Warning

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

This is the documentation for MPF 0.56+, 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.

Ball Tracking

Keeping track of where all the balls are at any given time is a big part of a pinball. There are four components that make up MPF’s ball tracking and management system:

  • The Ball Controller, which is a core MPF module that manages everything.
  • Individual Ball Devices (troughs, locks, etc.) which track how many balls they’re currently holding, request new balls, eject balls, etc.
  • The Playfields device which is a special type of ball device that tracks how many balls are loose on the playfield at any given time.
  • Individual Diverters which are integral in routing balls to devices that request them.

These four components are active at all times—regardless of whether or not a game is in progress. In other words, if MPF is running, it’s tracking balls.

Note that tracking the number of balls on a playfield is somewhat complex. See the How MPF tracks the number of balls on a playfield guide for important details about how this works in MPF.