Welcome to Blaseball!
You may be feeling a few things right now: Confused, excited, overwhelmed, etc. Which makes sense! Blaseball can be a lot. The goal of this guide is to make your introduction to the splort a little bit less overwhelming.
(If you'd like to skip the game's narrative history and jump right to the mechanics/how to play, click HERE)
The first thing I'm going to do is explain what exactly Blaseball is, and how the story reached what it is today. We'll touch on how it works later, but with the sheer degree of narrative progression it has undergone, trying to do both at once is nearly impossible. Blaseball started as, essentially, a baseball simulator with funny names. That was really all it was until the opening of the Forbidden Book at the end of Season 1. This started its climb toward becoming more narrative horror than sport, and now it is in its third Era. To start, let's cover Discipline.
The Discipline Era
The Discipline Era technically started during Season 2, but for the sake of simplicity I'll be including Season 1 as well since, until its Election - an event every season during which user votes are tallied to enact new game rules or make changes to teams - nothing really happened. The opening of the Book, however, caused Jaylen Hotdogfingers, a pitcher for the Seattle Garages, to be Incinerated. When a player is Incinerated, they are removed from their team's roster and sent to the Hall of Flame, a list of Deceased Players. That player is then replaced with a new, randomly rolled player, often referred to as a New Egg. The Incinerations continued, putting players at risk during Solar Eclipses, the first of many weather types that can occur during games (more on those later).
During Season 3, we met the first of Blaseball's many gods: The Shelled One. A giant peanut, it would take over the site to deliver ominous messages. Its threats continued over the rest of the Era, particularly after fans failed to move its "Pods" into the top three slots on the Idolboard, which lists the players most "Idolized" by fans. These players may be chosen as fan favourites, or for their performance on the field. The aforementioned Pods were three players with the word "Peanut" in their names. In retribution, it "Shelled" the players currently in those slots, trapping them inside giant peanuts.
Its rage only increased when the fans resurrected Jaylen Hotdogfingers in the League's first act of necromancy. Which is, in and of itself, a hell of a phrase. Let's break that down a little bit:
When the Idolboard appeared at the beginning of Season 6, a Blessing appeared alongside it which allowed a team to recruit the player in its 14th slot. Fans quickly realized that deceased players could be Idolized, and summarily worked to move Hotdogfingers into that 14th slot. The Election saw their efforts realized, with Jaylen returning to pitch for the Seattle Garages. Of course, defying a god did not come without a price.
Jaylen returned with Debt: a mechanic causing them to hit batters with pitchers, making them Unstable. This instability caused them to be much more likely to be Incinerated during Solar Eclipses, and when they were it could spread to their fellow players. However, when Jaylen returned to play, she did not return alone. A second god - The Monitor - followed Jaylen back from the hall.
The Monitor (AKA "The Hall Monitor", "Moist God", or simply "Binky") is a squid of all trades. It currently operates as the League's Food, Beverage, Tourism, and Gift Shop Director. At the time, however, it was simply the guardian of the Hall of Flame, and for the first time, someone had escaped its domain. It seemed markedly unconcerned, instead seeking out its snack of choice: eggs.
Jaylen's debt was soon "Refinanced" by a third entity: the Microphone. It communicated exclusively via Twitter, and was the voice of ex-LA Unlimited Tacos player Wyatt Mason (victim of a rip in spacetime over Los Angeles - but that's a story for another time). With refinanced debt, her pitches caused a less severe effect, and after Season 8 concluded, did not cause any effect at all.
The Shelled One, enraged, declared that the fans had incurred the "fourth strike" and were now "out". Meanwhile, in its pursuit of "eggs" (now known to be a mistake in nomenclature, as several Blessings granting fans large quantities of peanuts referred to them as such), tried to eat Shelled Canada Moist Talkers pitcher PolkaDot Patterson. It decalred the egg "spoiled", and spat the pitcher back out. After the regular season concluded, The Shelled One sought its revenge: an alert appeared on the site warning fans to "seek shelter". When the site returned, it was to a boss fight similar to those present in JRPGs. The boss in question? The Shelled One and its PODS.
THE SHELLED ONES PODS were a team composed of all three Peanut players, as well as any currently Shelled player, who was removed from their original team's roster. The reigning champions - the Charleston Shoe Thieves - attempted to fight the team, inflicting damage by playing a game of Blaseball. They were, however, ultimately defeated.
The event was titled Season 9, Day X.
THE SHELLED ONE'S PODS returned at the end of Season 10, this time facing the Baltimore Crabs. The Crabs were summarily defeated, but the battle was far from over. The Microphone called forth a team of its own: The Hall Stars. Fourteen players from the Hall of Flame took the field against the Shelled One, and Dominic Marijuana - formerly of the New York Millennials - scored the run that sealed its fate. The Monitor quickly appeared, consuming the weakened Shelled One.
This was the end of the Discipline Era. We had killed a god. The players on the Hall Stars were Released from play, violating one of the key rules of Blaseball: Incineration is the only way out. THE SHELLED ONE'S PODS were de-shelled and reditributed at random around the League. The Crabs, as well, disappeared from the site, having fulfilled another Blaseball rule: Any team that won three championships was to Ascend. They were replaced by a new team, the Tokyo Lift.
