How Do I Even Blaseball
a guide for beginners
If you're reading this, you've probably already heard about blaseball somewhere: from Defector, from IGN, from Quinns' recap, from your friends, from me talking about literally nothing else on Twitter. There are so many stories that the game's frenetic simulator spits out that it's hard to know where to start or how to follow them, so I've written up this guide—with the help of my brilliant and long-suffering editor Sam Kabo Ashwell—as a hopefully-comprehensible onboarding to getting around the site and making blaseball work for you. (What this is not is a comprehensive guide for how to interact with blaseball as a Cultural Event, because there isn't one right way to do that.)
First things first: you’re going to sign up with your email, and then you’ll have to pick a team based solely on name and icon. You don't have to overthink this (but if you want to overthink this we wrote a thing for that too). Just go with what moves you. You can always change later for a bit of in-game currency.
This is what you'll see when you first log in. (Hello, ticker. We are all love the ticker.) The top row of tabs is going to be your main navigation later, but the center column is your entry point: it'll tell you the status of your team's current or most recent game. You don't control games directly: you're a fan, not a player or a team manager. But in blaseball fans can spend money to influence the game. So we'll need some money. Go to Place Your First Bet and click 'try it'.
That will take you to the betting page, which lists the next round of games. (You can't bet on games that are in progress).
Your team will always be at the top of the betting page, and after that it's listed in order of safest bets, with the most uneven matchups first. It also tells you how long it'll be until the next game. Click "place a bet"; you'll need Snake Oil to do so, but the blaseball gods have so thoughtfully provided you with one. If you sell it, be warned that you won't be able to bet on games at all. (I'm not going to cover betting strategy here; for now, just bet on a team with a high win percentage.) Betting gives you some skin in the game; unlike real-world gambling, there's a pretty good chance of turning a profit. Maybe don't spend all 250 coins on maximizing your bets right out of the gate: you want 20 coins left over to unlock the Shop, at least—but we'll get to that later.
Most navigation in blaseball happens via the menu bar, so you can also get to this page by clicking "League" and then "Place bets".
Once you've bet, go ahead and click over to "watch live". Here's where the second part of the major action happens. Games occur every hour, on the hour (except for scheduled breaks—the schedule is on the front page). Your team's games will always be at the top of the page, with the rest of the league's games beneath.
Watching the games!
This seems like too many games to follow! And it is. Nobody can keep track of everything happening in blaseball all at once. You have to pick which bits you want to focus on.
Fortunately, your team's game is always going to be at the top of the page, so let's focus there. The left-hand section shows teams, current scores, betting odds, weather type, and current inning (in green, top left). The central section shows the state of play: who's pitching and batting, which bases have runners on them, and so on. The text on the right is the game log, which describes the most recent event in play.
If you have a rough idea of how baseball works (it's like rounders for grownups), you'll be able to figure it out from context. The key element here, like with real sports, is to pretend that you really care about who wins. Betting helps with that. So do bragging rights. Watch enough games, and you'll start noticing patterns around all these odd names. You'll start getting a sense of who on your team is a reliable hitter, who often chokes, which one of your pitchers can pull out a surprisingly good game despite their low star rating. Arbitrarily decide that you loathe and/or respect particular rival teams or their players. You have plenty to pick from: there are twelve matchups an hour, all happening simultaneously.
Also, weird shit happens during games—not every game, and not constantly, but if you're like "well that's weird and confusing" it's probably because some kind of sinister blessing or strange weather is at work. A good way to figure this out is checking rosters and player pages; most Weirdness can be explained by the tooltips on Status icons. Don't worry if you can't figure the Weird Shit out right away—a lot of the time nobody can figure it out, and that Eldritch Mystery is what blaseball's all about. Mouseover on status icons often explains Weird Shit. If any weird shit happens during a game, it'll come up on the game log on the right, and display in the center results box afterward.
Something to watch out for: Sun 2 and Black Hole, which I've written about before, don't change the listed betting odds, but definitely affect who wins. Maybe don't bet on Sun 2 or Black Hole games right away—or, if you do, be prepared for weird upsets.
Getting attached to particular players is a big part of blaseball. Idols mean that one favored player—not necessarily on your team—can earn you money when they play well. You can't switch your idol while any blaseball game is still in progress, only when they've all finished and before the next round starts.
Your first idol is free. Clicking that button on the front page will take you to the Idols board—the ranking of blaseball's most idolized players. You can select from anyone there, but you can also pick your favorite player on your team by going to the Team page, clicking the player's name, and then hitting the idol button. Any changes after your first idol will cost you 200 coins.
