balatro

Balatro’s Big Game-Changing Update Has Finally Arrived On Console

Ante up.

Update: The final version of the big, game-changing update for Balatro has finally arrived on consoles (at least PlayStation and Switch as of today) after PC players have been able to enjoy its softened stakes and major improvements for a hot minute already.

The update adds a number of very welcome tweaks including making jokers generated from tags free, lessening the increase in ante scaling in some of the harder stakes, and buffing/nerfing a number of cards. It’s a lot to look at, but overall will make the game much more approachable at certain points where folks were really having their progress stifled. It should also make the chase for those trophies/achievements a lot more realistic.

You can see the full patch notes (taken from Steam so including some PC-specific information) below:

Balatro Update 1.0.1f – Patch notes

– Updated version of Love2D (the engine) – this fixes an issue on Windows and Steam Deck causing poor/stuttery performance for some players
– Added VC++ 2022 redistributable as an installation requirement
– General performance improvements
– Added toggle for ‘Reduced Motion’, removing the swirly background, gyrating card motion, much of the ‘juice’ in the game
– Changed default fallback tarot from Fool to Strength (when all tarots are on screen)
– Banned top-up tag and Antimatter on Jokerless Challenge
– Changed Gold Stake random seeds – now ensures that the first Legendary Joker on that seed is a Joker that you have not won with on Gold Stake (For Completionist++ hunting)
– Changed ante scaling in white stake:
– Ante 3: 2800 -> 2000
– Ante 4: 6000 -> 5000
– Changed ante scaling in green stake:
– Ante 2: 1000 -> 900
– Ante 3: 3200 -> 2600
– Ante 4: 9000 -> 8000
– Ante 5: 18000 -> 20000
– Ante 6: 32000 -> 36000
– Ante 7: 56000 -> 60000
– Ante 8: 90000 -> 100000
– Changed ante scaling in purple stake:
– Ante 2: 1200 -> 1000
– Ante 3: 3600 -> 3200
– Ante 4: 10000 -> 9000
– Ante 6: 50000 -> 60000
– Ante 7: 90000 -> 110000
– Ante 8: 180000 -> 200000
– Changed Orange Stake
– Scrapped increasing pack cost
– Added new ‘Perishable’ mechanic, Jokers have a 30% chance to have a ‘Perishable’ sticker, disabling them after 5 rounds
– Changed Gold Stake
– Scrapped -1 hand size
– Added new ‘Rental’ mechanic, Jokers have a 30% chance to have a ‘Rental’ sticker (stacks with eternal/perishable), making them cost $1 up front and $3 every round
– Changed eternal to apply to Jokers in Buffoon packs
– Changed Eternal/Rental/Perishable sticker location to be in the top left corner
– Made some non-retroactive scaling Jokers incompatible with ‘Perishable’ (Ceremonial Dagger, Glass Joker, Hologram, Ride the Bus, runner, constellation, green joker, red card, madness, square joker, vampire, rocket, obelisk, lucky cat, flash card, spare trousers, castle, wee)
– Changed the first shop in every run to always include a normal Buffoon pack as one of the pack options
– Upcoming blinds/tags can now be seen in the shop immediately after defeating a boss blind/cashing out
– Some Blinds are now be banned on challenge runs
– banned Crimson Heart, Verdant Leaf and Amber Acorn on ‘Jokerless’
– banned Verdant Leaf on ‘Typecast’
– banned Verdant Leaf on ‘Non-Perishable’
– banned The Plant on ‘Mad World’
– Buffed Saturn
– Now gives +3 mult instead of +2 mult for Straights
– Buffed Neptune
– Now gives +4 mult instead of +3 mult for Straight Flush
– Buffed Eris
– Now gives +50 chips instead of +40 chips for Flush Five
– Buffed Ceres
– Now gives +4 mult instead of +3 mult for Flush House

