In part 3 of this tutorial I will walk through some of the general physics settings used in nFozzy’s Terminator 2 table.  In combination with his flipper physics and rubber elasticity extensions, these settings are a great starting point for building tables with outstanding physics.  While most applicable to new tables (90’s and newer), these can also be used effectively on early SS to late 80’s tables with some minor tweaks.

Ball Size

Terminator 2 uses a ball diameter of 50 and a mass of 1.  A number of authors have released tables using a higher ball mass and lower table slope, including myself.  I’ve found through extensive testing that there is not a major difference in the behavior of the table using a mass of 1 with a higher table slope and have started to move back to these settings on all my tables.

Table Difficulty and Slope

Terminator 2 uses a difficulty setting of 56, min slope of 6, and a maximum slope of 7.  With this combination, the table will play at a slope of 6.56, which is within the standard range for new tables.  The difficulty setting of 56 also plays a key role in how much scatter angle is applied to various physics objects.

Table Physics

Terminator 2 uses the following table physics settings:

Gravity Constant 0.97
Playfield Friction 0.15-0.25
Playfield Elasticity 0.25
Playfield Elasticity Falloff 0
Playfield Scatter 0
Default Element Scatter 2

A couple of notes on these settings.  I was a huge fan of low friction tables … until I went from playing visual pinball to real pinball.  While the behavior of the ball feels very natural, I found visual pinball with low friction to much too fast compared to real pinball.  Using a playfield friction of 0.075 0.15-0.25 is a better approximation of real pinball in my opinion.

Be careful when adding playfield scatter.  I’ve found that it can cause some unusual behaviors, like the ball straying of a straight line path in an unnatural way.  If you’re looking for more randomness, I recommend you apply more scatter to your collidable objects.

Material Physics

The following is a good starting point for the physics setting for various materials/objects.

Object Elasticity Elasticity Falloff Friction Scatter Angle
Drop Targets 0.625 0.1 0.3 1
Metal 0.4 0 0.15 0.2 0
Metal w/Falloff 0.45 0.05 0.2 0
Plastics 0.42 0 0.3 0
Metal Ramps 0.4 0 0.15 0
Plastic Ramps 0.4 0.2 0.3 0
Ramp End Vinyl 0.7 0.4 0.3 0
Ramp Entry Protectors 0.5 0.4 0.3 0
Rubber Bands 0.85 0.13 0.3 0
Rubber Pegs 0.9 0.1 0.3 0
Rubber Posts 0.9 0.1 0.3 1
Rubber Sleeves 0.765 0.1 0.3 1
Spot Targets 0.625 0 0.3 1
Wood 0.4 0.1 0.3 0

The easiest way to apply these settings to your table is to use physics materials.  The attached file can be downloaded and imported into the “Materials Manager”.

Unzip the file below.  Select the “Table” menu in the VP editor , then select “Materials Manager”.  Click “Import”, browse to the unzipped file, select “Physics Materials”, and click open.  Your materials manager should then list the imported materials.  For example, you should see a material named “zCol_Drop Target”.

Physics Materials

To apply the physics settings to your table, simply select the object, uncheck “Overwrite Material Settings” and select the material from the “Physics Material” drop down.  The example below shows the selection of the Rubber Pegs material.


The following are recommended settings for bumpers:

Force 9.5-10.5
Hit Threshold 1.6-2
Scatter Angle 2


Terminator 2 uses the following settings for slingshots:

Hit Threshold 2
Slingshot Force 5
Slingshot Theshold 2-3
Elasticity 0.85
Friction 0.8
Scatter Angle 1


Terminator 2 uses the following settings for gates:

Elasticity 0.625
Friction 0.3

That covers the basic physics settings needed for almost any table.  The remainder will be up to the author to determine (for example, kicker strength).

The attached example table adds in the physics settings listed above using the physics materials where applicable (in addition to Part 1 and Part 2 of this tutorial).  Download and give it a play.  Compare it against the standard VP example table and observe the difference in play.  This concludes the three part tutorial.  Thanks for reading.


  1. Thalamus 1 year ago

    This 3rd section didn’t contain as much surprises as the the previous two. Settings here is roughly what I’ve used if I don’t like the physics and the method of using materials is a life saver. An idea that pops into mind is that if we where able to define exact names that should be used for the different objects – adjusting a table to your preferred one could be done as easy as to delete the physics materials and import your own. But, before I do that, maybe I’ll do better by trying these first.

    Again. Thank you very much for the time and effort into making these tutorials. Much appreciated Roth !

  2. bord 1 year ago

    Much appreciated. The use of physics materials in VPX was a huge improvement for authors.

  3. BorgDog 1 year ago

    I’m with @thalamus on this one, less ‘different’ stuff in this one. the one other material physics I use a lot of is for Metal_WireRails, which shares most of your metal with falloff but with a higher elasticity. mostly applicable on the wire rails feeding the flipper on older games, those get a crazy amount of bounce on them. I usually have them .1 or .2 above my MetalWalls depending on the game, the longer they are the more bounce, usually a nice arc STDM.

    nice writeups @rothbauerw, definitely be playing around with the flipper and rubber stuff

  4. -RpT 1 year ago

    thanks for the guide!

  5. batch 3 months ago

    Thanks for this topic

    I’ve a question about Rubber Pegs settings

    On Material Physics table, values are 0,9/0,1/0,3/0

    In the paragraph below “Physics Materials”, values are 0,3/0,5/0,3/0

    Which values are the right ones ?

  6. Author
    rothbauerw 3 months ago

    0.3/0.5/0.3 are greyed out. I believe these are the default values we are overwriting with the material physics. So 0.9/0.1/0.3 are the correct values. Lately I’ve increased the rubber objects friction to 0 6 instead of 0 3.

  7. batch 3 months ago

    Ok, so correct values are 0,9/0,1/0,6 ?

    Thanks for this topic, if I understand, you’re trying to find the most realistic physics settings

    It’s very interesting, it would be great to have a tool to analyse real ball behaviour (is a video enough ?)

    Or perhaps you have this tool ?

  8. Author
    rothbauerw 3 months ago

    I use videos to compare behaviors and tune settings over time. 0.9/0.1/0.6 would be my recommendation.

  9. batch 3 months ago

    Thanks a lot rothbauerw

    In fact, I’d like to use your settings for my table Nemesis (Peyper)

    It’s neither an EM table nor a recent table

    Which settings would you recommend to me ?

  10. Genesis38 3 months ago

    I have a silly question. I downloaded the physics file and applied it to Congo as an example. Everything shows up as expected in the materials manager menu, however my physics menu is different than the photo above. I’m using 10.6, so I can only assume that might be the difference, but just wanted to get some opinions.

  11. Author
    rothbauerw 3 months ago

    It might depend on the type of object you’ve selected.

    • Genesis38 3 months ago

      Thank you Rothbauerw. I’ll have to look at it again. None of those objects show up on the drop down menu. Actually I don’t have a drop down menu at all…

  12. Author
    rothbauerw 3 months ago

    Batch, I’d select the set that is closest to the era of machine you’d like your table to play like.

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