Prize Machines, Claw Machines, and Everything In-Between

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

One of my goals for this website is to eventually create a functional map that has as many claw, prize, and skill game locations as possible listed on it, because I can never find them when I want to.

Sure, there are the claw machines at Walmart with the trinkets and fluffy stuffed animals, and you can always be fairly certain that you'll find those at Walmart, but what about other prize games?

In this article, we'll go over some basic ideas surrounding prize games, and generally where to find them if not specifically yet.

A pretty obvious place that you're likely to find prize machines, claw machines, and skill games for prizes, is the arcade. Big name arcades almost always have some sort of prize machines. These are going to be places like Main Event, Round One, Dave & Busters, etc.

However, the price to play the games there are going to be fairly expensive. You'll pay for credits on your card and find that $20 doesn't get you very far.

On the flip side of arcades, local arcades, sometimes called nickel arcades, also often have smaller scale prizes in claw or skill machines and can be a lot of fun without burning a hole in your wallet and eating up your hard earned cash.

Personally, I prefer these because you can spend a lot more time having fun on a variety of games instead of running out of money after 5 tries on the claw machine for that giant "i-dont-even-know-what" plushie.

Alternatively, if you're on the prowl for hidden gems, the machines that are placed in random stores, such as the Key Master machines, or maybe those gift-card holding, coffee cup claw machines, then the local mall might be your best bet.

In more populated areas where malls are common there tend to be a few prize machines spread around. Keep in mind though that these machines are often black holes that steal your money and give you nearly no chance at winning them. I speak from experience, but it's still fun to try your luck once or twice since the machines are set to easier difficulty after a certain number of failed plays.

You may just be that beam of light that narrowly escapes with that expensive pair of AirPods or a $50 gift card to Best Buy.

Something fun to check out in this vein is Gamer Green. They have hundreds of claw machines set up around the country and while the prizes are often small plushes or boxes with a sticky hand, they also each come with a code that can be entered in the Gamer Green app.

Once you have enough points from entering codes, you can order any prize you want from the shop. The whole setup is pretty fun and worth a look!

They also have an interactive map with all their claw machine locations listed but you'll have to make an account in order to see it.

To close out this article, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the online claw machines that you can access. I'll include a list of the most common apps/sites, but essentially what each of them do is stream a video feed of the prize machine and allow you to control the machine remotely then they ship whatever you might win to you.

I've tried them a couple times, since they usually have a free trial type thing with a few plays, and I enjoyed them even if it isn't the same as the real thing and sometimes the interface can have just a bit of input lag. Here's that list and have a great day!

Crane Game Toreba


Akiba Catcher

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