PAX AUS 2023: How to make the most of your time

PAX Aus 2023 is right around the corner. Ahead of the show, check out our handy guide for maximising your time.
pax aus 2024 dates

PAX Aus 2023 is set to take place from 6-8 October 2023. There’s plenty of excitement surrounding this year’s show, with a number of big name attendees returning for the first time post-covid – and plenty of activities to jump into. That said, it’s easy to get too excited and overwhelmed, and miss out on all the goodies PAX has to offer. There’s a lot going on, and it’s frankly impossible to see it all – but you can use your time wisely, to great effect.

If you’re looking to make the most out of your time at the show, whether you’re turning up for one day or all three, there are plenty of tips and tricks you can deploy. For guidance on the best uses of your time, from a fellow PAX enthusiast, read on. These are all the tips and tricks we have for enjoying your time at PAX Aus 2023.

How to make the most of a single day at PAX Aus 2023

super mario bros wonder gameplay preview
Screenshot: Nintendo

If you’re heading to PAX Aus 2023 for a single day, it’s best to try a little bit of everything – like snacking on a nice serving platter. To start the day, line up as early as possible. The show floor opens at 10:00 am AEDT each day, with lines beginning well before this. If you need to pick up a badge, or you’re anxious about maximising your time, go early.

In terms of what you actually visit and interact with, make sure you’re not spending too long on one activity. Limit yourself to a few panels, for example – 2-3 that stand out. These tend to last around an hour each, and can take precious time away from wandering the show floor, and discovering new things.

Read: The PAX Aus 2023 panel schedule is now live

Game demos can also be lengthy, between 30 minutes to 1 hour each. Some of these will be available to play privately at home – as part of events like Steam’s MIGW celebration – so limit the time you spend checking out individual games, and keep an eye on your watch as you explore. Pick a few of your favourites to play, and make a note of the rest for later. If you’re keen to play bigger games, like Super Mario Bros. Wonder, know that you’ll need to line up for usually an hour or two before you get let in.

In the spaces between game demos and panels, the best use of your time is wandering the show floor – checking out each booth, and analysing where you want to go next. There’s plenty on the floor that is hard to advertise on social media, so have a look around at everything.

When you’ve seen everything there is to see on the show floor, be sure to wander outside this main arena. Littered around the halls of the MCEC, you’ll find various gameplay lounges, exhibitors, cosplayers, and other installations. There’s plenty to look at, and even more on the upper floor of the convention centre, which tends to be quieter, but filled with interesting panels and hangout spots.

The PAX Aus showfloor usually closes around 6:00 pm AEDT – though many panels run later than this – so you’ll have a full day of wandering – and that should be plenty of time to check out everything you want to see. Make sure you take rests and food breaks, and your day should go swimmingly.

Making a checklist will likely also help, if there are particular things you want to do. Keep to the list, mark off your tasks, and spend the rest of your time soaking in the ambience.

How to make the most of the entire PAX Aus 2023 weekend

pax aus 2022 guide
Image: PAX Aus

Three full days of PAX Aus 2023 is more than enough to see everything on the show floor, attend every panel you like, and play through game demos to your heart’s content. If you’re efficient about it, you can usually clear every corner of the main show floor on the Friday of PAX – leaving room to spend the rest of your time playing games, meeting new people, and learning new things at panels.

Personally, I like to get my ‘tasks’ out of the way on the Friday – these are the activities I really want to do at PAX, including playing any game demos, chatting to local developers, and purchasing board games or merchandise. The reason I do this on the Friday is because the weekend is often busier, and it’s always good to know you’ve got your plan sorted, and you’re making progress.

It’s not good missing out on certain things – PAX badges, for example – because you left it until it was too late. Anything urgent, do first. If you’re not sure you’ll have time to get a Super Mario Bros. Wonder demo, line up as soon as possible. If you want a seat at a particular panel, make time to line up early (reasonably, as directed by the PAX showfloor managers).

If you don’t get everything done at once, don’t panic. There’s plenty of time to check out the show floor and the surrounding exhibits throughout the weekend. The MCEC tends to get quiet after 4:00 pm, so if you’re not keen to battle crowds, you might be able to sneak in more demos or shopping after this time.

Above all else, look after yourself while you’re on the show floor. Three days battling crowds and walking around is tough, so make sure you’re well-supplied and well-fed. Keep water on you, wear comfortable shoes, take breaks when you get overwhelmed, and bring snacks with you – or make sure to find time for lunch in the surrounding Melbourne area.

Read: GamesHub’s Gamers Guide To Melbourne

Whether you’re a newcomer or a PAX Aus veteran, there’ll be plenty to discover at this year’s show. Take your time, look around, and follow your instincts.

If you’re keen to pre-prepare a plan before the show, you can check out the full schedule via the PAX Mobile app, or the official PAX website. Make a list, check it twice – but above all else, make sure you relax and have fun!

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.