Getting Started

If you're new to pinball, start here to get a quick orientation and join in on the fun!

Pinball Online

Check out some of the best pinball content online: streams, tutorials, and social media.

Where to Play

Find out more about our favorite pinball around the state and recurring tournaments.

Featured Player

We're a close community of friendly folks; get to know a South Carolina pinball player.

 

Kick things off

Find a game

Put in coins

Press start

Flip

Flip

Flip

Enjoy

If you're totally new to pinball, welcome to the beginning of a load of fun (and frustration, and challenge, and joy). On the front of the cabinet about waist high, you'll see a coin slot or dollar bill slot (like a vending machine). Most games cost $1 for one credit; some will give you 3 credits for putting in $2 at once. After you've paid for your credit, press the start button—it will be flashing a bit to the left of where the money went in. If you're playing with a friend you can buy multiple credits, press start once for each of you and play together; you'll alternate turns between each ball, racing to keep up with each other's score.

Once you've started a game, try out the flippers with the buttons on the side of the machine. Pull back the spring loaded plunger on the front right of the machine to launch the ball into play. Try to keep the ball from draining down the sides or the middle, shoot for the flashing lights, and have a good time.

Please come on out to one of the locations hosting frequent tournaments. Join in the fun and compete; or just stop by to make some new friends and learn a few new things about pinball. Event details are on the home page and generally follow this schedule:

  • Fellowship of the Silver Ball (hosted in homes near Greenville) twice monthly on a Friday (one fun night, one tournament)​​

  • Firefly Toys & Games (Columbia) weekly on Thursdays and monthly on a Sunday

  • The Break (Charleston) twice monthly on Tuesdays and once a month on a Saturday

Tournaments typically run for 3 to 4 hours but you're welcome to skip out early if you've had your fill of pinball or need to get on to other things. Most tournaments will have practice time for an hour before the start and that's a great time to come out and introduce yourself you're not yet ready to commit to a full event.

Cosy up to more content

Social media

Entertainment

Tutorial videos

Rulesheets

Just like any great hobby, there are a wide range of ways to get involved or learn more online. Here's a quick guide to a few of our favorites.

Social Media

Entertainment

  • You can watch people play pinball live online on YouTube and Twitch (warning, not all streams and podcasts are kid friendly). It's a good way to learn about pinball and be entertained. PAPA TV and Dead Flip are the most popular.

  • There are many great pinball podcasts, but we'll limit our recommendation to Rip Tide Pinball Podcast as it's cohosted by a SC pinball player.

Tutorial Videos

  • Dead Flip Tutorials are little animations that will teach you some of the amazing things you can do to get control of the pinball.

  • PinballVideos.com hosts a huge index of competition and tutorial videos.

  • The Professional & Amateur Pinball Association (PAPA) has a great Learning Center with resources about picking up pinball as a hobby. They have tutorials for specific games and more on flipper skills. You'll be dead bouncing and live catching like a pro in no time!

Rulesheets

  • Pinball games are more than just flashing lights and sound effects. If you want to know more about how a particular game works, how to start different modes, how to score big points, then take a look at its rulesheet on Tilt Forums.

Owning a pinball machine

You can have one of these in  your house? Yes! you can.

  • If you're interested in owning a pinball machine you can get a good idea of prices on used games and find available machines in the Pinside Marketplace. Check out the Facebook Marketplace and the Carolina Arcade and Pinball Collectors group too.

  • Lexington, SC is the home of Marco Specialties. a huge player in the pinball parts business. Marco Specialties provides tens of thousands of parts for thousands of machines, shipping across the world. They're the source for everything pinball for owners and operators, and they're right here in SC.

 
 

Pinball on location

Arcades

Bars

Restaurants

Museums

Pinball machines are all over the state if you know where to look.

Pinball Map

The Pinball Map (mobile app) is the best resource for finding pinball machines nearby.

Favorite Locations

These are just a few of the SC businesses featuring pinball. (Reach out to us on Facebook if you'd like your business mentioned here.)

Featured Player

Marcelo Campos Hazan

For our first featured player, we're happy to introduce you to Marcelo. Congratulations to Marcelo for winning the 2019⁠-⁠20 South Carolina State Championship!

Marcelo, from Columbia, SC, is an avid player and fierce competitor with over 200 events under his belt since 2016 and 21 (twenty⁠-⁠one!) first place finishes in 2019.

You have the chance to run into Marcelo, say hello, and watch his pinball skills on display at almost every event in the state. Keep an eye out for his tap passes, they're a beautiful thing to watch.

 

South Carolina Pinball