LAN Party Questions

Has anyone had experience with a LAN party as a fundraiser?

Can you tell me about basic needs, please? If you want to suggest games, cool - but I’m interested in set-up/power needs.

If we have a set-up for 20, what do I need to provide?

Tell me about plugs, etc.
I don’t want to blow up my donated space. Seriously.

Thank you in advance.

Normally the participants would bring their own computers. For every person you would need at least 2 plug in spots for power, one for monitor and one for computer. Most LAN competitions impose rules on the size of monitor you can bring to save space, also most require that you use headphones instead of speakers. You will need some kind of network that everyone can access. Depending on what game you would likely need a computer to run a dedicated server for the game.

Popular LAN Party games are:
Counter Strike Source
Battlefield 2
Day of Defeat Source

Google brought up these sites they seem like they are probably of use:

Depending on the type of computer(Desktop or Laptop), and the type of monitor(CRT or LCD), I’d have no more than 5 desktops with no larger than 17" CRT monitors on a single circuit. Laptops can go as many as 10 per circuit.
You will need to provide power to where each computer will be located, I recommend using a heavy duty extension cord from the wall outlet to a good surge strip located where computers will be located, possible have the power in the center of a ring of tables. If you plan on having a game server dedicated to running one particular game, use a battery backup in place of the surge strip, that way if the extension gets unplugged the game won’t immediatly crash.

Network switches are needed to connect all the cumputers together to the ethernet(RJ45) port in each computer. You can use wireless access pionts to reduce the amount of wiring needed, but each computer that uses it will require a wireless network card.

Halo, Counter Strike, Age of Empires II, Starcraft and Broodwars expansion, Warcraft III Frozen Throne.

Set what times the LAN party will go till, what the admission costs are if any, what food will be there. As for the fundraising part, you can charge admission, have a donation jug, raffle off some piece of computer equipment, etc.

Are you doing this at a house or a school or a … ? If it is not in a house, you are fine.

I’ve been to at least one LAN party that browned out the host’s house, so you are right to worry. However, 20 isn’t that bad, so I wouldn’t worry too much.

Do not allow anyone to bring speakers, headphones only. This is mostly just a courtesy thing, but speakers can draw unnecessary current.

Laptops are handy because they are easy to set up / take down, and they don’t draw a whole lot of juice. My laptop’s power supply is 60 W, my desktops power supply is 500W. However, gamers largely prefer desktops for good reason.

LCDs consume about one third as much energy as CRTs. Your mileage may vary. I’ve read that it is 50W vs 150W, but again, your mileage may vary.

After those power saving tips, it isn’t too hard to eyeball where your power needs will be. Each circuit should give you about 20 Amps / 2400W (double check me on that please). Thats enough for 40 laptops or 5 desktops (safely). You can probably put 10 desktops on that circuit before it pops, unless they do something silly like all play a game at the same time.

Back in 2002, we had all had clunky desktops with CRTs. We popped breakers on two circuits in the house and borrowed power from the neighbors during a 25 person LAN.

Good luck, and have fun.

No, not in a house - in a professional building probably about 9 years old.
What about cough/choke 40 participants?

The original plan was for about 40 - I’m going conservative with 20 but the advice for 40 would be welcomed as well.

Thanks for all of your help, everyone. Maybe we can make a white paper out of this. It would be cool.

The important thing is for my hair not to fall or brown out.

Is this a school inviroment, lan party attendees usually need to grab the latest update or patch, and most school networks block these sites. If this is the case find out what games will be played and download the patches etc into a common folder shared over the network and let everyone know where they’re located.
40 attendees is no problem, just use the advice given. so if 20 people required 2 circuits, than 40 would require 4 circuits. Also don’t forget the power requirements of the network equipment like routers, switches, servers, etc.
also make sure you have access to the breaker box in case a circuit should trip. Static IPs are good if no router is used, people signin and get the ip next to were they sign. Dynamic IPs make it easier sometimes, IP is assigned by a DHCP server/router.
I haev experience running a LAN party so if you need help send me a message.

about the network make sure to have enough “patch cables” (rj45 category 5 ethernet cables) to connect all the computers to the swithc / hub and make sure they will be long enough. it would be good to get at least a 100 mbs switch 1 gigabit (aka 10/100/1000 baseT) would be better also switches are usually faster than hubs as they allow more than one person to have a “conversation” with someone else at the same time.

hope that helps a bit


here is my advice and just to let you know I have helped put on 50 person lans all the way to 150 and I have been to 500 person lans. The most important thing about running LANS is POWER you can damage the building or peoples computers if you dont do it right.

here is what you need:

you need enough power to provide for 2 plugs per person 1 for monitor and 1 for computer. most lans do not allow anything else like external speakers and things like that that take extra power. Generally you need about 40amps per circuit with one circuit providing power for 4 computers. most LANS require no more than 500-600 watt power supplies for the computer and no CRTs above 17" inches or LCDS above 24" if all of that is met you should be good on power.

generally you have a switch or too depending on the number of people involved. Good switches usually come in 24 or 48 ports. Most of the time you run snakes to central locations basically they are just a bundles of Ethernet cables with female jacks on end and male on the other. you plug the male ends into the switch(s) and leave the other ends for players to plug there own cables into. just make sure your cable runs don’t exceed 100m as cat5e ethernet is only rated to go that far. be sure to take into account the players cable as well general rule of thumb 15 feet minimum for their cable. as for swtich speed 10/100 is ok but 10/100/1000 is best but more expensive for a switch.

all thats left is people to show up with their computer and plug in.

hope this helps if you have any questions feel free to send me a PM

We were thinking of doing a similar one at our school for fundraising. (We are after all a ROBOTICS team) the neat thing is that our school is three years old, so new comps that are pretty decent. Our school is also entirely networked (if thats how you say it?) and we play games on them anyways.

