ArqadeWhat LAN games are there for a smaller number of players?
[+15] [36] CelthiasAlpha
[2010-07-21 08:43:40]
[ pc game-rec multiplayer ]

I love lanning but the bigger LANs I go to are few and far between. What games are there that would suit me and my mates having a blast on a home network? To me, this means games typically suited for players <= 8.

Note on answers: Posting only one game per answer allows for more fine-grained voting.

(3) Community Wiki? - McKay
(1) When you ask users to create a list of answers, the question should be marked community wiki. I converted this question. - Robert Cartaino
Remember that usually votes on list-of-X questions are more of a popularity contest than a measure of value of each game. (For that you'd have to compare downvotes) :) - fail badp
Why does this question have an open bounty? Doesn't community wikis, by definition, lack a correct and objective answer? - mizipzor
@mizipzor Probably he is interested a lot in the answers, so he want to bring more attention to this question. Bounty used as ads :) - Drake
(2) Closed after more than 2 weeks. Why now? This too broad again? I think it was pretty interesting and for my small LAN in october I was interested in the answers also :( - StampedeXV
This meta discussion is probably the source of the close. - Michael Herold
(1) I was interested in the answers also - reopen, please - Bernd Ott
[+14] [2010-07-21 18:21:43] Dave

Age of Empires II [1] - believe it or not, we still play it regularly on our lan partys. One of the best and funniest realtime strategy games ever made.


Still loving the game - KahWee Teng
[+12] [2010-07-21 15:22:32] Colin Gislason

Serious Sam is always fun with 2-8 people. Co-op FPS with scaling difficulty based on the number of players. Drop in/out is another bonus.

[+11] [2010-07-21 09:32:31] StampedeXV

There are always real-time strategy games like StarCraft II, Warcraft III, Command and Conquer. We also like to play some of the funmaps. 4-8 Players are usually enough for that.

(4) especially Tower Wars and DotA =) - F.S.
(4) Starcraft II does not support LAN play. - StrixVaria
(1) I said like. Furthermore you can play SCII on a LAN. You just need Internet, which usually is not a problem. Although I'm currently only installing the game, I'm pretty sure you can decide who joins an opened game - thus playing vs is still possible (although not a real LAN game - i know) :). - StampedeXV
SC2 Does support LAN play. With Internet. I have hosted and attended several SC2 LAN parties. - McKay
[+7] [2010-07-21 15:08:36] Präriewolf

The Civilization games are fun small group marathon games. Plus, being turn based you can start and stop them easily.

you should split this up into separate answers... - Tobias Kienzler
@Tobias Kienzler Wasn't asking for one game per post when I answered. - Präriewolf
@Präriewol: but it helps differentiating, so thanks for editing - Tobias Kienzler
At university, we had some "holes" in our schedule, FreeCiv was our biggest cause of lateness. "OK guys, just another turn and we go..." - DavRob60
[+7] [2010-07-22 07:21:06] cowgod

Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 are the single greatest LAN party games when you have exactly 8 people. You get to split up into two teams of 4 and fight each other, zombies vs. survivors (called Versus mode).

I have been doing this almost every month with 7 close friends for well over a year now and it's never a dull time. We'll go through a campaign and at the end, we'll discuss everything that happened over the course of the game.

I think you misuse the term "LAN" in this case. Though for most people it doesn't make any difference, I am afraid. - NPC
why? You can do this in a lan? - PoweRoy
You are playing through another server, not through your computers. Means you need an internet connection to play. Unless you cheat a little:… - Macha
[+7] [2010-07-30 15:02:05] Drake

AlienSwarm [1] is a free co-op distributed through Steam.

It allow to play 4 people together, but it is already in development a mod to allow more players like 6/8.


[+7] [2010-07-31 22:05:41] JamesGecko

I'll go for the obvious.

Unreal Tournament 2004

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The perfect LAN game. Scales well from one-on-one deathmatch to 32 players. 2v2 CTF is a blast, and there's a ton of options and mods that completely change how the game is played.


