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: