Hard Drop Tetris Wiki:Glossary

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Diagram Legend

The following is a legend detailing the functions of the various blocks used in the diagrams throughout the wiki articles.

Img Description
Tet.png Empty playfield cell
ZTet.png Red block (commonly part of Z tetromino)
LTet.png Orange block (commonly part of L tetromino)
OTet.png Yellow block (commonly part of O tetromino)
STet.png Green block (commonly part of S tetromino)
ITet.png Cyan block (commonly part of I tetromino, TTC calls this color as light blue.)
JTet.png Blue block (commonly part of J tetromino, TTC calls this color as dark blue.)
TTet.png Purple block (commonly part of T tetromino)
GTet.png Gray block (Garbage or Playfield wall)
-Tet.png Ghost piece or Line clear
CTet.png Rotation center of a piece, a bomb in Bombliss, or any other specially marked block
BTet.png Cell that has to be occupied for something (like a wallkick) to happen
XTet.png Cell that cannot be occupied for something (like a wallkick) to happen

Gravity speed of 0 cells per frame where tetrominoes do not automatically drop when spawn. See G.
Gravity speed of 20 cells per frame where tetrominoes instantly spawn on top of the stack. See G.
2L (2 line)
A type of Perfect Clear that can be achieved in two lines.
20 TSD
A game mode where players are only allowed to clear T-spin Doubles, and any other type of line clear ends the game.
40 lines
A game mode where the player tries to clear 40 lines as fast as possible. Also known as Sprint, or abbreviated at 40L.
4 Wide, Four Wide, 4w
A stacking method that leaves a four-wide column with 3 minos filled, and the rest of the columns as the main stack. Maximises Combo in Modern games. Has two variations, Side 4 Wide (s4w) and Center 4 Wide (c4w).
A stacking method that leaves a Tetris well on the 7th column. Combined with Finesse, this is the most efficient stacking method that requires the least amount of keypresses and allows extensive use of Pipelining.
Stacking with 7 columns on the left, 2 columns on the right with a Tetris well on the 8th column. LST and ST Stacking are well-known patterns that utilize this stacking method.
Stacking with a right well, with 9 columns of stack on the left side and 0 columns on the right side. Because of how Nintendo Rotation System in NES Tetris favors the right side, 9-0 is better than left-well stacking, also known as 0-9, because the I piece would need to travel one less column to the right as opposed to the left side.


Active piece
Alternate term for falling piece.
Alternate term for multiplayer garbage sent coined by Tetrinet players.
All Clear
When the player clears the whole playfield without leaving any blocks behind. Also known as a Bravo or Perfect Clear.
Attack Per Minute (APM)
A stat that measures the amount of garbage lines sent per minute. Calculated as (Lines Sent)*60/(Seconds passed).
A term for entry delay originating from Japan.
Arika Rotation System (ARS)
The rotation system used by most games published by Arika.
Auto-Repeat Rate (ARR)
The rate at which auto-shifting occurs. Measured as the time between each auto-shift, where lower time means faster movement; 0 ARR lets you instantly move a piece to the side.


Any combination of two or more line clears consisting of either a tetris or a T-Spin without any other line clear between them.
Bad manners (BM)
To disrespect the opponent, either by playing badly or taunting them in chat.
A class of randomizer in which a collection of pieces is shuffled, and all are dealt into the preview. (See Random Generator.)
Base (T-Spin)
The portion of a T-Spin setup, not directly under an overhang, where the T rests upon.
The gamemode in TETR.IO which is a variant of Ultra, except that a Marathon-like levelling system is also present that multiplies points earned by the current level but also increases gravity with each level.
A solid element occupying one cell of the playfield. Also used as a synonym for "cell" to represent a length or width (e.g. a 2-block-tall hole). Multiple blocks make a piece such as a tetromino. In some publications, a "block" may refer to a whole piece, but Tetriswiki uses "piece" or "tetromino" for clarity.
Block Out
To top out when a block overlaps the entry position.
Bounding box
A conceptual mechanism for explaining rotation systems that allows depicting how orientations are positioned relative to one another.
When the player clears the whole playfield without leaving any blocks behind. Also known as a All Clear or Perfect Clear.
Broken line
Any line sent to opponents with only one gap in the row. In the typical multiplayer variant, broken lines are clearable and have at least one gap in a random location.
Buffer Zone
An invisible area above the matrix used to detect lock out, block out, and top out game over conditions. The dimensions of the buffer zone are the same as those of the matrix.


The horizontal line separating the in-bounds rows of the playfield from the out-of-bounds rows. Most games place the ceiling at the top of row 20. In most games, the ceiling coincides with the top of the visible portion of the playfield. Tetriminos fall from the middle of the matrix just above this line. Also called skyline.
A unit square within the playfield.
Channel (tetrising)
Same as Rectum.
Extremely messy garbage lines. Refers to swiss cheese with its many holes in erratic locations.
Classic Placement
TTC's term for Step reset.
Clean donation
A donation that does not break the back-to-back bonus. Also known as a Natural donation.
The group of vertical cells inside the playfield, numbered from left to right.
  1. The act of clearing lines with consecutive tetrominoes, common to many recent Guideline games.
  2. The act of clearing lines in quick succession under a timer-based counter, as seen in Cultris, Lumines, and FantaVision.
  3. The act of clearing consecutive non-single line clears, as seen in the TGM series.
Counter Attack
TTC's term for Garbage countering.
Count to 4
Stacking over a hole to clear a Tetris that leaves a clean opening to the hole to further downstack one's field and to preserve Back-to-Back bonus.


Delayed Auto Shift (DAS)
Refers to the delay prior to when the auto-repeat (ARR) kicks starts.
Deep Drop
Enables pieces to drop through other pieces. If a hole is directly under a piece and has enough space, it will be filled. Found in Tetris (Milton Bradley), Multiblocks, KeyBlox, Techmino, and Tetrio.io. Named in Multiblocks.[1]
Refers to any or all of the following: entry delay, delayed auto shift (DAS), DAS delay, line clear delay, and lock delay.
Temporaily stacking over the main Tetris well to create a clean T-spin setup.
The act of clearing two lines with one tetromino.
Downstack (DS)
The act of clearing existing blocks inside the playfield to lower the height of the stack. Most commonly used in multiplayer Tetris to refer to clearing garbage sent by an opponent.
Alternate term for memoryless randomizer, in honor of the amnesic fish character from the 2003 Disney/Pixar film Finding Nemo.
A stacking pattern that has a 100% Perfect Clear chance after performing a T-Spin Double.
Downward movement of a piece.


Entry delay
Time between when one piece finishes and when the following piece enters. Also known as ARE.
Extended Placement
A variant of Infinity lock down rule that limits the number of movements and rotations, usually 15 per piece.
EZ T-Spin
A T-Spin that clears no line using a wall kick.
EZ T-Spin Single
Alternate term for Mini T-Spin Single used in Tetris Zone.


TTC's term for Orientation.
Fall Speed
TTC's term for Gravity.
Falling piece
The tetromino or other piece under the player's control.
Fast drop
Another name for soft drop.
The least combination (less than "Minimal") in the PC solution. See knewjade's Path Filter
Movement technique that lets you place any piece onto the board in 2 keypresses (excluding hard drop). Good finesse makes you a more efficient player in terms of keys per tetromino (or keys per piece (KPP)). This in turn can lead to playing faster. See Movement Finesse
Finesse error
Also known as finesse count. Finesse error is any unneeded keypress used to get a piece to its final resting place. See Movement Finesse
Firm drop
Manual downward motion of a tetromino where the piece lands within a frame and begins the lock delay. Also known as Sonic drop.
Fixed Goal System
A goal system that increases the level for every 10 lines cleared. Used in many older games, Tetris DS, Master mode of Tetris Zone, Survival mode of Tetris Friends, etc.
Floor kick
Upward movement of a piece when it rotates against the floor of the playfield or other blocks.
Period during which the sequence of rotation, movement, and gravity is executed, and the result is displayed. Video games in Japan and North America run at 60 frames per second.
Upstacking and/or creating T-spin setups without any defined pattern.
Refers to the board editor by Mihys that can map out different board states/board progressions encoded in a single link.
A tetris column with a 2-3 cell wide opening at the top for skimming.


A unit of speed of one cell per frame. Refers most often to gravity; can also refer to DAS or soft drop speed. For example, when gravity is 20G, each piece falls so quickly that it instantly spawns on top of the playfield.
For tetrising: Same as Rectum.
Rows of blocks added to the bottom of the playfield at the start of the game or during the game. In almost every game, these are grey-colored rows with one empty column.
Garbage blocking
Garbage blocking is a feature that delays lines in the Receiving queue from appearing on the playfield until a piece is dropped which fails to clear a line.
Garbage countering
Sending garbage in order to reduce or eliminate lines in the Receiving queue.
Ghost piece
A marker in the playfield showing where the falling piece will land. Also known as Temporary Landing System (TLS).
The condition that must be met before a Level Up (or game completed) takes place, and is typically a number of lines left to be cleared. The Goal depends on the goal system used.
Goal System
A rule specifying when and how the level increases. TTC defines Fixed and Variable Goal System.
The automatic downward movement of a piece over time.
The specification for how Tetris games made in roughly 2001 and later should operate.


See Overhang
Hard drop
  1. (lowercase D) Manual downward motion of a tetromino where the piece lands and locks instantly within a frame.
  2. (uppercase D) The name of this community as a whole.
Placing the falling piece in storage and moving the piece that was in storage (or next in line if no piece was in storage) to the top of the playfield.
Hold Queue
The storage place where players can Hold any falling Tetrimino for use later. When called for, the held Tetrimino swaps places with the currently falling Tetrimino, and begins falling again at the generation point.
  1. Hollow but enclosed cell(s) inside the stack.
  2. Same as Rectum.


One of the tetrominoes.
Initial Hold System (IHS)
A rule allowing the player to hold the next piece during entry delay.
Initial Rotation System (IRS)
A rule allowing the player to rotate a piece as it enters the playfield by pressing and holding a button during entry delay.
Infinite Placement
Alternate term for Infinity.
A lock down rule in which lock delay resets every time a piece is shifted or rotated.


One of the tetrominoes.
A setup that has a high chance of a Perfect Clear.
Jiznickery [2]
A misdrop due to an inadvertent zangi-move. It happens in games with firm drop when the player drops a piece but does not wait long enough for the piece to lock before trying to charge DAS or input IRS for the next piece. The New Tetris was especially susceptible due to its lack of manual locking.


A term that refers to a wall kick and/or a floor kick.


One of the tetrominoes.
A lagdrop is when a player drops a tetromino in the wrong place, or in the wrong orientation as a result of lag.
Landing (tetromino)
When a Tetromino comes in contact with one of the Matrix walls or Blocks in the Matrix.
Line clear delay
Common term to refer to a row in the playfield.
Line clear
Creation of a complete row of blocks with no holes after a piece locks. It disappears, and the blocks above the row move down.
Line clear delay
The time it takes for a Line clear to complete.
After a piece has landed on the floor of the playfield or on other blocks, it becomes part of the playfield and is no longer subject to the player's control. Or to cancel lock delay, causing a piece to lock immediately.
Lock delay
The time between when a piece lands and when it locks.
TTC's term for Lock.
Lock Down Timer
TTC's term for Lock delay.
Lock Down Rule
A rule specifying when the lock delay resets. TTC defines Classic Placement (Step reset), Extended Placement, and Infinite Placement (Infinity) rules.
Lock Out
To top out by locking a piece above the ceiling.
Lines per minute (LPM)
The average number of lines in the Tetris field that the player has cleared, per minute.
A stacking pattern that can waste no T pieces to maximise T-spins. Named for the pattern of setting up T-spin overhangs with the L and S pieces.


