Glu Games is quite the diverse company when it comes to its offerings for iOS and Android mobile gamers — there are celebrity-themed games like Kim Kardashian Hollywood, cooking-themed titles such as Cooking Dash, and sports games like the MLB Tap Sports Baseball series.
MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2021 is now available right on time for the start of this year’s MLB season, and with this new version, new and returning players alike can build a formidable team from the ground up, competing against other human- or AI-controlled teams in different game modes. Whether you want to play standard nine-inning games or test your ability to score home runs or base hits or win games with some crucial nine-inning heroics, the choice is all yours in this recently released title.
In the many years it’s been around, the MLB Tap Sports Baseball franchise has stood out for its excellent graphics, its simple, yet addictive and accurate gameplay, and its many, many game modes and features that only keep adding up as new versions arrive. That means one guide isn’t enough for a game like this, and with that having been said, we’ve expanded on what we discussed in our beginner’s guide and come up with another 14 tips for this brand new MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2021 strategy guide.
We’re going to be focusing now on “advanced” tips for players who may have reached, or are about to reach the silver divisions (Semi-Pro onward), so keep on reading if you need some assistance winning games at a higher level, or navigating some of the title’s other modes that you may have overlooked previously.
1. Why Should You Play Season Mode?
Season Mode, just as usual, becomes available in MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2021 once you get promoted to Beginner, and this is as close as you can get to a full season’s worth of MLB games. You will be playing games against AI-controlled teams, and all of these opposing teams will have the accurate lineups from the 2020 MLB season.
Your team, meanwhile, will be the same one you use in those games against human-controlled teams, either in standard or bonus games, and the stats you compile in Season Mode will also go toward your overall team stats; your team’s Season Mode stats will also be separate in that mode alone, as these will be the ones the game looks at when ranking statistical leaders.
Season Mode consists of 116 games, which is close to four dozen games fewer than the 162 games in each real-life MLB season (except last year’s shortened season, as well as those strike-shortened years), and that’s because your team will playing exactly four games each against the 29 other MLB teams.
You can play these sets of four games a maximum of three times per 24 hours; after completing one set of four games against one team, there will be a cool down period of eight hours before you can play the next set. Playoffs include the top two teams in each league’s East, Central, and West divisions, and the two other teams that have the best win-loss records in the league.
Once again, you can earn rewards regardless whether you win or lose a game in Season Mode, and in most cases, you will earn Pennants, which can be used to improve your team’s passive bonuses based on how many players from a real-life MLB roster you have on your team at the moment. You’ll get more Pennants for a win than a loss, and we’ll be explaining this resource in greater detail later on in this guide.
When it comes to the degree of difficulty in Season Mode and the team strength needed to be competitive, it’s best that you don’t play games in this mode until you’ve got an overall team strength of 20,000 or more. Also make sure you are consistently improving your roster, may it be your individual players or your team upgrades, because we’ve noticed that the team strengths of your opponents will progressively increase as you complete more four-game sets and move further into the current season.
To be fair, all teams will improve in such a way in order to keep the results and statistics as realistic as possible, but that also means you should keep leveling up your better players and more essential team upgrades.
2. Use Your Pennants To Strengthen Specific Groups Of Players
In the aforementioned tip, we briefly mentioned Pennants, which you will primarily be able to earn by winning (or simply completing) games in Season Mode. You can use them to upgrade specific groups of players in the Pennants section under the Team menu — tap on it and you will see a list of all 30 MLB teams, as well as the players from your team who were part of their real-life equivalents’ rosters as of 2020.
For example, in the photo above, our Phillies team has four real-life Yankees from the 2020 lineup — Clint Frazier, Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, and Zack Britton. Leveling them up with Pennants will give them a 2 percent boost once they’re at level 2 out of 20, with each upgrade resulting in a 1 percent increase — that means once you’ve gotten them up to level 20, that will result in a 20 percent improvement to their rating.
As the cost to level up a group of players increases with each upgrade, it is imperative that you save your Pennants for upgrades of larger groups, especially if those larger groups of players contains your best hitters and/or pitchers. Focus on these upgrades each time you visit the Pennants section, and of course, keep playing Season Mode whenever possible to ensure you’ve always got a healthy amount of Pennants ready for the next level-up. A 20 percent improvement might not sound like much, but it could mean a lot when that improvement is applied toward a highly-rated player or two.
