Game of Thrones Pinball Guide

Posted by Jono 20 APRIL 2016

Game of Thrones Pinball Machine - Playfield

Game of Thrones took the pinball world by storm when STERN Pinball unleashed it on the masses in late 2015. This Steve Ritchie classic has everything you’d expect from one of his games: Light-ning quick gameplay, and ball flow that’s as smooth as the glass covering the play field.

We’ve taken some time to learn just how this amazing STERN game works, and how to climb to the top of that high scores list! This article will cover each of the game’s main features, as well as how to become the greatest conqueror that Westeros has ever known. Every segment is accom-panied by a video demonstration, illustrating the methods discussed here.


Starting the Game: Choose your House

The moment you hit Start*, you're faced with a decision to make: which noble house do you side with?

Each house brings their own unique effect on how the game plays, which can be very advanta-geous to you depending on where your game playing strengths lie. Every house on the large shield in the centre of the playfield (except House Targaryen) can be chosen, and each one changes the game up considerably. Here's a summary of what each house will bring you:

  • House Stark: Increase value of 'Winter is Coming'
  • House Baratheon: Advance towards Battle for the Wall
  • House Lannister: Earn more gold
  • House Greyjoy: Plunder other house's abilities
  • House Tyrell: Increase combo multipliers
  • House Martell: Add-a-ball during multiball

You can cycle through the houses with the flipper buttons, then either plunge the ball or press the action button to lock your selection in.

*If playing Game of Thrones Pro with the latest game code, then you must hold in the 'action button' on the lockdown bar before the game will allow you to select a house. Otherwise, you will be assigned House Stark automatically under the game's 'casual mode'


Doing Battle: Defeating the other Houses

To really make progress in Game of Thrones, you need to defeat each of the noble houses of Westeros (including the house you choose to side with at the beginning of the game).

Before you can battle a house, you need to light them. You can do this by completing various play-field shots. Here's how to light each house:

  • House Stark: 3 right ramp shots
  • House Baratheon: 3 completions of 'Lord of Light' drop targets
  • House Lannister: 3 left ramp shots
  • House Greyjoy: 3 left loop shots
  • House Tyrell: 3 completions of 'Light Lock' targets
  • House Martell: 3 right loop shots
  • House Targaryen: 3 'dragon'/'Castle Black' shots

When a house begins to flash on the main shield in the centre, that house is lit, and the battle can be started at any time with a shot to the left ramp. Select the house you wish to battle from the available lit houses, and the battle with that house will start. Here's an outline of what each battle requires you to do:


House Stark: 'Arya Becomes an Assassin'

House Stark's battle has you progressing through Arya Stark's list of doomed individuals. You pro-gress through the list of names with continuous shots to either the left or right ramp. Every name you add to the list will add to a value that can be collected when you feel you have enough names.

Complete the assassination at either loop shot to assassinate your victim, and collect your accu-mulated value.


House Baratheon: 'Stannis Vs. The Wildlings'

House Baratheon's mode pits Stannis Baratheon's legion against the free folk who dwell beyond The Wall.

Defeat the Wilding uprising by shooting the shots marked with yellow shields, building up value with each completed shot. As you complete different shots (you’ll need to make more than one dif-ferent shot) you will be able to end the battle and complete the mode with the 'Lord of Light' drop targets. Hit any of them to end the battle.


House Lannister: 'Save Myrcella'

House Lannister's mode requires shots to the game's 'gold' targets. Shooting any one of the five will light other shots around the playfield with a red shield. Shoot five of these red shields to complete the mode.


House Greyjoy: 'Theon Takes Winterfell'

House Greyjoy is represented by a simple timed mode which requires you to shoot the five purple shields before the time runs out. If you run out of time, don't worry; you will only need to make any shot you didn't complete last time.


House Tyrell: 'Loras Vs. The Mountain'

House Tyrell's battle is a heated jousting display between Loras Tyrell and The Mountain. This mode alternates between green shield shots on the playfield and the 'light lock' targets: one shot to a playfield shot, then one shot to the lock targets to light the next playfield shot, and so on.

Complete three rounds of this to win the joust.

House Martell: 'Viper Vs. The Mountain'

House Martell's battle requires three consecutive shots to either loop. After these three shots have been made, you can end and complete the battle at either ramp.

