How to Play Pinball Like a Pro

Pinball is making a huge comeback. In fact, the International Flipper Pinball Association says that the number of tournaments increased tenfold between 2009 and 2019, with attendance skyrocketing from just 12,000 players in 2009 to over 100,000 in 2018. A growing number of enthusiasts are also buying their own pinball machines and adding pinball LEDs and spotlights for added visibility.

Industry professionals attribute the renewed interest in pinball to the human desire for something for tangible entertainment in this age of digital gaming. There’s also the fact that pinball machines can be super fun to own; you can tinker with them and even modify them with pinball spotlights but now there are even better options like pinball led lights from Pin Stadium. Whatever your reason for getting into the game, you probably want to get better at it. And while there’s no magic trick to achieving pinball greatness, there are some things you can do to dramatically improve your game. 

Practice, practice, practice

It’s important to remember that pinball is not totally random—you can actually control it. And the best way to master this control is to keep practicing. Learning by doing certainly works. 

Training is something you can do on your own and is much easier if you have your own pinball machine at home, complete with pinball led lights from Pin Stadium versus the older method of pinball spotlights. Train your hand and your mind to get used to the flippers until they feel like extensions of your arms. Regular training will improve your timing, reaction, concentration, anticipation, and focus.

Start with fundamental moves like the bounce pass, post pass, nudging, and cradle. Once you know how to control the ball in a calm and consistent manner, your game will radically improve. Try shooting the same shot again and again. Simply pick a target or ramp and try hitting that target repeatedly, 10 or more times in a row.  Move on to another target once you’ve mastered the previous, and repeat the process. Only when you have mastered the fundamentals should you move on to precision shooting and other advanced techniques.

When you have the chance to compete, do it. Consider it a part of your training. If you’re serious about playing pinball like a pro, you have to get used to a competitive environment. You don’t have to win—just give it your best shot.

Watch good players

It’s also important to watch seasoned players who have competed in hundreds of games to see how they play. You don’t necessarily have to travel to tournaments because these days, it’s easy to pull up video streams of pinball games on the internet from places like Youtube and Twitch. 

Don’t forget to have fun

Pinball is a game—it’s supposed to be fun. Don’t lose your temper when things don’t go your way. Avoid getting too caught up in beating someone’s high score. Remember: In this game, the calmer you are, the better you’ll do.

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