Tetris Effect

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Tetris Effect
TetrisEffect box art US ESRB.png
Developer(s)Monstars Inc.
Stage Games
Platform(s)PlayStation 4, Windows, Oculus Quest, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One
ReleasePlayStation 4
  • WW: November 9, 2018
  • WW: July 23, 2019
Oculus Quest
  • WW: May 15, 2020
Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One
  • WW: November 10, 2020
Gameplay info
Next pieces1-4
Playfield size10 × 20
Hold pieceYes
Hard dropYes
Rotation systemSRS (primary)
NRS (secondary)
Tetris Effect title.png
Tetris Effect ingame.png

Tetris Effect is a single player game featuring music and visuals that react to player actions. It is the first official console release since Tetris Ultimate in 2014.

Tetris Effect was released for Windows, with support for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, on July 23rd. It is available for purchase on the Epic Games Store and will be available on Steam in Summer 2021. A port for the Oculus Quest was released the following year.

An updated release, named Tetris Effect: Connected, was announced for the Xbox series of consoles and will be released on November 10, 2020, with a free update for other platforms expected to be released on Summer 2021. This release adds multiplayer modes in addition to the single-player features within the game.


Tetris Effect features standard Guideline rules for gameplay; several features such as IRS/IHS, hold piece, and piece preview count can be changed in the Options. Each stage has its own themed block design; however, the player may also switch to a Traditional (Guideline-colors) block design for improved visibility.

Zone mechanic

The main mode of Tetris Effect, Journey Mode, features a new mechanic named "Zone". By filling up the Zone meter with performing line clears, the player can then trigger Zone, where the gravity temporarily stops and any lines cleared are pushed to the bottom of the playfield. Zone ends when the time meter runs out or the player tops out; the bonus score amount given afterwards is determined by the number of Zone lines cleared. The maximum Zone duration is 20 seconds, while the current maximum amount of lines clearable in Zone is 22.

ZONE clear name Line clear amount
Tetris 4-7
Octoris 8-11
Dodecatris 12-15
Decahexatris 16-17
Perfectris 18-19
Ultimatris 20
Kirbtris 21
Impossibilitris 22

Grading and Scoring

Scoring is carried over from other Guideline games; the player receives a certain grade (from D/E to SS) based on their final score in a mode.

List of Stages

Stage Name Appearance
Main Stages
The Deep Journey Mode, Area 1, Stage 1
Pharaoh's Code Journey Mode, Area 1, Stage 2
Karma Wheel Journey Mode, Area 1, Stage 3
Jellyfish Chorus Journey Mode, Area 2, Stage 1
Da Vinci Journey Mode, Area 2, Stage 2
Prayer Circles Journey Mode, Area 2, Stage 3
Ritual Passion Journey Mode, Area 2, Stage 4
Deserted Journey Mode, Area 3, Stage 1
Dolphin Surf Journey Mode, Area 3, Stage 2
Downtown Jazz Journey Mode, Area 3, Stage 3
Spirit Canyon Journey Mode, Area 3, Stage 4
Jeweled Veil Journey Mode, Area 4, Stage 1
Forest Dawn Journey Mode, Area 4, Stage 2
Kaleidoscope Journey Mode, Area 4, Stage 3
Turtle Dreams Journey Mode, Area 4, Stage 4
Celebration Journey Mode, Area 4, Stage 5
Sunset Breeze Journey Mode, Area 5, Stage 1
Aurora Peak Journey Mode, Area 5, Stage 2
Zen Blossoms Journey Mode, Area 5, Stage 3
Yin & Yang Journey Mode, Area 5, Stage 4
Hula Soul Journey Mode, Area 5, Stage 5
Starfall Journey Mode, Area 6, Stage 1
Balloon High Journey Mode, Area 6, Stage 2
Mermaid Cove Journey Mode, Area 6, Stage 3
Orbit Journey Mode, Area 6, Stage 4
Stratosphere Journey Mode, Area 6, Stage 5
Metamorphosis Journey Mode, Area 7
Special Stages
Space Sprint Sprint Mode
Gilded Horizon Ultra Mode
Space Race Master Mode
Mandala All Clear, Combo, and Target Modes
Rose Horizon Countdown Mode
Rebirth Purify Mode
Hidden Stages
1989 Unlockable by participating in Weekend Ritual or reaching XP Level 50
1984 Secret Stage (see Codes below)

Journey Mode

The main mode of the game, with 27 stages total. The stages are split into 7 different areas, where they are unlocked one by one as the player progresses. Each stage has 3 sections, with a different speed level per section. The line goal per stage is determined by the selected difficulty: 30 lines for Beginner, 36 lines for Normal, and 48 lines for Expert, respectively. The final stage, Metamorphosis, has a 90-line goal, regardless of difficulty selected. Only non-Zone cleared lines count toward the goal. Practice Mode is also available, which allows the player to progress through the first four areas with no game overs and low gravity levels.

