was more on time, you'd have connected with the heart of the bat and put the ball in play. Every swing where you're still at the plate after it is a chance to tweak your approach.

Don't Swing at the First Pitch

This is simple real-life baseball fundamentals, and it applies to video games too. Don't make it easy on the pitcher. Dare them to land one in the strike zone before you begin to engage them. If they miss that first one, we'd even say to continue not swinging.

Treat every at-bat like it's two strikes and you're out and make them throw the first one without your participation. If their control is off in that inning or even the game, you'll put a lot more pressure on them to deliver cleaner pitches down the middle, giving you better balls to swing at.

Know the Situation

A lot of batting is just timing and location, but some of it is contextual too. You have to know what kind of swing you want to use for a particular situation. In MLB The Show 21, you can use a normal swing with cross, a power swing with square, or a contact swing with circle. Each one has its pros and cons.

  • A normal swing provides a balanced swing with the good plate coverage. Think of it as the default swing early in an at-bat.

  • A power swing is best reserved for power hitters who are probably ahead in the count when they know a favorable strike will likely be thrown.

  • A contact swing protects the plate and should be used when you're in danger of striking out.

Guess the Pitch

MLB The Show 21 lets you guess the pitch about to be thrown, and getting it right can help you make better contact on the ball.

To do this, hold RT/R2 before a pitcher begins his throwing motion, select the pitch you think is coming and the area you think it will target using the left stick.

The game breaks up the strike zone into four quadrants for this feature, so you don't have to be precise, just in the ballpark (pardon the pun).

How to Check Swing

Sometimes it's good to fully commit to something, like your career or a relationship. But in baseball, it's okay to have second thoughts.

To check swing in MLB The Show 21, simply release the swing button (or right stick if you're using analog batting) and if done early enough, your batter will pull up.

If your bat doesn't extend beyond the front of the plate and the pitcher threw a ball, it'll be called a ball. Of course, if it was a thrown strike, you'll get called for that too anyway.

When All Else Fails, Lower the Difficulty and Practice

If you're new or just struggling, don't be too proud to lower the difficulty. You'll learn to time swings better this way, and you can eventually work your way back up to whichever difficulty you prefer.

On lower difficulties, the game is more forgiving with regard to timing and plate coverage, so if nothing else it can be used as a confidence booster. Since you can filter online opponents by difficulty setting too, this is helpful both in solo modes and multiplayer.


Those are our MLB The Show 21 batting tips for batting settings, when to time swings, and how to know what went wrong (or right). 

MLB The Show 21 Pitching Tips: Settings, Chasing Cold Zones, and More Tue, 20 Apr 2021 18:45:44 -0400 Mark Delaney

It's Opening Day for MLB The Show 21, and this year's game is both great, as you can read in our MLB The Show 21 review, and multiplatform for the first time, coming to Xbox platforms alongside Sony systems. That means some MLB The Show 21 pitching tips could go a long way to helping players new and old compete on the diamond.

Whether you're playing on Xbox for the first time or jumping in on PlayStation, there is always more to learn. Here are our best MLB The Show 21 pitching tips to lower your ERA and keep the bases empty.

Pick the Best Pitching Settings For You

Pitching settings and controls are even more varied in MLB The Show 21 than the three-pronged batting control scheme on offer. There are five different ways to pitch in MLB The Show: 

  • The brand-new Pinpoint Pitching
  • Meter
  • Pure Analog
  • Pulse
  • Classic

These settings offer widely different control schemes, so it will take some time determining which you like best.

We landed on Meter, which combines each pitch's accuracy and power into a quicktime event not unlike kicking an extra point in Madden, but your preference may be another. Spend time with each one and find the one that you feel you have most control over. Then practice. 

Chase a Batter's Cold Zones

Every batter has hot and cold spots illustrated in their strike zone with red or blue squares respectively.

The red areas are where the batter is most proficient, so you ought not to challenge them there. The blue zones, meanwhile, are where a batter is vulnerable, so landing accurate pitches in those zones is more likely to sneak past the batter as their plate coverage just doesn't allow them much proficiency in those spots. 

Use the Intentional Walk Strategically

In baseball, walking a batter isn't always a bad thing. Sometimes you'll want to do it on purpose to get a runner on first and set yourself up for a double-play ball.

To intentionally walk a batter, hold L1 and press circle on PlayStation 4 and PS5. You'll throw the ball high and away, well out of the strike zone. If you've got a dangerous slugger at the plate with an open first base, it may be best to move him to first, then hope the next batter grounds one to the infield. You can turn the tide of an inning or even a game with this strategy.

Listen to Your Catcher

Before every pitch, your catcher will give you a signal to throw a certain pitch in your repertoire to a certain area over the plate. You should listen to him, especially if you're a beginner.

The placement is visualized as a catcher's mitt shown in a certain spot, while the preferred pitch will be visualized with a rippling animation over a pitch type. The game has a good way of mixing in smart pitch selection and placement, so if you're lost, let your pitcher guide you. It's what he's there for.

Know Your Umpire

Umpires are fallible. That's true in real life and in The Show. That means their view of a strike zone is not perfect by default. They might call a clear ball a strike, or vice versa, and pitches landing on the perimeter of the strike zone can go either way.

If you don't like this feature, you can change it in the game options under Umpire settings, moving them from realistic to "perfect," which means you will get called balls and strikes according to the true strike zone.


Those are our MLB The Show 21 pitching tips, including the game's different pitching settings, as well as how to walk batters and use your catcher and the umpire to get strike-outs and fly-outs.