Sparknotes-Style Game Strategies

Hi all - I’m looking to see if there is a repository of game strategies, but in a Sparknotes style (or less, realistically). Maybe 1-3 paragraphs of what you do in a game, catered to competition play and/or high scoring strategies. Is there anything out there between the one sentence tips on Pintips, and watching a video tutorial/trying to digest an entire rulesheet?

To illustrate, I’ll offer an example for Guardians of the Galaxy:

Start with Quill’s Quest, a two ball multiball with a generous ball saver. Use this time to learn the shots in the game, and focus on the inlane rollovers - completing all five will light your shot multipliers, and your priority should usually be to put the multiplier on Groot (for Groot MB and Cherry Bomb). Once QQ expires, select a new mode via the right scoop (I prefer Yaka Arrow) and work toward Groot MB - hitting Groot to light lock, and lock ball in his mouth three times to start the first MB. Try and take a fresh mode into Groot MB, such as Pod Chase or Knowhere. In Groot MB, locking balls in Groot will raise playfield X up to 3x - this combined with a shot multiplier on Groot’s mouth, and combos into SJPs, is key to high scores in this MB.

Once done with Groot, select a new mode (I like Antiquities Shop) and work toward Orb MB - lower the drop target and lock a ball, complete 3x to start the MB. Try and start a new mode before Orb. Clean up some modes you haven’t finished to get four complete, and that will light Cherry Bomb at the right scoop - do everything you can to make sure you have your multiplier on Groot before you start to multiply your CB SJP. If you make it that far in competition, you’ve probably won :slight_smile:

Is there anything like this out there already? And if not, perhaps we could start a wiki-style page on this here? I think this could be pretty darn beneficial for novice to intermediate players to learn games they may not have a chance to spend a lot of time on but will run into in competition. Maybe with the ability to add multiple contributions per game, as not everyone may agree on a “correct” strategy. I know there’s a lot of resources out there on gameplay but they feel disparate, and I’ve always wanted to be able to learn about games in this format - would love to be directed to this if it exists, or help to stand something like this up if it does not.

The problem with this is that trying to go deeper in to strategy leads to more differences in opinion.

I would never recommend starting with Quill on GotG, mainly because the reward for completing is 10% of your score - I’d be saving that for my final ball. The same can apply for most modes dependant on your play style and more importantly your skill level.

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Right, and I should have clarified the above - my example was for competition play. (I have one at home and I never start with Quill’s for that reason :slight_smile: ) and @chuckwurt, I’m looking for something more nuanced than Pintips.

What I’m trying to describe clearly isn’t a fully thought out idea at this point, and I’m assuming there is nothing out there already for what I’m looking for. Perhaps I should shift the question to something like, what would be the best way to discuss competition strategies on various games? Rulesheets? A dedicated competition strategy thread? Adding more detail on Pintips?

agreed. i like to start pod chase and go directly into groot. you’ll get an upgrade along the way (maybe with an add a ball) and then all shots are lit for both groot and mode.

In a herb pump-and-dump, I’d argue I would play Quill’s on ball 1 of my first game, just so that the free multiball gives me an opportunity to get a good feel for that machine. If you feel you’re going to have a good game, you could always just not finish it, play the rest of your game normally, then try to cash in on say ball 3.

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My point proven already 5 different posts, with different strategies on a single game.
And that’s just basic as to which mode to start with first.
There are too many nuances that can’t be gained from reading or watching others play. You need to know the game, there are no shortcuts to greatness :grinning:


Maybe pinpals are close to what you are looking for.


In the old days (before all the manufacturers started publishing rules), rule sheets were put together on forums like this. Along with rules, people would discuss strategies. Now the rule sheets are essentially a copy and paste of whatever the manufacturers put out. Very little discussion of strategy. I honestly wish they would stop publishing rules so we could get back to what we had before.

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Agreed. I think a good way to slightly improve this would be to include a strategy section in these Tilt Forums rule sheets with our experience and the best scoring strategies.

I feel that companies making rules documents accessible is kinda a given in this day and age as pinball machines are becoming more and more complex. Kinda surprised Stern didn’t do this earlier.

I feel that the increase in streamed competitions and tutorials is actually hindering the variance in strategies.

I’ll explain.

The vast majority of people do not have access to every machine to be able to learn the intricacies and nuances. They rely on copying what they have seen, then others copy them, etc. etc. until there is a single go to strategy.
WPT is the example that stands out to me. Everyone plays for Change Gears in to a MB. that is not the most consistent strategy at all.

There are certain games where there is really only one stand out strategy, take BoP or ToM as an example, as I can’t think of others off the top of my head, or even LZ.

If it wasn’t so easy to watch vids and then copy, people would have to work out their own strategies and only copy those they’d seen in person, or discussed with others. We’d see more of what the game has to offer, rather than the same boring things over and over.

That’s why I love JP2 and AIQ so much, that there is so much variance in strategy.


