How to Master Pinball

So you’ve visited your local bar and played a few games of pinball but you always leave feeling defeated. If you see the high score on that machine and someday hope to beat it, don’t worry, you will be able to! Keep reading to find out exactly what you need to do to become a pinball master. 

1. Envision where you want the pinball to go.

Just like you would if you had Jedi forces, think about where you want the pinball to go while you’re playing. These subconscious thoughts often manifest themselves in the muscles in your fingers, allowing you to tap your way to a high score. It may sound silly but it works. Ask any pinball master what their main strategy is and they will probably reply by telling you that they guide the ball to the areas that give them the highest score.

2. It takes time.

As anything does that is hard in the beginning, pinball takes a lot of time and effort to become a pro at. Many of the masters at your local bar or arcade will tell you that they don’t play the occasional pinball game, rather, they play it like it was a sport by practicing. Many pinball pros even enter events and tournaments to hone their skills and up the competition.

3. Never tip the pinball machine.

One big “no no” in pinball is trying to manipulate the ball through gravity by tipping the machine. Doing so usually allows you to roll the ball one way or another to further your odds of getting it to hit a bumper or avoid going out. The reason you don’t want to do this is twofold… First, it’s illegal in any game of pinball. You don’t want to break the rules. Second, it could break the machine. We’ve seen some sloppy players tip machines and almost break them. FYI, they are expensive to replace and repair. Also, it’s not worth tipping because many pinball machines have a sensor that shuts them off or cancels the game if it gets tipped.

4. Watch other masters.

The best way to get good as the pros is to study them. Go to your local bar or arcade of choice and ask some of the pinball players if you can watch (of course, do only ask between games). Many who are involved in pinball are nice and want to pass down their knowledge. Ask them questions about timing and where/how to best hit the ball. Listen but more importantly watch what they do. This isn’t something you should just one. If you really want to get good at pinball, go back, ask more questions, and watch intently.

5. Master one machine at a time.

This may be the most important tip of all. Pinball machines are all different. In order to not confuse yourself, stick to learning one machine at a time. It can be tempting to try and switch it up with another pinball machine but what you’re doing is confusing your muscle memory. All that time you spent practicing on the first machine could be ruined by switching to another one.

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