3. Review Each Player’s Attributes And Maximize Your Strengths With Multiple Lineups
You can argue that we should have discussed player attributes in greater detail in the first guide, but for what it’s worth, these numbers are oftentimes overlooked in favor of a given player’s overall rating, and that’s a mistake even experienced players can make from time to time.
That means you should regularly take a look at your batting and pitching lineups and review each player’s attributes closely — these attributes, fortunately, only include HIT (batting average), PWR (batting power), and SPD (baserunning speed) for batters, and ARM (arm strength), CTL (control — higher means they’re less prone to walking batters), and STF (stuff, or variation of pitch types) for pitchers. That’s only three attributes each for batters and pitchers, though as you add more players and keep improving your lineup, you may take longer and longer to analyze each player and see where they fit in your future plans.
The game will automatically choose the best batting and pitching orders for your team’s default lineup, but you can also manually create your own custom starting lineup. This is useful if you’re trying to create different types of lineups, such as a lineup that focuses on good hitting but doesn’t necessarily prioritize power, or a power-heavy lineup that can score a lot of home runs but might not be the fleetest of foot.
Or maybe you want an all-lefty or all-righty lineup? It’s all up to you, and even if the players in MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2021 won’t complain if they don’t get enough playing time (as they would in other sports games), there’s nothing wrong with having some alternative lineups to spice things up and allow you to make use of your underutilized, yet nonetheless still useful, players.
4. What Are X-Factor Skills And How Can They Help Your Players?
This won’t be available for all players — typically, you’ll see this available for those whom you may have acquired through special, themed Mystery Boxes. But certain players can be equipped with X-Factor Skills, just as they have since last year’s edition of MLB Tap Sports Baseball. X-Factor Players can be batters or pitchers, which means their special skills won’t just impact the ones you can actually control, and you can only have one such skill active at one time.
You can, however, switch one skill from one X-Factor Player to another and upgrade them as you go along — take note that you’ll have to pay some gold after the first time you equip an X-Factor Skill on a player.
X-Factor Skills don’t provide any specific statistical increases per se, as they work more as a special boost for a given game mode. There are batter and pitcher X-Factor Skills for tournament games, bonus games, season games, head to head games, and Prime Event games, as well as batter-only X-Factor Skills for Walk Off Hero and CvC games — each of these skills can be leveled up a maximum 15 times with cash.
5. Get Social By Joining A Club
See that button on the bottom right of the screen, right next to Compete? That will allow you to access the Clubs menu, where you can search for a Club to join or create one of your own. This is the MLB Tap Sports Baseball franchise’s answer to guilds or clans in other games, and there are several benefits to joining a Club, aside from the social element that allows you to interact with other managers from around the world. For one, the game will try to convince you to join by offering some nice bonus rewards — 40,000 cash and 300 gold, which is quite a lot of currency, especially of the premium kind!
When joining a Club, the two most important things to look at are how many members have been active in the last three days and the average team strength of the teams in the club. If the average strength is significantly higher than your team strength, it might not be a good idea to join — in fact, the game will let you know immediately whether your strength qualifies or not for the minimum requirement.
But once you find a club to join, you could end up earning a ton of rewards — cash, gold, XP, EVO, and other types of resources — especially if you’re joining a Club that’s at a rather high level — like managers and teams, Clubs have different tiers, starting with Bronze level 1, and the higher the tier, the better the rewards you can expect. It’s also possible to get some quality players added to your team as part of your club membership!
Every member of a Club is expected to donate Club Tokens, which include Helmets, Balls, and Gloves. You can donate these resources and get Loyalty Points in return, and these can be used to purchase Club Loyalty Boxes, which are where you can find the aforementioned highly-rated players. But how can you get these tokens anyway? Typically, you can get more Helmets by buying gold or using your gold or cash to purchase items in the in-game store, Balls by leveling up your players or buying certain items at the store, and Gloves by completing special events and tournaments.
As you can see, there are so many reasons why it may be better to get social and join a Club rather than sticking it out as a lone wolf and focusing on the improvement of your team and players and your team and players alone. Just remember to be a team player once you’re part of a Club, and especially if you’re the leader — it will always depend on the club leader and their levels of patience, but you could easily get kicked out of the Club if you don’t make the expected donations or aren’t as active in the game as you should be!
