Back in the 90’s and early 2000’s LAN parties were all the rage. The internet wasn’t as easily accessible or as fast as it is now, and the best way to play computer games with friends was on a local area network. Remember packing into a room filled with tables, snacks, and friends? Upon walking in you’d smell the unique stench of gamers and hear the low hum of computers working hard. It was in that setting that many us created some of the best gaming memories of our lives.
Nowadays there is talk of LAN parties going extinct and some even say that they’ve been dead for a long time, but we rally against that bogus propaganda. Once a year my friends and I gather together for the annual LAN party. We game, eat, drink, and spend days together in virtual pixelated worlds. The LAN is far from dead, because it is alive and well with us. We know that we aren’t the only gamers out there who are keeping the LAN alive.
We wanted to contribute to the health and well-being of LAN parties all around the world, and so we’ve created a checklist with a few ideas on how to host the GREATEST LAN PARTY ever! Below you’ll find the checklist, and after we’ll include a few notes to help explain a few items on the list.
The Greatest LAN Party Ever Checklist
- Ethernet cords (WiFi is fine, but it’s still quicker corded up)
- Extension Cords, Power strips.
- Snacks (chips, cookies, brownies)
- Healthy food (Real meals)
- Drinks (soda, water, booze)
- A fan
- Award Certificates & Prizes (We’ll explain below!)
- Create an Official Background for the LAN Party
- Set an official start and end time.
- Discuss the games that will be played BEFORE the LAN Party begins.
- Make sure games are downloaded, installed, and updated to the newest patch.
- Mouse Pad
Notes on the Checklist
1. Make sure your router is in the room. You don’t want everyone to have to bring a 60 ft. Ethernet cord to connect to the router.
2. Make sure to have real meals and water available. We’ve had multi-day LAN parties cut short, because everyone overdosed on brownies and Mountain Dew. The LAN Party will be more fun and last longer if all the gamers are hydrated and eating more than chips and salsa.
3. Have a fan available. Seriously buy the biggest freaking fan you can get your hands on. Here’s a $15 box fan that will do the job. A fan is important, because it’ll push away the stink of gamers who’ve been sitting in a room for 24 hours and it will keep the room cooler. LAN Parties aren’t as fun when it’s hot and stinky.
4. Create Award Certificates and Prizes to be given out throughout the LAN Party. This idea helped take our LAN parties to the next level. Before the LAN Party started we came up with Award Certificates that would be given out throughout the LAN. We didn’t tell those attending about the certificates. When we felt that someone deserved an award certificate we blasted the song CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES and gave them their certificate. People quickly realized that an award was coming when the music started to play!
Award Certificate Ideas
- The Purgatory Award: Not good enough to be the best, not bad enough to be the worst. The award to the most average player
- The Charlie Sheen Award: Whoever makes the most excuses. The award to the person most full of shit.
- The Real Hot Shot Award: We all wish we could be you. The award to whoever talks the most about their computer.
- The Village Drunk: yoube mat nto be goood at games but youre good drink. The award to the drunkest gamer
- The Early Finisher: Not everyone can go all night. The award to the first person who leaves the LAN party.
- The Shittiest Rig Award: This goes to the person who owns the worst computer of the lot, but continues to make it work for the LAN.
We’d also buy a few prizes for our LAN Party. The prizes would be given to the winner of specific game tournaments, and we tried to match the prize to the game.
Some examples of tournaments and their prize.
Winner of the Rune tournament award: 6-Pack of Stone Ruination IPA
Winner of the Counter Strike Tournament Award: An everyday carry knife
5. Create an official background for your LAN Party. It’s the little things that make a LAN Party great. Come up with a goofy background that you can share with everyone at the party. It’ll be fun during the LAN party, but also will be a great reminder of the fun you had years later when you see it on your hard drive.
6. This isn’t the fun part of hosting a LAN, but it’ll make the experience 100 times better if you do it. Talk with everyone before the LAN starts about what games you’ll all be playing. You want to have a handful of games that you all agree on. Nothing will kill a LAN party faster than showing up and everyone wants to play something different. It defeats the purpose of a LAN. Decide what games you will be playing, and have everyone install and patch the games before they come. It’s not fun to do, but the LAN can start smoother if everyone has the games loaded and ready prior to showing up.
7. If you’ve got an extra external SSD/HHD available upload it with all the games you’ll be playing. This way if someone forgets to install the games you’ve got them right there ready to go.
8. Make sure to decide a start and end time. This helps people commit to the LAN party while it’s going. Are you playing for a week? Great! Are you playing for a day? Wonderful! Just let people know going into it what to expect. You’ll have more people able to stay the majority of the time by letting them know what the time frame is.
Check out our podcast episode dedicated to LAN parties! We share stories, tips, best LAN games, and more. Click here to listen!
It can be a nightmare transporting your monitor, desktop computer, and gear from your home to the LAN Party. We put together this list of Must-Have Gear to Safely Move Your Computer to make your life a bit easier!
This is the checklist, along with tips and tricks to host the best LAN party ever! Did we miss something? Do you have a great idea that should be included? Tell us in the comments below or join our Facebook discussion!