Hammering the Action button. Is this the trend now?

I’m not sure if I’m alone or not, but I’m hoping the trend of having to bash an action button in the middle of a lock bar several times (meaning more than 5x) is not the way pinball is going. Examples would be like tie fighters in SW or getting gold in the new POTC. I love the action buttons for AC/DC or The Walking Dead, but those are only a few timely hits, not bashing several times like a video game. Oh God, will there be a joystick added next? A trackball? I keed. But I want to play pinball, not juggle (although I am a bit of a clown).

Just an old guy missing the simpler ways of pinball. Keeping my hands on the sides.


I don’t like center buttons at all. Plenty of games have secondary Side buttons … where your hands belong. Or use the plunger trigger or button. No good reason not to keep extra feature things there on the sides (if you’ve just got to have them at all, which you really don’t most of the time). There’s also the extra hassle of having wiring to the lock down bar when you need to do tech.

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We should totally talk about this on your podcast!


SW’s use of the action button feels spot on to me. Collecting Tie Fighters after a hurry-up feels like an homage to DE SW more than something you should actually go after. Maybe if you have a clean trap they’re worth some easy progress, but I’d rather keep control and work on my modes.

NBA fastbreak being the worst. I hate opening our linked pair. Taking the glass off is tedious with the wiring attached to the lockdown bar. At least with these sterns the button just pushes a switch on the receiver. Taking the glass off isn’t any harder.

Really agree with you on all points!

Agreed on overuse of the action button. I think Star Trek is a good balance.

Separate conversation, but related, I really don’t like the trend where video displays are being overloaded with info. Limited space and dot limitations on DMDs encouraged the playfield to instruct the player, now with all this new visual real estate, displays are communicating loads of in-game info to the player. SW forces you to look up often, all the way to the top of the display for the current multiplier, combine that with all the action button use and I feel like I’m going way outside my normal way of playing.



Need to make a shock button panel like Karl’s side tournament. Mash the right one get points. Mash the wrong one zap!


I love the use of the button on Star Wars and I’m old. It’s awesome! I have not played Pirates yet, but if it’s similar then cool. I’m all for it.

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Leave that to @drgnlair with his ungrounded games :wink:


I love it. I’ve always enjoyed things like the shifter in getaway or the trigger on T2 for supers that make you take your hands off the flipper buttons. Rewards timing and forethought. It’s a ton of fun in SW trying to play one handed while bashing the button as fast as I can.

Balance wise it might not be the best, as some people just can’t hit the button fast enough, so you end up with significantly more work to get to tie fighter MB if you can only hit it 10 times instead of 15 (even while cradled). It might have been better if they’d just said ‘keep bashing the button for five seconds and you get a lock’ or something, but luckily there’s like five other multiballs, not getting tie fighter MB isn’t the end of the world like it would be on an older game with only one multiball.

Sterns don’t have any wiring in the lockdown bar, it can be removed just like any other game. The button is actually mounted on the cabinet itself. (Same with black rose, so not sure why they switched to something worse for fast break…)

I do wish we got more games with second flipper buttons though. They can add a lot to the game in other ways. Bring back magnasave, or the Shadow ramp diverters! SW would probably have been better if there was a second set of buttons for the multipliers instead of overloading the action button with so many different things. I’d love to see a game with four flipper buttons and an action button just for the fun of it.

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Lexi has 3 buttons on each side. Moving the lane change to a second set of buttons was fun for a change.

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I grudgingly don’t mind it. I see it as the software guys running out of ways to torture us. This is a new way. It took me a good number of games to figure out when the button was red, that you had to hold it for a second to add a ball and how to change your multiplier shot mid-ball. When I do it in league now, I know people behind me watching are learning. I enjoy that.

It’s not for casual players, that’s for sure. Has to be the first game ever with its own instant info screen just for the button.

Was playing earlier and started victory MB, then started the button mash mode. 5 balls, go ahead and take a hand off a flipper. I did.

Hate extra flipper buttons. Play a TRS LE and you will too.

