Koogs46, one of the top MLB The Show players, recently released his Hitting Tips video for MLB The Show 20. Batting is arguably the most important aspect in MLB The Show, and the most difficult for us first-timers in the office. Read the tips below to learn how to make good contact consistently, learn more about the PCI, and see what KontrolFreek products work best.
The Basics of the Plate Coverage Indicator (PCI)
The Plate Coverage Indicator has three parts: the outer, the inner, and the center. The Outer zone of the PCI is your player’s Vision Area. High vision helps the batter make contact even with bad timing or location; useful for hitting foul balls to stay in the count.
The Inner zone is your player’s Contact Area. Not to be confused as the barrel of your bat, this zone is your swing plane that influences the contact ranging from weak grounders to good line drives depending on the pitch’s position within this zone. The Center zone is as it sounds; this is the barrel of your bat. Positioning this cursor onto the ball results in Perfect/Perfect contact on the hitting meter, meaning Perfect Location and Perfect Timing.
PCI Settings and Styles
Koogs mentions this in his video at 4:56. There are a few styles you change for the PCI, including the color and shapes in the center zone. There is also setting for PCI Fadeout, which controls which part of the PCI fade out when a pitch is thrown. Default is to fade out just the Vision zone. This is really all personal preference and you should use what you feel most comfortable with.
Do KontrolFreek Performance Thumbsticks work with MLB The Show?
Yes! After hearing from many players in the community like Koogs, we have tested this game with all variations of our products. We recommend using a High-Rise Performance Thumbsticks on the left analog, like FPS Freek Inferno. This added height gives you more arc distance, which allows you to access more precise movements in-between the dead zone and the edge. If you find yourself reacting and pulling the bat too low on off-speed pitches or too high when trying to reach that high fastball, Performance Thumbsticks can help you fine tune those movements to access those smaller adjustments.
On the right analog, most just use a Mid-Rise Performance Thumbstick as it is not as precision intensive. If you are playing as a player in the field, you will have to aim with the right stick to throw to first base. But other than that, there is not much use for added height on the right analog.
MLB The Show 20 Hitting Tips
Below are the best batting tips from Koogs and our experience playing MLB The Show 20. If you have additional tips, please leave them in the comments!
Use Custom Practice Mode
Setup the play exactly as you want it to be; hit with any batter, against any pitcher and set the play to repeat.
Use the right Hitting Interface: Zone
Zone gives you total control of the strike zone and is what feels like the best combination of simulation and user input. There are also Directional and Pure Analog interfaces, but Koogs and most MLB The Show players agree that Zone is the most accurate.
Hitting View: Strike Zone
Use Strike Zone as the hitting view. This zooms in the camera right behind the strike zone, which allows you to read pitch angles and timings much quicker and more accurately. You can use Strike Zone 2 or 3 to get more views of the stadium and atmosphere. But we find that the more zoomed in camera angle is, the better your vision on the ball and its directional break; especially with spotting off-speed pitches early.
Pre-Pitch PCI Placement
Where you place your PCI before a pitch is thrown varies a lot by player. Some prefer to start low so they just adjust up, or vice versa. After testing, we agree with Koogs that the best placement is to leave the PCI in the center by leaving your thumbstick in the controller’s dead zone. This way you can react inside/outside and up/down in the strike zone without having to cover a large distance and over compensating. Some players also favor inside/outside of the center strike zone depending on any patterns they see with the pitcher, which may be beneficial for you.
Practice hitting on Legend difficulty
Practicing with higher pitch speeds to train your reactions and swing timing. Once you lower back to your standard difficulty, you should be able to read the pitches better and time your swings more accurately. A similar feeling to practicing ping-pong with a spoon and then switching back to a full paddle.
Be Disciplined at the plate
Don't jump on all pitches. Pay attention to pitcher’s confidence with each pitch and how their energy and confidence drops as you make them throw more pitches. Getting up in the count 2-0 or 3-1 gives your player a better chance to make contact.
Be Early on Inside Pitches
For pitches on the inside of the plate, be early or don’t swing at all. Being what is normally on time or later mostly results in weak contact. Take away the inside of the plate with your PCI to put more pressure on the pitcher to pitch outside where it's easier to make good contact.
As it is with all games, practice is the main thing. Set aside some time to warm up and even for hour long practice sessions in Custom Practice or Weekly Challenges, which get progressively harder.
- Performance Thumbsticks
Our final tip, pick up a pair of FPS Freek Inferno to make your batting more accurate and gain more control over your PCI.
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