Pinball FX3 Cabinet Mode FAQ

What is a cabinet?

In this context, a cabinet is a custom built PC hardware for playing pinball-genre videogames, especially Pinball FX3. In most cases, it is a Steam-based PC with multiple displays attached and placed in a case which resembles a real arcade pinball machine.

What is Cabinet Mode in Pinball FX3?

If you are planning to run Pinball FX3 on a cabinet hardware, you have to turn on the special Cabinet Mode. This allows users to set up advanced graphical options within the game like main display rotation, moving the Dot Matrix to a second screen (if necessary) and display a Backglass image (see later).

Also, Cabinet Mode can be helpful if you are using Pinball FX3 on your multi-display PC with a screen in portrait mode.   

What are the requirements of Cabinet Mode?

  • You should have a Steam account and the client installed on your PC or cabinet hardware.
  • You should have Pinball FX3 installed via the Steam client.
  • The minimal and the recommended configurations are the same as the base game itself.
  • It is not necessary, but makes the gameplay more immersive if you set up a multiple display system with special pinball controllers.
  • A Pinball FX3 cabinet Personal Activation Code (from now on: PAC) provided by Zen Studios (see later).  

Can I use the Windows 10 (Microsoft Store) or console versions of Pinball FX3 in cabinet mode?

No. The Cabinet Mode is available only in the Steam version of Pinball FX3.

What is the Personal Activation Code for?

The PAC is required to enable Cabinet Mode settings within the game. Without this code you won’t be allowed to browse and set up these functions.

How can I get a Personal Activation Code?

There is a PAC Request form on our website, please follow this link to get there:

Or just start Pinball FX3 (in Steam) and in the main menu, click on the stylized pinball cabinet icon placed right from your profile plate then select the “Contact us” button which navigates you automatically to the website mentioned above.

You will receive your PAC via e-mail. The process could take a few business days.

Where to enter the Personal Activation Code?

In the main menu of the game, click on the stylized cabinet icon. Copy your PAC into the input field of the popup window then select the “Activate” button.

What shall I do if the Personal Activation Code is invalid?

If your code is invalid, please send us a message to and we can help you get a new one, or find out why the first code wasn’t working.

Is it possible to use the Personal Activation Code with multiple Steam user accounts?

No. The Cabinet Mode Code is tied with your Steam and consequently with your Pinball FX3 account.

Does my Personal Activation Code deactivate if I uninstall the game?

No. As long as you are using the same user, your PAC will be valid. However if you uninstall then reinstall the game, you may have to enter it again. Therefore, we suggest to keep the email that contains your PAC.

What can I do if I lose my Personal Activation Code?

In this case please contact us, we will resend the code. We will need your account’s email address to find your PAC.

How to open the Cabinet Mode settings?

If you have entered your PAC, the Cabinet Mode Settings will become accessible by clicking on the stylized cabinet icon in the main menu of the game.

Cabinet Mode settings in detail:


  • You can set the orientation of the game – meaning the main playfield itself – here by rotating it in 90°steps clockwise.


  • You can turn on and off the repositioning of the Dot matrix.


  • You can set the horizontal / vertical position of the Dot matrix. (See details later.)


  • You can set the horizontal / vertical dimensions of the Dot matrix by pixels.


  • You can turn on and off the repositioning of the Backglass.


  • You can set the horizontal / vertical position of the Backglass.


  • You can set the horizontal / vertical dimensions of the Backglass by pixels.

What is a Dot matrix (or DMD)?

A dot-matrix display (aka DMD) is a pixel-addressable display used to show the score and other statuses during the game. Sometimes you can play minigames on it too.

I see two separate Dot matrix displays in the game, one is on the playfield and the other I set in the Cabinet Mode Settings. What can I do to display only the latter?

You can turn off the default DMD by navigating to: Options – UI/Streaming – Dot Matrix Size then set it to Off.

What is a Backglass?

Regarding real arcade pinball cabinets, the Backglass is the upright glass panel in the backbox, displaying the game’s title and a game-themed illustration. In our case, it is an artwork displayed while the game is running.

What type of images could be use for Backglass in Pinball FX3?

You can use any of the following image formats: .bmp .gif .png .jpg .jpeg

How to properly use my Backglass images?

  • You have to copy them into your Pinball FX3’s data folder. You can find it here:

[Your Steam installation directory]\steamapps\common\Pinball FX3\data\steam\

  • Backglass image naming convention: you have to rename your images to match the table’s name you want to display. You can find the list of tables also in the data\steam folder. Also, you can set the backglass, then navigate through My Collection and the game will display the necessary path and filename for each table. Here are a few examples:
    • Citadel.jpg – this image will be displayed while playing on the Sorcerer’s Lair table
    • Aliens.bmp – this image will be displayed while playing on the Aliens table
    • UNIVERSAL_Jaws.png – this image will be displayed while playing on the Jaws table
    • PinballFX3.jpg – this image will be displayed while browsing the menus of the game

Where can I get Backglass pictures?

You get pictures for your cabinet from anywhere you would like. However we definitely recommend you to choose pictures with higher quality.

You can find some useful sources here:×10124-Media-Pack

I have a multi-display system. How can I place the DMD and the Backglass properly?

  1. Check which is your primary display. If you are not sure which one it is, check it in Windows\System\Display settings.
  2. Set some dimensions to your DMD and Backglass. Set the Dot matrix / Backglass horizontal and vertical size to the desired values.Our DMD uses a 4:1 aspect ratio.
  3. Place your DMD and Backglass images. They should be placed in a 2-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system, where the origin is your primary display’s top left corner and the unit of length is a pixel.  (By default (0;0) they are hidden beneath the game.) So, the placing of the images depends on your displays’ resolution and positions compared to each other. Examples:

Case 1:

  • Dot matrix horizontal size: 800
  • Dot matrix vertical size: 200
  • Dot matrix horizontal position: 1920
  • Dot matrix vertical position: 0
  • Backglass horizontal size:
  • Backglass vertical size: 1080
  • Backglass horizontal position: 2720
  • Backglass vertical position: 0

Case 2:

  • Dot matrix horizontal size: 800
  • Dot matrix vertical size: 200
  • Dot matrix horizontal position: 560
  • Dot matrix vertical position: 780
  • Backglass horizontal size: 1920
  • Backglass vertical size: 1080
  • Backglass horizontal position: 0
  • Backglass vertical position: 0

(Since the game’s main window always displayed on the primary display, in this case you have to switch the game to windowed mode then move its main window to the secondary, portrait-oriented display.)

You could use negative numbers as well if you want to place the DMD and the Backglass on the secondary display which is placed left from your primary display.

Useful links for getting some tips from our users:

We hope you’ll enjoy working on building a cabinet and continue to have fun with the great and classic game of pinball. If you have any additional questions you can always contact us at

If you are proud of what you’ve built, send it to us in email, share it with us on social media or with other Pinheads in our forums we’d love to see it!