My "live catch" skills suck. how to improve?

Started 1 year ago by davewth in forum PlayingPlaying tips.


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My "live catch" skills suck. how to improve?


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  • Started 1 year ago by davewth
  • 32 Pinsiders participating in this thread.
  • Latest reply from Matt_Rasmussen

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    1 year, 12 months ago
    #

    Like the title says. My live catch is very inconsistent. It seems like my best live catches are when i'm not thinking about it, it just happens. I've been trying to perfect it on the slot machine kickout on TZ but I'm still very hit or miss. Any tips? Maybe I'll just take the glass of and keep feeding the slot for practice.


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #

    Have you seen Pinball 101? I can't remember if it really gives a "tip" for that move, but it has a lot of info for the $3 or so that it goes for on the iPhone. Great menu to view all of the useful stuff and skip the rather annoying segues.

    Other than that.. practice, practice, practice. Play some games and just make it your focus and try it whenever possible. I find the slot machine shot kinda tough because it rolls down pretty slow..


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #

    The slot is a good place to practice, but it's keying you in on the timing and speed of that one instance. I got a lot better at it when I was just playing for an hour or two at a time where I tried to either live or drop catch every incoming ball. There's really no way to get better other than just sheer practice time, and it's best if you're practicing under varying conditions.


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #

    I know it's been said, but practice practice.

    I've made it a habit that if my 1st ball is bad, then all I do is practice traps and ball control and forget about scoring. It seems to have helped.


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #

    I can only manage it a certain ball speeds (medium to slow),can't really catch the fast ones..just bounces off.Its less often instead of more often for me as well. Scott


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #

    I watched a world class player demonstrating the drop catch at a show with the glass off and it took him several tries to do it.
    It just takes a lot of practice but very satisfying when you pull it off.


    1 year, 12 months ago
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    jackofdiamonds said:

    I can only manage it a certain ball speeds (medium to slow),can't really catch the fast ones..just bounces off.Its less often instead of more often for me as well. Scott

    You can catch the fast ones, the timing has to be perfect and there is never anyone around to see you do it when you pull it off.


    StevenP

    Pinball master
    3,332,000 4
    1 year, 12 months ago
    #

    One tip is to find a game with a scoop that kicks it to a flipper. Then hit that scoop a lot, and try a drop catch (or live catch) each time the ball is kicked out. Some "open" scoops are beter than the ones close to the slings (like Funhouse). Examples of good scoops are AFM, TZ, Lost WOrld, many Data East games, etc.


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #

    It would be awesome if someone who was doing a pinball game created some kind of diagnostic mode that was the equivalent of a pitching machine to the flippers where you could practice those shots over and over...


    1 year, 12 months ago
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    PinballHelp said:

    It would be awesome if someone who was doing a pinball game created some kind of diagnostic mode that was the equivalent of a pitching machine to the flippers where you could practice those shots over and over...

    You can, just take the glass off and drop the ball into a scoop.


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #

    PinballHelp said: It would be awesome if someone who was doing a pinball game created some kind of diagnostic mode that was the equivalent of a pitching machine to the flippers where you could practice those shots over and over...

    I am currently designing a pinball trainer with interchangable playfield parts, ramps and targets so you can practice ball control and aiming.


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #

    Let me get this straight... by 'live catch' you mean killing the ball on the flipper as the flipper hits it's EOS so that the ball then rolls to the flipper spindle and is 'caught' so you can think of what to do next and then... well... do it... or do you mean killing the ball when the flipper is in the down position so that the ball then rolls to the tip of the flipper so you can aim it (but giving you no time to think because the ball is rolling down immediately after it being caught...)?

    I find the fist one quite hard to get the timimg right, but the 2nd I do almost all the time... I 'found' the 2nd method of killing the ball by accident playing Paragon with the two flippers on the RHS... on games prior to that I'd simply catch the ball by holding the flipper up, but try that on the lower of those two flippers, and the ball will vanish between the flippers... so I quickly learned to catch the ball but close the gap by dropping the flipper as soon as it's caught... and I saw it die on the flipper... It was like finding a key to a chest of gold... instant improvement in ball control... I'm sure you mean the 'up position catch' though, which is an excellent thing to master, and looks (and is!) much more impressive than the 'down position catch'.


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #

    I agree that Pinball 101 is a great resource for improving your flipper skills. Lots of cool stuff on that video, well worth owning.


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #

    Drop catching is easier when the ball is closer to the bat's shaft. Perhaps live catching is easier 'closer in' as well?


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #

    my tz shoots the ball to the outer 1/4 of the flipper consistently, which makes it quite hard. I am working on it. I'll check out the pinball 101 vid, thanks.


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #

    I'am starting to do this alot, especially during multi-ball, cradle a few and focus on the one ball in play.

    StevenP said:

    One tip is to find a game with a scoop that kicks it to a flipper. Then hit that scoop a lot, and try a drop catch (or live catch) each time the ball is kicked out. Some "open" scoops are beter than the ones close to the slings (like Funhouse). Examples of good scoops are AFM, TZ, Lost WOrld, many Data East games, etc.

