If you’re new to air hockey or haven’t looked closely at some of the current air hockey tables available in the market, you might be wondering whether the game needs to be plugged in.
After all, it’s an essential factor you need to consider before making a purchase since most air hockey tables aren’t cheap. There’s no definite answer, but it’s a ‘yes’ for most.
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The popularity of air hockey tables has caused gaming table manufacturers to deviate from the classic full-sized electronic game. While there are plenty of tournament-standard tables available, there are several other kinds, too.
You can get tables that are battery-powered or ones with a power cable that needs plugging in. There are portable ones and others as heavy as a hundred lbs or more. There are even coin-operated ones meant for gaming zones.
Most air hockey tables, however, need to be plugged in to a power outlet.
What kinds of air hockey tables can operate without being plugged in?
Battery-operated air hockey is usually a tabletop version of the game, small and portable enough to carry and play on the go if you need. However, not all tabletop air hockey tables need batteries.
Some popular ones like the Rally and Roar Tabletop Air Hockey game can function only when plugged in to a power outlet.
The power that air hockey tables require mainly goes towards operating the motor that forms an air cushion over the playing surface.
The fan blows air through the holes of the playing surface. This is supposed to enable the pucks to glide smoothly between players.
Many customers find battery-operated tables to be lacking in terms of this airflow. Those with higher ratings require as many as 6 to 8 batteries that need to be replaced every now and then.
The Hey! Play Mini Arcade Air Hockey table is one such option if you need a product with decent airflow and no plug-in option.
ShouId I buy a battery-powered air hockey table or a plug-in one?
Whether you choose a battery-operated air hockey table or a plug-in one totally depends on your preferences. The primary factor to consider is portability. Many people like the option of taking along these gaming tables while traveling, such as on camping or picnics. They don’t like being dependent on a power outlet to play the game.
A battery-operated table of moderate size and weight could be ideal in such cases. Removable or foldable legs (if it isn’t a tabletop game) can further aid portability, so look for such features if you need to play air hockey on the go.
If you only need a table for home use and are looking for a full-sized, arcade-style gaming experience, steer clear of battery-operated tables. Plug-in tables generally do better in terms of avoiding friction and dead spots on the playing surface.
What precautions are necessary when using an electric air hockey table?
Air hockey tables need some care on your part if you want them to last long and stay risk-free. Some precautions are related to general safety measures for electronic objects, while others are due to the unique design and functionality of air hockey tables.
You can make your air hockey gaming experience smooth and problem-free by taking care of the following:
- Power consumption: A standard-sized air hockey table can consume over 200 Watts. You should always switch it off when you’re done playing. Some tables may not have an on/off switch, so pull out the plug if you’re not using them.
- Damage: Air hockey tables need qualified service providers in case of damaged power cords, spillage of drinks on the playing surface, fallen objects into the fan, noisy fan, or abnormally weak or strong airflow. Avoid opening or removing covers and trying to repair them yourself, for both your and the table’s safety.
- Power cord protection: Avoid overloading extension cords and power outlets to protect from electric shocks and fire. Keep the power cord tucked into a corner to avoid damage from heavy object placement or foot traffic.
- Cleaning: Make sure to keep your table’s blower on while cleaning. This will prevent any dust or cleaning material from getting into the holes as you wipe. A vacuum cleaner can be a great choice for cleaning an air hockey table if you make sure to keep the nozzle slightly away from the laminate surface to avoid scratching it.
Plug or battery, you’re in for an exciting time if you have a good-quality air hockey table at hand. If you haven’t purchased one yet, look at the specifications before deciding which one to buy. Your budget, allotted space for the table, gaming preferences, and age group, etc., will determine the right product for you. Happy striking!