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This is a config file reference. Click for instructions.

This page is reference material which explains every setting and option for this section of an MPF yaml config file. See the instructions for config files for formatting and other details. See our guide to config file examples for more examples of real configs in action.

Valid in
machine config files NO 🚫
mode config files YES ✅

The timers: section of your config is where configure timers that can "tick" up or down. Timers post events with each tick which you can use to update slides, etc. You can set the start and stop values of the timers, as well as how fast they tick, how much they change per tick, and other settings.

The settings structure of timers is like this:


Here's an example timers: section from the "Money Bags" mode in Brooks 'n Dunn which contains two timers:

##! mode: mode1
    start_value: 3
    end_value: 0
    direction: down
      - action: start
        event: mode_money_bags_started
    start_value: 15
    end_value: 0
    direction: down
    tick_interval: 1.25s
      - action: start
        event: timer_mb_intro_timer_complete
      - action: add
        event: money_bags_advertise_flashing_hit
        value: 5
      - action: stop
        event: logicblock_money_bags_counter_complete

In the example above, an intro timer which runs for 3 seconds is started by the event mode_money_bags_started (which means this timer starts when the mode starts). A second timer (the "money_bags_timer") starts when the intro timer is complete. It starts with a value of 15 and counts down to 0 (but at a count interval of 1.25 seconds so it's a bit slower than real time. It will also get reset back to 15 each time a flashing shot is hit.

Here's another example of timers from Demo Man's skillshot mode:

##! mode: mode1
    start_value: 3
    end_value: 0
    direction: down
    tick_interval: 1s
      - event: balldevice_playfield_ball_enter
        action: start
    start_running: false
    start_running: true
    tick_interval: 1s

The skillshot mode starts when the ball is waiting to be plunged. The timer called "mode_timer" in the example above starts when the ball enters the playfield and runs for 3 seconds. If it runs all the way down, the skill shot mode will stop (meaning the player missed the skillshot).

A second timer doesn't have any count values associated with it, rather it just "ticks" once a second. That tick event is used to rotate the lit skillshot.

See /game_logic/timers/index for more details about all the actions available in a timer.

Optional settings

The following sections are optional in the timers: section of your config. (If you don't include them, the default will be used).


Single value, type: boolean (true/false). Default: false

Controls whether the various timer events (count, start, stop, complete, etc.) are sent to the MPF-MC via BCP.


List of one (or more) values, each is a type: timer_control_events:. Defaults to empty.

Timer control events is where you specify what happens to this timer when other events are posted. See /game_logic/timers/index for more details.


Single value, type: one of the following options: up, down. Default: up

Controls which direction this timer runs in. Options are up or down.


Single value, type: integer or template (Instructions for entering templates). Defaults to empty.

Specifies what the final value for this timer will be. When the timer value equals or exceeds this (for timers counting up), or when it equals or is lower than this (for timers counting down), the timer_(name)_complete event is posted and the timer is stopped. (If the restart_on_complete: setting is true, then the timer is also reset back to its start_value: and started again.)

Note that you can use a dynamic value for this setting.


Single value, type: integer. Defaults to empty.

The maximum value this timer can be. If you try to add value above this, the timer's value will be reset to this value.


Single value, type: boolean (true/false). Default: false

Controls what should happen when this timer completes. If you have restart_on_complete: true, then this timer will reset back to the start_value and start again after it completes.


Single value, type: boolean (true/false). Default: false

Controls whether this timer starts running ("started"), or whether it needs to be started with one of the start control events.


Single value, type: integer or template (Instructions for entering templates). Default: 0

The initial value of the timer. When a timer is restarted, this is the value it will always start from. If you ever need to change the value, you can use a jump control action to set it to whatever value you want. See /game_logic/timers/index for more details.

Note that you can use a dynamic value for this setting.


Single value, type: time string (secs) or template (Instructions for entering time strings and Instructions for entering templates). Default: 1s

A time value for how fast each tick is. The default is 1 second, but quite often "pinball time" is slower than real world time, and a countdown timer will actually tick a speed that's slower than 1 second per tick. (So in that case, you might set tick_interval: 1.25s or something like that. You can also set this really short if you want a hurry up, maybe every 100ms removed 77,000 worth of points or something.

Also note that you can use dynamic values here if you want to do math or use settings to make this configurable.


Single value, type: one of the following options: none, basic, full. Default: basic

Log level for the console log for this device.


Single value, type: boolean (true/false). Default: false

If true/yes, adds additional logging information to the verbose log for this timer.


Single value, type: one of the following options: none, basic, full. Default: basic

Log level for the file log for this device.


Single value, type: string. Default: %

Name of this device in service mode.


List of one (or more) values, each is a type: string. Defaults to empty.

Not used.

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