Going to PAX for the First Time? Here’s What You Need to Know

Ashley Walton —  August 30, 2016 — Leave a comment


If you’ve never been to PAX, it can be tough getting your bearings. There are lots of weird little things that you wouldn’t know unless you’ve been before (or you’ve read a post like this one). Here are the tips I wish I’d known before attending for the first time:

Don’t Forget Your DS

You’ll be floored by the number of people ready to go toe-to-toe in multiplayer Nintendo DS and 3DS games. It’s a great way to pass the time in long lines or while you’re waiting for a panel to start.

Wander Outside the Convention

Some of the coolest stuff is outside of the convention center. Last year, HTC showed Vive demos in a little trailer, and it was one of the highlights. You’ll also want to get outside the convention for parties, game meetups, and amazing photo ops like this one:


Sign Up for Line Placement

To play much-anticipated game demos, be prepared to wait in line. Some booths, like the Sony Plastation one, may have you sign up for a time slot to come back later and wait in line at a specific time. Those slots go fast, so if there’s something you really want to try, make sure to hit the booth first thing.

Use the Guidebook App

It’s tough juggling all the panels and events you want to attend. That’s why PAX has created a handy guidebook phone app where you can create your own schedule. You’ll see all the times and locations for events, and you can also get little reminders, so you don’t miss anything important.

Bring a Battery Backup

Between checking the PAX app, playing Pokémon Go, using Google Maps, and downloading apps to sign up for line placement, your phone battery will quickly deplete. A battery backup is a must.

Take Advantage of Special Discounts

Around downtown Seattle, certain restaurants and bars will give you awesome discounts on your food and drinks if you flash your PAX badge. One place that will hook you up is Elysian, a cozy brewery where you can sip on a Dragonstooth stout at a deep discount. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Think About Getting Into Pins

If it’s your first time at PAX, you might be confused by the mass hysteria over pins. At most of the booths, you can buy limited-edition collector pins, and there are even Pinny Arcade meetups where you can swap pins with fellow attendees. It’s a big part of PAX culture.

Don’t Eat at the Convention Center

Like with any con, the food at the convention center sucks. By the time you wait in a massive line to get a mediocre sandwich or coffee, you could have left the convention center, gotten something delectable from a nearby restaurant, and come back. That’s one of the many perks of PAX West taking place in the heart of downtown Seattle.

Have lingering questions about the convention? Comment below, and I’ll try to help you out. If you’re already a PAX pro, let me know what I missed! Have a great PAX.

Ashley Walton


Ashley has 15 years of experience in content, she has led teams of 80+ content creators, and she has taught numerous university courses on media. She's the founder of Content Maven, and at the end of the day, she hopes to make the world a better place, one piece of content at a time.

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