Most Important Pinball Machine Parts

Pinball is a classic game which generations of players have and is continuously been enjoying. A pinball machine comes with many parts including electrical and plastic components. For you to be able to understand how Pinball is played, you will have to get yourself familiar with its important parts.

The most important pinball machine parts

  • Auto-plunger
  • Playfield
  • Tilt sensor
  • Plunger
  • Sam sensor
  • Cabinet
  • Apron
  • Backglass
  • Backbox
  • Bumpers
  • Flippers
  • Rubber rings
  • Outlane
  • Inlane
  • Kick-out hole
  • Cellar hole
  • Drain
  • Roll-over target
  • Ramps
  • Flyaway Target
  • Drop target

These parts have their own importance and have different jobs in order to make a pinball machine work. To better understand how a pinball machine works, all you have to do is learn how each and every part of the machine works.

Most Important Pinball Machine Parts


This part is actually the area where the game takes place. It comes with different themes and layouts. It could have different targets, extra playfield levels, lanes, subways and different bumpers.


This part starts your game. It comes with a spring rod which you would use to release the ball into the playfield. It could be pulled back and release it to get control of where your ball would end up.


In newer machines, the plunger is replaced by this part. It comes with a button that would release the ball. Though it could still allow you to control the ball, it is only up to a certain extent.

Tilt Sensor

This part is for those players who have nudged the machine too hard. This would give you up to three warnings which would let you know how hard or soft nudge you could use in order to avoid triggering the sensor.

Slam Sensor

This type of sensor is designed for aggressive players who would slam the cabinet and the like. This sensor would end the game automatically and it prevents players from stealing through aggressive actions like slamming of the coin box.


This is the body structure. It holds the machine itself and it is often times made of wood. It could be hand-painted or vinyl-wrapped art.


This is found at the bottom of the playfield. It shows the rules of the game.


This is where the backglass is. It shows your score. Others call this as the head of the machine and it is the widest part. It is where you will find the circuit boards or batteries.


This is the display art on your backbox. As mentioned earlier, this could be painted or hand printed. It usually is very attractive with lights on it. Newer machines tend to have an artwork which would last longer.


They are two buttons on each side of the cabinet. It is considered as controllers of the game. It passes, catches and shoots the ball.


These are the targets which you would like your ball to hit. These bumpers would definitely build your score. Older machines even come with dead bumpers which unlike the usual bumpers, you will have to avoid and not bump.

Rubber Rings

Rubber rings are the parts which would help your ball bounce to help you target the bumpers. They need to be replaced often but they are not that expensive.


This part will bring your ball to the drain. It could be found next to the flippers outside the playfield


This is next to the outlane. It would bring your ball back to the flippers.

Cellar Hole

These are ramps which could either bring the ball to either the drain or to a new position.

Kick-Out Hole

This part holds the ball until the score has been calculated. Once done, it would then kick the ball back into the field.


This is the area which you should avoid getting your ball into. If your ball gets to this part, it would be game over for you.


These are inclined surfaces which could bring the ball on a trail or raise to another playfield.

Roll-Over Target

This would give you points especially when your ball rolls over the target.

Flyaway Target

They hang down on the field. When you hit them, it would swing up and will stay hidden until the next game.

Drop Target

Opposite of flyaway targets. They stick out of the playfield at the start of the game. When you hit them, they would drop down into the playfield and then would disappear until the next game.


We hope that through this article, we were able to provide you useful information about the parts of a pinball machine.

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