Games to exploit playfield validation

Watching Who Dunnit on stream last night by LazerLos, he would plunge the super skill shot, then drain as it only triggered 2 switches. WHoDunnit requires 3 switches to validate the playfield and start the ball save. If done 3 consecutive times, you get a Multiball without ever being in danger. What other games is the playfield Validation critical and how do you utilize it?

Sopranos. Same thing. Short plunge, lock balls in the boat for a free MB.

Game of thrones to an extent. It was nerfed a bit with new code, but you always want to short plunge to get the 3 minor switch safety net.

Stranger things. I haven’t quite figured out all the instances that qualify the playfield but you can definitely get locks lit before the ball save starts counting down and if you plunge straight to a flipper after a lock, it will protect against a SDTM from a standup as your first shot after a locked ball. (Premium only as pro has virtual locks).

Pretty much any game that doesn’t have a switch that is activated on a short plunge that you could safely get on a flipper is not a bad idea.

MET pro
Iron Man


I’ve never felt the eyerolls of my opponents more than when I’ve done this in league play.


Ghostbusters. The short plunge to right flipper, pass to left, video mode skill shot used to be valuable protection against bad games. Still works on old code. Won a round in B Division at Pinburgh almost entirely off of my considerable skill at Don’t Cross The Streams.


With AC/DC doesn’t it interfere with choosing a song?

ACDC does have a shooter lane switch, not sure exactly what it does though…

Smacks lips Love me some invalid playfield.

FYI Put a red shooter spring in (extra strong). Makes it extremely difficult to get a free multiball.

With a red spring, and no ball save, iirc there were NO “free” plunge multiballs in the entirety of the northwest pinball championships.


I turned “scraping by” into a 3 on Johnny Mnenomic by nearly beating video mode.

Ripley’s has no ballsaver, but if you soft plunge, miss the skill shot (1M), then drain without hitting a switch, the ball recycles and you can try for it again.

On Stern Spiderman, you can launch and hit the light lock switch without validating the playfield.

So… Is there some kind of unwritten rule that goes against this?

Nah, but it’s understandably boring to stand by and watch someone beat you like that.

Fixed that for you … courtesy of @cayle :slight_smile:


Not that I’ve seen. I’ve used this on games where the pops feed is death.

This is what I did to sopranos instead of removing the plunger. Haha.


GOT was fun for this early on.

not sure that it’s still worth doing with all the code updates, but:
soft plunge
dead pass to left
light lock
lock if the ball is under control, drain then soft plunge to right for a lock otherwise
soft plunge before the auto plunge, then repeat until you’ve locked 3 and can start bwmb and a couple modes.


Still doable. Just have to avoid the drops as they immediately validate the pf now.


On a tight spring, do you ever bump plunge as opposed to actually pull the plunger back? On very short plunges like Jackbot I have this weird upward slap/bump thing I do. It looks stupid, it is stupid, but I can’t plunge a tight spring with any degree of accuracy. It’ll be like 50 short plunges and then the same pull puts me above the pop bumpers.

Also, this is like your moment. Don’t hold back. I don’t really follow too much in the way of high level play, but I seem to recall playfield validation fuckery being something of a specialty of yours.

A similar move works on games with a broken spring that doesn’t clear the shooter lane. I’ve sprained my wrist attempting it, but it’s effective. Another use is a game ejecting two balls out of the trough. Bump and then immediately plunge the second ball into the first.

I believe that Ripley’s has the “deepest” valid playfield exploits, lol, because the scoop is considered a minor switch, so you can actually start any of the continent modes without validating the playfield. Since three of these modes are actually multiballs, there are an assortment of exploits available to the patient and skillful drainer. For instance, if you start Africa without validating, you can go back and hit the scoop three more times (draining and skillful short plunging each time) to light the scoop again, which will then light the idol for 1 Million… all before ball saver starts. Now the idol shot validates the playfield so you can only do this once, but that “free” million is sweet. To fully cash in, you would also relight the scoop with three more shot/dumps, too. Note that there will be two balls in the shooter lane through all of this because the game knows it will be in multiball as soon as the ball “starts”, so there is an additional skill to learn how to “short plunge” one of the balls out of the lane while keeping the other one in the shooter lane. Simple physics is your friend with this and its not that difficult.

A little deeper cut that is probably more interesting to @cayle et al is you can keep lighting and collecting the scoop award forever without ever validating the playfield, and in tournament mode, eventually, you will be awarded “Light Ripoff”, so if you start a non multiball continent, with some patience and solid short plunging, you can stack in a free multiball as well.