How to Host a Kick-Butt LAN Party

Remember back in the 90s when you and your friends would stay up all playing Nintendo 64? By the sacred Triforce, you were going to beat Ganondorf and you needed all your pals to help! Graphics are better now and options have changed, but staying up all night playing video games with your friends hasn’t. Make a LAN party part of your monthly get-togethers. They’re fun, nostalgic and will make happy memories for everyone attending.

Setup

For the uninitiated, a LAN party is where a group of friends get together and play PC or console games. Attendees bring their own equipment (like laptops and extra monitors) and everybody spends the evening geeking out together playing games. It can vary; sometimes the entire group plays the same multiplayer game, other times everybody plays their own. No matter how it ends up, setup is required.

  • Create a space for large enough for guests and move furniture around to make it work. If need be, attach large casters to heavy furniture to provide easier movement and functionality for people to set up their machines.
  • Take power and internet speed into account! Know how many computers your home can handle at the same time and prepare for extras. If you’re worried about your WiFi or hardwired connections being slow during the party, it might be worth investing in a network switch and a couple of surge protectors.
  • Be sure that everyone has an account on your preferred chat app of choice. LAN parties can get loud and exciting, so being able to communicate with everyone over an app will make things easier than shouting. Some most often used by gamers are Google Hangouts, Discord and TeamSpeak.

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Games and Software

Establish what games you want to play before the day of the party. This can be a simple as a group text or as complex as a custom Google form, but make sure everyone is on the same page. Software and games might need to be installed on participants’ machines ahead of time, and it wastes valuable gaming time to do it during the party itself. Don’t forget to make sure everyone is patched beforehand!

  • On important aspect: if this is a competition, it’s worth it for everyone to know the rules before starting. Establish what these will be and how you will guarantee everybody will follow them. It might be worth installing software like LanHUB to keep track of gaming tournaments.

LAN parties can be a great, unconventional way for friends to gather. Spending time doing something you all enjoy is a fun way to bring people together.