How To Prepare For PAX

How To Prepare For PAX

PAX Australia is only a few days away. And whether this is your first time, or your a seasoned attendee, working out what you’ll need can be tough. So here’s some of our top tips to help get you prepped.

What To Pack

Pack as lightly as possible. It’s only three days, so there’s no reason to go overboard.

Opt for versatile clothing, shoes and accessories that can be reused or dressed up and down over the weekend.

And let’s not forget that you’re going to probably want spare room for any collectibles, games or merch that you may want to bring back with you. We all say we’re not going to go crazy, but that’s usually a lie.

What To Wear

Anyone familiar with Melbourne will know that she can be a fickle mistress.

One moment the sun will be beating down on you and the next you’ll be getting caught in spontaneous rain.

Packing for every occasion isn’t particularly practical. The days can be 12 hours+ long and your hotel might not be a convenient walk away. The last thing you want is to be carrying extra clothes around.

I would suggest light layers for both men and women, as well as leaving some room in your bag for a jacket.

Jeans and sneakers are a necessary staple too. They’re comfortable during the long hours of walking during the day and can be easily dressed up for parties.

What To Eat

I’m not the boss of you, but I highly recommend shopping around a bit for different food options.

Festival Food is fun, but living off of pies and hot chips for three days may leave you with some regret by the end. Also, more nutrients means more ammo to fight off PAX Pox with.

Not sure where to look? We have some tools for you below.

Get A Backpack

Image: Kotaku

The first year I went to PAX I took a saddle bag. That was a mistake.

Not only was there not enough room for all my convention necessities, it did a number on my shoulder after 3 days.

Practicality is king here and a backpack will save your life. They’re not overly bulky and you don’t have to worry about putting them down to play or buy stuff.

Here’s what you’ll find in mine:

  • Water bottle: it may be an indoor convention but it’s important to stay hydrated!
  • Small snacks: there’s plenty of food around, but it doesn’t hurt to have something on you, especially if you plan on seeing a lot of panels. You’ll be thankful once you’re in one of those lines.
  • Power packs: I usually opt for two.
  • Extra chargers and cables: I’m paranoid, okay?
  • Cash: You can never guarantee that every vendor will take card. Plus, I’ve been burnt by efptos systems going down before. Never again.
  • 3DS: Great for a bit of downtime and to kill time in panel lines.
  • Painkillers and Band-Aids: Someone will needs these at some point
  • Cold And Flu Tablets: No con flu for me, thanks.
  • Deodorant: When the days are that long the showers can be few and far between.
  • Gum or mints: As above, but with brushing opportunities.
  • Wet Wipes: Great for a quick refresh or cleaning sticky fingers if you’re eating on the go.
  • No-Doz: A favourite of our editor Alex, this an efficient caffeine delivery system if you don’t have time for actual coffee.
  • Spare Socks And Underwear: My mum always drilled this into me and I made fun of her until I first started attending conventions. Trust me on this.


Technology is your friend! Here are some rad apps that will help optimise your con-going experience.

PAX Aus 2016

PAX has its very own app! In addition to providing maps, food options and info on pretty much everything, you can save your own personal schedule.

With so many awesome panels and events going on, this is a coordination life saver. Take the time to look over everything thoroughly and carefully plan what you want to see.


Sydney Siders may already be familiar with this app. It’s awesome for being able to plan your trips, even across multiple transport types.

Already have it? Simply go into the tools and switch the region to Melbourne.

Don’t forget to grab a myki as soon as you get to the city — they can be purchased at plenty of corner stores and stations. Still have yours from last year? Top that baby up.


With so many people in town for PAX, it’s highly like that other people will be off to the same area, party or hotel as you. GoCatch can help with its ride sharing function! There’s also no surge pricing, which is great for cutting down travel costs and could be a saviour if public transport is a bit tricky after hours.


I mentioned how important staying hydrated is! Use this app to track your water intake while you’re on the floor, especially if you plan on hitting those late night parties.

Battery HD

PAX days are incredibly long, so staying charged is important.

This app helps you monitor and fine tune your phone battery usage. It even tells you how much time you have left for certain tasks — listening to music, taking photos, browsing, etc.

Find My Friends

PAX is massive — getting lost or having trouble finding your friends isn’t uncommon. And let’s not forget that the greater PAX experience isn’t just restricted to the convention centre.

Simply invite people through their number or email address to share their location and boom — you can find them easily.

Like A Local

Wanting to explore outside the convention? Like A Local is a great option if you want to get some travel tips (especially for food and bars) that aren’t overly touristy.


Hey, why not?

Going to PAX Australia this year and got any advice? Let everyone know in the comments!


  • The convention centre actually sells more then just chips and pies. They also sell rice paper rolls, sushi, sandwiches, salads, fruit, museli. There is a big range and while it is pricey, it’s pretty good.
    If you want something a bit better, try the Pax Promenade. It’s a collection of restaurants and pubs, some of which give you money off if you eat there.
    If you want to try Crown Casino, you can’t get anything much beside baine marie food, and if you do, it’s usually about $15-20. You’ll be waiting a while for it as well.
    What I’m saying is, leave Crown until last. It’s expensive, the food isn’t that great and you’ll wait quite a while.

    • Like A Local can help out with the food situation as well.

      It’s also not super cheap, but just across the water there are plenty of great breakfast cafes in that little alleyway just opposite Flinders St Station.

    • Was going to add the promenade. Didn’t find out we got a discount with Pax badges till late on the second day last year and regretted it.

      All the restaurants I tried along there were nice too.

  • When my wife asks me why I have Tinder i can now say “Because Kotaku told me I would need it for PAX”

  • if xkcd has taught me anything, its that the most efficient food (mass to energy ratio) is butter.
    just take a backpack full of butter & you’ll be fine.

    imagine: sitting in the queue, nomming fist-fulls of butter. you’ll get some odd looks, for sure, but dont worry. those suckers will be lining up or paying way too much for ‘real food’ while you just chill eating butter out of a backpack.

    its the breakfast of champions.

    • Not going to lie. Misread this as condoms.
      I thought that would be incase the tinder thing kicked off… Or, you know, if you REALLLLLY like those PC’s you see on the show floor.

    • Hell yeah, me and my Pikachu plush shall be there as some description of Pokemon Go Trainer

  • There’s a good-sized Coles just north of Southern Cross Station. Last few years I grabbed some Cheese&Bacon rolls, cookies, fruit and drinks there. Don’t go to the express woolworths, they have hardly anything.

    Of course, I also had a very small person in tow who was prone to sudden bouts of Starving To Death and Dying of Thirst. A little bit of forward planning means you all you need to do is grab a coffee and you’re set for the day.

    Bring a refillable water bottle and a reusable coffee cup. Wear sensible shoes (even if you’re cosplaying) and bring your USB charger, for the handheld lounge.

  • Advice for anyone going, If you are walking down a busy isle. For gods sake dont stop in the middle of it. Nothing worse than walking behind someone and they stop all of a sudden. Be aware there are people other than you walking around.

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