Tetris Effect: Connected cover art
|Platform(s)||PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Microsoft Windows, Oculus Quest, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch|
|Playfield size||10 × 20|
|Rotation system||SRS (primary) |
NRS (Classic Score Attack)
|Tetris Effect: Connected|
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 was available exclusively for purchase on the Epic Games Store at the time. 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 was also released on existing platforms and Steam in August 18, 2021, on Nintendo Switch in October 8, 2021, and on PlayStation 5 in February 22, 2023. 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 called 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 (the piece still locks after a delay if it is touching the top of the stack, however) 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 lines was the maximum possible Zone clear, 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, usually with the use of IRS/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 Infinitris clear by using 10 I pieces laid across the top of the screen vertically. In the multiplayer modes added in Connected, higher clears are potentially possible due to the added garbage mechanics and boss blitz attacks offering additional strategies; another player named Electra utilized these strategies to perform 24 and 25 lines (later named Electris) in Connected mode. On December 25th, 2022, players knighting, Sionara, SGFerox and box discovered a strategy utilizing Bump Up to achieve the first zone clear above 25 (27 lines), later titled the WTFtris.
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 most modes.
List of Stages
|Stage Name||Appearance||Unlock condition|
|Journey Mode, Area 1, Stage 1||Available by default|
|Journey Mode, Area 1, Stage 2||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 1, Stage 3||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 2, Stage 1||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 2, Stage 2||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 2, Stage 3||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 2, Stage 4||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 3, Stage 1||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 3, Stage 2||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 3, Stage 3||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 3, Stage 4||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 4, Stage 1||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 4, Stage 2||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 4, Stage 3||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 4, Stage 4||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 4, Stage 5||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 5, Stage 1||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 5, Stage 2||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 5, Stage 3||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 5, Stage 4||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 5, Stage 5||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 6, Stage 1||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 6, Stage 2||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 6, Stage 3||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 6, Stage 4||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 6, Stage 5||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|Journey Mode, Area 7||Complete the previous stage in Journey Mode|
|1989||Unlockable||Participate in Weekend Ritual (temporarily) or reach XP Level 50 (permanently)|
|1984||Unlockable||See Codes below|
|Space Sprint||Sprint Mode||Available by default|
|Gilded Horizon||Ultra Mode||Available by default|
|Space Race||Master Mode||Available by default|
|2020||Classic Score Attack||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|
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 17 different game modes, categorized into 4 groups. In Marathon, Zone 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. In Zone Marathon, the player cannot use the hidden stages 1984 and 1989.
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 + 150 lines|
150-line Marathon mode, but with the addition of the ZONE mechanic from Journey Mode. The ZONE meter fills up by one quarter after 8 line clears; initial level (up to 15) can be selected.
|SS||1,000,000 + 150 lines|
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; Endless can be toggled on.
Classic Score Attack
This mode uses the gameplay mechanics and visual styles from Nintendo's NES version. Initial speed level can be selected before starting the mode; the player may also switch frame timings between NTSC and PAL.
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 (standard randomizer) or Fixed (initial 7-piece sequence repeated throughout).
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.
Note that grade in Quick Play is calculated per 30 lines and level, so starting at level 5 aiming for 150 lines will require 25x as much score.
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.
Similar to Tetris with Cardcaptor Sakura Eternal Heart, clear as many stacks with gem blocks as possible within a 1-minute base time limit. Each stack 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. Endless can also be toggled on.
|SS||450 infected blocks|
|S||400 infected blocks|
|A||300 infected blocks|
|B||150 infected blocks|
|C||100 infected blocks|
|D||1 infected block|
|E||0 infected blocks|
Marathon mode, but new random mechanics are activated for a particular time period, such as giant pieces, bombs, no hold, and more.
|SS||400,000 + 150 lines|
The following modes were added in Tetris Effect: Connected. Ranked, Friend, and Local Match sub-modes are available for each. For Ranked and Friend Matches, players in any of the available platforms can match against each other via cross-platform online play; other players can also spectate ongoing Friend Matches. For Local Matches, the player can create matches against other control methods (extra controllers or keyboard and mouse) or CPU opponents (10 skill levels 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 meter 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. Many of the blitz effects are similar to those seen in Mystery and seem inspired by the attack items in TGM Versus modes.
