Forget the classic images of 90s LAN parties, those with desks full of wires and anti-social nerds trying to dial up a local network to play together a polygonal mess. If you enjoy the online gaming experience, you’ll love local events, cool occasions to meet new friends while experiencing your favorite games altogether. Let us spoil you a secret: they are much easier to set up than you think!
The most obvious ingredient for a successful LAN party is choosing how many PCs you need and this depends, of course, by the kind of games that you will play, the number of people involved at the same time and the availability of the machines: you can even ask your guests to bring their own gaming rig so they will be more comfortable while using them.
Gather enough monitors and place them with a good amount of space between them, especially if you’re going to play in teams: these kinds of situations can become quite competitive, we can ensure you.
Buy an IT switch with enough ports for every computer and don’t save up on ethernet cables! You will surely need one more during the event. With these two basic items you will finally be able to connect all your guests, create a local network and set up your games.
Speaking of which, make sure everybody has a working copy of the titles you will play so you won’t have to wait long installation and updates. Add a router to this list if you want to go online, but make certain of having sufficient bandwidth for all participants; you can even consider downloading a specific software such as LanHUB or Autonomous LAN Party to keep track of tournament ladders and similar things.
All those computers connected in the same room have also some disadvantages. Don’t use simple double adapters to connect two different PCs as they tend to overload the adaptor and can cause dangerous problems; buy instead separate power strips, even better if they are protected by a fuse. Lastly, a bit of air conditioning will surely be well accepted by both alive and digital inhabitants of the room.