Playus Soft is a company known for previous titles such as Baseball 9 and Stylish Sprint, and their latest iOS and Android game, Baseball Star, advertises itself as the 3D baseball game that you can play without any internet access. Of course, that means it doesn’t come with the interactive, social features found in MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2019 and the other high-end titles we covered in recent weeks, but you can still manage your team, improve your roster with new acquisitions, and play and strategize your way to glory in two primary game modes.
Even without all 30 MLB teams and all 750-plus players on these teams, that doesn’t mean this game is going to be a walk in the park. There’s still a lot in this game that you may not be able to pick up immediately, but this Baseball Star beginner’s guide is here to help you navigate your first two or three days of gameplay. We’ll teach you about what you need to do to increase your batting averages and pitch smarter, while also talking you through several key game features and sub-menus, so keep on reading if you want to dominate the other teams in League and Challenge Mode alike!
1. Learning The Basics – Baseball Star Isn’t As Casual As You Think
At first glance, the cartoonish graphics and lack of real-life teams and players in Baseball Star might give you the impression that this is a laid-back, casual title that could make a good breather or alternative for those who think MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2019 and other related titles are just too complex. On the contrary — there are a lot of team management elements in this game, but not as many as in any of the higher-end MLB titles we’ve covered as of late. And you’ll still need to do your fair share of strategizing when it comes to the games you play, regardless of the game mode.
In both primary game modes (League and Challenge), you will be tasked to handle both offense and defense, and could toggle between letting the AI handle either mode in any given inning. Speaking of innings, that’s one thing that’s particularly unique about this game — unlike the previous baseball games we’ve gone through, Baseball Star allows you to choose if you want to play three, six, or nine innings. (You’ll want the first option if you want a casual, fast-paced gaming experience, and all nine innings if you’re looking for something more realistic.) You can also choose to auto-play an entire game or an entire season, though the former will require you to pay AP (Auto Play tokens — you start out with 15), and the latter will cost you some CP, which is the game’s premium currency. The common currency is known as BP, and you can see all three forms of currency on the upper right corner of your screen, to remind you of how much of each you have left.
League Mode is the game you’ll probably want to try first, and you can choose the length of the season you want to play — as few as 32 games or as many as 128 games — as you compete against eight other teams, making it a total of nine for this title. Challenge Mode is shorter, as you can complete it in 16 games, but in here, it’s all about climbing from one difficulty tier to the next as you earn progressively better rewards at the end of the tournament. Either way, you can win rewards for each victory — they can run the gamut, but more often than not, these include new player cards on top of the additional BP you could earn.
The game also allows you to “initialize” your Challenge and League Mode progress — this, in other words, is your option to reset your progress and start from square one, while keeping your players, their corresponding items, and your points.
Now that we’re done explaining the game modes, currencies, and most fundamental mechanics, let’s move on to the actual gameplay, starting with batting.
2. Swing Once The Circle Is As Small As Possible, But Only At Strikes
The batting mechanics in Baseball Star aren’t too different from the ones we discussed in MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2019, MLB 9 Innings 19, and MLB Perfect Inning 2019. That means you should only swing at strikes, while avoiding anything that falls outside the strike zone — that’s the area between the top of the batter’s shoulders and the area below their kneecap. Like in some of the aforementioned games, the strike zone is represented by a square-shaped visual aid.
Once you see something that falls within the strike zone, the best time to swing would be when the circle — the visual aid that appears as the pitcher prepares to throw — is as small as possible, but not once it disappears, because that’s going to lead to a strike. Anything that’s outside the strike zone/outside the square visual aid would result in a ball if you don’t swing at it, and if you get four balls, that results in a base on balls — a walk, or a free pass to first base. Of course, three strikes always means you’re out, and that’s something you want to avoid, especially if you’ve got more than one person on base!
Each player has their own distinct attributes that could influence the odds of a successful hit, or better yet, a successful home run. Power influences a player’s odds of hitting a homer, Contact their odds of connecting on a hit, and Speed their chances of stealing bases — these are the three attributes you’ll need to pay the most attention to, since you can control batting and base-stealing. Throw and Fielding are for defensive purposes — respectively, these influence arm strength and chances of catching the ball and not committing an error — and while these are important, the AI is still fully in charge of fielding, despite the “Auto Fielding” prompts you may see in between innings. That actually refers to whether you want to control the pitching or not, and that brings us to the next tip we shall be discussing.
