Pinball FX3's bewildering new identity crisis


I don’t think the old tables would work with the new physics options. Not without adjusting some things, probably. Anyway, it would be more work than just putting in new physics, I bet.


Tom, I’ve played Medieval Madness. I know Medieval Madness. Medieval Madness is a friend of mine. Tom, Epic Quest is no Medieval Madness.

Yeah, but FarSight had to have Kickstarters for each table due to the large number of expensive licensees. Maybe Zen has more resources than FarSight, but I’m not sure they will want to go to all the trouble, especially with existing versions on the market.

I pray to God I’m wrong.


“No relation to actual pinball physics” is awfully harsh. And it can be fun all the time if you’re not the arcade equivalent of those rivet-counters who killed flight sims! :)

I wish, but it’s not that easy. Mel Kirk at Zen Studios talks about it here:

What level is your gear in Medieval Madness?

That’s what I thought. :)

But, yeah, I just need to spend more time with it. I will say none of Medieval Madness’ jokes can hold a candle to “Bat country? We need to stop here!” But there’s a certain retro charm in turning off the “remastered” animations so the Medieval Madness dragon just sits there immobile, which is how pinball machines actually worked back in the day. Oh god, I’m turning into Dave Long!



Don’t think it was mentioned but Arcade mode is the new real physics. Tournament is also the same physics but the table is adjusted for steeper incline and tournament setting that include no extra balls. So that’s why that setting it so fast and difficult. These are under classic mode.

Regular single player uses the floaty fx3 physics. Ball feels like it slows down as approaches flippers.

I’ve never been a big fan of Zen pinball and preferred Pinball Arcade since like the real tables. However they never added ball spin and didn’t do best job with the tables. The Zen versions of these tables are amazing and this is on initial release. Pinball Arcade had so many bugs that never got fixed.

Looks forward to all the upcoming tables. Really only cared for the Williams/Bally tables in real life.


Then you damned well better get hit points, too.


Okay, now I’m even more confused. So when you play the game, it’s using the regular Pinball FX physics that we all know and love, even on the Williams tables, right? But when you choose classic mode, which turns off all the unlockables and bonuses, you’re playing with their new physics no matter what you choose? And if you choose Tournament, you’re just making the table steeper? Is the idea that Arcade is a shallower incline to make the game more forgiving, and Tournament is the incline the tables were built for?




That I don’t know. But I’d like to because I want to know which mode most people are going to play in for the leaderboards (anyone who’s playing on the Switch, please send me a PM with your friend code or post it on the QT3 gamer tag doc).

I also don’t know if hitting the “effects” button (B on the Switch) that—in the case of the immortal perfection that is Medieval Madness—turns on the sparkles and flames and moving dragon turns off the new physics while in classic mode. But I don’t think it does?


I can’t imagine that it does. I’ve messed around with that on/off button a fair bit and it looks like all it does it add/remove whatever action figure or dollie the board has, along with the flame and sparkle stuff you mention.

So I take it the framerate hitches with the Switch version are gone? You’re happy with the performance on the Switch? Are you using the vertical mode at all? I recall not being comfortable with button placement in vertical mode.



FlipGrip will be ideal for this in vertical mode… I’m in the first bunch of orders for that so when it arrives I will post on Qt3. It’s pretty self-explanatory though and would alleviate Tom’s concerns with button placement I think.

As for the modes, I still haven’t been able to try this, but I’ve read a lot in the pinball thread at ResetEra and my understanding is that classic mode is most similar to the default physics in The Pinball Arcade while Tournament uses those same physics but increases the table incline and removes the chance of getting extra balls.

All pinball tables can be adjusted, sometimes in countless ways, to increase or decrease difficulty. If you bought the PRO versions in TPA, you could mess with some of that stuff. I think the “effects” button only turns the effects back on while not messing with the gameplay. You should be able to tell IMO.

Anyway, hopefully I can get to try this on the weekend.


I haven’t played the Switch version a ton at this point, but I haven’t seen any hitching in either docked or vertical handheld mode. And, yes, the buttons for vertical handheld are terrible, which is why I backed…

HOWEVER. I realized the other day that the button layout appears to be locked to the face buttons of the joycon at the bottom of the screen (right joycon with screen at 90 degrees, left joycon for 270 degrees). That is, I tried to remap the buttons, but I couldn’t figure out how.

If you can’t, then the standard horizontal controls won’t work when using the FlipGrip. I’ve been meaning to write Zen about this to see if they can address it before the FlipGrip gets here. More folks requesting that feature would probably help.

Yeah, I actually tried playing Zen physics on MM after I posted, and the difference was immediately noticeable. A nice touch by Zen to allow graphical bells and whistles with more realistic gameplay.


Hmmm… that’s kinda bs if that’s how they’ve set it up. I have a HORI stand that I use for vertical gaming on the Switch right now and I detach both JoyCons when I play that way. Maybe if you detach them both before you flip to vertical it’ll know what’s up?

I’ll try this on the weekend. BLOPS IIII is coming today but I’ll download this and try FishTales. They’re running a tournament for that at ResetEra too.

I’m interested in trying this on PC so I can compare the graphic quality with TPA in DirectX 11 mode, too.


Classic mode Arcade is most similar to a real life arcade setting where you’d find a pinball machine. Stock settings and normal incline. It is similar to Pinball Arcade with one key difference, ball spin. Pinball Arcade physics never had real ball spin. So it didn’t behave the way a real machine would. Zen’s Williams collection does.

Tournament mode is like a real life tournament. They set it at steeper incline and change settings to shut off all of bonus features. The idea is for shorter games and harder play. There are still tournaments throughout the country.

If anyone is close to Palm Spring or sounthern California, Pinball Madness is happening the following weekend starting on Oct. 19th. Probably over 800 pinball machines set to free play. Plus tournaments you can enter. Also has over 200 80’s arcade video games machines.


Oh for Switch in handheld mode they recommend taking off right controller and flipped with left on bottom. You can then launch ball with button and flip using touch screen on controller buttons. The “-“ button flips the screen.

I’ve been also using a little stand in vertical mode with both controllers detached, one on each hand.

I have a gaming monitor arriving today that flips to vertical so that should be my main way of playing at home.


@JustinFletcher There you go. Take those joycons off and you should be ok in vertical mode! That means the Flip Grip will work perfectly. :)

My living room monitor is an S2417DGR from Dell that rotates. It’s even better than the Switch for vertical gaming minus the portability.


Awesome. Hadn’t thought to take them both off. I’ll try it when I get home. Thanks, @iamoneagain!


Just when I thought I was out…

So 60 fps on Switch? Do we know?


Remember don’t lay the switch down on a table when you play. The fans need to breathe. That’s why a bought the flip stand. Has little vents on it.


Switch is 60fps in both mobile and docked. 720p mobile and 1080p docked. They had an update last May that upped mobile from 30fps to 60fps. And docked to from 720p to 1080p.


As @iamoneagain notes, it’s 60fps now. They did have to notch back the lighting for the Switch version to get there, though. Some say it’s really noticeable compared to other versions, but obviously that’s the price of portability.


Ah, I was wondering how they achieved that. Read old threads when fx3 first came out and they thought it might not be possible. Wondering if lighting is improved when docked.