If you've got hitting-payout snacks, you want to Idolize a strong hitter. Some good choices as of Season 14 include Jessica Telephone (Kansas City Breath Mints), York Silk (Canada Moist Talkers) [edit 3/19: whoops] [edit 3/21: disregard. on the Crabs now. Probably Fine], and Rat Mason (Los Angeles Unlimited Tacos), but you can also choose the player on your team with the best batting stars, as a way of getting more invested in your new team.
If you have pitching-payout snacks, same deal as above. Pick a solid pitcher—Sam Scandal (Dallas Steaks) or Wyatt Pothos (Breckenridge Jazz Hands)—and hang out, since they only pitch once every 5 games or so. For chaos mode, pick Sexton Wheerer of the LA Unlimited Tacos: because the Tacos broke their pitcher rotation and have only two pitchers, idolizing the better of those two pitchers gives you a chance of making money every other game. Fair warning: don't idolize Pitching Machine if you're going for pitchers. Pitching Machine bats now. Don't ask.
Well, you’ve watched some games, let's get you some snacks. In blaseball, snacks are your route to ineffable wisdom, influence, and power. There’s a pretty large selection of snacks to choose from, thanks to our wonderful food and beverage creator who absolutely means us no harm. He even has a hat!
I’ll give you a quick overview of snacks, then I’ll offer some easy initial snack pack recommendations. (Because blaseball is a cruel dystopia, you don't have room for every snack at once.) This is current as of the middle of Season 14; I hope to update this as more snacks come out, but no promises. The Monitor is very busy, and so am I.
Snacks that earn you coins break down into several categories: when a team does something (popcorn, snake oil, taffy, lemonade), when your idol does something (chips, hamburger, sunflower seeds, pizza, pickles, meatball), when something happens in the league (wet pretzel, doughnut, sundae, slushie), and '"miscellaneous" (breadcrumbs, breakfast). Other snacks don't make you money but gives you access to other parts of the game: the champagne flute lets you change teams, votes let you influence the game via elections, and the tarot spread, cheese board, pizza, and apple...well, take a look at the tooltips to see specifics.
Have some wholesome ice cream! Delicious! How does it make money—oh. Oh no.
There are a lot of ways to earn money, but you can't choose them all. People have spent time collecting the most profitable betting strategies each season, and if that’s what you’re interested in, you’ll want to talk to SIBR. But this is the guide for the streamlined process, so I’m going to suggest a couple starter snack packs that will be a reasonable early investment. (Or at least, they were in Season 13.)
regular popcorn + stale popcorn + breakfast
Buy exactly one breakfast, maximize the popcorn as early as you can, then add more snacks as desired. This gives you coins no matter if your team wins or loses, and breakfast gives you a small boost if you wander away from the site for a few hours or overnight. Ideal for just sitting back and watching the fun begin.
Stale popcorn + sunflower seeds + hot dogs
Start with stale popcorn: its gains scale much faster, making rooting for a losing team feel less bad. Then you'll grab some sunflower seeds, and probably will want to keep buying a few more with your first winnings on popcorn, then a hot dog or two. (As of season 13, you can also throw in pickles to this combo, especially if your idol is Goodwin Morin. They steal a lot of bases.) Scale these up as you see fit. You probably don't need more than 20 sunflower seeds and 10 hot dogs.
I'm glued to a screen sixteen hour a day, please give me something to do:
Snake oil + sunflower seeds + hot dogs + pickles, then add slushies/wet pretzels/sundaes as desired
Idolize a decent hitter, use that cash to maximize your snake oil, put larger and larger bets down, feel the rush of gambling, profit sometimes.
A caution: when you sell a snack to free up a slot for a different snack, you'll be selling all the upgrades you got for it. This is fine for cheap, one-off purchases like pizza and cheese board, but if you're switching out a heavily-upgraded snack, you might lose a lot of money. But you don't need a super-efficient income strategy to enjoy blaseball, so don't worry too much about it.
Votes resolve on Sundays, so you don't need to spend money on votes, or decide what to vote for, until Saturday. You'll need 100 coins to unlock the privilege to vote. You can also buy votes; those will take up an inventory slot in your snack pack at the time of this writing. A barrier to voting is very blaseball.
You buy those votes in the Shop, but you’ll spend them in the Election tab. There are 3 categories; 2 open and 1 locked by purchase of a cheese board, which I mentioned above.
Decrees affect the whole league. They're big rule changes, sometimes changing blaseball forever, sometimes just making the next season really strange. How exactly decrees work is usually pretty vague, and there will probably be horrible things in the fine print that we didn't get to read. Blaseball!
Wills are targeted, and let individual players try to execute more precise, targeted plans than were possible in Era 1. However, they’re a raffle system, and one outlying vote can throw a whole coordinated plan awry, if it happens to be what the RNG chooses.
