Foosball table types and purposes: Which one you’d like to get?
You’ll need to choose wisely because this is a significant purchase. In terms of indoor or outdoor use: If you only want for indoor, then that’s fine, but if you do intend to move it outside occasionally, go for an all-weather table that’s approved and built for exterior use.
Before you choose your foosball table, learn more about this game. Start with our findings on whether Foosball Is a Sport at all.
In terms of setup and gameplay: Counterbalanced men are essential for serious level gameplay. Decent ball returns will be really important to some people. Weight is a factor for good gameplay. Good leveling legs also make life much easier. Hollow or steel rods is a consideration, as we’ll discuss in this guide. The option to add and remove goalies makes the table more accessible to a wider range of players. You can also invest in an LED foosball table that will garantee a fair contest when the lighting in the room is not perfect.
If you want to make an area multi-purpose you can get a foosball coffee table or a foosball table that can be used on the surface of an existing table in the house and removed when not in use. In that case, you’ll want to look for a table-top version and there are lots of those out there. The best tabletop foosball table for you will be much as it is the case with a standing version, in that once you narrow down the options to table-top, just prioritize the features on those tables that you need.
You may also want to have an open area that’s for multi-usage. If that’s the case, then folding tables are a great way to go and they’re available in many types and for different budgets. Because a foosball table is big, folding legs can be a very useful ability to have and the table can easily be stored flat when not in use.
Learn more about what Types of Foosball Tables exist.
How much space do you need for a foosball table?
The main thing to remember when you’re looking for a foosball table for a specific site within your house is that you are definitely going to need an area that’s considerably larger than the actual table footprint. You are way better having more space than you need than not having quite enough room. A full-size foosball table measures approximately 60 inches by 30 inches, but please be in mind of the fact that the space you’re going to need to site the foosball table isn’t limited to that. You’ll need to allow plenty of extra space around your foosball table in order to ensure that there is enough room for sufficient movement of the rods and enough space for all of the players to move safely and have some fun without fear of injury or being impeded by anything.
But if you’re going to be buying a full-size foosball table, remember to allow at the very least an area of 10 feet by 5 feet
Many people don’t realize that hardcore foosball gameplay is extremely active and that the worst thing that can happen is for the situation to be a cramped one. It’s kind of like trying to play pool when the walls are too close, and someone has tried to cram a table into a space that’s not quite big enough. It gets very annoying when you have to raise and lower your cue and you can’t quite get a shot off properly. Well, foosball in a confined area is a bit like that, except at 100 miles per hour. Another important factor to consider when deciding which foosball table to place where is that you really do not want anything breakable and expensive anywhere near the vicinity of a game or a table – because unwanted breakages will inevitably happen.
The best approach is to err well and truly on the side of caution and to give yourself the best area and the best chance to ensure that not only will games be great amounts of fun, you’ll also not be getting into too much trouble for trashing any furniture or smashing anything too expensive. Allow too much, rather than too little room, and everything should go pretty smoothly.
Does foosball table weight matter?
Because a foosball table sees plenty of animated gameplay and things can, by the very nature of games, get extremely competitive, weight matters a heck of a lot. It’s a very big deal and it will affect your playing experience more than you might initially think. The last thing you want when you’re playing a game of foosball is for the table to tilt because this can ruin a game by giving a distinct advantage to one or another player and it’s absolutely against the rules of foosball for a player to deliberately tilt during play.
You’ll find that lighter tables will not only make playing less enjoyable, but they’ll also cause endless arguments too because it’ll often be unclear whether or not a tilting action was deliberate.
A table that weighs more than 175 pounds, like the Tornado Tournament 3000 or the Warrior Professional tables, is far less likely to move or tilt during more animated foosball gameplay so look for the weight ratings of different tables when you’re looking around in order to buy one. It’s tempting to think about the logistics of moving and setting the table up when you’re considering weight – and shipping costs can also be a factor in that decision if you let them prey on your mind. However, weight can also be a reliable signal in terms of the quality of the building materials of the table, as with furniture items and with so many other things that we buy
Don’t under any circumstances let weight influence your thinking with regard to shipping and logistics because the only time you should be letting weight enter your thoughts when you’re looking to buy a foosball table is with regard to match playing and stopping or reducing instances of the table tilting or moving and ruining your playing experience. This is the best advice we can give you regarding weight.
Revisiting build quality and materials, when you’re looking at a table that weighs 175 pounds or more, it’s likely that the walls are going to be on the thicker side, and that the playing surface is going to be fabricated from heavier and better material too. Extra weight will also be a result of the framing materials being made of thicker materials and in that case, the whole construction and feel of the foosball table is going to be stronger. It’s always preferable to be seeking out a weightier table because more lightweight foosball tables are likely to be flimsier, far less sturdy build.
Sturdy and durable construction
Sturdy is king when it comes to foosball tables. These things take a lot of abuse and if they’re built for foosball, then they’re built very well – that’s the simple fact of the matter and there’s just no getting around that. If you go for a table that has inferior build quality, then because of the physical nature of the game, your experience absolutely will suffer for the relatively small saving in the cost that you’ll make. It’s a little like buying a truck – in that, if you intend to go off-road, there’s no point buying something cheaper, and cheaper because it’s not as tough and durable because you’ll know the first time you hit the dirt. Go for heavier and sturdier.
Playing rods and handles
Rods get more important the more seriously you take your foosball playing. The way they’re made and what they’re made from affects the speed of your game and the power you’ll be able to produce when you’re striking the ball. A lot of players automatically assume that solid steel rods are the best way to go with foosball gameplay, but you’ll be better off with hollow rods because they spin much freer and faster. Hollow rods make for far less resistance, and so you’ll find that when made from good quality steel, hollow rods are the way to go – every time.
