GET THE CREW TOGETHER FOR THE ULTIMATE GAMING PARTY
How to game in person with your friends when the world opens up
Over these last 18 months, many gamers didn’t experience the downturn that a lot of other people have. Most took it as an opportunity to finish the games they never quite got around to, while others were able to finally sink their teeth into that game that’s been collecting dust on their shelf ever since they bought it. A lot of us took the time to immerse ourselves like we once did, and the prevalence of online multiplayer meant that we never felt disconnected from our friends.
Others, however, those who enjoy the social interaction from in-person gaming, have been longing for the days where they could set up an old-school LAN party, play a local game of Mario Kart or Smash Bros, and enjoy a night in with their friends.
With the world beginning to open up again, here are our tips on how to do just that, and make the most of in-person gaming again.
Ah, the age-old classic. For the veterans among us, LAN parties have been a staple of our gaming lives for years, and in 2021, with things trending in the right direction, we see no better time to return to the tried and true set-up.
Here are the five most important things you have to remember when planning a LAN party:
Number one is making sure you have ample space for all your friends and even extra seating arrangements for those who might bring guests. Many LAN parties have been ruined when guests are left out or feel excluded or feel like you’re not a good host. Plus, the more people playing, the better!
The second is making sure you have hardware spares and extra monitors/TVs if you need them. If something breaks early in the night and you don’t have a replacement, that means the friend in question is pretty much out for the night, which sucks for everyone. Ever gone to a friend’s house to play games then realized you don’t have the right cable? Yeah, happens all the time. Make sure you have plenty of extensions, HDMIs, chargers, everything you might need to get up and running, and stay up and running.
Three and four are pretty much common sense. You’re going to need to ensure you have a decent internet connection and make sure you’ve planned out the games you want to play. Imagine turning up to your friend’s house, sitting down and getting set up then arguing for the next hour on what game you should play first. Then to make things worse, it’s almost unplayable because your connections are too slow! Plan these things ahead, get everyone on the same page, and ensure you have a great time.
We saved the best LAN party tip till last, the food. When you’re gaming and pulling an all-nighter, you’re going to need lots of fuel and that food can make or break a good LAN party. Get everyone’s dietary requirements, try and ‘Wow’ your friends as a host, and make sure everyone has enough to eat. You could even contact a local caterer, maybe a fast-food restaurant, to get your order scheduled so you know when you’re eating and that it’s going to be enough. These are the most important things so make sure you’re taking notes.
Some of us might not be able to plan such an extravagant event as a LAN party, and that’s okay. If you don’t have the time, the money, or even the room to set up events as described above then there’s plenty of alternatives you can do to make sure you and your friends still maximize your gaming experiences.
One such way is planning a more casual night in with a console. The benefits of a console over PCs are that you need far less hardware, usually only a controller, and you only need one large screen where you can split-screen or take turns.
Games where you play as a team are perfect for nights like this. They’re fun to participate in even as a spectator and you can create tournaments between yourselves as well as competing all at once in the same game.
The same rules apply to both seating arrangements and food but these types of nights are far easier to pull off meaning you can even have them once a week, with everyone knowing when to arrive and what to bring.
With the introduction of Augmented Reality games, all you need is a smartphone with one of the many AR games downloaded and you’re ready to play with all your friends outside. Whether you’re on your lunch break at work or hanging out at the park, AR games provide a great way to have fun as a group and bring a new dynamic to your gaming lives.
Usually, AR games will have real-life landmarks set as significant locations for you to explore as a team or challenge other players to get different rewards. This offers a great opportunity to get outdoors, enjoy the fresh air, get your daily steps in while playing, and explore the world around you.
The world is opening up again and with it, the ‘gaming with friends in person’ world is opening up too, so make sure you follow our tips to make the most of it.