AFM/MM Remake Flipper Delay


That was my initial assessment of why I couldn’t hit the lock shot or saucer very well. It was clear to me (at least on the one I played) that the flippers were flopped and I figured the angle I was used to shooting on AFM and the difference due to the alignment on the remake was causing accuracy issues. I was interested in hearing about this possible other added issue of flipper delay, but it sounds like the small variable delay is relatively standard from what you’ve said. But if it WAS a significant variable flipper delay, wouldn’t all shots be affected with worse accuracy? I haven’t really noticed that during my play.


Well the main answers are:

  • Yes, an average of 2.5ms is imperceptible to most/all people and immaterial in shooting, generally.
  • The longer the latency, and, more importantly, the bigger the SD of the delay, the bigger problems you’ll have with trying to aim.

Here’s another interesting tidbit. I just timed rolling a ball down a flipper from a catch and came up with .67s for the ball to leave the flipper. That means on WPC games you get about 168 possible shots, and whitestar/sam/JJP games give you the full 670 possible shots. The # of possible shots is regardless of latency, other than latency would reduce the total # possible from the start of the roll.


Since everyone either knows or is afraid to ask - could you explain what you mean by flopped flippers?


I would tend to agree, I drove and played my first game of AMFr since the nationals one in Texas and I did not see any special inconsistency issue.
The flipper alignment feels lower than most AFM I have played + I assume the fresh plunger and coil stop make the flipper cradle position lower than usual (harder to trap).
Overall after a few initial shot to get use the lower angle the game played consistently in my opinion and my one game 15B/3 MB/2 TA helped me get onboard :wink:


[quote=“Austin, post:63, topic:3212”]Since everyone either knows or is afraid to ask - could you explain what you mean by flopped flippers?
The angle the flippers are aligned at is lower than usual. So if you hold a flipper up, it would tend to be more flat and balls would be harder to trap. This changes where on the flipper you need to flip to hit shots, it makes it easier to hit orbits, and harder to hit shots toward the center of the playfield.


Wait a few years and you can blame Father Time, like I do. That bastard gets all of us eventually.


Thanks! Didn’t know that had an actual name outside of “flipper angle”!


Occasionally I have to play an AFM (original) in one of our local leagues with flippers that are aligned quite low. This particular game is just miserable to shoot and many of the issues that seem to be bothering folks in this thread are present on this particular game, outside of rattly orbits. It turns AFM into much more of a trap and shoot game provided one can find a way to control the ball with the lower flippers.

I recently did a playfield swap on an AFM as well. Do we know who makes the new AFM fields? If they’re Mircos, a few of the dimples were in weird places and I did move a few things around to make sure that I got the guide alignments I wanted. Also, interestingly, when I took that game apart, the lock shot ramp had been installed wrong, with the ramp entrance on the outside of a metal lane guide, so any shot to the ramp that hugged the guide would cause the ball to bounce sideways, rattle around and either reject or dribble up. I could see this mistake being very very easy to make at the factory so if this issue plagues an AFMR, it’s worth taking a look there. Issues with the lock gate not directing ball in properly should be just a very simple adjustment to the gate mech. Loosen a couple screws and move it over. And/or bend the gate prongs as needed.


Not sure if there’s an official term for it. I call them droopy flippers. Everyone is correct about them making center shots more difficult. I’ve played several MMRs, all of them droopy. Playtested one fresh off the line at Stern, and the only thing that kept me from BFTK was castle crusher. Literally impossible to hit on the fly, and an even a trap was no gimme. Imagine you’re trying to backhand a ramp, and you can hit the castle.

Corrected the flipper angle immediately after unboxing my MMR, but I’ve never had even close to a great game on it. Dunno if there’s something magical about the one I played at Stern, or if I just played a fluke great game, or what. All I know is my scores are about 2-3 times higher on original MMs, even fast-playing restored ones with freshly cleared playfields.

I recall @pinwizj’s MMR absolutely destroying our group in league. Even @JPW remarked that something felt… off. And it’s definitely not his first rodeo.


Is MM really that fun when it’s easy to hit the castle though? Kind of turns into a boring grind when no one even tries to shoot anything else until they’ve destroyed at least 2 castles (which also lights EB to help extend the center shot marathon :sleeping:).

I’ve yawned my way through enough hit-the-center battles at league nights to know that i’d much prefer a MM that encouraged players to shoot everything BUT the castle.

IMO, this is what makes AFM a superior game: the center shot is lucrative, but so dangerous that smart players almost always opt to shoot for anything else when possible.


I think we are all looking for a silver bullet reason as to why the games feel different for some (not for me). when I think its a combination of many many factors. I doubt we will ever have a conclusive answer.

IF you do see something amiss reporting it to CGC is valuable as they do take note.



I asked them about the ROM version they’d be using for AFMr a few months before it came out, because only 1.13B has the varying SoL awards in tournament mode. They said they’d look into it. And then released the game with the 50 million only version. Hooray?


might be do to with what version of code they have access to? 1.13b looks like it wasn’t an official release? wasn’t around so don’t know! I’ll ask them too! :smiley:


My biggest problem with MMR and AFMR is the “flipper hop” from the inlanes where the inlane guide is lower than the flipper rubber resulting in the ball bouncing upwards slightly making accurate repetitive shots more difficult.


One of many other reasons players might find these games to have inconsistent flipper respons. And shots hard to master. Other than the button to flipper control timing, that hit the rumour mill.


funny, I always hated that about the originals


hit the rumor mill, and was pretty thoroughly debunked.


The Pinball 101 chapter on flipper timing showed a Shadow mode shot and the shot next to it (about a 2 ball width) with the same initial cradle position. Our cheesy 1/8"-marked ruler taped to the flipper shows about 1/16" difference between the 2 shots. The ball is moving about 5 inches per sec by the time it’s shot. Since our camera shoots at 240fps ( 4.12ms per frame) the 8 ms is as about as accurate as we can measure. We weren’t trying to prove/disprove anything, just demonstrate how good players are with consistent flipper timing. I can see how with flopped flippers the ball is rolling faster than 5 ips and would be tougher to shoot consistently. Dunno if it would feel laggy – I’m not that good to judge.


I agree. Watching the AFMR in BSOP the flippers were flopped and some players had all manner of difficulty hitting anything - Zach hit nothing in the final game and finished with 200M from 3 balls!

Not only does flopped flippers affect aiming, it lessens your ability to cradle balls (especially in multiball) and totally messes with your timing on live catches. I hate flopped flippers, but if you want to shorten ball times and give everyone a bad time, they are the way to go.

I also hate flipper hop, that screws with accuracy as well. If you are going to build a game with flipper hop you might as well use 20 year old flipper linkages, they have the same effect.


More interesting timing analysis, but with keyboards and perception: