LAN Party Tips: How To Organize an Awesome LAN Party

Jack Cola 28-09-2009

LAN Party Tips: How To Organize an Awesome LAN Party lanpartyIf you are a serious gamer, then you do not want to skip this post. Who doesn’t love a little clan war during a LAN party? If not properly organized, a night of fun can easily turn into a nightmare. Hours of scheduled fun can turn into hours of troubleshooting hell. No connectivity, not the right sockets or plugs, lack of space and food, uninvited guests – these are just a few of the setbacks that can and will happen.


If you are planning to host your own LAN party, then here are some LAN party tips on how to go about it to make your night a hassle-free and enjoyable one.

1. Planning the Event

This is something that you want to get right before you begin sending out your invites to your friends. Planning is crucial. There is a quote by George Hewell, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail”, and I know that you don’t want to embarrass yourself with all your mates over at your house. So here are some LAN party tips to help with your planning.

Determine who is coming

If you live in a small apartment, you don’t want to be overcrowded, so carefully select who you invite. Try not to do what Australian Corey Worthington did. Carefully select who you want game with, and make sure you don’t invite your mates that may worry you.

What equipment is required?

One thing that you don’t want to happen on the night is to invite 20 people over when you only have 10 computers. What will the other 10 people do? If people come for a night of gaming, they expect that they will play until the early morning light. They surely don’t want to be sitting around watching chick flicks on TV if there is nothing else on. So make sure you have enough computers set up, and make sure you have enough LAN ports and desk space for the people bringing their own computers.

The basic equipment that you need are:

  • 1 x modem/router – this is so you can surf the internet or game online
  • 1 x Switch – make sure you have a network switch that has enough ports to cater for the amount of computers you are going to have
  • Ethernet Cables – if this is your first time hosting a LAN Party, make sure you have enough Ethernet cables How To Make Your Own Ethernet Cables Read More so you can connect everyone’s desktop computers for faster gaming. Remember, you need 1 per computer. Also try and have a few spare, just in case. If you are short on these, get your friends to bring some with them, and tell them how their night might be if the don’t.Try not to use wireless as this might slow down the game for everyone, and we don’t really want a slow game.
  • Game Software – Make sure everybody has a copy of the game, and make sure you have a few copies to install on everyone’s PCs.
  • 2 x Fuse – Having a lot of computers on the same power circuit may overload it and blow a fuse. So make sure you have some spare and someone with the knowledge to change one.

Tell your neighbours about your night

A lot of people = a lot of noise and loud music. So be courteous to the people your neighbours and tell them that there might be a bit of noise at night. Try your best to keep the volume down and shut the windows and doors to insulate the noise.

LAN Party Tips: How To Organize an Awesome LAN Party desksetup

2. Setting Up A LAN Party

Here are a few LAN party tips for properly setting up for the event.


It is best to try and keep everyone in the same room, but this may not be possible. Just make sure everyone is close together and the distance between the two rooms are close together. This to make sure the mess doesn’t spread around your house.



This is very important as you do not want to overload your power circuit or break fuses. So make sure that you don’t connect a lot of computers on the same circuit in your house. Use extension cords from different power circuits of your home. DO NOT use double adapters, or connect two or more powerboards together. DO USE powerboards that have inbuilt surge protectors, just in case something goes wrong. Remember to look around for the powerboards that you use as some may warranty of up $100,000 in damages if they fail and destroy your computer.


If people are bringing their laptops, make sure you have wireless. It might be a hassle to give your encryption key to everyone, but what you can do is temporarily change your key so everybody can connect to it. Then after the party, change it back so they can’t hide outside your house at night and download movies while you’re sleeping. If you want to restrict access to certain people as (word of mouth of the wireless key can spread) then remove it and enable MAC filtering on your Router or Access Point. This allows you to control individually which computers have access to your network.

Make sure that cables are out of the way, bundled or under rugs. We don’t want anyone to trip over the power cables and cut half the people of their game.

Also ensure that you have enough Internet bandwidth remaining on your account so that you don’t get shaped during the night, making the nights online gaming experience hell, and portraying yourself as a bad host.


Securing your computer

If you are a bit like me, you might have shared folders on your home network that is available to everyone. Before your guests arrive make sure you disable the sharing of folders on your computer so no one can access them. Also remember to password-protect your computer on that night, or make another user account so people can’t snoop around your files.

3. Running the Night

Food and Drinks

Remember to be very careful with the drinks. Very expensive equipment can be instantly ruined if someone spills a drink over a computer. Since the night has already costed some money, ask your friends to bring some food and drinks along with them. Maybe put BYO on their invite. Advice them to bring along finger foods such as, chips, biscuits, dips. As for drinks, make sure you supply water and softdrinks. Stay away from alcohol (as you can probably see why). Also, have a big table with all the food available so people can take food for themselves and you’re not forced to be anyone’s servant. Maybe charge money for this if you want. Turn the night into profit.