    Or a game that drops the ball right by the flippers, for example High Speed, at the start of multi-ball the balls are kicked out onto the habitrails right at the left and right flippers. Gotta be fast as those balls are kicked out quick.


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #

    Nothing is more gratifying to me as when a ball is screaming around the orbit only to be stopped stone dead on the flipper. It is like you have suspended the laws of physics for a few milliseconds. If only I could accomplish that more than 2% of the time.


    Atomicboy

    Pinball guru
    5,513,400 2
    1 year, 12 months ago
    #

    Tap or flick the flipper just before the ball touches it. It's easier to start on scoop catches first.


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #

    I found a Pirates of the Caribbean on route a few weeks ago and the right flipper solenoid was binding. It would stay up until vibration knocked it back down. This prompted me to try some "cheating" live catches. Perfect catch every time, without touching the button! That was fun.


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #

    I can live catch and drop catch about 90% of my attempts. Its not so hard when your sleeping


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #

    If you want to drive up to Wausau area and play some BK2K you can learn. That is the game that I am learning it on. Started doing it first or second day I owned it. Now I need to practice from longer distances and higher speeds on other machines. The guys who said practice sure are right. It's not like a post pass where you can see it and just start doing it yourself.


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #

    Practice, practice, practice. If you want to improve on that then play for an hour straight a few times a week just focusing on catching the ball don't worry about anything else. That is what I do when I want to improve in a particular aspect of playing and it has helped me become better in those areas. Keep at it don't get discouraged.

    Chudmeat said:

    I am currently designing a pinball trainer with interchangable playfield parts, ramps and targets so you can practice ball control and aiming.

    Interesting concept keep us posted on that.


    StevenP

    Pinball master
    3,332,000 4
    1 year, 12 months ago
    #
    jeffc said:

    Drop catching is easier when the ball is closer to the bat's shaft. Perhaps live catching is easier 'closer in' as well?

    I find drop catching is easy pretty much anywhere except too close to the shaft. Maybe a bit easier when closer to the tip. A "live catch" is also easier near the tip. It's not just a lucky moving-cradle catch, but stopping the ball dead near the flipper tip while it's raised.


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #
    StevenP said:

    I find drop catching is easy pretty much anywhere except too close to the shaft. Maybe a bit easier when closer to the tip. A "live catch" is also easier near the tip. It's not just a lucky moving-cradle catch, but stopping the ball dead near the flipper tip while it's raised.

    Wait a second Steve, what are we talking about again?


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #
    StevenP said:

    One tip is to find a game with a scoop that kicks it to a flipper. Then hit that scoop a lot, and try a drop catch (or live catch) each time the ball is kicked out.

    WWF has one that launches the ball at the left flipper fast.


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #
    alveolus said:

    Nothing is more gratifying to me as when a ball is screaming around the orbit only to be stopped stone dead on the flipper. It is like you have suspended the laws of physics for a few milliseconds.

    I've been thinking how a live catch actually works... I guess it's when the flipper has reached it's EOS, but the momentum pushes it a bit beyond that normal resting point to take up the slack in the mechanisms. If the flipper hits the ball in this 'taking up the slack' moment, then the energy from the flipper will be similar to that from the ball, and they'll cancel each other out and just kill the ball... Hit the flipper too early and it will have gone back down to it's resting place where the ball will just bounce off it since the flipper will now effectively be a solid object with rubber on it... too late and you'll hit the ball while the flipper is still being driven by the solenoid 'power coil'... If this is how it works, then a game with more slack in the flipper mechs will be easier to 'live catch'...


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #
    Chudmeat said:

    PinballHelp said: It would be awesome if someone who was doing a pinball game created some kind of diagnostic mode that was the equivalent of a pitching machine to the flippers where you could practice those shots over and over...
    I am currently designing a pinball trainer with interchangable playfield parts, ramps and targets so you can practice ball control and aiming.

    That would be amazing to improve your skills.

    I personally just practice on a variety of machines.
    Over the years I have learned alot of fun tricks.


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #
    Shoot_Again said:

    Over the years I have learned alot of fun tricks.

    Care to share these?


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #

    Take a few games and focus on flipper skills and passing techniques and don't worry about score or modes.


    StevenP

    Pinball master
    3,332,000 4
    1 year, 12 months ago
    #
    pinballslave said:

    alveolus said:Nothing is more gratifying to me as when a ball is screaming around the orbit only to be stopped stone dead on the flipper. It is like you have suspended the laws of physics for a few milliseconds.
    I've been thinking how a live catch actually works... I guess it's when the flipper has reached it's EOS, but the momentum pushes it a bit beyond that normal resting point to take up the slack in the mechanisms. If the flipper hits the ball in this 'taking up the slack' moment, then the energy from the flipper will be similar to that from the ball, and they'll cancel each other out and just kill the ball... Hit the flipper too early and it will have gone back down to it's resting place where the ball will just bounce off it since the flipper will now effectively be a solid object with rubber on it... too late and you'll hit the ball while the flipper is still being driven by the solenoid 'power coil'... If this is how it works, then a game with more slack in the flipper mechs will be easier to 'live catch'...

