Preparing to play at big events...

I can’t think of a case where a lower number is more power. That being said:

  1. I completely agree with things being more sensitive is usually better than just being more powerful.
  2. It’s pretty easy to stupid things by turning stuff up too much. For example, with slings, at some point the fire time is so much it’s just holding the arm out longer which is most assuredly not what you want. Your ideal setting is to get the arm to the extent of its travel as fast as possible (maybe just a hair before the end) and then back off to it can respond to the next sling hit. A similar phenomenon will happen with jets where longer times will adversely impact their performance by keeping the ring down too long.

Yes, every game in all three banks was waxed Wednesday night, so they would all be freshly super-slick. Slings were a touch shy of “vibrato” level. Colin’s right about the outlane posts, we’ve found some games are tougher with them in than out. A great example of that was one event where they were removed on a Seawitch and the scores actually went up! Colin’s also right about steepness cutting down side-to-side drain risk at times. And as players, we hate flippers that aren’t strong enough to consistently make a needed shot, whether due to steepness or flipper power. Ditto super-tight tilts. Let people nudge, just not move or do extreme slide-saves on the games. It is possible to set games up tough without making them “evil” and having lots of people bitching about them. Jim did a great job in that regard.


Thanks Keith - just didn’t want to assume!

LOL!! Unless it’s a game at your house in league!!! Then you can breathe on them and get at least 2 warnings if not tilt!!! :smiley_cat:

I made them easier for league! :joy:

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I think that setting tilts too tight is actually counterproductive to getting better as it keeps you from learning nudges like outlane shimmys or slide saves.

You can obviously set your games up however you like, but learning how to make big moves is equally as important if not more so than learning how to make small moves.


Totally agree. So I suggest if setting tilts super tight do it after you’ve become really strong at nudging. By getting used to super tight tilts I forced myself to become a more accurate shooter. By far the weakest point of my game. And still is. But knowing I wouldn’t be able to do much to save my misses, taught me to be more accurate. And also learn to make more intelligent nudges. So many times I would give a game a big move when I didn’t need too. Learned this too from crazy tight tilts.

So when I travel to a big event and their tilts are way looser than what Im used to, even better. I was more accurate and I could get away with bigger nudges.

YMMV as always.

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That Meteor was mine. It wasn’t intended to be used for anything other than TMPC on thursday but Jim decided to drag it into Open since Beat the Clock had a phantom tilt problem that couldn’t be sussed out and Meteor was one of the more reliable games from thursday. Special thanks to @chuckwurt for helping me get the original slingshot parts into it as I was missing one when I got it. The WPC parts people use to replace them work but don’t have the same extension and so perform less favorably IMO. As for specific setup on that game, only thing I can think of is that I pulled the flipper rest pins and drooped the flippers ever so slightly which allows for a better angle on the spinner and the lower drop banks IMO. There are no shots up the middle on this game so I don’t care about being able to shoot there. Other stuff is just normal get a game ready stuff… make sure everything is fresh and clean. @neilmcrae, feel free to PM if you want some specific help.


Agreed, and every once in a while you’ll get away with a big move on a game with a tight tilt, or inexplicably tilt on a loose game. And behind on ball three, I would rather have the practice making big moves successfully than not.

Thanks everybody for your replies. Will see how I get on. Just on tight tilts - i’m of the view that nudging is fine but moving the machine isn’t, one move and you should be double dangered. again sometimes depends on the game also.

There is also merit to finding competitive (and even oppressive) game settings and practicing on them. Dialed In wasn’t only hard because of the flippers; they also gave you an unlit kickback on one of the most brutal modern outlanes in pinball and a severely less valuable Big Bang.

Look up what tournaments have done in the past and try to emulate those settings in your practice play. If the game is set up easier, you’ll see it as a gift. Otherwise, you’ll be prepared.


I rotate my pin difficultly at home and make them more difficult than anything I’ll ever see in a tournament. It’s basically subjecting myself to the most extreme of every scenario. I’ve found play wise that this has allowed me to improve my game and be prepared for what I’ll see at tournaments.

I also think that a big part of these events are keeping adrenaline and nerves in check and channeling it towards benefiting oneself (This could be all kinds of forms externally and internally). Purposefully practicing mental toughness goes a long ways too as being able to perform under pressure is a huge asset, especially in card format imo. In my mind, I want those moments. The most fun I had all weekend was putting up a clunker game on DI against Raymond, Luke, and Elliot while getting smoked for a 0, but getting a chance to jump right back into game 2.


Those double trouble Scared Stiff jackpots were amazing!


Thanks Raymond! Your ball 3 on Black Rose was an absolute clinic.

For those that don’t know he turned on beast mode and put up 130 plus million on ball 3 alone. It was incredible to watch.


I found the games at INDISC to be set up very fair and playable. Unlike PAPA20 A div where many of the games were so difficult they were nearly unplayable(Kiss, Metallica, RBION come to mind). Kudos to Jim and the techs for making the games tough yet playable!


I think an important distinction here is that PAPA20 was unlimited best game, which typically requires harder game setups than a 5 game card format. I’ll agree that they were set up more difficult, but didn’t think they felt unplayable by any means. Maybe you’ve just gotten better since then!

For those of us who don’t have games at home and can’t adjust the sling sensitivity and other settings I find that playing a machine at as many different locations as possible to be helpful so as not to get locked into where the shots are on one particular machine. It’s not ideal preparation, but go with what you have.


I would argue that playing multiple games on location is actually a better way to practice. How many times have you heard someone say ‘my game at home doesn’t play anything like that one’? Are there any majors winners that weren’t location rats at some point in their life? I cant think of one.

Setting tilts should never be uniform. Watching the Indisc stream, I could see that wasnt the case there. I noticed a few games with tighter tilts than the others. Sacred Stiff often plays long, so it was no surprise to see that had a tighter tilt. EM’s that end the game with a tilt obviously should be set looser. The title and type (EM or SS) should influence tilt settings.

When I had games at home, I would bring them for tournaments and make sure to wipe the high scores before the event. Then when I took them home I’d leave the settings the same (including pitch and tilt) and try to beat the high scores. Took me months to bump Zach’s GC score on Ripleys. Seeing great player’s initials on your game can be very motivating.


I like the idea of resetting the high scores since then if you do get initials up at a tourney you know you were one of the top scores and if there’s a stream and it shows the attract mode scores with your initials it’s kinda neat (unfortunately this barely ever happens for me :slight_smile: though I only got my initials on SS at INDISC but it wasn’t actual high score initials…


We don’t have many locations to play in the UK and our pinball club Flip Out London ( I own a big chunk of the games in their also. Most events are either at Flipout or at folks houses