6. You Can Earn More Rewards By Increasing Your All-Star Level
In the Games section of MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2021, you’ll see a tab that says “All-Stars” on the upper right part of the screen, next to your division information. This is where you can view your progress toward the next All-Star level — you can level up here by acquiring or buying more All-Star Tickets. That means earning them when you get promoted from one division to the next, or purchasing them in the in-game store as part of bundles with some real-life currency. So what can you get if your All-Star level increases?
As you can see in the photo, you can get five additional roster spots, five Bonus Tickets, 15,000 cash, two #1 Draft Picks, three Ice Wraps, and 250 EXP as a reward for reaching All-Star level 2. Get promoted to All-Star level 3 and you can skip a total of five rounds in First Level Slugger events and get two Ice Wraps, ten Bonus Games, 20,000 cash, 250 XP, and three #1 Draft Picks. You can go as far as All-Star level 9, and at that point you will get a wide range of percentage increases, 20 more roster spots, several league-specific draft picks that could yield you high-quality players, and a whopping 2,000 gold and 8,500 EXP!
Next to the Rewards section under All-Stars, you will see the My Perks tab, and if you’re currently at level 2, these will include 1 percent more Helmets (a Club Token) and five additional roster spots — take note that these additional roster spots mainly pertain to spots for inactive players.
7. Use Your EVO Tokens To Evolve Your Capped Players To The Next Rarity
As you may have noticed when upgrading the players on your team, their levels are capped at 10 — you can only upgrade them so often until you reach the silver divisions, upon which you can start using your EVO Tokens to improve their rarity and keep leveling them up and improving their overall rating. Once you use those tokens, you will notice the color of the circle that shows their current level change from bronze to silver — that will also apply once you cap them out and silver and use EVO Tokens to boost them from silver to gold rarity.
EVO Tokens can be earned as a reward for completing a game or getting promoted from one division to the next, among other means — you can also earn them in special events, particularly the EVO Battle under Home Run Battles. However, they’re not the only resource you will need to use in order to evolve a player — you will also need to spend some gold! For evolving a player from bronze to silver rarity, you will need to use two EVO Tokens and 40 Gold, so with that in mind, it’s usually advisable to save your evolutions for your best batters and pitchers.
Still, the good thing about this is that you will only need to pay those tokens and gold once per evolution. Once the player has been evolved, you can level them up as usual with EXP and cash — be prepared, though, to pay significantly more of each resource in order to keep leveling up players under their new rarity!
8. You Can Earn More Resources And Patches By Playing Pick ‘Em
In the Games menu, you’ll see the Pick ‘Em tab in the top half of the screen, right in between Challenges and Season Mode. If you’ve been playing previous versions of MLB Tap Sports Baseball, you shouldn’t need much of an introduction to this feature, but if you haven’t, Pick ‘Em requires you to correctly predict three potential outcomes in the current day’s MLB games with yes or no answers.
For instance, you may be asked whether a certain team will beat its opponent that day, whether a certain pitcher can strike out so many batters in his upcoming start, or how many home runs a given team will score in their upcoming game. Having good knowledge of current MLB news, stats, and trends certainly helps here, though you can easily Google such information if you aren’t that familiar with the MLB scene at the moment.
You’ll need to correctly predict all three outcomes in order to win the prizes, which may include cash, EXP, EVO Tokens, Bonus Game tickets, and more. Aside from that, you’ll receive a new patch, which could help you earn Club Event Bonus Points once you collect enough to make up a set. The game also offers you the option to re-roll the patch you will potentially win by guessing correctly for all three questions, though that’s going to cost you 50 gold — this isn’t advisable unless you’re one patch short of a complete set and you’ve got more than enough gold to spend!
9. Compete In The Home Run Battles For More Resources
The Compete section, which is second from right in the bottom menu, allows you to join various special events, and the first one we’re going to be discussing is the Home Run Battle. This is MLB Tap Sports Baseball’s answer to the MLB’s Home Run Derby, and in here, you will be pitted against another team’s slugger as the two of you try to score as many points as possible based on the distance of your home runs.
For each consecutive homer you score, your points multiplier will increase, though this will conversely decrease if you break the combo by failing to hit a homer; consecutive failures to connect for a home run will result in further decreases to your multiplier. Both of you will have ten attempts to outscore the other, after which you will receive the stated rewards for the HR Battle if you win, or a consolation prize if you lose. The consolation prizes will mostly come in the form of XP, so even if you lose, you will still get something for your troubles.