Same here. I’d even argue Batman ‘66 has a bit of this going on where you can pick whatever villains fit your skill level and just use the additional rules like playfield multipliers to help you out. In comparison, on something like TMNT you just go for a single Multiball and that’s basically the only valid strategy in the long run. I’d love more varied strategy.

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This is why when I post a tutorial it is not to show you how to score well, it’s to show you every single rule the game has to offer then you can decide what path to points is best for you. I’ll inject my thoughts on what works for me, but all the knowledge is there for you to decide what works best for you.


the real WPT strat is spinners all day

I feel like the rulesheets on these new games are already so long and complicated that adding a bunch of strategies might end up complicating them further. I go to the rulesheets to understand everything the game has to offer, I wouldn’t mind going to a separate Strategy Wiki thead for thoughts on how to play.

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I think a strategy wiki makes the most sense - agreed that the rulesheets are intensive enough, and various strategies (and debates about strategies) would probably clutter things up.

That being said, what would be the best way to set up a strategy wiki? Table format, with the opportunity for multiple additions per game (and user associated with each strategy)? I think talking forum-style might result in more good information, but at the risk of being lost in folks not wanting to read through tens or hundreds of responses. I don’t think individual threads per game on strategies makes sense either, probably too much clutter on the home page.

Does anyone have other ideas, or how to successfully set up and maintain a competition strategy wiki?


I would just say add a strategy section to the Wiki. For example in ST the Nero 3 strategy, then add one for Kobayashi strat etc.

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Agreed. Or have strategy discussions (as they evolve with code revs and gameplay discoveries) as posts on those rulesheet wiki threads?

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I think a wiki like the rulesheets with headings to jump to each strategy would work well.

The way I see it is something like this:

Soul Gem Jackpot Huge Payoff:

Contributed by Shaub, Developed by Someone Who Is Not Me (I first saw Karl DeAngelo stream it in some form or the other)

Code Revision: v1.01

General idea:

  • Set up a Soul Gem Jackpot for a huge value.


  1. Assemble Avengers to Qualify Soul Gem and then complete the Soul Gem Mode.
  2. Place the Soul Gem on a shot where you can best level up your Avenger (Hulk, Capt. America, Black Widow, Capt. Marvel (Premium Only).
  3. You want to level up your Soul Gem Avenger as much as possible, ideally Level 2 or getting Capt. Marvel Multiplier through Binary Hurry Ups.
  4. Qualify and Start a Gem Quest.
    • With 2 Portal Locks for 3X Gem Quest Scoring
    • Stack Iron Man MB or Thor MB to more easily complete the Quest and to keep your Portal Lock Multiplier going if you drain a ball or two.
  5. Complete Gem Quest and keep Victory Laps going for as long as possible.
  6. Collect Gem
  7. Shoot Soul Gem Avenger shot to collect Soul Gem Jackpot.
  8. Repeat Steps 2 to 7.

"Power" Your Way To Battle Royale

Contributed by Shaub, Developed by Someone Who Is Not Me.

Code Revision: v1.01

General idea:
Win Power Gem and Space Gem to quickly Assemble Avengers and play through Soul Gem, Black Order MB, and Battle Royale.


  1. Qualify, Start, Complete and Collect Power or Space Gem Quest
    • Power Gem first to start leveling up faster.
    • Space Gem first because it’s a harder Gem Quest to complete and you can Collect it before fully committing to setting up the strategy.
  2. Place Gem on shot
    • Power Gem: Hulk, Capt. America, Black Widow, or Black Panther to start leveling up.
    • Space Gem: Drop Targets or Capt. Marvel because you get two Space Gem uses out of it before having to recharge it.
  3. Level up Avenger with Power Gem on it, hit Space Gem shot and cycle the Power Gem to the next uncollected Avenger.
  4. Repeat until all 4 (gem-placeable) Avengers are collected.
    • During Steps 1 to 4, you can work toward collecting Thor and Iron Man.
    • You can also use the “Spot Avenger” Grid Award to do this, preferably after the 4 (gem-placeable) Avengers are already collected.
  5. Play Soul Gem
    • Avoid collecting Soul Gem (and qualifying Thanos Attacks) if you just want to see Black Order MB or Battle Royale.
  6. Repeat Steps 3 and 4, then play Black Order MB
    • Avoid collecting the Super Jackpot/Soul Gem (and qualifying Thanos Attacks) if you just want to see Black Order MB or Battle Royale.
  7. Repeat Steps 3 and 4, then play Battle Royale. Success.

I do this via mind mapping and ultimately create various road maps for different games to follow. I view pinball strategies like chess, opening tactics, mid game, end game, etc. I give names to them because well, just easy to remember.

Worldbreaker, Ex-Wife, Fire Triangle, Multiverse Of Madness, Angry Turtle, the Mailman, Rubberband Man, the Toretto to name a few.