Technology has advanced to the point that gamers can connect easily using home broadband and conferencing tools. However, there’s something cathartic about rocking up to a LAN party to plug in and play with like-minded individuals – perhaps it’s the overwhelming sense of community.
Believe it or not, the LAN parties are far from dead, with many organizations and individuals still putting out the call for players. If you’re trying to host a LAN party but need support, you’ve come to the right place.
If you don’t plan properly, chaos will make its way into your LAN party, with factions of friends breaking away into different games, and your in-game party dwindling into a 1v1.
To keep everyone happy, create a survey and find out what games your friends wish to play. Also, you should find out what hardware everyone is bringing. After all, you don’t want to be held up with compatibility issues. Finally, if you’re playing MMOs, you need to know everyone’s handles.
There’s no way to run a LAN party without proper hardware. You need to have proper sources of power and a reliable network. There’s an art to plugging in ethernet and power cables for LAN parties, so pay close attention.
Computers require a lot of power, and you need to be sure your home can cope. Therefore, search for your circuit breaker and check the total load for each area. Having this information will help you spread the load properly and will also tell you if there are too many guests on the list. As a rule, up to six computers can be plugged into one circuit. However, you should try not to exceed 80% of the total load because you need to leave space for other equipment in your home, including white goods.
Now that you’ve sorted the power, it’s time to grab one of these Blue Laptops and get connected to the internet.
If you’ve only got four people attending, you can likely use a single router. If you’ve got a large LAN party on your hands, you will need a network switch plugged into your router. You may be asking why you can’t simply plug the switch into your ethernet socket. The answer is simply because your ISP only provides one IP address, whereas your router distributes different IPs to each device connected.
After collecting the results from the survey (mentioned above), you need to let your guests know which games to install ahead of the party – you don’t want to be held up waiting for installations to finish.
As well as the correct games, you should have a file-sharing platform to make life easier for everyone. One of the most popular choices for LAN parties is D-LAN, which is an open-source app perfect for sharing files over LAN.
Everything outlined above is the bare minimum requirement to run your own LAN party. All you need to do now is get organized and invite your friends over for a weekend-long lock-in.