3. Pitching Is Easier – In A Way – In This Game
As we mentioned above, the “fielding” reference in between innings is not accurate. That refers to your prompt to decide whether to handle the pitching yourself or to let the AI handle it automatically. But if you found it hard to choose both the type of pitch and where to throw it in the games we mentioned above, Baseball Star will come as a relief of sorts, because all you need to do is to choose the type of pitch, then tap on the bottom-right button to throw the ball, letting go just before the blue indicator within the circle meets the red one in order to throw with perfect control.
If even that simplified approach to mobile game pitching is throwing you off, the game allows you to choose whether you want to manually choose the type of pitch or if you want the AI to make the selection. There is, however, a caveat — the game suggests that manually choosing pitches is better than letting the AI decide, and that in itself should be enough warning to tell you that the AI “catcher” makes rather simplistic or random choices. If you take enough time to review your players’ attributes in the Lineup menu, you’ll know which pitches are the best to throw, as each pitcher is rated for the different types of pitches available in the game. Still, it’s best to mix things up and throw off the opposing batters by varying the pitches you throw — for example, you shouldn’t simply rely on four-seam fastballs if you’ve got a power pitcher highly rated for that pitch; try throwing in a changeup to fool the batter into swinging when, in fact, he shouldn’t be.
With that in mind, all pitchers, may it be your starters (SP), relievers (RP), or closers (CP)O, are rated based on their Four-Seam, Changeup, Curve, Slurve, Cutter, and Sinker. They are also rated in terms of general HP (HP, which usually means Hit Points, is more of a stamina stat in this game), Challenge HP, Event HP, and Control (higher control means fewer walks). Challenge and Event HP are at 100 if a pitcher is well-rested, and lower than that if they’re just coming off an appearance.
4. Watch Ad Videos For Free CP And Cards
On the left side of your screen in the main menu, you’ll see four buttons, with the topmost button reading “Free CP” and featuring the word “FREE” on the upper left. Tap on this button and you’ll be able to choose whether you want to watch a video to earn 5 free CP, earn three free player cards, or earn even more CP. The first two are pretty straightforward — you can watch videos for free CP every two hours, and earn three free cards every 15 minutes. As for the last option, you will be redirected to an offer wall from Tapjoy, Some of the offers are as simple as watching an ad video, but that’s only going to reward you with another 5 CP. The top rewards on the offer wall, however, can be very, VERY tricky — you may be asked to answer multiple surveys until the system finds the right one for you — and we could understand it if answering some of the questions in the surveys could make you uncomfortable. But who knows — you just might find a good, high-paying offer that doesn’t come with any hidden shenanigans, and that should be a good way to add to your premium currency and help you buy more useful goodies!
5. Save Up Your AP Tokens
Auto Play tokens, or AP, as you may have figured, can be very useful because they allow you to complete a game instantly, with no waiting. However, you only start out with 15 of these tokens, and they can disappear quite quickly — aside from the 1 AP cost of auto-playing a League game, there’s also the 2 AP cost of auto-playing a Challenge game to consider. And these tokens don’t come cheap either — the cheapest AP package in the in-game shop costs 100 CP, and that only comes with 10 AP!
What we would suggest instead is to auto-play the offensive and pitching halves of the inning — you’re allowed to auto-play up to 12 per game (meaning the equivalent of six innings), and if you think the fast-action recaps that take place while auto-playing within a game are too slow, you can speed them up by up to 16x. That, at least, should still allow you enough time to practice your batting skills and pitching strategy, while skipping a good number of innings and not wasting AP on a game that you may end up losing! Take note once again that the AI doesn’t always make the smartest decisions, so being patient and batting and pitching manually is oftentimes more effective than leaving things in the hands of the AI and blowing what could turn out to be a sure win.
6. Make Sure To Train Your Better Players
You can use your BP and CP to train players and improve their attributes, and it goes without saying that you should focus on training your best players, and use your BP whenever you could. Using your CP for “quick training” allows you to complete a training session without waiting and guarantees greater success and better results, but using your BP should suffice, and wouldn’t cost you as much at first. Simply go to the Manage menu, then choose Training, where you can select the player, or players (if you’ve unlocked the additional slots) you wish to train. Standard training lasts 10 minutes for the first training session, 40 minutes for the next, and so on, but in most cases, it’s worth the wait.