Blessings affect one team usually and, again, work on a raffle system: everyone puts their votes in a hat and the RNG pulls out a lucky winner for each blessing. The more votes contributed, the more likely a team is to win it—but that’s by no means assured. You’re very likely to hear the word “wimdy” as either a noun or verb to describe a will or blessing that wins with a low share of the vote. This dates back to the time the Miami Dale won the Wind Sprints blessing back in Season 4 with 0% of the vote, causing someone to tweet this iconic piece of art:
You don’t have to spend all the votes you buy in one season, if nothing calls to you; banking votes does happen among established players, as a way of storing their wealth. But you absolutely can!
There are going to be many times when you miss games and/or can't figure out why something happened. Era 2 has a new feature called the Feed that will allow you to catch up on things. The Feed exists in two different locations. The main place you'll be looking is team or player pages. Click on the team name, and then "Feed".
By default, it starts on game outcomes, newest first, which show the scores of recent games. Clicking on any game will take you to a chronological view of what happened in it.
If, for instance, you're looking for a particular game to see what special-effects-slash-weird-uncanny-shit happened in it, you can simply filter by "changes".
Clicking on a player's name gives you much the same information, but filtered by just that player, so you can check how your faves have been playing or figure out when exactly they grew that third arm. Filtering by plays on your idol will let you calculate how much you've made off them, too.
Take a look at those icons in the events listed under "changes": Modifications have little yellow borders around them, whereas the icons next to players' names will tell you what team they're on. (This is useful for when teams swap players in Feedback weather.)
If I think something's gone down, I can usually reconstruct it by digging around in the history of the Feed and applying some filters. (You can also let someone else reconstruct it for you—recounting stories is a big part of blaseball.)
You also have a personal Feed, accessed from your Account screen (the little chair, top-right). This is primarily a balance-book that shows all your expenditures and winnings—you don't have to optimize your earning strategies, but if you're into that, this makes it a lot easier.
Also, those big, plot-relevant events are now recorded on the site. If you want to recap recent pronouncements from the blaseball gods and other shadowy beings—it doesn't happen often but it can be important to the story—go to the Book feed. From the top bar, click the "More" dropdown, select "Book", and then click "Feed".
It defaults to Newest First, but I recommend Oldest First to see how things have Evolved.
Blaseball is social, but how you choose to engage with that is up to you. Blaseball actually does have a core canon, though it's a small one. That canon is what's on the main blaseball website and confirmed by the Front Office (the official verified twitter accounts, and The Game Band developers). Outside of that, multiple fan interpretations flourish. There are a bunch of ways to tap into that social aspect, depending on what interests you the most, how much time and energy you have for the game, and what has the right vibes. The twitter official accounts (@blaseball, @Blaseballmic, @ILBLootcrates) are a good place to start. There's also the unofficial team twitter accounts, places like BNN, SIBR, the blaseball wiki (which records, and mostly distinguishes between, fan interpretations and records of game events), the blaseball discord, texting your friends your feelings, listening to the Garages and crying, and AO3. If you feel moved to learn black-velvet painting to immortalize your Jessica Telephone Vegas lounge-singer headcanon, you should do that. There's a ton of different ways to engage with blaseball, and the right one is the one you find the most satisfying. Don't feel like you need to learn everything immediately, or ever. Nobody knows all of the ever-shifting and contradictory fanon that makes up Blaseball Lore; "lore" in this context also doesn't necessarily mean the same thing that it does in another fandom. Watch some games, pick your rivalries at a whim, and see how you get on.
If that was too much, here's the bullet points:
Watch games and place bets via the League tab
Buy snacks in the Shop tab so you earn more from those games
Good snacks: stale popcorn, hot dogs + sunflower seeds if you're idolizing a batter
You can idolize a batter by clicking their team page, then their name, then New Icon
Votes, purchased in the shop, can be spent in the Election tab
Past events recaps are in the Feed, found on both team pages and player pages; filtering by "plays" and "changes" will often get you the useful or Weird Shit respectively
What happens on the website is canon, everything else is up to your interpretation
there is no one true way to interact with blaseball, you'll have to figure out what works best for you
For brand new players I think one single Breakfast is a wise addition to the Snack Pack. It's cheap (10 coins) and gives you 1 coin per minute while you're off the website - so it pays itself back in 10 minutes. This isn't much for seasoned players, but for newbies, it makes a reliable income stream and is good money to wake up to in the morning. If you beg-bet every game you'll make something like 60 to 240 coins, if you close the tab and come back an hour later you'll get another 60 on top of that.
Sell it once you've got your bearings and you need the slot back.
The important thing is - Don't buy more than one! Multiple Breakfast does NOT increase the rate of coin generation, only the limit you can earn while offline. Since the first level is 2000 coins, or 2000 minutes, that is 33 hours of Offline Time before it would even make a difference.