I was also thinking of doing one at my house with 15 or so computers on 4 different circuits, soo would that work at my house? I think all 4 are 20 amps, maybe one of them is 15 amps. Also is it ok if I am running other things in my house like TV, Refrigerator…OH and lights?

Games: I hear Quake is a popular LAN game even though its outdated. I would go with RTS, Warcraft III, Age of Empires. Counter Strike definetely. Wolfenstein, I hear is a good game…AND SOLDAT!!!

I don’t think this has been specifically mentioned; make sure you have a switch/router, not a hub. The difference is a touch technical, but computers communicating through a hub is like trying to get a message across a room when everybody (including you) is communicating in Morse code–with airhorns. Communicating through a switch is like having everybody make quiet phonecalls to one another. Naturally, this makes a huge difference in the game’s performance.

Never been to one before, but the most popular multiplayer LAN games to date are:

Warcraft III
Call of Duty 2
Battlefield 2
Halo CE (and I guess Halo 2 for Vista now)

Also, I strongly agree with the headphone requirements. I play at a game center where they used to provide headphones until people started abusing them. Now they switched to speakers, and it’s a lot of distracting sound with only 16 PCs. I can’t imagine that kind of noise more than doubled. Plus, I know I like to use a microphone anyway, so I usually prefer headsets.

Nice idea, though! I might see if we can muster up something like that.

Make sure the network is set up properly, and there’s enough plugs. You can pull up to 1800w from each outlet on a plug (120v / 60a), so you can get 2-4 computers on a single plug (but keep it down to a minimum if at all possible).

To give you an idea:

Tech High has 80-120+ person LAN parties every few months and there hasn’t been a power issue in three years (and even then it wasn’t that bad, one circuit broke and shut off my computer and three others, but that was it).

Speakers are fine, but if you DO allow people to bring them (which you shouldn’t in this case), make sure that the attendees collaborate and share speaker time OR play music everybody likes.

Hope this helps.


So i know that this is more about computer LAN Parties and such. But, what about have something such as a Xbox 360 LAN Party. Many people on our team have 360 already and the idea just came into my head.

Sorry if this is a little hijacking, and semi off topic. :o

Could you do it? Have you done it :confused:

More of the same questions what would you need to make it happen hypothetically?

Again sorry,
just had to put the idea out there.


Well with my experience with X-box lan parties, you all just need to be in the same router. With the X-box only 16 people could play at once, so 4 per x-box and 4 xboxes… i dont know what the physical limitations on players on a LAN game are with a 360, but it should work if you just all plug into the same router.

It has been done before, and like Sir Charles said, you just have to plug them into the same router. The only thing you have to watch is the game’s multiplayer limitations.

wow that is small ours that robotic puts on is set up for 120 people about half of our school. 50 or so people bring there comps. the rest play systems. one recommendation is have a plan dawn out of where computers are going to be and where the cables are going to be. also how to get power to every thing. also make sure there are alot of plugs so you dont over load the circuit. but if you plan it out every thing should go smoothly.

another game is ut 2004

Jane ,
At our school we have a “Game Club” and we hold LAN parties at least once every two months. If you would like more details on how we do it, I can get you information since I’m on Game Club and the Captain on our Robotics Team is the Game Club President as well.

You can just PM me if you’d like.

Oh and our LAN parties usually accommodate around 30-100+ students. So I think we could help a bit with planning

I have a dealt with many LAN parties, and from experience I have one little suggestion about the power issue. This would only but helpful if you are planning on a large scale LAN party and would be pointless for small to medium ones. OK… so now the suggestion.

Take a look for any companies that deal with live concert production (aka…Sound system, lighting, video) in your area. Give them a call and tell them what you’re doing, and about your team and what not. (just like a sponsor) These companies have to deal with large values of power, so they have everything necessary do this kind of thing. The main thing you would be looking for is a power distribution; this is what they use for concerts to control their power flow. They genially have their own breaker box built in to the system, but the only problem with them is that to really get some good use from them they need to be hooked up a three-phase circuit (this makes the need for a electrician duty) and most of the time someone form the production company needs to be there to hook them up.

Here is what you might run in to if you get one.LINK

They also might be able to provide you with some heavy duty power extender (I mean heavy duty), these well be nice to handle some nice amounts of power over a far distance.

Let me list out some pros. and cons. about doing this.

• Deals with large amounts of power
• Built in circuit
• Makes easy transition from three-phase to standard Edison (if needed)
• May provide with high performance power extenders (big plus)
• Needs electrician (particularly for three-phase)
• May need tech from production company for hook up

Getting this equipment really depends on the shows they are doing that day. Again I well highly stress not to try this for small (20-30) to medium (40-120), but only for large scale (140+) LAN parties. For this is wasting both your time and the production company’s time and equipment if not really required. I do have an internship at the company that does this in my area so I do have experience with this kind of thing.

I hope this advice is helpful for any one that might need, and sorry for maybe wasting your time if you don’t.

Thank you for all of your helpful suggestions, everyone.
It is greatly appreciated.

Great responses!