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MLB The Show 23 Controller Tips and New Features

by Troy Gloski 31 Mar 2023

tMLB The Show 23 is now available, and we are loving this installment of the popular baseball game series. This is one of those games where understanding the settings and upgrading your controller with KontrolFreeks can take your game to the next level. Whether you are an MLB The Show rookie or a home run champion, we think everyone should read the tips below to learn new features, how to hit more consistently, understand the PCI, and improve your game with KontrolFreek products. 


For most sports games, we recommend Mid-Rise or Low-Rise Performance Thumbsticks like the Omni or CQC. However, in MLB The Show, a higher left thumbstick, such as Inferno, can offer a lot of benefits to accuracy when pitching and hitting. This upgrades your left thumbstick for 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 use a Mid-Rise or Low-Rise Performance Thumbstick such as Omni or CQC, to more accurately aim your throws with the right stick when fielding. 

MLB The Show KontrolFreek

Adding KontrolFreek Precision Rings to your controller will make you so much more accurate when hitting and pitching. Thes rings go around your joystick between the top and the base. They provide more tension to your thumbstick, enabling you to aim more precisely easier without over adjusting your aim. Hitting effectively requires you to react fast and make quick adjustments to your PCI. Without Precision Rings, it’s easy to overshoot your aim to outside of the target area, but the added tension from Precision Rings prevents you from making overly drastic aim changes, so you can hone in on your sweet spot. For more information on how KontrolFreeks improve your game in MLB The Show, check out Scann’s Video on YouTube. 

New Features 

Storylines are the new feature to MLB The Show 23 that we are most excited about. Storylines will allow you to play through the legendary careers of some of the most impactful players in history. In Season 1 of Storylines, MLB The Show 23 will be celebrating the historic Negro National League. Players will be placed right in the action as you recreated the formative moments of some of the most important players in the Negro National League and baseball’s history, such a Jackie Robinson and Satchel Paige.

MLB THE SHOW 23 Negro Leagues

In these Storylines, players will recreate the epic moments of some of baseballs greatest Legends. We know from the cover of the Captain Edition and the Digital Deluxe Edition that Derek Jeter is also a playable Legend, among other notable baseball greats such as Andrew Foster, Carlos Peña, Chili Davis, David Wright, Hank Thompson, Hilton Smith, Ian Kinsler, Jake Peavy, John Donaldson, Mark McGwire, Martin Dihigo, Matt Cain, Sammy Sosa, Rube Foster, and more! We’re excited to play through some of the greatest moments of our favorite players! 

MLB The Show 23

Franchise Mode has been updated to feature the new MLB Post Season format, the new schedule and players, as well as addition new features. They’ve revamped the way drafting works and added new cutscenes and character animations. Franchise mode and Road to the Show have a lot of potential to be great so it’s nice to see those modes getting some serious attention. 

Some other features that have a lot of potential are Captain Cards and Player Boosts. You can now designate any player as a captain for your team. Then look at their player card to find traits, quirks, and attribute boosts that can be unlocked by meeting specific criteria for your team or in game, like being behind or having other players from a similar franchise. 

MLB The Show 23 Ohtani

Hitting Tips 

Hitting is such a huge part about having fun playing MLB The Show. There’s no better feeling than perfectly reading your opponent and cranking the perfect hit out of the ballpark. With that in mind, these tips will help any batter reach the top of their game. 

Hitting View: Strike Zone 

Adjust the Hitting View setting to whatever feels comfortable to you and your gaming setup. We recommend the “Strike Zone” option, as this zoomed in view makes it a little easier to see the ball, recognize pitches, and make better swing decisions. 

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 most MLB The Show players agree that Zone is the most accurate. 

MLB the Show hitting interface

Understanding 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 

 There are a bunch of new ways to customize your PCI in MLB The Show 23, 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. We recommend using whatever PCI settings you feel most comfortable with, but if you are in a slump and need to rally, try out some new PCI options to find your sweet spot. 

PCI Anchor 

The PCI Anchor setting is new to MLB The Show 23. With it turned on, you can choose to adjust the starting point of your PCI for each pitch. If a pitcher has a tendency for a certain location in the strike zone, you can choose to anchor your PCI on that side or in that corner, which will make it easier to lock on to pitches in that zone. 

Use Custom Practice Mode 

The best way to hone your skills is to setup the play exactly as you want it to be; hit with any batter, against any pitcher and set the play to repeat. 

MLB The Show 23

Understand Hitting Feedback 

After any swing, you will see the results of that swing in the feedback. Here you can see Batter Attributes, Swing Timing, PCI, Wind, Launch Angle, and Velocity. Getting familiar with this information is key to hitting better as this will give you an idea of what you can improve at. 

Learn When to Take Pitches and Stay Disciplined 

Don't jump on all pitches. Pay attention to a 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. 

Don’t Be Afraid of 2 Strike Counts 

Be confident, even when you are in a 2 strike situation. Don’t feel like you automatically have to swing. Look for the pitch you want. If they throw a great pitch and you strike out, brush it off and move on to the next hitter. 

Swing Early at Inside Fastballs 

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. 

Mlb The Show team usa

Know Your Weaknesses 

Use the feedback and practice mode to determine your weaknesses and then tailor your settings and swings accordingly. If you are tracking inside pitches and overcorrecting your PCI, then try anchoring your PCI on the inside so you have to adjust less. Use practice mode to target and improve a specific weakness. 

Normal Swings Only 

Don’t be tempted to use any swing other than normal. Power Swing and Contact Swing aren’t worth it. You can achieve the swing you are looking for more reliably with Normal Swings. 

Higher Difficulties 

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. 

If you want more tips and recommendations for your favorite games, check out our other KontrolFreek Blogs. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok to stay up to date on the latest gaming content and join our Twitch streams for some always entertaining gameplay and opportunities to win free KontrolFreek and SteelSeries products!  

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