Of all the things we expected to see at the recent Nintendo Direct, a Tetris battle royale game was not one of them. Tetris 99 is out now, and puts a modern spin on the classic Tetris formula. There are some key differences between Tetris 99 and the game you'll no doubt be used to. To help you get ahead in Tetris 99, we've put together a Tetris 99 Tips Guide. We'll explain how to play Tetris 99 and how to win in Tetris 99.
Tetris 99 Guide - How to Play Tetris 99
Tetris 99 is the classic Tetris that you know and love, but with a slight twist. It's a fast-paced affair, with a few new mechanics to learn if you want to win. You'll find all of the info you need below.
First up, you can only play Tetris 99 on Nintendo Switch. While Tetris 99 is a free-to-play game, you will need a Nintendo Switch Online membership as the game is online-only. Tetris 99 is not available for PC, PS4, or Xbox One.
What is Tetris 99 - Is It a Battle Royale Game?
You may have heard about Tetris 99 over the last few days. It's a brand new game, exclusive to Nintendo Switch Online. It's essentially a battle royale version of Tetris, with 99 players battling it out for supremacy. The core Tetris mechanics are there, and if you've ever played a competitive version of Tetris (or battle Tetris) you'll be right at home. The key is to survive, clearing your board while others are knocked out of the game. Last one standing wins the game.
How to Win at Tetris 99
Like any other battle royale game, the way to victory is to be the last one standing. This essentially means keeping your board clear, while sending grey blocks to opponents to trip them up.
Tetris 99 Grey Blocks
While playing Tetris 99, you'll quickly come up against grey blocks. These will fill up your board, and will make it much easier for you to fail. You can generate grey blocks by completing lines. Complete two lines and you'll produce one line of grey blocks. Complete three lines for two of grey blocks, and then complete four lines for four lines of grey blocks.
Send Grey Blocks to Other Players
So players are going to fill your board with grey blocks, what can you do to even the playing field? You can send the grey blocks that you earn to other players. you can either choose the player you want to attack, or have the game choose randomly. You can also use your grey blocks to defend against attacks, so sometimes having a reserve as defense is a good strategy.
Tetris 99 Badges
When the grey blocks that you send to another player cause them to lose, you'll get a KO. This means you'll get a badge piece. It takes two badge pieces to make the first badge, four for the second badge, and so on. These badges have bonuses applied to them. Each badge will increase the amount of grey blocks which you can send to opponents. 25% more for the first badge, 50% more for the second, 75% more for the third, and 100% more for the fourth.
Tetris 99 Tips
In the list below you'll find a collection of essential Tetris 99 tips. Keep them in mind while playing, and you'll grab your first win in no time at all. We were given some help with the tips below from friend of the site Ryan K. Allen, so big thanks for helping build out the list!
- You steal all badges from the players you kill
- Use the KO stick switch to target vulnerable players
- The manual targetting is incredibly difficult to pull off.
- Build flat, ideally.
- The opposite side of the field from your well should always be higher. (i.e. if you're right side well, your build should slope down left to right.
- Side Well is easier to build than Center Well, even at high speeds.
- A T-block or I-block are more valuable than whatever you’re holding. Hold an I-Block if you're confident, hold a T-Block if you need to dig out grey blocks
- Start with KO targeting, switch to Badges at ~50%. Get your badges early, eliminate difficult competition late. (However, This does make you vulnerable to the same tactic.)
- Learn quick patterns for T-Spin Doubles. T-Spin clears deal an inordinate amount of damage right now. Learning quick chains of T-spin doubles can yield quick kills.
- Watch some Tetris streamers for setups and combinations you might not be thinking of. Jonas Neubauer discusses Tetris 101 and Advanced Tactics. Joseph Saelee is at the forefront of new classic Tetris records.
- Ignore 4-wide Combo Wells. They’re glass cannon setups, and you’ll use your whole stack to KO a single opponent at best and and put yourself in a quickly eliminated situation at worst.
That's everything you need to know about Teris 99. We'll be sure to add more tips as we spend more time with the game, but in the meantime let us know what you think of Tetris 99 in the comments.