Tetris 99, Nintendo's fast-paced battle royal game is like Fortnite for people who do not have the patience to craft cool buildings but still have a soft spot for bricks. It's every Tetris fanatic's dream; face off against 99 other players, all vying for the top spot and instant bragging rights that you are one of the best in the world. Part of the genius of the original Tetris is that, like all great games, it's easy to learn but difficult to master.
Tetris 99 is no different. While aspects of the game can seem overwhelming at first, following these simple tips can help you rise to the cream of the brick breaking crop in no time.
10 Look Out!
Tetris is difficult, yes, but it's not unforgiving. In fact, as with most Tetris games, Tetris 99 allows you to see just what piece is coming your way next. Sure, the gameplay is somewhat reactionary, but there is an element of tactics to the experience.
This is essential to crafting a winning strategy. Being aware of what brick is coming next can be the difference between scoring a Tetris and helplessly watching as a rapidly rising wall scratches out your shot at glory.
9 Hold On
By pushing L or R, you'll be able to hold the next brick until you need it. This allows you to plan your strategy around the brick of your choosing, or at least, the best one the game is giving you. It can also help if you're looking for something long to drop into a gap and instead see a square block coming your way.
Hold it for now, and use it when you've got a little more room to breathe. Lots of players will use this feature to hold an "I" piece, which isn't a bad idea, unless--
8 Don't Become Piece Dependent
Sure, everybody wants to set up that perfect wall of bricks, drop an "I" piece in the middle, and watch as the lines drop like flies. But the problem starts when you find yourself waiting forever for that one piece you need, only for it to never come, or only arrive after you're drowning in bricks. Make sure you can make any piece work.
This is easier said than done, but if you can find a way to use each piece to your advantage, it'll keep your game moving and keep you sending grey bricks to your opponents.
7 Cast A Wide Net
Tetris 99 gives players the chance to attack a general group, by selecting things like going for KOs or badges (more on that in a minute). However, you also have the option to select one particular player and target them specifically.
While this may seem appealing if you have an ax to grind with that guy over on the top left, it won't really do much for you early on. Instead, select something like KO or badges to start the game, and then shift your focus as players drop off. Or don't--keeping your eyes on the game is far more important than shifting around for different players to attack.
6 Go In For The Kill
Each time you knock a player out of the game, you gain badge pieces. Two badge pieces make the first badge, four make the second, eight for the... you get it. Each badge increases the number of garbage bricks you'll send to opponents when you make lines; you'll get 25% more for the first badge, 50% more for the second, 75% more for the third, and 100% more for the fourth.
That's why starting off selecting "KO" with the right stick is the way to go. Start racking up the knockouts and even more will follow, then switch to going for badges.
5 Focus Up!
Tetris 99 is a game that demands your utmost attention and focus. If you're in a crowded room, or even just hanging out with other people, it might be hard to really give it the level of attention it needs.
Remember; Tetris is a classic video game, made in the era when game length and replayability took a back seat to difficulty. So tell your friends to hit the road and put the kids to bed, or you'll pay for it on the battlefield.
4 It's Electric
The "S" and "Z" blocks can be among the most frustrating pieces in Tetris. But there are ways to use them to your advantage. Try moving one of these pesky pieces right next to where you want it to go, then sliding it beneath the piece next to it.
After that, you can slide a "J" or "L" block in next to it and erase the gap in your bricks. You've got to move quickly for this one to work though, or you'll end up with an "S" or "Z" hanging out in the middle of the board with nowhere to go.
3 Keep It Level
When brick building, keep your wall as flat as possible. Any extra bricks poking up or causing the top of the wall to be anything other than flat will trip you up. At the end of the day; one way or another, these bricks all fit together.
It's how they were designed. Therefore, do your best to take advantage of that and keep your playing field smooth as a baby's bottom. Tetris 99 pits you against yourself in a constant struggle to avoid self-destructing.
2 Get Offline
Practice makes perfect, so try playing Tetris offline for a while if you're struggling with the pressure of playing against 99 other players. It seems obvious, but the best thing you can do to get better at Tetris 99 is to master the basics of Tetris.
Tetris 99 now offers an offline mode, although you do have to pay for it. Instead, why not go fire up that old Game Boy that's been sitting in your parents' basement for the past ten years? It misses you.
1 Make Lines!
Duh, right? But with all the bells and whistles and distractions of Tetris 99, it's possible to forget that, at its core, Tetris is a game about making lines. If you can do this, you'll find yourself hanging around longer and longer.
Don't have the piece you need for a Tetris? So what, knock out two lines. Only have a piece to make one line? Go for it. The longer you can stay alive, the more chances you'll have to punish your opponents. So, when all else fails, just shake what Pajitnov gave ya.