House Targaryen: 'Defeat the Dragons'

House Targaryen will be your biggest obstacle in the road to claim the Iron Throne. The mode requires you to defeat each of Daenerys Targaryen's three dragons: Rhaegal, Viserion and finally Drogon. Each battle is made up of a series of hurry ups, and you must collect a certain number of these to defeat each dragon: three for Rhaegal, five for Viserion and then an indeterminate amount for Drogon.

There's one major difference to House Targaryen's battle: it must be completed three times. You’ll need one completion for each dragon, with the battles becoming more difficult each time. Drogon in particular, being the largest and most aggressive of Daenerys’ three dragons, is very challenging to complete. Once the three dragons have been beaten, House Targaryen will finally be yours.

This sums up each battle and what's required to complete each battle. It's worth taking into ac-count that you are able to battle two houses at once if you feel skilled enough. You can also take house modes into Multiball, so plan out who you want to fight and when. There's always the option of passing on a battle if it's not right for you at any given time.


Blackwater Multiball

Blackwater Multiball is the game's primary multiball mode, and one of the most useful ways in the game to boost your score in a hurry.

Accessing Blackwater Multiball is a simple process: just lock three balls on the ramp. The lock itself is lit using the green 'lock' targets on the far right of the playfield. Once the lock is lit, a shot up the left ramp will lock the ball. Once three balls are locked, Blackwater Multiball begins.

All three balls are released down the ramp and onto the playfield, and each of the game's 5 main shots (left loop, dragon/Castle Black shot, left ramp, right ramp and right loop) will be lit for a jackpot. Once you've collected the fifth and final jackpot, you need to shift gears quickly to take advantage of the game's Super Jackpot. To collect it, strike the battering ram with force, and the Super Jackpot is yours!

In a similar manner to Fish Tales, you can keep collecting the Super Jackpot as long as it’s lit. The number of Super Jackpots you can collect is only limited by how many times you can strike the battering ram in the time given, so if there's still time left on the Super Jackpot timer, go hell-for-leather on that battering ram, and score as many Supers as you can.

After the timer expires, you'll be back to collecting regular jackpots again, so repeat the process and get back to collecting Supers!



Wildfire is another important aspect of multiball. Throughout the game in regular playing conditions, striking the battering ram will award you 'Wildfire'. Wildfire is important - how much of it you have dictates how big your jackpots will be in Blackwater Multiball - so it is important to not neglect it as you go about locking balls and completing house modes.


Battle for the Wall Multiball

Blackwater Multiball isn't the only multiball to shoot for. There's another multiball mode (that's a little harder to reach) which has you battling for control of the wall to the Northern Territories. Once The Wall's clock counts all the way down, you will be able to begin the Battle for the Wall. 

How you advance the countdown depends on which version of Game of Thrones you own:

Game of Thrones Pro

To advance the clock on Game of Thrones Pro, you must complete the bonus multiplier lanes in the top right of the game. Completing both lights will advance the clock one stage until it ultimately counts down to 'Ready'.

Game of Thrones Premium/LE

To advance the clock on Game of Thrones Premium/LE, you must take shots at the 'Castle Black' shot on the playfield. Each shot to Castle Black will advance the clock one stage until it ultimately counts down to 'Ready'.


Eventually, the clock will count down to 'Ready' and the battle will be ready for you to start. Begin the battle at the Dragon shot on the Pro version, and the right loop on the Premium/LE versions.

With two blasts on the Night’s Watch horn, the battle will begin. Scoring in Battle for the Wall is fairly simple: 3 ramp shots, one dragon/Castle Black shot, three loop shots, one dragon/Castle Black shot and the process repeats. Every successful shot will score you awards, with the dragon/Castle Black shots awarding super jackpots.


Winter is Coming and Winter has Come

Winter Is Coming is a game event you'll encounter a lot during Game of Thrones, especially as you begin crossing houses off your list.

Successfully defeating any house will ice their shot over, leaving their coloured shield a chilly shade of blue.

You'll know exactly when Winter Is Coming starts: The game's inserts all go dark and the general playfield lighting begins to flicker like a violent snowstorm as winds begin to blow. It can make your ball quite tricky to spot if it's on the move, so be vigilant!