Having consumed the husk of a dying god, the Shelled One declared "Boss is on her way," and the League transitioned into Peace and Prosperity.
Peace and Prospertity
Peace and Prosperity - for all its grand nomeclature - only lasted about a season and a half, running from Season 11 to midway through Season 12. This new Era was declared to be one of "Fair Play" by a new god: The Boss. Taking the form of a giant coin, she enacted Total Fairness, granting each team a Blessing in the form of a Major Arcana Tarot card. Additionally, the Decrees passed that season voted to "Eat", "Deface", and "Close" the Forbidden Book.
Between the two seasons of Peace and Prosperity, however, was the Grand Siesta, a break spanning multiple real-life months. During said siesta was the Coffee Cup: a non-canon tournment that saw players shuffled onto teams according to their favoured coffee type. It also saw the appearance of several new teams, namely the BC Noir, which had only two players: Uncle Plasma and Liquid Friend. They, like the rest of the Cup's new players, disappeared from the site after the tournament.
They were, however, not gone for good.
When Blaseball returned for Season 12, it did so with several notable changes made according to Season 11's Decrees. "Eat" saw the addition of Concessions, allowing fans to make money in new ways. "Deface" added a new option to Elections, Wills, raffles within each team. Finally, "Close" saw ground broken on the Crabitat, which was the stadium of the Ascended Baltimore Crabs.
The seasonal schedule, too, saw some changes, namely the introduction of the Earlsiesta and Latesiesta. During the Earlsiesta - a one-hour break from games on Tuesday - a Seasonal Reading was preformed by yet another Entity: The Reader. These readings applied effects to teams based on their Arcana.
After the Earlsiesta, fans who had remained on the Baltimore Crabs gained access to the Renovations feature, and the Crabitat became the first of many Ballparks. Its construction was finished during the Latesiesta, another hour-long break on Thursday. With construction completed, the Crabs descended, alongside three more "Breach Teams": the Core Mechanics, the Atlantis Georgias, and the Ohio Worms. With them came a shift in Era - it was time for Expansion.
The Expansion Era
At the end of Season 12, Uncle Plasma and Liquid Friend returned to the League during the season's Election. At the end of Season 13, they were hired by the Blaseball Commissioner to investigate the disappearance of two players: Brisket Friendo and Tad Seeth.
Season 13 also brought yet another new feature to the game: MVPs. At the end of each season, the League's most popular Idols were granted Ego. Any player granted Ego 6 times became Legendary, and was Vaulted and removed from active play. Replicas of these Vaulted players would later become obtainable via Gift Shops, in which teams could select desired gifts and receive donations from others in the League.
In Season 14, The Boss announced that Team Contributions would now be tracked. This was the new eDensity system, with various factors contributing to a team's weight. Teams that were too heavy were attacked by shark-like "Consumers". Players attacked by Consumers too many times were Redacted (though this could occur several different ways), adding yet more disappearances to the ongoing investigation.
Before the Season 15 Elections, Lōotcrates, the League's Historian, made their first appearance:
This brought the count of active entities within the game up to 5: The Boss, The Monitor (her apparent assistant/errand-squid), Lōotcrates (true to their name, they occasionally bestowed gifts upon the League), the Reader, and the Microphone (who had gone suspisiously silent). With the mountain of unanswered questions growing (where were the Redacted players? Why were some coming back from newly-built Secret Bases in various Ballparks?) and tensions seeming to grow between the various entities, Season 17's Election brought with it new knowledge.
We built a Library.
Initially, most of the Library's books were redacted, but gradually Blaseball's Pre-Histories began to reveal themselves. While there isn't the space here to delve into those in full, they are available on the Blaseball site proper. They also mentioned teams previously unseen on the site. Unseen, that is, until they appeared in the Hall of Flame. Team Incineration was now on the table.
However, these revelations were slow to occur, and back in Season 18, the conflict between the Boss and the Reader began, as the Boss cancelled the Seasonal Readings. The Reader, however, fought back, creating a Decree of its own: Trust Fall. Trust Fall passed, causing chaos as - true to its description, "winning will be losing" - teams that won games found themselves rocketing down the League's leaderboards. During Season 19, it also performed a Reading despite the cancellation. The Boss attempted to convince fans to repeal Trust Fall, offering a Decree to do so, but the Reader countered with yet another option on the ballot. Once again, the Reader's Decree passed, creating the Underbracket.
The Underbracket took the teams at the bottom of the League's standings and allowed them to compete for an Underchampionship. Where teams in the regular Championship bracket chased wins to take the title, Underbacket contenders "won" by losing. During Season 20, no Reading was performed.
During Season 21 - titled "Red Herring" - two teams rocketed to the top and bottom of the Depth chart. The Atlantis Georgias reached the top, unlocking a page on Blaseball 0, one of two plot-relevant sister sites to the main Blaseball game. Meanwhile, the Ohio Worms plunged to the bottom, unlocking a new graphic on Blaseball 2. Red fish spilled out of the site's ominous gate.
Fans quickly discovered that they could earn Red Herring, and use them to "upscale" redacted entries in the Library, unlocking much of Blaseball's early history. This, however, flew in the face of the Coin's plans, and she was not happy. However, she seemed to bounce back quickly, announcing an exhibition match at the end of Season 23, pitting the MVPs of Blaseball's Prehistory against the rising stars of the current era.