How to Play
NOTE: Due to the turbulent nature of the current season, much of this guide has been (literally) nullfied by a Black Hole. Some remains useful, but the majority will be overhauled (again) once we know what the site is going to look like on the flip side.
Now, the fun part.
If you're here, I'm going to assume that you've made an account on the site and picked a team! If not, go do that now. I'll wait. (The teams and some notable events for each can be found here)
Once you're situated on a team (situated being relative, if you find it's not for you, you can switch with a Flute during the first part of the season), you're going to want to purchase shop access and start growing your economy. The best way to do so varies from season to season!
Current Snack Meta
So - what does that all mean?
Your Idol is a player that will pay out coins if they meet certain criteria. For example, Pickles pay out whenever your Idol steals a base. An Idol can be selected by navigating to their player page, either from their team page or via the search bar, and clicking the Idol icon (it's worth noting here that you do need 200 coins to do this, so don't go too ham on snacks right off the bat):
Also: Currently, a rule called "All You Can Eat" is in play. This means that, theoretically, you could buy an absolute ton of slots and have every snack (people have tried), but it's ill-advixed, since having FEWER snacks increases the % bonus to what that snack would normally pay out. If you have too many slots, your snacks will pay out less than their base coin amount or, worse, nothing at all. Your current snack payout is always visible in the Shop.
Once you've got your idol, you'll likely end up building your economy for a couple of seasons. Thankfully, this doesn't take too terribly long to do! Once you've maxed out your snack of choice (they generally cap at 99), you can start thinking about things like renovations, the gift shop, and...
Also, while we're talking economy, a note on Eat the Rich: Eat the Rich is a League Rule wherein, on Sunday each week, the richest 1% of fans get "eaten". This takes all of their money, and doles it out evenly to the rest of the league. The 1% mark currently sits somewhere over 200k coins, so you're probably safe for now! However, if Sunday rolls around and your pockets are feeling a bit heavy, it's best to spend down. Unless you're feeling generous. Then that's just awful nice of you.
Earlsiesta, Renovations, and the Gift Shop
Earlsiesta is a (roughly) one hour break that falls between games 27 and 28 every season. During this break, fans gain access to both Renovations and Gift Shops.
Renovations allow fans to donate coins to their own team in order to add modifications to their Ballpark. The most popular Renovations pass, with each successive Renovation becoming more expensive based on A) how many Renovations the team has already funded this season and B) how many Renovations the team funded the season prior. These Renovations can do anything from making home runs harder/easier to hit in the Ballpark to installing Hoops, which allow players to attempt an alley oop for an extra run after one of their teammates hits a homer.
The Gift Shop allows fans to both donate coins to other teams, or to donate coins once again to their own team to build a Wishlist. Much like Renovations, more gifts = exponentially more coins. A team's Wishlist may consist of items to buff/debuff their players, team mods to protect from Incineration, or even Replicas of Vaulted players.
In order to access both Renovations and your team's Wishlist, you'll have to snag a Pizza from the Shop!
Another hour-long break falls between games 72 and 73. During the Latesiesta, Renovations and Gifts are finalized. Short, sweet, and often incredibly chaotic. If you're going to actually watch games at any point during the week, the games after Latesiesta are arguably the best viewing as everybody scrambles to figure out what exactly is happening.
The Idolboard and Wildcard Rounds
Congrats! You've survived until Friday (or, at least, long enough to read about it). Once the regular season wraps up after game 99, several things happen
Firstly, remember that Idol you picked earlier? Cool. They are, if you're following the meta, almost definitely on the Idolboard right now. If they're particularly high up on the Idolboard, something unfortunate is likely about to happen to them. Such is Blaseball.
NOTE: As much as I joke, many teams will organize to get their favourites off of the Idolboard around this time in the season. Help out if you want to/can - they really appreciate it.
Currently, the players at the top of the Idolboard become the season's MVPs. If you read the big lore intro, congrats! You already know what I'm talking about. If not, here's a quick summary: A player who is named an MVP is given a Modification (basically, think a modifier in an MMO) called Ego. Ego can be granted multiple times, up to Ego++++. A player with Ego++++ who is named MVP again is Vaulted, and removed from play. Those Vaulted players also generally have Replicas added to the Gift Shop.
