Tetris is a classic video game with a thriving competitive scene and a devoted fan base. While there are numerous Tetris variations, the basic components are always the same. You earn points by filling in rows, which is accomplished by rotating 7 different shapes to create complete rows from your shapes. Each row you fill in vanishes instantly, and the pieces fall faster as you play. To improve your Tetris skills, you must first master the fundamentals of maintaining a mound, leaving a well open, and scoring a Tetris by clearing four rows at once. All of this necessitates a deft balancing act between leaving room for manoeuvre and scoring with the line pieces. Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, you can work on more advanced moves and strategies such as hyper-tapping, tucking, and spinning to really up your game.
Method 1 Manipulating Pieces and Scoring
1. Learn how to rotate the pieces clockwise and counterclockwise. Begin a game of Tetris and rotate each block. Take note of how each piece moves and memorise the number of times you need to press the button to turn a piece a certain way. Because you won’t need to monitor a piece while rotating it, knowing the order will give you more time to look at the preview box, mound, and well.
At higher levels of play, players don’t even look at the falling pieces. They know how many times they have to turn a piece and only focus on moving it left or right.
2. While putting your current piece down, consider your next piece. When you’ve aligned a piece with the slot where it belongs, look at the preview box on the top or side of your screen to see what piece is coming next. This will allow you to plan your next move and determine how you want to play the board.
Checking for an I piece, for example, can save you from unnecessary burning if you have a tall mound and are debating whether or not to burn some rows.
Tip: Some Tetris versions include a “bank” function, which allows you to press a button and send a piece in the preview pane to the bank for later use. Use this to save your I pieces for Tetris or to discard pieces that you can’t place cleanly at the moment.
3. Play in marathon mode to learn how to progress through the levels. Adjusting to the way pieces drop at different speeds as the levels progress is part of getting better at Tetris. As you progress through the levels, you’ll need to move faster, build smaller mounds, and rotate pieces more precisely. When practising alone, use marathon mode to get a feel for how the levels progress.
Competitive Tetris games typically begin at level 5 or 10. If you’re already comfortable with the fundamentals, you can begin your marathon runs from these positions.
4. To score the most points, clear four rows at a time with “I” pieces. While the scoring systems differ, clearing four rows of bricks at once earns the highest score in every version of Tetris. The only way to accomplish this is to construct a mound at least four rows tall while leaving a single column completely open for the I piece. When you get an I piece, place it vertically in the column you left open to score a “Tetris” and get the most points.
The number of rows cleared at a time is referred to as your score in Tetris. A single is when you clear one row, a double is when you clear two rows, a triple is when you clear three rows, and a Tetris is when you clear four rows. For scoring a Tetris, you get a massive amount of bonus points.
The term “Tetris rate” in competitive Tetris refers to the percentage of your points that come from scoring Tetrises. You’re doing really well if your Tetris rate is greater than 50%.
5. To clear obstructed wells, score singles, doubles, or triples. If you ever lose a piece, you can find it by clearing the rows around it. Completing the rows will cause them to vanish. Instead of trying to score a Tetris on top of the column, score singles, doubles, and triples above and beneath it to clear it out.
The rate at which the pieces fall in Tetris increases as you progress through the levels. This means that it’s better to lose some points early on by clearing out a well for a Tetris than it is to build Tetris on top of a mound.
The act of scoring singles, doubles, or triples to clear a well that you have inadvertently covered is referred to as “digging” or “cleaning.”
6. Work on your movement acrobatics. Finesse refers to rotating and moving the pieces as efficiently as possible in order to get the tetrominoes where they need to be with the fewest taps. The exact method depends on the rotation scheme, so look for a finesse guide tailored to the rotation scheme you use the most.
On the most basic level, this means using both clockwise and counterclockwise rotations. Many new players have a tendency to rotate pieces only in one direction, which is a huge disadvantage at higher speeds.
Method 2 Building, Burning, and Dropping Pieces
1. At the start of each game, make a mound on the left side. When you spin the long and T-shaped pieces, they always rotate to the right of the screen. This means that as the game progresses, you’ll need more space on the right side of the screen to move pieces. To keep the right side open, begin each game by layering pieces on the left side. Create rows of pieces while leaving the rightmost column open until you have four solid rows. Once you have a long piece (known as an I piece), place it in the column and begin again.
A “well” in Tetris refers to the column that you leave open to score while the other cells on a row fill up.
When you first get your I pieces, lay them out horizontally to build your mound.
If you begin with a Z or S piece, leave an opening on the bottom row. Put it in the centre so you can tuck a J or L piece into the open cell.
Tip: Although the I block’s official name is “straight tetromino,” the blocks are commonly referred to as letters to make them easier to remember. Many players refer to the I pieces as “bars,” “lines,” or “blue pieces.”
