MLB The Show 05 May 2021 11:29 AM +00:00

Baserunning Survival Guide: Controls, Tips & Tricks

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MLB The Show 21 is now in full swing on multiple platforms, and this year's debut on Xbox and Xbox Game Pass means there are tons of new players trying out the series.

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While pitching and hitting tend to get the most attention at first, nailing the baserunning controls in MLB The Show 21 can also make a huge difference in increasing your skill in the game.

Here, we'll go over all the best tips and tricks for baserunning in MLB The Show 21, the different controls in Road to the Show and elsewhere, as well as how to slide and steal bases.

Latest - Game Update 4 Makes Big Changes

MLB The Show 21 Game Update 4 is coming with some important changes to the game for players from all game modes.

MLB The Show 21 batting hitting gameplay mike trout
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BOMBS AWAY: A big new update is coming for MLB The Show 21

For starters, MLB The Show 21 sliders are being changed to reduce XP gains when changing in-game details.

Read over the full MLB The Show 21 Update 1.04/1.004/1.37 patch notes below:

  • Fixed a crash that would happen after opening presentations in RTTS and Franchise
  • Changes made to sliders – gameplay sliders now cut XP by 50% instead of 100%. Non-gameplay sliders do not impact XP
  • Moved the All-Star game to Colorado
  • Audio fixes for loanDepot Park
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Baserunning Tips and Tricks

Baserunning is exactly what it sounds like, as it'll handle how your player (or players) make the dash from base to base after a hit in hopes of scoring a run.

As you're adjusting to baserunning controls, you definitely want to stick with the default controls at first and keep things as much to Auto and Assist as you can in the settings.

MLB The Show 21 Baserunning Guide Controls Tips Tricks Steal Bases Slide RTTS Road to the Show
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RUN FOR IT: Make sure to advance baserunners when the time is right

Once you've started to nail down more of the controls, you can adjust these and start taking on more of that burden yourself, but trust the AI to handle some of those calls when you're settling in.

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Always keep an eye on other bases and be sure other runners are also advancing, because you don't want to accidentally advance a runner to an occupied base.

There can't be two runners on a single base, so if you do that then one will be immediately tagged out by the other team.

If you're struggling to just get on base, check out our batting and hitting guide to help improve that aspect of your game first.

Default Baserunning Controls

When you start playing MLB The Show 21, the following control scheme will be used as for the default baserunning controls, and work almost identically for other consoles.

MLB The Show 21 Baserunning Guide Controls Tips Tricks Steal Bases Slide RTTS Road to the Show
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KEEP IT SIMPLE: Default isn't a bad thing for baserunning

The control choice you'll be making the most in games is to either advance or return all runners using LB / L1 or RB / R1.

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You can use the left stick to select a specific runner and return or advance them on their own, or can use the buttons corresponding to their base in order to move them.

You can also view our complete controls guide for a more general overview of things.

How to steal bases in MLB The Show 21

Stealing bases in MLB The Show 21 can make a huge difference in how many runs you end up scoring, but it's one of the harder nuances in the game to master.

Keep an eye on the Speed and Steal stats that your player has before making the decision to risk it and steal a base, because low stats can make even a well-executed attempt fail and cost you an out.

MLB The Show 21 Baserunning Guide Controls Tips Tricks Steal Bases Slide RTTS Road to the Show
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STEALING IS DANGEROUS: It's always a risk in MLB The Show 21

To start, you want to hold RT / R2 once the pitcher looks over at you and is about to prepare the pitch, then tap (do not hold and release) LT / L2 to preload the steal itself.

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After doing that, tap LB / L1 to lead off your runner for the steal, and only release RT / R2 after the pitch itself has been thrown to get your runner to start their full steal attempt.

Nailing this timing and sequence is going to take time, and if you're in a critical situation it may be more beneficial to not risk that out until you feel more ready, but stealing bases is something you definitely want to aim to improve over time.

Much of stealing bases can also be helped by improving your pitching game and understanding how pitchers often operate, which our pitching guide can help with.

Baserunning Controls & Camera in RTTS or when Player Locked

If you're playing in Road to the Show, or in a player locked moment in Diamond Dynasty, the baserunning controls can be a bit different.

Your overall goals will be the same, but you'll instead use either the left stick or a combination of LT / L2 and a button press to advance or return between bases.

MLB The Show 21 Baserunning Guide Controls Tips Tricks Steal Bases Slide RTTS Road to the Show
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PLAYER LOCKED: Sometimes you control one player, and not the whole team

You may also notice that your view changes significantly when on base in Road to the Show or player locked, and because of that it's a good idea to use the various camera controls (LT/L2, Right Stick) to adjust your view.

MLB The Show 21 Baserunning Guide Controls Tips Tricks Steal Bases Slide RTTS Road to the Show
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BECOME THE STEAL: Master the art of the stolen base in RTTS

You'll also notice you can use LB / L1 or RB / R1 to reduce or extend your lead to the next base, which will be key in stealing bases.

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You can follow the same general rules of base stealing as far as watching the pitcher closely and being careful about when to steal, but the mechanics will be a bit different and camera controls can help you get a better view of the field and other runners.

If you want to improve your fielding as a position player in Road to the Show, check out our fielding survival guide for more help.

How to slide in MLB The Show 21

Whether it's to steal a base, find your way home, or snag that first base, sliding is one of the more challenging parts of MLB The Show 21.

The following controls show you the various nuances of how you can choose to slide during a game.

MLB The Show 21 Baserunning Guide Controls Tips Tricks Steal Bases Slide RTTS Road to the Show
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SLIDE FOR IT: Give it your all by sliding towards home in MLB The Show 21

Like many of the controls in MLB The Show 21, it'll take some practice to get your slides down so you have to think less about them.

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The controls also vary a bit when in RTTS or player locked, which is also noted above.

Try to always have an idea of where the ball is located in the field of play, and as such where it is likely to be coming from, to help determine which way to slide gives you the best chance of avoiding an out.

How to change Baserunning settings in MLB The Show 21

There are a few settings you can alter for baserunning in MLB The Show 21, and each of them can be found in the gameplay options from the main menu in or out of a game.

MLB The Show 21 Baserunning Guide Controls Tips Tricks Steal Bases Slide RTTS Road to the Show
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PLAY YOUR WAY: Various settings let you decide how to play

Hit LB/RB / L1/R1 until you're at the Batting & Baserunning section, and from there hit LT/RT / L2/R2 to get to the Advanced options.

You'll usually want to leave things on Default and Assist or Auto, but as you become more comfortable with the controls or see what is or isn't working for you, make adjustments so MLB The Show 21 fits the way you play best.

Classic Baserunning Controls with Leading Off and Stealing

While most players will choose to use the Default Baserunning Controls in MLB The Show 21, there is a Classic Baserunning system that can be chosen in settings.

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MLB The Show 21 Baserunning Guide Controls Tips Tricks Steal Bases Slide RTTS Road to the Show
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KEEP IT CLASSIC: You can always try the Classic style

The above controls will show you how general baserunning is changed, largely with a directional pad and button combination, but the below controls show the difference for leading off and stealing.

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MLB The Show 21 Baserunning Guide Controls Tips Tricks Steal Bases Slide RTTS Road to the Show
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STAY STEALING: Even in Classic, you wanna keep stealing bases

These may take longer to get used to, so most players stick to Default Baserunning, but if you're struggling you can try out Classic Baserunning to see if things fit better for the way you play.

If you're planning to carry any of these skills into Franchise Mode, our survival guide will help you get started off on the right foot to have years of in-game success.

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