How Long Should A Game Night Last?

How long should a game night last?

If you are planning to have a game night but are not sure as to how long it should last, then you came to the right place! Maybe you feel like your game nights are too short and are unsure about the ideal duration of a game night. In specific we are talking about board game nights. After all, your game nights should be filled with loads of gaming and endless hours of fun.

A game night should last as long as is needed for the group to play the games they want to play, within the time that everyone is available. An average game night can usually span from 3-4 hours and can sometimes last up to 5-6 hours on weekend nights. 

It really depends on your friends group and what type of games you are playing. Another factor is the amount of time you have available to play and the schedule of the people you are hanging with.

Also, it depends on whether people have to work the next day and what time you start. If I didn’t have to work the next day, then I would play all night long!

Most times, game nights can last until everyone gets tired or bored. If you want to have a set plan or see how long other people are holding their game nights for, then we got you covered!

We have had varying types of game nights where they would only last a few hours or they would go all night long. It really depends on the situation and who you are planning to play with.

What is the most ideal duration for a game night?

The most ideal game night usually lasts about 3-5 hours with the best time range being from 7:00pm to 11:00pm at night. The best nights to have a game night are usually on a Friday or Saturday night as most people don’t have work the next day. 

From my own experience, I feel that 3 hours is a minimum for game night and 5 hours is the most ideal amount of time for a game night. This time range will give you enough time to get through a few games of your choice. Also, you won’t have to worry about rushing through games. 

Depending on the type of game you plan to play, you may require more or less time just to play that one game. For example, we don’t play Dungeons and Dragons here at Game Night Gods, but we know that these types of games can last hours.

Most game groups, including mine, like to play multiple games. We have found that our normal games that we like to play last about 1-2 hours for each game. So we normally plan to play through 2 or 3 games that span about 4-5 hours of gameplay in total.

Sometimes, we reach up to 5 hours of gameplay and want to keep playing! Therefore, we whip out some more games from our board game closet and keep playing. 

You need to allow time for other factors including people showing up late, a break for a meal or snacks, bathroom time, and so on. Any pause in a game will delay your gaming, so make sure you take into all of these factors and allow an ample amount of time to play your chosen games.

We have found that 5 hours is usually just enough time to get 2-3 plays in of a 1-2 hour game. Of course, you can also play other games that don’t have quite as long of a play time and this will allow you to get in a few more sessions of different games. 

Is your game night too short and ending way too early?

If your game night is only lasting in about the 1-2 hour range, then this doesn’t give you anytime to really enjoy yourself and play enough games. 

Some factors that may be causing your game night to end early is that people seem to start losing interest or don’t play seriously. If this is the case, then it might be time to reevaluate who you are playing with and find new people to play with.

Let’s face it. Not all people like to play board games. This can be a HUGE cause as to why board game nights only last about an hour or two. If you feel like you are forcing your friends to play or they are losing interest really fast, then you shouldn’t be playing with them.

Having a game night that is very short is a huge sign that you aren’t playing with the right people. If you have friends that truly love board games, then your game night should be lasting AT LEAST 3 hours.

Of course, there are other factors as to why your game night might be ending too early. These include people having to leave early or something causing an interruption. 

In conclusion, make sure you are playing with other board game lovers so that you can have hours full of fun and gaming. I know this is easier said than done, but there are game groups online where you can find groups in your local area. It’s a great opportunity to make new friends!

What is the usual routine of a game night?

Once you have an idea about how long your game night will last, you need to figure out the structure of the night so that everything runs smoothly and you do not waste any time!

Our game nights usually begin around 5:00pm on a weeknight or a weekend. We serve dinner or order in. Our friends LOVE pizza so this is our go to choice when it comes to dinner. We order a few pizza pies and spend about an hour eating before we dive into the gaming. 

If you want to skip dinner and just start gaming right away, then you can start your game night later and just serve snacks throughout the night. 

It’s best to have a stack of games ready for when your guests arrive. This way, you have a set amount of games ready to play and there are no questions asked. 

The rest of the night is easy! We play through all of our selected games and then if we want to keep playing, we whip out some more games. 


Don’t let your game nights end too early. Make sure you are playing with the right people and plan accordingly. 

Plan to play games for 3-6 hours and either eat dinner before or serve snacks throughout the night so that your guests stay well fed. 

If you want to keep gaming throughout the night, then do it! We have had marathons of gaming that have lasted all night long. That is how much we love board games!

In conclusion, average game nights should last about 3-5 hours. This gives you plenty of time to play multiple games and make room for factors like eating and bathroom breaks. 

We hope you enjoyed this article and have gained some insight on how long a board game night should last. If you have any questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. As always, happy gaming!


Hillary is a 28 year old board game enthusiast from New York who specializes in hosting game nights.

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