How To Play "Tetris 99"

How To Play "Tetris 99"

Tetris 99 header.png


by Dylan Blight

Tetris 99, a battle royale-like game stealth dropped amongst Nintendo's February Direct earlier in the week. In the game, you play Tetris, unsurprisingly, but as the title and theme may suggest — you are facing off against 98 other players at the same time.

Although you may understand Tetris multiplayer basic, its rules and consider yourself a pro, Tetris 99 does nothing to explain its royale-battle mechanics, which you will need to know if you want to make your way to victory.

Multiplayer Tetris is rather simple. Clear lines and send blocks to your opponent’s board. Once enough grey blocks stack up they will be dumped on the bottom of their board. Of course, the same applies for you and you can see your incoming grey blocks adding up in the left section of your board. A colour coding section here also supplies you with a countdown until they'll be dropping on to your board, with red representing real soon, but the game also gives you enough flashing and audio cues for when you need to start dreading the upcoming dump.

While you play Tetris 99 you have a clear view of your opponents surrounding you. Tetraminos are dropping everywhere, but who do you target? Can you target manually? And is their more skill to Tetris 99, outside of simply being good at Tetris. The answer to all those is, it depends and yes.

Here are some tips and explanations for Tetris 99.

Manually Targeting

If you so desire to manually attack certain foes, you can by simply moving the left analog stick around. Pick a foe on the board from any position and that's who you'll be sending blocks flying at.

The Tactics

Using the right analog stick you can switch between four different options: Randoms, K.O's, Badges and Attackers. Each of these options changes who you are targeting your grey blocks at, and being able to switch these options and understand why you would change them is important to Tetris 99.


Randoms is where the game starts your selection and it's as the name says: you are targeting a random opponent. It's obviously a good place to start the game unless you spot someone that tickles your fancy ahead of time, which is why the left analog exists.


Targeting K.O's doesn't mean you're targeting already knocked out players — that wouldn't make sense — what it means is you're targeting foes close to being knocked out. Everyone likes getting kills right? This is the best choice to rack them up, but might not be the best choice at all times, especially if you're getting attacked.


Selecting Attackers allows you to get on the defensive. The name might be a little misleading, but selecting Attackers is choosing to target those that are targeting you and basically entering into a VS match. This could be one player, it could be two, it could be the whole damn board. But the more players targeting you, the more you will get out of this option as your grey blocks are spread out across them.


Selecting badges is choosing the target the top players in the match. This is based on the amount of knockouts they currently have in the match. Each time you knock someone out yourself, if you look in the bottom right of your match area you'll notice some badges appearing as trophies from your enemies. Choosing to attack the top players is probably a smarter move if you consider yourself really GOOD at the game, but otherwise, it's asking to possibly get attacked back in full force.

Those are the core mechanics of Tetris 99. Of course, having an understanding of Tetris is necessary as well and honestly, if you haven't played Tetris before, maybe go train up in another game first because Tetris 99 offers no practice or learning mode. But once you do understand how to play, come back and join in the ultimate battle royale.

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