FAQ

[Content undergoing review by Bureau Of Answering Terribly (BOAT)]

I’m new. How do I get caught up on the story?

Good question! There’s a lot of information out there, but some places you can start are:

This is really only the introduction—there are lots of smaller stories within Blaseball, and many, many characters. Don’t worry about trying to get it all at once! You can have a good time while only knowing a handful of characters, or not knowing any characters at all.

Do I need to understand baseball to understand Blaseball?

No.

Well, it’ll help. Here’s what you need to know:

Baseball is a sport in which two teams play against one another. One team attempts to hit the ball and the other attempts to catch it. The team with the most runs—that is, the most successful trips around all four (or five, things get weird in Blaseball) bases—is the winner.

Now, there are some terms that’ll be useful to know as well. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Run: A baseball point. The team at bat scores one when a player successfully makes it around the entire baseball diamond without getting out.
  • Out: An event that removes a player from play. Three outs signal the end of an inning. This includes a hitter getting three strikes, getting tagged with a baseball, or a fielder tagging the base the hitter is currently en route to.
  • Inning: Baseball is divided into nine innings, further divided into a “top” and “bottom.” After nine innings, the game is over—unless teams are tied, in which case the game goes into overtime.
  • Strike: A strike occurs when a hitter does not hit a good ball. A “strike, swinging,” means the player swung but did not hit. A “strike, looking,” means the player did not swing at a legitimate pitch. Three strikes and the player is out.
  • Ball: Confusingly, a “ball” is not just the thing you hit. A “ball” is also an improperly thrown pitch. If the hitter swings at a ball, that counts as a strike. If they do not swing, it counts as a ball. After the pitcher throws four “balls,” the player draws a walk, meaning they can go to first base with no risk of being tagged out.
  • Sacrifice: A player hits the ball in such a way that they know they’ll get out, but their teammate may have a chance to advance or score.
  • Ground out: The hitter hits the ball out to the field, where it is caught and tossed back to first base, getting the player out before they are safe on base.
  • Double play: A double play involves two players getting out in a single play—for example, the hitter hits the ball to the outfield, where it is tossed to first base, getting the hitter out, then to second base, where the previous first base holder is attempting to run. Both players are out on just one hit.

What is party time?

Once a team is mathematically eliminated from the possibility of playoffs, they enter party time. This used to just be a special Discord channel, but as of season 6, there is also a chance for players to gain random stat boosts while in party time.

What is shame?

In baseball, if the home team has the lead in the top of the ninth, they win—the bottom of the ninth inning is not played. In Blaseball, the bottom of the ninth inning is always played, and if the away team scores in that inning, the home team is “shamed.” This often has no consequences, but some seasons have included mechanics where shame does have an effect, such as setting a negative score on the shamed team in their next game equal to the number of runs they were shamed.

How does a team make the championships?

There are two ways to make the championships: the usual way and the wildcard way. The usual way means racking up enough wins to be in one of the top two places in the sub-league of each division—that is, Wild or Mild High or Low—making for eight total teams. The wildcard way, introduced in Season 9, means that one wildcard team will be drawn at random from the remaining teams in each sub-league. Those wildcards are seeded, and the 4 and 5 seeds play in the wild card round, a two-win series.

How do I make money? What do I do if I run out?

Go to the Shop (you can get there by pressing the vote ticket button) and buy yourself snacks.

If you’re just starting out, buy some Popcorn and Stale Popcorn (gaining money from when your team wins or loses, respectively). If Blaseball is on off-season or siesta, buy a Breakfast (just one; more doesn’t help) and close all your Blaseball tabs. Then check the website daily to collect the money.

A more old-fashioned strategy to make early-game money is called “beg betting”. Acquire snake oil and breadcrumbs, then bet as much as you can on every game. When you run out of money, go to the shop and beg for more. Continue until you’ve bet on every game.

If you run out of money entirely, you can still do beg betting; the first vial of snake oil is free. Even if you have somehow managed to sell yourself down to one empty slot and zero money, don’t worry, you are not entirely softlocked: with a single slot you can acquire breadcrumbs, beg, discard breadcrumbs, acquire snake oil, bet, discard snake oil, and then repeat. Once two or three of these bets pay out, you can buy yourself a bit of popcorn, and from there you should be fine.

Also, don’t worry too much about voting when you first start. People have been at this game long enough that it’s standard to purchase thousands of votes per season. The few that you can get in the beginning are drops in the bucket—you can purchase some if you want to, but don’t feel obligated, as your early-game money is best spent making more money. Ain’t that just the way.

Why are we called the Spies? What does “bang BANG” mean?