Another NOTE: Fans often refer to those Replicas as Funko Pops, which is a curse, and I think it's important that you know.
After Idolboard stuff wraps up, the Wild Cards are drawn. Wild Cards are teams who did not qualify for either Championship bracket (yes, there are two, and yes, I'm getting to that), but are pulled at random from each Subleague to compete against the lowest-ranked qualifying teams from that Subleague in best-of-three matchups. The victors of said matchups are the ones who go on to compete in the Postseason.
The Postseason is, currently, divided into two Championship brackets: The Overbracket, and the Underbracket. So - how does your team get in?
The first part of understanding how to make it into either Championship is to understand how the League is divided. Each team falls into both a Subleague and a Division. The Subleagues are Mild and Wild, and the Divisions further divide these Subleagues into High and Low. So, for an entirely unbiased (it's not) example, the Canada Moist Talkers fall into the Mild Low Division. Each Championship pulls the first qualifying team from each Division, and then the next two qualifying teams from each Subleague.
The Overbracket is pretty straightforward: To get there, you want to win, and win lots. To get into the Underbracket your team has to lose, and continue losing all the way through the Postseason to claim an Underchampionship.
It's worth noting here that, for a bevy of reasons, your win-loss ratio may be different from your total number of wins. Blaseball is chaos in a can, and this is one of many ways that it demonstrates that.
If you're reading this and finding yourself disheartened upon finding out that your team won't make it into the Overbracket, I have good news: Teams that have been mathematically eliminated from it enter Partytime. When your Team is in Partytime, your players may party during games, granting arguably some of the best stat boosts in the game!
Another fun League rule: If a team claims three Championships (likely just the regular, winning kind, but we're not sure yet) it will Evolve. This lets the players on the team at the time hold an extra item, and also grants the team a special Evolution Modification (often referred to as an "Evo Mod"). The Hades Tigers, for example (I can't use the Talkers here, we haven't won enough. Yet.) have the Ambush Mod. With it, any time a player is Incinertaed in a game against the Tigers, a random player is pulled from the Hall of Flame (where all the deceased players hang out) and into their Shadows (a kind of backup roster of players on a team who aren't actively playing in games).
Every Sunday, Blaseball undergoes an Election during which Decrees, Wills, and Blessings are passed. You can participate in Elections by buying Votes from the shop, and casting them up until Elections resolve (check the Schedule on the homepage of the Blaseball site for the time at which this happens in your time zone).
NOTE: Hey! It's another note! Nifty! This is where I really, really strongly recommend that you jump into Blaseball's official Discord to participate in Election strategizing. Vote with your heart reigns supreme, but accomplishing stuff as a team is very, very cool. Teams also often put out voting guides on Twitter/Reddit/Tumblr/etc.
So, what are all those options on the Election page, and how do they work?
Decrees are big, game-changing options applied League-wide and determined by popular vote. They may add new weather, new League Rules, or even further plot elements!
Wills are raffles within your team. The options change threeson to threeson (the common terminology for the three-week "onseason" during which games occur, broken up by a two-week "offseason"). These may allow your team to shuffle players between your active roster and your Shadows, swap players with another team, or add funky Modifications to one of your players! You will need to snag a Cheese Board from the Shop to view/vote on them.
Blessings, much like Wills, are a raffle, but are League-wide. These are often incredibly impactful, and are too varied in effect to really sum up nicely. Checking out currently available Blessings is your best bet to get a feel for what they do!
Congrats! You're playing Blaseball! I have a few personal tips going forward:
Check out the unofficial wiki: Blaseball fans are incredibly creative, and your team and its players likely have a lot of fan-lore and fanart! It's worth saying here that nothing except what appears on the site is canon. Every interpretation of a character is a valid one.
Don't be afraid to disengage: Blaseball is, at its core, a horror game, and with that can come stress! Being able to take breaks is a valuable skill, and your fellow fans will generally be happy to fill you in on anything you've missed. FOMO be damned - taking care of yourself is first priority.
Be kind to your fellow players: The Blaseball community is an online community in every sense of the term, and despite the best of intentions, tensions can get high. Be gracious with the people experiencing the game with you. The game is more fun when you're playing as a team.