How to Thwart Ghostbusters Video Mode Strat

Step 1: Have an additional unused credit on the machine when someone is playing.

Step 2: Wait until they get into video mode. Press the start button to add another player.

Step 3: Profit. Video mode will be canceled immediately and the ball ejects back into play.

(This actually happened tonight in league, when I, the TD, added a new player into an existing group that was already in progress on Ball 1. Player 1 had around 300m, and was in video mode with 2x playfield running. Thankfully he was a good sport about it and won the group anyway.)


Interesting find!

But the game in progress should have been canceled and restarted with the correct number of players.

If a game is started with the incorrect number of players, anything that occurs within that game is considered void, with no penalty to any player. At no time may players be added to the game once player 1 has plunged their ball into play. At no time may player 1 finish their game as a single-player.

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Well, in this case…the game was started with the correct number of players. A player who was brand new to the league did not approach me to sign up until after the groups had been formed. So he got added to a three person group.

I was going to have him play solo after they had finished the game, but they were still on Ball 1, with a credit, and the current player happened to be in video mode which I thought would be an okay time to press the start button (and the current player wasn’t even aware I had done it at the time).

Anyway, in the future, I’d wait until between players or stick with the original plan and have them play solo after. I’ve never had this situation before in 14 season though, so it’s probably not going to come up again.

Cool bug, bro.


I use the ifpapa rules for league but I will always add a player to a game if they come late and everyone is still on ball one. For a typical league night, I really don’t see the need to hold things up by starting everyone over.

I won’t let someone play by themselves though, if everyone has finished ball one, the player arriving late takes a zero. I have a lot of trouble getting people to show up on time (California traffic is awful, parking is a pain and then there’s the occasional player who is habitually late) so this wouldn’t exactly encourage punctuality.


Sure, I’d make the same exception in a case like that. I guess I read past the “new player” part in the original post. Makes sense to me reading the whole explanation of the situation now.


If only there was a way to disable that ridiculous mode entirely


i mean… at a coin drop location… it would kind of suck to penalize everyone $.75 or $1 because someone pressed start one too few times…

At least take it away from skill shot options. Those points are weighted too heavily for an early game score, especially multiple instances and/or with multipliers added.

I’d be fine with it being available just as a 40 ghost award.


I agree – although it’s not a “gimme” to pull it off. Still, it’s unbalanced in early game phase.
But… good luck seeing any significant changes to GB code, in my opinion.

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Don’t get me started on GB, but it would be a vastly improved competitive game if they simply removed all skill shots.

Oh yeah that’s what I meant. It’s a cool video mode, just offering it as a skill shot is major over kill. It makes match play games super 1 dimensional

Some games it is a gimme. Just plunge and do nothing and it will bounce into the scoop. It’s fun when your opponent plunges, gets it without doing anything, and you try the same thing and it doesn’t work. /s

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lighting 3x and 2x playfield multipliers is another favorite.

hahaha. I hadn’t tried that before.

Oh man it’s SUPER FUN!! You’re missing out! :upside_down_face:


I wonder if this rule has ever been exploited as a way to get some practice time. Player 1 could well “notice” the wrong number of players after his ball drains if nobody sees it before that. Maybe it should be the first player’s responsibility to check for correct number of players.

That was the old rule and it led to a bunch of DQs that nobody felt good about. The new rule is much better and makes everyone pay attention.

It’s probably been abused here and there by a few sneaky rule benders but I haven’t witnessed it.


on about half of the ghostbusters i’ve played, you can do a full plunge or near full plunge and it will bounce off the flippers into the scoop for an easy no flips video mode. very often, the auto-plunge will work as an auto-video mode for you.

it’s absolutely terrible.

we have about 40 people in our league. average score on our Ghostbusters is about 50 million. that’s less than one skill shot video mode. i have one of the highest average scores on that game in the league, and literally all i do is play video mode and then drain on purpose. i hate that game, specifically because of how unbalanced video mode is (particularly on games set up hard, like ours, and particularly against average players).

there are a million ways this could be fixed, with almost no thought.

  • add an option to disable video mode.
  • add an option to make video mode not available as a skill shot, but still makeable other ways.
  • make video mode points a function of how many ghosts the player has caught throughout their game, so that a ball one skillshot video mode would only be worth like 15 million or something, instead of the full 60 million.
  • make modes easier to start, so that people are encouraged to actually play through the dang things. hitting three risky shots (ghost target, slimer, slimer) just to light the ability to start a mode further increases the appeal of video mode.
  • maybe add a virtual kickback on one of the outlanes? just an idea to make playing through modes more worth the risk. there’s two huge blinking red lights on each outlane that do nothing as far as i can tell, but resemble ball-saver lights.

the game ramps up in points in a very non-linear fashion. if you have a medium to long game, 60 million is not a big deal, but at least in our league, 90% of the games are very short, and it’s almost always merely a test of who can make more video modes off the plunge. it’s neither a fun experience, nor much of a test of pinball skill.

i own a GB Pro myself. i understand how to progress through the modes and get to stay puft and get multipliers and rack up billions, but simply playing video mode is by far the statistically most advantageous strategy, unfortunately.


I’d be fine with taking it away just for ball one. I’d wager you’d see it a lot less then just because a lot of folks would be in a mode by ball two.

So your reward for not being in a mode is a 60M plunge? Not into it

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