There are different types of HR Battles to choose from, and they are all based on the type of reward you can earn if you defeat your opponent, as well as the type of resource you need to pay as your entry fee. For example, the Cash Battle has an entry fee of 5,000 for a potential prize of 8,500, while the Gold Battle requires 100 gold for a potential prize of 180 gold.
Other types of battles include the XP Battle, EVO Battle, Franchise (coin) Battle, Bonus (game) Battle, and Pennant Battle. Given the importance of most of those resources, it’s the HR Battle that’s arguably the best choice for beginners — chances are you’ll have tons of it lying around, so it shouldn’t be that big a deal if you lose. However, you can always try the other battles if you’re more confident with your ability to win and don’t mind a higher-risk, higher-reward scenario.
10. The Walk Off Hero Event Tests Your Ability To Play Under Pressure
The next event we shall be discussing in this guide is Walk Off Hero, and the best way to describe this event is a test of your ability to deliver under pressure — it’s a good way to practice for those tightly contested games, especially the Playoff games where you will end up playing another standard or Bonus Game if you lose against your AI opponent!
Walk Off Hero events reset once per day, and you have 12 hours in order to take part in them and see how well you can do against the opposing pitcher as you try to win a game at the bottom of the ninth inning. For each round of this event, you will typically need to use a different batter, though you have the option to pay some gold to reuse someone you’ve already used in an earlier round.
As the game explains, all rounds in Walk Off Hero start at the bottom of the ninth with a 3-0 count. The ongoing game will be tied, and in the early rounds, the bases will be loaded; as you move from round to round, fewer runners will be on base, but the count will always be 3-0. Don’t expect the pitching to be any good at first; you may get your fair share of 70-mph fastballs from 35-rated pitchers in the early levels and rounds.
You will, however, deal with progressively tougher pitchers, so your choice of batter will become more important as you move through each of the five levels; otherwise, you can choose just about any available batter on your lineup and they’ll be able to crush the pitching in those early rounds in level 1, or even level 2.
All Walk Off Hero players have three chances to win the game; if you lose the first or second time, you will have your back a little more to the wall; instead of the game being tied, you will be down one run during your retries. But if you lose a round, you have the option to watch a video or pay some gold in order to repeat it — the video is only a onetime deal, so if you need to redo the round a third time and beyond, you’ll have no choice but to pay some gold! It’s advisable not to, however, as this is a free event and can be replayed as often as you want as long as it’s still live.
Each Walk Off Hero event would normally consist of 12 rounds per level, so that’s a total of 60 rounds for all five levels combined. The level 1 prize would only consist of cash (10,000 cash for the current event), but once you successfully hurdle level 2, you’ll get 100 EXP, 12,500 cash, and one second-round draft pick. At level 4, you’ll get 300 EXP, 17,500 cash, and one #1 Draft Pick, and at level 5, you’ll get a free player — their talent may vary depending on the Walk Off Hero event, so don’t be discouraged if the free player isn’t very good.
11. Other Events You Can Take Part In While Playing The Game
The Home Run Battles and Walk Off Hero are just two of the events that are available in the Compete section of MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2021. Next to those two, you will see Prime Events, which have different mechanics depending on the event and are only held a few times per month — regardless of the type of event, though, Prime Events promise huge rewards. For instance, the upcoming one (as of this writing) promises 750 gold, four #1 Draft Picks, two Club Event boxes, and 3,000 EXP for the first prize winner.
Next to that, you’ll see Tournaments, which operate like your usual PvE Bonus Games and count toward your win quota for making the next division if you end up victorious in the individual games. You’ll need to beat four opponents in order to win the tournament, with each succeeding one promising richer rewards — don’t expect too much from the Intro Tourney, as you’ll likely end up with a scrub player with a subpar rating.
But if you prepare your team well by leveling up your best players and making those team upgrades, you could end up with some nice prizes, including mystery boxes and higher-end players. You have the option to pay a small amount of cash — or watch a video for the first attempt — if you want to replay any round that you lost in hopes of picking up the win.
