Foosball vs. Air Hockey: Which is Better?

These days, table games like Foosball and Air hockey tables both offer a portable form of home entertainment for people to leisure these games at the comfort of their homes. They have become a means of holding parties, organizing get together among friends and as means of the whole family spending some quality time together ditching their smartphones or laptop screens for a change. When people get together to play these games they not just have fun but they enjoy the time bonding with their loved ones at a decent affordable cost.

It is especially good for people who do not enjoy outdoor games as much to invest in these game tables to be comfortable with the indoor gaming at their own comfort level and timing. Both the games of Foosball and Air hockey have become especially popular over recent years due to their depiction in movies and TV series. The people have opened up to the idea of owning gaming tables and using these games as means of entertainment, social engagements to invite friends and guests over or to just involve the kids in some physical activity to keep them off the smartphones and laptop screens from time to time.

This article might not provide you with a clear choice of which game amongst foosball and air hockey are the best because to be honest that is a very subjective thought and can vary from person to person depending upon their own unique perspectives and interests. But, as we proceed through our article you will find a variety of details about both that will help you sway your decision for one of the options after understanding what type of player you are.

If by the end of the article, which describes in exhaustive details about the good and the bad features of both the games, you are still unable to decide which among foosball and air hockey is the right game for you, then you can get yourself a combination table of both the games for your complete dose of entertainment.

What type of games best suit the best for each type of player?

For the people who love the games that challenge their brains, involve some strategy and get highly competitive and intense in a matter of seconds; foosball is a much sought after choice. The game renders the extra advantage of socializing more as it can be played by two to four people at the same time. This is a game to challenge your friend and your own brain to strategize and plan ahead keeping an eye on defending your goal post while at the same time scheming to score against your opponent.

Air hockey though requires a lot of spontaneous movement, it is more casual and easy-going as compared to air hockey. You don’t really need to build an elusive strategy to win the game. So, this game is more suitable for people who like some something not too complicated. This game is light and breezy so the players don’t get frustrated if they don’t get the hang of the game. This is the game to play if you want to just relax, vent out some work pressure, need a quick refreshing of mind or just let out the steam of the hard and tiring day at work.

What Advantages has One Over the Other?

Foosball is a multi-player game. It can be enjoyed easily with a group of friends whereas air hockey can entertain a maximum two at a time. Air hockey needs continuous electricity and hence may not available to play when the power is out. Foosball needs a bit of maintenance like oiling of rods and proper cleaning which can be a bit of a hassle for some. The small figurines are also prone to damage if handled with too much enthusiasm in the heat of the game or recklessly.

Air hockey table can’t be pulled outdoors to enjoy out in the open if it rains, because the rainwater will not only damage the electric table but will add friction to the table.

Which one is Hardest?

Air hockey is more based on the reflexive and spontaneous responses of the players of the game. It doesn’t require much planning, so it is not something that is packed with action and is more apt for the casual player. In air hockey, you are on your own. You don’t get help from any person, it’s just you on your team versus your opponent.

Foosball is a game of skill that needs both the opponents to be equally good at the game to make it more interesting and competitive at the same time. The game challenges the brain and stimulates the players with oozing energy levels. If you are playing in a group, the games need proper coordination and cooperation among the players to ensure a win.

So in that sense, foosball offers a skill curve that ranks a bit higher than the one offered by the air hockey game. You can get better at both games with time but the intricacies and depth levels that a foosball game might offer will always be lacking in that of an air hockey game.

Which one is more sociable?

The game of foosball needs a minimum of 2 and can accommodate a maximum of 4 players at a time. It can easily be converted to a team game just in the same spirit as that of the actual field game of soccer. This game can be played by individuals and by making teams and mixing them up. Thus it offers a choice to a group of friends to enjoy the quality time together without having to feel the pain of being left out or getting bored. So, foosball ranks up to a little higher as far the social engagement meter goes.

Air hockey at the very maximum can be stretched to 2 players at a time. This might create some alienation for the other people who are not actually playing and are left as the mere spectators of the game. The wait itself might be tiring and induce boredom. The people could stand around and cheer for the players but they themselves can’t really add much value to the game as the game does not really need much tactics or strategy.

