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MLB The Show 22 brings co-op to online multiplayer for the first time

Teams of 2 or 3 can divide diamond duties — and combine Diamond Dynasty cards

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

MLB The Show 22 will, in a series first, offer competitive, cooperative online multiplayer, meaning teams of two or three friends can divide up the on-field duties and take on other teams of two or three.

Friend 1 may pitch, with Friend 2 playing middle infield and/or Friend 3 taking right field. And then all three can hit, assuming they’re playing Diamond Dynasty (where there is no designated hitter). MLB The Show 22’s co-op multiplayer will let two or three buds combine their Diamond Dynasty collections to form a super-super (or super-super-super) team.

This means that three players can use their Road to the Show superstars together, then, as MLB The Show 21 last year unified created players across RTTS and DD, the two most popular game modes by a mile. That, too, would be a first, and a modest step closer to something I’ve long wanted to see — players participating in one another’s careers, MMO-style.

Note that, for MLB The Show 22, this only concerns one-off multiplayer games against human competition. A PlayStation Blog post did not say that cooperative multiplayer would support PvE games (i.e. two or three human players against a fully AI opponent). Polygon has reached out to a PlayStation representative for clarification and insight.

In other news, there will be a technical test lasting about one week — Feb. 17, beginning at 1 p.m. EST, until Feb. 23, at 1 p.m. EST — on all platforms. That means PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, as well as Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

The technical test will offer online matchmaking, cross-platform play, online cooperative play, and more. There’s no need to sign up for anything, just download the test client for free from your console’s online store beginning Feb. 16.

MLB The Show 22 launches April 5 for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. Those who pre-order the game’s Digital Deluxe or MVP Editions get access on April 1.

Update (Feb. 16): A PlayStation representative confirmed that there is no human-vs.-AI play in online co-operative games, hence their name, “online competitive co-op.” Both sides must have human players. The rep also confirmed that the new online modes are cross-platform supported, so Nintendo fans can team up against Xbox players, etc.

Additionally, PlayStation’s representative mentioned that Diamond Dynasty, which is MLB The Show 22’s large and very popular suite of online game types, will not include designated hitters in the lineup this year. The National League will join the American League and adopt DHs for the 2022 season (assuming there is one). Last year, Diamond Dynasty’s pitchers all hit for themselves — which ended up accommodating the new two-way created players who can both pitch and hit.

“Having the DH in Diamond Dynasty was on our list this year,” the representative said, “but unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time and resources to include it this year.”

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