Ball save during Multiball

So there has been discussion of having a ball save on the plunge but I’ve been playing a lot of older games with no ball save on Multiball. Thoughts? Like it. Hate it?

It’s a love/hate relationship: hate it when I drain ball(s) quickly from older games with no ball save. But I love the extra challenge of the multiball, and needing to be on point immediately – even the initial frenzy of all the balls active prior to any kind of control.

And typically, those older games that don’t have multiball ball-save is due to the fact that they lacked an auto-plunger.


I tend to like no-ball-save multiball just from a purely selfish perspective: a flailing player is much less likely to score much during MB on those games than they are on a new Stern, so I tend to do better than them in those situations.

With that said, I also like the opportunity to shoot dangerous stuff with no consequences during regular and MB ball save on modern games. This proactive (as opposed to defensive) use of ball save can be a skill in its own right.


Let’s see what @pinwizj has to say since his stance on no ball save plunges is an opinion I respect. If you are going to plunge dangerously make it need some skill like not validating the pf when you mess up.

Well, before knocking the old games, please note that it is a little more complicated then just that.

Ball saver in multiball requires an auto-plunger. A feature more seldomly seen in the past. However, a lot of the non-ball saver games of the past had a multiball restart rule. To a 2-ball multiball. This is totally different to ball saver. This is not a spray the playfield at risk free option. But contrary, an invitation to gain ball control.

Imagine the tough-upper-flipper jackpot Lawlor-games without the multiball restart rule. Oh dear. They would be a different game. And not as fun/fair to play for arcade and competition alike.

Personally. I am in favour of start-of-ball ball saver. In multiball, ok - like multiball restart better. But, I do not like ball saver reinstated when stacked multiballs are started and especially not for add-a-ball.

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I miss the no-ball-save-multiball games with one giant jackpot on the playfield more than most.

The intensity of the moment knowing that the shot could be a game breaker was awesome in those system 11 and early WPC games.


I agree. With system 11 games the heat was on and you needed to focus up FAST! But now I look at multiball as a chance to relax and do stupid stuff for a few secs


I prefer ball savers off in all instances if the player can be guaranteed ball contact with flipper, weather through choice or skill.

BSD is a bitch without a ball saver as not only is it removed from start of ball, its also removed from multiball.(the latter being no fun, as your stack can dissapper before you even get a flip off).

I’d like to see a seperate ball save-during-multball setting in modern games, as often it isn’t related to the start-of-ball ball save settings.

…Im with KCB, punish the flail.

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When did pinball become a game when ball on flipper was ever a guaranteed thing?

The only thing pinball guarantees is that at some point gravity will win.

Being in Europe is making you soft Cayle :wink:


One thing that frustrates me on newer games is the shoot again insert flashing when it shouldn’t. During multiball on GB, the right saucer will flash the insert even though it is disabled. On other games, the light show will flash the shoot again insert when it’s not active. Sometimes these lights shows occur while the ball saver is still active. Very confusing. I get that the new LED’s make for an awesome light show, but can’t we turn that one off during the show?


I have lost many a ball on GB for this exact reasoning. I get the whole light show stuff, it looks cool! If I have a ball in play, though, I’d rather it not flash unless I actually have a ball save.

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The gene summons kickout fake ball save during multiball is the worst.


I hope they fix this - regardless on your feelings about ball saves (or not), when ‘shoot again’ is flashing (or solid) it has meant something for a long time now. Why change it?

GOT had this issue and I’m pretty sure it’s been fixed. Haven’t had it burn me in forever. I’m sure GB will get the same treatment.

Depends on the setting. Not as in the options, but the context in which the game will be played. I don’t mind a lack of ball saves during competitions, where you’re expected to have harsh conditions, but when the game is out in the open where curious non-players pass on by, I think it should be as merciful as possible, because nothing feels worse than trying a genre of game for the first time and then getting chewed up and spat out. Beginners like to feel they’re kicking butt. That’s why many successful video games allow for quick leveling up and gaining new skills at the beginning of the game. It’s when they feel they’re good enough to want to keep playing, THAT is when you can turn up the heat.

For multiballs themselves too, I think that should be done on a case-by-case basis. It’s incredibly annoying on some of those Gottlieb games where there is no ball saver or restart, and all the balls just come flying at you and you lose control. For some reason, the 2-second multiball keeps happening to me when I play something like Cue Ball Wizard or Tee’d Off. For most games, I support a ball saver to get you mentally prepared for it when it begins. There are a few that are executed pretty well without it, but I get caught off guard easily when a multiball begins, even when I’m expecting it.

Well, you have games like Junk Yard and Theatre of Magic where the plunge puts the ball onto an inlane.

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