With the recent resurgence of Pinball in video game consoles and smartphones, surely it suggests that the game is gaining wide traction in the gaming community. While these games are fun to play, nothing beats the original tactile–the physical Pinball machine.

You can find them at your favourite pub or bar, but did you know that you can also have them inside your home?

Buying your own Pinball machine doesn’t have to be an expensive investment. It may cost you thousands of dollars, but this cost pales in comparison with the fun you can get from it and the prestige of owning one at your home. It is an additional attraction inside your home for the kids, yourself and for visitors.

If you’re planning to buy one, consider these things so you can get the most out of your money.

Things to Consider in Choosing a Pinball Machine


Your budget should range from $1500 to $3000. Machines that only cost you a few hundreds,  are most likely defective and needs repair. You can check this article about the 10 cheapest Pinball machines to get a better perspective.

Where to Put Your Pinball Machine

If you covet to have a pinball in your home like the one in your favourite pub or bar, you should ask yourself, where you will put this inside your living area. Note that Pinball machines are fairly huge and noisy when played. It is about a meter wide and 1.8 meters high and commonly weighs 250 pounds. When in action, it’s sound effects  could be disturbing.

Types of Pinball Machines

There are two main types of pinball machines: the Electro-mechanical machines (EM) and the Solid State (SS).

1. Electro-Mechanical (EM) Machines – EM appeared until the 1970s. It runs on switches and electric motor, hence the name.



Offers vintage feel and sounds Needs regular maintenance
Good for novelty collection Has no digital display
Starter-friendly gameplay


2. Solid State (SS) Machines – the SS machines are quite more modern as they run with microprocessors and electronic circuits.



Has Digital display and audio Complex and difficult for beginners
Offers Multi-ball play mode Expensive to repair

What to Check Before Buying a Machine

There are few parts of Pinball that you want to inspect before buying it. Some of these are hard to find or no longer available altogether.

Here are some of the pinball parts that you must check to ensure that your machine is in good shape.

The looks. Along with the thrill of playing pinball, you also buy a machine for its iconic pop art design. When choosing one, don’t compromise the cosmetic quality. Hence, you should check the prints and paints for signs of wear and the plastics if any of them are missing or broken.

Run self-test. You can let SS machineS do a self-diagnosis to help you spot broken pieces and ascertain its overall condition. Self-test checks the lights, display, and switches among others.

Playfield objects. You buy your machine for the gameplay that’s not complete without the bash toys, targets and other objects in your playfield. Hence, be sure all the playfield objects are intact. As such, it is important to take a test-play of the machine you want to buy. Check the lights, sounds, score display, control and the playfield objects.

Ramps. Replacement for ramps, is yet again difficult to find. So it is important to inspect whether the ramps are still intact or broken. If the ramps are no longer clear, it is a sign of wear and tear.

Backglass. Aside from the playfield, the backglass is the centerpiece of Pinball machine that you want to have in champagne condition. Most of the time it is not replaceable as the backglass you have is no longer produced. And if any, it will cost you another hundred bucks.

Playfield Inserts. Another part of Pinball that’s hard to find for replacement are the playfield inserts. So be sure you have all of them in good condition.

Batteries. SS machines operate with batteries to keep the settings and other minor operations of the game. Be sure the batteries do not leak, if not fresh at all. Good to know, batteries are replaceable.

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