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A foosball table has long since been a staple in the game room environment. Alongside a trusty dart board, well-maintained pool table, and nostalgic arcade machines, the foosball table sits quietly waiting to be used by both children and adults. However, foosball isn’t just a family game that can be played by two to four players. Foosball is also recognized as a competitive sport that has multiple international championships that are played annually, and there’s even a dedicated community that focuses on foosball trick shots.
There are many different sizes, types and intended uses for foosball tables. In addition, there’s also a wide spectrum of different foosball table qualities. Some foosball tables are worth several thousand dollars, making them incredibly expensive compared to many other things you could fit in your games room. On the other hand, you could also pick up some foosball tables for around a $100, but there’s obviously going to be a huge compromise on quality. However, some people could do just fine with the lower quality, which is why we’ve created this ultimate guide on foosball table buying.
With so many variables that can ultimately affect your outcome, we’ve decided to split our foosball table buying guide into several sections to help you pick the best one for your needs.
What Types of Foosball Table Are There?
You’ll find several different types of foosball table on the market. Some have their own legs and look like tables, some need to be placed on tables, and others come with other games on them. Let’s take a look at the most common types and the advantages or disadvantages they offer to help you pick the perfect foosball table.
Standing Foosball Tables
This is the type most people think of when imagining a foosball table for home.
- Most common type of foosball table, readily available wherever you look for one
- Available in various sizes to fit in any sized room or area
- Can stand alone in a room, no need for extra tables or accessories
- Solid construction means it can take some punishment and be used by heavy-handed players
- Can be very expensive due to the sturdy construction and quality, not the most affordable option
- Cheap ones can fall apart really quickly, making them bad investments that
- Takes up a lot of space
- Needs levelers to combat uneven flooring
Table Top Foosball Tables
The small format portable version of Foosball is great for home or away and makes a great stocking filler at Christmas or an inexpensive birthday gift for a child – or a man child!
- Convenient because it can be stored away and saves space
- Cheaper than other options
- Small shape is perfect for children or sitting down
- Good entry-level foosball table
- Cheap means they can fall apart very easily
- Need to own a table or surface to place it on
- Not the best quality parts, geared towards children more than adults
- Can scratch surfaces if not place properly
Combination Foosball Tables
- Space saving multi-table design
- Perfect for a multi-function game room with several children
- Available as both standing and table top versions
- Best value for money if buying multiple games
- Not the greatest quality because it’s a jack-of-all trades table
- Switching games can get annoying after a while
- Can be a lot more expensive than buying a game or two
- Sometimes much bulkier than buying a single foosball table
Coin-Operated Foosball Tables
- Usually the sturdiest tables out of all types
- Coin mechanism adds a unique retro touch to your games room
- High-quality full-sized tables with the best parts
- Can usually be customized with different parts to suit your needs
- Incredibly expensive for just a single foosball table
- Coin mechanism can get annoying to work with after a while
- Bulky and might not fit into small rooms
- Difficult to handle or take apart by a single person.
There’s a Foosball Table for Everyone
No matter your skill, budget or intended use for the table, there’s always going to be one that fits perfectly within your criteria. To begin, write down a list of requirements that would best suit your situation and use the following to help guide your choices.
- Table size will determine how much play area is given to your players. A standard foosball table measures roughly 30 inches by 56 inches. If you include the rods and the players, then you’ll need roughly double that to have enough space to actually play it. If the table is intended for children, then you can get by with a smaller version.
- Table height usually measures in at roughly 36 inches. This is the standard size for a normal foosball table and it’s suitable for old teenagers and adults. For young teenagers and children, the table will be too high and they won’t be able to see the playing field unless they stand on a box. If you intend for children to use the foosball table, then make sure the legs are adjustable or the table itself can be placed on a table instead of having freestanding legs.
- Table construction is another factor that will greatly determine the price of your table. If you want a good-quality table that can take some punishment, then it’s recommended that you pick a table that is made of solid wood. This will make it sturdy enough for even competitive use, but make sure you’re not keeping your foosball table in a damp environment because it is subject to damage caused by humidity. If you’re only using it lightly then composite wood is the suggested material due to its price. Particle board isn’t recommended because it slowly degrades over time unless it’s very thick and heavy.
- Table play surface is a factor that could heavily affect your play. Cheap sticker style designs on a foosball table can eventually become damaged or loosen and curl up or warp, affecting the flow of gameplay and disrupting the ball’s direction. If you want the best experience, then consider getting a quality American foosball table for its smooth and hard finished surface, giving the ball more speed and no risk of being affected by the playing surface.
- Table levelers will help you maintain an even playing field even on uneven flooring. If your games room is known to have a slightly uneven floor, then you need to get yourself a table that can be slightly adjusted on the legs so that it retains an even surface for the ball to not be influenced.
Picking a Foosball Table for Your Situation
If you’d prefer to pick something based on your current situation, then we’ve built a list of what you should look for. This will make it easy to pick something that you can use for your own personal needs.
Children That Want to Try Foosball for Fun
Children will need a table that is small enough for them to use. A mini foosball table would be perfect for this because the height can change based on what surface you put it on. If your children still have small hands, then you may want to look for a smaller sized foosball table so they can practice on it before they play on a larger one. Since children are a little less rough with foosball tables, you could buy a cheaper one with lower quality materials since they will probably outgrow it before you know it.
Beginners Who Want to Learn the Game
If you’re new to foosball or want to get a table to try it out, then you should follow the guidelines of a child’s one with a few exceptions. Preferably you’ll want to get a full-sized table, but having it as a table top variation will mean you can fit it almost anywhere and you can store it easily. If you’re lucky enough to have a game room, then a standing foosball table is also a good option. Make sure it’s using a triple goalie configuration so that it’s easier to defend against shots.
Intermediate Players Who Want a Home Foosball Table to Practice On
If you’ve been playing foosball for a while, either as a friendly game or even in competitions, then you probably have some idea of what you’re looking for. You don’t want to have anything less than a full-sized table and ideally you want to spend around $700 or more. Look for a laminate design so that it doesn’t wear off or start to curl and affect the ball as it travels, and make sure the table either uses composite or solid wood to make it sturdy. You want to ensure that it also has table levelers so that you can adjust the height in case your floor is uneven.
Professional Players Who Are Looking for the Best
If you’re an expert, then you should not settle for anything but the best. In addition to everything in the intermediate suggestions, you should also ensure that the rods are made of steel and that all of the players on the rods are counter weighted. This will ensure they return to their normal position after each time they are used. This ensures they aren’t stuck in the wrong position which could disrupt the flow of the game. In addition, look for tables that feature just a single goalie. Although a triple goalie setup results in a faster-paced game, having just a single goalie means there is more skill involved, making it perfect for advanced players.
Enthusiasts That Want to Improve Their Games Room
Foosball tables are staples in game rooms, which is why many people are choosing to get one in addition to their pool table, dart board and other typical games room equipment. If you’re looking to give your games room a little boost, then you shouldn’t worry so much about the playability and more about aesthetics especially if you don’t plan to use it very often. If you’ve got a fairly small games room, then try to find a multi-use foosball table that can be converted into other games such as ping pong and table tennis. This will give you the most functionality and value out of all foosball table options available to you. If you want to add a neat retro touch, then look for one with a coin mechanism. This will go perfectly with any arcade machines you have in your games room.