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Thread: AC/DC Strategy, Tips, and Tricks

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    Senior Member EldarOfSuburbia's Avatar
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    AC/DC Strategy, Tips, and Tricks

    (Note to mods: please move this thread to an appropriate sub-forum for AC/DC, once it is available. Thanks!)

    I logged a good few hours with AC/DC last night, and got a reasonable feel for the table.

    Like most of the modern Stern tables, AC/DC has a very deep, complex ruleset that can take a long time to comprehend and master. The instructions in SPA run to 998 "pages", more than twice the size of anything in TPA! That's a lot of reading and I'd be amazed if anyone has the patience to click through that much information, let alone absorb and understand it (I gave up after 3 Song Modes).

    It's probably best to play a few games, experience some features, then dive into the instructions to understand how and why that feature activated.

    Here are some ideas and general rules-of-thumb I picked up.

    Always try to go for the Super Skill Shot: hold down the right flipper when the ball is in the Jukebox after plunging, and most of the time the ball will kick out of the Jukebox, back down the right loop, and will be a soft catch on the right flipper. Shoot any of the "main" shots - left orbit, left ramp, Bell, right ramp, right orbit - to score a Super Skill Shot and, more importantly, 2 VIP passes. The regular Skill Shot only nets 1 VIP pass, and since getting VIP passes any other way than via Skill Shots is time-consuming and not worth pursuing specifically, you're better off going for as many as you can when plunging.

    Next, no matter which Song you choose, shoot the Bell 6 times in quick succession to get 3x scoring going. Once 3x scoring is running, regular hits to the Bell reset the 20-second timer, so try to keep going for the Bell from time to time. The Bell is usually a scoring shot in most Song modes anyway so you'll need to be shooting it to progress through Song Requests anyway.

    Song Modes typically follow the same pattern: perform some task specific to that song (for instance in "TNT" hit all the TNT targets, then the target behind the drops), then make 8+ flashing/lit "Note" shots to light the Jukebox to allow you to spot the Song and change Song Mode. Spot all 12 Songs in the Jukebox to qualify for the Encore Wizard Mode. During Song Modes, the Song Jackpot builds; collect it from the Cannon, which is lit by completing the F-I-R-E inlane/outlane rollovers 3 times. The Song Jackpot has no maximum value, but it resets when you drain, and possibly when you collect it normally or change Song.

    I won't go through all 12 Song Modes here; suffice it to say, some score better than others.

    Extra Balls are hard to come by, but they are technically "infinite". Two ways to light an EB, and both are best done through general accumulation in a long game rather than trying for them. First and easiest is Combos; make any two major shots in a row to score a Combo. 25 Combos lights the EB. Keep getting Combos to light more EBs. Second and trickiest is through the AC/DC, TNT, and ROCK targets. Completing each target bank twice is supposed to light an EB, but I'm not 100% certain this is correctly explained in the instructions, because it didn't appear to work for me; but I'm pretty sure I did get an EB lit via the targets at some point, I just don't know how. As I said, both these methods of lighting EBs are best left to a secondary or tertiary objective, something that just happens during the course of a long game.

    There are three multiballs: Jam, Album, and Tour. All three follow a similar pattern of scoring multiple jackpots, before lighting a Super Jackpot at the Cannon. All three can be stacked together, along with the current Song Mode. Stacking 2 multiballs doubles jackpot and Super Jackpot values; stacking 3 multiballs triples them. Jackpots are also affected by the regular playfield multiplier activated by the Bell, so this can result in up to 9x jackpots (I think). Album and Tour multiballs also feature additional jackpots tied to the Song being played, and completing the Note shots for the Song being played during any multiball will launch an additional ball and give you some ball saver time, once only. This last feature is especially useful since there is a generous grace period after multiball ends, and if you can finish off the Note shots in that time, multiball will restart. Told you the rules were pretty complex!

    VIP passes are activated by pressing the Fire/Plunger button when the ball is in play. In Song modes, VIP passes spot lit Note shots. In multiballs, VIP passes score jackpots. Told you they're useful.

    Finally, the lower mini-playfield ("Hell") is reachable only in "Hell Ain't a Bad Place To Be" (shoot the Jukebox) and "Highway To Hell" (load the Cannon) modes. It's a fun diversion, and counts as the main "task" in these modes for lighting the Note shots.

