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Upgrade Your Space with These 6 Rad Game Room Ideas

A girl playing ping-pong, a Legends Ultimate arcade game, and two people playing pool.
Stiga/AtGames/EastPoint Sports

Have an empty room in your home? Why not turn it into a fun spot where family and friends can gather and play the games they love most? You can build a game room tailored to your specific interests, whether that includes a bar and a pool table, or the arcade games you loved as a kid.

Before designing your game room, there are a few factors to consider. The size of the room will affect how you style the area and what you can fit in there. Think about your family and what you all enjoy doing together. Is it worth spending hundreds of dollars on a new VR system or pool table if they’ll only be used once a week?

With those things in mind, below are a few ideas to help you create a rad game room.

A Music Gaming Paradise

A bunch of characters dancing in "Just Dance."
Ubisoft Entertainment

If your family loves music, design your game room around musical games and activities. Get an Oculus Quest VR headset and grab some games, like Beat Saber or Audio Trip for a music-filled game night.

The Just Dance games are another option, and they’re compatible with a few different consoles. They’ve also been around since 2009, so you’re bound to find songs that everyone in your family will love to move to.

Want some musical fun that isn’t a video game? A karaoke machine is loads of fun for both silly and serious hangouts.

If karaoke isn’t your style, though, your musical paradise can be as simple as some cozy chairs and music trivia.

A Board Game Nook

Family playing Monopoly.

Embrace your love of board games and set up a cozy nook where everyone can play together. Set up a sturdy table and get some comfortable chairs people can sit in for hours without getting too stiff. Or, go with bean bag chairs for a funkier look.

This is a great option for smaller spaces. All you need are some chairs and a table big enough to fit six to eight people. You can also add a board game nook to the corner of a larger game room if you want. An open bookshelf is a great way to display your board game collection.

Which games should you have on hand? That’s up to you, of course, but there are a few ways you can keep every game night exciting. Invest in a lot of different types of games, so you can always find one that suits the mood of the group.

Card games, like Hearts or Spades, can be played in relatively quick rounds, so you can easily keep your gaming session under 30 minutes. Want an option that’ll drag out for hours and tear your family apart? Go with Monopoly.

Not a fan of Monopoly? No problem!  There are plenty of other games your family will love playing.

A Pool and Beer Corner

Three friends playing pool.
EastPoint Sports

Pool is a great way to entertain guests and chat, while engaging in a bit of friendly competition. This is going to take up a lot of space, though, so it might not work for everyone.

The general rule of thumb for calculating the total space you need to play pool is equal to the area of the table plus twice the length of a standard cue (which is just under 5 feet). If you have enough room, you’ll want to invest in a high-quality pool table that can be passed onto your kids.

To make your pool room more adult-focused, you can add a cocktail station, a bar, or a handy beer fridge.

An Old-School Arcade

The Legends Ultimate arcade game machine next to a pool table in a game room.

If you want to go for a more retro vibe, invest in some of the arcade games you loved as a kid. Pac-Man, Galaga, Donkey Kong—they’re all still out there, and in many different formats. If you prefer the authentic vintage games that used to be in a real arcade, you’ll have to do some digging on eBay, or at a store like Monkeys Arcade.

These game machines will make any room look incredibly cool, but their price tags aren’t for the faint of heart. They’ll run you thousands of dollars per game, and even more in maintenance fees.

Arcade1Up is a more affordable option. Here, you’ll find new arcade machines loaded with three or four vintage games in the same series, like Mortal Kombat 1, 2, and 3. You can get one of these for between $400-$600.

If you want a little more bang for your buck, AtGames is another option. These full-size game machines come preloaded with a ton of your favorite games. On the Legends Ultimate machine, you get 300 games for $600.

An Indoor Sports Retreat

A girl playing ping-pong in a game room.

There are plenty of indoor games that cater to sports lovers, as well. A shootout basketball game is perfect for those who can’t get enough of the court.

But ping-pong and air hockey tables are also fun ways to compete. Just be sure to measure and make sure you’ll have plenty of space around these tables. You want everyone to have enough room to move around without running into walls or other people.

Expand on the sports bar theme if you want, and add some darts, foosball, or cornhole. The beer fridge we included above would be at home here, as well. You can even hang a couple of TVs on the wall if you want games on 24/7.

A Gamer’s Paradise

Gaming chair next to computer.

If you prefer new tech, create a space that will be the envy of all your gaming friends. Get some gaming chairs or other comfortable seating for the PC gamers.

Whether you’re playing console games on a TV or you want to listen to music while you play, invest in a good speaker system. This will ensure everyone is completely immersed in whatever they’re playing.

Speaking of immersion, a projector will turn your entire wall into a screen and make games feel way more realistic. When it comes to selecting a projector for gaming or movies, one of the key details to pay attention to is lumens.

The Epson Home Cinema 880 has native 1080p resolution and a super-bright, 3,300-lumen output. So even if your room doesn’t have perfect black-out theater conditions, you can still enjoy this projector.

A dark carpet and walls with some colorful LED lights will create a nice ambiance in this room. LEDs behind screens can also help prevent eyestrain.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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