– Square Joker now has a square sprite
– Blue Joker sprite was fixed (2 out of place blue pixels)
– Changed Uncommon tag – Now makes the uncommon joker free
– Changed Rare tag – Now makes the rare joker free
– Negative, Polychrome, Holo, Foil tags all make their respective joker free
– Changed Investment to give $25 instead of $15
– Changed 8 Ball – scrapped old effect, new effect -> 1 in 4 chance to spawn a tarot when any played 8 is scored
– Changed Blue Seal – now creates the planet card of the final poker hand played during the round
– Changed both Mad and Clever Joker – scrapped ‘contains 4 of a kind’ effect, now applies instead to any hand that contains a ‘Two Pair’
– Changed Yorick – scrapped old effect, new effect -> gains X1 mult every 23 cards discarded (starts at X1)
– Changed Magician Tarot – now applies lucky to 2 cards instead of 1
– Changed Midas Mask – now only applies Gold enhancement to scoring face cards, costs $7 was $6
– Changed Vampire
– now only removes enhancement from scoring cards
– gives X0.1 mult per enhancement instead of X0.2 mult
– Changed Madness – now only applies on small/big blinds, not on boss blind selection
– Changed To Do list – poker hand no longer changes on payout, always changes at end of round (won’t get stuck on Straight Flush)
– Changed description of Shortcut to include a more apt example (10 8 6 5 3)
– Changed Ancient Joker – the selected suit is no longer able to repeat between rounds
– Changed Swashbuckler – Now adds sell value of all other Jokers to Mult, not just the Jokers to the left
– Changed Hanging Chad – Now retriggers the first played card 2 times instead of once
– Changed Runner – now starts at +0 chips and gives +15 chips per straight, was +20 and +10 per straight
– Changed Flower Pot – Now includes the base suit of debuffed cards when determining if it will trigger
– Changed Bootstraps to include current mult bonus in description
– Changed all 4 Sinful Jokers (one for each suit) – they now each give +3 mult per suit instead of +4 mult
– Changed Banner – now gives +30 chips per remaining discard instead of +40 chips
– Changed Fibonacci – costs $8 instead of $7, because Fibonacci
– Changed Square Joker – now starts at +0 chips, was +16 chips, now costs $4, was $5
– Changed Wee Joker – now starts at +0 chips, was +10 chips
– Changed Steel Joker – Now gives X0.2 mult per Steel card in full deck instead of X0.25 mult
– Changed Odd Todd – Now gives +31 chips per odd ranked card instead of +30 mult
– Changed Sixth Sense – Now uncommon and $6, was rare
– Changed Hiker – Now gives +5 chips to every scoring card played instead of +4 chips
– Changed Gros Michel – Now has a 1 in 6 chance to go extinct instead of 1 in 4
– Changed Seance – Now uncommon and $6, was rare and $7
– Changed Riff-Raff – Now $6, was $4
– Changed Vagabond
– Rare, was uncommon
– $8, was $6
– Applies when you have $4 or less, was $3 or less
– Changed Cloud 9 – Now $7, was $6
– Changed Mail-In Rebate – Now $5 was $3
– Changed Reserved Parking – Now common, was uncommon
– Changed Lucky Cat – Now gains X0.25 per lucky proc, was X0.2
– Changed Trading card – Now costs $6, was $5
– Changed Campfire – Now gains X0.25 per card sold, was X0.5
– Changed Smily Face – Now give +5 mult per face card, was +4 mult
– Changed Golden Ticket – Now payes out $4 per gold card played, was $3
– Changed Bloodstone – Now has a 1 in 2 chance to proc, was 1 in 3, gives X1.5 mult, was X2 mult
– Changed Onyx Agate – Now gives +7 mult per club card, was +8 mult
– Changed Glass Joker – Now gives X0.75 mult per glass card destroyed, was X0.5 mult
– Changed Stuntman – Now gives +250 Chips, was +300, is now rare, was uncommon, is not $7, was $6
– Changed Invisible Joker – Now requires 2 rounds and costs $8, was 3 rounds and $10
– Changed wording on most scaling jokers to refer to ‘this joker’

– Fixed bug where opening a booster pack with hand size of 0 was unskippable
– Fixed bug where the card generated by ‘Certificate’ was not being debuffed by the boss
– Fixed bug in the rate at which eternal/perishable Jokers were being generated
– Fixed bug where Buffoon Pack could show up in Jokerless challenge
– Fixed bug where debuffed negative Jokers being sold doesn’t reduce the number of available joker slots
– Fixed bug where sticker seeding was shared between shop and booster packs


Original Story: I don’t know about you, but the viral indie poker-slash-roguelike sensation Balatro is still actively consuming my life. I’ve easily put 60+ hours into this thing (and my partner has tripled that, somehow) with no sign of stopping.