Speed Levels in Journey Mode
Stage Beginner Normal Expert
The Deep 1 1 1 1 2 3 6 7 8
Pharaoh's Code 2 2 2 3 4 5 8 9 10
Karma Wheel 3 3 3 4 5 6 10 11 12
Jellyfish Chorus 1 1 3 1 1 5 6 6 10
Da Vinci 1 3 1 1 5 1 6 10 6
Prayer Circles 3 1 3 5 1 5 10 6 10
Ritual Passion 1 3 7 1 5 9 6 12 15
Deserted 4 2 2 6 3 3 11 8 6
Dolphin Surf 2 7 3 4 9 6 10 15 12
Downtown Jazz 2 6 2 4 8 5 9 14 10
Spirit Canyon 1 3 8 3 5 10 8 10 16
Jeweled Veil 2 2 4 4 4 6 9 9 10
Forest Dawn 5 5 5 7 7 7 12 12 12
Kaleidoscope 5 7 2 7 10 3 12 16 8
Turtle Dreams 6 6 6 8 8 8 13 13 13
Celebration 1 6 9 1 8 11 6 15 18
Sunset Breeze 4 1 4 7 3 7 12 8 12
Aurora Peak 3 6 7 5 8 9 10 13 16
Zen Blossoms 1 4 6 3 6 8 8 11 13
Yin & Yang 9 5 3 11 7 5 16 12 10
Hula Soul 1 7 10 3 10 12 8 16 20
Starfall 6 9 4 9 12 7 15 18 12
Balloon High 2 9 3 5 12 6 10 18 11
Mermaid Cove 4 4 7 7 7 10 12 12 14
Orbit 4 6 8 7 8 11 13 14 17
Stratosphere 8 9 10 10 11 13 16 18 20
Metamorphosis 7 4 10 10 7 13 16 13 20

Effect Modes

This section contains 11 different game modes, categorized into 4 groups. In Marathon, Chill Marathon, Quick Play, and Mystery modes, the player can choose one of the available main and hidden stages to play on. All other modes have their own unique stages.



Standard fixed-goal Marathon mode. Clear at least 150 lines to complete the mode. Endless can be toggled on, and initial level (up to 15) can be selected.

Grade Score
SS 500,000
S ???
A ???
B ???
C ???
D ???


3-minute score attack mode.

Grade Score
SS 35,000
S ???
A ???
B ???
C ???
D ???


40 lines time attack mode.

Grade Time
SS <1:10
S <1:20
A <1:40
B <2:20
C <3:20
D >3:20
E Fail


20G mode with 30 speed levels, each with a progressively decreasing lock delay value. Clear at least 300 lines to complete the mode. Initial M-level can be selected prior to starting the mode.

Grade Lines
SS 150
S 130
A 100
B 50
C 20
D 1
E 0


In these modes, topping out will reset the playfield and score counter instead of netting an instant Game Over. Piece sequences can be toggled between Random or Fixed.

Chill Marathon

Marathon mode, but with no instant Game Overs. Initial level is selectable; the line goal amount can also be adjusted between 150 to 600 lines in multiples of 30.

Grade Score
SS 300,000
S ???
A ???
B ???
C ???
D ???

Quick Play

Play one of the available stages with selectable fixed level and line goal amount, ranging from 30 to 600 lines in multiples of 30.

Grade Score
SS 10,000
S ???
A ???
B ???
C ???
D ???


Play through a set of 4 similarly-themed stages in continuous succession. The player can also change the background music prior to starting one of the three available Playlists:

  • SeaThe Deep, Dolphin Surf, Mermaid Cove; Jellyfish Chorus
  • WindDa Vinci, Balloon High, Deserted; Sunset Breeze
  • WorldPrayer Circles, Zen Blossoms, Jeweled Veil; Karma Wheel
Grade Score
SS 40,000
S ???
A ???
B ???
C ???
D ???


All Clear

Perform as many perfect clears as possible within a 1-minute base time limit, using the given stacks and piece sequences. Each successful perfect clear will add a time bonus.

