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Pong (Game): How To Play & Rules – 13 Things To Consider

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

This iconic game, released by Atari, has imprinted itself as a classic amongst gaming royalty. The simplistic gameplay became a record-breaking release by being the first of its kind. Many consider Pong to be the game that pathed the way for the gaming industry, which has climbed to major heights since then.

Pong’s interface consists of two paddles and a ball. The ball deflects off the paddle upon impact. You need to obtain 11 points when your opponent misses the ball to win. Additionally, the game can either be played by two people or one against a computer-controlled paddle.

Upon learning the mechanics of this game, let us look at how to play the game, the rules one should follow, and 13 things you should consider about this simplistic yet charming game when playing it.

1. The Ways Of The Pong Game

Pong resembles the sport known as tennis. This familiarity in movement makes it very easy to understand the mechanics. However, let us look at how to play this game with both an AI and another player.

2. The Main Components Of The Pong Game

There are three moving parts in the coding of the entire game. You will see a white ball and two white rectangles, known as paddles. A line down the middle of the screen indicates the players’ sides. Finally, there is a scoreboard with each player’s points displayed above their side of the screen.

3. The Functioning Of The Pong Game

The white ball will get automatically thrown onto the screen. To align with the incoming white ball, you will need to move the white paddles with your mouse or keyboard. When these two make contact, the ball will deflect against the paddle and shift to the other side of the screen, where the process repeats itself.

4. Various Methods Of Movement With Pong

You or a human opponent has more control over the paddle with a mouse, allowing more precise movement at a high velocity. However, other methods of moving the paddle include the arrow keys, WASD, or an old-fashioned rotating knob controller, which often became implemented in arcades.

5. Ways To Play Pong Alone Or With Your Friends

You can play Pong either alone or with your friends. When Pong was first released, it was initially only multiplayer; however, with the swift development of technology, a version consisting of an AI became a reality.

The simplicity of the game also provides a wide range of availability. There are plenty of websites and applications that various developers have created, many accessible anywhere. This concept also allows you to compete against opponents all over the world.

In addition to the online versions, various applications allow you to play offline on both mobile and PC. However, you will more likely play against an AI without connecting to a network or another individual.

6. Pong Is Available To Play For All Generations

In addition, with the controls being uncomplicated, any generation can learn how to play. So, whether you are aged or young, it becomes guaranteed that you can play this game which provides an activity accessible to the entire family.

7. The Difference Between Playing Pong Against A Human And An AI

There is quite a difference between playing against another human and a regular AI. The AI movement often gets restricted to coding, which provides the player with an advantage by default. The AI’s maximum velocity only enables it to travel so fast.

8. The Skill Difference Between A Beginner And A Pro

Certain aspects of the Pong game showcase the difference between a beginner and a pro player. For example, mastering certain mechanics such as velocity, angles, and DPI separates the level of skill between players.

9. How To Play The 3D Version Of Pong

Did you know that there is a 3D version of Pong? It has a different appearance, and the rules are slightly different. The 3D view adds more difficulty to the game, which explains why a player would need to achieve half the points you would in usual Pong. In addition, you no longer have rectangular paddles but square ones.

The square contains a diagram consisting of five smaller squares, one in the center and four in the corners of the larger square. This diagram illustrates the various angles that you can hit the ball. If you hit the center, it will travel straight. However, upon deflecting the ball against any of the corner squares, it will travel at an angle, giving you the extra boost to win.

10. The Basic Rules Of The Pong Game

The game’s goal is to make your opponent miss the ball when it gets passed to their side of the screen. When your opponent misses the ball, you gain a point, and to win, you need to obtain eleven points in total.

11. The Strict Movement Restrictions In Pong

The white paddles only move up and down, so you cannot move them diagonally or on any x-axis. Only the ball can move in on the y-axis, x-axis, and even diagonally.

12. Specific Game Mechanics: Angles And Increasing Velocity

The mechanics that separate a beginner from a more adept player in mastering two concepts are angles and velocity. Let us look at these two aspects of the game and analyze how learning about these mechanics will help you win every game you play.

The Various Angles Possible In Pong

One technique that many skilled players use is the choice of various angles. As a result, you have an increased chance of defeating your opponent by producing unanticipated angles. Additionally, different angles provide numerous velocities.

The Various Velocities Of The Pong Game

The velocity gets influenced by both the coding and your physicality. For example, people could manipulate the coding so the paddle’s velocity would increase as the round moved forward, making it more difficult to score over time. Adjusting your mouse’s sensitivity can give you an extra advantage.

13. The Possibilities To Alter The Rules By Changing The Coding Of Pong

With the coding being straightforward, compared to the coded projects we have today, various individuals can change the format of the game, whether they adjust the visuals or the core controls of the game. There has even been a release of Pong for four players! This mode would no doubt resemble tennis when the players play doubles.

Pong’s Compatibility With Many Development Software

Various software development programs are compatible with Pong, enabling many coding enthusiasts to adjust the existing game or entirely create their version. These programs include Java, Python, Visual C++, Direct2D, and Unity.

All these software developing programs enable you to alter the rules and cosmetics of the game, allowing the developer to create this simplistic game into their perfect version. It also provides the opportunity for new discoveries, such as the 3D version of Pong.


Pong is a source of entertainment for everyone as the rules and skills to play this game are simple and easy to obtain. However, the game also provides an opportunity to programmers worldwide who can easily manipulate its coding to create something similar or entirely different. Pong may not be people’s first choice, but it is a fun activity for the entire family.

JC Franco

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.