23 Must-Haves For the Ultimate Game Room: Family Fun Ideas

Different game room designs for the family

When you’ve finally had a room to spare, it’s never too late to set up that perfect game room you’ve always wanted. To kickstart your room transformation, we’ve listed the ultimate game room ideas to choose from. Game rooms are meant to be an engaging and lively space, and it’s best to maximize the space you have. But no matter how small or big, there’s always a fun activity available to fit your preferences.

Also, it’s a perfect bonding time with family and friends, so you’ll need to consider versatility and family-friendly games that interest you and your social circle. However, you can try adding a few unique and new games to spice up your room experience.

Key Takeaways: Must Have Elements For A Family-Friendly Fun Gaming Area

Games & Activities Tech & Entertainment Furniture & Seating Ambiance & Decor Convenience Features
Pool Table High-Definition Projector or Large-Screen TVs Comfortable Seating (recliners) Custom Lighting Snack Bar
Arcade Machines Gaming Consoles and VR Setup Bar Stools Decor and Themes Shelving and Storage
Board Game and Card Table Sound System Sofa Artwork/prints Wireless Charging Stations
Dart Board Karaoke Setup Area Rugs Scoreboards Mini-fridge
Foosball Table        
Air Hockey Table        
Golf Simulator        
Table Tennis        


If you’ve got the play room and want to create a cool room that will keep the adults and kids happy, here’s a few of our top picks to try.

Pool Table

Whether playing solo or with a partner, a pool table is a great way to unwind at the end of the day, and it’s a suitable game for the whole family or a group of friends. The basement area is a great place to set up a pool table, but any space with recommended room sizes:

7-foot Pool Table: 12 feet and 9 inches (12.75 feet) x 16 feet by 10 inches (16.83 feet)

8-foot Pool Table: 13 feet and 6 inches (13.5 feet) x 17 feet by 10 inches (17.83 feet)

9-foot Pool Table: 14 feet x 18.6 inches (18.5 inches)

Meanwhile, your pool table’s standard height ranges from 29.25 to 31 inches.

Pool table in loft room with high ceiling and clerestory windows

You’ll need to assign enough space around the pool area to access each ball. If you’ve got a column or a vertical pole along the way, you can still position your pocket against the pole, which is less obstructive and less likely for someone to position themselves when aiming your cue ball.

 For kids, you can have a mini billiard table with typical dimensions of 14.4 inches (36.5 cm) x 27.2 inches (69 cm) and a height of 23 inches (58.5 cm).

 You can utilize space by having multi-use equipment, such as a pool table that can be transformed into a table tennis table. You’ll find a lot of kids’ snooker pool tables that double as tennis tables.

Arcade Machines

From Space Invaders to Mortal Kombat, nothing beats the old-school games, and you’ll find these vintage gaming machines the perfect mood setter for a game room. If you have a large space, you can fill several types of arcade machines.

You do need to find a reliable supplier and arcade restorer in your area if you want to tweak or restore a secondhand arcade machine to its original state. Other arcade classics include Donkey Kong, Asteroids, Pac-Man, and Pinball. A more interactive type of game includes Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero.

For the standard sizes for single users, you’ll need a 22 x 25 inch or 550 square inch area with additional space for the user. Other dimensions: 

 Table Top Arcade – 23 x 19 inches, or 437 square inches with a height of 28 inches

 Two-Person Games – 74 x 68 inches or 419 square feet with a height of 72 inches (Driving Games)

Game room with computer console and neon backlights

Gaming Consoles and VR Setup

A game room is not complete without a gaming console, and you’ll find a wide range of video game categories to choose from. Gaming consoles such as Xbox, Switch, and PlayStation are the most popular types, each with features and brand exclusives.

For those who want to relieve their childhood days of playing old games, add the Game Boy, Odyssey, or a Family Computer for that nostalgic feel. You’ll find secondhand or pre-owned gaming consoles online that are still functioning well, though you may find a shop in your area that restores vintage gaming consoles.

Alternatively, you can simulate old gaming hardware with RetroPie, an operating system you can install on the Raspberry Pi computer. You will need to do some technical tinkering, though; it’s not as instant as the Xbox or Playstation. But if you can get it to work, you’re in gaming heaven.

The great thing about gaming consoles is that you can always switch or upgrade your devices if you feel like trying other games. Moreover, the availability of DLC or downloadable content allows you to have expansion programs for new characters and gaming features.

Adding a VR Setup encourages physical activity in your gaming room and can be easily paired with your popular gaming console brands. For instance, Wii Sports by Nintendo can be matched with a VR using an emulator. Tennis, golf, baseball, boxing and bowling are the common sports games the whole family can play.

Board Game and Card Table

Folding card table with green felt top

See this card table at Amazon [sponsored link]

Another mainstay for any game room is board games. Having a break from gadgets, you’ll find brain games, which are also a great way to bond with family or friends. Chess, scrabble, monopoly, Yahtzee, and Dungeons and Dragons are just a few of the classic dice, pen and paper, and board games.

You can also add a card table for a sectioned board game area. The table is usually round, so players can face one another. You’ll find preloved types of tables online as well as new and minimalistic designs.

The typical size of the board card table is 34 to 36 inches in diameter and usually accommodates 2 to 4 players, but you can go larger depending on the number of players needed. 

Dart Board

A friendly game can prompt a man cave night with friends. Dartboards are easy to install since they are lightweight and don’t take up much space, though you’ll need to install them on a wall where everyone can access them and have room to aim the target. The standard distance between your dart board and the aimer is 7 feet and ¼ inch, or 2.37 meters.

If you have young children like me running around, consider an electric dartboard or even a magnetic dartboard to help prevent injury. I purchased a magnetic model on Amazon for under $30 that looks like the real thing and is fun for all my family to play together.

Sports Bar Section

Sports bar with wine barrel countertop and team decor with beer taps

Like the nostalgic scene from your 90’s sitcom and movies, a sports bar section can be the heart of a game room area. Mount a TV screen on your Sports Bar. You can turn it on during poker night and catch a baseball game. You’ll also need bar stool seating and a bar counter.

A comfortable bar area has a counter width of 18 to 24 inches. Aside from your typical liquor and wine display, add framed chalkboard signage for snacks and a menu. Adding memorabilia such as sports-themed jersey shirts, table tennis rackets, or a poster of a favorite athlete or video game is a perfect man cave décor to your sports bar area.

Comfortable Seating

Brown club chair

See this club chair at Amazon [sponsored link]

Club chairs are a staple in game rooms, and you’ll find classic leather or corduroy finishes have that masculine appeal. However, you can get more modern versions or feminine versions of club chairs if you want to soften the look.

Tufted options are still popular, but you can get a wide range of other colors with the available faux leather. Other types of chairs you can add are recliners, bar stools (either counter-height or stadium size, or booth seating, which are typical in game rooms. You can distribute the seating areas according to different groups or activities. However, be sure that the seats face the TV or projector screen as much as possible.

If your room is large enough consider adding a sofa or sectional. When i upgraded my living room couch, I pulled the old one into the game room and didn’t worry so much about the occasional drink spilling.

Paint the Walls

A fresh coat of paint can totally transform your game room into an inviting hangout space. Select colors like bold red or neon green to energize the room’s mood. Painting dynamic shapes or focal walls in an accent color also livens up the aesthetic without going overboard.

When I painted my game room color I went with a Behr Peacock Tail (S-G-500) green/blue shade that is vibrant and uplifting. The good thing about this paint shade I really like is that it is both stain repellent and provides excellent scuff resistance. Other blue shades I considered were Sherwin-Williams Dynamic Blue (SW 6958), Behr Clear Sky (570F-4), and Sherwin-Williams Aquarium (SW 6767).

Beyond appearance, new paint makes the room feel clean and updated. It also covers any scuffs or imperfections accumulated over time. Painting gives you a chance to reorganize by moving furniture around. Just prep properly – clean walls, fill holes, tape trim – and use high quality primer and paint.

High-Definition Projector or Large-Screen TVs

HD projector with remote

See this HD projector at Amazon [sponsored link]

Having the latest model for your TV is a practical investment since it ensures you have the latest model and technological features.

Also, be sure to choose a television with good customer support, and that provides a warranty. Nowadays, smart television software can be updated online, which will help improve optimization and compatibility enhancement, especially when matching it with a game console.

Ultra HD or 4K Ultra HD TVs and OLED or Organic Light-Emittance Diode are the latest TV resolutions, with Ultra HD around 4x higher resolution than HD TVs.

The resolution of 4k TVs is 3840 x 2160, while your HD TV is 1920 x 1080 pixels. Along with the higher resolution is the inclusion of HDR, or High Dynamic Range technology, which features enhanced contrast and accuracy of colors.

Sports bar in room with pool table, long raised bar with barstools and leather sofa

Sound System

Aside from your typical speaker configuration, such as 5.1 and 7.1 sound surround systems, your sound system should be compatible with gaming modes if you plan to include gaming consoles.

Customizable EQ (equalization) settings, virtual surround sound, and wireless connectivity are other features you should consider. Along these are the acoustical features of the room. You may want to add acoustic panels and rugs. 

Garage with foosball table, basketball hoop and flat screen tv

Foosball Table

Regardless of age or background, you’ll find anyone who can love this indoor game. A quintessential game room or bar in the 90s is spruced up with a foosball table. Foosball was popular in almost any entertainment and gaming venue in the 1970s, and still today, you’ll see foosball lined up in malls and other entertainment areas.

Foosball is a perfect game for the family because it doesn’t take up as much space as many others like pool or shuffleboard. A foosball table usually can weigh an average of 360 pounds. 

 The standard size for foosball is 2.5 feet x 5 feet.

 Regulation size is 29 to 30 inches in width x 54 to 56 inches in length with 34 to 36 inches in height. 

 Kids’ size for foosball is 2.5 feet x 4 feet, with 2.5 feet height to make it reachable.

Air Hockey Table

Mini air hockey table

See this air hockey table at Amazon [sponsored link]

A fun and simple table game is an air hockey table, and like a foosball table, the whole family can enjoy it. Two players are needed in air hockey, but you can have three or four players as well. Just like hockey, air hockey’s goal is to hit the puck to the opponent’s goal, so you need to block any puck that may be thrown into your goal.

The sizes range from top to full size. There are 6 sizes in total. The classifications are tabletop, mini, small, home, regulation, and full-size. The smallest is 3 feet by 1 foot 6 inches, and the widest is 8 feet by 4 feet. Most air hockey tables weigh 380 pounds. 

Custom Lighting

Exotic neon lighting in man cave with billiards

Find the right lighting layout based on the activities to be done in your game room. Layering lights or placing different types of lighting fixtures strategically makes the lighting more functional. Along with strategic lighting, you may want to go with a theme. Moody lights are great for a cinema-like feel which have dim or dark areas in contrast with warm lights. 

Also, consider users when assigning lighting in your game room. For instance, having neon lights may not be comfortable for everyone in the family. 

Decor and Themes

With so many ideas for game rooms, it can be an overwhelming experience to decide which items or styles to go with. However, if you’ve got a theme in mind, you can easily pick the items and games to include in your design.

You can choose to be inspired by a single item you presently have, such as a game you love. Add accessories and decor that match the theme such as pictures, wall clocks, or even mementos displayed in a glass cabinet or open shelf.

Entertainment room with snack bar and red felt billiards table

Artwork & Poster Prints

Game rooms offer the perfect blank canvas to liven up with eye-catching artwork. Prints and posters featuring favorite games, characters, or fun TV show or movie franchises make ideal decorative pieces to showcase your interests. They add pops of color to potentially all-neutral walls and give guests something fun to talk about.

Artwork also personalizes the space with things you love versus generic decor. It provides great conversation starters for fellow gaming fans who recognize the characters or scenes depicted. This helps transform an ordinary room into a more inviting gaming hub reflecting your personality.

When we moved into our house I had a bunch of unused prints of Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Space Invaders and Centipede in the garage. I decided to pull these out and add them to the wall above our gaming console which helped create a fun environment. We creating your space think about the them you want to go for and a few touches like this can really help give a theme to the space you or your family will enjoy.

Snack Bar

Designing a snack bar is fun, and you’ll find that a small area is enough for a cool and fun snack bar. You can mimic the look of a food booth found in cinemas such as adding popcorn, candy dispensers, mini ref, and more. Wall decals, movie posters and vintage logos of classic brands such as Coca-Cola are great ideas to set the mood in a game room, especially if you add a movie area in your game room.

A center island can be used as an informal snack area. In homes with a single dining area, this snack bar essential replaces the breakfast room. – Home Plan Doctor: The Essential Companion for Anyone Buying a Home Design Plan, Larry W. Garnett

Moreover, snack bars are essential for gamers and when binge-watching your favorite TV shows, as you don’t need to run to your kitchen for snacks. A snack bar is practical with rooms that are farther away from the kitchen, such as layouts located in the basement or another level or building as your kitchen.


Having snacks and drinks on hand is key for marathon gaming sessions. Rather than pausing the fun for frequent kitchen runs, keep refreshments fully stocked in your own game room mini-fridge.

Strategically placed right by the gaming setup, a compact refrigerator allows you to grab a cold soda or water during intense multiplayer showdowns. No need to lose focus trudging around the house and risking defeat.

Store an array of gamer fuel like energy drinks, sports drinks, sodas, juices, and water. Keep the trash talk and victories flowing with chip bags, candy, fresh fruit, and other easy snacks on ice.

With a mini-fridge in your gaming HQ, breaks are quick and painless. Refuel and hop right back into the action without ever powering down. Keep energy and spirits high for all-night quests and tournaments. More gaming, less walking.

Wireless Charging Stations

Many gaming peripherals are powered by batteries, so having a wireless charging station is going to be a must. A game, if online, can’t stop, so you must keep going. Fiddling with plugs in a dimly lit room is not advisable, too, so your only option is a wireless charging station. Just be aware that wireless charging is slower than wired.

Shelving and Storage

Wood grain rectangular CD rack storage

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Even though most video games today are bought and downloaded, old games on DVDs still exist, especially those in the retro gaming community, and nothing can be more frustrating than trying to find your favorite, and you can’t find it.

Was it left in the CD tray? Where in this dim gaming room is it? Having a proper shelving unit is a great way to keep things organized. Keep games on display for convenience as well.

If you have a budget to a lot for customized cabinets or shelving, it’s a better choice, as you can utilize enough space with ergonomics in mind. Customized shelves allow you to choose the right dimension that works for your use. 

Golf Simulator

Large projector screen golf simulator with faux turf

See this golf simulator at Amazon [sponsored link]

Need to practice that swing without the risk of shattering a window? A gaming room doesn’t need to only involve games where you sit and your fingers are all that get exercise from the controller. 

Practice golf in your gaming room by building a golf simulator set-up. There are dozens of vendors selling the whole kit. Just make sure you have the space for it. The kit is relatively inexpensive, and for what you get in return, you can make the most of your investment from such a simple set-up.

The fun part is it’s real. You play by using a real club and golf ball, not a controller. Swing the club like a pro and hit the fabric in front of you. For a typical setup, you will need a projector that will project a golf course onto the fabric.

The ball will bounce back, but in the virtual world, a camera will follow your ball until it lands on the ground or drives into a hole. You can play all day. It’s a clever way to merge real-world games into the digital.

Table Tennis

A popular game and an international sport right inside your house. Play table tennis with your friends and loved ones and learn to be social. That fast-paced action can also help build your cardio and reflexes if you feel like you need to work on those. Stay fit while having fun.

Tennis is an amazing game that relies on fast reflexes, endurance, and speed. If you have all three or think you need to work on any of them for your personal growth, then this game is for you. Just be careful to pace yourself and not go overboard.

 Regular types of table tennis are 9 feet (2.74 meters) in length and 5 feet (1.525 meters) in height.

Karaoke Setup

If you are more of a performer, and maybe singing is your forte, a karaoke setup is perfect for you. You don’t need a band to perform alongside you, and you are off singing your favorite tunes. Just sing for your enjoyment or do it with competition.

Durable Flooring

Choose durable materials for your game room. Your flooring, for instance, should be able to withstand the wear and tear of activities in your game room. A good option is brick flooring, luxury vinyl tiles, carpet or porcelain tiles. 

If you have an area that is high traffic and gets a lot of action, using a durable and washable area rug can help prevent spills from damaging the floor. I have a stain-resistant Ruggable in our space and its been a game-changer. This rug is made from polyester, that has a coating of polyurethane that makes it repel liquid. If you buy one make sure to avoid washing them in hot water or using high heat to dry them off.

room with wood corner bookshelves in shape of cubes

Bookshelf with Game Guides and Books

You can expand your collection by also including gaming magazines. Remember those? Magazines like Computer Gaming World? If you’ve read any of those in your younger years, they’re a good source of nostalgia when you don’t feel like gaming. Reading old articles about video games for old-time’s sake is a fun treat.

It’s crazy since video game demos used to exist back in the day. For the uninitiated, game demos are cut-down versions of a full thing before release, and they work if you have the right system. It’s quite a contrast to what video games are today, supposedly finished but still buggy, but that’s a whole topic for another day.

If you still have a working computer from the old days, you can fire up those demos for fun. Anyway, you can store game demo CDs on shelves, too.

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