Guardians of the Galaxy

This guide is going to be more strategy about how to play than the specifics of the rules. With the various modes, different people will play the game differently. I recommend trying the different modes to see which ones work best for you. Try getting Groot and Orb multiball to see how you like playing them. Then put it all together your way!

The Basics:

You start a mode by choosing a mode with the flippers and launching the ball, or hitting the right scoop and choosing a mode.

You start Groot multiball by hitting Groot to open his mouth, then hit in his mouth to lock a ball. The first multiball takes 3 locks, the second multiball takes 4 locks, the third multiball takes double hits to open and 4 locks.

You start Orb multiball by hitting the Orb drop target to lower it and then the standup behind it to collect an orb. Collect 3 orbs to start the multiball, and you want to hit the orb target to collect the hurry and release a third ball.

During Groot and Orb multiballs the mystery award at the scoop is the add-a-ball.

The Strategy:

Make modes not multiball a priority for many reasons:

  • When you complete a mode, half the mode points on that ball go to your bonus (and will be collected at the end of each subsequent ball).
  • Starting 3 modes lights extra ball at the scoop (to lengthen your game).
  • A completed mode’s associated shot during Groot multiball scores 5x value!
  • Completing a mode activates the level 2 mode. Each level 2 mode is different and can be worth a lot of points. They do not interfere with starting a new mode.
  • Four completed modes lights Cherrybomb Multiball wizard mode at the scoop.
  • Complete six modes to light another extra ball at the scoop.
  • Progressing halfway or more in all eight modes lights Immolation Initiative wizard mode at the scoop.
  • Groot multiball will happen eventually from random shots. If his mouth is open shoot the ball in his mouth and continue your mode.

Use the Hadron Enforcer! Completing the 5 yellow standup targets will light the action button with 3 Hadron charges. Hit the button to collect the left-most mode/multiball/wizard mode shot that is lit (with a few exceptions). Use them well to finish modes (my favorite), complete difficult shots, or collect super jackpots. (I rarely shoot the standups on purpose, but will choose modes specifically based on if my Hadron is ready). If you react quick enough on a drain, you can often complete a mode or get a super with Hardon charges.

Choose modes wisely:

  • The duration (in seconds) and number of shots required to complete a mode is displayed in the upper left corner. Consider this when choosing.
  • Choose short duration modes when you have Hadron Enforcer charges to make sure you can complete the mode in one try.
  • Learn which modes have shots that you like, because they will be easier for you to complete.
  • When you are close to starting Groot or Orb multiball, choose a mode that you like to stack with a multiball. (I personally like to stack Groot with Yaka Arrow).
  • Quill’s Quest is an automatic 2 ball multiball the first time you start it. Start with it to get a feel for the machine, or use it after finishing Antiquities Shop or Yaka Arrow (because their level 2 modes are switch hit based).

Focus on finishing modes in one try on the same ball. If you can the addition to your end of ball bonus will usually be 10-40 million.

The mode clock never stops! Your time keeps running down no matter what, so cancelling video clips and animations by pressing both flippers at once is key to finishing modes in one try. Ball save and ball lock animations are the most important and are safe. Scoop animations like extra ball and mystery are important to cancel, but you have to be ready for the scoop to kick the ball out.

Build the shot multipliers! Completing the 5 orange rollovers (2 upper lanes, 2 left inlanes, 1 right inlane) will flash the green “X” lights in front of each major shot. The next one of those shots you make it be double value (marked with a solid green “X”) for the rest of the ball. To help complete the rollovers, you can change the position of completed upper and left rollovers with the flipper buttons. And remember the ramps feed to the inlanes!

Groot multiball is good points but a great tool. The playfield multiplier is great for long modes like Pod Chase and Sibling Rivaly. My favorite use is to complete Yaka Arrow by letting 2 balls drain during ball save. This feeds the pops that adds possible Yaka shots, and when the mode is complete multiball pop action helps with Yaka level 2.

Orb Multiball can be huge points if you are good at controlled multiballs. The first super jackpot is also an add-a-ball, and can be collected with the Hadron Enforcer.

My take on playing:

I start with Quill, Sibling, or Knowhere depending on how I feel about the game. Knowhere if I am already comfortable with the game. Quill if want to get familiar with shots and possibly light Hadron. My primary goal is to complete 4 modes and get to Cherrybomb Multiball. Then I will work on Saving Zandar.

On Knowhere I make the two lit ramp shots, then hit the scoop to upgrade and light all main shots. Finish Knowhere to qualify super orbit then try to get into Groot multiball and shoot multiplied orbits for 5x jackpots plus playfield multiplied super orbits.

After playing the first mode I get Groot multiball ready to start. Then start Yaka arrow and shoot directly into Groot’s mouth. Quickly cancel multiball start animations. When balls come out of Groot’s mouth let two drain and use the third to hit Groot and then lock a ball to get 2x playfield. Hopefully balls launched to the pops will activate a few Yaka blue shots. Keep hitting blue shots or orbits to feed the pops until Yaka is complete. Use Hadron if necessary. Watch the clock! Then work on Groot jackpots and super jackpots.

I do Antiquities mode whenever I have Hadron charges because of the short timer. I try to complete with the alternating ramps drop target because the Orb target is a narrow shot at the eject with the magnet can be dangerous.

Sibling rivalry doesn’t require many shots so easy to complete. Linking ramp combos is good point value and will give good addition to bonus. Especially good if have 2x on ramp. After completion left ramp lights for single Gamora big point collect. Try to multiply with a combo and/or shot multiplier.

I work Pod Chase the same as Sibling Rivalry, especially if one or both ramps have shot multipliers.

Quill shot is an easy backhand if both balls are cradled on the right. Good to use multiball during level 2 Antiquities or Yaka Arrow because they are switch hit and pops based. Completing Quill late in the game is the best because level 2 is a Quill Shot hurry up with a base of 10% of score.

Rocket mode is all rollovers plus Groot. Must be finished at Rocket shot that is not Hadron-able. Completion right before Groot multiball is good because during 2nd level all rollovers stay lit for multiple millions that can benefit from playfield multipliers.

If you don’t have any Hadron charges, Sanctuary is a decent choice. Remember that the left orbit is always worth a completed shot. If you complete the mode your Hadron is charged.

LOL! I hope this helps. It isn’t very mini!

About David Lee

I play in the East Bay, mostly in Alameda, Oakland and Emeryville. Oakland Pinball Warriors is my main monthly tournament, and only occasionally make it to San Francisco for tournaments. My IFPA ranking bounces around 500, depending on how many tournaments I get to. I am DavidLee on Pindigo and LEE on scoreboards

4 thoughts on “Guardians of the Galaxy

  1. Wellllll shiiiiiiit….thanks for the detailed info…..I was basically looking to see what the Hadron Enforcer was but learned so much more. I’m happy to just have the Grand Champion score and all the high scores but one in a small pub in Canada (I might be the only one who plays come to think of it). Thanks again.

  2. Hey David! I miss you and the PPM in Alameda. Thanks for the tutorial! I couldn’t figure out the Hadron thing. It’s more clear to me now. Let’s see if it actually translates to points tho!

    1. Crazy to think that it has been two years since I saw you!!! Crazy COVID time warp. I’m glad you landed in a pinball rich environment, and if I am in the area I will have to get some recommendations on where to play.

      Sadly I haven’t been able to play Guardians since Eli’s closed. It is such a fun game!

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