What gamer doesn’t love to throw an amazing LAN party for their friends? Hours and hours of high-octane gaming, screaming at the top of your lungs and chowing down on pizza and fast food snacks is how many people spent their childhood and teenage years—so why not revisit those moments and throw a LAN party?
One of the most incredible and memorable experiences a gamer can have is relaxing with a group of their friends while playing through some of their favorite games together. It could be online team-based games like League of Legends, old competitive gems like Starcraft or even modern party games like Rocket League. Whatever your choice, you’re bound to have a great deal of fun by inviting your friends over and setting up some space for them to use their computers.
LAN parties have been somewhat forgotten over the past couple of years due to the increase in distance between friends who move away for work or family related reasons, the rise of accessible internet gaming due to fast internet speeds and the lack of LAN support for many newly released games. But it’s still a nerdy gaming ritual that many people still indulge in when given the opportunity. So get a pen and paper out and start planning your glorious LAN party with your friends and family members with these five helpful tips.
1. Spacious Seating Arrangements
The more space you can clear the better. LAN parties usually involve people bringing over their own computers, so make sure you can provide them with desk, tables and chairs. You can check out this site for some excellent gaming chairs to fit your budget. The best thing about gaming chairs is that they’re as comfortable and durable as premium office chairs but come with unique design flairs, racing-inspired shapes and many LAN party creature comforts such as being able to recline the seat all the way down to create a makeshift “bed” to sleep in.
If you also plan to use a big-screen television to play console games or if you have a PC setup that uses controllers, you might also want to invest in some large beanbag seats or ensure that your sofa has been cleaned up and all the cookie crumbs have been hoovered up to create a clean and comfortable seat. LAN parties usually involve people sleeping over as well, so ensure that you have enough space for guests to stay over such as spare beds, guest rooms or sleeping bags.
2. Extra Hardware or Computers
One of the worst things that can happen during a LAN party is a piece of crucial hardware breaking or someone forgetting to bring a cable after driving halfway across town to get to your home. It halts the fun, someone will get left out and it won’t be the nostalgic experience that you had hoped for. Things like power cables, network cables, wireless adapters and even monitor cables are extremely important, and there’s always someone that manages to forget a vital piece of equipment for their computer.
If you’re the host of a LAN party then it’s common to always carry some spares or extras so that your guests can game away without worrying too much about hardware failures. You don’t need to have an extra computer or laptop (though that would be handy for anyone that couldn’t bring their computer) but some extra cables, controllers, keyboards and mice will go a long way if you host regular LAN parties in your home.
3. Ensure You Have a Fast Internet Connection
Since most online games require you to have a stable and decently fast internet connection, it’s going to slow down your gaming experience if you have multiple computers connected to a puny router that can’t handle all of the load. To remedy this, check if your internet service provider can upgrade your internet speeds before the LAN party starts. This way you can ensure that everyone in your home gets the optimal internet speeds to make downloading, updating and playing games smooth and fast.
If your router is old and can’t handle multiple wired internet connections, then consider using wireless. Using wireless isn’t recommended for serious gaming, so if you prefer a wired connection it’s a good idea to invest in a simple budget network switch so that everyone can connect to your home network.
4. Plan What Games You Want to Play
This is the second worst thing that can happen at a LAN party. If you aren’t playing games then you’re probably sitting around doing nothing. Make sure you make a list of games that you want to play together. You don’t need to conform to a schedule, but making sure that you and your friends share common interests is key to hosting a successful LAN party.
Don’t just pick from the latest releases because you’ve probably played those games to death. How about revisiting some old classics? Heroes of Might and Magic 3 was a popular staple for video game enthusiast and it can still hold its own against modern strategy RPG games of today. Old FPS games like Quake 3 Arena are still a blast to play as well. Though they aren’t as popular as newer team-based FPS games such as Overwatch, you can definitely squeeze an hour or two of nostalgic fun out of older titles. And best of all? Old games support LAN play which means that you’ll get buttery smooth lag-free connections to your friends.
5. Don’t Forget the Food!
How else are you going to fuel your all-night gaming sessions if you don’t eat? Gather up some oven pizza, microwaveable snacks and lots of sugary drinks to keep you and your guests playing all night long. You could also contact a takeaway or catering service if you have a lot of guests or if you want to ensure they have quality food instead of fast food.
You might also want to consider the dietary needs of people. For example, if you have guests that are vegetarian or vegan then you want to have some options ready for them too, and consider allergies as well.
Now go forth and have an awesome party!