How to get good at Pinball

Yes, you can get better at pinball. In fact, if you get in the zone, it’s not unusual to spend more than an hour on your original quarter.

Realize that you can aim the ball.

Some beginners don’t realize pinball is even a game of skill at all, so therefore the first step to getting good at pinball is to realize that you can aim the ball successfully. Remember that the further the ball is along the flipper length, the closer the ball is to the tip, the further in the opposite direction from the flipper it will go. So, if you have a ball on the left flipper, the closer toward the tip the ball is, the further right it will go. The closer the ball is toward the pivot, the more left the ball will go, and so on.

In general, it’s way easier to make a shot to the left or right of the play field, and harder to shoot straight down the middle. If you want the ball to go to the right, shoot from the left flipper, and if you want a ball to go to the left, shoot from the right flipper.

Be mindful of flipper use.

In general, you’ll find you need to touch the flippers only when you absolutely need to. Don’t ever touch a flipper if you don’t have a reason. Never just “mash” the buttons like you’re playing a fighting game – only hit them when necessary, because every raised flipper increases risk of a drain.

This may sound obvious, but if the ball comes down the left side, hit the left flipper, and if it comes down the right side, hit the right flipper. Never hit both flippers at the same time! That’s practically a guarantee of a missed shot, and makes a drain more likely.

If you want to prevent a drain down the center, you can stop it by tapping the flipper a ball is closer to softly, and then hit the other flipper with gusto in rapid succession; this slap-save, with a little practice, can prevent most drains.

Practice “catching” a ball.

If you have a ball caught, you can more precisely aim it, and you don’t need perfect timing. The easiest way to catch is if a ball is travelling slowly toward a flipper in the inlane; just flip it down, and the ball is caught, and you can aim and shoot more precisely.

If a game has a “habitrail” path or orbit around it, that’s always a good shot to make if you want to try for a catch, because it tends to slow the ball down, making a good catch more likely.

You may drain balls practicing a catch, but this is the single most important skill to pinball, and needs to be mastered. Don’t be discouraged, and don’t give up!

Practice passing the ball between flippers.

Once your skill level improves, you’ll note that if a ball goes too fast in the inlane to a flipper, it’s not possible to catch, so with good timing, you can pass it to the other flipper, where it can be caught.

When the ball comes in the inline, just hold the flipper up, then when the momentum bleeds off, you can catch the ball in the other flipper. This requires hitting both flippers in quick succession. This requires a little practice to do right, but if you do, it means you can catch even fast-travelling balls.

If a ball is travelling incredibly fast, and looks like it will hit the flipper in the bottom half close to the hinge, don’t even hit it. The ball should bounce off, and you can catch it in the other flipper. The flippers are designed at the angle they are so this is possible.


It’s okay to nudge the machine.

Here’s something newbies don’t often know: not only is it okay to nudge and tilt the playfield, the game actually assumes you will and incorporates that into play. Don’t do it too roughly or the ball will void, but yes, you can nudge the table, usually twice each ball. To quote Dr. Strangelove, “it is not only possible, it is essential.”

It does take some time to nudge, so in general, if a ball is in the lower third of the play area, it’s too late to save it by nudging.

The most basic way to use a nudge is that if a ball is travelling fast to the left and right and heading to the outlanes where it will drain, you can just push the machine straight forward slightly, which slows the ball down and makes it less likely to head straight to the gutter outlanes. If you time it right, it should hit and bounce off the barrier between inlane and outlane. (You only want a ball to travel up and down a play area; travelling left and right is bad because the ball is out of control.)

It’s okay to ask for help.

We all know it’s true: some fan communities tend to be nicer than others, and some fan communities tend to be meaner than others. 

In my experience, pinball people love it when someone expresses an interest and asks for pointers and help…particularly since it doesn’t happen often. Some gamer-groups can be pretty mean to newbies. I’ve never seen that in pinball fans.

anonymous asked:

How do you think you could have played better today? I thought you did really well but I'm pretty shit at LoL so I probably didn't notice much. Also cycling through Shen, Vlad, and Singed before locking Sion was depressing, but I was glad to see you having to play Lulu - your Maokai was beast though. Grats on today! GL against C9

first game I died to rush for free

then I died to a 3 man dive top

then I died in teamfights

second game I got outlaned by impact in a matchup I should have won but to be fair he had karthus ult.

suicide tp’ed once

third game I played well on maokai

fourth game I got a kill advantage then solo died to shyvana. then I tped bot trying to save my bot lane then died.

those were all of my mistakes