    Phew. Hope that all helps. Maybe I'll go plays some Jacks Open or something equally simple for a bit now....
    "You've got an arm like a wet rag!" - The Dummy, Hurricane (Williams, 1991)
    "Ace of Clubs?!" - Bride of Pin*Bot, Jack*Bot (Williams, 1995)
    "You have been terminated. Have a nice day!" - Candy 2000, Safe Cracker (Williams, 1996)

    Wizard Goals remaining: Safe Cracker 26 [Unique] Tokens (19/26 collected); F-14 250K Launch Bonus; Frankie 150M Creature Jackpot, Complete CREATURE

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    whathave you bought for melatley?

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    Great tutorial. Thanks!

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    Tks for posting the tutorial. Going for the Bell can be beneficial but also tends to be a draino experience when the ball comes back down the middle or off to the right out lane. Same goes for going for TNT specifically. I agree that the Extra ball through targets seems to have its own logic that is quite stingy. I am sitting at 7th currently with 116M and have only had 3 games over 100M and most are well below that. We need the Status Info working to really know where we stand during the game. The laws of pinball apply though where I got 110M on my 3rd game and knew nothing about the rules other than go for the flashing lights. :-)

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    Senior Member EldarOfSuburbia's Avatar
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    Status Info is working just fine on the PC version. I has a 200M+ game so I'm higher than 7th... nice to know!
    "You've got an arm like a wet rag!" - The Dummy, Hurricane (Williams, 1991)
    "Ace of Clubs?!" - Bride of Pin*Bot, Jack*Bot (Williams, 1995)
    "You have been terminated. Have a nice day!" - Candy 2000, Safe Cracker (Williams, 1996)

    Wizard Goals remaining: Safe Cracker 26 [Unique] Tokens (19/26 collected); F-14 250K Launch Bonus; Frankie 150M Creature Jackpot, Complete CREATURE

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    Senior Member psykil's Avatar
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    Last edited by psykil; 12-31-2016 at 01:03 AM.
    psn: dirtyepic_sk

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    Senior Member EldarOfSuburbia's Avatar
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    Another way to Hell is in Hell's Bells by shooting the hole behind the Bell. Trickier than the other two methods.

    "You've got an arm like a wet rag!" - The Dummy, Hurricane (Williams, 1991)
    "Ace of Clubs?!" - Bride of Pin*Bot, Jack*Bot (Williams, 1995)
    "You have been terminated. Have a nice day!" - Candy 2000, Safe Cracker (Williams, 1996)

    Wizard Goals remaining: Safe Cracker 26 [Unique] Tokens (19/26 collected); F-14 250K Launch Bonus; Frankie 150M Creature Jackpot, Complete CREATURE

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    Excellent video tutorial links ... tks for pointing that one out. Up to 215M in change now. Y

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    Senior Member switch3flip's Avatar
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    I like this tutorial, has got some alternate strategies to the PAPA tutorial.

    Most Wanted: 1. Spider-Man 2. LOTR 3. Shadow
    Twitch digital pin: www.twitch.tv/switch3TV
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    Senior Member Crazy Newt's Avatar
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    If anyone is interested in just reading the rule sheet, there is a great .pdf file available in the following thread at the pinside forum. (34 pages!)

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/to...cdc-rule-sheet

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    Senior Member psykil's Avatar
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    Nice finds.

    New ACDC video by Bowen up today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bavgiSj5DJU
    psn: dirtyepic_sk

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    Senior Member Extork's Avatar
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    I'm coming for you Crooker

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    Senior Member Crooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extork View Post
    I'm coming for you Crooker
    Excellent.

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    Senior Member Bahnzo's Avatar
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    Re: skill shot. I found it interesting that the videos I watched from the pros, they never seemed to shoot for this. A "normal" skill shot gives you one pass and is easy to hit every time and so it seems that's what they did.

    Quote Originally Posted by EldarOfSuburbia View Post
    Status Info is working just fine on the PC version. I has a 200M+ game so I'm higher than 7th... nice to know!
    Where are you seeing these PC scores? Just curious, because I've sat at 202M before you posted that, and even then I was seeing high scores of 2Billion+.

    My quick take... I know a lot people say this game is "deep", but IMO it's a little over complicated. I am glad to see they just didn't slap a bunch of ACDC hits into a game and ride on the back of that, but that 202M game I scored...I have no idea why I did that well. I still don't feel like I have a clear goal when I play, unlike most other pins I love.

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    Wow

    You have infinitely more patience delving into this rather boring table than I do. I don't find AC/DC anywhere near as interesting/involving as Frankenstein, for example...

    Quote Originally Posted by EldarOfSuburbia View Post
    (Note to mods: please move this thread to an appropriate sub-forum for AC/DC, once it is available. Thanks!)

    I logged a good few hours with AC/DC last night, and got a reasonable feel for the table.

