Tetris Effect: Connected cover art
|Platform(s)||PlayStation 4, Windows, Oculus Quest, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One|
|Playfield size||10 × 20|
|Rotation system||SRS (primary) |
Tetris Effect is a single player game featuring music and visuals that react to player actions. The game was released on November 9, 2018, exclusively for the PlayStation 4. 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 23, 2019. It is available for purchase on the Epic Games Store. A version for the Oculus Quest was released May 15, 2020.
An updated release, named Tetris Effect: Connected, was announced for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Windows 10 (exclusively through the Microsoft Store and Xbox Game Pass) on July 23, 2020, and was released on November 10, 2020. The Connected update will also be released on existing platforms and on Steam in Summer 2021. This update added new multiplayer modes to 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.
The main mode of Tetris Effect, Journey Mode, features a new mechanic named Zone. By filling up the Zone meter by performing line clears (x lines, depending on difficulty in Journey Mode or phase in Zone Battle, charges a quarter of meter), 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. After that, completed lines disappear from the bottom of the playfield with an explosion. The maximum possible Zone duration in Journey Mode is 20 seconds.
It was initially thought that 20 zone lines was the maximum possible to be cleared, since this is the height at which pieces spawn, but it was discovered that higher clears were possible when the last piece was able to clear multiple lines or with the use of IHS. Kirby703 was the first player to achieve a 21 line Zone clear, with developers later renaming the clear a Kirbtris (initially displayed as an Ultimatris). She later was the first to achieve a 22 line Zone clear as well, displayed as an Impossibilitris. On February 15, 2021, Kirby703 again became the first player to perform a 23 line Impossibilitris clear by using 10 I pieces laid across the top of the screen vertically. In the multiplayer modes added in Connected, higher clears are possible due to the added garbage mechanics and boss attacks offering additional strategies.
When at least 8 lines have been filled during Zone, a color inversion effect known as Zone Brilliance is applied to the entire screen. You can adjust the severity of this effect in the graphics settings, which allows a choice between "MIN", "MID", and "MAX".
Zone clear names
|ZONE clear name||Line clear amount|
Scoring in Zone
During Zone, there is a multiplier applied to all points earned during Zone. Score values are +1x for every clear of an Octoris (eight lines) or more. If Zone is activated when fully charged (20 seconds), an additional +1x multiplier is also applied, thus making a 3x multiplier the highest possible. Points earned from line clears are not immediately added to the score display and are delayed until Zone ends, which also awards a bonus of +100 for each line cleared during Zone.
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||Unlock condition|
|The Deep||Journey Mode, Area 1, Stage 1||Available by default|
|Pharaoh's Code||Journey Mode, Area 1, Stage 2||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Karma Wheel||Journey Mode, Area 1, Stage 3||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Jellyfish Chorus||Journey Mode, Area 2, Stage 1||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Da Vinci||Journey Mode, Area 2, Stage 2||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Prayer Circles||Journey Mode, Area 2, Stage 3||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Ritual Passion||Journey Mode, Area 2, Stage 4||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Deserted||Journey Mode, Area 3, Stage 1||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Dolphin Surf||Journey Mode, Area 3, Stage 2||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Downtown Jazz||Journey Mode, Area 3, Stage 3||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Spirit Canyon||Journey Mode, Area 3, Stage 4||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Jeweled Veil||Journey Mode, Area 4, Stage 1||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Forest Dawn||Journey Mode, Area 4, Stage 2||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Kaleidoscope||Journey Mode, Area 4, Stage 3||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Turtle Dreams||Journey Mode, Area 4, Stage 4||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Celebration||Journey Mode, Area 4, Stage 5||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Sunset Breeze||Journey Mode, Area 5, Stage 1||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Aurora Peak||Journey Mode, Area 5, Stage 2||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Zen Blossoms||Journey Mode, Area 5, Stage 3||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Yin & Yang||Journey Mode, Area 5, Stage 4||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Hula Soul||Journey Mode, Area 5, Stage 5||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Starfall||Journey Mode, Area 6, Stage 1||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Balloon High||Journey Mode, Area 6, Stage 2||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Mermaid Cove||Journey Mode, Area 6, Stage 3||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Orbit||Journey Mode, Area 6, Stage 4||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Stratosphere||Journey Mode, Area 6, Stage 5||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Metamorphosis||Journey Mode, Area 7||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Space Sprint||Sprint Mode||Available by default|
|Gilded Horizon||Ultra Mode||Available by default|
|Space Race||Master Mode||Available by default|
|Mandala||All Clear, Combo, and Target Modes||Available by default|
|Rose Horizon||Countdown Mode||Available by default|
|Rebirth||Purify Mode||Available by default|
|1989||Unlockable||Participate Weekend Ritual or reach XP Level 50|
|1984||Unlockable||See Codes below|
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.