The Houston Spies are a reference to the Houston Astros, a baseball team based in—you guessed it—Houston. During the 2017 and 2018 seasons, the Astros used a number of technological methods to steal signs from other teams. “Stealing signs,” refers to watching the signals given by a team’s catcher that team’s pitcher, which tells them what kind of pitch to throw. If a team is spying on the pitching team, they may be able to signal to their batter how best to respond.

Stealing signs is not against the rules of the MLB, but using technology to do so—the Astros used cameras to watch the catcher’s signals—is. The Astros used the camera footage to figure out what kinds of pitches would be thrown, then banged on trash can lids to signal to the batter what to expect, hence “bang BANG.”

The Astros won the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017 using this technique. Because The Game Band includes some Dodgers fans, they immortalized the cheating scandal by naming the Houston team the “Spies.”

Is this canon?

The only thing that can truly said to be canon is what happens on the Blaseball website, Blaseball.com. There are other elements to canon—The Game Band emails, the @blaseball and @blaseballmic Twitter accounts—but, generally speaking, “canon” is the events on the website.

However, there is a sort of consensus-based “fanon” developed throughout Blaseball fandom. Some of these elements bleed into canon, as well, such as Tillman Henderson being the worst. But for the most part, the fan-developed lore you’ll come upon is not “canon”—as in, it is not developed by The Game Band—but there may still be an internal sense of consistency about it. For example, a player’s appearance, pronouns, or other features may be almost universally portrayed a certain way. This doesn’t mean that you cannot imagine them differently (in fact, the Wiki has a great feature called the Interdimensional Rumor Mill that allows for multiple interpretations).

An example of this within the Spies is that all of our original players default to they/them pronouns, both because it’s great to have a bunch of potentially nonbinary players and also because their genders are redacted. If someone chose to interpret one of the Spies differently, that would be okay—nobody has singular control over any of these players. However, because we’ve largely agreed as a team that the original Spies roster uses they/them pronouns, that is how we refer to them. Provided other interpretations are not malicious (as in, if our general consensus is that Alexandria Rosales uses they/them pronouns and someone refuses to refer to them by anything but she/her solely because they know it irritates others), there is plenty of room for people to play with different concepts.

How do I get involved?

However you want! Seriously—if you want to contribute something, propose it. This is a very collaborative, community-driven creative environment, and we (the Spies, but also Blaseball fans more generally) love to see new, fresh takes on the whole thing.

The biggest thing to note is that we do work collaboratively, so if you want to, say, dramatically change something about a character or work on a big project or something like that, it’s a great idea to run it by others. That said, there is no “canon,” as covered above—you don’t need approval to do anything.

But participating as a fan doesn’t mean that you have to be generating lore or art or even being in the Discord at all. It’s perfectly fine to just watch the games and enjoy them that way. There truly is no wrong way to enjoy Blaseball.

Can I write lore?

Short answer: yes! Long answer: also yes!

There are lots of ways to create lore for Blaseball, depending on how you like to do it. “Lore” includes everything from headcanons to what’s on the Wiki to fanfiction to Twitter roleplaying, so it really depends on what you want to do.

I want to share my headcanons. Great! You can do that anywhere you like. In the Spies, our Wiki lore development process is pretty much just compiling a bunch of headcanons, building them out around the existing canon events, and coming up with something we like as a group. You can write them out or just share them. If your headcanons don’t agree, that’s okay, that’s what the IRM is for!

I want to write for the Wiki. Wonderful! Just make sure to follow their Contribution Policies. If you need more guidance, our wiki liaison, cloud gaming, can help walk you through the process on the Discord server.

I want to write fanfiction. Awesome! You can write and share fanfiction however you like. We also host fanfiction on this very website. However, please keep in mind that we only host fanfiction adhering to the same PG-13 rules of Blaseball.

I want to start a Twitter RP account. Cool! Many people like to take on the roles of Blaseball players, but there are also lots of other ways to go about it, too. If a player you’d like to RP is already taken, that’s okay! It’s fine to have multiple interpretations, and you can always connect with others on the Twitter RP Discord server (ask for a link) to help solidify what you’d like to do.

Do I have to follow what’s on the Wiki?

Nope! The beauty of all this being fan-generated is that you, a fan, can generate whatever you like. If you decide that Reese Clark is actually a bunch of pigeons that scrawl runes in the dirt with their beaks, so much the better.

Who should I idol?

As of Season 24, the economy has been completely deleted and is going to start over from scratch. It’s not even clear if there is going to be an idol system in the next era. Anyway, all this is to say, idol whoever you want.

Where can I learn more about the players?

We have a very high-level intro in our introductory slideshow, but your best bet is probably the Blaseball Wiki! You can also ask questions any time; despite our natural desire for secrecy (being Spies), we also really love for folks to learn more about our precious players.