What is Stern Pinball's 'Insider Connected' Feature?

Pinball is one of the last great arcade themes to transition into the digital world. Whilst it's easy to play video games online, how can you take a physical pinball machine and make it internet-friendly?

If a virtual pinball machine isn't your cup of tea, there wasn't much else you could do. Until Stern Pinball launched its Insider Connected interface on all brand new pinballs in Summer 2021.

Insider Connected is Stern's online technology that links all compatible Stern pinballs to a central database, connecting via Wifi or Ethernet to the internet. This gives both home players and commercial operators a whole new raft of features to explore.

The Godzilla Pro Pinball Machine.

The Godzilla Pro Pinball Machine with Insider Connected. (From £8595.00) [ view in store ]

As a player, you'll need to create an account. From that point on, wherever you are and whatever you're playing, so long as you're on an Insider Connected machine, you can log in by scanning the QR code on the machine or connecting with your ID card (stored in your mobile phone's wallet), unlock new features, and even compete for bragging rights on online leaderboards.

Insider Web App

To get the best from Insider Connected, you'll need to install the Insider Web App on your phone. This makes interacting with Insider Connected so easy, with intuitive control over your player profile, scoreboards and more, and the ability to connect with other Stern players.

The Insider Web App.

The Insider Web App connecting with the James Bond 007 Pro Pinball. (From £8595.00) [ view in store ]

Choose Basic Access or All Access

There are two levels of access on Insider Connected. Basic Access is free - all you need to do is to sign up. But if you want the full, comprehensive experience, you'll need to get on the subscription-based All Access, which is crammed with extra content, sneak peeks, exclusive access and more.

Basic Access All Access
Score Tracking
User Forum Access
Game Guides
Early News & Sneak Peeks
Behind the Scenes Content
Limited Edition Merchandise
Access to Purchase LE Pinballs
Special Game-Related Content
The Insider Connected account managed on a laptop.

The Insider Connected account managed on a laptop.

For the Home

Home players will find a variety of new attractions in Insider Connected. Some pinball machines will get game-specific features, such as unique game modes, exciting new Achievements and special levels. These tend to be specific to particular games

Most modern Sterns will also gain the ability to permanently save high scores. And there are unique Achievements to earn, boosting the longevity of the game and making it even more attractive for competitive social play. You can even create a Home Team of individual profiles for your favourite players, making it really easy for a family or a group of friends to play regularly.

Get your friends round for the evening, create an IC account for each, and you can play all night, saving your high scores and achievements separately. And when they come back, no matter how long it's been, you can all log in and continue right where you left off.

And there's lots of exclusive content to enjoy, too. Get access to news, product announcements and information, interviews with game designers and pinball heads, and special features that explain how the games are made.

An Iron Maiden LE pinball machine.

An Iron Maiden LE pinball machine. (From £11295.00) [ view in store ]

For the Commercial Venue

Commercial operators can use Insider Connected in a range of exciting ways. Most notable is the way in which your customers can come to your pinball arcade, log in to their Insider Connected account and instantly access their own high scores, Achievements and more. They can track their progress, compete on leaderboards and socialise with players across the world - right from your venue.

Many of the built-in features are designed to appeal to return players, making repeat visitors of everyone. Player loyalty is encouraged, and visitors can take part in contests, competitions and even special events - like the Launch Party feature, an amazing way of launching a new Stern in your establishment.

It also makes maintenance easier, with software and code updates more easily available.

Pinballs in a venue.

Pinballs in a venue, including Iron Maiden Pro which is Insider Connected-compatible. (From £8595.00) [ view in store ]

Which Machines are Compatible?

Insider Connected officially launched as an included feature on Godzilla in 2021. Every new Stern pinball since is now fitted with the software as standard, including James Bond 007 and Rush.

But, with a special kit, it can also be retrofitted to earlier Sterns - anything built on the modern "Spike 2" platform. Check below to see if you can get the special kit for yours - and get your Stern officially Insider Connected!

  • The Mandalorian
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Avengers: Infinity Quest
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Stranger Things
  • Jurassic Park
  • Deadpool
  • The Beatles
  • Batman '66
  • Black Knight: Sword of Rage
  • Aerosmith
  • Elvira's House of Horrors
  • Iron Maiden
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Star Wars
  • The Munsters

The retrofit can be applied to all editions - Pro, Premium, LE and any other special editions of the above models. Please contact our sales team if this is of interest.

Insider Connected is an inventive new way of bringing analogue pinball firmly into the digital age. Browse our Stern Pinball machines now - and get yourself connected!

The Insider Connected logo.
This article was written by Liberty Games staff member
Joe O'Mara
Sales Manager at Liberty Games. Pool table specialist & pinball wiz. Film & cinema nerd, with a mental database of every episode of The Simpsons ever made.

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