Have Sessions

Just like laserforce, have sessions and make sure you break them up with some other activity. Have a variety of games to play as well, in different sessions. This is also to make sure you don’t get square eyes (or rectangle eyes which are more likely now)

Have a recovery action plan

Not everything goes as planned, so make sure you have a backup plan in case something happens such as the internet or the power going out. You don’t want to waste all this planning and organisation if a fuse blows as soon as you start playing. Having nothing to do will make you a bad host and people may not come to your party nights anymore. If all else fails and you are still in the mood for gaming, why don’t you go to back to the olden day style of gaming and grab the Monopoly, Guess Who or Scrabble?


Turn the aircon on

Make sure that you keep the computers cool by having the aircon on. Nothing is worse than frying your computer as it overheats.

LAN Party Tips: How To Organize an Awesome LAN Party lanparty1

Well I hope that these tips help you to have a successful night. And good luck with your LAN party, you’ll need it.

If you have any other tips for a successful gaming occasion, please do share them with us.

Image Credit: John Williams RUS via

Related topics: Ethernet, Multiplayer Games.

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  1. Riley
    November 25, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Interesting. I'll definitely try this over winter break with my friends. It might be tough finding a spot but it could work nicely.

  2. website design
    October 1, 2009 at 3:47 am

    Too bad I need a new computer, running Geforce 4 MX440 here.

  3. Rory
    September 30, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    "Food and Drinks:
    Stay away from alcohol"

    Stopped reading here.

  4. Competitions
    September 29, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Very nice article, almost all the people like games,everyone has one favourite game :-) These are not all the tips,but are the most important.
    For all the gamers, you can check my url to participate in game competitions,you have many games there...

  5. Competitions
    September 29, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Very nice article,I like gaming,I play mostly lineage2 and fifa 2009/2010 .
    Also if you want to participate in tournaments/competitions , you can check my link , you have many games.
    And , as Jack Cola said, there are many more details but these are most important things

  6. computer games
    September 29, 2009 at 7:01 am

    I am really impressed by the scope of this article. It has covered everything related to making a successful LAN party.

  7. Trevor
    September 29, 2009 at 2:05 am

    Having hosted quite a few Lan parties myself at my home and for a community there are a few things i'd add.

    A) Having the required games installed before you come over saves a crapload of time.
    B) Only have the internet on when you arent gaming. Nothing kills the mood than having 3 people out of 7 playing WoW by themselves.
    C) Have set competition times/games everyone will play. It got really frustrating when you'd plan a LAN party and no one wants to play the same games e.g. only 2 people want to play an RTS, people only play CoD4 as an FPS
    Setting a time will make sure everyone is ready to play when its time to game.
    D) Organise a few fun games, i had some of the best times playing battlefield 1942 mod Interstate 82 back in the day, not having everything so serious lightens up the mood
    E) NO ONE CAN USE SPEAKERS, this is an obvious.
    F) Dont just plan for a night of 100% gaming, its good to kill time by watching a movie or going for a swim to just break the routine of sitting inside on the computer.
    G) SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS ARE GREAT. Having a few spare mattresses/beds so people can sleep if they want to crash away from the noise and know they wont wake up being stepped on/drawn on during the night always helps.

    • Jack Cola
      September 29, 2009 at 2:10 am

      They are really good tips. In reality you could make a very long list of tips on how to have a successful LAN party, but its hard to include every little detail.
      Thanks again for all your extra tips that you throw in :)

  8. John W
    September 29, 2009 at 12:35 am

    I'm not sure that the author of the article has ever been to a LAN in his life. Who supplies all the PC's? Everyone brings their own rig, they wanna leech when they're not gaming. Loud music? It's a LAN, not a frat party, the loudest thing at LANs are people hurling (friendly) abuse at each other. Also people generally BYO junk food or order pizza so food is basically a non issue for the host. Lastly, I've been to many, many LANs in my day and I've never been to one where all the games played or movies shared have been legal, in fact 99% of it is illegal, it's the nature of the beast. It's like trying to tell ravers not to take drugs at rave parties.

    • Jack Cola
      September 29, 2009 at 12:57 am

      You provide a valid argument, but not every LAN party is the same. Since readers of MUO are from all over the world, you have to consider the different cultures as well.

      Its true that people would bring there own PC, but sometimes the host may have adequate spares. And for those who don't have cars, who have to ride or take public transport to get to the LAN party, I think it may be a bit difficult to take a PC. This post isn't just for the hard-core gaming, but also to people who want to know how to host one.

