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5 Must-Haves for Starting a Game Night

After co-leading a monthly game night for almost 2 years and starting a second one recently, I’ve learned some valuable lessons about setting expectations, being patient, and what to do/avoid for a successful game night. Without further ado, here are my top 5 must-haves for your game night:

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Playing some low background music can set the mood and add to the atmosphere of game night. You can easily use Spotify or Apple Music with a Bluetooth speaker or the TV in the space. We recommend GameChops on Spotify for some chill and nerdy tunes.

Photo Credit: FBC Tallahassee


It may seem obvious, but having suitable tables is essential. Different games require different amounts of table space. Most 2-player games work well on small square tables or 6-foot folding tables, while larger co-op games and tile placing games are best suited for large round tables. Providing a variety of table options is ideal when choosing a location for your game night.

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Name Tags

Having name tags at your game night is a smart move. You can use “Hello My Name Is” stickers or any other easily accessible name tags. This helps newcomers feel welcome and aids in remembering names, especially for games with score sheets.

Photo Credit: The Association of PA

A Set Schedule

Establishing a regular schedule for your game night is important. Whether it’s once a month, biweekly, or weekly, choose a specific time, create a schedule, and spread the word. Utilize tools like Facebook events, Discord, your church bulletin, or an event scheduling tool like Heylo to promote and share updates about your game night. Don’t hesitate to cross-post across different platforms.

Photo Credit: NBC News


The most obvious and crucial element of a game night is the games themselves. It’s beneficial to have a wide variety of game types and varying levels of entry and difficulty. Here are some suggested categories and examples:

Games that are easy to teach:

Low brain power/late-night games:

Big group/party games:


“Milkshake Games” (games that bring all the gamers to the yard):

I hope this list helps make your game night fun and successful! If you’re looking for ways to start a game night, check out this resource or if you want to take your current game night to the next level, read this article.

Happy gaming, nerds!

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