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The other perfect LAN game. Again, it scales quite well. I've had a blast with playing against just one other person and getting owned by seven Koreans. It's been around for twelve years and everyone still plays it, so you know it's good.

Now some slightly less obvious choices.

Soldat [1]

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It's a 2D CTF-oriented shooter. Physics-based, lots of jetpacks and gun fire. 2D Tribes. If you don't have enough people for an interesting game, you can always just connect to a server and team up on the unsuspecting other team.

Galcon [2]

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Realtime risk. In space. I made the mistake of loading up the flash version of the game at a LAN party and we lost half the population as they proceeded to play this for the rest of the night. There are also paid downloadable versions you can use if you don't have internet at the LAN.

Savage [3]

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You'll need at least four people for this to work well, but it's a great LAN game. A hybrid of RTS and FPS, each team has a commander with an overhead view and troops in FPS view. Things get quite interesting with a small number of players, as you must balance switching between RTS mode and FPS mode.


(1) you should split this up into separate answers... - Tobias Kienzler
@Tobias: why should it be split? - technomalogical
The question was edited and I think it this makes sense since now one does not know which game got the upvote: > Note on answers: Posting only one game per answer allows for more fine-grained voting. - Tobias Kienzler
(1) I have only heard of three of the games. How do I only vote for those three (and I want to vote) without voting for the others as well? - mizipzor
@mizipzor: +1 exactly my point - Tobias Kienzler
(1) These questions are community wiki for a reason. ;-) - JamesGecko
@Tobias - I most definitely disagree. Every question on this site should have an answer you can accept. Having one game per answer violates this principle. This is the best answer on this question. - Arda Xi
@Arda Xi: "List of X" questions can by principle not have one correct answer, which is why this question has been closed after all. The subjectiveness makes a "correct" answer impossible, but by making each entry voteable on its own, one could at least poll. But, alas, that's frowned upon here anyway... - Tobias Kienzler
@Tobias - List of X questions can have one correct answer if someone adds one CW answer and everyone adds games to that answer. The voting system should never be abused as a poll on the parent site. - Arda Xi
@Arda Xi: That assumes they don't all start writing their "one" answer at the same time or someone else merges them afterwards. But as has been declared here list of X is not so great here anyway and should be put elsewhere. Although I'd appreciate a subsite at the SE itself for that purpose... - Tobias Kienzler
[+6] [2010-07-21 09:34:05] StampedeXV

Trackmania [1] is also a game that is fun with only a few players. We like to play it between larger sessions (i.e. after a Empire Earth game) to relax a little.


[+6] [2010-07-29 16:30:44] NickAldwin

We usually play CS:S (Counter Strike: Source). It's really a lot of fun to play with a small group (2v2, 3v3, etc). And you can use bots if you want; we usually don't.

[+5] [2010-07-21 09:06:52] Avaclon

I know it's old, but it seems like every time we bust out DOOM 2, people have a ridiculous amount of fun. New hardware only makes the game faster and more furious.

Probably worth pointing out that it's 4 players max (without hacking it). And I broke out DOOM2 a few years ago to relive my student LAN days and had a blast. - GAThrawn
If you're looking for something a little more current but with the same fun factor, Quake3 or UT200x are always fun and will run on just about anything. - GalacticCowboy
[+5] [2010-07-21 09:40:04] StampedeXV

A pretty unusual game is DefCon [1]. Personally I don't like it that much, cause I suck at it, but the other players on our LANs like it. It's nuclear war, (I think) six parties are trying to destroy each other (or form alliances and destroy the other group(s)).


you should split this up into two answers... - Tobias Kienzler
you are right there. I'll do it. - StampedeXV
I removed Babo Violent from this answer and put it into a new answer. If you gave a vote here because of Babo, please remove the vote again and give it to the new answer. - StampedeXV
[+5] [2010-07-21 10:13:29] Jasarien

Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory is still a huge hit at our small LANs. 3v3 or 4v4 on a 6 map campaign is really fun.

