There are so many retro gaming events and markets going on around the United Kingdom, with the Doncaster Retro Game Market being the next one at the time of writing this. They are great events where you can find so many hidden gems and amazing games. However, because of this, it can be somewhat overwhelming when you step into one of these retro gaming markets.

And that is why I wanted to put together some of the tips and tricks that I’ve picked up over the past couple of years that have really helped me when I go to these events. So, let’s take a look at this very limited retro game market survival guide!

Have A Plan

You may have noticed from my previous post that I have a wishlist of games that I want to find (you can read that here). Effectively, this is a plan of which games I am going to be looking for when I get there. This helps to give me a goal when I am at these events, rather than walking around blindly and just picking up anything even slightly interesting.

This way, I get to make sure I am using my time at the retro game markets effectively, and get the most out of the events by finding the games that I specifically want to add to my collection.

Have A Budget, And Stick To It

One of the biggest issues with retro game markets is the fact that there are so many games that you’ll just end up wanted to throw your cash around like a meme. It’s entirely possible to splash out massively at the very first stall you find, which is a terrible idea. You can just spend so much money at these events if you’re not careful.

That’s why I always set myself a budget, and not just in my head. I set a total amount of money that I am allowed to spend, then get that amount out as cash. That way, when I run out of cash, I know that I’ve reached my limit and can’t spend any more. This means that I never get myself into trouble for splashing out more than I can afford.

Look First, Buy Second

This next one is probably one of the best bits of advice I was ever given when it comes to retro game markets; don’t buy straight away, unless it is a super rare game at a great price. Instead, make at least one full trip around the market, checking out every stall. This will give you time to find and locate the games you want and see which stall has those games at the bet quality and price. Doing this means that you don’t spend your budget immediately and then miss out on games that you really would have wanted to pick up.

By waiting until your second pass through the market, you can maximise how far your budget goes and what you manage to get for that budget. Therefore, this is the biggest bit of advice I would give to anyone planning to go to a retro game market.

Get There Early, If You Can

So, time for a piece of advice that I don’t actually follow myself… Basically, if you think about, there are a load more retro game collectors out there who are all looking to find and snag the rarest and coolest games. This does mean that it can be quite competitive if you are looking for something like Symphony of the Night. So how do you increase your chances of finding these rare games?

Well, you can purchase “early bird” tickets for most of the retro game market events. These will let you get into the market an hour or so earlier than “standard” ticket holders for a higher priced ticket. I don’t do this myself since it takes so long for me to get up to the events anyway, so I wouldn’t really be able to make use of the benefit. However, it can be a good idea if you are looking for something rare and unusual!

And That’s All Folks

Those were some pieces of advice that I have either been told or figured out when it comes to attending a retro game market. I really hope they are useful to some of you, as they do help me whenever I go to these events.

If you have any other advice for retro game markets, let me know in the comments below!

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