Which exploits are legal in tournaments and which aren’t? It’s a question that comes up all the time.
Below is (the start of) a list of exploits which are allowed / disallowed in tournament play according to standard IFPA/PAPA rules. (Be aware that Tournament Directors may have their own house rules, however.)
This post is set as a wiki, to allow everyone to contribute to the list, improve descriptions, etc… If everyone adds a few, we’ll have a good list in no time.
This is related to the Deep cuts of semi-useful pinball knowledge thread, but is intended more to track which moves are tournament-legal and which aren’t.
Sometimes, the line between a deep rule and an exploit isn’t clear. When in doubt, put it on the list.
If it’s unclear whether something is allowed / disallowed, please discuss it in separate posts below until consensus is reached.
Name: Double Center Ramp Super Jackpot
During multiball, hitting two center ramps in quick succession will fool the game into thinking that the side ramp was hit, thereby scoring a double super jackpot.
Name: Free GREED Letter
Ruling: Not Allowed (with Intent)
Induce a tilt to get a free GREED letter on your next ball.
ATTACK FROM MARS
Name: Dirty Pool
During any multiball, immediately after destroying a saucer, shoot another ball into the saucer area. If it rattles around without going into the back of the saucer and the barrier raises before the ball comes down, you can play multiball mode with one ball. Hitting the barrier will ricochet the ball into the back of the saucer, automatically destroying the next saucer (but resuming multiple-ball multiball play). If you drain, ball search will release the captured ball.
Name: Link Shakedown
Shaking the machine aggressively enough can cause the Link captive ball to register, scoring progress or starting Link Multiball without actually hitting the shot.
BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA
Name: Mist Shakedown
When the Mist mode starts and the Mist-ball is moving on the magnet across the playfield, if you’re unable to hit the magnet off the track, it’s possible to give the machine a sharp shake to break the ball free from of the magnet. If the tilt is set loose enough and if the game is set to the normal two dangers, you’ll be able to start Mist multiball.
CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON
Name: Ten Billion Snack Bar Bug
Start the 20 million snackbar countdown. Then start multiball. Then drain down to one ball in play before the 20 million snackbar would have timed out. Snackbar will restart, but will count down from 10 billion instead! Fixed in tournament rom release.
GAME OF THRONES
Name: Mode Select Skip
Induce a tilt warning while the mode select screen is up. The warning will free the ball but not force you to light an additional house before choosing again.
Name: Unlimited Ball Save in Blackwater
If physical locks are on, the game will not start the ball save timer (as well as launch any new balls) until all balls have been cleared from the lock. Feed balls up the left ramp to confuse the game into thinking balls are still in the lock. Also a fun way to give an operator error!
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
Name: Groot Triple Add-A-Ball/Lose-A-Ball
If physical locks are enabled during multiball, any balls added to the Groot lock between shooting the scoop for Add-A-Ball and awarding the Add-A-Ball on the display will add an extra ball into play. Any balls leaving Groot during this time remove a ball from play.
Name: Phurba Lock
In multiball, shoot one of the ramps. With perfect timing, you may be able to move the phurba diverter just as the ball is passing it, thereby trapping the ball against the sidewall of the ramp. You can then continue multiball mode in single ball play. Note: this can damage the machine and the TD may choose not to allow it at their specific event.
Name: Stugots Playfield Validation
Short-plunging the ball will allow the player to gain control and hit the standup target covering the Stugots boat ramp. The drop target is not a playfield-validating switch, so if the ball is lost down the center, it will be returned without starting the ball save. Locking a ball in Stugots will serve another ball to the plunger, allowing the process to be repeated until multiball is started.
Name: Dirty Pool
During any multiball, immediately after destroying Sandman, shoot another ball into the saucer. If it rattles around without going into the scoop and the barrier raises before the ball comes down, you can play one-ball multiball.
STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION
Name: Eternally Q
Start Q’s challenge and before it times out, start regular multiball. Q’s challenge never times out and repeated Q shots can be made during multiball.
Name: False Powerball Super Jackpot
During Powerball multiball, if a ball is in the magnetic mini-playfield, shooting another ball on the main playfield into the Camera will fool the game into thinking that the player shot the ball through the top of the magnetic mini-playfield, thereby scoring a super jackpot.
Wheel of Fortune
Name: Free Spin Multiball
Ruling: Not Allowed
When you have two free spins lit on the same side, it’s possible when a ball drains to roll over both Free Spin switches which awards one ball for each switch. You will now find yourself in a “single ball play” state with multiple balls in play, which is not allowed. You will have to let one of these balls drain out.