MLB The Show 21: Baserunning Controls and Tips for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S

One of the trickier aspects of The Show 21 is baserunning. This guide provides you with complete controls and tips to conquer the bases.


Baserunning can be an overlooked aspect of MLB The Show 21, but it can also separate you from your competition with excellent execution. Taking an extra base here and preventing one there could be the difference between a win and a loss.

This guide will give you full controls for The Show 21’s baserunning gameplay. It will also include a look at stealing, sliding, and tagging up on fly balls.


Baserunning Controls for PS4 and PS5

Baserunning controls when the ball is in play:

  • Select Runner: Point L toward the location of the desired baserunner
  • Advance/Return Individual Runner: L + Circle, Triangle, Square
  • Tag Up: L1
  • Advance All Runners: Hold L1
  • Return All Runners: Hold R1
  • Stop Runner: R2

Stealing and baserunning pre-pitch controls:

  • Select Runner: Point L toward the occupied base of the desired baserunner
  • Advance: L1 after selecting baserunner
  • Advance All Runners: L1
  • Steal Individual Runner: Select with L and then hit L2
  • Steal All Runners: L2
  • Hold and Release Steal: Hold L2 until just before the pitcher begins windup

Sliding controls:

  • Initiate Slide: Hold L1 while in Road to the Show/Player Lock with Analog Baserunning
  • Any Direction Slide: Point L in Road to the Show/Player Lock with Button Baserunning
  • Slides on the Basepath: R, then ↑ head-first; → hooking right; ← hooking left; ↓ feet-first
  • Slides at Home: R, then ↑ head-first; ↓ feet-first; 5 o’clock wide right feet-first, 7 o’clock wide right head-first

Baserunning Controls for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Baserunning controls when the ball is in play:


  • Select Runner: Point L toward the location of the desired baserunner
  • Advance/Return Individual Runner: L + B, Y, X
  • Tag Up: LB
  • Advance All Runners: Hold LB
  • Return All Runners: Hold RB
  • Stop Runner: RT

Stealing and baserunning pre-pitch controls:

  • Select Runner: Point L toward the occupied base of the desired baserunner
  • Advance: LB after selecting baserunner
  • Advance All Runners: LB
  • Steal Individual Runner: Select with L and then hit LT
  • Steal All Runners: LT
  • Hold and Release Steal: Hold LT until just before the pitcher begins windup

Sliding controls:

  • Initiate Slide: Hold LB while in Road to the Show/Player Lock with Analog Baserunning
  • Any Direction Slide: Point L in Road to the Show/Player Lock with Button Baserunning
  • Slides on the Basepath: R, then ↑ head-first; → hooking right; ← hooking left; ↓ feet-first
  • Slides at Home: R, then ↑ head-first; ↓ feet-first; 5 o’clock wide right feet-first, 7 o’clock wide right head-first

The left and right joysticks are denoted as L and R, respectively. Any action from pushing down on either joystick is denoted with L3 and R3.


Note: When playing in Road to the Show or Player Lock modes, the directions will be from the point of view of your player. This means that the above 5 o’clock and 7 o’clock slides are flipped so that the former is wide right head-first, and the latter is wide right feet-first.

Baserunning tips for MLB The Show 21

When playing the CPU or online, there are a few things to consider.

1. Run when you know the ball will drop

While the baserunners will usually only run on contact when there are two outs or when they are sure the ball will drop, sometimes the ball will drop with the baserunners not having moved beyond halfway.

This could turn a would-be multiple run extra base hit into a single with no runs. So, if you are sure that the ball will drop, send the runners.

2. Advancing when the opportunity arises

If there are multiple runners on and there is a chance for one (or two) to tag up and advance, you will see a “Tag L1 Up” (or “Tag LB Up” on Xbox) that will advance said runner(s) the moment that you click the button.

Importantly, any runners needing to return to their base to avoid being doubled up will return, as the tag up button in this situation will only apply to those who can tag and advance.

3. Run with the left analog

It is highly suggested that, to improve on manipulating individual runners, you should use the left analog rather than relying on the Advance and Return All functions.

The ability to control each runner will give you an advantage as you can more easily accomplish things like double steals or escaping pickles by forcing attention to another runner.

4. Release the trigger just before the pitcher’s windup

When using the Hold and Release Steal function, timing is everything. If you release too early or too late, your baserunner(s) will attempt a delayed steal that is more apt for a hit-and-run situation. If you release L2/LT a moment too soon or too late, the same will happen.

You must release L2/LT just before the pitcher’s windup begins. If pulled off correctly, your baserunner(s) will take off and be halfway to the next base before the ball is even thrown.

5. Assess your opponent to adjust your strategy

Mastering this timing will enable you to score many runs while placing extra stress on your opponent. However, remember that the CPU does switch up its timing when pitching, so you will have to pay very close attention to the pitching tendencies.

When playing other gamers, this tactic may be inadvisable due to the random nature of release times with human-controlled players.

6. Utilize hooking mechanics when sliding

When sliding, use the hooking mechanics to your advantage. When stealing second and third bases, always hook right to put yourself as far away from home plate and the ball as possible. With the swipe tag at second base, especially, being a few inches further away will result in being safe often.

When advancing to either base via ball in-play or tagging up, pay attention to the trajectory of the ball and slide away from the ball’s landing spot. When sliding home, it is also advisable to hook right (note that head-first slides seem to reach bases faster than feet-first slides in The Show 21).

Now you have all of the controls and tips that you need to become a baserunning fiend like Rickey Henderson or Tim Raines. Master these controls and climb your way to the top of the rankings!

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Bruce L

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