Grade Score
SS 30
S 26
A 20
B ???
C ???
D ???
E ???


Perform as many combos as possible within a 1-minute base time limit, using the given stacks and piece sequences. Each successful combo clear will add a time bonus.

Grade Score
SS 120
S ???
A ???
B 50
C 30
D 1
E 0


Clear as many gem blocks as possible within a 1-minute base time limit. Each gem block cleared adds a time bonus.

Grade Score
SS 30
S ???
A ???
B ???
C ???
D ???



Score as many points as possible within 5 minutes. One or more I pieces drop into a random column on the stack every 2, 5, 8, or 10 piece drops. Endless can also be toggled on; the mode ends when the player tops out.

Grade Score
SS 55,000
S ???
A ???
B ???
C ???
D ???


Clear as many violet and grey garbage blocks as possible within a 3-minute time limit. New "infected" blocks are added to the stack at certain time intervals.

Grade Blocks Purified
SS 450
S ???
A ???
B ???
C ???
D ???


Marathon mode, but new random mechanics are activated for a particular time period, such as Big Block pieces, restricting Hold, Diamond Bombs, etc.

Grade Score
SS 400,000
S ???
A ???
B ???
C ???
D ???

Multiplayer Modes

The following modes are added in Tetris Effect: Connected. Ranked, Friend, and Local Match sub-modes are available; the latter two sub-modes also have additional settings in all multiplayer modes.


Co-op multiplayer mode. 3 players, each with their own playfield, must battle against an A.I.-controlled boss in a fourth playfield. As the boss makes line clears, a meter fills up, which when filled, attacks the other players with a random mechanic modifier. The 3 co-op players must then make line clears to fill up a special Zone meter. When the Zone meter is full and activated, the 3 players' playfields merge together and collapse all blocks to the bottom via cascade gravity. While in the Zone, the players must make as many lines as possible within the shared playfield; special purple pieces may also drop at certain locations to push down blocks and fill any gaps. Once the Zone time limit ends or a player tops out, the resulting Zone line clear amount is then converted to a solid garbage attack towards the boss. If one or two of the players top out, the other(s) may also fill up a meter to revive a dead player by performing line clears. The mode ends when all 3 players top out or the boss tops out. 4 areas of difficulty are available, and Maniac Mod may also be toggled on to increase the overall difficulty of the boss.

A special version of the mode, Connected VS, is also available during Weekend Rituals. Here, a fourth player can play as the boss on the fourth playfield; the boss can also switch between Attack or Defense meters for attacking the other 3 players and clearing the solid garbage on the playfield, respectively.

Zone Battle

Standard versus mode, with the addition of the Zone mechanic from Journey Mode. When a player enters the Zone, the line clear amount and clear types made during the Zone period is then converted to an attack towards the other player. However, the player may also block an incoming garbage attack by entering the Zone and clearing enough lines to cancel the attack.

In Friend and Local Matches, the Zone mechanic can be toggled off for a more traditional battle game. Other options include toggleable piece sequences for each player, garbage spawn type, Hyper Mod (faster DAS and shorter line clear delay), Randomizer type, Zone Attack power multiplier, etc.

Classic Score Attack

This mode uses the gameplay mechanics and visual styles from Tetris (NES, Nintendo) and the versus format seen in the Classic Tetris World Championship (CTWC). Each player must aim for a score higher than the other before both top out by clearing lines. No garbage is sent in this mode. Initial speed level is selectable before the start of a round.

In Friend and Local Matches, several parameters, such as battle type, line clear goal limit, horizontal movement type, and score amounts for each line clear type can be adjusted prior to starting a round.

Score Attack

Uses the same format as Classic Score Attack, but with Guideline mechanics instead. Several parameters, such as scoring template, constant speed level, and time limit, can be adjusted in Friend and Local Matches.

Weekend Ritual

During certain days, a Weekend Ritual event is held, where all players must accumulate a set number of points by playing one of the four Effect Mode sub-groups (Classic, Relax, Focus, or Adventurous) during a limited time period. Reaching the score goal before the event ends will unlock new avatars, in-game Stages, etc.


Key: L = Left, D = Down, U = Up, R = Right, A = Select, B = Back

  • 1984 Stage: UUDDLRLRBA

When entered successfully on the title screen of the game, the player is then taken to the title screen of Tetris (Electronika 60), and the following code must be inputted using a keyboard: 06061984. After entering the numerical code and pressing Enter, the 1984 stage is automatically unlocked.

External Links