December 27, 2023

Arcade Game Types and How They Fit in Your Location

8 Minute Read

Adding an arcade gaming room to your business is a great way to increase revenue from dwell time and give customers an experience that increases replay and return visits. A game room with the correct game mix can be the most profitable part of your business. But there are various options, such as Ticket Cranes, Premium Video, and Hot Redemption, so where do you start?

With the wide variety of types of arcade games on the market today, no two game rooms are ever the same. Some are filled with exciting virtual reality experiences, while others reinvent classic arcade games with pinball, skee-ball, or The World’s Largest Pac-Man. Carefully adding games that may be missing or light in the mix will create excitement and repeat customers.

Arcade Game Room

Of course, if you are interested in adding arcade machines, it is always helpful to fully understand the games and machines available to you. Carefully analyzing missing or under-equipped categories is the knowledge that will help you decide which options will best appeal to your customers.

There are three basic categories of typical arcade games with many more subcategories: Video, Redemption, and Merchandiser. We’ll go through each in more detail, but an essential part of the decision-making process is the percentage of your space allocated to the specific types.

Let’s look closer at the arcade game types and subcategories.


Most people are familiar with Arcade Video Games, including driving and fighting games, playing for fun, competition, and high scores. There are no tickets or prizes. These have historically been coin-operated, but most games have moved to card readers as technology has changed.

Video Game Types: Premium, Air Hockey/Competitive, Driving, Shooting, Environmental, Fighting, Simulators, Pinball.

Pinball: Deadpool Pro Pinball, The Munsters Pro Pinball
Premium Video: Virtual Rabbids, Halo: Fireteam Raven, Jurassic Park Arcade
Air Hockey/Competitive: AirFX, Black Hole Air Hockey
Driving: Super Bikes 3, MotoGP, Daytona Championship USA, Nitro Trucks
Shooting: Big Buck HD Wild, Big Buck Hunter Reloaded
Fighting: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Injustice Arcade
Simulators: Typhoon, XD Dark Ride


Redemption games are generally games of skill that reward players for achieving higher scores. The player plays for experience and competition but primarily for E-Ticket accumulation to redeem high-quality prizes at the redemption center.

Redemption Types: Stop the Wheel/Light, Sports, Video Redemption, App to Arcade, Carnival/Alley/Ball, Coin Pusher/ Collectable Card, Ticket Bundle RFID, Water Gun, Whacking.

Within Redemption:

App to Arcade: Crossy Road, Crazy Tower,
Family Style: Connect 4 Deluxe
Video Redemption: Injustice Arcade, Space Invaders Frenzy, Baseball Pro
Whacking Game: Minions Wacker
Activity / Sports: Connect 4 Hoops, Ring Toss, NBA Hoops
Stop the Light / Wheel: Spin n Win, Pop the Lock, Big Bass Wheel
Ball Drop Games: Fishbowl Frenzy, Quik Drop

As the trend of moving from cash to payment systems took full effect over the years, the traditional coin pusher has been replaced by new Self-Contained Pushers like Willy Wonka, DC Superheroes, and The Wizard of Oz.


Merchandiser games are a version of redemption games where you can win a prize directly from the machine. Players play for the experience of testing their skills, but mainly for a direct high-quality prize, photo, or product dispensed.

Merchandiser Types: Cranes/Claw machines, Hard goods, Photo Booth, Collectable card dispensing, Ticket Bundle dispensing, Candy/Bulk vending.

Cranes/Claw Machines Types:

Winner Every Time: Plucky Ducky
Candy: Candy Crane House, Candy Street Crane
Ticket: Tons of Tickets, Time 4 Tickets

Arcade Game Types

Now that we walked through the main categories let’s take a look at some popular subcategories:


Air Hockey games have been around for decades and are always a hit for kids and adults alike. Their interactivity makes it easy for guests to immerse themselves fully in action. Before long, they will focus on scoring the next goal and forget about anything else happening around them.


Basketball is one of America’s most popular sports and one of its favorite arcade games. Some guests want nothing more than to beat their friends in a one-on-one game, while others want to get in the zone and set a new high score. There is no wrong way to play these awesome games.


Every group of friends has one person who thinks they are stronger and tougher than everyone else. These boxing arcade games can determine who’s correct. You will likely hear cheers, jeers, and braggadocious claims from guests enjoying these machines.


Billiard tables have always been a popular fixture in bars and arcades nationwide. This fantastic game is easy for beginners but can take years to master. The best part is that guests can have much fun with their friends while perfecting their skills.


The competition to win stuffed animals or toys means claw machines are always one of the most popular attractions in any arcade. You’ll find guests pointing out prizes they would love to win and directing each other in which direction to move the claw. When they win, huge cheers are sure to follow.


Guests love showing off their steady hands and eagle eyes with a friendly game of darts. However, electronic dartboards can take their enjoyment to a whole new level. For a traditional game, the board can keep track of their scores without needing napkin-math. If your guests want to mix things up a little, they can also play one of the other dart games built into the electronic board.


These rides allow kids to escape into a world of adventure and excitement without leaving the arcade. From cars to trains and everything in between, a child’s imagination truly knows no bounds when sitting on one of these rides. So don’t be surprised if you hear them asking their Mom or Dad if they can go again!


Bowling has long been among the most popular amusements in the United States. By installing mini-bowling in your arcade, you can allow guests to recreate the excitement of a traditional bowling alley without needing to take up a considerable amount of square footage. Though the game is smaller, the fun and excitement are bigger and better than ever!


When guests think of arcades, pinball machines are usually one of the first games that come to mind. But, of course, these awesome games are not just popular and nostalgia-inducing; they are also a lot of fun to play. So don’t be surprised to see guests spending much time on these machines as they try to set a new high score.


Photo booths are the perfect way for guests to commemorate a first date or a great night out with the family. They will likely smile, laugh, and make funny faces for the camera. Modern photo booths can now transport you into fun and exciting backgrounds – favorite movies, locations worldwide, space, and even comic books (Marvel Adventure Lab). Most new photo booths also allow guests to upload their photos to social media or save them on their phones – showing their friends and followers without scanning and uploading. Check out our post on the benefits of adding a photo booth.


Racing games are usually one of the first arcade experiences we have as children sitting on mommy or daddy’s lap and spinning the wheel. The feeling of speed and competition always makes these games popular. However, newer racing games allow guests to compete against players worldwide in real time rather than racing against characters in a game.


This arcade classic is always a hit, with guests searching for interactive fun. This fantastic game is accessible for beginners yet still challenges more experienced players. You will likely hear a lot of cheering in the skee-ball area as guests try to win tickets or beat their friends in a one-on-one game.


Arcade Dance Games are a fun and physical way to enjoy time at the arcade. You are playing a classic dance arcade machine and exercising to a new high score. Dance arcade machines work in any location. The 20th Anniversary Edition of Andamiro’s Pump It Up will get customers moving with a unique collection of songs, a brilliant light show, and a wall of sound with four speakers and two subwoofers. StepManiaX utilizes an LED pressure-based platform that users step on to match displayed instructions to the beat of the music.


Virtual reality systems allow guests to escape into a new world from the comfort of your arcade. This advanced technology truly is the next evolution in the arcade experience. Although virtual reality is something that can be used at home, VR games like Godzilla™ Kaiju Wars VR,  King Kong of Skull Island™, and Virtual Rabbids: The Big Ride are more than just putting on the goggles – they simulate motion as if you were on an actual roller coaster, giving a truly unique experience. There are other experiences like Hologate and Omni Arena where it’s just more fun playing with friends.

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