Boost your block-dropping abilities with our TETRIS® 99 tips!


07/03/2019

99 players…but only one will remain! TETRIS® 99 is the iconic puzzle game as you’ve never seen it before. In this unique take on the series, go up against 98 other players, all at once, and battle online* for block-dropping dominance against players around the world.

With 99 people playing at once, things can get pretty frantic – but luckily, there are a few strategies you can use to defend yourself, and pile the pressure on your opponents!

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First up…how can I play TETRIS® 99?

TETRIS® 99 is available as an exclusive offer for members of the Nintendo Switch Online paid membership service. Anybody can download the game for free from Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch, but only Nintendo Switch Online members can take the fight online!

Download TETRIS® 99 via our website.

Find out more about the Nintendo Switch Online paid membership service.

Okay, great. How do I win?

Steady on! As in other games in the long-standing series, various Tetriminos appear at the top of the screen, and it’s up to you to guide them into place to complete rows, clear lines and stop the Matrix from filling all the way to the top.

In TETRIS® 99, though, every time somebody clears two or more lines simultaneously, they’ll send grey Garbage Blocks at other players, lumping them with difficult to clear obstructions. The idea is to K.O. players by filling their Matrix right to the top, until you’re the last one standing – but with Garbage Blocks coming from all directions, there’s little room for error!

Every time you land the finishing blow on another player you’ll earn a Badge, but more on that later…

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I’ve played a couple of rounds, but my attacks seem to be going all over the place…

By default, when you clear lines the resulting Garbage Blocks will be sent to another opponent at random, spreading your offence far and wide. As long as you keep clearing lines, you’ll keep incoming attacks at bay, but you might find it difficult to rack up the K.O.s.

How do I control where my attacks are going, then?

It’s pretty simple! By selecting one of four directions with the right stick, you can change your attack focus any time you like, which will change the types of players you’re targeting. To be really effective, you should get used to switching between strategies to suit the situation!

Flicking down activates “Attackers”, which fires back at any players that are currently aiming at you. Think of it as a handy counter-attack to ward off anybody who wants a piece of you. Better yet: while the other targeting options only send Garbage Blocks to one other player at once, selecting Attackers will send them to all players who are firing your way.

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Moving the right stick up changes to “K.O.s”. With this setting, your Garbage Blocks will fly off towards opponents that are on their way out, with a high stack of blocks. You’ll want to use this to pick off players and thin out the field.

“Badges” is selected by tapping the right stick to the right. This one’s a bit risky, as it puts the focus on the players who have won the most Badges through K.O.s. In other words, it’s likely you’ll put yourself on the radar of the top competitors.

Finally, if you tilt the right stick to the left, you’ll return to the default setting and send Garbage Blocks to random players.

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Is there any way to target a specific opponent?

If you’re feeling ambitious, yes! Moving the left stick lets you put your full focus on a single player, and they’ll receive the results of all your attacks for as long as they’re highlighted with the cursor. It’s tricky to keep your eye on other players’ boards and see who really deserves the attention at the same time as keeping your own Matrix clear, though – especially when the action ramps up in the closing stages!

Argh…these attacks really keep building up. Help?!

There’s no easy way out – you just have to keep clearing lines! Keeping your Matrix clear is just as important as going on the offensive. Remember, you don’t always have to go for a full four-row Tetris™ Line Clear every time. It can be just as effective to build up combos, by clearing one or two lines on sequential drops.

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Whenever attacks are on their way to you, a warning appears at the bottom of the screen, and blocks pile up in the meter to the left of the Matrix. Each block represents one row of incoming Garbage Blocks, showing how many extra rows you can expect in the very near future. Don’t panic, even if it seems like an impossible amount. Every time you clear a line, you’ll knock a block off the meter, meaning one less row to worry about.

If your screen starts flashing a dangerous red, you have a lot of quick-fire clearing ahead of you, though. If you’re in a pickle, clear as many rows as you can, as fast as you can, to reduce the risk. Then you can start thinking about how to strike back!

What was that you said about Badges before?

Ah, yes…these shiny trophies can be the difference between victory and defeat. Each foe you K.O. nets you a Badge, and with enough of them your attack power will increase, meaning you’ll throw out even more Garbage Blocks with every attack!

Your power level starts at 0%, and can grow to 25%, 50%, 75% or 100%. At each stage, the number of bonus lines added to your attack will increase. By the time you get to 100% power, you’ll send out double the standard number of Garbage Blocks with each move! Getting to that level is tough, but with practice and patience, you’ll get closer and closer!

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Thanks for the tips! I think I’m getting the hang of this now…

Keep clearing lines to defend yourself, build up bigger attacks on opponents when you have room to breathe, and switch your targeting strategy regularly – these are just a few simple rules on how to reign supreme. Of course, you can also delve into more traditional Tetris techniques, like how to T-Spin your way out of trouble, to improve your game further. There are plenty of Grand Masters around who can teach you more about that, though!

TETRIS® 99 is available now as an exclusive offer for members of the Nintendo Switch Online paid membership service. Download it here via our website, or learn more about Nintendo Switch Online here.

*Internet connection required during online play. To use online services, you must create a Nintendo Account and accept the related agreement. The Nintendo Account Privacy Policy applies. Some online services may not be available in all countries. Online play requires paid online membership. Find out more about the paid membership subscription.