Do you love playing arcade video games? Do you miss the days when arcades were all the rage? Well, now you can bring the arcade experience home with you! In this guide, we will teach you everything you need to know about creating your own home arcade system. We’ll discuss what equipment you need, how to set it up, and some popular games that you can play. Let’s get started!
Types of Arcade Games for Home
When most people think of an arcade, they picture a room filled with video games. But there are actually several different types of arcade games and cabinets that you can choose from for your home arcade. Numerous people have built home arcades with multiple arcade cabinets that can really astonish. So, if you are wondering how to play arcade classic games at home, read below to find the types of games you can select before you begin your build.
Dedicated At Home Arcade Machines
These games are stand-alone units that come pre-assembled with classic arcade games and include options such as Arcade1Up’s huge lineup and the AtGames Legends Ultimate Arcade. Arcade games made by Arcade1Up mostly fit in the 3/4 size and use a riser to give it additional height. They range in price from around $200 to $1000 and can be found online or at major retailers such as Walmart, Target, and Best Buy.
When shopping for a throwback arcade machine, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, decide which type of games you want to play. Do you want fighting games? Racing games? Shooting games? Once you’ve decided on a genre, narrow your search down to a few specific titles. For example, if you’re interested in racing games, you might want to look for titles like Outrun or Ridge Racer.
Also, be aware that you can find full-size arcade machines that are or were in commercial arcades. These often go for thousands of dollars (even used) and can become extremely expensive with a lot of maintenance required to keep working. That being said, if you have the room and don’t mind the hassle of moving these massive machines, they are some of the best arcade cabinet picks.
A multicade is an arcade machine that includes multiple classic arcade games in one unit. They can be either dedicated units or MAME cabinets. Multicades are a great option for people who can’t decide on just one game, or for those who want to play a variety of different games.
When shopping for a multicade, you’ll need to decide which games you want to be included. There are a variety of multicades available that come with different games. For example, the Arcade Legends multicade comes with over 100 classic games, including Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Galaga, and Space Invaders.
Modding and MAME Arcade Cabinets
Modding is a popular subject when discussing a home arcade machine. Adding a light-up marquee, light guns, or high performing buttons and joysticks is a topic unto itself. One of the most popular mods is to turn an Arcade1Up or used full-size cabinet into a MAME cabinet with thousands of games. MAME cabinets are arcade machines that are built around the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator (MAME) software. MAME is free arcade emulation software that allows you to play thousands of classic arcade games on your computer.
To build a MAME arcade system, you’ll need to purchase a PC (or a Pi) to install MAME, an arcade controller, home arcade game cabinets, and an arcade monitor. You can either buy these items separately or purchase a MAME kit that includes everything you need.
Once you have all of your equipment, you’ll need to assemble your cabinet. This can be done by following one of the many online tutorials or by hiring someone to do it for you.
DIY Arcade Machines
DIY arcade machines are a great way to bring the arcade experience into your home. Building your own machine can be a fun and rewarding experience and a great way to save money. There are a few things you’ll need to consider before building your own DIY arcade machine. First, you’ll need to decide what type of machine you want to build. There are a few options available, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.
One popular option is the mini arcade machine. These machines are relatively small and can be built using a variety of different materials. They’re also relatively inexpensive, making them a great option for those on a budget. However, mini arcade machines can be a bit more challenging to build than some of the other options.
Another popular option is the full-size arcade machine. These machines are larger and can be quite expensive to build. However, they offer a true arcade experience and can be a great addition to any home game room. A full-size arcade machine is a great option if you have the space and the budget. Finding an affordable option can be problematic as these are commonly very expensive. Ensure you keep an eye out for arcade game machines sales to find a good machine at a reasonable price.
Other Games for Your Home Arcade
In addition to the games mentioned above, there are a few other options that can be found in a traditional arcade such as skee ball, basketball, or ticket games.
Skee Ball Game for Home
Skee ball is a classic arcade game that can be found in most arcades. The objective of the game is to roll a ball up an incline and into one of the holes. The game is scored based on which hole the ball goes into, with the higher scoring holes being worth more points.
Skee ball is a great option for those who want a classic arcade game that is easy to learn and play. It’s also a great choice for those who are looking for a challenging game that can be played with friends or family.
Home Arcade Basketball Game
Basketball is another popular arcade game that can be found in most arcades. The objective of the game is to shoot the basketball into the hoop and score as many points as possible.
Basketball is a great option for those who want a challenging and competitive game. It’s also a great choice for those who are looking for a physical game that can be played with friends or family.
Home Claw Machine
A claw machine is a type of arcade game that is commonly found in arcades. The objective of the game is to use the claw to grab a prize and then put it into the chute.
Ticket Games for Your Home Arcade
Ticket games are a type of arcade game that dispenses tickets when the player wins. The tickets can then be redeemed for prizes. While most in their home arcade don’t normally provide prizes for winning tickets if you want to add to the authenticity and ambiance, add a counter with a row of plush toys for children to win.
Home Arcade Companies
When it comes to home arcade companies, there are a few different options available to purchase a pre-built cabinet with games pre-loaded. While some offer options that have art depicting a specific game (i.e. Centipede) and a lineup including the same game and a few others, other manufacturers offer a multicade experience with many different games. Here are a few of the most popular companies where you can buy a pre-built arcade cabinet:
Each company has its own advantages and disadvantages, so be sure to do your research before making a purchase. You’ll also want to decide which type of games you want to play.
Setting Up Your Arcade Game Room
Setting up your home arcade gaming area can be daunting, but with a little effort, you can have an amazing retro gaming setup. Here are some tips to get started:
Decide on the Theme or Type of Games You Want to Include
Do you want to focus on classic games from the 80s? Or do you want a more modern setup with games from the 90s and 2000s? Alternatively, maybe you want a mix of both! Once you know what kind of games you want to include, it will be easier to choose the right arcade cabinet and accessories.
Choose the Right Space in Your Home for Your Arcade Room
Now that you have decided on your games, it’s time to set up your arcade game room! An arcade game room is all about fun and games, so find a space in your home that you can dedicate to gaming. If you don’t have a lot of space, consider setting up a corner in your living room or basement.
Once you have your space, it’s time to get organized. First, decide where you want your games and cabinets to go. Then, measure the space and start planning your layout.
Choose Your Furniture
If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need to choose furniture for your game room. Arcade cabinets take up a lot of space, so be sure to measure your space and choose accordingly. Consider adding a couch or bean bag chairs for spectators, and a coffee table for snacks and drinks.
Accessories and Other Considerations for Your Home Arcade
Now that you have your layout and furniture, it’s time to add the finishing touches. Consider adding some fun gaming-themed wall decor, and make sure your space is well-lit so you can enjoy your games into the wee hours of the night.
There are a few different types of lighting you can use in your home arcade, depending on your budget and preferences. Backlights are a popular option, as they add a bit of ambiance and can help make the graphics on your screen pop. If you want to get really creative, you can even add programmable LED lights that change color based on the game you’re playing. Whatever route you decide to go, just make sure your home arcade is well-lit and comfortable so you can enjoy it for years to come!
Creating your own retro home arcade can be a fun and rewarding project. It’s important to start by deciding on the type of games you want to play, then choosing the right space in your home for your arcade room. Once you have your space planned out, it’s time to get organized! Measure your space and choose furniture that fits, then add the finishing touches like gaming-themed wall decor and programmable LED lights. With a little effort, you can have an amazing home arcade system that you can enjoy for years to come. Thanks for reading!