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How To Fix An Arcade Monitor (Most Common Issues)

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Games have improved a lot in recent years, but even with games improving, there is one thing that still happens. No matter how hard you try, it seems like your arcade monitor still will randomly stop working.

If you are reading this, your arcade monitor probably stopped working, or is randomly going black. Either way, we are here to help.

So how do you fix an arcade monitor that stopped working or is going black? 

The most common issues that you need to fix if your arcade monitor isn’t working are:

  • The power cord (running to the board)
  • Fuses
  • Output resistor
  • Capacitor
  • Replace the screen/monitor

Below are the common problems with an arcade monitor, and how they should be fixed. The other option is to watch this video and see how to fix your arcade monitor now instead of reading this article.

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If you have a game room (or want one) you have to check out this classic arcade game console that attaches directly to your TV.

This machine has classic arcade controls but hooks directly up to your big-screen TV so you can easily move it (even if you don’t have a dedicated game room).

Oh, and did I mention that it has 5,000 games built in that you can play anytime you like?!?!

How To Fix Common Arcade Monitor Issues

Now even though arcade machines are very durable they usually need maintenance. This is because most of the instruments tend to break after a while of being used.

One of these instruments is the monitor. It’s a common thing to see the monitor of the arcade machine fail or blackout after an arcade machine is not properly maintained.

The following tools are necessary to fix a black monitor

-Digital multi-meter

-Wire resistor

-Insulated alligator clips


-Good soldering iron

– Equivalent Series Resistance mater

Thus if the screen is blacked out you need to do the following things:

1. Check The Power Cables

 Is it functioning? You need to make sure that the cord that plugs into the wall is in good condition as well as the cord that runs from the monitor to the board (inside of the machine). With older arcade machines these cords can become frayed or damaged and the arcade monitor could just not work at all.

2. Check The Fuses

Fuses have a habit of blowing up or dying after a while. To do this, you’ll need a digital multimeter to check if there is current flowing.

3. Check The Horizontal Output Resistor

This will also be checked by a digital multimeter. The Horizontal Output Resistor is a victim to having a short which is why it can be the short that is causing it to not display properly.

Now if it’s the problem then it’s caused by the fly-back. Also, the fly-back can crack, but this is a small problem which can be fixed by buying a new fly-back.

4. Check The Capacitor 

If the capacitor malfunctions it’s very likely causing your monitor to blackout. The good news is that the capacitor can be replaced easily.

If the problem are still isn’t fixed then you’ll need to replace the screen, or take it in for repair at a shop.

What Makes Up An Arcade Machine?

Now an arcade machine contains the following parts

The T molding

This is trim that shields the wood edges of an arcade machine. The trim is usually made from plastic material and it’s available in many colors making your arcade machine customizable

The Monitor

This is the screen of the arcade. This is used to display the visual characters and the setup of the game. They vary in sizes from 19 inches, 25 inches and may even be as big as 35 inches.

This is the most essential part of the whole arcade machine. Since the model is old it uses the same mechanism as all other plasma screens which uses the Cathode Ray Tube

The Bezel

This is the part that is used to shield the monitor. The material is made from glass, cardboard or plastic depending on the design of the arcade machine.

This is also the part that contains the artwork of the games.

The Marquee

Just like the bezel, it’s a piece of plastic that contains the game name and its artwork. It is located on the top of the machine

The Side Art

This is the artwork that is seen on the sidewall of the game

The Control Panel

This is the panel that shields and covers the joystick and the buttons of the game.

The Coin Door

This is the place where all the played coins are stored. It contains a container which acts as a reservoir for the coins or tokens.

The Service Door

This is the place where you insert the token coins to buy you a round in the game.

The Speaker

This is the sound propagator of the game. It’s all where the music and sounds of characters are displayed.

What Makes Arcade Machines Unique?

They are for all ages! They are loved by the old, the young, the teenagers, the boys, the girls, the men, the women and everyone in between! There are a few other things that make them unique from other games. 

Those are:

They Are Simple To Play

Unlike PlayStation and any other modern games, arcade games only contain a couple of buttons. This means that their games have basic functions which makes them easy to play

They Are Competitive

I’m not saying other games are not competitive but modern games have shifted their focus into graphics and user experience. Thus they haven’t based so much on the competitive side.

If they incorporate it in the game it’s mainly online multi-playing which is connection dependent. Arcades have systems of high scores in which increase the competition of the game, and they don’t rely on the connection for multi-playing.

Arcades Are Cheap Compared To Modern Games

A PlayStation or Xbox may cost about 300 dollars and above depending on the kind of store and the package you purchase. Plus if you want to play online you will need to pay a monthly fee, as well as purchase any games you want to play.

This is the reason not everybody has a PlayStation, Xbox, or other modern consoles.

On the other hand, you only need a couple of quarters to play an Arcade game. With the money that you would use to buy a Playstation you would have been able to play arcade games for a whole year with money left over!

Now of course purchasing an arcade cabinet for your home will be at least $300 however, you can easily purchase one with a large variety of different games installed on the system for $300-500. With an Xbox or a Playstation you only get the console for the $300-$400 and then you have to purchase all of the game seperately.

With modern games running $40-60 (depending on how new they are) you can easily spend many hundreds of dollars just on getting a few games.

They Don’t Need Many Updates

Games like Xbox have already released more than 5 versions in which each console has its own games that you have to purchase. With consoles like this, you’ll have to keep upgrading to get the best experiences out of them.

Who wants to upgrade every year, and go through the hassle of selling your games only to buy them back for the new more expensive console?

With arcade machines you don’t have to constantly be purchasing the latest games as you can just choose different ones to play on the same machine for many many years.

You Don’t Have To Keep Buying New Games

In consoles, you have to purchase the disc or cartridge for every game you want to play which can be very expensive. On the other hand, you don’t have to worry about this with most arcade machines as you can buy machines that have many different games already preinstalled.

Online stores (like Amazon) even have arcade machines with hundreds or thousands of games that are already preinstalled.

Games in the digital age

Games started digital and with only two colors; those are black and white. Obviously they advanced into colors with the resolution being more pixelated.

With the rise of the Gameboy era things got even more advanced. After that the Gameboy era was beaten by Playstation (its era still stands to this day along with Xbox). 

Now we have even advanced into VR games (Virtual Reality) where a person can visualize and impersonate a character in a made-up world using special controls. There is always one game that seems to stand out in all eras and that is the arcade.

Arcade machines have been available ever since the 1970’s up until today. People all over the world challenge each other in arcade games through high scores. The best part about arcade games is that they never go out of fashion, and they are never discriminative.


Even though an arcade machine might be old fashioned, it is still pretty cool, and is very popular in certain parts of the world! The best thing is that you can play one of these with literally just a couple dollars a day. 

If a monitor does break, we hope you found the tools necessary to fix it by reading this article.