    Yeah, I thought about it a while back and concur with your comments. It's amazing when you do a solid live catch and the ball stops dead on the upraised flipper. That bit of give matching the ball momentum seems to be the trick.


    StevenP

    Pinball master
    3,332,000 4
    1 year, 12 months ago
    #
    islandpinball said:

    StevenP said:I find drop catching is easy pretty much anywhere except too close to the shaft. Maybe a bit easier when closer to the tip. A "live catch" is also easier near the tip. It's not just a lucky moving-cradle catch, but stopping the ball dead near the flipper tip while it's raised.
    Wait a second Steve, what are we talking about again?

    WPT, what else?


    TomGWI

    Pinball guru
    6,600,200 2
    1 year, 12 months ago
    #
    Squishy said:

    I know it's been said, but practice practice.
    I've made it a habit that if my 1st ball is bad, then all I do is practice traps and ball control and forget about scoring. It seems to have helped.

    That's good advice.


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #

    Practicing over and over by yourself is fine, but sooner or later you should try it with a woman, er, I mean, a flipper.

    Oh, somebody is going to give me a tilt warning, I just know it.


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #

    For me a live catch is always a second later then you actually think it should be, so it is actually performed closer to the flipper then you would think. Most of the times I hit the flipper button to early.


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #

    On WH20 I always try and catch it as it comes out of the mine.......if I get it badly wrong it goes all the way up the inlane and out of play which drives me mad!!


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #
    fusion301 said:

    For me a live catch is always a second later then you actually think it should be,

    wow, that was exactly my problem. I only have about 30 minutes of game time in after reading this post and i see a difference already. thanks!


    1 year, 12 months ago
    #
    Shapeshifter said:

    On WH20 I always try and catch it as it comes out of the mine.......if I get it badly wrong it goes all the way up the inlane and out of play which drives me mad!!

    I still haven't decided what is the best thing to do on WH20 from the mine kick out. I find if I flick the right flipper the ball goes all the way up the inlane as you described and 7/10 times to the right outlane. This is probably not the best game to practice your live catch skills on.


    1 year, 8 months ago
    #

    XMen scoop to left flipper. I have been practicing live catches from the scoop, but only had success on accident. Is the scoop on this machine too fast for live catches?


    1 year, 8 months ago
    #

    Hey this is XMen related now...someone comment


    1 year, 8 months ago
    #
    tracelifter said:

    You can catch the fast ones, the timing has to be perfect and there is never anyone around to see you do it when you pull it off.

    Ha, yeah, on my first ball during my first game on my first ever pinball machine, it came screaming off the pop bumpers and I caught it. My Mom was filming it. "Did you get that catch?" She didn't even know such a thing was possible. "Yeah, how the hell did you do that?"

    "Beats me. It doesn't even seem possible. I just sometimes think, 'Oh shit, I better catch that thing', and it happens."

    Turns out she didn't really have it on the video though, it was out of frame.


    1 year, 8 months ago
    #

    There's the perfect catch, when it magically stops like magnetically attracted to the flipper, those are rare. And then there are the real world catches, where there's just a little bounce that allows you to choose to trap the ball, bounce pass, or shoot the ball. They all have the same quality, but there is just something about catching one perfectly, a thing of beauty.


    RGR

    Pinball master
    2,533,400 2
    1 year, 8 months ago
    #

    Depends if you own your own pin which would make things a whole lot easier. Whats important is to find out where the flipper ends on the playfield. Get a black marker (which you can rub off) and put a line from the tip of the flipper to the base when the flipper is extended. Then on a game like TZ or TAF where the ball always comes out of a scoop, keep putting the ball in the scoop to practice.

    When the ball is just about to hit the black line, flip the ball and it will stop. Its like playing golf and only looking at the sand when you are in the bunker. Live catches are one of the hardest flipper skills to learn. I did not even know that it was possible before the internet was around, but they were doing it back in the comps in the 90s for sure.


    1 year, 8 months ago
    #
    RGR said:

    Depends if you own your own pin which would make things a whole lot easier. Whats important is to find out where the flipper ends on the playfield. Get a black marker (which you can rub off) and put a line from the tip of the flipper to the base when the flipper is extended. Then on a game like TZ or TAF where the ball always comes out of a scoop, keep putting the ball in the scoop to practice.
    When the ball is just about to hit the black line, flip the ball and it will stop. Its like playing golf and only looking at the sand when you are in the bunker. Live catches are one of the hardest flipper skills to learn. I did not even know that it was possible before the internet was around, but they were doing it back in the comps in the 90s for sure.

    Well, not always true in my experience (granted, somewhat limited), but there is trajectory and speed to factor in as well. As well as quality of the flipper rubber etc. I find the human brain is far more effective in calculation than a black line. There are just too many factors to say 'mark the flipper up position'.



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