For anyone who’s in deep like we are, you’ve no doubt begun to progress well into the game’s higher and more difficult “stakes” and likewise also started hitting some pretty significant walls. While the beauty of this game’s longevity really is finding, by chance, increasingly-warped ways to game the system and rack up astronomical scores, a new update for the game promises to at least ease up on some of the more challenging stakes as well as balance a few things just a touch more in players’ favours.

RELATED:  Balatro Is Getting A Physical Release Complete With An Actual Booster Pack

This new update is an experimental branch for the PC version of the game, so it’s currently opt-in only and not available on consoles, and may change in some ways before it goes public, but here’s a look at what’s changing (there’s going to be a lot of mechanical talk here, so if you’re not yet invested in the game you can probably bow out now, safe in the knowledge that Balatro people are about to be blessed).

The change list in Balatro’s 1.0.1c Experimental Branch update (as shared here on Reddit) is pretty extensive, but just looking at the big-ticket items there’s a lot to get excited about. For starters, some of the stakes that have been tripping people up are getting nerfed or outright replaced. White, Green and Purple stake are all seeing a reduction in scaling between antes, so the scores you’ll need to reach around the mid-point won’t jump up quite as much as before, which has been a huge difficulty spike pain point for a lot of players. Orange and Gold stake have also had their original caveats removed in favour of brand-new mechanics, like Perishable Jokers and Rental Jokers (you can see how those work in the patch notes below).

Some of my favourite changes in this list include the revisions of Uncommon and Rare tags, which previously would mean that an Uncommon or Rare Joker would appear in the next shop but now also promise that said Joker will be free. Given how often these tags appear in very early antes where a player likely couldn’t afford the Joker that appeared, this is exciting. The same goes for Negative, Polychrome, Holo and Foil tags – all now mean that the Joker that comes from them will be free, adding a lot more incentive to actually go for these tags.

Some other appreciated updates including a normal Buffon Pack always being available in the first shop every run, which will hopefully lessen the odds of a very Joker-less first couple of antes, and a few Planet cards have had their bonuses increased as well. Blue Seals also now create the planet card of the final hand played during the round they’re activated in, which makes them hugely more useful.

The rest of the patch notes are a lot of individual card changes, and some other pretty specific bits, so check them all out below if you’re keen. Fingers crossed the vast majority of these make it across to the full, public update, which is apparently due in about a week’s time.

