Where can I learn basic skills?

I’m a new user here on the forums. I’m wondering how I may locate specific topics pertaining to working on various skills (especially since I don’t know any names of specific skills to search for). General skills, concepts, and overall newb type of content. That might make a great category for the forums? For now I’ve been learning a lot just looking through the Pinball Dictionary. Thanks.


A great place to start is with PAPA’s flipper skill videos.

Lots of great advice to be found in these discussion threads as well:


Awesome! Just what I was looking for. Thanks!

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Welcome! What part of the world are you in?
Make sure to post an introduction in the Introductions thread.

Feel free to check out this piece that I wrote, which just posted today.


Some places to start:

Pinball 101 DVD by Keith and Randy Elwin

PAPA tutorials

Bowen Kerins’ videos/tutorials


Wow what an incredible piece! Really caught me right up. Thanks Kayluh!

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Since you’re in Seattle(ish), I’m gonna blatantly promote the pinball lessons that I offer. Super cheap rates and I work with players of all skill levels. So far it’s been nothing but 100% positive feedback! I can meet anywhere (even Tacoma) and we can work on anything from flipper skills to game knowledge to whatever. PM me for more details if you’re interested.

With that said, the best online resources IMO are:
Pinball 101 (you can buy it on YouTube and it is worth every penny)
PAPA tutorials (especially some of the older ones IMO, which cover some ultra common and sort of basic games that I think are a lot more useful for newer players)
Bowen’s new videos, which I haven’t watched yet but don’t need to watch to know that they are awesome and filled with info.


TIL: Jar Jar Binks is responsible for the downfall of American pinball. Love it!

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Thanks! Something to consider for sure. I love this area and am now just discovering pinball and that this area has a thriving pinball scene! Unfortunately, this all comes just as I am about to move :frowning: I think I’ll be around here fora few more months tho, so plenty of time to take advantage while I can.

While we’re all here and I’m a newb asking newb type questions… Is there a major distinction in practicing flipper skills on a PC w/ say Pinball FX or Pinball Arcarde, VS. learning those skills on a real machine? Seems to me that there would be a world of difference in the physics, but maybe I’m underestimating computers?

You definitely need to practice these skills on real games. Some of those virtual games have decent physics, but the real thing is still much different.

Those virtual versions of real pinball are fantastic for learning the rules though. I still use pinball arcade all the time for that aspect.

What helped me grow my skills leaps and bounds was playing with people that knew more than I did and were way better than me.

Good luck! Have fun!

Pinball 101 is a must, easily the best all-in-one resource from what I have found, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun to watch too.


A major difference between Pinball Arcade and real-life pinball is that Pinball Arcade’s rubbers behave the same as their steel. While this causes weird effects like a disproportionately high number of outlane drains whenever the ball is in the area, the biggest difference lies in nudging: Ordinarily, you’d nudge when the ball is in danger of going down an outlane (to hopefully impart enough kinetic energy onto the ball to give it enough bounce to send it back out), or to move the machine if it’s otherwise heading down the middle (essentially moving the playfield such as the flipper can reach the ball), but both of these are useless in Pinball Arcade, where nudging, for some reason, is to alter the ball’s path far ahead of time.

Aside from that, however, if you intend to use Pinball Arcade to practice, it is very good for familiarizing yourself with a particular machine’s rules and its audio if you’ve never seen one before. And, in some cases, its intended kickout directions. (For instance, that lower-right scoop in FunHouse is supposed to shoot the ball at such a direction and speed that it can be caught with either flipper, though wear over time and uneven ground at real[ i]FunHouse[/i] machines means it’s not always the case.)

My pleasure! Have you been to the Triple Knock yet?
I also do a podcast (https://soundcloud.com/skillshotseattle) and work on a zine (http://www.skill-shot.com/) about pinball. The second link includes a list of all the pinball to play in the Seattle / Tacoma area. You’re in a great part of the world to get into pinball for sure.

Where are you headed?

Updated response! I see you have heard of Triple Knock too! I live right by Triple Knock which has inspired my inner pinball. I’ll head over to the introduction area to give more of a background on my history with pinball. I will definitely check out your podcast and zine! So exciting! I saw you were from the area after reading the article you sent me, but I’m possibly moving to LA by end of summer. A bit disappointing now that I have found Pinball and that I live in a major scene! Do you know how the scene in LA is?

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LA. Do you know how the scene is there?

From a quick search I found a Pinball 101 DVD on Amazon. Is that what you mean?

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Nice! Triple Knock is owned by the same guys who do 8 Bit in Renton, which is fantastic. I used to live in LA but it was 8 years ago and I wasn’t as into pinball at the time. But I’ve been there twice this year and can say that 82 and Button Mash are great. 82 hosts the LA pinball league, so you should join up with that for sure! Try to visit the pinball spots we have in Seattle because there are far more of them than you’ll find in LA. Also I hear good things about Pins and Needles in LA. Come out and play a tournament in Seattle before you move!

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Yep, that’s it.

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