For the first time in series history, MLB The Show is heading to Xbox with MLB The Show 21. When the game drops on April 20 for the Xbox Series X and Xbox One, it’ll mark the first time since MLB 2K13 that a AAA baseball game appeared on an Xbox console.
Because of the new system release, there are no doubt thousands of baseball fans being introduced to MLB The Show for the very first time. Luckily for you, SGO is here to fill you in on all the things you need to know about MLB The Show 21 and the franchise as a whole before you make that initial boot up on Xbox.
Now before getting into this, this is more high-level beginners information for those who’ve never played MLB The Show before. So, if you’re a veteran player, share this with your friends who are excited to finally get into the game.
Diamond Dynasty is Online King in MLB The Show 21
When it comes to playing online, there’s no bigger mode in MLB The Show than Diamond Dynasty. The game’s take on the Collectable Card Game (CCG), Diamond Dynasty has you create your team with a custom logo, jersey, and, on next-gen consoles, stadium. With your new team, you’ll go about completing various challenges, events, and modes to build the best team possible.
It won’t be a mode for everyone, but there’s plenty there whether you want to face off against other players or stick to offline team builder. The best part is that you can unlock everything in the mode without spending a dime. Though, hopefully with MLB The Show 21 they make it a little bit easier for players to unlock the best cards and players.
That said, as someone who has never been a fan of CCG modes, Diamond Dynasty is the one I often find myself trying to get into each year.
Online Gameplay Can Feel Weird
One of the things most MLB The Show players will tell you is that there will be times the gameplay online doesn’t really make sense. Specifically when it comes to either making contact with a pitch, or when you’re fielding.
Sometimes you’ll think the ball made it past a fielder. But, as you try to extend a single into a double, you’ll quickly see the game catch up and notice that it was played properly leading to an out at second. Other times you’ll see the game act as though the throw to catch a runner stealing was on time only for the sync to lead to it being a bit late.
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When you make contact on a swing, you’ll notice that things will pause or skip in order to sync up between the players. It’s annoying at first but eventually you will get used to it, and just expect it. Hopefully as we move forward with Sony San Diego taking advantage of Microsoft Azure servers for the series, we’ll see that kind of skipping and delay become a thing of the past.
March to October vs. Franchise
In MLB The Show 21, you’re going to see two modes: one is Franchise and one is March To October. While on the surface they seem similar, they are targeted to a completely different type of player.
Franchise mode is exactly what you think it is. You pick a team, manage every aspect of the day-to-day operations (including relocation if you want), and work to turn them into a perennial World Series contender. It’s a mode geared towards those in it for the long haul with their team.
March to October, on the other hand, is a much more streamlined experience. The mode is a single-season offering that has you take your team, manage it like you would in a Franchise, and make a run for a World Series title. Aside from the single-season feature, March to October has you play solely through key games and moments, allowing quicker completions. And then at the end of it all, you can then bring that team over into Franchise Mode to continue building them up.
It’s definitely a mode worth checking out, especially if you want to unlock more rewards you can use in other modes in MLB The Show 21.
Road to the Show is a True RPG
NBA 2K has its MyPlayer and MLB The Show has Road to the Show. You start as a hopeful prospect before the MLB Draft, and work your way through the minor league systems with the goal of becoming a Hall of Fame player.
One big thing you need to know is that this isn’t a fast-paced, become a major star overnight type of mode. Road to the Show has historically been a mode for those looking to spend the time building a legacy with a player. You’ll build relationships off the field, take part in training, and more.
New for MLB The Show 21, Road to the Show features a number of changes for players. The first being that a new narrative will be coming. The narrative will apparently be a dynamic story that changes based on your choices, play, and various actions. Sony San Diego claims that there are 180 “episodes” that can come up over the course of your career in the mode. These episodes feature 13 different MLB voices and personalities.
For next-gen players of MLB The Show 21, the episodes will be full-motion video. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players will have episodes in podcast format, only.
You’ll also be able to have a two-way player for the very first time. That means you’ll be able to have a player that can both pitch and play in the field. It adds a nice twist to your career that will make decisions about what you do more important than ever.
Lastly, you’re able to bring your Road to the Show player into Diamond Dynasty for the first time ever.
Custom Rosters for MLB The Show 21 on Xbox
With so many players in the MLB system, getting full and accurate rosters can be tough. MLB The Show introduced full minor league rosters for last year’s game, but it still wasn’t as flushed out as it could be.
Luckily, if you want accurate and realistic rosters, Ridin Rosters and his team do an amazing job at making updates for players. The rosters can be downloaded by anyone and used in Franchise and other modes with no issues whatsoever. It’s a great way to have the MLB experience you want without any sort of roster compromise.
The team hasn’t announced plans for MLB The Show 21 Xbox rosters yet, but I’d expect them to have that covered for players as well.
One thing everyone wants to talk about is an online franchise mode. Well, in MLB The Show 20 a barebones version was introduced called Custom Leagues. Basically you’re able to join a league with other players and face each other in a set amount of games per season.
One of the coolest things about it for those who love Diamond Dynasty, is that you can bring cards in with various caps to build your rosters.
There’s no real “Franchise Mode” aspects to it, but it’s the closest thing we have right now. Though, there is the possibility of a full online franchise coming back to the series in the near future.
More News for MLB The Show 21 on Xbox to Come
There’s plenty more to talk about with MLB The Show 21 and what you should know about the series as it comes to Xbox. As more information is announced, we’ll have full coverage here on the site and at Youtube.com/SportsGamersOnline.
If you’re new to the series, let us know what questions you want answered in the comment section below, and we’ll get to them in the next “Need to Know” installment.