A game mode where the player tries to earn as many points as possible while surviving against the increasing gravity. The game may continue endlessly or may terminated at the end of level 15 or 20.
Margin Time
A game state that applies after a certain amount of time has passed. The kind of effect and how long margin time takes to kick in varies from game to game. Effects can be in the form of hurry-up garbage, increasing gravity, or increasing garbage multiplier. Term taken from the Puyo Puyo series.
A form of Starting line with a preset shape of the playfield. Some maps are designed to encourage T-Spins and/or Combos, while some others are designed to be a hindrance to the player.
A term used by The Tetris Company for a playfield.
  1. A term used by The Tetris Company for a full piece: the root tetra means "four", so a tetrimino consists of four minos. This terminology is seldom used outside TTC.
  2. The "block creatures" in the games Tetris Worlds and Kids Tetris are also called minoes.
  3. In Japanese Sega Tetris/TGM parlance, the term is used as an abbreviation of "Tetramino", thus referring to the whole piece instead of a single cell. The term "block", however, is used more often.
Minimal set
The smallest set (set theory) of Perfect Clear solutions that covers all possible queues that a given field can solve. A minimal [solve] would be a member of this set.
Mini T-Spin Single
A T-Spin that clears one line using a wall kick.
Alternate term for misdrop.
A misdrop is when a player accidentally drops a tetromino in the wrong place, or in the wrong orientation.
Move reset
Another name for Infinity.


Next piece
Alternate term for piece preview.
Notch (T-Spin)
The crevice in a T-Spin setup that is directly under an overhang.
Natural donation
A donation that does not break the back-to-back bonus. Also known as a Clean donation.


One of the tetrominoes.
Open column
Same as Rectum.
The direction that a piece faces. The number of orientations in Tetris pieces may not always be equal to the number of geometric orientations a shape can take. Shapes like Z, S, and I which only has two orientations, or O, which has only one, can be treated as having four internal representations in some games, most commonly those that implement the Super Rotation System.
A block or column of blocks extending from a wall of blocks over an empty cell or column. Overhangs are commonly used as a method of reordering piece placements when a player recieves undesirable tetromino sequences. In games where T-Spins are rewarded, overhangs may be used to set up a T-Spin.


Perfect Clear Opener. A setup with a high chance of getting a Perfect Clear at the start of the game.
A set of blocks that moves as a unit.
Piece preview
A display area of the tetrion devoted to displaying the next pieces that will enter the playfield.
Perfect Clear
When the player clears the whole playfield without leaving any blocks behind. Also known as a All Clear or Bravo and often abbreviated as PC.
A grid of cells into which pieces are placed.
Playing deliberately slowly in order to accept any clean garbage, then sending a counter spike in return. Opposite of Stride.
Pieces Per Second (PPS)
A stat that measures how fast somebody plays.
Unorthodox T-spin Double setups that satisfy the 3-corner rule but create overhangs that would need to be fixed with soft drops and/or SRS kicks. There are three polymer T-spin setups: Neo, Iso, and Fin.


TETR.IO's term for a four-line clear, also called a Tetris.
A fan game.
A fan game, 14 column playfield. Has a surplus of Is, and runs on Linux.


Random Generator
A specific randomizer used in newer games that guarantees an even distribution of piece types. It consists of a bag with one of each of the seven tetrominoes.
An algorithm that generates a sequence of piece types.
Abbreviation for Rating Deviation, a variable from Glicko-2 that defines how accurate a player's rating is from their current rating.
Receiving Queue
A vertical meter that accrues opponents' line attacks between lock downs. When a lock down occurs, any lines accrued in the meter are added to the bottom of that player's matrix before generation of the next tetrimino.
This wiki's name for the open column to place a vertical I tetromino for a Tetris. It consists of at least four adjacent rows that are filled with blocks except for a single hole in the same column. The term comes from the Latin for "straight"; other terms are gap and channel. Coined by a user here.
Japanese for Combo.
Ren Gaming
Another name for Four wide or a relatively big Combo. Refers to Puyo Puyo Tetris 2's poorly received launch by Tetris players and the #rengaming hashtag on Twitter that immediately followed its launch.
To change a piece's orientation by turning it clockwise or counterclockwise, generally by 90 degrees.
Rotating the tires
Alternate term for a twist.[3]
Rotation system
A rule specifying the orientation for each piece type and the movements (including wall kicks and floor kicks) when changing orientations.
The group of horizontal cells inside the playfield, numbered from bottom to top.


