All the Rest

From terminology to basic controls, here you’ll find important information about the game of Tetris in all its forms.

Select a Category

• Tetris Terminology

Tetris has a vocabulary all to its own. If you’re looking for the difference between a
Hold Queue and a T-Spin, you’ve come to the right place!

• Controls

Tetris can be played either with the arrow keys and a few select keys on the left side of the keyboard or entirely via a number pad. You can modify the keyboard layout from the Options Menu in Tetris Friends for each particular game.

• Frequently Asked Questions

Have you been playing Tetris a while and you still have unanswered questions? Look here for answers to the most common Tetris conundrums.

• Scoring Charts

Check out how points are awarded in Tetris.

• Multiplayer Ranking System

Learn about how to earn stars and gain rank in multiplayer games such as Sprint 5P and Battle 2P.

Tetris Terminology

Select a Tetris Term. or return to Appendix menu

Hold Queue
Lock Down
Hard Drop
Lock Out
Next Queue
Soft Drop
Line Clear
Block Out

Mino: n. A single square-shaped building block of a shape called a Tetrimino. Four Minos arranged into any of their various connected patterns is known as a Tetrimino.
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Tetrimino: n. A geometric Tetris® shape formed by four Minos connected along their sides.
A total of 7 possible Tetriminos can be made using four Mino, each represented by a unique color:

The O-Tetrimino: Yellow. A square shape.

The I-Tetrimino: Light Blue. Similar in shape to a capital ‘I’.

The T-Tetrimino: Purple. Similar in shape to a fat capital ‘T’.

The L-Tetrimino: Orange. Similar in shape to a capital ‘L’.

The J-Tetrimino: Dark Blue. Similar in shape to a capital ‘J’.

The S-Tetrimino: Green. Similar in shape to an ‘S’.

The Z-Tetrimino: Red. Similar in shape to a ‘Z’.

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Matrix: n. The rectangular arrangement of cells that create the active game area, usually 10 columns wide by 20 rows high. Tetriminos fall from the top-middle just above the top of the matrix (off-screen) to the bottom.

Learn more about the Matrix

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Hold: v. This action removes the Tetrimino in play and places it into the Hold Queue. If there was a Tetrimino in the Hold Queue already, it will start to fall from the top of the Matrix, beginning from its originating position and orientation. You must Lock Down the swapped out Tetrimino before you can perform a Hold again.
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Hold Queue
Hold Queue: n. The storage place where players can hold any falling Tetrimino for use later. When called for, the held Tetrimino swaps places with the currently falling Tetrimino, and begins falling from the top of the Matrix.

Learn more about the Hold Queue

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Next Queue
Next Queue: n. The Next Queue shows the player what the next five Tetriminos will be. The top Tetrimino in the Next Queue (inside the circle) will begin to fall once the previous Tetrimino locks down.

Learn more about the Next Queue

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Lock Down
Lock Down: n. Condition after landing when a Tetrimino can no longer move. (There is a brief period once a Tetrimino lands in the Matrix where it can still be moved.)
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Soft Drop
Soft Drop: v. An action that causes the Tetrimino to drop at an accelerated rate (about 20 times the normal speed) from its current location.

Learn more about the Soft Drop

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Hard Drop
Hard Drop: v. An action that causes the Tetrimino in play to drop straight down instantly from its current location and Lock Down on the first surface it lands on. Once performed, the player cannot further manipulate the Tetrimino.

Learn more about the Hard Drop

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Line Clear
Line Clear: n. The result of when a horizontal row is completely filled with blocks and removed from the Matrix. All pieces above the Line Clear shift down to fill the space. Most Tetris variations award scoring or other bonuses for the number of lines cleared at one time. These are known as "Line Clear Bonuses."

Learn more about Line Clears
Learn more about Scoring

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Tetris: n. The result of using a vertical I-Tetrimino to clear four lines at the same time—the maximum possible—for a large scoring bonus. The plural form is Tetrises (for example, Back-to-Back Tetrises).

Learn more about performing a Tetris

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T-Slot: n. Any Block formation such that when a T-Tetrimino is spun into it, any three of the four cells diagonally adjacent to the center of the T-Tetrimino are occupied by existing Blocks.
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T-Spin: n. An action achieved by first landing a T-Tetrimino, then rotating it in a T-Slot before it Locks Down.

Learn more about performing a T-Spin

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Back-to-Back: adj. A description of two major bonus actions, such as a Tetris and a T-Spin Double, are performed before a Single, Double or Triple Line Clear occurs.
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Combo: n. A chain of one or more Line Clears performed consecutively. If a Tetrimino locks down without clearing a line during a Combo, the Combo chain is broken. Longer Combo chains will yield more points resulting in a higher score.

Learn more about Combos

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Block Out
Block Out: n. The Game Over condition that occurs when part of a newly generated Tetrimino cannot fall due to an existing block in the Matrix.
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Lock Out
Lock Out: n. The Game Over Condition occurring when a Tetrimino Locks Down completely above the top of the Matrix.
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Default Tetris Friends controls. or return to Appendix menu

Game Action Keyboard Numpad
Move Left LEFT Arrow Numpad 4
Move Right RIGHT Arrow Numpad 6
Hard Drop Space Bar Numpad 8
Soft Drop DOWN Arrow Numpad 2
Rotate Right UP Arrow, X Numpad 1, 5, 9
Rotate Left Control, Z Numpad 3, 7
Hold SHIFT, C Numpad 0
Pause ESC, F1, P  

Frequently Asked Questions

Having trouble? Get answers here. or return to Appendix menu

What kind of T-Spins can I perform?

What’s next for Tetris Friends?

What are the minimum system requirements to play this game?

