Tips on buying an Arcade Machine


I’m a noobie, so this might be bad lol. I was at a arcade machine auction last week, now I have the itch to go buy a cab. The auction had over 500 machines, but IMO most were in fair condition. Screen burn in, deep scratches, bad buttons, sticks ect. I know those are easy fixes, thanks to Lizard Lick Amusements.

My question is…should I buy a one game cab or go multi-game cab (6 fighting games in 1)? I’m looking for a SF Alpha 3 machine. Is one better than the other as far as porting goes or quality? I heard the multi-cabs have mods in them that are not easy fixes. I was told by my local arcade repair shop. I’m nervous to buy because I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. Let’s say I buy a SF2 machine, can I put a SFA3 CPU in it? What’s a CPS2? Duh right. Thanks for your time!


It depends what SF2 you have, most are cps1 and not cps2 which is what those carts are. Alpha is on a cart. Super turbo 2 is cps2 which is on a cart, which isnt cheap either.

If you just want capcom games you should look into the 18in1 cps2 multiboard, will save you a shit load of money and is running off the actual hardware, not emulated

The most important thing is monitor, try to find a nice 25", everything else can be replaced cheaply, cabinet/controls/power supply etc. A new 25" monitor is around 300-400 pending its resolutions and stuff so take that into account when looking at a cabinet, Cap kits are cheap as hell but require soldering and you to know what your doing (lots of volts), you cant go poking around on the chassis but theres many tutorials on discharging a monitor and installing a cap kit, This will take care of almost everything but deguassing & burn.

Dont buy off ebay, everything is over priced by about 600$… auctions are hit or miss, and craigslist as well. most people on cl are dumb as shit when it comes to these and also think there worths thousands.

Like I said, cheap cabs are a dime a dozen, if its scratched its an easy ass fix, wood filler, and a new paint job/t molding make even crappy cabs look amazing.

Art work is easy replaceable, readily available in reproduction form, some original marquees are hard to come by.

Keep in mind if you want 2 joys/6buttons you should have a decent sized control panel, finding a coverted mortal kombat or nba jam would be awesome and not as expensive as a capcom big blue. Dynamo cabs are cheap but I have problems playing with mine with 2 people cause its kinda crammed.

CPS2 18in1:
Klov: (good forum for arcade cabinets/buying selling, finding and LOTS of repair info)
bob roberts: (has any part in terms of repair you will ever need)
cps2 info:
cps info:


The CPS stuff is usually referring to versions of Capcom’s arcade unit.

Street Fighter II CPS1: World Warriors, Champion Edition, Hyper Fighting
Street Fighter II CPS2: Super, Super Turbo/Super X: Grand Master Challenge


Thank you so much! This is why I love SRK.


It seems you want to go authentic with this, but I thought I’d just throw out there that a cheap PC can run Winkawaks or a similar emulator, gives you all of the CPS1, 2 and 3 games plus SNK. All you’d need is a good monitor and a cab.


Yes, I would rather go authentic because it’s a childhood dream of mine. It’s just too expensive to drive or pay shipping on these Cabs! Money is part of the issue. I’m looking to spend around $600. The Capcom 18 game combo seems like the best deal, but those Kray Vewlix Cabs are very tempting. Ahhh…choices.


I’m not sure how important the nostalgia of the old wood cabinets is to you, but if it’s not, I’d look into getting a Japanese sit-down candy cabinet along with an Alpha 3 CPS2 board. They can be had fairly inexpensively if you look around (I got an Astro City sit-down cabinet for $600 shipped to MO from UT). As far as boards, check around or ask on the Neo Geo or shmups.system11 forums, people on those two in particular sell CPS2 boards all the time at pretty fair prices. Personally, I find Japanese cabinets FAR superior to their American counterparts. Larger screens, better sticks/buttons, and they’re made of much better and lighter material.


I love the Astro City Cabs. Now that I think of it, I would rather have a sit down cab with the 18in1 cps2 multiboard with full Sanwa. The search is on bro…much thanks!


Not having any luck on finding a fair priced Astro Cab. The prices on eBay and Craigslist seem very high. Frustrating.


Lizardlick doesn’t work anymore.