|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|
|Pop In||Blocks appear randomly on the playfield|
|Pop Out||Blocks are removed randomly from the playfield|
|Laser||Rows, columns, or diagonals of blocks are removed from the playfield|
|Giant||Big pieces, similar to TGM Big Mode|
|Rain||Multiple columns of blocks are dropped on to the playfield from above|
|Soft Drop||Hard drop is disabled|
|Bump Up||Rows of garbage are added to the bottom of the playfield|
|Unstable||Fire pieces that "explode" on the stack when touched|
|Hard Field||Rows on the playfield are hardened and must be cleared twice|
|Hard Block||Certain pieces have hard minos when locked to the stack|
|Fast||Higher gravity and lower lock delay, similar to Master|
|Twist||Columns in the stack are shifted up or down in height|
|No Hold||Hold is disabled|
|Twins||Pieces spawn in twin configurations|
|Invert||Blocks in the stack are inverted to be empty|
|No Spin||Rotation is disabled|
|Spin||Rows on the playfield are rotated horizontaly|
|No Next||The next piece display is hidden|
|Trimino||Pieces spawn as triminos|
|Pentomino||Pieces spawn as pentominos|
|Broken||Pieces spawn as disjointed configurations|
|Squeeze||Columns are restricted on the playfield and movement shifts after piece drops|
|Hide Field||The playfield is hidden, only becoming briefly visible after a certain number of drops|
|Hi-Stakes||I pieces are dropped on the field from above, similar to Countdown|
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 but more frequently in early phases of the game, can be used to eliminate gaps by cascading blocks down the stack. 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 that takes more clears to fill than the previous phase.
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.
|Tetrimidion (Stage 1)||80||100|
|Tetrimidion (Stage 2)||90||110|
|Tetrimidion (Stage 3)||100||120|
|Clear Performed||Tap Added|
No differentiation is made between Mini and regular T-Spin clears for revival clears.
Connected VS is available in Local and Friend Matches as well as Ranked Matches, the latter for a limited time 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.
When playing as a boss, hitting the zone button will shift you from Attack mode to Defense mode, and vice versa. While in Attack mode, you will send blitzes as normal when enough lines are cleared. While in Defense mode, line clears will go towards clearing any garbage the other team has sent you. If the other players are in Zone, your line clears will go towards reducing the amount of garbage lines they are about to send to you. You are locked into Defense mode while the other players are in Zone, and you can not go into Defense mode if you have no garbage on your screen.
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||10, 10, 10||16, 16, 4||18, 18, 10|
|22||8, 8, 8, 8||14, 12, 12||18, 18, 10||20, 20, 12, 10|
|23||10, 10, 10, 10||16, 16, 16||20, 20, 20||20, 20, 20, 20|
A comma represents a break in garbage sent, e.g. [20, 20] will send two separate 20-line attacks.
During Zone Battle, the random chance of the garbage's hole alignment is affected by one of the three phases that each player is on. The garbage holes start off as random clean columns; upon reaching 20,000 points, the holes become slightly more random; upon reaching 60,000 points, the holes become very random in nature. The required lines for maximum Zone meter also become larger and the maximum Zone duration becomes shorter for each succeeding phase.
In Friend and Local Matches, the Zone mechanic can be toggled off for a more traditional multiplayer experience. Other options allow for adjusting garbage messiness, gravity, the randomizer, and more. The Speed Mod can also be toggled between Slow, Normal, and Fast. Slow Mod increases the ARE, while Fast Mod uses faster DAS and reduces line clear delay.
Classic Score Attack
This mode uses the gameplay mechanics and visual styles from Nintendo's NES version 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. An option to switch to PAL Mode, which uses the frame timings in the PAL version of Nintendo's NES version, is also available.
Uses the same format as Classic Score Attack, but with Guideline mechanics instead. Several options, such as scoring template, constant speed level, and time limit can be adjusted in Friend and Local Matches.
