A lot of people dream about transforming their finished basement or that spare room into an awesome home arcade game room. Who wouldn’t want to have their own arcade right in the comfort of their home? You could entertain the kids, family, and friends. You’d even have the coolest house in the neighborhood.
But for a lot of people, it’s only a daydream. The reality is, it’s hard to know where to begin. What should you consider when designing a game room? How much space do you need? What games do you need? There are a lot of questions about building a home game room. Fortunately, we’re here to help answer some of those questions.
Whether you love retro arcade games, pinball machines, skee ball, or modern gaming systems, we’ll share a few tips on how to make a game room in your home!
1. Find the Right Games
The defining factor of a game room is - you guessed it - the games. That part is obvious right? But it’s not so simple: you need to know what type of games you want for your game room. Do you want arcade cabinets, pinball machines, game consoles connected to a big screen T.V.? What about other games, like air hockey and foosball tables, or even skee ball alley rollers?
Carefully consider the needs of you and your family and determine what types of games you are going to get the most enjoyment from. It’s important that you select games with lasting appeal. There is no use in buying a brand-new pinball machine if you aren’t going to play it.
Once you’ve done this, it’s equally as important to establish a budget. This will help you to decide whether you want to purchase new games, used games, and what types of games in general fit within your budget.
2. Make Sure Your Arcade Games Work
There’s nothing worse than finally finishing your game room, inviting people over, and… a game doesn’t work. This is a concern for anyone with a game room.
This is why it’s important to make sure your games are in working condition when you purchase them, and that any repairs or restoration work has been done properly. If you’re purchasing new arcade machines, pinball machines, or other game room equipment, this is less of a concern. However, older, used machines can be troublesome.
If you want to stock your game room with classic arcade games, look for reputable dealers, servicers, and replacement part suppliers. It’s tempting to look for deals on games sold by other collectors or game owners, but you can’t be sure the game was properly cared for or maintained.
That isn’t to say you should only buy games from large arcade game suppliers, but when buying from a private seller, be sure that you know enough about common issues of older machines to make a wise purchasing decision.
All of M&P Amusement’s used games have been expertly restored!
3. Power Up Your Game Room
Modern gaming consoles to classic arcade machines all require one essential thing: electricity. You’ve got to power up your games! But that’s not always as simple as sticking a plug into a wall outlet.
Generally, arcade games require 1.5 to 3 amps of power. Meanwhile, pinball machines draw around 3 to 5 amps. Most homes typically have a 20-amp circuit; however, this can vary on the age of your home and other factors.
Powering a few games on one circuit is generally not a problem, however it’s best to consult with a professional electrician for a larger game room. It’s important to know what your game rooms electrical needs are and if your home can handle it.
Finally, it’s worthwhile to invest in a surge protector for your games. Always make sure the surge protector is rated to handle the required amps of the games connected to it.
4. Make the Most Use of The Room
You have the room, the power, and you’ve even found some great deals on arcade games. Now you just have to put it all together. Of course, it’s not that simple. It’s important to consider factors like:
● Making the best use of space
● Keeping the room at the right temperature
● Preventing excessive sun exposure
We’ll go into further detail on each of these below.
Use Space Wisely
Always ensure your room has enough space for the games you want to add to it - both initially and in the future. Always check the dimensions of games before you order them, especially for larger sized games like arcade basketball machines and skee ball games.
Also check that the games have an adequate entry for any machine or game. Ensure games will have at least 2” of clearance on both sides of any doorway or stairwell. You don’t want to take the time to find the perfect game only to find you can’t get it into the game room.
Maintain A Consistent Temperature
Whether older or newer, electronics generally don’t do well in extreme temperatures. Extreme cold, heat or humidity over an extended period to almost any electronic equipment. Keep your game room at a consistent temperature year-round. Also ensure humidity levels stay below 90%. Air that’s too saturated can erode or damage some electrical components.
Keep Out Extra Sunlight
Ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause all types of damage to your game room. For starters, UV light can fade older arcade game screens, dulling color and graphics. It can also fade cabinet artwork, pool table felt, and even signs or artwork. If your game room has windows that let in direct sunlight, consider applying a UV window protection tint or using curtains that help block light. This will help preserve your games.
5. Get Creative!
You have the space, you have the games, now it’s time to level up your game room and get creative! Take the time to make your game room unique. There are so many ways that you can decorate, design, and spice up your room to give it that something extra.
Pick A Theme
If there’s a specific game that you’re passionate about, you can use it as creative inspiration for your game room! Whether it’s Pac-Man, Mario, or Sonic The Hedgehog, look for ways to create a cohesive theme around a central character. Create a consistent theme using colors, images, and decorations. For example, use the color palette of a particular character or arcade game cabinet throughout the room. You can also include wall art or decals of characters.
Build A Multipurpose Game Room
If you feel like you have too much space, too few games, or simply want to create a versatile entertainment room, consider ways to create a multipurpose area. One way is to add a projector screen, or use a blank wall as a screen, and build a game room and home theater. Alternatively, maybe you want to add a bar or a small dining area.
If you aren’t ready to go all-in with a gaming room, think of other uses or additions you can make to create a multi-purpose experience!
Add A Scoreboard
An arcade game room isn’t complete until there’s a scoreboard. Every game room needs to spur a little competition. There are a number of scoreboards you can use, from simple chalk boards or chalkboard wall paint, to electronic touch screen scoreboards. Just remember to keep score and track your winning streak!
Build Your Game Room With M&P Amusement
Whether you’re shopping for restored retro arcade machines, shuffleboard tables, or brand new pinball machines, M&P has a wide selection of new and used arcade games for sale. We have everything you need to start building your home game room or add new games to an existing one.