MLB 15: The Show includes several great features from previously released games in the series, but Sony also made a number of improvements for this year's effort, including different emotions that affect player performance.

However, the biggest feature is the addition of licensed equipment and universal rewards that you can apply to your player over the course of the season to improve his performance. The better you get, the more you're capable of earning, and the more likely you are to become a hall-of-fame player.

With that in mind, these MLB 15 tips will help you earn better rewards while adding new cards to your lineup.

Rewards for the hard working player

Over the years, MLB 15: The Show established its Universal Profile, a system that keeps track of your player's statistics while at the same time rewarding you with experience points and Stubs that allow you to enhance your player's skills across a number of areas, depending on what position he plays. As you achieve more accolades over the course of your career you'll unlock Universal Rewards, represented as cards added to your account.

These rewards mainly consist of gear from nine different companies – Franklin, Louisville Slugger, Nike, Under Armour, Wilson, Rawlings, Sam Bat, Mizuno and Marucci. You'll be able to see these cards as they appear in your collection, with a brief description of what they're capable of. You'll also be able to keep track of what other bonuses come down the line, through an unlock tier system below the item.

The rewards are more than just fashion choices. In fact, they add authenticity to players who use them in real life. These contain performance enhancements in different areas. For instance, gloves help increase grip and catching capabilities, while Louisville Slugger bats have greater strength than regular ones.

The breakdown of cards in each mode

The Universal Rewards offer something unique for each mode, and they break down as follows:

Road to the Show: Here's where using cards is the most practical, as you'll unlock gear for your player the most in this mode. You'll be able to sift through the numerous choices available for each batter, fitting them up with a bat, batting gloves, a fielding glove, cleats and even a Ritual item in case you have a special technique you want to perform before each game. The Ritual can be a little strange, like a Golden Thong or a Sleeping Companion that suggests you snooze with a bat in your bed. Don't be fooled, though. It's just a little performance technique before you hit the field that gives you a boost in certain areas, indicated by the rankings for each Ritual. It never hurts to have a good Ritual on hand, as it can give your player a bit of confidence, especially when they need the emotional push.

Franchise: You won't find gear in this category, but you will have the ability to sign Brand Sponsorship contracts. These are vital to helping your team, as they not only have a significant presence during broadcasts, but also in funding because their contribution can easily be seen in the team budget incentives. This in turn could motivate your team and make you a bit more successful in the post-season. Just make sure you sign with the right sponsor. Don't automatically jump for whoever comes along first.

Diamond Dynasty: Here's another mode where you can earn cards as you play, including MLB players and stadiums that can be added to your team.  Gear cards can be unlocked as well. Keeping a consistent theme with gear is a good idea, as it will help build brand loyalty and eventually may even attract a sponsor for Franchise mode. You can pick and choose if you feel that a product is underperforming.

One additional item to watch out for is alumni players. You can unlock these by collecting a full pack of cards in a deck, or filling an entire team with MLB Player cards. These guys will help motivate the entire team, so make sure you go after them.

Switching Cards

Finally, in order to slot cards into your collection, go into the menu, find the slots you want to put them in and then add them. The interface is incredibly easy to use, especially with the MLB Player cards, as you can easily find the right balance for your team, whether you're using current players in the MLB roster or Legends you think will add some punch. The video below, which walks through the card system, will tell you how it works.

The card system adds a great collector value to the game overall, as there are literally hundreds of cards you can put into your virtual deck. Definitely go after them all, especially if you're an avid baseball fan.

Learn how to manage emotions and pick the best team in MLB 15: The Show.