How do you upgrade your Ballplayer and unlock Perks in MLB The Show 21? The new Ballplayer format is at the heart of Sony San Diego's baseball simulation this year, allowing you to use your created player both offline in Road to the Show and online in Diamond Dynasty (See Also: MLB The Show 21: Where to Start in Diamond Dynasty). As a result of this new system, you'll be able to upgrade your Ballplayer by unlocking perks and creating Ballplayer loadouts. As part of our MLB The Show 21 guide, we're going to explain how to use Programs to improve your Ballplayer and unlock new Perks. For more information, refer to the following: MLB The Show 21: Programs Explained and How to Advance Them.
MLB The Show 21: How to Upgrade Your Ballplayer and Unlock Perks
MLB The Show 21 has unified Road to the Show and Diamond Dynasty this year, meaning that you'll create a single centralised Ballplayer for use in both modes. You'll be able to upgrade your Ballplayer by unlocking Archetypes and Perks that are part of Archetype Programs, eventually leading to higher quality Archetypes.
How to Unlock Perks
When you first create your Ballplayer, you'll need to create an initial Ballplayer loadout for them to use. You can access your Ballplayer from the main menu by clicking on your avatar in the top-left corner of the screen, or by pushing the Touchpad in any part of the game and navigating to the My Ballplayer tab. You can view your chosen Archetype's Program by hovering over it and pushing the Square button.
As explained in MLB The Show 21: Programs Explained and How to Advance Them, Programs are similar conceptually to Battle Passes that you'll find in games like Fortnite. Whichever Archetype you have equipped, you'll be able to advance the Program by completing Tasks. Fulfilling Tasks will unlock Rewards such as Stubs (See Also: MLB The Show 21: How to Earn Stubs without Spending Money) and other rewards, like Perks, Equipment, and Archetypes. As you progress, you'll unlock better Archetypes and Perks which will allow you to further build the type of Ballplayer you want.
Pay close attention to your chosen Archetype's Tasks. For example, the Sparkplug has repeatable tasks in Road to the Show which award points based on at bats and hits. You can repeat these as many times as you like until you complete the Program, unlocking better Perks along the way. There are also Tasks for Diamond Dynasty, and you can work on these simultaneously to unlock more Archetypes, Perks, and rewards faster.
The alternative, if you don't want to wait, is to go to the Community Market and purchase the specific Perks that you want for your player. You'll need Stubs to do this and Diamond cards may be costly, so be sure to refer to our guide for more information on the best way to earn Stubs: MLB The Show 21: How to Earn Stubs without Spending Money.
Road to the Show: How to Upgrade Your Ballplayer
If you're primarily playing Road to the Show, then the first step you need to take in order to upgrade your Ballplayer is to simply play matches for your team. As you begin to make appearances and perform, regardless of your position or role, you'll earn boosts to your attributes which will slowly level up. You'll also be able to train on days off to focus on specific areas of your game. The cap in MLB The Show 21 for each attribute is 50, you'll then need to use Perks and Archetype cards to create Ballplayer loadouts which will allow your player to specialise in different areas.
If you push the Touchpad and navigate to My Ballplayer > Loadout you can also equip different Equipment which will provide small statistical boosts, although these currently only contribute to your attributes in Diamond Dynasty. You can unlock Equipment cards by completing Programs or by purchasing it for Stubs from the Community Market. Make sure your Ballplayer is kitted out with the best items you have in your Inventory to take them to the next level on the field.
Diamond Dynasty: How to Upgrade Your Ballplayer
In order to upgrade your Ballplayer in Diamond Dynasty, you'll need to focus on unlocking new Archetypes and Perks by completing Archetype Programs, as explained in the Road to the Show category above. Remember that Diamond Dynasty has its own set of Tasks for you to complete, which will contribute towards your Program progression. Remember, that your progression is unified between Road to the Show and Diamond Dynasty, so you can be working on the same Archetype across both modes.
There appears to be a bug in Diamond Dynasty which means that your rating will always show 65 and your stats will be wrong. However, when you step up to bat you should see your correct power, contact, and plate vision attributes in relation to the pitcher you're facing. This will need to be patched.
Diamond Dynasty: How to Change Your Ballplayer's Position
Your Ballplayer's position in Diamond Dynasty is determined by your Ballplayer's loadout's Archetype. In order to change your position in Diamond Dynasty, you'll need to create and select a different loadout with a different Archetype. For example, in the above screenshot we have the Sparkplug Archetype enabled, which will allow our Ballplayer to play Second Base in Diamond Dynasty.
However, in order to play as a Relief Pitcher, for example, we can create a new Ballplayer loadout based upon a different Archetype, such as Cheese or Filthy. Push the Activate button to enable the Archetype, and your Ballplayer will now be able to play as a Relief Pitcher from your Diamond Dynasty roster's bullpen.
Of course, you'll need to add your Ballplayer to your Diamond Dynasty rotation before playing, so go to Manage Squad > Rotation > MRP and add your Ballplayer to your rotation. The same general steps apply if you want to put your player in the outfield. If you don't have a Ballplayer loadout for First Base, for example, then create a new one around the Slugger Archetype.
Do you have any other suggestions for how to upgrade your Ballplayer in MLB The Show 21? Take a look at our MLB The Show 21 guide, and let us know in the comments section below.