|Yin & Yang||9||5||3||11||7||5||16||12||10|
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 or 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.
|SS||500,000 + Clear|
3-minute score attack mode.
40 lines time attack mode.
20G mode with 30 speed levels, each with progressively decreasing lock delay and line clear delay values. Clear at least 300 lines to complete the mode. Initial M-level can be selected prior to starting the mode.
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.
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.
Play one of the available stages with selectable fixed level and line goal amount, ranging from 30 to 600 lines in multiples of 30.
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:
- Sea – The Deep, Dolphin Surf, Mermaid Cove; Jellyfish Chorus
- Wind – Da Vinci, Balloon High, Deserted; Sunset Breeze
- World – Prayer Circles, Zen Blossoms, Jeweled Veil; Karma Wheel
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.
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.
Clear as many gem blocks as possible within a 1-minute base time limit. Each gem block cleared adds a time bonus.
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.
Clear as many grey garbage and violet "infected" blocks as possible within a 3-minute time limit. New infected blocks are added to the bottom of the stack after a certain number of clears or after failing to clear infected blocks at certain time intervals.
|SS||450 + Clear|
Marathon mode, but new random mechanics are activated for a particular time period, such as Big Block pieces, restricting Hold, Diamond Bombs, etc.
The following modes were added in Tetris Effect: Connected. Ranked, Friend, and Local Match sub-modes are available.
Connected is a co-op multiplayer mode where three players, each with their own playfield, must battle as a team against A.I.-controlled bosses. The Connected campaign includes five different Areas, with three unique bosses each for Areas 1-4 and a final three-stage boss for Area 5. As the boss performs line clears, an attack meter fills up that attacks the other players with a random mechanic modifier called a blitz. The three team players are tasked with performing line clears to fill up a special Zone meter to perform attacks against the boss. The boss player can also toggle between two modes of play: Attack, sending blitzes, and Defense, creating a cushion to absorb Zone attacks sent by the team. The mode ends when either all three players or the boss tops out. A more difficult Connected campaign with tougher bosses called Maniac is also available.
As team players perform line clears, a shared Zone gauge between all three players is filled. The color of each segment represents each player's overall contribution to the current meter. During this phase, players must survive blitz attacks by the boss that become more aggressive and challenging to deal with. More meter is charged for different line clears, roughly equivalent to the scaling used for garbage in Zone Battle. If a player tops out in this phase, they enter a Revive state.
In each Area, bosses have a shared set of common blitz attacks. Each boss also has a signature blitz attack. Initially, attacks are individual blitzes, but quickly begin to become two-blitz attacks. Each blitz has an associated internal level 1-4 in strength/effect, with higher values being more difficult to deal with. Bosses alternate between common and signature sets of blitz combinations, with many blitz combinations in the signature set including common blitzes as the game progresses.
