How to Fix Old Arcade Games

By Contributor

Updated September 22, 2017

Video game enthusiasts who want a challenging hobby should consider collecting old arcade games. Be forewarned, however, that the main challenge for an arcade game collector is not besting his highest score--it's bringing a machine home and discovering that it does not work. You need to know how to fix old arcade games in order to enjoy the classics. Read on to learn more.

Repair Classic Arcade Games

Research schematics and manufacturer manuals for arcade games before you attempt repairs. You can use websites established by experienced gamers to find simplified guides to the internal workings of a game. You can also contact the game's manufacturer by mail to request assistance.

Gather information about video repair shops in nearby cities when you need to fix arcade games. Your community may not have arcade game experts and you may need to load up your investment for a road trip.

Contact previous owners of the machine to find maintenance documents and problems encountered in the past. You should look for repair shop stickers and trace ownership back by contacting the shop's manager for more information.

Purchase a new video monitor from an arcade parts shop if the game's visual aspects falter. You can expect to spend several hundred dollars on this monitor due to the rarity of parts shops and original parts.

Store backup buttons, toggles and joy sticks for your game in case the central control board is malfunctioning. Most arcade games have a single board that holds every aspect of controlling for an arcade game. You should be able to unscrew a joy stick and replace buttons as they wear out.

Locate original artwork by an arcade manufacturer to fix up the appearance of old games. You should find sketches and pictures of arcade games in mint condition online. A good approach to reconditioning arcade exteriors is to hire a graphic designer or artist capable of replicating your collection of images.

Request qualifications and a list of references from repair experts before lugging your arcade game around town. You should check out personal projects by a repair expert and get a free quote before paying a single dollar.

Transfer parts from one arcade game to repair single malfunctions in multiple arcade games. You can use control boards, tubes and monitors from a game that you purchased at a low price to increase the value of other machines in your collection.


Document script errors and other issues that arise while you play arcade games. You should look for error messages and points in the game where the screen freezes to help your repair person pinpoint a solution.