Picture of Arcade Cabinet - Play arcade games old skool
Rio - The Make Class Blog

This instructable is for those of you who like to game but missed or want to relive the times where those addictive coin sucking machines were on top of the game food chain.

There are a couple of instructables about arcade cabs already but none of them are like the classic style, two player, street fighter cabinets which I think are the most versatile and fun to have. Also this is made by a student without a lot of money making it a bit more accessible. (Not everyone has access to a metal workshop)

I'll explain it in three parts focusing on different sections of the cab. These are, the computer, the controls and the cabinet itself. Note that, just like all instructables, you do not have to follow my exact steps. There is a lot of room for customization. Therefore the cab i've made is not very esthetically pleasing. Not yet anyway, it's still a work in progress.

If you need more clarification or maybe an extra photo or something just add a comment.

Maybe i'll just shut up and get on with it then.

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Step 1: Computer - The stuff i used

Picture of Computer - The stuff i used
I imagine that you guys are mostly interested in gaming so I'll just start where i started, the games.

These day's it's not uncommon to have an old spare computer somewhere in the house and if you don't have one it's easy to get one. The emulator the computer is going to run is MAME, Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. In order to get some kind of performance it is recommended that you at least have a

Pentium III processor
256 MB of RAM
a dedicated graphics card ( anything from the NVidia GeForce2 and up, or comparable ATI card will do)

As always the better your system specs, the better your games will run. But the operating system of choice will also be a factor.

I went for performance and grabbed my old and trusted Sony VAIO.
It has a
Pentium IV - 2.4 GHz
1024 MB of RAM
NVidia GeForce4 MX 440

This is overkill i know but i did it anyway.
Especial because i will be running a Linux distribution on it.

The next few steps will not have any pictures because there just isn't much to see. If you really want some screen captures just ask and I'll add it as soon as possible.
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darkphotn6 years ago
How the heck did you get Street Fighter III to work on MAME? Amazing tutorial.
street fighter III asia (NO CD) is the one that works if you use the latest mame version.
themakeclass (author)  darkphotn6 years ago
SFIII just worked with me, although i have 4 versions of which one only worked. Not the US one.
boom12343 years ago
Can u please send me the plans at ???
seabananers4 years ago
57th :P

Frizzka4 years ago
I wish I had a home, instead of a computer
would really like the plans thanks, awesome instructable
games didnt work,i used marvel vs capcom on windows.went to cmd and typed in C:\mame\roms\ and it says the directory is invalid...
and are u sure, u have your file in that directory?
888hilly4 years ago
I gotta admit it... I saw a Centipede arcade in my local arcade. It kinda made me sad that I got the high score easily, whicch meant that nobody played it, but it was easily the funnest and the most long lasting game in the arcade. I seriously think that arcades waste your money nowadays
Tomcat944 years ago
I'm making my own using an old pc running linux. My cabinet was drawn out, then blown up to size. Its based off the Ms. Pacman/ Galaga cabinet model. If anyone wants the plans, feel free to contact my gmail (

BTW Awesome Instructable. :)
JMS-25 years ago
You know, I love how Player Start buttons resemble bathroom signs. Makes sense.
Great instructable!
antienoob5 years ago
i would also like the plans
Mr. Rig It6 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
Sorry everyone, I lost the plans when the Hard drive crashed, there are some others out there that have the plans. I sent them out to quite a few people. Sorry.
yer send them to plz, ty.
I'd love a copy of your plans. Thanks a lot!
mvvd Mr. Rig It5 years ago
themakeclass (author)  Mr. Rig It6 years ago
Why don't you make an instructable out of it. Let me know and I'll reference it in mine.
can i have them 2 please
Can i have them too? thanks
can i have them 2
yes i'll send them to you.
Thank you that is very generous, but the plans are only for an arcade cabinet. I already have 10 ible projects lined up and don't have the time or space. I just thought if you wanted to build another cabinet I coiuld give you the plans. I didn't create the plans they are by someone else I found them a few years ago.
please... thankyou!!
could send them to me also
same here gmail rocks
I will love to receive your plans. My email is Thanks!
Hey, can you email me those plans that you mention please :) My email is Thanks
I too would like a copy of your cab plans. I am a draftsman and I'm always interested in such. Not to mention I'm a huge MAME fan. My e-mail is Thanks in advance.
could u also e-mail me those plans at that would be awesome :D i have home drawn plans but i need more ideas...
antienoob5 years ago
hay i live in australia so were do i go to get this stuff.?
Charles IV5 years ago
For Windows users, you can make the MAME program start on startup by going to: Start; Control Panel, Performance and maintenance, Scheduled Tasks, Add Scheduled Task, click browse then find your frontend program and select the option "When my computer starts"
Ikuruga5 years ago
Nevermind I found it.
Ikuruga5 years ago
Could you refer me to the page on where you found the I-Pac VE, i've looked for it, but can't find it.
dogboy124576 years ago
what year is the computer
max11316 years ago
lol there's a Orange Box in the picture :D
Awesome Instructable. I especially like how you point out Windows' limitations subtly throughout the tutorial. That's a really hot arcade you have now.
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