The Ultimate Guide to Custom Arcade Machines – Classic Arcade Video Games & Vintage Game Consoles & More

So you want the classic gaming experience with custom arcade machines in your home? Where do you go? What do you need to know? This guide is a goldmine and wealth of information that will help you make sense of it all.

When it comes to custom arcade machines, there is a multitude of options available these days. There are a few questions that you need to answer before you embark on your custom arcade machine quest.

  1. Do you want to build an arcade cabinet yourself?
  2. If so, do you have the tools and skills to tackle the job? Can you get access to those tools or skills?
  3. Do you have blueprints?
  4. Would you rather purchase a custom arcade cabinet than do all the work?
  5. If so, can you afford a full-sized arcade system or will you have to scale down to a bartop unit?
  6. Do you really want a custom arcade machine or do you just want to play games? Maybe you would just prefer to game on your TV and be done with it.
  7. Would you consider buying a used old-school arcade cabinet and fixing it up?

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Once you know what it is you’re going to build or purchase, it makes things much easier to manage. If you prefer full-size custom arcade machines, you can find a plethora of resources online.

This terrific online series will guide you through the entire process. If you plan to make an identical arcade cabinet with no modifications, you will need the blueprints from

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Now that you have the Raspberry Pi, blueprints, tools and the software, some of the additional items you may need include:

  1. Joystick, buttons and controller kit
  2. 27 inch LCD monitor
  3. Speakers
  4. T-Molding
  5. Micro Density Fiber board
  6. Paint
  7. Vinyl Decals
  8. Surge protector

Besides the size of the unit, this option is identical in almost every way to the full-sized unit. The big positive here is going to be the cost saving and time.

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You need to also decide the platform you will host your games on. I cannot recommend the Raspberry Pi enough for this task but if you have an old Windows desktop lying around, you can download various emulators to make it work.

The setup for Retropie is so simple. It’s almost as if the Raspberry Pi with Retropie software was created just for gaming. Not only is it a cheaper alternative to hosting games on a PC but the small size of the until will make it extremely easy to conceal.

The other benefit of the Raspberry Pi is the ease of use. For gaming, you will need to download the latest version of the free Retropie software and follow the simple installation guide.

Credit: The Ultimate Guide to Custom Arcade Machines – Classic Arcade Video Games & Vintage Game Consoles & More