Stern pinball machines erase the scores

On a beautiful autumn day, I had turned on my Deadpool pinball machine to play a few games. Then, out of the blue, the pinball machine showed only the Grand Champion score. All the others returned to their default values!

I asked a few questions left and right, and here’s what I learned: Stern Pinball machines reset every 1,000 or 2,000 games, depending on the model!

Why do pinball scores reset?

What a funny idea, resetting scores! Especially when you can do it yourself in the menus, whenever you like. So what’s the point?

Most likely, it’s a feature designed for operators. Regular resets give free games a little boost from time to time. What’s more, it allows professionals to quickly see the volume of games played. As soon as the scores are reset, the thousand mark is reached!

Is Stern Insider an alternative for keeping your scores up?

The answer is “it depends on which score you’re talking about”. The Stern Insider Connected (IC to its friends) records your online pinball performances. But it doesn’t give you all the types of high scores you’re likely to score on a machine. For example, on the Deadpool pinball machine:

  • The IC gives you your highest and average scores, but not the equivalent of the four highest scores behind the “Grand Champion”.
  • Modern pinball machines also inform you of the best score on a particular mission (e.g. Deadpool pinball machine: Sabretooth, Disco Loop, Deadpool Multiball…), which the IC doesn’t do.
  • Conversely, the Insider Connected gives you achievements that the pinball machine doesn’t.

So if you’re only interested in your best score, and your pinball machine is equipped with the connected module, don’t bother changing anything. Otherwise, skip to the next paragraph.

How can I avoid having my scores reset?

Don’t like having your scores erased? You can change this setting in the pinball machine settings. Here’s how:

  • Open the coin door
  • Launch the menu using the buttons inside the coin door
  • Go to “Service Menu
  • Then “Standard Adjustment
  • Scroll through the various parameters (probably several dozen) until you come to HSTD RESET COUNT
  • Here you’re supposed to see a value of 1,000 or 2,000
  • This value can be modified upwards or downwards
  • You can go up to 10,000 games before deletion, in increments of 100
  • OR you can choose the OFF value, which will stop the automatic reset.

Personally, I’ve kept the factory setting because I like the idea of putting my nickname back on the scoreboard regularly. There’s something satisfying about it, and it gives other players a chance… It’s up to you!

Many thanks to Patou and Adam for answering my questions 🙂

Collector of friends who have pinball collections.

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