Dummy Guide To Mac Lan Party With Team Fortress 2

January 9, 2016

As always, at BigPanda, we’re very serious about keeping our geek creds high.

So, we decided to throw together a company Lan Party (FTW).

Our needs were simple:

  • It should work on our Macs (13” MBP Retina)
  • Preferably, should work only using WIFI (Dammit those Thunderbolt => Lan adapters are expensive)
  • Should not cost anything extra per participant
  • If possible, save the need of a dedicated server

After some digging around, we decided to give Team Fortress 2 a try, here’s the steps we took:

Download Team Fortress 2

Tell your lan party guests to download steam (be sure to troll them if they haven’t already), then download Team Fortress 2.

Be connected to a fast network

We’re using Airport Extremes at the office, for us it was enough, YMMV.

Prepare hosts and clients

Click on the Options button, In the Keyboard tab, click Advanced, and Enable developer console.

Test by clicking ~, then rejoice with Quake flashbacks.

Hosting a server

Write down the IP (Option + Click on the Network icon in the status bar) of one of the Macs before starting.

Click on the + sign next to the Servers icon.

Choose a map (notice the naming convention: maptype_mapname)

Fire up the development console again with ~.

Enter the following to make re-spawning faster:

mp_respawnwavetime 1
mp_disable_respawn_times 1 

To change maps:

changelevel <MAPNAME>

And in order to get a list of maps:

maps *

For a full list of commands, see the TeamFortress wiki.

Connecting to the server

From the other macs, open then the console (~), then enter: connect HOST_IP:27015 (Replace HOST_IP with the IP you wrote down before).

Play and enjoy!


We used an older MBP with less memory (8GB) to host the server, it was a little bit laggy, and we changed the host to use a crappy resolution and low level graphics, then it all went smoothly. If you have LAG, you might want to make the host Mac in Spectator mode. If that doesn’t help, you should probably fire you your own dedicated TF2 server: Guide.

UPDATE: end of 2017 We finally another lan party, was awesome, here’s an image:

"Lan party fun"

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