One of the tetrominoes. Colored light green in the Tetris Guideline.
"Save T"
Refers to setups that don't place the T piece in the stack, reserving it for T-spins in order to increase point/damage efficiency.
Alternate term for ghost piece.
Soft drop speed (SDS)
The rate at which the active tetromino falls by the use of Soft Drop. TTC defines it as 20x of native gravity.
Moving a piece sideways.
The act of clearing one line with one tetromino.
Line clearing the edge or surface of a stack to purposely downstack, flatten the field, or upstack for a tetris. Also known as Trimming.
Another word for ceiling.
Placing a piece under an overhang by moving it sideways.
Soft drop
Moving the piece down faster than gravity, while still retaining control over it.
Soft Drop Factor (SDF)
Used in TETR.IO, the rate at which Soft Drop affects the gravity speed.
Solid Line
A row of blocks without any gaps sent to one or more opposing players. One solid line at the bottom has the same effect as lowering the ceiling by one row.
Sonic drop
A name for firm drop arising from the TGM community.
Sonic lock
A name for hard drop arising from the TGM community.
Spawn location
Where the active tetromino enters the playfield.
Spawn orientation
The initial orientation of the active tetromino upon appearing in the playfield.
  1. The rate at which the active tetromino automatically falls. See Gravity.
  2. The rate at which a player drops a tetromino. See Tetromino Per Time.
  3. The specific delay values that determine how fast a game can be played optimally, or how slow it can be played for survival.
Super Rotation System (SRS)
A rotation system for tetrominoes used by games that adhere to the Tetris Guideline.
Another name for 40 lines game mode.
A strider is one who plays fast with disregard to attack efficiency. Opposite of Plonk.
ST Stacking
A stacking method that forms successive T-spins and Tetris line clears that can theoretically waste zero T pieces. One of the most efficient ways of stacking for points and for damage. Also known as a T-spin Factory. Also see LST.
  1. The structure created from placing tetrominoes inside the playfield.
  2. The act of placing tetrominoes inside the playfield.
A strategy using center 4-wide where a player will stall to combo their 4-wide setup, usually against an opponent that also has a center 4-wide setup, to accept garbage from the opponent in order to overpower them with the 4-wide's damage.
Starting line
Any broken or solid line at the beginning of a game. Typically, variants may use different preset (a Map) or random patterns to mix up game play.
Step reset
A lock down rule in which lock delay resets every time the falling piece moves downward.
Super Lobby
A lobby in TETR.IO with 100 players or more. References the Hard Drop Tetris 99 Super Lobbies.


