How to Play 3D Pinball

By Matthew Anderson

Updated September 22, 2017

Score and game display
i Matthew Abdallah

3D Pinball is a modified version of the Space Cadet table from Full Tilt! Pinball. Originally first bundled with Windows Plus! 95, 3D Pinball was included with the Windows operating system until the release of Windows Vista. The premise of the machine is the player is a Cadet in the Space Corps and must run missions to move through the ranks. The objective of the game is to get the highest possible score.

Select "Pinball" from the Games menu in the All Programs section of the Start Menu.

Use the Space Bar to pull the plunger back and release it to put the ball in play. The longer the Space Bar is pushed, the further the plunger will be pulled back.

Use the "X," "." and "Up" keys to "bump" the table right, left or up, respectively. This shakes the table and causes the ball to move slightly in the bumped direction.

Use the "Z" and "/" keys to use the left and right flipper to keep the ball in play.

Mission targets and ramp are along the left of the table

Shoot the mission targets on the left side of the table (indicated by the blue arrow) to activate a mission. Shoot the ball up the ramp to start the mission.

Complete the objective on the display and marked by arrows on the table to complete the mission.

Repeat for all three balls.


Completing missions will eventually increase your rank, which allows you to access more rewarding and difficult missions.


Using the bump buttons too much will tilt the machine. This means the ball automatically drops and you lose any ball bonus you would have gained.