Baseball makes for some darn good video games, but they’re usually as involved as the national pastime itself. What Glu has always done with its games is boil the sport down to something anyone can play that still feels like baseball, and MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2018 is no exception.

While the basic game mechanics don’t need much in the way of explanation, the game still throws enough curveballs at you in terms of game modes and currencies to warrant a guide. As luck would have it, we’ve written one for you. Read on and you’ll be scoring runs in bunches and building a team full of All-Stars.

MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2018 basics: Hitters only

MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2018

If you like pitching and defense, this might not be the game for you. MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2018 only has you play offense, so while the abilities of your pitchers and fielders are important, you won’t ever be in control of them.

Hitting is also about as simple as it could possibly be: Simply tap on the screen at the proper time to swing. Proper timing is critical, as you can pull the ball or go opposite field by swinging a little earlier or later, and perfect swings greatly increase the chances of you powering the ball toward the fence.

What you’ll need to learn as you go is how to recognize different kinds of pitches. The AI pitchers will throw fastballs, changeups and a variety of breaking pitches, some of which will befuddle you the first time you encounter them. Better pitchers will hurl them at some impressive speeds, but hey, it’s still easier than facing them in real life.

That doesn’t mean you won’t have strategic decisions to make. You can still bunt, steal bases or tag up on fly balls and try to score and even pinch hit, though you can do all of those things with a single tap on buttons that pop up in the proper in-game situations.

Game modes aplenty

MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2018

If you want to play two a la Ernie Banks, you’ll definitely be able to do that thanks to the multiple game modes at your fingertips. Basic games use a ticket system, though you’ll generally be able to play one whenever you want.

Single-elimination tournaments are also an ongoing option; these cost basic in-game currency to enter and offer nice rewards if you can win the entire tourney. Tournament games also count toward your advancement through a tier system that helps to unlock even more of Tap Sports Baseball’s feature.

There are also prime games you can play daily using an energy system that limits you to five games and refills slowly over time. Prime games give you a chance to earn both rank and milestone rewards based on your standing versus 1000 other players each weekday or weekend.

Bonus tip: Autoplay is your friend. In most game modes and circumstances, you’ll have the option to instantly sim an inning just by tapping the ‘Autoplay’ button at the bottom of the screen. Use it liberally when you are in the lead and take control only when you want to or need to.

How to get better players — and improve the ones you have

MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2018 is all about the gacha thing, as the primary way to add new players to your team is by way of draft picks. Some draft picks are available to you just by spending the game’s basic currency, while better ones can only be earned as rewards or purchased with gold, the premium currency.

MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2018

If that sounds like it’ll take some work to improve your lineup, you’re not wrong. Happily, you can add some of the top players in all of baseball to your team for a few games at a time by earning and using franchise coins. These allow you to pick an All-Star or Hall of Fame caliber player and use them for five games, so they’re great for using for a tournament or when you are riding a winning streak in Prime Games. Franchise players can be convinced to stick around by using additional franchise coins or spending gold to extend their contracts for five more games. Just tap the ‘Store’ option and the ‘Franchise’ tab to find them.

Last but not least, you can improve the players on your team by using in-game cash and XP under the aptly named ‘Improve’ tab under your ‘Team’ menu. How do you get more XP? Tap the ‘Trade-in’ tab and part with inactive players you aren’t using.