This is the dev documentation for an unreleased version of MPF!

This is the documentation for MPF 0.52+, which is the “dev” (next) release of MPF that is a work-in-progress. Unless you’re specifically looking for this version, you probably want to use the version of documentation called “latest” which is for the latest released version of MPF. That documentation is at docs.missionpinball.org/en/latest.

MPF Overview

The Mission Pinball Framework (which we call “MPF”) is free and open source software that you run on a computer (Windows, Mac, Linux, Raspberry Pi, etc.) to control a real, physical pinball machine. (More info one what MPF is here.)

Most people develop their game on their laptop, and then when they’re done, transfer it to a smaller computer permanently installed in their pinball machine.

The computer running MPF is connected to a modern pinball control system via USB. (MPF supports several different control systems, including FAST Pinball, P-ROC, Open Pinball Project open source hardware, and Stern SPIKE hardware.)

You put that control system in your pinball machine, which can be a custom (home brew) machine or an existing machine you want to reprogram.

This diagram shows how it all fits together:


The MPF software is used to configure and control everything in your machine, including:

  • Pinball mechanisms (switches, LEDs, lights, motors, coils, servos, steppers, flippers, ball locks, diverters, etc.)
  • Pinball logic (ball locks, multiball, modes, tilt, high scores, ball saves, ball search, extra balls, etc.)
  • The display (or displays): DMD, RGB LED, and/or LCD
  • Audio & sounds
  • Coordinated “shows” of actions which flash lights, fade LEDs, play sounds and video, etc.
  • Player management, including player progress, scoring, tracking towards goals, etc.
  • Plus lots of other little things that you probably aren’t even thinking about yet :)


MPF is a work-in-progress!

At this point MPF is a work-in-progress and not yet complete. It’s being built by pinball-loving software developers in their spare time. There’s a lot you can do with MPF today, but we also have a lot of work still to do. We’re working hard though, typically adding 20-30 updates per week! And MPF is definitely “done” enough for you to use it today.

Read on to understand other important concepts about MPF: