Playing pinball is not just about getting lucky when playing the game. It can also be a tough test that will measure your efficiency in plotting your tactics.
With the exciting features, cool gameplay, and challenging mechanics featured in pinball machines, many will aspire to play like a pro and ultimately become a “Pinball Wizard” or the master of pinball games.
However, in order to become a Pinball Wizard, one must learn the basics, develop own techniques, and acquire a fair amount of decent skills in order to master the pinball game in no time!
On Making Your Way To Becoming A Pinball Wizard
Seeing a person put unbelievable scores in a pinball scoreboard makes you wonder what sorcery/magic was done to achieve such numbers. Moreover, the idea of becoming a Pinball Wizard sounds like an adventure that is way too far to reach. Having an understanding about how a pinball game goes can be the most fundamental step to becoming a Pinball Wizard.
In order to unlock this certain achievement in an arcade enthusiast’s life, Pinball Sales Australia, the Sole Importer and Distributor of Jersey Jack Pinball Machines for sale in Melbourne, has prepared the ultimate guide to help you to become the best Pinball Wizard that you wanted to be.
How You Can Play Pinball Like A Pro
Now that you’ve decided to be a master of pinball machines, you have to start from the very first step of your venture. This might cost you a lot of time, effort, and mind power (and coins!), but always remember that everything will be successful in the long run.
Without further ado, here are the steps that would guide you for a more pro-like pinball plays:
1. Observe and Listen
Machines today provide their players a thorough explanation of the game’s mechanics. However, beginners usually don’t realise these easy hints of the game.
- Be keen with the machine’s display and keep an eye on the playfield lights; it might give you some hints on which to hit the next.
- Further, you also have to listen to the game, most pinball machines include sound effects and verbal cues that tell about the things going on in the game.
That’s why while playing, the best thing to do is to look and listen to the machine.
2. Understand the Rules
Being a Pinball Wizard does not end at “being skillful with nudging, aiming, and controlling”. Be mindful that every pinball machine differs from one another. Pinball machines that can be found on bars and arcades today have very complex rule set; thus, learning to understand these rules is the major component to be better at playing pinball games.
3. Have the Perfect Stance
Find the best way to position yourself once you are in front of the pinball machine. You can have the most comfortable position you want; whether you want to hunch down, sit on a chair, lean to the machine, or even place your feet at both ends of the machine. Whichever stance you are relaxed with, there are still few things to consider regarding your playing position:
- Choose the stance that you will remain comfortable for a long time.
- Ensure that your body is centered so you can have easy access to any buttons, plungers, flippers, and you can easily nudge the machine whenever needed.
- Do not be conscious on how absurd your stance is, remember that your goal is to become a pinball wizard, and you should do what works best.
4. Be a Master of Flippers
Another recipe of becoming a pro-player in Pinball games is to learn the fundamentals of the flipper skills. You have to bring the ball under your control to keep them from going out the playfield. Here are some tips for you to master the mechanics of the flipper:
- Avoid flipping too much. Holding the flipper up at the perfect timing can bring the ball to a dead stop. That’s the perfect way to “catch” the silver ball; which is a critical element of putting up a good game. By catching the ball, it will allow you to carefully plan on where to aim and plunge your ball.
- Drop the flipper immediately once you’ve flipped. It will allow you to have a big gap for the ball to fall freely.
- Avoid moving the flippers simultaneously. You have to be “smart” when it comes to flipping the flippers. The main cause of drain (losing the ball) for most players is when they flip both of the flippers when they didn’t even have.
- Machines that have multiple flippers. Before playing the pinball game, check the machine if it features multiple flippers. It is becoming a trend for most modern pinball machines, in order to add difficulty on the nature of the game. Also, some have additional buttons that have special functions for certain times in the game. Make sure that you know all the additional features added in the game, because it will give you a chance on how you will conquer the extraordinary pinball mechanics.
5. Practice the Art of Aiming
With better flipping skills, there must also have an incredible aiming ability. The next step is to learn how to hit the ball consistently.
Aiming is a combination of knowing the physical rules and the specifics of the machine itself.
One piece of advice for better aiming is whenever you see that the ball is close to the tip, the more it will go to the opposite side. Moreover, aiming requires more of your instinct rather than the instructions. While it is true that you have to understand the mechanics of the game, you also have to learn the machine itself.
Knowing the directions of the ball, force needed to successfully hit the ball, and proper timing of flipper all boils down to the perfect intuition on where to aim your ball at.
6. Nudge and Tilt
When playing pinball games, nudging and tilting is fairly part of the whole action. These are done in order to save the ball from crawling out of the playfield. In fact, some players nudge the machine with aggression and wildness–but the thing is, machines have tilt sensors that once you’ve tilt, you can accumulate a grand amount of end-of-ball bonus points.