During Saturdays and Sundays (Saturday 12:00 UTC - Sunday 12:00 UTC), 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 participating players. The 1989 stage can also be temporarily unlocked during the Ritual period by participating and reaching the 100% community goal.
Key: L = Left, D = Down, U = Up, R = Right, A = Select, B = Back
- 1984 Stage: UUDDLRLRBA
When entered successfully with a controller 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.
Tetris Effect features full keyboard, mouse, and gamepad input rebinding. Mouse movement suffers from inverse mouse acceleration, which may be somewhat mitigated by enabling mouse acceleration in your PC settings.
- "'Tetris Effect' drops a color bomb on your PS4 November 9th". Engadget. September 17th, 2018. Retrieved .
- "‘Tetris Effect’ Now Available on PC with VR Support, Exclusively from Epic Store". Road to VR. July 23, 2019. Retrieved .
- "Epic Store's Tetris Effect and SteamVR [UPDATED"]. Eurogamer. July 25, 2019. Retrieved .
- "‘Tetris Effect’ Arrives on Oculus Quest Today". Road to VR. May 14, 2020. Retrieved .
- "Tetris Effect: Connected Announced for Xbox Platforms". IGN Southeast Asia. August 16, 2021. Retrieved .
- "'Tetris Effect' is coming to Xbox with co-op, online and multiplayer modes". Engadget. July 23, 2020. Retrieved .
- "Tetris Effect: Connected Launches On Steam, Updated On Other Platforms". Tetris Effect Connected press release. August 18, 2020. Retrieved .
- "Tetris Effect: Connected coming to PS4, Epic Games Store, Steam, and Oculus Quest alongside cross-platform play in late July". NME. June 17, 2021. Retrieved .
- "‘Tetris Effect: Connected’ launches on Steam next month with cross-play". IGN Southeast Asia. July 24, 2020. Retrieved .
- "Tetris Effect Is Finally Coming To SteamVR With Connected Update". UploadVR. May 4, 2021. Retrieved .
- "Tetris Effect: Connected Launches On Nintendo Switch". Tetris Effect Connected press release. October 8, 2021. Retrieved .
- "Tetris Effect: Connected Receives Another Update On Switch, Here's What's Included". Nintendo Life. November 26, 2022. Retrieved .
- "Tetris Effect: Connected launches for PS5 and PS VR2 alongside new game modes". Niche Gamer. February 19, 2023. Retrieved .
- "Tetris Effect: Connected Cross-Platform Multiplayer, New Features and Beta Test Details". Tetris Effect Connected press release. June 16, 2021. Retrieved .
- "Tetris Effect - Review". IGN Nordic. November 13, 2018. Retrieved .
- "Tetris Effect Adds A New Strategic Layer to the Decades-Old Game… And it Works". PlayStation.Blog. June 25, 2018. Retrieved .
- "(Former WR) Tetris Effect - 21 zone lines". YouTube. June 25, 2018. Retrieved .
- "IMPOSSIBILITRIS (Former WR - 22 zone lines)". YouTube. December 9, 2018. Retrieved .
- @Kirby703_ "I just cleared 23 zone lines - the maximum theoretically possible.". 2021-02-16. Retrieved .
- "Tetris Effect Connected: 24 Zone Lines (World First)". YouTube. May 16, 2021. Retrieved .
- "IMPOSSIBILITRIS (Former WR - 22 zone lines)". YouTube. December 9, 2018. Retrieved .
- "34 line zone in Tetris Effect Connected. (World Record)". YouTube. December 31, 2022. Retrieved .
- "WTFTRIS is reallll - Tetris effect: connected". YouTube. Feburary 1, 2023. Retrieved .
- "Tetris Effect Boss Abilities". FOUR. Retrieved .
- "Weekend Rituals - Unlock new AVATARS!". Steam. August 20, 2021. Retrieved .
- @Tetris_Official "Happy World Tetris Day! Celebrate the birth of #Tetris with a little Tetris Effect or Tetris Effect: Connected! Enhance your game with two secret levels we're officially acknowledging for the first time.". 2021-06-06. Retrieved .
- "Tetris Effect’s hidden 1984 level is a great little secret". Destructoid. June 8, 2021. Retrieved .