Winter Is Coming is a hurry up-based mode that requires you to shoot a single shot on the playfield marked with a flashing icy blue shield. Shoot this shot as fast as you can to cash in an award and to end the harsh storm that's taken over the playfield.

A Word of Caution

Winter Is Coming modes may have a tendency to sneak up on you whilst you play, meaning that they could start when you least expect them to. This can be a pain at times when you think you're a shot away from collecting something, and instead that shot will start Winter Is Coming. Keep an eye on the display to see how close you are to a Winter Is Coming mode so it doesn't catch you off guard. There's nothing worse than shooting the main ramp expecting the ball to stop, only to have it speed right back at you because Winter Is Coming has begun!

Winter Has Come

Completing four Winter Is Coming hurry ups will usher in the White Walker legions of the north to begin 'Winter Has Come': a four ball multiball that pits you against the White Walker invasion. Complete all the flashing shots to claim their rewards and defeat the White Walker horde. Next, you'll enter the much more challenging 'Lieutenant' phase. Much like the hurry ups you completed to get to the mode, speed is key. Shoot the flashing shots as fast as possible, or the White Walker leaders will freeze your left flipper dead. You can thaw it out using the main ramp to continue shooting normally.

You'll return to normal play once you're down to your last ball.


Castle Multiball (Premium and LE version exclusive)

If you're lucky enough to own either the Premium or LE versions of Game of Thrones, there's a special multiball mode waiting just for you that's completely exclusive to those two machines.

Castle Multiball comes courtesy of the castle mini-playfield in the top left of the machine, and is unlocked by completing the various stages of a castle siege. 

  1. Fire arrows
  2. Charge the castle
  3. Breach the castle walls
  4. Begin the battle

Accomplishing each of these stages is done by completing the set of three targets at the top of the mini-playfield, then escaping using one of the two escape lanes at the top. It's a fairly simple sounding process, but it's not quite as easy as it sounds! The full-sized flippers can really send the ball flying around, and the targets have a surprising amount of recoil to them, so don't be surprised if you find yourself leaving the mini-playfield more often than you'd expect (either by draining, or accidentally escaping before you complete the targets).

Completing the process four times will begin the multiball. Every switch on the game will score a small award that builds with every and any hit, meaning that whilst the awards seem small, the points soon add up over the course of the multiball.

Super Jackpots can be awarded up on the mini-playfield by repeating the same process you used to get to castle multiball: Hit the three targets, then escape through the top. Doing this scores a Castle Multiball Super Jackpot worth 5 million points, which increases by a million every time it's scored.

Generally, going for super jackpots isn't the most viable option given how chaotic the multiball is. Just focus on keeping the balls alive for as long as you can, and focus on racking up a super score from the other targets around the playfield.


Wizard Modes

Game of Thrones offers two different wizard modes to players, and both of them are a reward for completing varying numbers of house battles/modes. There's a mini wizard mode at the game's half way point called 'Hand of the King', then a final wizard mode for those who want to conquer it all: 'Iron Throne'. Here's what each mode has in store for players:

Hand of the King

Hand of the King is the game's 'half way' point, and is the reward you get for completing any four out of the seven houses.

Upon completing your fourth house battle, the game will go dark with the exception of the left ramp, which will begin strobing. Simply shoot up the left ramp to begin 'Hand of the King'.

Beginning Hand of the King will begin a chaotic four-ball multiball, which has various different shots lit around the playfield for different rewards. Complete all these shots, then claim a super jackpot at the battering ram to cash in some huge points. For even bigger points, complete another set and claim the hurry up.

Hand of the King will play differently depending on which house modes you've completed up to this point. Some houses will make the mode more valuable, whilst others will make it harder to progress through it. Here's a break down of what effect each house will have on the mode:


Positive Houses

  • House Greyjoy: One less set to reach Hurry Up
  • House Tyrell: +15,000,000 added to Super Jackpot
  • House Lannister: +125,000,000 added to Hurry Up
  • House Targaryen: +750,000 points per shot
  • House Stark: 20 seconds of 'free time' after completing a set

Negative Houses

  • House Baratheon: 7 shots to complete instead of 4
  • House Martell: Every shot must be completed twice

 Hand of the King can be extremely valuable depending on what houses you're able to bring into the mode, so do take into account what houses you complete.


