Hello Gamers! As you may or may not know, PAX Unplugged is coming up quick! For those of you going, I’M SUPER EXCITED TO SEE YOU ALL; SAY HI IF YOU SEE ME! (She said in a definitely not-crazy scream. Cause she’s not crazy, and definitely doesn’t awkwardly speak in the 3rd person before finally getting back to the point).

For all you first-timers, and maybe some of you bad-packers, I’ve made a quick survival checklist to help you make sure you’ve got what you need to be prepared, hopefully avoid con crud, and most of all, have a great time!

Let’s check it out! 😀

The Essentials

In here we have your bare-minimum basics:

  • Clean clothes for every day – Whatever you like to wear, be comfy! Bring a hoodie or extra layer of some kind just in case too!
  • Deodorant (for the love of all that is good, I can not stress this enough. DEODORANT.)
  • COMFY SHOES! – The vendor hall is BIIIIG, so make sure you’re prepared for walking. Plus, a lot of good food is within walking distance!
  • Your Badge – If you got  this mailed to you, make sure you don’t forget it!
  • Vitamins – This may not seem like a given for everyone’s packing list, but trust me, you’ll thank past you when you’re avoiding that con crud on Monday. Pack multi-vitamins, Vitamin C packets, whatever you’re used to. I hate those chalky packs you mix with water, but they’ve helped me avoid a ton of germs and stay healthy after the con. I recommend having it once a day during, and a few days after the con.

The Backpack

A backpack with good straps is a must for this size con! It makes carrying a bunch of your “need-throughout-the-day” items super easy, and doesn’t tire you out as much as carrying them. For you purse-carriers, this is a huge improvement for the weekend. For those who usually just stuff your pockets, this will give you a lot more wiggle room for extras. Stuff like:

  • Wallet
  • Water or Gatorade – trust me, you’ll need it with all that walking we talked about
  • Chargers – If you want to take pictures of all the great games, stay up to date on panel listings and more, make sure your cell is charged!
  • Snacks – So you don’t have to keep leaving the convention center every time you just want to munch on something small. But keep it clean, folks, we have precious games here! 
  • Notepad and/or pens – Good to keep tabs on your favorite games of the day, and the pens are nice to have on hand in case you play a roll and write, or something else, that doesn’t come with them
  • Hand Sanitizer – Gotta keep clean, there’s a lot of germs amongst this many people
  • Headphones – Maybe you’re playing an app-based game like Unlock! and can’t hear audio clues because of the commotion, you might just need these headphones!
  • A small box game – Hey, you’re probably gonna want to get in line early. Bring something to keep you entertained! Or, you can toss a few small purchases in there once you’re inside.
  • Band-aids/Tylenol/Other medication type things

The Cellphone

Yes, I know you’re not going to forget your phone. But here’s a few items you might want to make sure are on there:

  • Uber/Lyft/Other ride-service app – If you want to get somewhere farther for dinner, or are just feeling tired after the vendor hall, and don’t want to move your car, one of these is key. Make sure it’s already on your phone and you have an account and payment ready to go so you don’t have to waste time doing that there
  • PAX App – You can download the PAXU schedule and even add certain panels or events to your personal schedule. You can also have it remind you when something you want to do is coming up!
  • Alarm – Make sure you set yourself a reliable alarm so you can get to the convention on time every day and you won’t miss a minute of the fun!

The Money

Again, I know you aren’t going to forget money, but keep in mind:

  • Various Payments – Most everyone will accept any payment, but be prepared just in case the Wi-Fi goes down, or someone can’t accept AMEX for whatever reason. If you can, bring different cards and some cash
  • Budget – Your friendly reminder not to get carried away just because you’re excited. We all need that reminder sometimes. But hey, if this is your vacation or your “treat yourself” time, GO FOR IT! Just make sure if you do have a budget in mind, to stick to it and choose your purchases carefully!

The Others

Finally, here’s a few additional things you might need for this awesome weekend! As well as just a tiny bit of advice!

  • A comfy lanyard – You have to wear your badge all weekend, so you’ll want to make sure you don’t hate it. They usually have some Renegade Games lanyards available, but if you like to have something unique, or thicker, or just want to make sure it doesn’t make your neck itchy, you might want to pick one out ahead of time and bring it with you
  • Pins – Pinny Arcade pins for trading!! You can also buy these at the convention
  • A list of games you want to try, and a list you want to buy
  • A Camera – If you prefer this to a cell camera
  • Coffee/Energy Drinks
  • A positive attitude!


  • Even if you forget something, don’t stress. You can stop at a convenience store if you really need it. Don’t let it ruin your weekend
  • Take breaks if you need to! If it’s your first time, it can be overwhelming. If you need to go for a walk, or just step away, do it. Don’t feel like you need to spend every single second immersed in a game
  • There’s no right and wrong way to do PAX. Some people do Philly sight-seeing and escape rooms and more in addition to the con. Some don’t. Some play a ton of small games, some play like 6 crazy long games. Some compete in tournaments. Some spend all their time in the vendor hall and don’t play many games. As long as you are being kind to the people around you, and enjoying yourself (and also showering) then you’re doing everything right
  • You might not do or see every single thing, and that’s okay! It’s a big con, and has gotten bigger every year. Just do what you want to, see what you can, and…
  • HAVE FUN! – This is always the most important part 🙂

Thanks for checking out my PAXU Survival Checklist! What did I forget that you always bring? Did this help you remember something you might have left at home? I’d love some comments on this!

Another quick reminder, that I’d love some people to find me and say hello! I will be there all weekend, so don’t be afraid to stop me, or ask to play a game! And designers/publishers, I will have business cards! So feel free to ask me for one if you don’t already have all of my info, or if you just like my logo!

Happy Gaming~

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