Hobbit Pinball Rulesheet


Do people try to select particular modes to complete for that arkestone requirement?

I find that it’s most frequently the one objective keeping me from one of the mini wizard modes (70% of the time, Erebor is 25% of the time, 5% other).


As hisokajp stated the One Ring mode is a good choice. I usually try to get Resurgance of Sauron going. It is about 5 left ramp shots to complete.


We’re going to be using the Hobbit in the Kids Tourney at Texas Pinball Festival.

What’s the general consensus for how best to describe how to play the pin to kids/novices? I’d like to type up a few bullet points to have available for kids to read (if they care to).


this kids rulesheet is exactly what I need! :slight_smile:


I would think most casual player would go for Smaug and Beast multiball? If Smaug is set to easy and you only need to spell lock rollover once for all 3 locks it fun in a “always dragon multiball” kinda way :slight_smile:

After that Keefer deep rules come in and it become a lot less casual player friendly :wink:


Agreed. Explain how to start the dragon and how to start and play modes. Let the rest come as a surprise!


Spelling LOCK also lights mode ball locks, correct?

And I’ll just tell them that if MODE is lit on the right ramp, that it starts a mode, and leave it at that. Ha.

And if all 4 beasts are killed, then that immediately starts Beast Frenzy MB, correct?


The first 2 times, spelling LOCK lights a mode lock and a ball lock. Afterwards, spelling LOCK when a lock is ready will light mode locks (the rollovers will flash green/red and then stay red when rolled over).

Beast starts right when you get your last of the 4 beasts.

Yep, by “how to start a mode” I was meaning “shoot the ramp.” No need to get into the science of the matter. :smile_cat:


OK, below is what I’m going to have available for a Kids Tourney on The Hobbit. What does everyone think?
@kdeangelo: Is this how you would explain it to your son or one of his friends (that knows how to play pinball) if they were approaching the game for the first time?

The Hobbit Tips and Tricks

  • Choose your skill shot with the center button. Then carefully plunge for the lit shot(s).
  • Spell LOCK by rolling over the four LOCK buttons in the middle of the playfield. Then shoot the Right Ramp three times to start Smaug multiball!
  • Shoot the Right Ramp to start Modes whenever MODE is lit on the Right Ramp.
  • Have fun!


I’d add “Hit Beasts when they pop up” to the list.

My son still ignores the skill shot unless I remind him just before he plunges.


@keefer and @kdeangelo : Does setting Hobbit to competition / tourney mode take care of the usual things? (removing EB’s, making Mystery awards deterministic, etc)

Any other setting you recommend adjusting? Keep in mind I’m using this for a Kids tourney.


This is not meant to pick on @Snailman, but there seems to be a relatively common belief that tournament modes should exclude extra balls.

There is no reason you can’t run a tournament with extra balls.

So, no, on JJP games, setting a game to competition mode will not turn off extra balls. You can quickly achieve what you want (probably) by doing install novelty (turns off ebs, turns off all replays, sets specials to scores), install competition (same as a Stern, at least while I was there). Competition mode is active on Hobbit, and at the moment mostly makes mystery a useless award of always 1000 points. (This will change soon.) Other modes that use randomness should usually be the same as well, but in general there isn’t a lot of game-changing randomness on Hobbit.

I would suggest you do use the install, however, because it will do a couple other things that you probably want, namely setting chase ball to OFF. Actually, that may be the only extra thing it does.


What’s your goal for this kids’ tourney - do you want thenm to make a certain amount of progress? See a ton of cool things?

Perhaps easing up on Erebor and adding time to modes might end up with someone or multiple people getting to Into the Fire, which would wow me as a kid. Plus, find the ball save adjustment and turn that on so nobody has to lose a ball immediately!


@keefer Competition mode also disables pity Smaug, right?

Edit: of course it does it’s a mystery award


Jersey jack flowsheet link is dead. Anyone have a copy?
Also, thanks to @ScoutPilgrim, @kdeangelo and anyone else who contributed. Playing in league tomorrow night :smiley:
Gotta study up!


Easiest way to blow up a hobbit:

  • Focus on lighting your Smaug locks.
  • Shoot the loops when they’re lit green to collect Mode Locks. On standard settings the first 2 are qualified when you light the normal Smaug lock.
  • Save the Mode Multiball for an extender on Smaug, or if you’re on ball 3 cash it in and pick locks the safe way.
  • Hit Beasts when you can, and if they don’t pop up you can spot the beast by the ramp/loop behind it. Prioritize Spider and Warg since those inlanes aren’t fed by a ramp.
  • Smaug is go time on Hobbit. Hit lots of lit shots and don’t forget to shoot the DWARF targets when flashing blue and purple for Super Jackpots.


You forgot to mention: use Mode multiball + Smaug MB o a good mode to get a great mode total, and after mode is complete or timer runs out, shoot red shots to recollect mode total as part of Treasure Hunt. Potential MASSIVE points (Smaug SJP level) on every major shot.

Oh, and qualify/start Into the Fire. Never ending MB (provided you have some modicum of aim and control to advance to each ITF level), which adds balls back into play.


Yep! I was mostly looking at it from a “I haven’t played this much, what do I do?” standpoint. Hobbit 201 is definitely learning how each of the Multiballs work and where the huge scoring is. Treasure Hunt works a bit differently; you have to collect all red shots before being paid out the mode total.

The Hobbit I play on has a busted Warg, so ITF is definitely not as lucrative on ours. If the Warg ever gets fixed, I’d be interested to try it! Barrel Escape is AMAZING on ours, plus it has one of the coolest phases with the U-Turn Orc shots!


I have a few questions about the Hobbit rulesheet:

  • is there someting after battle of five armies?
  • there are a lot of pictures of faces in the middle of the screen during play. what do they mean?
  • is there a wizard mode when you play all the (31) modes?
  • is the software 100% done?

thank you.


The hexagons are the mode matrix; it tells you which modes are qualified, which modes have been played, and which modes aren’t ready.

I don’t think there’s anything after 3 Arkenstones or 31 modes. Paging @keefer for that one!