It seems like a basic concept. Everybody who is pretending to be a baseball player wants to be the best around. Nobody is going to close their eyes at night and dream about getting stuck in Double-A ball for the rest of their lives. Naturally, MLB The Show 22 players want to be as good as they can get.
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Some will simply pick up a controller and play, slowly increasing their overall rating game-after-game. But there is a cap on this experience and it is well below what it takes to even get a scent of the big leagues. To truly compete, gamers will need to boost their player at every turn that MLB The Show 22 has to offer.
10/10 Fix Up Batting Stance
Players should know some things before they even pick up the game. After picking up the game, the most important way to improve the player happens before playing. When designing the character, some statistics like height, weight, and body type are purely for flavor.
But the batting stance and the animations make a huge difference. A bad stance can have players make perfect contact with perfect timing and ground out weakly to the shortstop. The perfect stance depends on the player, so tinker with it if it's not performing at a high level.
9/10 Steal Bases
There are more reasons to steal bases than purely for the excitement of the new commentary crew. Swiping bags increases a total of three statistics: baserunning aggressiveness, stealing, and speed. Speed helps with batting, extra-base hits, and fielding, so it's not an opportunity to pass on.
This might not be the player's favorite part of the game. But until getting these three categories maxed out at a base of fifty apiece, every ballclub is going to value the ballplayer less than their true worth. Feel free to mess with the sliders to make this easier for slower athletes.
8/10 Train Up "Useless" Stats
Some statistics are, truly, useless for the player. Blocking for anyone but a catcher is a junk stat. Non-pitchers aren't going to have to worry about stamina. Some stats come very close to being useless when controlling the player and manually deciding whether to swing or not.
Train them up anyway, especially if other statistics are nearly topped off. Why? Because these stats still contribute to a player's OVR. Clubhouses will treat players based on this OVR statistic, even if it doesn't make very much sense to care about if the third baseman has a wicked breaking ball.
7/10 Invest In Durability
Of all the statistics, durability should be given the most credence when improving. Most gamers will turn off injuries and won't worry about getting hurt, but getting benched is completely out of the gamer's control. Managers will sideline a superstar on a hot streak if their durability isn't high enough.
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Getting benched and missing games is the single worst thing that can happen to sideline a player's progress. That's one more game where stats stay stagnant and the season progresses, making it less likely to get to the big leagues. Players can't improve their OVR from the dugout, sorry.
6/10 Join A Team With The Highest Need
Seeing how important playing time is when it comes to improvement, then there is hardly a better way to stymie progress than by choosing a team that doesn't desperately need the player's services. Sharing playing time with another worthy athlete makes sense in actual baseball, but it's devastating in the virtual one.
Look for teams that have a major hole at a given position, preferably one where the highest-rated player is not above a 75. It's not enough to be a little bit better than the next best player; managers will still split time with two players on the roster close in talent.
5/10 Buy Gear For Every Slot
Equipment is the main way that gamers can improve above the baseline maximum attribute of fifty, allowing players to go over this artificial barrier. It's very tempting to go save up for the most expensive piece of equipment, but this is a mistake.
The difference in price between the best piece of gear and one just a couple of points shy of it is astronomical. For the cost of a platinum bat, players could get gold gear in every slot. That's a far better investment for the OVR of the player. Platinum items are still smart to save up, but get the basics filled in first.
4/10 Be Nice
Don't get it twisted, MLB The Show 22 is not primarily an RPG. That's not to say that gamers can't completely stop their progress by being jerks. During moments when the team asks the player to try out a position, be as compliant as possible.
Asking for a trade or insisting on playing a certain position can be done with grace and firmness. This isn't saying to acquiesce to every desire. But throwing a tantrum is a great way for the club to bench the player for several games and other teams around the league will take note of the behavior.
3/10 Make It To The Playoffs
The playoffs are a bonus period when it comes to improvement. Of course, the extra hardware from winning playoff awards or the World Series is personally satisfying. But from a practical standpoint, extra games mean extra opportunities to improve.
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Not every season needs to end with a trophy; barring saving and restarting the game, players will be lucky to hoist the trophy even once or twice during their career. But try to make a habit of selecting and supporting a team that gets to these extra series every year.
2/10 Personalize The Settings
There is a lot to say about the settings that can't be covered in a single paragraph. But here is the synopsis: Try them all and use the one that works best. Practice in other modes that have no stakes with more difficult settings; stick with the ones that work for Road to the Show.
Sadly, PC gamers continue to wait for the game to be playable on their systems. But for the console gamers out there, play around with the pitching, hitting, fielding, and baserunning settings. Choose one that is comfortable and then practice with others that have more complexity.
1/10 Change Swings Situationally
Power hitters often make the mistake of power swinging on every pitch. But what about when there are two strikes and the team needs a runner on base to stay alive? Switch to contact swinging and keep the hopes of the team alive.
Likewise, even contact players should recognize a player on third and less than two outs is easy to score with a fly to the outfield. Use a power swing to pick up a free RBI. In both situations, players will be rewarded with extra attribute points for their OVR.
MLB The Show 22 was released on April 5th, 2022, and is available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PlayStation 5.