      The point I am trying to make is that we do not condone playing illegal games. So if you want to take the risk of copying games, or downloading them off the internet, that's you choice. But if you get court or someone dobs you in don't be shocked.

      Also, playing computer games is only one aspect of a Lan Party. You can do other things.

      If you want to drink, that's your decision, but we are trying to have an Awesome Lan Party - and we don't want it ruined with a spilled drink of a $3000+ computer/laptop - then someone will not have an awesome night.

  9. taelor
    September 29, 2009 at 12:17 am

    no booze? seriously? we had keg stands at our last lan party, and I think that was the best success we had. $)

  10. Anon
    September 28, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    So are peeps still using DC hub/clients these days for sharing game patches etc at LANs? or is there something better out there now?

  11. GamingTed
    September 28, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Man, I really miss LAN parties. These days everyone has mostly moved away, or is too busy with work and their families for a decent LAN party to be a reality. Sadly, people like me have to live with the occasional online game with whatever friend happens to have free time when I do.

  12. Wow
    September 28, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    How to write an title.

  13. PENIX
    September 28, 2009 at 8:46 pm


  14. andrew
    September 28, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    I hope to god that no one that wrote this or is taking LAN party advice is over the age of 15.

  15. Aaron
    September 28, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    From my experience, it's best to have legal copies of the games. My last LAN party didn't go very well because the games we were using were illegal. Then we tried one that some of us that was legal and it worked fine. It's more expensive, but it's way better than spending four hours getting work arounds.

  16. Jack Cola
    September 28, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Thanks Dingle Berry. That crossed my mind, but didn't get to words. I should have mentioned that in the Game Software section.
    Thanks again for your tip.

  17. dingleberry
    September 28, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Something only briefly mentioned is that it is a SIGNIFICANT time saver if everyone has the games being played pre-installed. There is nothing more annoying then spending the first 4 hours of LAN party transferring ISOs and installing games, only to find out that one dude's machine doesn't meet the minimum specs etc...

  18. Jack Cola
    September 28, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Batman, the point of this is to get together with your mates, set up a few computers in a room, and play games against each other into the early mornings. Or you could just sit at home by yourself and play computer games with people you have never met and play in silence.

    This is a good way to be social and sit on a computer all day and play games.

    Versatile, I to did this a while ago with my mates and played Worms 2 (as your picture says) and Red Alert. It was a very good night. I was the only one who stayed up for the entire night, everyone had a few hours sleep, but there was always someone up.

    The main thing is to have fun with events like this.

  19. Jack Cola
    September 28, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Yeah. With my comment above, regarding Dingleberry's, make sure the games are pre-installed and are legal. We don't want people playing illegal games.

  20. Versatile
    September 28, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    I remember doing this when I was younger in the basement of my friend for halo 1 xbox or simple PC gaming.

    Now I just use tunngle. You can find it at It is LAN over the Internet, and it beats using hamachi!

  21. Batman
    September 28, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Or you can just turn on your xbox and connect to xbox live, I see no purpose to doing this when internet gaming is now an option lol this article would have been great 10 years ago

    • Ash
      September 28, 2009 at 2:06 pm

      The fun in having a LAN party is getting together with your friends and gaming face-to-face. ^^

    • Aibek
      September 28, 2009 at 2:16 pm

      you have to try it once to understand how exciting it is

    • Descenter
      September 28, 2009 at 9:15 pm

      Internet gaming is only now an option? People have been gaming on the internet since the mid 90s...15 years ago. LAN gaming is completely different from playing on the internet. Being in the same room with your teammates and enemies is too much fun.

      As Aibek says, try it. It really is a completely different thing and way more fun.

    • Wykedengel
      September 29, 2009 at 1:23 pm

      Batman, there aint no party like a good LAN party, 'cause a good LAN party don't stop.

      Seriously, when you get a good group of gamers and a great game like Diablo 2 (yeah, I'm old school) that blows the doors off Xbox Live any day. And besides, there is a certain camaraderie that happens where even people who don't know each other well are best buds by evening's end.

    • Krakatoa
      September 29, 2009 at 1:28 pm

      Nothing beats sitting in the same room trash talking, and none of the kiddies that you get on X-Box Live

    • Alyssa Myers
      September 30, 2009 at 12:39 am

      This is all about getting together with friends to socialize and have fun. Just make certain that you invite a few more people than you want to come, many will probably cancel last minute.

    • wyotoad
      October 5, 2009 at 3:47 pm

      My son is in Afghanistan and there is no internet available so no internet gaming. So your LOL comment is stupid. You don't know that there are parts of the world that are not modern. Maybe you were not aware that Afghanistan is 10 years in the past? A LAN party there would make perfect sense.