A local area network (LAN) party is when a group of people gather in one physical space and connect their computers to a LAN to play video games together. Read this blog post to learn more about the essence of what a LAN party is and how you can set up your own.
A local area network (LAN) party is when people get together in a physical space to connect their computers or consoles to the same LAN network and play video games. LAN parties became popular in the ’90s when broadband internet was expensive and uncommon. LAN parties vary in size, from a get-together with a few friends to a major event involving hundreds of strangers.
LAN parties used to be the perfect way to play multiplayer games without relying on split-screen gameplay, often limiting the experience to a maximum of four players.
The heyday of LAN parties was the late ’90s to the early 2000s, when broadband internet was expensive and not that widespread. This was also before a good internet speed for gaming was uncommon to have. Users lacking access to high-speed internet found that LAN parties were also good opportunities to share files and software with each other.
While LAN parties have shrunk in popularity, they continue to be used. In fact, the latest renditions of Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PS are fully capable of LAN gameplay.
Small LAN parties are typically friends or acquaintances gathering to play video games together. While such gatherings usually take place in someone’s home or a garage, you can also get together at gaming cafes or gaming lounges for a LAN party. Participants connect computers or consoles via a router or switch and play video games or hang with fellow gamers.
Large LAN parties usually gather hundreds or even thousands of gamers and take place in sports arenas or large convention centers. While some participants compete for the title of winner, others may find themselves in other gaming-related activities, such as exhibits, workshops, or panel discussions.
The energy in large LAN parties is upbeat and energetic. Participants often dress in cosplay, socialize with one another, and immerse themselves in large-scale gaming experiences. Some of the most significant eSports events include Dota 2 The International, attracting thousands of gamers worldwide, the League of Legends World Championship (Worlds), and CSGO Major Championships.
Although the LAN party is most often associated with computer gaming, network-centric console platforms, such as Xbox or Playstation, are also commonly used gaming parties. Consoles are equipped with Ethernet ports that communicate with each other over standard routers or switches, just like traditional computers, and create a network allowing participants to play video games together.
The main purpose of a LAN party is to play video games with your friends in a more immersive and social environment than playing alone. Participants come together to show off their gaming skills, compete, and engage in friendly tournaments with small prizes.
Besides playing games, people gather to socialize, eat, and drink together. Due to the nature of LAN parties, gaming sessions usually last long into the early morning hours — energy drinks are a common feature.
LAN parties can be seen as the birth of true eSports tournaments. The original tournaments started with small LAN parties held between opposing teams to establish bragging rights. These escalated into minor cash prizes, which exploded into multi-million dollar, live-streamed, and sponsored tournaments.
As wireless networking and voice chat software became more popular, the desire for LAN parties dropped significantly. However, some players still long for an all-nighter with their friends, tagging each other with their favorite shooter or dominating with the latest strategy game. Here’s how to set up a good LAN party:
Once you have all of the above, you can achieve an almost perfect multiplayer experience.
But there’s one more aspect that some gamers overlook when it comes to LAN parties: outside interference. A VPN can bolster your LAN party’s defenses, and NordVPN is the best choice if you’re looking for a gaming VPN.
Yes, you can do a LAN party without the internet. Actually, LAN parties were popular before widespread internet access was available. To set up a LAN party without an internet connection, you will have to connect all the devices to a switch or router using Ethernet cables.
No internet connection only means you will not be able to play online multiplayer games, but you can still have a lot of fun playing LAN multiplayer games with your friends.
The best VPN for a LAN party depends on specific factors, like what game you will play, the number of players, and the venue of your gaming party. However, make sure to choose a reliable VPN service provider offering fast speeds and an extensive server network, which can be a key to reducing lag and latency.
Here are a few reasons why NordVPN is a good choice for LAN parties:
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