MLB The Show 23 Controls Guide (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S)

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Spring is here and the new season is just around the corner, which means it is time for the MLB The Show 23 controls guide! Once again Sony Interactive Entertainment & San Diego Studio is bringing the baseball season to life with a new game.

This year things are a little different for players when it comes to controls, and as always there is a lot for new players to get their heads around. No matter what game mode you play in MLB The Show 23, you need to know the controls like the back of your glove.

MLB The Show 23 controls guide

Baseball isn't a complicated game, but when transplanted to a video game things start to get a bit tricky. Our MLB The Show 23 controls guide will take you through everything you need to know in order to start your Road To The Show, Diamond Dynasty, or Franchise off on the right foot.

There are four main aspects to the controls: hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning. We will dissect each in turn to give you all the tools you need to complete challenges, hit homers, and ultimately claim glory on the baseball diamond. If you are on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, or Xbox Series X|S then this is the guide for you!

Hitting controls for PlayStation & Xbox

Everyone loves smashing homers and racking up runs, so the MLB The Show 23 hitting controls are a great place to start. As with a lot of sports games, there are a few basic controls that are simple to get used to. Then there are some more complicated ones that will make you truly feared at the plate.

Let's start with the very basics before we get into the trickier stuff!

Command PlayStation Xbox
Normal SwingXA
Contact SwingOB
Power SwingSquareX
Sacrifice BuntTriangle - Press early & holdY - Press early & hold
Drag BuntTriangle - Press lateY - Press late
Aim Plate Coverage Indicator (PCI)Left StickLeft Stick

These are the basic controls of hitting, named as the Buttons Swing Input in the menus. Contact swings will lead to more contact but softer hits. These will generate singles and get you on base at a good rate, but if you want to swing for the fences you need to use the power swing.

MLB The Show 23 hitting controls
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You can change to an Analog Flick Swing Input in the menus that is a bit more involved.

Command PlayStation Xbox
Normal SwingRight Stick UpRight Stick Up
Contact SwingRight Stick Left or RightRight Stick Left or Right
Power SwingRight Stick Down, then flick UpRight Stick Down, then flick Up

This control style is still all about timing and is similar to controls from games by other developers years and years ago.

You then have the Analog Stride Swing Input option, which is the most involved of the three.

Command PlayStation Xbox
Cue Normal SwingX (Before pitch delivery)A (Before pitch delivery)
Cue Contact SwingO (Before pitch delivery)B (Before pitch delivery)
Cue Power SwingSquare (Before pitch delivery)X (Before pitch delivery)
SwingRS Down to start batter stride RS Up to initiate swingRS Down to start batter stride RS Up to initiate swing

The Analog Flick style gives you much more control but is also far harder to get right. With each player having their own individual stances, strides, and swing styles you really have to know your lineup.

Then we come to the Hitting Interface. The Plate Coverage Indicator (PCI) is called Zone in the menu and is the default option. You will need to move it over the ball as it crosses the plate to square up and get the best contact possible.

MLB The Show 23 hitting practice
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You can change to Directional, which will see you move the left stick to pick if you want to try and hit a fly ball, grounder, and which direction. Obviously, it's hard to hit an inside pitch the opposite way or a low pitch into the air, so use pitch location to dictate your direction.

If you want to though, you can turn this off entirely by picking Timing. This just uses your swing input to determine direction of the ball and is the best option for younger or newer players.

Pitching controls for PlayStation & Xbox

Pitching is all about accuracy, timing, and selecting the right pitch for the right moment. These controls are relatively simple, but you can roll back the years to a more involved style of pitching control too.

The Meter Pitching Interface is the default option and perhaps the easiest to use.

Command PlayStation Xbox
Selecting Pitch TypeX, O, Square, Triangle, or R1A, B, X, Y, or RB
Locate PitchLeft StickLeft Stick
Start Pitch XA
Stop Meter At TopXA
Stop Meter at BarXA

You simply select which pitch you want with one button, aim it, and then stop the meter at the top and again at the gold line. You have to get your timing right but it's pretty simple.

Pinpoint is similar in pitch selection and location control, but to release the pitch you need to use the right stick to mimic a pattern. For a four-seam fastball it is just up and down, but for breaking balls it gets more complicated. This is fun but hard to get right.

Pulse sees a pulsating circle around the ball indicator go in and out rapidly and you need to hit the button when the circle is as small as you can make it.

Pure Analog pitching control in MLB The Show 23
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The Pure Analog option sees you use the right stick to control the meter. Bringing a ball down to a bar and then back up to a plate icon to dictate your accuracy.

Classic is just pick your pitch, location, and hit one button to send it on its way. It's the simplest option but doesn't provide as much control as the others.

Fielding controls for PlayStation & Xbox

Fielding is a tricky skill to get used to. Player stats matter a LOT here, with everything from speed to arm strength impacting how well a player will deal with balls hit at them.

MLB The Show 23 fielding controls
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Command PlayStation Xbox
Move PlayerLeft StickLeft Stick
Switch to closest player (without the ball)L2LT
Throw to CutoffL1LB
Throw to HomeXA
Throw to 1st BaseOB
Throw to 2nd BaseTriangleY
Throw to 3rd BaseSquareX
Jump/DiveRight Stick (in direction)Right Stick (in direction)

The first thing to do is to learn how to track the flight of the ball in the outfield and how to jump/dive for balls in the infield. The practice mode is great for this and will really have you at one with your players.

The button accuracy throwing interface is the default setting. In order to make accurate throws around the field you will need to hit and hold the button for where you want to throw it to, be it a base or the cut off player. Then you need to release it when the meter gets into the green.

MLB The Show 23 fielding practice
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If you don't want to use a meter then you can either select the Analog option, which uses the right stick directions to pick which base you throw to, or use the Buttons option which is just one tap for which base you want.

Both these options use the fielders arm accuracy attribute to determine the frequency of accurate throws.

Baserunning controls for PlayStation & Xbox


Stealing bases is a tricky thing. Players need good baserunning and speed stats, and getting caught is very costly. However, if you've got a speedster at first and second base is clear why not try to advance? Just get used to these controls so you can get a great jump, or reverse course and return to safety in time!

MLB The Show 23 baserunning controls
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There are controls for controlling an individual runner, or for multiple if you want to try a double steal or the super-rare triple steal.

Command PlayStation Xbox
Select RunnerLeft Stick toward base runnerLeft Stick toward base runner
Lead Off / Advance IndividualLeft stick toward base runner plus: O for 1st Base Triangle for 2nd Base Square for 3rd BaseLeft stick toward base runner plus: B for 1st Base Y for 2nd Base X for 3rd Base
Steal EarlyL2 - Hold & Release LT - Hold & Release
Stop RunnerR2RT
Return Individual RunnerR1 + Left Stick toward base of originRB + Left Stick toward base of origin
Lead Off / Advance All RunnersL1LB
Steal All RunnersL2LT
Return All RunnersR1RB

Like everything else in the game there are a few options for how you can use these. The Button select baserunning interface uses the buttons, and the Analog Select uses the right stick. That's the only option so it's totally up to you.

Sliding controls for PlayStation & Xbox

You can't just run to a base, otherwise you run the risk of getting tagged out.

sliding is the safest way of reaching a base without getting tagged, so be sure to check these sliding options. Going head first or feet first doesn't matter too much, but the direction will.

MLB The Show 23 sliding controls
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You want to slide away from the direction the ball is coming, so that it's a further distance to travel for the fielder trying to tag you out!

For more articles like this, take a look at our MLB The Show page.