The Arcade1Up company produces miniature versions of full-size arcade machines. These games are only about three-quarters the size of real arcade cabinets and include two to a dozen games from the heyday of the arcade. For example, the Arcade1Up Midway Legacy arcade cabinet may have a Mortal Kombat II design and include games such as Mortal Kombat (I, II, & III), Gauntlet, Rampage, and Rootbeer Tapper. These machines are affordable and don’t present many engineering issues. These arcade machines are completely functional, lightweight, compact, and feature officially licensed cabinet artwork.
If you are looking for a way to add games to your Arcade1Up, there are several ways to go about doing it. Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as accessing the “Arcade1Up store” and purchasing a new game for the cabinet. There are some hoops to jump through for those with the technical expertise to do it. While it isn’t actually difficult, it can be confusing if you aren’t familiar with emulator technologies and computer hardware. Read below to learn how you can go about adding additional games to an Arcade1Up machine.
What is MAME?
If you have ever played an old arcade game on a computer, you’ve probably heard of MAME. This free, open-source emulator is software that runs the hardware of a vintage arcade system on modern platforms. This program is a great way to preserve the history of gaming and keep vintage games from going extinct. You might be surprised at how much fun it is! Here are three reasons why MAME is worth your time.
MAME is an open-source emulator for a number of systems. It aims to replicate the hardware of classic arcade machines as accurately as possible, making them playable again. The original MAME was developed as an arcade emulator, but its source code was merged with that of its sister project, MESS, in 2015. Together, these two programs now emulate consoles, handheld systems, and home computers. This makes it an essential program for anyone who loves retro games.
How to Use MAME to Add Games to an Arcade1Up
Using a MAME emulator is simple if you have a computer with a USB port and have some knowledge of how to use the program. There are many different commands you need to know to get started and set up your controls. Be aware that learning how to properly use MAME could be a time-consuming task, but it’s worth it in the end. MAME for Windows comes with a mini-guide that will help you get started. Once you have a handle on the overall workings of MAME, you will need to find games. You can download the ROMs (available online) to use. Finding a working ROM for your game of choice can be difficult as there are numerous bad files out in the wild. Fortunately, there are numerous packages of classic games that have been curated over the years to include (mostly) working copies of thousands of popular arcade and classic games.
Once you have found your games and have a grasp of MAME, you will want to look into using a Raspberry Pi to replace the stock board on the Arcade1Up. A Raspberry Pi loaded with RetroPie can run MAME to emulate your games. Additionally, a RetroPie setup is economical, as a Raspberry Pi (even the newest versions) is often very affordable.
What is RetroPie?
A Raspberry Pi can play thousands of old games. But what is RetroPie? And how can you use it to enjoy retro games? The RetroPie Project includes both software and hardware. The first module is called GPIO Adapter and it allows you to connect gamepads. It also adds a push-button for power and circuitry protection. The second module, ControlBlock, adds functionality to various game controller types. The RetroPie software for Raspberry Pi was originally designed to run on the Raspberry Pi. However, the emulator can also run on any Debian-based Linux system. If you want to use RetroPie, you must purchase a Raspberry Pi. You can get one from numerous online retailers like Amazon.
Using RetroPie with Arcade1Up
Once you have everything set up, all you need to do is test the monitor you plan to use with your machine. Alternatively, you can hook the Raspberry Pi into the stock Arcade1Up monitor to begin the configuration of controls and game settings. Although this is a lot of work, depending on how many games, it is essential to set up your gaming machine.
Find an Arcade1Up Mod Kit
If this sounds like a lot of work and you aren’t sure if you want to go through it, you can always purchase a pre-loaded Arcade1Up mod kit or look into a Pandora machine. Various vendors sell mod kits for Arcade1Up that already have games pre-loaded on a Raspberry Pi with RetroPie. It is a fairly simple task of swapping out the PCB and control panel with the replacement parts.
Those who remember the glory days of the arcade are often excited about the possibilities of bringing the arcade home. Arcade machines were the ultimate gaming device, operated with quarters. They included games like Galaga, Street Fighter, and Pac-Man. Arcade1Up has recreated these machines so you can experience the nostalgic thrill of playing these classics in your own home. But, if you want more games than what Arcade1Up has to offer, you have to be creative in adding games to your Arcade1Up cabinet. You can build or buy your empty cabinet, but it is often more affordable to just use a cheaper Arcade1Up model and install your own Raspberry Pi (or old PC). While it is a fairly complex task if you aren’t familiar with the technology, it can all be learned. Fortunately, numerous videos and tutorials are available to get you started on your MAME and RetroPie gaming path. Happy gaming!