2. When your mound becomes too large, burn rows to make it smaller. When the pieces stack all the way to the playing field’s ceiling, the game is over. If you accidentally covered multiple wells or left too many pieces hanging, you’ll need to “burn” a few rows to reduce the size of your mound and give yourself more working space. When you notice that the mound is becoming too large for you to safely manoeuvre pieces around, begin clearing rows by completing them in any way you can to make it smaller.
When you finish a row, it vanishes. Making rows disappear will reduce the size of your mound. In terms of the player’s intentions, the terms “clearing,” “digging,” and “burning” have different connotations, but they’re all just different ways of saying “make rows disappear.”
You might not get an I piece for the first 20-30 turns of the game. To keep your mound manageable, you’ll need to do a lot of burning early on.
As you progress through the levels, you can reduce the amount of time you spend burning. As the pieces move faster with each level, the amount of space required to move them grows.
RNG is an abbreviation for “random number generator.” When a player goes a long time without an I piece and has to cover the well, they will complain about RNG.
3. To move pieces for a quick soft drop, hold down the down button. Competitive Tetris rewards you with extra points for placing pieces faster. Increase the speed at which you drop pieces into place by pressing and holding the joystick or keyboard while the piece moves. Rather than pausing to rotate a piece, rotate it as it falls.
The points you earn over the course of a match will quickly add up. Increase your score by dropping softly whenever you can.
A “soft drop” is when you hold a button or a stick down while placing a piece.
4. To place a piece instantly for a hard drop, press the up button. In some versions of Tetris, you can drop a piece by pressing up on your joystick or keyboard. In timed Tetris, use the hard drop to place a piece as quickly as possible. As soon as you have a piece, rotate it to fit the slot you require. Move it to the left or right until it is floating over the position you want it to be, then press up. The piece will immediately fly to the bottom of the screen, where you were hovering.
Tetris for the NES is the most popular version of competitive Tetris. In this version of the game, there is no hard drop function.
5. Construct a double-wide well. As usual, construct your regular well, making sure you’re ready for a Tetris. To be Tetris-ready, your well should be 1 block wide for at least 4 lines, with the part of the well above that being 2 blocks wide. This is extremely useful because almost every piece will fit in here and clear one or two lines, leaving you with no holes and an open well, ready to score a Tetris. It’s also an excellent way to burn off the top of your stack if it’s becoming too high.
The only requirement for this to work is that your build’s left side be sufficiently high for the lines to clear. This will not work if your left side is too low.
Because it sometimes requires you to burn one or two lines to fill it up to a regular, single-wide well, this technique is better suited for Tetris versions that don’t award bonus points for back-to-back Tetrises.
Method 3 Pulling off Complex Moves
1. Clear overhangs by tucking pieces. You’ve created an overhang if you play a T, J, L, Z, or S piece in such a way that there is an open space underneath it. Because there is a time lag between a piece moving down one cell and settling on a row beneath it, you can rotate or move a piece into these open spaces by pressing the rotation button just before it settles. This is known as “tucking,” and it is an important move to master if you want to get out of sticky situations.
A zangi-move is when you tuck a piece after performing a hard drop.
2. To perform difficult tucks, master the T-spin. The T-spin is a difficult move that, if mastered, can get you out of tight situations. Because of the time it takes for a piece to settle, you can rotate a T piece into a slot at the last second to fit it in unexpected ways. To do so, press the rotate button just before a T piece settles, and it will spin into a slot that it would not have fit into otherwise.
For example, if an overhang on your mound creates a gap where a T brick could fit from the side, you won’t be able to drop it in directly. However, you could lower it next to the opening and rotate it at the last second to settle the cell that sticks out snuggly into the opening.
If you don’t know the rotations of the T piece, you won’t be able to perform the T spin correctly.
Tucking is simply sliding a piece into a slot, whereas spinning is rotating it into a slot. The principles behind the two moves, however, are the same: you’re filling in a hidden slot by moving at the last possible second.
Any piece that can be rotated can be spun. The T-spin is important because it can be rotated to fill in open cells under the S, Z, L, and J pieces, whereas those four can only be oriented in one direction.
3. On newer games, use the O-spin to tuck block pieces. The O block cannot be rotated in classic Tetris versions. The O block can be rotated right before it lands in some newer versions. This will allow you to fit the O block into a space that was previously obstructed by an overhanging piece. To spin the O block, press the rotation button just before it lands.
4. Learn how to master piece placement at higher levels by hyper-tapping. When you reach level 15, the game will drop pieces at such a rapid pace that you will have less than a second to rotate and place them. To save time, learn to hyper-tap by repeatedly tapping a button rather than holding it down to move a piece left or right. When you reach higher levels, tapping the button instead of holding it down will be more efficient.
Hyper-tapping can put a lot of strain on your wrists and hands. Take breaks between practise sessions to keep your body in good shape.
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