Iron Throne

So you've challenged every single house, and walked away victorious from every battle. What's left for you to conquer? If you've defeated every house mode, you'll be able to fight for the Iron Throne!

Iron Throne is a real battle of attrition that will test the mettle of any serious pinball player. The aim of Iron Throne is to storm every house's castle. This mode begins with a two ball multiball. Select a castle to go after with their associated playfield shot, then complete each lit shot on the playfield, before smashing into the battering ram to finish the castle off.

Hitting the battering ram at the end won't only complete the castle, but will also launch an additional ball into play. Continue the above process until every castle in Westeros is yours.

Iron Throne is also quite unlike other wizard modes in that it doesn't end when you lose your ball. It will pick up right where you left off on your next ball, and will only end when completed, so it's worth taking your time when you're playing Iron Throne to truly make the most of it.


Jono’s personal tips


Since Game of Thrones arrived into the showroom in October, Ive quite simply been hooked, and have had an awesome time discovering exactly what does what on the game. Whilst Im not a majorly competitive player by any means, I have found a few useful strategies that have really helped my game out, and have kept me on the top of the Grand Champion position on the high scores list!


Backhand-able shots

A surprising amount of shots on Game of Thrones can be hit with a good backhand shot. Normally, shots in a game of pinball are made ‘cross-field, i.e. the left flipper takes care of shots on the right of the play field and then the right flipper takes care of the left of the play field. A ‘backhandon the other hand is the technique of hitting a play field shot on the same side as the flipper youre shooting from (so from the right flipper to the right ramp, or the left flipper to the left targets etc).

Some backhands appear to not be possible looking at a games layout, but you may be surprised. For example, my favourite shots to backhand on this game are House Greyjoys left orbit shot from the left flipper (surprisingly easy to make!) and the House Stark shot on the right ramp from the right flipper.

The left orbit backhand doesnt take long to master, and is an invaluable technique to have when it comes to not only hitting the left loop reliably, but also getting to ‘Battle at the Wall. The right ramp backhand is a little more tricky, but you'll be surprised just how much safer the shot becomes from the right flipper.

It's also possible in some cases to backhand the main/left ramp from the left flipper as well. This is very tricky to pull off though, so I don't personally recommend this.


What house I select at the start of the game

Out of the six selectable houses, I tend to favour selecting House Baratheon at the start. There are a couple of reasons for this:

Firstly is ‘Battle for the Wall. Battle for the Wall can be a very lucrative mode when you get into it (I often hear the credit knocker going off during this mode if I can do well in it) and House Baratheon will definitely help you out. Not only when it comes to raising the jackpot values, but also allowing you to advance towards it quicker.

The other key reason I select Baratheon is overall safety. Youll notice when selecting a house that it lights their house mode immediately. This is especially useful for House Baratheon, as the shots required to light it hovers dangerously over the left outlane, potentially leaving you in peril every time you shoot for the Lord of Light targets. The less dangerous shots I have to worry about, the better, in my opinion.


What houses to bring into Multiball

Taking more than one house into multiball is a very viable tactic, especially for some houses. I find that three main houses work well better in multiball: House Greyjoy, House Lannister and the final phase of House Targaryen.

House Greyjoy works well because all the shots in the mode are exactly the same as the jackpot shots in Blackwater Multiball, meaning every shot not only gets you closer to finishing the Greyjoy mode, but also scores you a jackpot. Perfect!

House Lannister works well due to the required shots on the gold targets. Some of these targets can be exceptionally unforgiving, and it can be dangerous to pick them off in single ball play. The chaotic nature of multiball means youll be more likely to hit these targets as the multiball progresses.

The final House Targaryen stage is also worth taking into Multiball if you can manage it. Battling Drogon is one of the game's hardest challenges, so you will need all the help you can get to complete the mode.


We hope that this article has set you up for playing this fantastic foray into the world of Game of Thrones. Once you get into some of the game modes and get the machine really going, youll be coming back to press the Start button long into the night (possibly to your frustration, depending on how cruel the game is feeling).

Now, over to you! Have you found our guide useful? Do you have your own strategies? Lets hear you!

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