Anatomy of a Pinball Machine: Pinball Parts and Terminologies to Know

Have you heard of flippers, bumpers, bash toy and plunger? If yes, you probably have met a pinball player or read something about this game. These are parts of the pinball machine. Everyone who’s familiar with the game knows these terms like the back of their hands.

Pinball as a classic game is unique and complex on its own. It has it’s own universe that only players can understand. That’s why there is a lot of jargons that can easily cause confusion among beginners or non-pinball players.

Many of those terminologies only refer to the parts of the machine. For a beginner or someone who wants to start playing pinball, it is important to know what these terms mean.

Wanting to have practical knowledge about pinball machine? Then you’re on the right page. In this infographic you’ll learn the basics of the machine, as well as the terms that every pinball players must know.

Pinball Parts and Terminologies

  1. Back box: The top panel or the “head” of the machine. Also called lightbox, itholds the backglass and other displays e.g scores and dialogue.
  2. Backglass: It is the most visible and eye-catching part of the machine, filled with artworks by famous illustrators. The old ones are illustrated in ink and silk-screened onto the backglass, but the modern artworks are made of translight or illuminated film.
  3. Bash Toy: This is the toy on the the playfield that is built with target switch. Players gain extra score when they hit the toy. Mostly, it is an action figure of a person or item based on the theme of the pinball game.
  4. Flipper Buttons: These are the buttons on the side of the cabinet that controls the flippers once pressed.
  5. Bumper: These are round shaped targets that clad the playfield. There are two types of bumpers: active and passive, both registers scores to players. The active bumper kicks the ball away while the passive bumper don’t kick the ball when hit.
  6. Cabinet:  Also called the body of the machine, the cabinet is where you can find the playfield, the flipper buttons and the plunger. This is where the action takes place.
  7. Drop targets:  These are targets on the playfield that drop down once hit. Mostly droptargets are group of targets that are lined up.
  8. Flippers:  These are your hands on the playfield and what makes pinball a game of skill and not of chance. Flippers are the two levers on the bottom center of the cabinet and controlled by the flipper button on each side. These are your first line of defense against dropping the ball in the game and your weapon to hit targets.
  9. Outlane/Inlane: The outlane is placed on the far side of the playfield. You lose the ball when it falls on the outlane. On the other hand, the inlane is the path that leads the ball from the playfield to the flippers.
  10. Playfield: This is the battlefield where the game takes place.
  11. Plunger: Located at the front side of the cabinet, it is used to launch the ball into play by pulling/releasing it.
  12. Coin Door – located at the front of the cabinet, it is the slot where you insert your money to start the game.
  13. Shooter Lane:  This is the alley from where players launch the ball to the playfield.

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2017-03-10T02:05:38+00:00