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

This article looks at The Show 21’s fielding controls and offers tips to help you become a Gold Glove fielder in the game.

Fielding in MLB The Show has always been tricky, mostly due to errors and deflected balls happening often. However, there are four different button settings for fielding in The Show 21, and knowing which one works best for you will help to mitigate some of the randomness of fielding.

Here, we’re going through the fielding controls for PlayStation and Xbox consoles, as well as helping you to get the edge when defending with some useful tips.

Note that the Left and Right joysticks are denoted as L and R, and pushing on either will be marked as L3 and R3.

The Show 21 fielding controls for the PS4 and PS5

  • Move Player: Left Analog
  • Switch to the Closest Player to the Ball: L2
  • Throw to Base (Pure Analog): Right Analog (in the direction of base)
  • Throw to Base (Button/Button Accuracy): Circle, Triangle, Square, X (hold)
  • Throw to Cutoff Man: L1 (hold in Button/Button Accuracy)
  • Fake Throw/Stop Throw: Double-Tap Base Button (if enabled)
  • Jump: R1
  • Dive: R2
  • Jump/Dive with One-Touch Enabled: R1

The Show 21 fielding controls for the Xbox One and Series X|S

  • Move Player: Left Analog
  • Switch to the Closest Player to the Ball: LT
  • Throw to Base (Pure Analog): Right Analog (in the direction of base)
  • Throw to Base (Button/Button Accuracy): A, Y, X, B (hold)
  • Throw to Cutoff Man: LB (hold in Button/Button Accuracy)
  • Fake Throw/Stop Throw: Double-Tap Base Button (if enabled)
  • Jump: RB
  • Dive: RT
  • Jump/Dive with One-Touch Enabled: RB

How to use each fielding controls setting

When fielding with Pure Analog controls settings, you are using the right joystick (R) to determine your throws. Point to the right and you will throw to first base, up for second, left for third, and down for home. Your fielders’ Arm Strength and Arm Accuracy ratings will determine the frequency of throwing errors and the strength of your throws.

Button and Button Accuracy controls utilize the four buttons (which conveniently make a baseball diamond), with each button corresponding to the respective base. Like with Pure Analog controls, Button and Button Accuracy determine your success or failure.

The Rightwards Arrow indicates the best play is to first

Note that if you play Road to the Show and have the settings set to “RTTS Player,” the throwing buttons will be flipped. Rather than Rightwards and Circle/B representing first base, Leftwards and Square/X represent first base instead, for example.

With Button Accuracy, unlike with the other controls settings, a metered bar will start as soon as you press the button of the base or cutoff. The bar is bookended by orange zones, with a green zone in the middle. The rating of your fielders’ Throwing Accuracy will determine the size of the green bar.

Your goal is to land the line in the green zone by releasing the button. If you release too early or too late and it is in the orange zone, it will result in a throwing error or inaccurate throw, except on rare occasions. Many pitchers will have a tiny green zone, so keep that in mind when fielding with pitchers.

Tips for fielding in MLB The Show 21

While it is best to find the style that suits you the best, it is recommended to start and stick with Button Accuracy. With this setting, you have the most control over your throws to the point that you might not commit any throwing errors.

Button Accuracy enables the Perfect Throw capability

Another reason to use Button Accuracy is that, from the outfield, relay, and catcher’s spot, when a stolen base is attempted, the meter will have an added gold sliver (dark green with a stolen base). If you land the line in this gold or green sliver, you’ll launch a Perfect Throw, which is determined by the Arm ratings. When trying to throw out a runner at a base, landing a Perfect Throw is your best bet to get an out. Just remember that even a Perfect Throw isn’t guaranteed to throw out a runner.

Note that the Perfect Throw gold sliver does not appear on routine infield plays. The only times an infielder will have a Perfect Throw opportunity are when a catcher is attempting to throw out a base stealer, and when an infielder is taking a relay and attempting to throw out a runner.

While the added control is nice for some, you might just want to rely on the ratings in the game, or prefer to use the other settings. That said, you might become frustrated at the rate of throwing errors on other settings, so be warned.

Complete control vs. player attributes

Pure Analog will probably give you the least amount of control. If the increased challenge appeals to you, this is your ideal setting. Button is the in-between mode that gives you some control, but not as much as Button Accuracy. You can better control the power of your throw (based on how long you hold down the button), so this gives you better control than Pure Analog.

Outfielder tips for The Show 21

When you see a red circle enclosing the ball location in the outfield, that indicates that you will most likely need to dive to make the catch, think about the situation and runners, and, at worst, keep the ball in front of you.

Except when fielding a sacrifice fly attempt, always throw to the cutoff man. Throwing to the base, especially third from right field, could result in runners taking an extra base with the extra time that it takes to reach its destination. This is particularly a concern if your fielder doesn’t have a strong throwing arm. The only time that you should skip the cutoff man is if a runner is trying for a hustle double – in which case, throw to second.

When attempting a leaping catch against the wall, you will see three arrows appear that start at yellow and turn green in succession. Your goal is to time your leap just after the top arrow turns green, which should indicate the best time to leap. Working out the timing is difficult, so be prepared for some wayward leaps.

Infielder tips for The Show 21

The infielders in this year’s version of the game seem to make up more ground than in previous versions. However, you will still find times that you need to dive. It’s not rare that, even with diamond-rated defenders, the ball will bounce or deflect off of the fielder’s glove.

Check your shift with R3 so that you know how your defense is set and act accordingly. If your infield is in, then your team is trying to prevent a run. If you field the ball with a drawn-in infield, check the runner at third before you make your throwing decisions: many times, they will not run.

Take the sure-outs whenever possible. If you still have innings to play, and you can pull off a double play rather than try to throw out a runner at home, take the two. If you field a ball deep in the hole at short or second, throw to the closest base for a force – usually second.

Most sacrifice attempts will be hit hard enough to get the lead runner at second, if not both, on a double play. Still, check the runner and gauge the probability before making the decision because, again, it’s best to take the sure-out.

Find the MLB The Show 21 fielding controls that fit your style the best and show your foes that there aren’t any holes in your defense.

Bruce L

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