So you’ve decided to get a nice gaming table for your place but you can’t decide on what to get. The two options are popular are air hockey and foosball tables, you’ve seen them in bars and movies. Heck, you’ve probably even played a game or two on them at a local arcade or pub. Still can’t decide which you should buy for your home game room?
This guide is to help you decide whether you’re a foosball or air hockey person. And don’t worry if you can’t pick just one – cause you can get yourself an awesome foosball and air hockey combination game table so you can enjoy both at home (see our recommendations below).
The Case For Air Hockey Tables
Based on the research that we’ve done, air hockey is the more popular of the two. This is probably because air hockey is easier to learn and anyone can play, even three year olds at Check E. Cheese. The main difference here is that air hockey tables need electricity to power them up (well, there are a few non-electric models, but they are not fun to play on). Since most air hockey tables have this electrical component, they tend to be a lot harder to set up since you have to install the fans into the base.
Electricity is another thing you need to keep in mind. If it’s one that needs to be plugged in, you have to factor that into your electricity bill. If you get one that’s battery powered, then you have to keep buying batteries to replace them.
Pucks are also something people don’t think about when choosing between the two. Sometimes people get drunk or get too into the game and knock the puck off of the table and flying off somewhere. Make sure you choose a safe location when getting an air hockey table. This means away from any floor vents where you can lose the puck into oblivion – I speak from experience here!
The Case For Foosball Tables
Foosball tables are a lot easier to manage and set up since no electricity is required. That being said, it doesn’t mean that it’s an easy game to play. Foosball is a lot more competitive and takes more skill to play. You have to control multiple football players with multiple sticks to control a little ball, instead of just swatting a puck away. Each little man on the rods have positions and the game can even be upgraded to have more than two people playing at the same time. This has made is so popular that there are tournaments all over the world.
Instead of pucks, foosball tables use little plastic soccer balls that are hollow. Most manufacturers give you multiple balls with the game table because they are incredibly easy to lose. If you’re using this for parties, or just on a regular basis make sure you buy a couple of extra packets of balls. They get stepped on and break from time to time so it’s better to have some on hand.
While little soccer balls flying out of tables aren’t too much harm, the rods that you play with can be. The rods are made of metal and can easily jam someone or something if you’re not being careful. Also, the rubber handles on the end of the bars that you use to grip get worn out after awhile.
There you have it. If you’re interested in an entertainment table, the foosball tables can be placed inside or outside. The rain won’t damage any of the foosball pieces, but if rain catches on your air hockey table, you literally won’t be able to play since the puck won’t move through the water. If you have a place where there are there’s nothing around to break, then an air hockey table is right for you.
The Best Of Both Worlds – A Combination Game Table
If, like me, you enjoy playing both of these games and really don’t want to be forced to make a decision, then you’re in luck. There are a few brands out there who make combination game tables where you play both foosball and air hockey – all from a single game table. Pretty cool, huh?
Some of these home multi game tables even feature other fun games like ping pong and pool. Honestly, this is a pretty awesome addition to any home game room since you get the variety of several games in one table.
If this sounds like exactly what you’re looking for, then let me share a few of my favorite multi game tables with you. Based on my research and experience, I think that these are the best combination game tables for the money right now.
Hathaway Madison 54-in 6-in-1 Multi Game Table (best value pick)
I’m a big fan of the gaming tables that Hathaway makes because they usually are well made and are available at an affordable cost. Sure, they’re not the top of the line models, but for most families and gaming enthusiasts, they are the perfect choice.
The great thing about this multi-game table is that it gives you six different games that you can play. Plus, the design of the table looks great – instead of looking cheap it has a nice, quality wood style design.
Here are the games you can play with this one:
- glide hockey
- table tennis
As you might have noticed, this isn’t technically an air hockey table but instead you get to play “glide hockey” on it. So, that means no electricity and no hovering pucks. It won’t be exactly the same experience, but you can still have fun with it.
13-in-1 Combination Game Table By Berner Billiards (editor’s pick)
If you’ve got a bit higher budget, then I highly recommend this multi-game table by Berner Billiards. I ordered one of these from Wayfair with free shipping and no sales tax and I just love this thing.
Obviously, the best thing about this table is that it gives you 13 games that you can play with just this single gaming table. But that’s just one of the reasons why I recommend it over any other model out there.
Here are the games you can play on it:
- air hockey (full electric motor powered!)
- table tennis
- pool table
For air hockey fans, the most important thing to know is that this table has a motor to make those pucks hover! Honestly, this is really rare find in a combination game table.
I also really like that this is a full-size gaming table instead of a smaller one, like the Hathaway model listed above.
Plus, Berner Billiards has a strong reputation when it comes to making high quality table games for the home.
While those are my recommendations for a combination game table that features both air hockey and foosball, these aren’t the only models out there. However, I think you’ll find that most of the other options don’t offer the same quality that you get this these models.