    Like most of the modern Stern tables, AC/DC has a very deep, complex ruleset that can take a long time to comprehend and master. The instructions in SPA run to 998 "pages", more than twice the size of anything in TPA! That's a lot of reading and I'd be amazed if anyone has the patience to click through that much information, let alone absorb and understand it (I gave up after 3 Song Modes).

    It's probably best to play a few games, experience some features, then dive into the instructions to understand how and why that feature activated.

    Here are some ideas and general rules-of-thumb I picked up.

    Always try to go for the Super Skill Shot: hold down the right flipper when the ball is in the Jukebox after plunging, and most of the time the ball will kick out of the Jukebox, back down the right loop, and will be a soft catch on the right flipper. Shoot any of the "main" shots - left orbit, left ramp, Bell, right ramp, right orbit - to score a Super Skill Shot and, more importantly, 2 VIP passes. The regular Skill Shot only nets 1 VIP pass, and since getting VIP passes any other way than via Skill Shots is time-consuming and not worth pursuing specifically, you're better off going for as many as you can when plunging.

    Next, no matter which Song you choose, shoot the Bell 6 times in quick succession to get 3x scoring going. Once 3x scoring is running, regular hits to the Bell reset the 20-second timer, so try to keep going for the Bell from time to time. The Bell is usually a scoring shot in most Song modes anyway so you'll need to be shooting it to progress through Song Requests anyway.

    Song Modes typically follow the same pattern: perform some task specific to that song (for instance in "TNT" hit all the TNT targets, then the target behind the drops), then make 8+ flashing/lit "Note" shots to light the Jukebox to allow you to spot the Song and change Song Mode. Spot all 12 Songs in the Jukebox to qualify for the Encore Wizard Mode. During Song Modes, the Song Jackpot builds; collect it from the Cannon, which is lit by completing the F-I-R-E inlane/outlane rollovers 3 times. The Song Jackpot has no maximum value, but it resets when you drain, and possibly when you collect it normally or change Song.

    I won't go through all 12 Song Modes here; suffice it to say, some score better than others.

    Extra Balls are hard to come by, but they are technically "infinite". Two ways to light an EB, and both are best done through general accumulation in a long game rather than trying for them. First and easiest is Combos; make any two major shots in a row to score a Combo. 25 Combos lights the EB. Keep getting Combos to light more EBs. Second and trickiest is through the AC/DC, TNT, and ROCK targets. Completing each target bank twice is supposed to light an EB, but I'm not 100% certain this is correctly explained in the instructions, because it didn't appear to work for me; but I'm pretty sure I did get an EB lit via the targets at some point, I just don't know how. As I said, both these methods of lighting EBs are best left to a secondary or tertiary objective, something that just happens during the course of a long game.

    There are three multiballs: Jam, Album, and Tour. All three follow a similar pattern of scoring multiple jackpots, before lighting a Super Jackpot at the Cannon. All three can be stacked together, along with the current Song Mode. Stacking 2 multiballs doubles jackpot and Super Jackpot values; stacking 3 multiballs triples them. Jackpots are also affected by the regular playfield multiplier activated by the Bell, so this can result in up to 9x jackpots (I think). Album and Tour multiballs also feature additional jackpots tied to the Song being played, and completing the Note shots for the Song being played during any multiball will launch an additional ball and give you some ball saver time, once only. This last feature is especially useful since there is a generous grace period after multiball ends, and if you can finish off the Note shots in that time, multiball will restart. Told you the rules were pretty complex!

    VIP passes are activated by pressing the Fire/Plunger button when the ball is in play. In Song modes, VIP passes spot lit Note shots. In multiballs, VIP passes score jackpots. Told you they're useful.

    Finally, the lower mini-playfield ("Hell") is reachable only in "Hell Ain't a Bad Place To Be" (shoot the Jukebox) and "Highway To Hell" (load the Cannon) modes. It's a fun diversion, and counts as the main "task" in these modes for lighting the Note shots.

    Phew. Hope that all helps. Maybe I'll go plays some Jacks Open or something equally simple for a bit now....

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    Quote Originally Posted by HiHat View Post
    You have infinitely more patience delving into this rather boring table than I do. I don't find AC/DC anywhere near as interesting/involving as Frankenstein, for example...
    This is one of the dumbest quotes I've yet heard . . . unless you don't like AC/DC, then I can see this game being pretty unbearable. BTW, the lower playfield is accessible in any mode by hitting enough flashing devil horn shots.

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    Ac/dc

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard B View Post
    This is one of the dumbest quotes I've yet heard . . . unless you don't like AC/DC, then I can see this game being pretty unbearable. BTW, the lower playfield is accessible in any mode by hitting enough flashing devil horn shots.
    I'm indifferent to AC/DC. I am responding to the table solely for its intrinsic play value. To me a great table is fun to play from the gitgo, without reading pages and pages of instructions. The shots are varied and fun to hit, lights let you know where the bonuses are, there are a lot of goals to achieve, but the table makes clear what you are expected to do.

