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Guide to Buying Used Arcade Games

Maybe that game room you’re filling up is missing something. Something that sets it apart and over-the-top from other game rooms. Something like an arcade game!

Used arcade games for sale run the spectrum of shapes, sizes, costs and objective. First off- what kind of arcade game are you looking for? Let’s take a look at the various types, shall we? Here is a brief list of the more popular kinds of arcade game machines:

  • Dedicated cabinet arcade- One gaming cabinet featuring one game. Usually a retro game featured.

  • Multicade- These feature one gaming cabinet with multiple games to choose from.

  • Upright vs. Cabaret- Upright cabinets are meant to be stood at while cabarets are table height and can be played sitting down.

  • Gun games- First person shooters that can have various themes and scenarios from hunting to police shootouts.

  • Drivers- Large racing games that can often be linked together to compete with other players.

  • Cranes- Games in which the player controls a crane mechanism and uses it to win prizes.

  • Basketball- Games will have moving basketball hoops and can be linked for head-to-head competition.

  • Golf- There have been a few golf games through the years but the most popular is Golden Tee.

  • Dance games- Probably the only game as big as or bigger than the driving games. Popularized by Dance Dance Revolution.

  • Redemption- This is a broad category because almost any game can be set up to give tickets, but a popular example would be Skee Ball.

  • The advantage to an arcade game machine is that it doesn’t take an expert to determine if one is broken or not- they either work or they don’t. Many used arcade games will show their usage on their proverbial sleeve and it can be pretty easy to spot a bad one from a good one. That all being said, still use caution when buying used games. If at all possible play the game 10+ times to make sure there aren’t any hidden bugs or issues.

    For games like basketball arcade games and skee ball make sure to check scoring accuracy, as sometimes the sensors can break from use and not record accurately.

    Check for issues with buttons and joysticks because they can become worn down over time and not respond like they should. These can be replaced if the current controls are faulty.

    Any arcade game with a monitor should be inspected for abnormalities in the display. If the screen looks too wide or narrow it may need to be adjusted, but there may also be other issues. Watch for lines in the display and unwanted movement or ‘wiggles’ as well. It is an added bonus if the old CRT monitor has been replaced by a new flat screen as these will have far fewer problems, if any.

    If at all possible ask the seller to let you take a look inside the machine. You may be able to see something on the inside of the game that will give you some insight on how well the game was cared for. For instance if it is dirty on the inside of the cabinet then chances are the computer fan is filthy along with everything else in the PC.

    Even if you buy the perfect used arcade game expect it to eventually need service and maintenance. Though these games are built well and are designed for commercial use they will still malfunction and need work, but the fun you have will far out-weigh the money or time spent fixing it.