Not to mention that W:ET is free!

I've always had a hard time playing W:ET with fewer than 6 or 8 per team... - bdukes
I don't know if you play custom maps or not, but I find the 6 original maps that came with the game and no mods (etpro, jaymod, etc) is really fun. - Jasarien
[+5] [2010-07-23 09:23:27] Ondrej Slinták

We used to play several older games with 2-4 players:

And also some turn based strategies (I'm not sure if you'd like them via LAN as it might get pretty slow):


you should split this up into separate answers... - Tobias Kienzler
[+4] [2010-07-23 18:32:40] projecktzero

Good old Diablo II

Titan Quest

Neverwinter Nights

Guild Wars

you should split this up into separate answers... - Tobias Kienzler
[+3] [2010-07-30 18:35:20] Bobby

If you're looking for fast-paced action and thinking, Armagetron [1], a Tron-Motorcycle game might be the right thing. On the other hand, OpenLieroX [2] does also provide fast-paced action, but with less thinking. ;)


(2) +1 for - ccook
(1) Armagedtron is pure gold! I've managed to literally within minutes of showing it off, pull in our entire house plus numerous guests (~10-15 people) for spontaneous sessions that have lasted many hours, and ended up being the first LAN party for most. I should also note this has happened on several occasions (i.e. not a fluke;) and always with different people plus there were always 1/4-1/2 female players who are known for never ever playing games (with possible exception to some Wii titles). - glenneroo
[+3] [2010-07-31 15:00:53] Mark Tomlin

Warzone 2100 [1] is a real-time strategy game, originally developed by Pumpkin Studios and published by Eidos-Interactive™.

Although comparable to other 3D RTS games, it does contain some features that are unique. These include various radar technologies, a greater focus on artillery and counter-battery technologies, as well as a different vehicle design method. It was released in 1999 for PC and Playstation®.

In December 2004 Warzone was released by its copyright holders, Eidos-Interactive™, to the public under the GNU General Public License (GPL) ( later clarified to include the soundtrack and videos as well), and the Warzone 2100 Project (formerly known as Warzone 2100 Resurrection Project) was born.

After the game has been ported to run on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, the Warzone 2100 Project aims to further improve the game, but since this game is free, all development happens in our free time, and therefore can be a bit slow at times.

In Warzone 2100 [2], you command the forces of The Project in a battle to rebuild the world after mankind has almost been destroyed by nuclear missiles.

The game offers campaign, multi-player, and single-player skirmish modes. An extensive tech tree with over 400 different technologies, combined with the unit design system, allows for a wide variety of possible units and tactics.


[+2] [2010-07-21 14:37:01] hiena

StarCraft: Brood War and Quake3 are always fun

[+2] [2010-08-02 12:02:49] Z_guy

Me and my friends still play Empire Earth [1] from time to time. It's a really great game.


[+1] [2010-07-23 09:14:30] RegDwight

We are having daily XBlast [1] sessions at work which are extremely entertaining. It's a Bomberman-style game for 2-6 players. It's also highly customizable, so you can play in teams or alone, for an hour or just a few minutes, which is ideal for irregular coffee breaks in a working environment.


Cool, need to try it out! - NPC
[+1] [2010-07-30 20:53:51] community_owned

Rise of Nations Gold [1] is what we play alot...There is only 3-5 of us total, but there is always computers to add to the mix.


Oh yeah, this is a great choice. It's fast paced enough that things stay interesting, but slow paced enough for there to be a few memorable high points each game. This is the only game I can remember where friends and I actually watched an entire replay after the game had ended and picked apart each other's strategies. - JamesGecko
[+1] [2010-07-31 10:51:40] alexandrul

OpenArena [1]:

OpenArena is a community-produced deathmatch FPS based on GPL idTech3 technology. There are many game types supported including Free For All, Capture The Flag, Domination, Overload, Harvester, and more. There are 17 unique player models to choose from and 12 weapons.