No matter what action you’re performing – going for goal or defending and clearing the ball back upfield, if you can get the rod to spin much more quickly, it’ll give you way more power. Handles are also a very important consideration when selecting a table. What you do not want under any circumstances is for your handle to spin or move on the rod when you’re going for intricate control movements, defending your own half of the field, or trying to power a shot home. Good quality rubber or even wooden handles are the premium choices with foosball rods, and make sure that the glue or method of fixing is secure to the rod – or you’re just not going to perform as well or as accurately as you can, and the handle may let you down at a crucial moment.
Make sure you know all about Foosball Shots (the famous Snake Shot in particular) and Foosball Defense – these articles will help you nail it.
Foosball men and goalie configuration
When you start looking at foosball tables, you’ll notice that there are three goalkeepers on some rods and only one goalkeeper on other rods – it differs from table to table. There are a few different reasons for this, and one factor is the location of where the foosball table was manufactured. European tables, like the Garlando table, usually have just the one goalie, although that is not exclusively so. American tables tend to usually have three goalies. The two different configurations heavily influence the type of game you’re likely to have because you’re going to get fewer goals with three shot-stoppers at each end of the table, and you’ll need to have a heck of a lot more skill going for you if you’re to work with just one goalkeeper in each goal.
The more expensive foosball tables almost always offer increased interchangeability in terms of how you are able to configure your goalkeepers. The pricier tables will more often than not incorporate the means to remove or adjust goalies and to play with either one or three keepers. This is a great feature to have if your table is going to be open to players with differing levels of skill because if you want to, you can set one end of the foosball table up with three keepers and one end with one or even two. This means that one player – if they’re at a slight or major skill advantage when compared to their opponent – will be able to shoot at fewer keepers and it will very probably make for a more level playing field, and a way more competitive match.
The superior player who gets just one keeper will have to concentrate harder on defending and won’t get to attack as much for that reason. Kids are also better off playing with three keepers – it’ll keep the scores down and the ball more active. The best foosball table for kids will have an adjustment of the goalie numbers.
More advanced players will want to play with just the one keeper almost all of the time because it’s a lot more challenging to defend well with that setup.
Foosball table setting up
You’ll definitely need to be very mindful to set your table up in a place where it will be a decent distance away from any obstructions and breakable, valuable family heirlooms. That’s one of the number one things to remember if you don’t want to upset anybody. There are a few other things to bear in mind too, and this is pretty straightforward – it needs to be sited on a perfectly flat and level area. Any out-of-level aspect to the foosball table is going to result in a situation whereby the ball will roll around on the table in one direction or another, rather than staying stationary when it’s supposed to be at rest.
Quality of the table will be a massive factor in deciding how successful you are going to be at leveling your table because the thickness of the playing surface will allow twist if it’s made of inferior materials or too thin. The very last thing you want here is for there to be no way of accurately and reliably getting the table level and a rolling ball makes for frustrating and unfair gameplay so make a massive point of remembering that. The costlier foosball tables will be way more likely to have an acceptable and accurate means to allow proper leveling up.
Job number one when you get the table home and put it in its place is to spend enough time leveling up before you even think about getting your game head on. You’ll also find that, with any table, irrespective of quality and cost, you’ll need to regularly check the surface for good level and revisit the leveling process, because normal play will throw the table off kilter here and there – it’ll be prone to move during heavy action (although a heavier table will help in keeping this to a minimum). When the table goes out of level, you’ll usually pick up on the fact during the games, because a rolling ball is a dead giveaway.
Need more detailed info on that? Read these easy-to-digest instructions on Foosball Table Setup.
A great way to keep your gameplay interesting and enjoyable is to keep the table well maintained. Regular cleaning is essential because it will keep everything moving nicely. As you would with anything that you wish to keep in good condition, have a good read of the manufacturer’s care instructions and stick to them. As we’ve said, these tables take some active use and it’s a good idea to follow the guidelines in caring for them.
Need some gaming tips as well? Improve your skills with our Foosball Tips compilation.
Foosball tables range from cheap to very expensive. Part of what influences your choice is going to come down to how much you’re going to use the table, and how serious you are about being competitive. There are also other factors that we’ve already hinted at in this guide – weight and construction, good handles and grips, etc. The truth is that there is seldom any substitute for quality when to comes to great user experience, and you’ll need to go ways up the price range to end up with something that plays well and lasts well. Aside from the cost, try to remember what we’ve talked about here, buy the best you can afford and prioritize what matters for your level and style of play – you won’t go too far wrong.
A foosball table under $300: What you should and should not expect
It’s important to be realistic about your budget. For less than $300, you can get a good quality table that will be a lot of fun for your family. That said, these tables are smaller than what you might see in a bar or arcade or what you could find at a higher price. They’re not made of the same quality materials as more expensive options and may wobble a little during play. Adults can certainly play on these tables, but they’re not really designed for rough play.
These tables are perfect for kids and adults who aren’t playing too aggressively.
Take a good look at warranties, too, because they can vary a lot. While most of our picks are covered for a year or less, the KICK Glory comes with a lifetime guarantee. Although these tables aren’t the same quality as more expensive options, a good warranty can make all the difference in the long run.
Common materials for foosball tables in this price range are MDF or composite wood while the rods are typically chrome-plated hollow steel. As a comparison, high-end options can have hardwood frames with aluminum rods, cast iron bases, and stone playing surfaces. Mid-range tables are commonly made of engineered wood with stainless steel or solid steel rods.