Foosball Tables

Foosball is possibly that one game that might have been made more popular among the worldwide audience because it was played by “Chandler & Joey”, two of the very famous characters in one of the most epic TV shows of all time; Friends. Loosely based on field soccer, the game is just like a portable soccer game in itself.

Foosball is a fast-paced game that is not only fun but brings out the competitive side in you. So it’s more relished by the people who want something intense, something engrossing, fast and competitive but fun all the way. This game is more complex and strategic as the person playing is dealing with the handling of a lot of players at the same time keeping an eye on the ball, defending your goal and at the same time planning a strategy to score a goal against your opponent. So, this is a game for people who can manage both the intensity as well as the logical tactic of the game, people who are looking to challenge their brain.

Pros of a Foosball game table:

  • Since they are a lot smaller in size as compared to a pool table, they can be easily installed in game rooms that are a little constricted when it comes to occupying space.
  • They are also a little light on the pocket as compared to other table games. They are cheap enough for the budget buyers to add something in their homes for that occasional dose of entertainment.
  • The tabletop versions that allow 2 to 4 players to play along not just provide more participation options but is still a much cheaper bet against other games.
  • If you are ready shilling out more money, the tables offer the choices of your favorite teams and players or you may also get it customized to make the players resemble your own family and friends.
  • The best part is that you don’t really have to take the hassle of setting up the game table every time you wish to play the game. You just get the ball to the center and voila, the game can begin.
  • Since the game allows up to 4 players to play together, this is a more sociable game. It gives you the flexibility to mix and match players and team people up while assigning different rods to each.
  • If you are planning to throw in an outdoor party, you can easily bring out your table and set it up in your garden. You don’t have to worry even if it starts to rain midway, the table or its components won’t get damaged and you can continue to play the game without having to worry about pulling the table inside.
  • The game involves a lot of logical approach and motor skills for your fingers. All in all, it will challenge the brain on a routine basis.
  • This game is not just a game for homes. It can be the absolute life of the parties and owning the table is just as easy to afford as it is to maintain.

Cons of a Foosball game table:

  • It might not be suitable if you want to engage more than 4 people at the same time. So, if you have a large group of friends, this might not be the ideal game for you as in this game you can involve a maximum of 4 people at one go.
  • The size of the table is small and hence more people would mean more crowding around the table and preventing the others from spectating or reveling in the game. Other people might feel left out or get bored out of their senses having to have wait for their own respective turns.
  • This is a game of careful coordination and requires good observation skills together with eye and hand movement coordination. If someone doesn’t get a hang at this, the game might feel a little frustrating or difficult to play at the initial level. If someone is good at the game and his partner is not, the other player might feel a little irritated because he would get a lot of instructions and reprimands for every wrong move he makes. So it’s very important for all players to be equally skilled at the game to enjoy the game to its fullest.
  • A lot of small parts in the game makes it difficult to maintain and requires regular oiling and maintenance for the best output. The upkeep not only adds to the physical hassle but add an extra dent in your pocket over and above your capital investment, every time something gets damaged.
  • Foosball game table balls are easy to misplace and very prone to getting lost. You need to buy some extra packets every time you planning on a party because balls will be lost, stepped on, break from being hit too hard during the peak of the thrill of the game. If the puck gets battered too badly by its edges, it doesn’t really sway that smoothly over the game table to provide you with the perfect gaming experience.
  • Similarly, the metal rods get jammed up with regular playing or they might hurt your hands if not handled with care. The rubber ends of the rods used as a grip to play, get torn and worn out after some time which looks bad in appearance and puts extra strain on your hands every time you play the game.
  • The figurine players might also get damaged if handled a little more enthusiastically in the passion of the game and replacing them might be a costly affair and at the same time inconvenient for some.

Air Hockey Tables

Just like field soccer, air hockey gets its resemblance from the game of field hockey, the exception here is that this game is played between just two players. Playing this game is fairly easy and doesn’t require much logic or attention. Thus, even a 3-year-old can play the game with much ease.
This is a game for adults and kids alike. The game in itself is pretty dynamic and will push even the laziest of us to move about a hundred muscles in just a single game aiding to your physical workout for the day. If played over on a daily basis, you would feel that the muscles of your arm will feel more sensation in them and you will feel more active and light besides getting fit in a fun way.

