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MLB The Show 18 Franchise Mode The Full Twitch Recap

MLB The Show 18

MLB The Show 18 Franchise Mode The Full Twitch Recap

The lovely folks at San Diego Studios graced sports gaming fans everywhere with another Twitch deep dive Thursday night. Franchise Mode was the topic du jour, and viewers were guided through a host of changes that focused on cleaning up the clutter and making the popular mode a breeze to navigate. For your quick reference and convenience, below are bullet points highlighting discussed updates from the almost two-hour stream.

  • The entire UI has been updated to be exceptionally clean and pleasant on the eyes.
  • Trade Talks section very cleanly show you where your team ranks position by position that dynamically updates throughout the season for JUST your MLB depth chart. Previous years’ titles have had rankings harder to find and clouded by organizational depth throwing off the balance (such as ranking lower for Giancarlo Stanton at the MLB level, but no one of note in the minors).
  • Fixed trade logic to eliminate injured, waivers, and players with no contracts from being traded.
  • Trade finder optimized to run faster.
  • No three-team trades.
  • “Play Next Game” screen shows starters for the next game.
  • Entire franchises can be played in retro mode.
  • Franchise mode play options: full game (45 minutes), retro mode game (45 minutes), quick manage (5 minutes), player lock (10 mins), manage full game (45 mins).
  • Simulating a game is instantaneous and shows you the player of the game next to the box score.
  • New sponsorships: Stance (socks) and Varo (bat weights).
  • Players can still be edited in franchise mode.
  • Budget screen is cleaned up and quick. It is very easy to see how much you have left to spend on an average annual value basis.
  • An option exists to sim to the next phase for those not keen on playing every single game in a franchise season.
  • League Updates very quickly show rankings/standings.
  • Competitive Balance rounds are in the First Year Player Draft.
  • Larger draft pools are being created to make sure teams do not run out by the end of the draft.
  • There are 19 phases including Draft, All-Star Race, All-Star week, trade deadline prep, waiver deadline, and multiple free agency phases.
  • Special spotlight on September call-ups wherein the game provides you players to consider instead of automatically selecting them for you.
  • Retirement logic has been greatly altered so that top prospects and great players do not retire for seemingly arbitrary and nonsensical reasons.
  • Updated contract management UI makes it easy to comb through and find exclusive negotiations.
  • Much easier to select 40-man roster before the Rule 5 Draft.
  • Handy “Best Players You Could Lose in the Rule 5 Draft” screen.
  • Cleaner arbitration UI as well.
  • 40-man roster column moved for quick visibility when navigating around team rosters.
  • Free agency broken out into phases to make sure no events or details are missed.
  • Available funds updated so players do not find themselves inexplicably out of money when tendering contracts.
  • Franchise “auto-balancing” improvements:
    • Bullpen logic: a poor performing closer can lose his job to a strong performing set-up man on CPU teams and those set to automatic. This is evaluated at the end of every series.
    • Lineup logic: 5-9 hitters were not being correctly slotted in based on attributes.
    • Injury logic: if a starter gets hurt, they previously would sit on the bench if the replacement player had a slightly higher overall.
    • Minor league logic: generating more balanced rosters per position in the minor leagues
    • Minor league trade logic: CPU teams will actively seek out better minor league depth
  • New Legend reveals: Trevor Hoffman and Mike Piazzac

Final Analysis

The team reiterated how they value and appreciate fan feedback. Additionally, they clarified multiple times that this is not a “dumbing down” of franchise mode, but a streamlined clean-up of a great mode that has seen its fair share of issues. While the mode lacks various desired elements such as a stadium editor, team relocation, and three-team trades, the team clearly addressed a host of pain points that chipped away at previous iterations’ franchise mode. It remains to be seen if San Diego Studios will drop a flashy bombshell surprise, but this year’s under-the-hood improvements go incredibly well with the significant on-field algorithm changes for what looks to be a fundamentally rich baseball experience.


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  1. no buy for me.. this mode is same like 90% from 17 without any major features.. just phases and stupid play option like full game, quick game, retro mode, player lock
    no buy for me.. this mode is same like 90% from 17 without any major features.. just phases and stupid play option like full game, quick game, retro mode, player lock

    Same, I'll wait and pick it up in June/July when it usually goes on a steep discount.
    I buy every year at release and regret it as the bugs tend to ruin it for the first month or two.
    Im not the biggest baseball fan but I love playing sport related games but more specificity I play  franchise modes so my question is should i pick up mlb the show 17 or get 18  cause at the end of the day the only mode I'll probably play .
    I am definitely buying!!!  I love this game every year.  And I think this team works extremely hard to put things in that we want.  I know that not everything was done but still they are such a talented team they bring it every year!!!!!
    Its a no buy for me. Maybe I'll come back when they add meaningful additions to the mode.
    As far as streamline vs dumbing down, its semantics. What I care about is that seemingly all they did was streamline it. Looks like they didn't add anything, just changed the way previous features are presented.
    I hope next year, they actually do a big major improvement to franchise. Whether that's expansion/relocation, or a team/stadium creator or whatever.
    That said, I can't wait to play. I'm excited.
    As mainly a DD/Franchise player, i'm happy with the improvements this year. It sounds like they gave the interface for both modes a fresh, less cluttered look while also improving some legacy franchise AI issues and upgrade servers. I didn't really expect a huge overhaul on anything this year, just tweaks to create an overall improved experience off and on the virtual field which I think they have done.

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