10 Tips To Choosing The Best Air Hockey Table For Your Rec Room

When it comes to choosing an air hockey table that best fits your rec room, make sure you check out these ten tips before making your purchase. 

Air hockey, since its inception in 1969, has swept the arcade landscape by storm. It has even turned into a sport, with pros competing for cash prizes and the world title yearly.

While a trip to the arcade is all it takes to enjoy this game again, you can also enjoy it in the comfort of your own home. An air hockey table is a good addition to your rec room, but you have to find the right one.

Buying the right model will ensure it will be a hit to all your guests and you will enjoy it for years to come. Here’s how you can choose the best model for your room.

1. Consider the Size of the Room

Where are you planning to put your table hockey in? 

Your answer to this will determine the size you can buy. Remember that a full-size table requires a lot of room around it, as well. Aside from the 7 to 8 feet of space you need to allot for the table, you need a few extra feet of space on each side to allow the players to move around without accidents.

Lucky for you, hockey tables come in different sizes. If full-sized ones aren’t suitable, consider a tabletop air hockey game that comes at only 40 inches or so.

2. Get an Air Hockey Table for Kids

This tip is only for those who have kids or are buying one for their kids. If no adult will be playing on the table, get a model that’s for kids specifically.

These are shorter and smaller, which will allow children to reach the center of the table from all sides. They will also fit in any room, and they’re often portable so you can stow them away when not in use.

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3. Consider the Theme of the Room

While not a furniture piece, the design of the hockey table should be an important point to consider, as well, especially if you’re trying to incorporate a theme in the room.

If you’re going for an ‘80s arcade look, for example, colorful hockey tables would suit the room more. Even if you want to get one with modern features, there’s a model that will offer you this alongside vintage looks.

If you have a modern décor, it’s only apt to get a modern air hockey table. To make the room look cohesive, choose colors that would work with the theme of your room, too. 

4. Determine How Much You’re Willing to Spend

You have to consider your budget, too. This will dictate what model you can get and if you can afford some extra features.

Once you’ve set your budget, make sure to stick to it. Some features are not worth the price hike, but you can list some non-negotiables and then find a model that fits your budget and has your non-negotiable features.

Check out this air hockey table review to learn more.

5. Prioritize the Quality

Whatever features you want, though, a good chunk of your budget should go toward durability and quality. This game is somewhat addicting, and competing with friends is always fun.

The problem with competitions is that we’re bound to go hard to win. You might also have friends who may be more competitive than normal. Ensure that they can go all out without fear of breaking the table.

Check the workmanship and the materials used when comparing hockey tables.

6. Buy an Air Hockey Table with Leg Levelers

Another thing you shouldn’t compromise is the leg leveler. Although you can consider this an extra feature, it’s almost a non-negotiable if you want a fair game.

Leg levelers ensure that the table is always leveled, even if your flooring is uneven. Even if you think the surface is even, you can’t be too sure. This prevents arguments sprouting from a side having an edge over the other side.

7. Choose the Extra Features You Want

After you have a list of non-negotiable features, list down some additional features that are nice to have. These are the features you’re okay with not having, but it would be cool if the model comes with them, as well.

Having a fan or blower can be a nice addition, but they may not be a priority. A fan or a blower is the one responsible for moving the puck a little when you’re not touching them. It runs on a motor, which explains why some tables hum when you turn them on.

A digital scoring system is also an unneeded feature, but it’s convenient to have. It may not even go on your list if you prefer the other scoring methods.

8. Weigh the Pros and Cons of the Scoring Systems

In a digital scoring system, a digital board displays the scores above the table. It has sensors that tell whether a puck goes inside either goal, which then feeds the information to the scoring board.

With it, you don’t have to keep score yourself, eliminating mistakes and cheating.

Abacus-style scoreboards are still around, too, although they can be hard to come by. These are the best for vintage-themed recreational rooms, but they’re prone to mistakes.

They are, however, great for when you want to keep playing. With digital scoreboards, the game ends on automatic, while in manual scoring systems, you decide when the game ends.

9. Think if You Need a Power Source

You’ll need electricity for digital scoreboards or other features of your air hockey table. This limits the positioning of the table in your room.

If the model you’re eyeing needs electricity, you have to make sure its place in the room is near an outlet.

10. Choose the Puck Size and the Mallet Variation

The sizes of the pucks and mallets are often relative to the size of the table. Still, you may have a choice in size and even shape variations.

Some pucks come in octagonal or even triangular shapes. The mallets may have different shapes, too, and they may come with or without a felt bottom. Felt bottoms protect the table from the impacts, but some players may feel like the texture delays or affects their reaction time.

Read Reviews of Air Hockey Tables

The best way to ensure you’re getting a high-quality air hockey table is to read reviews online. Check out the best models, and if you have a particular model in mind, search for reviews about it on Google. 

Don’t stop here! We have more guides for you to discover. If you want to learn more, check out our other posts today.