MPF compatible control systems / hardware

MPF controls a pinball machine by interfacing to a modern pinball control system. (See the MPF Overview for details.) MPF itself is hardware-independent, meaning that MPF (and the configs and code you build) can work with lots of different kinds of control systems and hardware devices.

Not only does this give you a choice of what type of pinball control hardware you want to use, it also means that you have the flexibility to change your hardware at any time without having to change any game code. You could even release a game code update that works on multiple platforms—all with the same code!

Here’s a demo video of us switching out a P-ROC controller for a FAST controller in 3 minutes and running the same game code on both.

It’s possible to mix-and-match multiple types of hardware in a single MPF machine config. For example, you could combine the SmartMatrix RGB DMD with a FAST Core controller, or a FadeCandy LED controller with a P-ROC, etc. (You can even mix-and-match platforms within the same type of device, meaning you could have some LEDs attached to a FAST Pinball controller and others attached to a FadeCandy. See the Mixing-and-Matching hardware platforms guide for details.)

MPF currently supports the following hardware control systems. We are always adding more, so if there’s a hardware device that you’d like to use that we don’t support, let us know. (Or better yet, write your own interface to it and submit a pull request to the MPF codebase!)

List of supported control systems & hardware

Here’s a list of all the different types of control systems and hardware that MPF currently supports. If there’s a type of hardware you’d like us to support that you don’t see on this list, please post a message to the MPF Users Google Group and we’ll go from there.

Primary control systems

You’ll need to pick one of these three as the main interface between MPF and your pinball machine.

  • FAST Pinball
    • Core Controller, Nano Controller, WPC Controller
    • 0804, 1616, 3208 I/O Boards
    • Servo controller daughter board
    • Power Filter Driver Board coin-door interconnect
    • Plasma & LED mono DMDs (Core & WPC controllers)
    • FAST RGB LED-based DMD
  • Multimorphic
    • P-ROC with PDB driver boards (PD-16, PD-8x8, PD-LED)
    • P-ROC in all supported existing machines (Williams, Stern, etc.)
    • P3-ROC with PDB driver boards (PD-16, SW-16, PD-LED)
    • Plasma & LED mono DMDs (P-ROC)
    • Accelerometer-based tilt (P3-ROC)
  • Open Pinball Project (OPP) controllers
    • Gen 2 OPP hardware, with many combinations of wing boards for drivers, switches, & incandescent lights
  • Stern SPIKE / SPIKE 2 machines
    • New in MPF 0.33
    • A computer running MPF can directly connect to a SPIKE machine with a simple “USB to serial” converter which you plug into the SPIKE main board.
  • LISY
    • New in MPF 0.50
    • Gottlieb System 1
    • Gottlieb System 80
  • Virtual (software-only) controllers
    • MPF includes virtual hardware interfaces you can use to run MPF when it’s not connected to physical hardware. (This is good for working on your game when you’re not around your machine, or if you don’t have real hardware yet.)
    • The MPF Monitor is a graphical tool you can also use to visually interact with MPF which is especially useful if you’re not using MPF with physical hardware.

Additional supported hardware

The following hardware devices can be combined with primary control sytstems to provide additional functionality.

Configuration Guides

We have configuration guides which show you how to setup and use different types of pinball mechanisms with the various control systems and hardware that MPF supports: