How to Build Your Own MAME Arcade Cabinet in 5 Easy Steps!

Posted by Austin Amusements on

How to Build Your Own MAME Arcade Cabinet in 5 Easy Steps!


Have you ever dreamed of having your very own arcade cabinet at home, packed with all your favorite classic games? Well, with the power of MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) and some DIY skills, you can bring that dream to life! In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of building your own MAME arcade cabinet in five easy steps. Get ready to relive the nostalgia of arcade gaming right in your living room!

Step 1: Planning and Design

The first step in building your MAME arcade cabinet is careful planning and design. Consider the available space, desired cabinet size, and the number of players you want to accommodate. Decide on the style and shape of the cabinet, keeping in mind the ergonomics and aesthetics. You can find numerous online resources and forums that provide free cabinet plans and design templates to guide you through this process. We also have flat packs available to purchase in bartops, cocktail cabinets and lowboy style. They are quick and easy to assemble. 

Step 2: Gathering Materials

Once you have a solid plan in place, it's time to gather the materials needed for your arcade cabinet. This includes medium-density fiberboard (MDF) or plywood for the cabinet structure, acrylic or glass for the monitor screen, joysticks, buttons, speakers, a power supply, and various cables. Shop Austin Amusements for all of your arcade parts, your defiantly come to the right place! Additionally, you will need a computer system that can run the MAME emulator software and store your game ROMs.

Step 3: Building the Cabinet

With the materials ready, it's time to bring your arcade cabinet to life. Begin by cutting the MDF or plywood pieces according to your design specifications. Assemble the cabinet using screws or other suitable fasteners. Create openings for the monitor screen, control panel, and access doors if necessary. Sand the surfaces and apply paint or laminate for a polished finish. Don't forget to add artwork and decals to give your cabinet an authentic arcade look.

Step 4: Wiring and Assembly

The next step is to wire up your arcade cabinet. Install the monitor, speakers, buttons, and joysticks according to your design. Connect the wiring harnesses, ensuring proper connections for the controls, audio, and power supply. Take your time to neatly organize the cables to avoid any potential issues. Test the functionality of all components to ensure everything is working correctly before proceeding to the final step.

Step 5: Installing MAME and Games

The last step is to install the MAME emulator software and load your favorite games onto the computer system inside the cabinet. Download the latest version of MAME from the official website and follow the installation instructions. Once installed, configure the emulator settings and map the controls to match your arcade cabinet layout. Obtain legal copies of game ROMs and place them in the appropriate folder. Launch the MAME emulator, select your game, and enjoy the arcade experience from the comfort of your own home!


Building your own MAME arcade cabinet is a rewarding project that allows you to relive the golden age of arcade gaming. By following these five easy steps, you can create a custom-made cabinet that fits your style and preferences. Remember to have fun during the process and don't hesitate to seek guidance from online communities and forums. Now it's time to gather your tools, unleash your creativity, and embark on an exciting journey to build the arcade cabinet of your dreams!

If you don't have the time to build your own arcade machine Austin Amusements will build it for you. Contact us with your machine requirements and we can send a quote.

Happy Gaming!

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