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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to host a LAN party this summer, figured I'd make a guide to holding one. Open to suggestions, will try my best to keep thread clean and updated.

Equipment:
  • Power cords + Surge Protectors/Power Strips
  • 24 port Switch. (Gigabit optional if network transfer is needed)
  • Cat 5e or 6 Ethernet cables. Plenty long, no kinks or knots, and always bring backups.
  • Hardware Firewall if your worried about torrenting or bandwidth hogging.
  • Flash drives/External HDDs (File Server potentially if you have the Horsepower for it?)
  • Tables and chairs. Comfort is important when sitting for extended periods of time.
Games: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Team Fortress 2
Unreal Tournament 3. ($9.99 on steam!)

Provisions:
Pizza is usually a great value (Little Ceasars, Cosco), or something you can make in large quantities. Sloppy joes are always good, but not something you can take a bit of inbetween respawns without Destroying your keyboard/mouse.

Floor layout templates:
  • Conference tables have been suggested. depending on your turnout, having everybody in a line, or spread out across a few long tables can be efficient.
  • Cable routing; Cables are a tripping hazard, velcro strips help keep cables bundled together
    and make it more efficient to move. Also cover up any wires running across the floor,
    the last thing you need is someone tripping over a cable and taking the 2 4 port gigabit
    switch down, or worse, hurting themselves.
  • It also never hurts to have a diagram of the room(s) you'll be in, and drawing out where everything will be; Computers, switches, cable runs, players, snacks, outlets, ect. ect.
Rules: This may vary depending on your event or how well you know everyone. As a rule of thumb, the following:
  • No excessive swearing. (We've all accidentally stuck ourselves in Halo, it happens...)
  • Be courteous to fellow gamers, and be good sports. Also, remember that much of the equipment will not be yours, so be respectful.
  • You are responsible for your own stuff. (Tags, security locks, ect ect.)
  • If there is a cost incurred with the space, food, drinks, ect, make sure it is spelled out who pays for what. i.e host, guests, sponsors(Larger parties).
  • Some form of written agreement to follow the rules, or risk being expelled from the party.
  • All guests must sign showing they accept the rules and responsibilities.

Special thanks to the following for their contributions and advice
SchmoSalt
BakerMan1971
 

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I just had my 13th LAN Party on Saturday. Here is the gist of my last LAN party. There were 10 people total.

Equipment:
2 x 8 port Gigabit Switches *daisy chained* (A single 16 port would be neater but I started with a single 8 port switch)
12 Ethernet cables
3 Power strips totaling 26 power sockets

Games:
* The Specialists 2.1 (HL1 Modification)
* Garry's Mod
* Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
* Serious Sam HD 1 & 2
* Natural Selection 2 (B249 Mod)

Provisions:
Bottled soda *Coke, Sunkist, Mtn. Dew* (I like bottled better because people are less likely to spill)
Costco pizza (If you have a Costco nearby the pizza is cheap and its awesome)
Variety small chip bags

Table Layout:
1 single self built conference style table that sits 5 people per side
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchmoSalt View Post

I just had my 13th LAN Party on Saturday. Here is the gist of my last LAN party. There were 10 people total.

Equipment:
2 x 8 port Gigabit Switches *daisy chained* (A single 16 port would be neater but I started with a single 8 port switch)
12 Ethernet cables
3 Power strips totaling 26 power sockets

Games:
* The Specialists 2.1 (HL1 Modification)
* Garry's Mod
* Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
* Serious Sam HD 1 & 2
* Natural Selection 2 (B249 Mod)

Provisions:
Bottled soda *Coke, Sunkist, Mtn. Dew* (I like bottled better because people are less likely to spill)
Costco pizza (If you have a Costco nearby the pizza is cheap and its awesome)
Variety small chip bags

Table Layout:
1 single self built conference style table that sits 5 people per side
my bros a manager at costco they are amazing in everything and have great prices! he can get free pizza if he wants too at the end of the day
biggrin.gif
 

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Well after attending and organising lan parties here is the MUST list.

Decent switch + Backup switch
Spare power boards
Good quality network cables, make sure there are no old / kinked or damaged cables, they will spoil the day.

If you are using your internet connection make sure it is set up properly, consider a firewall especially for larger lan parties and try to restrict ports to the internet to prevent random torrenting etc.

Once you have a game list, have a couple of big usb sticks or external drives loaded wiith all the latest patches and updates for the games in question.

Arrange the tables for both maximum seating capacity while carefully routing power and network connections to avoid trip hazards.
the conference style setup is ideal with the switch at one end.

Some non-marking tape to cover wires, lessens trip hazard.

as for refreshments, it totally depends on the type of party, get some menus for local delivering takeout places, so guests can order deliveries if required.

Make a list of rules, mostly for the enjoyment and safety of the party.

No Horseplay
No running
No Piracy
Patrons are responsible for their own equipment, no liability accepted etc etc.
It is patrons own responsibility to turn up with updated software, while your patch drives may help, you are not there to just do tech support for a poorly set up system.

Check local laws as pertaining to prizes.
Make a list of tournaments and rules.

Possibly create a document agreeing to the rules that patrons must sign in order to take part.

If monetary contributions are required, state the expenses they cover and work out a fixed amount in advance.

Have fun!
smile.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
All great suggestions so far. Still just on my phone so I cant put it all together but probably tonight.
 

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Racing games are great at lan! NFS Shfit 2 was really fun with 5 guys, i could imagine it with more people.
As mentioned before, make sure you got spare parts, if something breaks it can ruin the fun for all
thumb.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I now must ask myself gigabit or no. It can be nice for file transfers...but I really dont know if its justifiable. Since a 24 port 100mbit switch is $43
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Updated with more detailed info, Games seems to be the hardest thing to get. There is such a huge variety, I'll put a few up there and update after I see where the thread goes.
 

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Gigabit is not really necessary, think about what speed you are connecting to the web with when gaming, my fibre is only 76mbits down and 16mbits up, so a 100mbit connection both ways to the router should have enough latency on a lan gaming session.
One thing to check which is important, when your guests connect to the network tell them to check the Speed and Duplex setting in Network Card Properties, this may have been fixed with a windows update, but there have been a lot of instances where the Auto Negotiation has set the card to half duplex, which can make it seem very slow.
Manually set speed and duplex to 100mbit FULL duplex, or 1Gb Full Duplex for best results.
 

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I would say Dota 2 but I guess with that game you either play it or you don't. Too big of a learning curve to learn in one night.

I'm also extremely excited about Rise of the Triad. Only $15 at release (Late July), fast paced Quake style FPS action, ridiculous weapons, no DRM versions available, highly moddable, LAN friendly. I'm preordering
biggrin.gif


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWhsZAhfyqc
 
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