MLB: The Show 21 is back with another massive, battle pass-like feature to grind. The 3rd Inning Program offers players tons of new rewards. Between cosmetics, player picks, or packs, The Show fans are sure to find lots of items worth earning. Tracking it all can be tough while in the game, so think of this tips guide as your one-stop shop for how to complete the 3rd Inning Program.
How Does MLB: The Show 21’s 3rd Inning Program Work?
Fortunately, San Diego Studios doesn’t make progressing through the pass difficult from a complexity standpoint. Yes, you’ll need to amass 650,000 XP before the program ends on July 2; however, you can get XP from playing in nearly every mode. In fact, you’ll even accrue XP by playing outside of Diamond Dynasty in modes like Road to the Show and March to October.
That said, there are always places in Diamond Dynasty that boost the amount of XP you’re gaining. We’ll talk about that much more below, but as long as you’re playing The Show consistently, you should find yourself progressing through the pass consistently.
3rd Inning Program Missions and Collections
Again, you’re always gaining XP; however, there are ways to speed things up. San Deigo Studios provides several different missions and exchanges with each program that you can focus on for larger chunks of XP. Unfortunately, The 3rd Inning Program starts with the least content we’ve seen thus far. That will, of course, change over the coming weeks as San Diego Studios adds more to do, but it’s worth pointing out because you’ll be able to more easily focus on one thing in the early days of the season.
- Daily Missions – These missions rotate each day throughout the season. The devs also give you the option of switching them out for a new one if you can’t or don’t want to finish the current objective. You can’t do this over and over again, but they’ll let you do it a few times to skip tough or annoying objectives. Some examples of missions you might see include “tally five extra-base hits in Ranked Season, Battle Royale, or Event games” and “Exchange Wrist Guards.” Generally, you’ll get 1,000-2,000 XP for completing each of these.
- Season Missions – With the 3rd Inning Program, the development team has given players three new missions to work through. You’ll need to complete all three in either Ranked Seasons, Battle Royale, or Events, meaning you have to finish them all in multiplayer. Here are the three objectives:
- Win 10 games in competitive online modes – 5,000 XP.
- Tally 20 strikeouts with any Legend or Flashback pitchers in online modes – 7,500 XP. If you need a pitcher for this objective, we recommend jumping into either the NL East or NL Central Team Affinity Season 2 program. You can grab either Warren Spahn or Jon Lester from the second level of those program passes, giving a solid option for this objective.
- Tally 15 home runs with Topps Now or Monthly Awards players in online modes – 5,000 XP. As above, if you need someone to fit the bill, we recommend heading over to the April Month Awards program and making your way up to level seven of that pass. As a reward, you’ll earn Nick Solak, who boasts solid power-hitting against righties and lefties.
- 3rd Inning Collection – This collection asks you to collect all three 2nd Inning Bosses. You may have earned them last season, but you can still purchase them off of the market if you missed out. Finishing this will give you 50,000 XP. There are also two Evolution-specific collections you can put together by doing daily objectives and then evolving the cards you get. Collecting the All-Star versions of Ozzie Smith and Gary Carter will get you 15,000 XP each.
3rd Inning Pizza Conquest Tips
The 3rd Inning Conquest puts you up against several MLB franchises on a pizza-shaped board. Conquest mode asks players to conquer all of their opponent’s strongholds by strategically moving their fans across the board. To get more fans, you need to attack rivals and then beat them in three-inning games.
Conquest boards always take quite a while to get through. The key here is to pick a difficulty you can consistently win on and then grind out the games. Even if you’re playing on Rookie difficulty, you’ll eventually satisfy the board goals. It will just take longer. Once you complete the entire map you’ll pick up 25,000 XP.
It’s also worth pointing out that certain spots on the map give you hidden rewards. In the image above, you can see where all of these are on the pizza board. In total, you’ll get ten Headliners packs, two Standard packs, and 1,000 Stubs.
MLB: The Show 21 – 3rd Inning Rewards
The 3rd Inning Program has tons of rewards for players that finish out the entire pass. The marquee reward is the choice pack with the 3rd Inning Bosses. This time, you have a choice between three 97 OVR players in Troy Glaus, Dennis Eckersley, and Grady Sizemore. Glaus is a brand new legend, making him the player most people will likely go for. That said, it’ll be tough to pass up that improved Sizemore.
There are two other player choice packs in this pass. One gives you a choice between 89 OVR Didi Gregorious, 89 Blake Snell, and 88 Rafael Devers. The other lets you pick between three 86 OVR players with Keith Hernandez, Grandal Yasmani, and Richie Ashburn. You’ll also pick up more than 50 packs. Most of these are Standard packs, but you’ll get a few Ballin is a Habit and three different Headliner packs. If that’s not enough, you’ll get several new cosmetics and new gear for your Road to the Show ballplayer.
As always, San Diego Studios has delivered a boatload of content out of the gate. We haven’t gotten a new Showdown yet; that should be coming later in the season. However, the best part of the 3rd Inning Program might be that we have access to a new legend in Troy Glaus.