Gaming in London on the Cheap - Broke in London

Gaming in London on the Cheap

Guest post by Modestas

Gaming can be an expensive hobby. With the wealth of hardware, software, peripherals and subscriptions associated with modern gaming, this is no secret.

When we think of contemporary gaming, we imagine being hauled up in a dark RGB-filled room grabbing a controller—or a mouse and keyboard for those inclined—and immersing ourselves in virtual worlds, alone. But with its heritage in community led spaces like the arcade—or, going back further, the market square—gaming doesn’t need to be a solitary affair.

So, it’s time to head out on the town to regain that feeling of a true gaming experience. And here are some you can try without breaking the bank.

Game Experiences

Otherworld – Multiplayer VR

Understandably dubbed the “most immersive VR experience in London”, Otherworld is a fully decked-out VR arcade.

Available for single or multiplayer sessions, players will find themselves hopping into custom-built VR booths equipped with powerful VR headsets which offer up a variety of games to play alone or with friends.

Dropped into their virtual hub, you’ll also feel the immersive power of their custom-built fans, which blast you with hot or cold air to get you even further into the experience.

With two locations in Hackney and Victoria, weekday sessions can be for as little as £10 per hour. But you’ll want to avoid peak times, as the price skyrockets.

Boxpark Wembley – Free Roam VR

Gaming in London on the Cheap

meetspaceVR – Pic taken from

Blurring the line between reality and the virtual, Boxpark Wembley’s “MeetspaceVR” is an award-winning free-roam VR experience.

To put that in plain English, you’ll wear a headset, a backpack holding a computer and a controller, allowing you to wander freely through rooms, experiencing virtual thrills.

Given that it doesn’t require the motion-sick inducing locomotion of standard VR, this one is excellent for first timers and parties.

Given, the added complexity of the hardware does mean the price is slightly heftier. With prices starting at £20 per person, per hour.

Wanyoo – PC Room

If VR isn’t your thing, perhaps your nostalgic for old-school LAN-driven computer rooms, Wanyoo Esports may scratch your itch. Offering up large rooms, akin to Korean PC-Bangs, lined with computers alongside smaller, private gaming spaces for either PC or console fun.

Computers come pre-installed with all the most popular current games, allowing you to dive right in, provided you’re not wanting to play some obscure 90s hit…

With rooms in Charing Cross, Westfield Stratford and Canary Wharf, there are plenty of options no matter where you are in London.

That said, if, like me, you can’t quite justify heading to a PC room to play the same games you could play at home, consider heading over to GameCamp to get your hands on discount game keys for a fraction of the price. Whether that be Overwatch, Cyberpunk 2077 or Farming Simulator is totally up to you (we don’t judge).

Four Quarters – Old-School Arcade

Four Quarters – Pic taken from Four Quarters’ Facebook Page

If you’re even more old school, or just want a retro hit, you probably love yourself a good arcade experience. While there are a few scattered around the city Four Quarters’ three locations (Peckham, Hackney, Elephant and Castle) are hard ones to beat.

Their flagship location, in Peckham, is legendary. Offering up true classics like Street Fighter II, Ninja Turtles all the way down to obscure shooters, puzzlers and consoles.

For £1, you’ll get four quarters. Giving you (pretty much) four goes on machines across the space. If you’re reasonably skilled, even a single quarter can amount to a decent play time.

For the retro feel, it’s hard to beat.

Celebrating Gaming

London Games Festival – Annual, April

Celebrating contemporary gaming culture, the London Games Festival runs annually and hosts a large number of events. Be it the celebration of experimental design at Somerset House’s Now Play This or the kudos of the BAFTA Game Awards, there’s tonnes to explore—plenty of which can be done on the cheap or totally free!

Tech and Gaming Retail

Most of us will have some sort of gaming device, even if it’s just a phone. But very few of us will have the top-of-the-line gear. That’s where some tech and gaming retail therapy—or at least innocent browsing—comes into play. Here are some of the best spots to do just that.

Razer Store – Charing Cross

If you’re a PC gamer, you’ll know Razer. They’re the premium brand for gaming hardware, and the largest advocate of garish RGB lighting—love it or hate it. Their store lives up to this reputation.

Products stand lovingly placed on premium displays, while the entire store aesthetic simply screams gamer. And if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to head downstairs during special events to check out various goings on—from tournaments to trying your hand at a popular game.

It’s a gamer’s heaven, and the best bit about it is you don’t even need to drop a penny to get a kick out of the experience.

CeX Stores – Various

In contrast to Razer’s sheen, CeX might seem seedy, but you’ll thank yourself later. Filled with bargain deals on second hand games and consoles (DVDs too!) CeX revives the good old-fashioned experience of purchasing physical games.

You’re bound to find a gem or two—new or old—at an absolute steal.

Orcs Nest – Covent Garden

When most of us think of gaming we mean video games, but let’s not leave out the beauty of board games. Orcs Nest is a heaven for boardgame junkies, quite literally brimming with boxes from commercial to unbelievably obscure.

Given, board games can cost a pretty penny, but picking up a box, splitting it between a couple of friends, and holding onto it for hundreds of games can really make that price worthwhile.

The store also stocks up on novels, miniatures, and other accessories. And with their die-hard staff committed to finding you what you want, even if you’re just a fan not looking for a game it’s worth popping in to say hi.

London is a city that loves gaming, meaning there’s plenty to do. And fortunately, there’s a lot to do on the cheap too!