Just remember that there is one caveat of sorts to keep in mind before training a player — each player has a limit on how much he can be trained while at the same level of rarity, based on their Training Points — Green players (Rated E /1-star— the most common players) can be trained five times, Blue players six times, Purple players seven times, Orange players eight times, and Red players (Rated A/5-star — the rarest, a.k.a. the best of the best) nine times.
7. Adjust Your Lineup Each Time You Make A New Acquisition
It doesn’t matter if you’ve added players via the free cards you can get every 15 minutes or if you buy them at the Shop, either with BP (the common player packs, which could give you 1-star to 3-star players) or with CP (rarer player packs, where you could get 2-star to 4-star players). You should always make sure to visit the Lineup sub-menu under the Manage menu, where you can then review your batting order and pitching rotation/bullpen. After adding new players, it’s best to go to the Substitute screen, where you can manually swap players within your batting order/rotation or toggle them between your main roster and your Farm Club, which is essentially your reserve roster.
The Auto Lineup option allows the game’s AI to make the decision for you and choose the best possible batting order, pitching rotation, or bullpen, and generally, it does a good job choosing players based on their overall ability. However, when it comes to the nuances of choosing a batting order, we’ve noticed that Baseball Star’s AI is a bit hit-or-miss. For example, we noticed a few instances where the AI placed a weak-hitting (37 rating) catcher at the No. 4 spot on the batting order — No. 3 and No. 4 are where you would typically want your biggest power hitters to be. As such, it’s best to make the changes manually — this could give you a better chance of coming up with a batting order that makes sense. Generally, No. 1 (leadoff) is where you want your fastest player, No. 2 should go to a good contact hitter, No. 3-6 are normally for your home run hitters with high Power stats, and No. 7-9 are where your weakest hitters should be.
8. What Are Items And How Can They Help You?
Items can be purchased at the Shop, and are sub-divided into two categories — Team Items are designed to help your entire team, while Player Items work toward a specific player whom you equip the item on. Basically, Items, may they be uniforms in the former category or goggles/bats/etc. in the latter category, buff up your entire team or specific players, providing attribute increases over a specific period of time. You can also win these as daily login rewards, and in some rare cases, as a reward for winning games.
Aside from buying items directly from the Shop, you can go to the Item sub-menu under Manage, as this allows you to choose specific players and instantly equip items that you may have earned after winning a game, or items that you purchase from the Shop. Generally, the best items are those that improve a player’s biggest weakness, but at the end of the day, it’s all up to you. If you want to turn a power hitter into a fictional, cartoonish equivalent of any legendary slugger, you’re free to do so by purchasing a special bat that could improve his Power rating. (Speaking of cartoonish, these special bats aren’t really bats in most cases — these may include a “16-ton” hammer, an acoustic guitar, or even a fork and carrots! Either way, we’ve seen that all of the special bats improve Power by 3 or 1, depending on whether you use CP or BP, so the difference is purely cosmetic.)
Keep in mind that unequipping an item could reduce the length of its effect! For example, we decided to remove a pair of goggles from a player who was due for demotion, then equip it on a newly acquired, higher-rated player. That resulted in the item’s duration decreasing from 30 days to 20 days — that’s a third of a month, and while it’s not the worst thing that could happen to you in Baseball Star, those 10 days are nonetheless significant.
9. Combine Players To Save Roster Space / Improve Your Team
At some point, you’ll notice that the game will prompt you about the size of your roster — by default, you start out with a 40-man roster for both main and farm players, and you will not be able to exceed this unless you upgrade your Stadium. What’s to do if you want to save on roster space, while also getting to make your team stronger?
The answer to this question would be the Combine feature under Manage, which allows you to sacrifice surplus players in order to create a completely different player. Take note that this option does NOT always result in a better player getting created — even if you combine a 2-star player — say, someone who plays a position already played by a 2-star or better player — with a couple 1-stars, that will not guarantee another 2-star player getting created. That’s why this feature could be a bit of a gamble, though if you ask us, it’s worth it more often than it isn’t. Just make sure you’re paying attention to the color bars on the top half of the screen, above the players you’re planning to sacrifice. If you see a purple bar, for instance, above the fourth player you’re sacrificing, that means there’s a chance of creating a purple, or 3-star player from that combination. Still, the operative word here is “chance” — it’s not an absolute guarantee that you’ll end up with someone of that rarity!
And this ends our beginner’s guide for Baseball Star. As always, if you know more tips or tricks for the game, feel free to drop us a line below in the comment area!