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From my perspective, I had the idea over a year ago to do this in POTC (thinking towards social games where you have to click on stuff, mouseover stuff, or whatever to “collect” it), so you can imagine my surprise when it showed up in SW (purely coincidentally I’m sure). It’s not totally new, obviously, as games like LW3 and “grab the gun and fire!” where if you took the chance, you could get some pretty decent points off of that feature.

We’re even considering putting in an option to allow gold collect with one button hit, or possibly changing one of the characters to do it.

Personally, I thought the idea turned out pretty fun, and I like it a lot. You can safely ignore it on occasion, though certainly there are occasions where you’ll mightily screw yourself if you don’t do it (I believe @FunWithBonus collected over 300 gold in one pile over the weekend). I guess I feel like more interactivity, more risk/reward aren’t bad things. It’s an action game, and we’re giving you more action.

You can do so much more with the addition of the button (POTC uses it for gold, PIRATE award changing, and various “quck-time” events), I honestly feel like it’s going to be more of a standard item going forward.

RIP casuals.

Lockdown buttons aren’t like this anymore.


An additional side cabinet button can perform the same function without requiring the player to remove their hand from the game. But, many players will use not see an additional cabinet button (so they will never use it). So, if I ever get the chance to work as a pinball designer again, I would use it (on the lockdown bar), but only at times when the ball is stopped…I would also use an LCD button so that I could dynamically change the art on the button to show its purpose at the time: “Fire”, “Choose Character” etc, (Not sure if JJPOTC uses an LCD button since I didn’t attend Pinball Expo)

Off Subject- Keefer, JJPOTC looks great! Congrats!

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I always assumed it was the designers intent to entice the player to take their hands off the game to risk losing the ball. I know the thought of setting up an insane multiplied shot on SW has caused me to drain lots of times. Keeps me coming back for more and makes it much more rewarding when I pull it off.


The 350 happened later when I did a large number of loops in a row and barely hit the Gold targets at the end of the combo. I saw multiple gold chests of 50 show up on the screen and I almost forgot to hit the button. I think I hit it too many times, because I started changing my P-I-R-A-T-E award to something else. I started Tortuga at 350 gold with Eric there explaining the benefits of what I just did. Of course, I flubbed the multiball away, because I was trying to take it as much info as I could and forgot how to do simple things like catch a ball. :slight_smile:

I would like a character who gets all displayed gold in one button hit. Maybe give it to the character who has the “MORE GOLD” ability now., or whichever character in the movie is a skillful “Plunderer”) It adds to the dilemma that I know I am sacrificing an opportunity at another ability). It would give more control over the P-I-R-A-T-E award too, since I may not change it by accident as often. I would move to another character once I got more comfortable with knowing when and how many times to press the button.

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Wise guy…Hmmm? Wonder if we did already??? Wonder if this topic will be discussed when it’s released this weekend?

We talked in the past, but pretended it was the future . . . CRAZY!

@keefer, one button hit…heaven! Even 3-5 button panic smashes, like in some games when you lose your MB and try to add-a-ball and save your MB…that’s fine too by me.

My question “is this Action Button the norm now?” is not a knock on POTC or even SW for that matter. Just a hope from an old guy (yelling at the clouds, and people on my lawn, etc…lol) that I don’t want a middle of the lock bar action button to be a focus where I’m taking my hands off the flippers several times in a single game. I’m fine with an extra button on the side, or even pulling triggers like on LW3. I get the risk/reward, but some newer games seem like there’s more than one time per ball where we are pounding the lock bar button several times. Just me (and maybe only me)…I’m not crazy about it, and hope it’s not the new gimmick.

That said, the POTC machine looks amazing!!! Can hardly wait to play it…another home run for you and JJP! If this action button thing is a concern, it’s a VERY small one compared to the awesomeness of that game!

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way to pull the curtain back from the Wizard of Oz, @pinwizj . Shhh…it’s a secret that I record in advance and pretend that it’s current. Don’t tell anyone…