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Last edited on October 3rd, 2021 by gnat   

LAN Party Hosting Guide Introduction

Hosting a LAN party is similar to hosting a regular party, only your attendees are going to expect a lot more from you than just some beer and chips. Your guests are generally going to have a lot of needs. If all you want is to have a few friends over to play video games, then it's all pretty simple; with a couple of close friends, most problems should sort themselves out.

However, once you want to step up your game and host a larger party, everything starts to get complicated. You're going to need some serious organization skills and an ability to stay on track while a tremendous amount of chaos is happening around you.

The payoff is there's no experience quite like having a ton of friends over fragging away in Quake, laying the smack talk and coordinating with your fellow gamers at a level unseen in ordinary online multiplayer. All in a lag-free environment.

Done correctly, this gaming experience is unparalleled. There's no better way to spend a weekend playing games with a big group of friends.

Let's remember the realities of hosting a large LAN party.

The bitter truth:
  • They are a lot of work and stress.
  • There is minimal economic reward, if any.

The sweet part:
  • If your event rocks, people will love you.
  • You'll make some amazing new friends.
  • Your friends will have a great time.
  • You'll learn a lot about people, computers, and games.
  • You'll have a great time if you prepare well.

Start small and build up!

Even if you've attended many LAN parties yourself, there are a number of party-breaking issues that you will not be aware of until you've hosted your first event. Although this guide will help prepare you for many of these issues, all events are different. Keep your event small at first because if it becomes too big to handle and it fails, your guests will not come back.

If you've never hosted a LAN party before, always start with a smaller event at your home with your friends. Use your discretion. If you've done this and want to move on to a bigger event, read this guide, and do not break 40 guests until you've successfully hosted your own event of similar size.

This guide still doesn't quite cover everything...

LAN Parties are dynamic events and all sorts of situations can come up. However, we're always looking for ways to beef up the material here so feel free to discuss and add your contributions.

Tips for reading this guide.

Some of these sections can get lengthy, you may wish to throw on some headphones and have parts read out to you using a screen reader such as eSpeak (Free for Windows, Linux, Mac).

Without further ado, let's GET STARTED!