One of the tetrominoes.
Abbreviation for Tetris 99.
Target Mark
A movable marker that designates the recipient of a line attack. This marker displays near the middle of the opponent's matrix but is only visible to the player that controls it.
Tool-assisted speedrun. A performance produced by means unavailable to regular players, such as slow motion, frame-by-frame advance of the gameplay, or re-recording of previous portions of a performance.
Temporary Landing System (TLS)
Arika's name for the ghost piece.
Abbreviation for Tetris Effect: Connected.
Effect of failure to adapt to different variations of a puzzle game, especially different controls or rotation systems. (Coined by colour_thief as a portmanteau of "tetromino" and "jet lag".)
Alternate term for tetromino used in Nintendo Power reviews of 8-bit Tetris games and in the initial release of the video game StarTropics 2.
Alternate term for tetromino allegedly used by The Tetris Company in the late 1990s.
Alternate term for tetromino used by The Tetris Company as of Tetris Worlds.
A term used by The Tetris Company for the game object that contains a playfield. Different tetrions may implement different variations of the game rules. (Not to be confused with Tetryon.)
  1. The Tetris Company's trademark for products implementing the Soviet Mind Game.
  2. The act of clearing four lines with one tetromino.
  3. Game which this wiki is about
Tetris Engine
The code that controls the logic of a Tetris game.
Tetris Guideline
The set of rules for which all commercial Tetris games must follow. It can be found on Dropbox.
A piece consisting of four square blocks joined at the sides. Distinctive geometric Tetris shapes formed by four minoes connected along their sides. A total of seven possible tetrominoes can be made using four minoes, each represented by a unique color.
  • Z: red
  • L: orange
  • O: yellow
  • S: green
  • I: light blue
  • J: dark blue
  • T: purple
Abbreviation for the Tetris The Grand Master series.
A HUD element that displays elapsed playtime (or remaining playtime if in Ultra mode) of the current game. Many older Tetris games do not display timer at all.
Refers to the Opener that instant hard-drops the I piece and creates a non-committal T-Spin setup which leaves a clean field for many followups.
Abbreviation for Tetra League, the ranked 1v1 gamemode in TETR.IO.
Top out
  1. A piece reaches the top of the playfield and the game ends.
  2. A Game Over Condition occurring when the player receives Broken Lines or Solid Lines that force the player's existing Blocks to the top of the Buffer Zone and past the Top Out Line.
Top Out Line
The ceiling of the Buffer Zone, above the Skyline with the same height as the Matrix (40th row). This is the absolute topmost line in the Tetris game defined in the Guideline.
Abbreviation for Tetra Rating, the rating system based on Glicko-2 used in TETR.IO's 1v1 ranked gamemode, Tetra League.
Transferring is placing pieces to convert one setup into another before the first setup was fully cleared as intended. This usually breaks the back-to-back bonus.
TTC's term for Landing (tetromino).
The act of clearing three lines with one tetromino.
Also known as a T-spin Setup. Any block formation such that when the T-Tetrimino is spun into it, any three of the four cells diagonally adjacent to the center of the T-Tetrimino are occupied by existing blocks.
A twist performed with the T tetromino that satisfies specific requirements.
T-Spin Mini (TS0)
Alternate term for EZ T-Spin or Mini T-Spin Single.
T-Spin Mini Single (TSM Single)
Alternate term for Mini T-Spin Single.
T-Spin Single (TSS)
A T-Spin that clears one line.
T-Spin Mini Double (TSM Double)
Alternate term for Mini T-Spin Double.
T-Spin Double (TSD)
A T-Spin that clears two lines.
T-Spin Triple (TST)
A T-Spin that clears three lines.
The Tetris Company (TTC)
The company that owns, licenses and administers Tetris rights.
Placing a piece under an overhang by rotating it.


Short for Ultimatris, the name for a 20-line Zone Clear in Tetris Effect: Connected.
A game mode where the player tries to earn as many points as possible in the limited time, usually 2 or 3 minutes.
All combinations (more than "Filter" and more than "Minimal") in the PC solution. See solution-finder page
The act of placing tetrominoes inside the playfield to increase the height of the stack.


Variable Goal System
A goal system which the level increases for every (5*Level) lines. Bonus lines are awarded for simultaneous line clears, T-Spins, Back-to-Backs and Combos. Used in Tetris Worlds, Marathon mode of Tetris Zone and Tetris Friends, and most Tetris games published by Electronic Arts. In TETR.IO, this is present in BLITZ with a different level scaling, where points are multiplied by the level. Line bonuses are not present in TETR.IO. See https://tetris.wiki/TETR.IO#Blitz
Visual Rotation Point
TTC's term for the wall kick positions of SRS. Using the Super Rotation System, this is the point anywhere near or within the Tetrimino around which the Tetris Engine attempts to rotate the Tetrimino. If unsuccessful, it will attempt to use the next Visual Rotation Point of the Tetrimino until it is successful.


Wall kick
Sideways movement of a piece when it rotates against the floor of the playfield or other blocks.
  1. A term used in some older games for the playfield.
  2. TTC's term for Rectum.


Creating unorthodox/complex T-spin setups/donations. Named after player Yakine. Example of yakinery


One of the tetrominoes.
Moving a piece downward, sliding it, and locking it.

See also