The main shortcoming of the game is that it takes some time for installation and might take up a lot of space if you are looking for a full-size table. Also, since it is powered by electricity, might not be an ideal game if the power is out besides adding to the cost of electricity bill.

Pros of Air hockey:

  • The tables of Air Hockey come in a varied range of sizes so as the user can select the one as per the space available at their place. There are tables in the market to engage the kids in some sort of physical activity and then there are full-fledged tables that can fill up your entire space for that ultimate feel of a gaming room.
  • Even the tabletop offers a lot of variety thus providing a lot of options in case you have the problem of compact spaces. They come in varied colors and designs to match them to your room décor.
  • It’s easily installable and can be moved, packed up and stored inside in case you are not using it for a while or just want to clear up some temporary space for any urgent engagement. 
  • The lights and the buzz timer display screens scores make it fun and add a little thrill and excitement to the game. The players feel that drop of the hat chill in their blood to finish and win the game before the timer is up.
  • The game doesn’t have too many rules and it’s fairly easy to play even for a novice and hence even the young players can enjoy the game as it doesn’t involve much tactical approach or logical strategy. The game is a casual sport to be enjoyed without applying too much stress on the brain muscles or the body.
  • The game requires quick responses and impulse movements which need quick thinking. It’s not a game of random luck if you understand the positions and striking and defending strategies. The game stimulates the brain to react spontaneously but in a planned approach at the same time.

Cons of Air Hockey:

  • If you are going for a full-size sturdy air hockey table it might be really expensive and will need some generous space as well to fit the room which might be a bad alternative for a budget shopper or might not leave much space to fit any other games. The smaller tables are generally too small to enjoy a decent game for the adults.
  • A tabletop air hockey table doesn’t even have space for spectators to watch the game let alone play it. Only a full-size table will give the spectators the privilege to view the game but in both the options the total number of players you can engage at a point of time is limited to two only. So the game doesn’t do much to help engage a group of friends.
  • If you thus have a large group of friends, barring the two players actually playing, the others are either going to get tired to wait for their turn or get bored while the two other friends play the game. This might thus, not be a very good option in case you have organized a social event for people to mingle and enjoy each other’s company.
  • One more very frequent problem with air hockey is that people keep knocking off the pucks off the table which makes it vulnerable to not just getting damaged but getting lost in floor vents, out the window and whatnot.
  • There is fan system installation in the air hockey table which if not properly cleaned or maintained can break which in turn will lead to expensive replacements and repair costs. The fan system is quite sensitive and will need a lot of investment on your part if it gets damaged beside the hassle of maintenance.
  • Adding to that, the table runs on electricity which might add up to the cost of the overall game table. There are no- electric tables present in the market but they are not half as fun as the electric ones are. There are also battery-operated options available in the market but then there is the hassle of frequently changing the batteries which are also an added extra cost over and above the initial investment.
  • The table is quite heavy and needs a power source, hence if it rains the tabletop will feel resistance from the raindrops and the puck would not slide and it might as well mess up with the whole game table. You will have to immediately pull up the table inside to prevent the damage. So, this game is not so ideal when it comes to outdoors.

Despite all the pros of a foosball game, it wouldn’t be wrong to recognize here that air hockey is the more popular game out of the two. The reason being it’s easier to play and soccer isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Also, the game does not require you to plan and strategize by exercising your brain muscles every time you just want to play a casual game and enjoy the break. Though, with time the game has evolved and become quite popular enough to garner tournaments of its own all over the world. Also being a bit tricky, doesn’t necessarily mean that people will ditch foosball in the name of complexity. For some, this might actually be a trigger to choose foosball over the other game because it has got this challenging sound to it. 

Each game table has its own list of pros and cons. It’s up to the player’s discretion for which game he is ready to outweigh one’s pros over its cons. Every player should carefully and closely weigh in and compare all the aspects of each of the game to make a totally informed choice of which games best suits his interests and personality. The investment that goes in buying these game tables is huge and so is the latter upkeep and maintenance of the same. 

So one needs to look at a long term perspective before purchasing these. In the end, he should listen to his heart to which game it feels more connected to, what kicks in the enthusiasm in him and what feels more fun to play as per his needs. Then he should just go and buy that one to up the level of entertainment in his life.