Star Wars plunge is horrible pinball design.


It’s going to be a very noisy future. I can’t even imagine how loud Pinburgh would be with 300 machines being played with the glass off. Headphones could become a necessity.


Also, I think for higher level tournament play Star Wars should have a 3 second ball save which is half the default. Just to prevent the whole straight out the out lane. That ball bounces around then you probably had a shot at it. I’ve tried this on my home machine and think it’s a fair solution. Though, I don’t really have the straight out the out lane issue to often either on my home machine. Location is another story.


Are people still playing this game by choice or just when it shows up in tournaments?


I love it.


The players who I saw short plunging to the right flipper safely to a trap were also able to prevent the whole straight out the out lane thing.

A 3 second ball saver doesn’t guarantee that you get a controlled flip. It guarantees that if someone drains in 3.1 seconds their award is end of ball. If a player drains in 2.9 seconds their award is an extra ball.

The best way of guaranteeing “fair play for all” with the essence of a ball saver every ball would be to simply set the game for 6 ball play. No matter when the player drains the award would be the same . . . an extra ball.


Me too, it’s a fantastic game once you can start getting into it. It’s not for everyone, but there are so many paths to points, and once you start recognizing them, things can get really interesting.

While I generally agree with that, I think if you tried this out on this specific game you’ll find it’s pretty hard to get a flip in and still have a ball save. Maybe the right answer is 2 seconds. I don’t think the solution to this game is no ball save, because it is a super dangerous plunge, but I’m also not a fan of removing the plunge from competition. Gaining control of the ball from the plunge is part of the competition in my mind, but I guess this is one of those YMMV kind of things.


Agreed - this discussion is kind of moot for Stern Wars as there is a controlled skill shot as mentioned - it’s plunging the ball directly to a flipper. Its repeatable, and can guarantee ball on flipper.

That said, I was a little annoyed at pin masters recently in that the exit-gate from the shooter lane was beat to crap and in poor shape. It was often binding against the guide rail with different amounts of force. The result was that there was no consistent plunge that would get the ball to the flipper. A plunge of force X would get the ball to the flipper one ball, and barely limp out and to the right outlane with another plunge of the same force. There wasn’t any way to see how much that gate was binding.

However, I’ll totally jump in the boat of saying that SW has a crappy plunge design. It’s lame and not fun for causal players and really shouldn’t have made it out of prototype imo.


Should have said something after Round 1 . . . we would have had no problem making adjustments that night for Round 2 and/or Finals.


Ahhhh, so that’s why my measured plunge at pin masters (to try to soft plunge to the R flipper) wasn’t consistent. I thought I had it dialed on day one, and the next time I played it, the same plunge strength dribbled into the R outlane, and took two dangers to keep it alive.


Consistency on an auto-plunge seems nearly impossible to me.

At Pinmasters, I used the launch button in practice and was 3 for 3 getting the ball on a flipper. First launch button press when it mattered did something totally different and drained.

My IMDN auto plunge is wildly inconsistent. I took @neilmcrae’s advice and upgraded the coil. Once I had the strength dialed in, it worked perfectly 5 or 6 times. Put the glass back on and within 2 or 3 plunges, it’s off again. A week or two later, it’s just as bad as it was before the coil upgrade. Sometimes it goes perfectly, sometimes it’s a little too high (and rattles), sometimes it’s too low and hits the post.

I’ve spent hours, over probably half a dozen attempts, on IJ4 to get my auto plunge consistent. I’ve replaced everything. Upgraded the coil by removing winding. Changed to a stronger coil completely.

Took me years to figure out that a smashed barrel spring on the outside of the machine can cause the tip to extend too far into the shooter lane, and mess up your auto plunge. At least I have one trick that works, sometimes, in some situations.

And Stern doesn’t use shooter rod sleeves like everyone did back in the day, so you’re constantly having to clean the shooter rod…removing it entirely if you want to be complete about it.

The first thing that happens in a game of pinball is the plunge. One second into the game and players already have a bad impression. It seems to be one of the least consistent things on a pinball machine.

I’m so tired of fighting to achieve decent plunging experiences on my operated machines. Can someone talk me off the ledge here?


Congo has that kind of ball save too.


Soft plunge. Then backhand the targets or whatever if you want. Who would chance it?


There’s a flaw in AFMs design - the post holding the metal wall between shooter and outlane protrudes into the shooterlane. Balls will hit it, rattle and dribble back down the left. Fix it by bending the wall - lower part (towards player) lean to right to keep the ball right, then just before the post, bend the wall to the left so the post is shielded from the launched ball.