Q: What kind of T-Spins can I perform?
A: There are quite a few ways to perform T-Spins, moves that involve maneuvering the T-Tetrimino into narrow spots. In addition to the standard T-Spin, this version of Tetris also recognizes virtually all other T-Spin variations, including T-Spin Minis and T-Spin Triples. In addition, the scoring system has been updated to recognize these feats.
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Q: What’s next for Tetris Friends?
A: Check back to Tetris Friends often, as we have big plans to add new modes and features in the future.
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Q: What are the minimum system requirements to play this game?

  • Windows® Operating System
    Adobe Flash Player 9
    Firefox or Internet Explorer with JavaScript enabled
  • Mac OS X 10.3+
    Adobe Flash Player 9
    Firefox or Safari with JavaScript enabled
  • Linux
    Adobe Flash Player 9
    Firefox or comparable browser with JavaScript enabled

Note: In order to install these components, you will need to be logged into an account with
Administrative privileges.

On most standard computers, this will be the default "Owner" or "Admin" that was created at the
time the computer was set up originally.

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Scoring Chart

Check out the Score Values of moves, Line Clear values, and Combo Scores. or return to Appendix menu

Scoring Values Of Each Move
The scoring system in Tetris rewards advanced moves—a double line clear is worth more than two single line clears, for example. Also, you’ll earn more points per move depending on your level.

Action Awarded Points
Single 100 x Level
Double 300 x Level
Triple 500 x Level
Tetris 800 x Level
T-Spin 400 x Level
T-Spin Single 800 x Level
T-Spin Double 1,200 x Level
T-Spin Triple 1,600 x Level
T-Spin Mini 100 x Level
T-Spin Mini Single 200 x Level
Back-To-Back Bonus 0.5 x Action Total *
Soft Drop 1 x n **
Hard Drop 2 x m ***

* Action Total equals the number of performed sequential moves.
** n equals the number of lines you allow the Tetrimino to Soft Drop.
*** m equals the total distance of the Hard Drop.

Line Clear Value Of Each Move
To advance a level, you must clear five times the number of lines of your current level. For example, to advance past level one you must clear five lines, and to advance past level three you must clear 15 lines. However, certain moves are worth more than the raw number of lines they clear: A T-Spin Single, despite only clearing one line, will count toward level advancement as if you had cleared eight lines, for example.

Action Awarded Line Clears
Single 1
Double 3
T-Spin 4
Triple 5
T-Spin Mini 1
T-Spin Mini Single 2
Tetris / T-Spin Single 8
T-Spin Double 12
T-Spin Triple 16
Back-to-Back Bonus 0.5 x Total Line Clears

Combo Scoring Chart
You’ll earn combo bonuses for clearing lines on Back-to-Back Tetriminos. The value of the bonus depends on how long the combo is. For example, you’ll earn 400 points on the ninth line clear in a combo.

Length of Combo Bonus Points
0 Combo 0
1 Combo 50 x Level
2 Combo 100 x Level
3 Combo 150 x Level
4 Combo 200 x Level
5 Combo 250 x Level
6 Combo 300 x Level
7 Combo 350 x Level
8 Combo 400 x Level
9 Combo 450 x Level
10 Combo 500 x Level
11 Combo 550 x Level
12 Combo 600 x Level
13 Combo 650 x Level
14 Combo 700 x Level
15 Combo 750 x Level
16 Combo 800 x Level
17 Combo 850 x Level
18 Combo 900 x Level
19 Combo 950 x Level
20 Combo 1,000 x Level

N-Blox Scoring System
The scoring system in N-Blox is simple: You earn points depending on how many lines get cleared, and for every line a Tetrimino falls.

Action Score
Single Line Clear 40 points x Level
Double Line Clear 100 points x Level
Triple Line Clear 300 points x Level
Tetris 1200 points x Level
Tetrimino Falling 1 point per line

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Multiplayer Ranking System

The multiplayer-style games in Tetris Friends such as Sprint 5P and Battle 2P all use a ranking system to determine the level of competition you’ll face when you play. There are 20 total ranks; the higher the rank, the better foes you’ll face. If you manage to make it to level 20, consider yourself a Tetris Master!

All players begin at Rank 1: Newbie. To advance in rank, you’ll need to play well and earn stars: the stars you earn will fill your Star Meter, depending on how you well you placed: if you win you’ll gain a full star; finish second to earn a half star, finish third to remain unchanged, finish fourth to lose a half star, and finish fifth to lose a full star.

Each rank has five stars that you need to fill before you’ll move up to the next rank. When you change rank, the number of stars you have will begin at 2 stars. If you lose all of your stars, you’ll drop down a rank.

There is an exception to this rule: if you play an extraordinarilly good game, you’ll have the option to move up several ranks at once! If you manage to set a record for a game four ranks higher than your current rank, you’ll have the chance to leapfrog several ranks at once. The flipside is true, too–have a terrible game and you’ll be given the option to jump down several ranks.

Medal Rank Number Rank Name
Rank 1 Newbie
Rank 2 Novice
Rank 3 Trainee
Rank 4 Rookie
Rank 5 Apprentice
Rank 6 Journeyman
Rank 7 Hobbyist
Rank 8 Practitioner
Rank 9 Achiever
Rank 10 Specialist
Rank 11 Professional
Rank 12 Veteran
Rank 13 Expert
Rank 14 Elite
Rank 15 Champion
Rank 16 Genius
Rank 17 Prodigy
Rank 18 Guru
Rank 19 Master
Rank 20 Grand Master

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Tips By Topic

Jump straight to any topic of interest.

Scoring Charts
Tips by Game Mode
Marathon   Sprint   Survival   Ultra   Sprint 5P   Battle 2P   N-Blox   Battle 6P   Rally 8P   1989