Also, most of the pinball machines today will warn you whenever you are playing a bit too hard; and you should take these warnings seriously. On the other hand, if you are getting frustrated, better not hit the front coin door. Machines that have slam-tilt sensors located on the front door might get damaged because of your furious acts. Once damaged, the game will automatically end.
7. Learn the Most Essential Skills of a Pro
To improve your game, of course, it is important to master the fundamentals first. Moreover, after becoming comfortable with these basic skills, it is now the time to move on to the advanced forms of controlling the flippers, catching the ball, and other powerful techniques.
Here are five essential skills that you need to learn and practice:
- Tap Pass. Lightly tap the flipper to bop the silver ball from one flipper to another.
- Drop Catch. In able to do this, you have to know the perfect time to drop your flipper prior to the ball’s contact. The ball will have no momentum, allowing you to have more accuracy for either trapping the ball or shooting it immediately.
- Live Catch. This skill is the opposite of what a drop catch can do. Here, the player can control the ball by raising the flipper. In that way, the ball will meet the flipper just as it reach the very end of the flipper shot.
- Outlane Shake. It is best to shake the machine once the ball is in the side lane area, inlane, and outlane. When you perform side-to-side and forward nudging, the ball will save the ball into possible draining.
- Death Save. This is a trick of nudging and shaking once the ball was drained; making it roll back upwards and “resurrect” into the playfield. Further, this is considered to be illegal in pinball tournament plays.
8. Enjoy the Game
Games are made for people to enjoy and have fun with. When you’re doing good at pinball, the game will surely be extra fun. On the other hand, being a newbie might be highly frustrating and it is expected that the game won’t turn out just as you wanted it to be. However, all you have to do is to enjoy the game and make the most out of your pinball gaming experience.
Top 5 Pinball Wizards in the World You Might Probably Want to Be
For an aspiring Pinball Wizard, perhaps you needed some real-life inspirations aside from the guide we have provided you. Pinball enthusiasts all over the world compete with each other, to prove their prowess and be hailed as the best Pinball Wizards in the history of pinball gaming, here are the 5 Pinball Wizards which are generally considered as the best in the world:
1. Keith Elwin (Carlsbad, USA)
Keith Elwin is an electronic technician from Carlsbad, California. He won the “A” division, and earned a name as the World Pinball Champion in 2012. As of today, he is entitled as the reigning PAPA World Champion. His other wins include Pinball Expo Flipout 3-peat, AMOA International Expo Pinball Championships, and PAPA 6. Keith Elwin recently won the Pinburgh Match-Play Championship last July 30, 2016.
2. Zach Sharpe (Chicago, USA)
Zach has won several tournaments such as Michigan Pinball Expo, NW Pinball Championships, Danish Pinball Open, Lyons Pinball Spring Classic, Louisville Arcade Expo, and Dutch Pinball Open. He and his brother Josh, are the sons of the legendary pinball wizard Roger Sharpe. Zach placed 1st in the Main Tournament of Lyons Spring Classic Main Event held last May 2016.
3. Jorian Engelbrektsson
In 2007, Engelbrektsson became the first non-American to obtain the prestigious Pinball World Champion title. He also won the “A” division in Flipper-SM in 2007 and 2008, and Swedish Pinball Championship. He also placed 1st in the Pin-Golf event of Pre ReplayFX Tourney.
4. Daniele Celestino Acciari (Rocca Di Papa, Italy)
Acciari is a pinball wizard from Rocca Di Papa, Italy. He won the 1st place in the main tournament of IFPA World Pinball Championship. He competes in several pinball tournaments including PAPA World Pinball Championships, European Pinball Championship 2015, Dutch Pinball Masters, and Swiss Open to name a few.
5. Raymond Davidson (Mukilteo, USA)
Davidson is a young pinball wizard at the age of 23. He competed to be the 1st place in different pinball tournaments including Seattle Pinball League, Portland Pinbrawl, and IFPA World Pinball Championship. He recently ranked as the 4th place in Pinburgh Match-Play Championship’s main tournament.
Tips and Tricks For Future Pinball Wizards
Pinball has been in the core of the bars and arcades since the 1930’s. Its overall nature has made pinball games as the most enduring games of all time. Though its popularity has slowed down a little, there are still these players that continue to aspire to be one of the pinball wizards in world rankings.
Since you already encountered the steps and some inspiration for you to become a Pinball Wizard, here are some tips and tricks that can lead you to your dream of becoming a legendary Pinball Wizard:
- Don’t be afraid to be a novice in a herd of experts. Always remember that in order to be a master of a certain field, one must have a start. It is your role to fill that with experiences and knowledge. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn things from the pros.
- You should always practice hard. For you to have a promising experience in pinball games, remember that there’s no time to quit on the hardships of practicing it. Always try and practice, by that way it will hone your skills.
- Try multiple game modes all at once. Taking your game to another level will provide you more idea on how complex a pinball game can be. You are free to study its rules and make an experiment out of it.
Do you have any thoughts about this guide on becoming a Pinball Wizard? Let us hear them in the comments!