Air Hockey vs. Foosball: Which One to Get?

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Air hockey and foosball are two of the most popular rec room games. Because of that, with limited space, deciding between getting one or the other can be a tough decision. Especially so if you don’t know what the major differences between those two games are beyond what can easily be seen.

In this article, I will be going over those so that you can make the right decision and get the game that will provide you with the most fun possible.

Air Hockey vs. Foosball

Air Hockey and Foosball: The Basics

Before jumping into the differences, let’s start by taking a look at each of the two options to see what each one offers.

What is Air Hockey?

Air Hockey Table Air hockey is a tabletop game that is meant to resemble a hockey rink, though it is obviously much smaller in size.

This gives someone who doesn’t have access to a hockey rink the chance to feel like they’re playing real hockey. Also, these tables usually come with cool air that blows along the surface of the table and keeps the puck slightly above the table.

What is Foosball?

Foosball Table Foosball is a tabletop game that is meant to resemble a soccer field where you play with miniature players who are situated on metal bars across the table.

You drop the ball onto the table and move the players on your side to kick the ball into the other player’s goal. The miniature players can move from side to side, up and over the metal bar for a total flip, or back and forth to kick the ball.

Air Hockey vs. Foosball: What Are the Differences?

With the basics out of the way, let’s take a look at the major differences between the two.

Number of Players

The first difference that I will cover is the number of players that you are able to have in a single game.

With a foosball table, you can easily have four players together at once while having two teams of two. However, in air hockey, the table is normally only meant for two players at a time, making it hard to play with four.

You can play air hockey in four if the table comes with four paddles for hitting, but not all tables come with more than two and not all of them are large enough.

Different Sports

The second difference between these two is that each option is meant to recreate a different type of sport.

An air hockey table is meant to recreate the experience of hitting a hockey puck, but with a tabletop option that can fit in your home. A foosball table recreates the experience of playing soccer on a field, but with a fixed table.

Table Build

The third is that they are made quite differently.

An air hockey table comes with cooled air that blows on the table, which makes the pucks feel like they are really on ice. This makes an air hockey table more complex. These tables also typically come with a light-up scoreboard that keeps track of both player’s scores.

A foosball table is much simpler, with nothing automatic or electronic on the table.

Instead, the miniature players along the metal bars are moved by the players to hit the ball, which is led to an outlet at the end of the table. This means that this table is all manual and that players must do their own scorekeeping.

Level of Challenge

The final difference is the level of challenge that is presented with each option.

Air hockey is easy to learn and is simple to play, but it is mostly based on reflexes, and less on strategy and skill. Foosball requires more thought and planning, plus you will need to get used to using the metal bars to move the players on the table around.

In foosball, you might also have another team member to play with.

This makes it a challenge because you need to learn to work with your teammate to defeat the other team. This means that you must learn to trust them and allow them to do half of the work, instead of air hockey where you are playing on your own against one opponent.

Playing Air Hockey

Which of the Two Should You Get?

Deciding between an air hockey table or a foosball table might still be a tough choice for you. So, instead of thinking about the differences, think about what you are looking for in a game.

Are you a hockey fan and want to see what it’s like to hit a puck without needing padding? Then getting an air hockey table will be your best option.

However, if you are a fan of soccer and want to play as a team with a friend, then foosball will be a good choice for you. You will be able to have the soccer team experience with a foosball table, just without the grass.

This doesn’t mean that you have to like either of these two sports though. You might not be much of a sports fan, but want to have a fun game to play with friends. In this case, having a foosball table allows more people to play at once and can turn a quiet gathering into a friendly tournament.

But, if you want a small option that can fit in a room of your house, then an air hockey table will be great for when you have your family over. This is especially great for kids because it is not a difficult game, and the score is kept for them.

You can find my favorite air hockey tables here. Alternatively, if you have very limited space, you can also get a small, tabletop air hockey table.

So, when it comes down to your final decision, just go with what you feel you will use the most.

Finally, you can get a multi-game table that will feature both.


Getting a new air hockey or foosball table doesn’t need to be a major decision as both of these options are a welcome addition to your home. Whether you have friends over often or just want something to do on the weekends, each of these games will give you a fun time and challenge your reflexes.

So, taking a close look at the main differences between these two tabletop games shows you which option would be the best for you.

Just think about what table game will get the most used and what you would like to play the most, and you will find the best fit for your home.