What Should I Consider When Buying an Arcade Game?

Shannon Kietzman

An arcade game is a type of video game that is housed in a large covering and operated by inserting coins. Typically, it has short levels and does not feature a complicated story line, which differentiates this type of game from console video games typically found in the home. Although arcade games are usually found in places of business, it is also possible to purchase one for use in your home.

Before buying an arcade game, make sure it's a game you won't get tired of playing.
Before buying an arcade game, make sure it's a game you won't get tired of playing.

Buying an arcade game is not a small purchase. It can cost hundreds of US dollars (USD) and takes up a fairly large area of the home. Therefore, you need to determine first whether you can afford the game and whether you have an appropriate location in your home to place it. You do not want to place it in an area where it will impede traffic. Also, you need room so you can stand in front of it and play. A game is quite heavy and difficult to move if you change your mind about where it should be located.

A joystick controller may be included with an arcade game.
A joystick controller may be included with an arcade game.

Since purchasing an arcade game can be quite costly, you also need to make sure it is a game you feel you will enjoy for years to come. Unlike a video game system, you cannot change out the game. If you are not sure you will be using it for a long time, it may not be a wise decision to buy one.

You should also consider the quality of the game. If you are purchasing one that is used, make sure the controllers still function properly and are responsive to your movements. Typically, an arcade game includes one or more joystick controllers and buttons. If it is a driving game, it may also include pedals and a shifter. A shooting game may have one or more guns, while a pinball machine has buttons to control the flippers used to prevent the ball from rolling into the hole. Make sure all of these buttons, joysticks, and accessories are in good shape and functioning properly before you purchase a machine.

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Discussion Comments


@abiane - Too funny! I still hope your day was fun, though. There are lots of places that have used arcade games on the cheap which might have worked for your wedding as well. Plus you could have used them for a future man - or in your case - woman cave since you both love video games so much. I think it's a great thing now that developers are coming out with educational games more than not and turning their eyes in that direction as well. It's very special and teaches kids essential abilities.


@gameaddicted - Definitely sounds like you're the one to go to by the looks of your name! Makes sense. My husband and I had an arcade game rentals company allow us to use some of their machines for our wedding - it was pretty special. We are huge gamers and have been for years so it makes a lot of sense I guess. I wouldn't do it again because it both detracted from the day being about us and also caused people to drink more - I know that sounds strange, but it's very true. I guess our families just can't play well when they are sober! Haha!


@lmorales - I think you will occasionally come across some one that doesn't fall into either of your categories and will end up being the person that just loves games or wanted to wow their kid for Christmas or something - you know? Arcade game machines often require a lot of upkeep - so maybe that's where the misconception comes from that you have to be rich in order to have a collection of arcade games.


Many people who purchase or are looking to purchase video arcade games are either rich collectors or the game itself poses some sort of nostalgia.

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