    IMO the AC/DC table doesn't succeed by those criteria.

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    Senior Member neglectoid's Avatar
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    I've had spa since its launch and I still haven't warmed up to acdc. It may be in part cuz I've never played one Irl, or that I don't like the band, or I find the playfield ugly.

    What ever the reason, I'm not really feeling this table.
    I couldn't juggle two silk scarves, even if you pointed a gun to my head. I can however, keep four silver orbs on an inclined plane for an uncanny amount of time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neglectoid View Post
    I've had spa since its launch and I still haven't warmed up to acdc. It may be in part cuz I've never played one Irl, or that I don't like the band, or I find the playfield ugly.

    What ever the reason, I'm not really feeling this table.
    Those are my thoughts exactly. Frankenstein, for example, grabbed me immediately (on PBA). Interesting table layout, fun challenges, deep game play.

    The other thing I don't like about SPA is the long load times between the arcade room and the tables. Wassup wit dat?

  20. #20
    Senior Member Extork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crooker View Post
    Excellent.
    So, nevermind. I'm seems like the more I play AC/DC, the worse I get. Getting anywhere near my own high score is only about 1% of the time. Side note... has anyone else ht the AC/DC target with the canon multiple times during multiball? It seems to score crazy good points, but I thought the the song bonus was a one n done type of thing. I'm pretty sure it scored 148mil for me the 3rd time (I think during album multiball). Can't remember what song it was. Maybe that had nothing to do with the song bonus? thoughts?

  21. #21
    Senior Member EldarOfSuburbia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extork View Post
    So, nevermind. I'm seems like the more I play AC/DC, the worse I get. Getting anywhere near my own high score is only about 1% of the time. Side note... has anyone else ht the AC/DC target with the canon multiple times during multiball? It seems to score crazy good points, but I thought the the song bonus was a one n done type of thing. I'm pretty sure it scored 148mil for me the 3rd time (I think during album multiball). Can't remember what song it was. Maybe that had nothing to do with the song bonus? thoughts?
    The Song Bonus does not reset when collected during Album and Tour multiball.
    "You've got an arm like a wet rag!" - The Dummy, Hurricane (Williams, 1991)
    "Ace of Clubs?!" - Bride of Pin*Bot, Jack*Bot (Williams, 1995)
    "You have been terminated. Have a nice day!" - Candy 2000, Safe Cracker (Williams, 1996)

    Wizard Goals remaining: Safe Cracker 26 [Unique] Tokens (19/26 collected); F-14 250K Launch Bonus; Frankie 150M Creature Jackpot, Complete CREATURE

  22. #22
    Senior Member Extork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crooker View Post
    Excellent.
    Only about 4 months later... I finally had that game where the thumbs where doing something right. Just out of curiosity, how many of you all have made it to encore? That seems to be where a LOT of my score came from. My new strategy has been to use higher scoring songs first. Before it was to use 'you shook me all night long' and Rosie in between those. But go ahead and use up those hell's bells, war machines first. @Crooker, I'm calling you out. Only because we had some fun back n forth before. It's not in my nature to talk trash, but it felt right to mention you because no one in real life cares when I tell them I am #1 on a digital pinball app. Where's Tarek on this table? Either way, I'm enjoying this small moment, for the time being.

  23. #23
    Senior Pigeon Kolchak357's Avatar
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    I've never made to encore. But I'm also not one of the better players. I also struggle with this table, as I do in real life. But I find it super fun anyway.
    Congrats Extork

  24. #24
    Senior Member Extork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kolchak357 View Post
    I've never made to encore. But I'm also not one of the better players. I also struggle with this table, as I do in real life. But I find it super fun anyway.
    Congrats Extork
    I'm also not calling myself one of the better players. Mr Kolchak, I see you putting up those scores.

    With AC/DC, people talk about it being so complicated. As though it might be... all it is is, get into multiball. And keep a close eye on the ball save. Yes, you want to change the song first and the activate the multiball that's best used with it. I cants stress enough about how important VIP passes are. Watch that video up there. It's all about using multiball to blast through a song, and thays all there is to it. You could do it Kolchak. Just loop the ramps if you want jam multiball. You don't have to be an expert

  25. #25
    Senior Member Extork's Avatar
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    And for the love of god, don't brick the left ramp too late. A little too late is death, but this is not breaking news. Just learn how to get in a groove, looping those ramps

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