(1) countless late nights with buddies playing this... - mxmissile
[+1] [2010-08-02 07:12:30] HenryHey

I used to play Ignition [1], but expect large pixels (late 90s)


[+1] [2010-08-02 15:34:22] Präriewolf

Sins of a Solar Empire

[+1] [2010-08-03 11:10:14] Timotei Dolean

I'm so dissapointed that nobody wrote about:


alt text

Come on. This series was, is and will be the utter-most funny series of game. Starting from basic 2d which can be handled by almost any computer up to the latest 3d, this games can be played by everyone! And we can tell there no 'violence' in them :P

Worms - [1]


[0] [2010-07-29 21:11:15] foraidt

FlatOut 2 [1] is nice for playing in between. It has no steep learning curve, except halfway knowing which cars are usable.
If I recall correctly, the latest title of the FlatOut series ("Ultimate Carnage") does no longer have a LAN-mode, so I'*m not sure, how well that would work.


[0] [2010-07-30 09:13:07] community_owned

Used to play Moto Racer [1] with roommates. Easy to get start, competitive and fun.


[0] [2010-07-30 10:07:53] Aamir

Play Call of Duty - Capture the Flag. Its unlimited fun especially when you have to plan how to defend your flag and how to attack opponent's. We have played COD's Capture the Flag game with as less as 4 players (2x2) on smallish maps and as much as 20 players (10x10) on large maps and it has always been a lot of fun.

For (4x4), you have to coordinate and communicate very well among your team member e.g., who is defending at a certain time and who is attacking enemy's base. If defense leaves its place then retrieving your flag is a hard thing to do. When you have more players, you can assign people different roles such as snipers, machine gunners, midfielders (as we used to call them :), attackers, defenders etc.

[0] [2010-07-30 21:21:43] Dfowj

Warhammer 40k [1]. Great for anywhere from 2v2 to larger free for all matches! Also very fun for comp stomps because the A.I. will really give you a run for your money.

Strategic-point-capture oriented gameplay, visually pleasing with lots of big explosions and very detailed death animations (heroes units literally impale lesser enemies and throw them quite a distance away), and well balanced for multiplayer.


[0] [2010-08-02 09:33:17] Jon Hadley

The Rainbow Six [1] / SWAT [2] games make for amusing LAN parties with 2-16 players.


[0] [2010-08-02 11:49:59] StampedeXV

Also in that "area" of a little unusual games: Babo Violent [1] which is free. There is a new version available on steam, but I like the old one better. You roll around as a ball, armed with different weapons (MG, Rocket Launcher, Flame Thrower). It's red vs. blue, CTF and basically 2D (no jumping, no hight differences - although in the new one there are). Really fun to play in between.


[0] [2010-08-02 14:49:42] Liam

Pretty much any Command & Conquer game. Maps are tailor-made to 8 players and under.

It's the number one choice for me and my friends either online or on a LAN. And it's heaps of fun.

[0] [2010-08-02 15:34:57] Präriewolf

Company of Heroes

[0] [2010-08-02 15:35:35] Präriewolf

Demigod (Adventure\Arena)

[0] [2010-08-02 16:59:41] technomalogical

Moonbase Commander [1]. It's older, but a lot of fun for 2-4 players. It's a turn-based strategy game where you expand out your base while trying to prevent the expansion of your opponents base(s). I don't know who the rights-holders are at the moment, so I doubt you'll find it on any of the online distribution services (LazyWeb, please prove me wrong!) so your best bet for finding a copy is probably eBay.


[0] [2010-08-02 22:19:24] community_owned

All Battlefield games | FlatOut 2 | Warcraft III (hero defense maps are fun too)

[0] [2010-08-04 13:40:51] Hooray Im Helping

Borderlands. [1] It's a 4 player loot-based FPS. Kind of like FPS Diablo. Really fun to LAN. borderlands screenshot