if you choose Self-Adjusting difficulty it starts off with a 50 difficulty (0 is easiest and 100 is hardest) for both batting and pitching. but the game will get progressively harder or easier in batting and pitching independently based on how you performed in the last few games. So let's say you just played three games, gave up an average of 12 run per game and scored an average of 8 runs per game so you're losing to the CPU in slugfests. The self-adjusting AI will most likely change the difficulty to something like Batting - 75 Pitching - 20 so now hitting will be more challenging since you scored so much, but pitching will be alot easier too since you are giving up so many runs. Personally I dont like this because the game will become easier for you after you struggle so you never get to challenge yourself and break through that difficulty threshold.


Here you select the method you want to aim and swing the bat. The options are Normal, Assist, Zone.


As mentioned above you have the option to have the CPU help aim your swing. The options are Level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Self-Adjust. For example if you swing too low the CPU will adjust your aim upwards to make contact with the ball. This could turn a swing & miss into a hit or pop fly depending on what level you are using.

With Level 1 there will be little assist, so if you're swing is way off you'll still miss the ball. However, if you use the high Level 5 no matter how bad you swing the CPU will make contact. In general the higher level you use the less hit variety there will be, because the CPU tends to get too centered on the ball thus resulting in alot of line drives. With lower levels since there is only a little bit of assist you can still get fly balls and ground balls so it's recommended you start at the lowest level and work up until you find a sweet spot.


This option helps you aim your swing while you are watching the ball - concentrating on pitch speed and movement (see image below.) It also reveals pitch quality and how good or poor the release point was. The Batting Point will appear large, medium or small depending on the individual pitch ratings and timing of release. Basically, this replicates real life batters who see poor pitches to crush or excellent pitches to lay off.

For example if a pitcher has an 'A' rated fastball and his release during the pitch is perfect then the ball will appear very small to the batter, thus it will be more difficult to hit. Likewise, a pitchers 'G' rated curveball is thrown very late (or early) the ball will appear as large as a softball to the batter and will be easy to hit. Also, It is possible to have a highly rated pitch but still have the ball appear large if the timing is way off. Likewise a poorly rated pitch can appear smaller with perfect timing.

In addition, one of the most important uses for it is to see the spin and rotation of the ball. Once you get used to it you will start to see them "unconsciously" making you an even better hitter and the batting interface even more life-like. The spin on a fastball will be fast while a knuckleball will have no spin. Also, the way the ball rotates is authentic so just by looking at the Batting Point you can fairly accurately read the speed, pitch type and location of the ball.

The 'Batting Point' options are as follows...


Batters sweet spots get larger when aiming in hot zones and shrink when aiming in cold zones. To see these zones ensure 'Strike Zone: Weak/Strong Points' is enabled. This option is covered in more detail at the Anatomy of an at bat page.


batting_point_on batting_point_off
Batting Point Normal or Real. As the ball is being thrown note the exclamation mark which means the release was poor. Thus, the Batting Point appears large and is a great pitch to hit. Batting Point OFF. No aim assist and the ball will always appear normal size.


pitchcursor_on2 pitchcursor_fade
Pitch Cursor ON: This is a good aim assist if you want the earliest possible information. Before the pitcher winds-up you'll see where he is aiming. However, the CPU will move it around to try and throw you off. The higher the difficulty the more it moves.

Pitch Cursor Fade: This is a good aim assist if you want information slightly earlier. Note the blue circle appears before the pitcher releases the ball. Compare that to the Batting Point which appears later at the time of release. It is possible to have this option, Pitch Cursor AND Batting Point all on at the same time. Or turn them all off.

***Update: It was discovered this setting affects the CPU pitchers control! Drawing walks will be rare so this is not recommended for realistic play.***


pitchers_pitches1 pitchers_pitches2
Pitch Type And Info: Full pitch repertoire is viewable so you can see stuff, control and break ratings. Prior to the pitch CPU will reveal the type of pitch it's going to throw. Pitch Type: Repertoire icon reveals the directions pitches can break. After the pitch it will tell speed and what pitch was last thrown.


If you put this on Aggressive, the game will more frequently chose the "correct" shift for you to prevent scoring. For example, if Cabrera bats the CPU will most likely give you the Cabrera shift. If a fast hitter comes up, the game will immediately give you the 'Speedster Aware' shift. If a man is on 2nd the game might go 'Outfield In' so a single to the outfield would allow you to hold the runner at 3rd (but balls might fly over your outfielder since they are in, hence the Aggressive title.) Medium is the middle ground and what I recommend. With conversative the game will probably just leave you alone most of the time and leave the shift on default and let you decide yourself.


With block signs you can make managerial moves while batting or pitching (such as calling for a 'hit & run' or 'squeeze' on offense and 'bunt press' or 'infield charge' on defense.) You make your selection before the action so you can focus on your batting/pitching.

In my opinion the only advantage of choosing 'Sign Only' or 'OFF' is that you won't have to know Japanese text since it's based on command. However, it's a bit more difficult and I personally prefer 'Guide' to pause the action, look at my translation guide and make sure I choose the right action.