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How to Throw a LAN Party

The best way to experience a new game like Battlefield 2 is to throw a LAN party for all of your friends. Holding a LAN party isn't as difficult as it seems, though it does take a bit of planning. Below are all the items you'll need to throw a successful LAN party.

What You'll Need

  • Software
    • Multiplayer video game (such as Battlefield 2)
    • Operating system that supports peer-to-peer networking (Microsoft Windows Vista, XP, 98)
    • Latest game patches - it might be a good idea to download the patch once and place it in a shared directory so everyone can quickly obtain and install it)
  • Networking Hardware
    • Ethernet switch or ethernet router to connect everything together (at least one port per computer, so 8+ is a good idea)
    • One ethernet cable per computer
    • Broadband internet connection (if you intend to connect online, though locally may be just as much fun)
  • Miscellaneous
    • Power strips
    • Tables / chairs
    • Appropriate beverages
    • Food - think pizza!
    • Sleeping accommodations

Steps to Throw a LAN Party

  1. Tell all your friends the date of the party and tell them to bring:
    1. Their computer and monitor
    2. A copy of the multiplayer game you intend to play
    3. All necessary accessories including headphones, keyboard, mouse, ethernet cable, power cable
  2. Arrange the room such that the ethernet switch is near the center and cables can easily be run from it to everyone's computer
  3. Setup all the computers and attach them to network by running a cable from their network interface card to the ethernet switch
  4. Depending on your ethernet switch/router's configuration, IP addresses may either be assigned dynamically or statically. If they are assigned dynamically, everything should work out of the box. If DHCP is not enabled, then you will need to manually configure each computer's IP address (see below).
  5. Start playing games
  6. Crack open the cold ones!

Configuring Static IP Addresses on Windows XP

The following instructions will setup Windows XP to communicate on a locally defined network (192.168.0.0). Please note that unless you manually configure your router to take address 192.168.0.1, the entire network will not have internet access. For a LAN party this may not be a big deal if you intend to only play locally with each other.

  1. Go to Start -> Control Panel -> Network Connections
  2. Right click the "Local Area Connection"
  3. Select "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)" and click "Properties"
  4. Click the "Use the following IP address" button
  5. Fill in the following fields:
    1. IP Address: 192.168.0.XXX - replace XXX with a unique number anywhere in the range of 2 to 254. Please note that this number must be unique within your network, so ensure that no two computers have the same number. Thus, begin numbering with 192.168.0.2, 192.168.0.3, etc...
    2. Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
    3. Default Gateway: 192.168.0.1

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