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Developer Tips Part II: Bowling, Chambara, and a…secret code??

You may have already seen part one of our Developers Tips series for the Nintendo Switch™ Sports game (creatively named “Developers Tips Part I”). But since the devs are quite dedicated to you improving your skills , let’s keep it going with Part II!


Ever wonder how scoring in Bowling works? This little crash course may help you avoid any scoring surprises!

Typically, you get one point for each pin you knock down, and you get two rolls to knock down all ten pins in that frame. However, things get a little wackier when you add in strikes and spares.

A strike is when you knock down all pins in the first roll. An X will go on your scoring sheet, but you won’t get a score for that frame quite yet—you’ll need to roll two more times before scoring is determined. Basically, you’ll get 10 points + “some bonus points” depending on what the next two rolls are!

So, say you roll a strike in the first frame. Then, in the next roll, you knock down 4 pins. And then, in the roll after that, you knock down 2 pins. The score of the first frame will now be updated with the bonus score: in this case, it’s 10 pins (the strike) + 4 pins (first roll of Frame #2) + 2 pins (second roll of Frame #2) for a grand total of 16. So that means you’d currently have 16 for Frame #1 and 6 for Frame #2…for a running total of 22.

Let’s talk about spares now: A spare is when you knock down all ten pins in a frame after two rolls. Scoring for spares is similar to strikes except that the bonus only comes from the next roll (not the next two rolls). So, if you get a spare in Frame #1 and then knock down 4 pins in the next roll and then 2 pins in the roll after that, Frame #1 will be updated to be 14 (10 + 4). That means your running total would be 14 for Frame #1 and 6 for Frame #2, for a running total of 20.

Yeah, that’s a lot to think about, but don’t worry – Nintendo Switch Sports will do all the calculations for you! However, all of this is extra important in Survival Bowling – since eight out of 16 players are eliminated after Frame #3 based on their score, try your best to get strikes and spares in the first or second frame!


  • First thing is first – slow down and land one blow at a time by gently swinging your Joy-Con™ controller. In fact, random swings will actually make your attack weaker!

  • With the Charge Sword, press the guard button just before an opponent’s attack to try and get a “Timely Block” that will send your opponent flying backwards a great distance. You won’t be able to pull this off if you mash the button.

Super-secret code

Now this is a secret, so don’t tell anyone about it. Actually…well, we’re telling you now, so feel free to tell anyone if you want! While setting CPU difficulty levels in solo play, there’s a secret difficulty setting that can only be unlocked with a code.

If you’re brave enough to challenge the champions, press the ZR Button + R Button + A Button at the same time on the CPU strength screen while your cursor is on "OK" (or ZL Button + L Button + Right Directional Button). A special sound effect will play and the CPU strength currently highlighted on-screen will be ignored. What follows will be a test of skill and endurance, so good luck!

(Hmm, do those champions looks familiar to you? Maybe they just have familiar faces…)

OK, that’s all for now. Good luck out there!