Some of you reading this website are probably members of the pinside forum, the biggest and best pinball forum on the Internet currently. If you’re not, this article is to educate you on it while giving some tips and pointers to help you along the way.
The Main Pinside Forum
This is where the large majority of people will spend most of their time. Basically, people post topics about games, manufacturers, mods, and other things at a very high rate, making it pretty hard to keep up with it sometimes. If you’re into pinball and want something to read 24 hours a day, there’s enough there to keep you occupied for years. The main forum is located here:
Where the forum really comes in handy is when you need one of four things:
- Buying a pinball game
- Selling a pinball game
- Fixing a pinball machine
- Modding a pinball machine
Buying and Selling a Game
When buying a game, you used to find most games through forum topics that people started. Now though, all games for sale must go through the marketplace. They may still have a forum topic assigned to them if the seller chooses, but it’s better to just search the marketplace to begin with. The marketplace can be found here:
Besides just looking for games to buy, you can also sell your game on the marketplace. The marketplace is a great place to list your game. However, you should know that it is not a free listing unlike Mr. Pinball or Craigslist. You will find far more buyers on Pinside though then those other two places. When listing a game, the most important things are to have good pictures, a good description, and a fair price. You do all those things, and you’ll likely have a buyer fairly quickly as long as your location isn’t in the middle of nowhere.
When selling a game, you can choose whether or not to add a forum topic along with your marketplace listing. Generally this a good idea UNLESS you’re asking a well above average price. In that case, you’re going to get raked over the coals by the price police (basically users who point out to new users that their asking price is ridiculous). You can still do it in that case, just need to have some thick skin.
If you go into the main page for each game, there is a marketplace archive which details what every game sold for in the past few years. That really helps when determining valuation.
Modding a Pinball Machine
Ten years ago, modding a pinball machine was limited to Addams Family and Twilight Zone mainly. Today though, modding has kind of gone a little out of control. There are hundreds of threads related to modding every single pinball machine out there it seems. The best place to look if you want to mod your machine is in the individual game threads. Every game has a huge ‘official’ thread that details mods, repairs, rule explanations, etc.
A lot of the mods are now in the marketplace. If you find the mod in the official thread and want to buy it, going to the marketplace for that game is a good idea.
Some of the general mods like Color DMD, Pinstadium lights, Pinsound, etc have their own dedicated threads. Reading these threads can help you determine if that mod will work on your machine and how much work it will be to install it. Some mods are really easy to install, some are rather difficult.
Tips and Tricks to the Forum
When you register, you can add your games to your ‘collection’ in your profile. I would recommend doing this as sometimes it can lead to trades and other helpful things.
If you read the forum a lot, you’ll notice that some posters post 50x more than other posters, and are often in every single thread stirring the pot. I’d recommend either putting those users on ‘ignore’ or not engaging in conversation with them if you can avoid it. They’ll just make your online experience less enjoyable for the most part.
The Top 100 list of best games is a good starting point when looking at games. However, very rarely does anyone’s personal top games match that list, it’s all about what you’re into. The list is also heavily weighted towards art, so you have games that play not so great but are beautiful (like Tales of the Arabian Nights) right around the tenth spot.
Hopefully this information helps new users out.