Stern Insider Connected: when does it affect gameplay?

I was going to jump into the general Insider Connected thread with this question, but then I decided that it might be better to give it a dedicated thread instead as the information may be useful to others.

I run a local league at a location where I don’t have keys, and many of the games have Stern Insider Connected set up. I don’t use the feature myself, so I’m not too familiar with it, but my players really like logging in to get their achievements and such. I have noticed that they do so even when playing league games, so I think I am going to need to make and announce a league rule about this. Reading the Stern Insider thread here, I saw that being connected will apparently save your turtle training progress on TMNT, which is one of the games we have at our venue. I don’t know which other games have features like this.

Obviously one way (the easiest) to deal with this is to just have a blanket rule not to log in for league or tournament games, but I feel kind of bad about it because we have a lot of casual players and I think they really like the Connected features. So I’d rather not make a blanket rule if there are games for which logging in doesn’t affect gameplay at all, especially if that is true for the majority of games. I’m hoping to find (or have help creating) a list of extra features/progress saving/other potential Insider issues so I know which games I need to ban logging in on, and which I don’t because it doesn’t affect anything.

If anyone can offer advice or knowledge I would appreciate it. Again, I know the easiest thing to do (given I can’t set the games on tournament mode) is to just tell players not to log in; I’m just hoping there’s a way around that since it’s such a popular feature in my local crowd. Thanks!

Competition mode will always make the games fair for everyone. If you’re not able to set the adjustments, you can still have players start the game by holding in both flipper buttons to get to the game mode menu and selecting Competition Mode - All Randomness Removed.


Wow, I totally did not know it was possible to do that from the player’s side, so that’s good to know. Of course, it changes other things that folks are not used to in our loosey-goosey league, where getting screwed by someone else’s mystery award is traditionally considered part of the “fun.” (Ha ha!)

I’m also afraid it will be more complicated and hard to enforce on casual players unused to it than just putting a ban on logging in – I am pretty sure everyone’s going to forget to do it and I can’t supervise all the groups at once. The more I think about it, the more I am inclined toward just telling folks not to log in for simplicity. But competition mode is definitely a sensible option for tournaments where settings can’t be changed. Thanks!

Noticed below about AIQ in another thread…

‘Added the formerly topper-exclusive Gem Mania mode if the player is logged into Insider Connected (unless you’re using the competition install)’

I don’t believe you can get competition mode (from holding in the flippers) if you’re already logged into IC. Have to hold both flippers, start in competition mode with as many players as needed, then login. Challenges are the same way. Not sure I’ve ever achieved anything during a challenge mode, but I did try it once or twice.


Thank you for this information!

You can hold both flippers after all players are logged in and navigate to the game mode menu.

With home team enabled (available in all the code updates today) the login screen allows you to navigate directly to the game mode selection screen.

Both ways keep you logged in


I was told, but I couldn’t verify it myself, that competition mode in TMNT does something crazy to the flippers in certain modes, like you can’t trap up for more than a few seconds or something like that, so the TD thought it would be better to just ask players to not log in rather than turn on competition mode.

Does anyone know what this flipper thing is in TMNT?

1 Like

Do you mean all players logged in, enough credits for all, but game not started?

Seems like I’ve tried that solo for challenge modes and it wasn’t possible. Had to start game if you wanted to login to a challenge. I’ll try again soon.

I pulled up the most recent changelog and searched “competition”, “comp”, “impossible”, and “hold”. Nothing about flippers came up.

This also applies to Jurassic Park as of November 2021 - Goat Mania IC integration was added in 1.05 (1.5.0?).

Mandolorian has a no-hold setting available for the entire game, but this is turned on in feature adjustments I believe. Pincinnati ran with that enabled and it was pretty fun.

1 Like

You can get impossible mode on Mando by holding both flippers (with credit on game) and selecting impossible mode. Fun way to burn a credit if you’re in a hurry. There’s also an option for multiplayer game with one player set on impossible, rest of players normal default settings. Do not start that one at league.

If you are getting “goat mania” or gem mode then you likely have already won as both of those are pretty far in with the IC variant.


This is correct. Tried it tonight. Maybe I was playing older code previously.

Considering what Keith just posted, I don’t see IC being a problem for league. The league I play in, BAPA, likes to leave some randomness in the game, so we don’t start in competition mode.

1 Like

My league is the same way. I think that using competition mode would be too formal for our league’s ethos.

Yes, that seems unlikely to be a problem for my league. Thanks. I think the TMNT thing is more concerning to me as that is one of the games we use.

Is it a public location where anyone in the league can play at any time? One could argue they all had the option to power up a turtle in preparation for league. There is a competitive advantage to doing this, but it is not unfair.

I can understand that argument, but I don’t want to require people to log in to have the best chance on a game. I have philosophical issues with requiring smartphone use, not least because I don’t use a smartphone and I know that applies to at least one other person in the league. Others may simply prefer not to connect.

1 Like

so build it up on your home game with glass off
build it up at an location with 5 ball play, max ball save time, max multi ball save on, and extra easy installed

1 Like

Players do have the option of logging into Insider Connected on a computer and printing their QR code, instead of using a smartphone.