All you need to Know about Buying an Arcade Machine

by Josh Biggs in Tech on 24th July 2020

Arcade cabinets are a fun way to liven up one’s home or office. Aside from being a form of recreation, it also works as a decorative piece if you’re into that vintage vibe. Depending on your lifestyle and preferences, you can choose from either a dedicated or a multi-game arcade machine.

Dedicated arcade machines are great as you’ll be able to play the game in its original form and their value is bound to increase over time. Keep in mind though that it is highly unlikely that you’ll be able to get one in mint condition, so be prepared to experience minor defects with the machine you are about to get.

Multi-game machines, on the other hand, are best if you are looking to save space and get more fun out of your purchase. They typically come brand new, so as long as you source yours from a reputable UK supplier, it is unlikely that you’ll encounter any defects with your device. They can be quite costlier than dedicated arcade machines though.

Shopping for an Arcade Machine

With the many options out there, choosing the right arcade game for you can be quite overwhelming even for the most avid gamers. To help you decide, here are some factors you should consider:

Preferred genre and type. Are you into racing, flight simulation, or fighting games? Or do you prefer music or dance games? Determining the specific video game genre that you love playing will help you narrow down your options. 

Usage. Apart from you, would there be anyone else playing it? Typically, arcade machines are configured for two players or four players so knowing who would possibly use it can help you decide which configuration to choose. If a kid will also be using it, you might want to consider getting games that are suitable for their age.  

Location. Where do you plan to place it? Are you looking to add it to an existing game room or maybe liven up your bachelor’s pad with it? Knowing how much space you have is crucial in deciding the size and built of your arcade machine. 

Urgency. Ready-made games usually arrive in just a few days. But some arcade machines are only built upon ordering, so delivery to your place may take more or less a month. 

Power mechanism. Because arcade machines have different power mechanisms, you need to consider that when shopping for your game too. Some are powered by tokens or coins, others are powered by cards. However, if you are getting one custom-built, then you can get a machine that has a ‘free play’ option which will rid you of the hassle of using coins or cards to run your game. But if you want to retain the novelty of using tokens or cards, then you can get personalised ones built with your custom machine. 

Power requirements. Most arcade machines do not require fancy electrical setups to work. The standard wall outlets at home are usually enough. You just need to make sure the voltages are compatible. For reference, a standard upright arcade machine runs on a minimum of 300 watts and a maximum of 1000 watts. 

It is important to note though that if you want to add multiple games to your unit, you must make sure your circuit breaker can handle it. Get an electrician to check your setup and do the upgrade for you if you intend to install more games in your arcade machine. 

The Cost of Buying Your Own an Arcade Machine

Many variables affect the price of an arcade machine such as size, type, and game title. The condition you’ll get your machine in (used or new) as well as its popularity will likely affect the price as well. If you wish to make any modifications to your machine, that would add to the cost as well. 

Arcade machines that come with warranty and return policies come at a higher price. The same goes for units whose dealers offer technical support in case any issues or the need for maintenance arises. Here we breakdown the costs of different arcade machine setups.

Basic – £1,000 Max

A simple arcade cabinet setup can cost you around £1,000. If you get a good deal, this could already include a built-in assortment of games that you can choose from. 

Slight customisation – £1,000 – £3,000

If you are looking to get a few customisations built into your machine, a budget of £1,000 – £3,000 can go a long way. One of the things you can do with this amount is to pick specific games that you want to be included in your unit’s catalog. 

Moderate customisation – £3,000 – £5,000

With this amount, you can go crazy with the accessories for your arcade machine. You can even upgrade to your desired software and have a cabinet made to fit your preferred aesthetics. 

Major customisation – £5,000+

You can get just about any type of add-ons and customisation with your arcade machine if you’re willing to spend this much. You just need to find a supplier that can assemble your dream machine for you. 

Categories: Tech