Types Of Arcade Machine You Can Actually Buy

Whether you’re hoping to have the coolest pad on the block or are looking to launch your own barcade, there are tons of arcade machines to consider. Understanding what options are available to you – both in terms of space and price – will help you find the perfect machine for your collection.

In general, arcade machines can be categorised into three groups: Video, redemption, and merchandiser. If you’re creating or gaming club or retro-themed bar, you’ll need a variety of each group to provide the full gaming experience for your customers. If you’re looking for personal use, the decision is entirely on preference.

Video Games

Usually coin-operated, gamers can enjoy shooting, driving, and fighting simulators. From the likes of Mario to Pacman and Space Invaders, these classic arcade machines are the perfect choice for retro-themed game rooms. Many of the older games have found their way to the PS Vita via retro compilations (or more recently through emulation thanks to the homebrew scene). But there’s nothing quite like playing games on arcade cabinets, the way they were intended.

Air Hockey

Air hockey tables are an arcade favourite for anyone wanting to compete against their friends. They have been around for decades and are loved by both kids and adults alike. Air hockey is pretty immersive and can make for a great experience within a bar or hangout space. Obviously, an air hockey table will take up much more room than an upright, cabinet-style arcade machine, but it’s certainly worth it for the fun that can be had.

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If you’re someone who loves to shoot hoops, you might want to invest in a basketball arcade game. Whether you play alone or set up a game between friends, these games are probably better for a commercial entertainment setting rather than trying to find room within the home.

Pinball Machines

Pinball machines are hours of fun. Thanks to modern gaming technology, you can now buy your very own virtual pinball machine rather than the manual options previously available, just like having a physical version of the Zen Pinball and Pinball Arcade titles we’re used to on the PS Vita. Pinball machines are super nostalgic and take up much less room than driving games, basketball, and pool tables.


Redemption games payout tokens for high scores, which can then be collected to buy bigger rewards from the prize centre. Obviously, these machines aren’t for personal use unless you want to buy yourself a prize for the number of tokens you win… but they can be great money makers for bars and clubs.

Strength Games

Boxing or whacking games are great for offering a competitive edge for friends. Whether combined with a video game or just using a manual process, these games reward the strongest people with the most tokens to flaunt to the weaker side.

Skee Ball

Skee Ball can be played online or one-on-one. The aim is to throw as many balls into the highest scoring holes. The higher the score, the more tokens you win. The game is great for groups of friends, adults, and kids alike.

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Merchandiser Games

If you have a sweet tooth or love getting snapped in the photobooth, merchandiser games are the one for you. You can often hire these types of games out for weddings and events, but they also make a cool accessory for an at-home cinema room or bar top feature.

Penny Machines

Penny machines are a thing of every British kid’s childhood. Being given a pound worth of pennies could set you up for a whole day of fun. Although you’d have to fill the machine yourself, it would be fun to have this little blast from the past available for the next generation.

Candy claw machines

Cheaper, smaller versions of candy claw machines are available in large toy shops and retailers these days, but nothing can compare to the originals. These ‘everyone is a winner’ machines are perfect for giving guests a sweet treat and a fun challenge all in one. If you’re looking for a way to treat the kids, this is a great, interactive machine to buy to reward them after finishing homework or doing chores and to incentivize good behaviour.


Ideal for making memories. Photobooths fit perfectly in event venues, bars, restaurants, or even the house. Whether you opt for a fun, modern booth that offers virtual backgrounds or a retro style with a blank background, you can buy or hire out your own for pretty much any occasion.

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These are just a few arcade machines you can actually buy. Of course, these machines are cumbersome and will set you back a pretty penny, so it’s worth considering the space, budget and style of machine you need before diving in.

Title photo by cottonbro from Pexels

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