|Area 1||Pisces||Pop In||Rain||Soft Drop||Bump Up|
|Area 2||Cancer||Unstable||Twist||No Hold||Bump Up|
|Area 3||Gemini||Twins||Spin||No Next||Bump Up|
|Area 4||Capricon||Trimino||Hi-Stakes||No Hold||No Next||Bump Up|
|Area 5||Tetrimidion||All Effects|
When the Zone meter is filled, Zone is automatically triggered and the three players' playfields merge together and collapse all blocks to the bottom via cascade gravity. While in Zone, the players must clear as many lines as possible within the shared playfield, each taking turns dropping pieces in a round-robin order from left to right. The boss automatically enters Defense mode and must clear lines in anticipation of a Zone attack. On the team's side, special purple pieces, which appear at random, can be used to eliminate gaps by cascading blocks down the stack. Lines cleared using these purple pieces when they cascade contribute a lower amount to the overall Zone attack than normal line clears. Only the number of overall lines cleared, not the types of line clear, applies to Zone in this mode (compare with |Zone Battle. 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 that is received all at once after a brief animation. When player fields again separate, any complete lines are eliminated without contributing to the next Zone meter. Players then return to the Attack phase with a Zone meter takes more clears to fill than the previous one.
When a boss enters Defense mode, solid lines received from Zone attacks can be eliminated by performing line clears. When no garbage is present, the boss can also use Defense to build up a cushion for future Zone attacks by performing clears. Each ten lines cleared by the boss in Defense is represented as a defense orb the orbits the player's avatar and is roughly equivalent to one line of solid garbage. This defense can then offset Zone attacks partially or entirely.
If a player tops out during the Attack phase, they enter a Revive state where they can tap along to the rhythm of the stage music to revive themselves by filling a gauge indicated by the background shading of their playfield. The remaining player(s) can also accelerate revival of dead players by performing Tetris and T-Spin line clears. Once the Revive gauge has been filled, the player becomes active again with an empty playfield.
Connected Vs is available during Weekend Rituals, allowing a fourth player to play as the boss on the rightmost playfield in Connected play. Boss players are able to select from bosses they have beaten in Connected, each with their usual signature blitz abilities.
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, also equivalent to the number of sent garbage lines. However, the player may also block an incoming garbage attack by entering the Zone and clearing enough lines to cancel the attack. An attack bonus based on the total Zone lines cleared is applied after the normal garbage lines sent. Received garbage is delayed and will not appear on the field until the first drop made without clearing a line.
|Lines Cleared||Zone Charge|
|7||4, 1||6, 1||8||11|
|8||4, 2||6, 2||9||12|
|9||4, 2||6, 3||10||13|
|10||4, 3||6, 4||10, 2||15|
|11||4, 4||6, 5||10, 3||15, 1|
|12||4, 4||6, 6||10, 4||15, 3|
|13||4, 4, 1||6, 6, 1||10, 5||15, 4|
|14||4, 4, 2||6, 6, 2||10, 6||15, 6|
|15||4, 4, 2||6, 6, 3||10, 8||15, 7|
|16||4, 4, 3||6, 6, 4||10, 9||15, 9|
|17||4, 4, 4||6, 6, 5||10, 10||15, 10|
|18||4, 4, 4||6, 6, 6||11, 10||15, 12|
|19||5, 4, 4||8, 6, 6||12, 10||15, 13|
|20||5, 5, 4, 4||8, 8, 8||14, 14||17, 17|
|21||6, 6, 6, 6||8, 8, 8||16, 16, 4||18, 18, 10|
|22||8, 8, 8, 8||8, 8, 8||18, 18, 10||20, 20, 12, 20|
|23||10, 10, 10, 10||8, 8, 8||20, 20, 20||20, 20, 20, 20|
A comma represents a break in garbage sent, e.g. [20, 20] will send two 20 line attacks.
In Friend and Local Matches, the Zone mechanic can be toggled off for a more traditional battle game. Other options include garbage spawn and timing 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. Unlike in traditional CTWC competition where there is no time pressure, a two-minute countdown timer begins when one player tops out with a score lead over the other in Ranked games.
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.
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.
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 for paticipating players. The 1989 stage can also be unlocked by participating in a Weekend Ritual.
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 taken to a Electronika 60 homage, where the following code can be input using a keyboard:
06061984. After entering the code and pressing Enter, the 1984 stage is unlocked.