Lastly, the Extra Base event is similar to the Home Run Battles, but this time, you earn points not only for homers but for all types of base hits, even singles. Of course, you will want to aim for more than just a solid single; doubles, triples, and home runs are worth far more points than singles! Like Home Run Battles, you’ll need to choose one out of your twelve available batters per round and ideally start out with the weaker ones until you make your way up to the more powerful and accurate hitters as the pitching gradually improves.
12. When Should You Attempt A Bunt?
Every now and then, you will have the option to bunt the ball when playing games in MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2021. For those who aren’t that familiar with the rules of the sport, bunting is the act of holding the bat in front of home plate and tapping the ball with the bat to send it into play, as opposed to swinging it as normal. The goal of a bunt attempt is to make it hard for the opposing team’s infielders to field the ball and record an out, but with all that in mind, when would be the best time to attempt a bunt?
Before deciding on whether to bunt or not, you should take several things into account — typically, it’s the weaker hitters that attempt a bunt, so if you’ve got a good hitter up against a low-rated or tiring/tired pitcher, it’s probably best for you to choose Hit Away and swing as you normally would when you see strikes. Moreover, you should always bunt when there is one out or less — the usual type of bunt is a sacrifice bunt, which means you’re essentially sacrificing an out for the player at bat so that someone on base can advance to the next one.
Also consider the score of the game — there’s no use bunting if you’ve got a huge lead or if you’re trying to make up a significant deficit. If the game is low-scoring and rather close, choosing to bunt could make for good strategy, but otherwise it isn’t at all necessary.
13. Watch Ad Videos For Temporary In-Game Boosts
This may be something you’ve noticed for quite a while but haven’t exactly considered, especially if you were dominating the competition in the bronze divisions. But once you reach the silver divisions and the competition heats up, you may find it in your best interests to temporarily boost your team’s hitting and power — these options will be available to you right before the start of a game. You can pay some gold in order to boost each of these areas by a certain percentage — 20 for 5 percent, 40 for 10 percent, and 80 for 20 percent.
However, you also have the option to watch an ad video in order to get the 5 percent boost for free. We suggest doing so whenever you could, and whenever you’ve got an opponent with a higher rating than yours. It won’t always help you win, but it does improve your team strength and increases your chances of picking up the victory.
In addition, the game will offer similar opportunities to boost hitting and power for special events like Home Run Battles, so you can watch those 30-second clips as well if you’re trying to improve your chances of doing well in there!
14. Once Again, Don’t Forget To Upgrade Intangibles!
We may have already touched on this a bit when discussing team upgrades in the first guide, but we’re going to dive deeper into this topic because of how important the Intangibles section of Team Upgrades is when you’re in the silver divisions onward.
You won’t notice it that much in the bronze divisions, especially when you’re still at a point where Intangibles aren’t available for you and the other human managers, but when Intangibles enter the conversation, you’re going to notice some glaring issues if you don’t upgrade Clutch Performance (to improve your ability to deliver in the latter innings), In the Zone (more hitting hot streaks), Aces Mentality (better starting pitching), Lockdown Attitude (improved bullpen play), Momentum (improved play after a win), and/or Resilience (improved play after a loss).
As we were trying to get promoted to the Semi-Pro division — that’s the first of the six silver divisions in MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2021 — we found ourselves losing multiple leads in the seventh inning onward and failing to get them back. Losses were followed up by even more losses against slightly lower-rated teams, even when we had one of our top two pitchers on the mound.
Blown saves became a common occurrence, even if we had a pretty good closer with an 80-plus rating. In the end, it took wins against far inferior opponents to help us get back on track, as well as some much-needed Intangibles upgrades — this was all for the sake of experimentation, but as you’ll find out, this can be easily avoided if you make the right upgrades.
Out of all the areas we mentioned above, we would suggest Clutch Performance and Resilience as the two you should focus on when trying to improve your Intangibles. The others can be leveled up a few times, but not as often as those two — although your ability to hit opposing pitches will mostly be on you when you’re playing out an inning, Clutch Performance helps your players maintain their late-game composure mostly when you’re auto-playing.
Resilience, meanwhile, also works primarily when you’re having the game automate certain innings (or all of them), as it helps eliminate the frustration brought about by losing streaks that could negatively impact gameplay on offense and defense alike.
And this ends our advanced guide for MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2021. If you happen to know additional tips for the game, feel free to let us know in the comments!