Balatro 1.0.1c Experimental Branch Patch Notes

  • Updated version of Love2D – this fixed an issue on Windows and Steam Deck causing poor/stuttery performance for some players
  • Added toggle for ‘Reduced Motion’, removing the swirly background and gyrating card motion
  • Changed default fallback tarot from Fool to Strength (when all tarots are on screen)
  • Changed Gold Stake random seeds – now ensures that the first Legendary Joker on that seed is a Joker that you have not won with on Gold Stake (For Completionist++ hunting)
  • Changed ante scaling in white stake:
    • Ante 3: 2800 -> 2000
    • Ante 4: 6000 -> 5000
  • Changed ante scaling in green stake:
    • Ante 2: 1000 -> 900
    • Ante 3: 3200 -> 2400
    • Ante 4: 9000 -> 7000
  • Changed ante scaling in purple stake:
    • Ante 2: 1200 -> 1000
    • Ante 3: 3600 -> 3000
    • Ante 4: 10000 -> 8000
    • Ante 5: 25000 -> 22000
  • Changed Orange Stake
    • Scrapped increasing pack cost
    • Added new ‘Perishable’ mechanic, Jokers have a 30% chance to have a ‘Perishable’ sticker, disabling them after 5 rounds
  • Changed Gold Stake
    • Scrapped -1 hand size
    • Added new ‘Rental’ mechanic, Jokers have a 30% chance to have a ‘Rental’ sticker (stacks with eternal/perishable), making them cost $1 up front and $3 every round
  • Changed eternal to apply to Jokers in Buffoon packs
  • Changed the first shop in every run to always include a normal Buffoon pack as one of the pack options
  • Upcoming blinds/tags can now be seen in the shop immediately after defeating a boss blind/cashing out
  • Some Blinds are now be banned on challenge runs – banned Crimson Heart, Verdant Leaf and Amber Acorn on ‘Jokerless’ – banned Verdant Leaf on ‘Typecast’ – banned Verdant Leaf on ‘Non-Perishable’ – banned The Plant on ‘Mad World’
  • Buffed Saturn
    • Now gives +3 mult instead of +2 mult for Straights
  • Buffed Neptune
    • Now gives +4 mult instead of +3 mult for Straight Flush
  • Buffed Eris
    • Now gives +50 chips instead of +40 chips for Flush Five
  • Buffed Ceres
    • Now gives +4 mult instead of +3 mult for Flush House
  • Changed Uncommon tag – Now makes the uncommon joker free
  • Changed Rare tag – Now makes the rare joker free
  • Negative, Polychrome, Holo, Foil tags all make their respective joker free
  • Changed Investment to give $25 instead of $15
  • Changed 8 Ball – scrapped old effect, new effect -> 1 in 4 chance to spawn a tarot when any played 8 is scored
  • Changed Blue Seal – now creates the planet card of the final poker hand played during the round
  • Changed both Mad and Clever Joker – scrapped ‘contains 4 of a kind’ effect, now applies instead to any hand that contains a ‘Two Pair’
  • Changed Yorick – scrapped old effect, new effect -> gains X1 mult every 23 cards discarded (starts at X1)
  • Changed Magician Tarot – now applies lucky to 2 cards instead of 1
  • Changed Midas Mask – now only applies Gold enhancement to scoring face cards, costs $7 was $6
  • Changed Vampire
    • now only removes enhancement from scoring cards
    • gives X0.1 mult per enhancement instead of X0.2 mult
    • Rare instead of Uncommon
  • Changed Madness – now only applies on small/big blinds, not on boss blind selection
  • Changed To Do list – poker hand no longer changes on payout, always changes at end of round (won’t get stuck on Straight Flush)
  • Changed description of Shortcut to include a more apt example (10 8 6 5 3)
  • Changed Ancient Joker – the selected suit is no longer able to repeat between rounds
  • Changed Swashbuckler – Now adds sell value of all other Jokers to Mult, not just the Jokers to the left
  • Changed Hanging Chad – Now retriggers the first played card 2 times instead of once
  • Changed Flower Pot – Now includes the base suit of debuffed cards when determining if it will trigger
  • Changed Bootstraps to include current mult bonus in description
  • Changed all 4 Sinful Jokers (one for each suit) – they now each give +3 mult per suit instead of +4 mult
  • Changed Banner – now gives +30 chips per remaining discard instead of +40 chips
  • Changed Fibonacci – costs $8 instead of $7, because Fibonacci
  • Changed Steel Joker – Now gives X0.2 mult per Steel card in full deck instead of X0.25 mult
  • Changed Odd Todd – Now gives +31 chips per odd ranked card instead of +30 chips
  • Changed Sixth Sense – Now uncommon and $6, was rare
  • Changed Hiker – Now gives +5 chips to every scoring card played instead of +4 chips
  • Changed Gros Michel – Now has a 1 in 6 chance to go extinct instead of 1 in 4
  • Changed Seance – Now uncommon and $6, was rare and $7
  • Changed Riff-Raff – Now $6, was $4
  • Changed Vagabond
    • Rare, was uncommon
    • $8, was $6
    • Applies when you have $4 or less, was $3 or less
  • Changed Cloud 9 – Now $7, was $6
  • Changed Mail-In Rebate – Now $5 was $3
  • Changed Reserved Parking – Now common, was uncommon
  • Changed Lucky Cat – Now gains X0.25 per lucky proc, was X0.2
  • Changed Trading card – Now costs $6, was $5
  • Changed Campfire – Now gains X0.25 per card sold, was X0.5
  • Changed Smily Face – Now give +5 mult per face card, was +4 mult
  • Changed Golden Ticket – Now payes out $4 per gold card played, was $3
  • Changed Bloodstone – Now has a 1 in 2 chance to proc, was 1 in 3
  • Changed Onyx Agate – Now gives +7 mult per club card, was +8 mult
  • Changed Glass Joker – Now gives X0.75 mult per glass card destroyed, was X0.5 mult
  • Changed Stuntman – Now gives +250 Chips, was +300
  • Changed Invisible Joker – Now requires 2 rounds and costs $8, was 3 rounds and $10
  • Changed Burnt Joker – Now is rare, was uncommon
  • Changed wording on most scaling jokers to refer to ‘this joker’
  • Fixed bug where opening a booster pack with hand size of 0 was unskippable
  • Fixed bug where the card generated by ‘Certificate’ was not being debuffed by the boss