This is the documentation the latest work-in-progress version of MPF!

This is the documentation for MPF 0.57, which is the “dev” (next) release of MPF that is a work-in-progress. This is probably ok, and means you’ll be on the latest, cutting-edge version of MPF.

However, if you want a more stable version, select the v:stable version from the lower-left corner of this page. You can always update to the latest at any time.

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) runs on a normal/embedded PC and 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!)

Also see our guide on voltages found in a pinball machine.

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.

  • Open Pinball Project (OPP) controllers
    • Gen 2 OPP hardware, with many combinations of wing boards for drivers, switches, switch matrix, LEDs & incandescent lights
    • CobraPin Pinball Controller
  • Arduino Pinball Controller (APC)
    • New in MPF 0.53
    • System 3 to System 11c
    • Segment displays
    • External sounds
    • Switches, rules and coils
    • Lights and enable triggers
  • LISY
    • New in MPF 0.50
    • Gottlieb System 1 (LISY1)
    • Gottlieb System 80 (LISY80)
    • Bally and Stern Games manufactured from 1977 to 1985 (LISY35) New in MPF 0.53
    • Segment displays
    • External sounds
    • Switches, rules and coils
    • Lights and enable triggers
  • 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)
    • I2C slave boards (see below for which I2C boards are supported) (P3-ROC)
    • Alphanumeric displays via aux port (P-Roc)
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Penny K Pinball PKONE Platform
    • Nano Controller
    • PKONE Extension (switches, coils, rules, servos)
    • PKONE Lightshow (simple LEDs, WS281x RGB/RGBW LEDs)
  • 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.)
    • You can also integrate MPF with a Virtual Pinball (VPX) table to play your game with simulated hardware.
    • 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.

There is a hardware roadmap for other hardware which we want to support in the future.

Video on how platforms work internally and how to implement them:

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: