Counting days is hardly worth it anymore: gamescom 2018 starts on Wednesday. From August 22nd to August 25th, 2018 you have the opportunity to try out the latest video games, meet Youtube stars or spend some time wearing crazy costumes in the Cosplay Village. To make life easier for you at Europe's largest trade fair for interactive consumer electronics, we have summarized the most important tips for gamescom 2018.

gamescom 2018: Tickets and opening times

No games without a ticket. Anyone wishing to enter Cologne's exhibition halls must equip themselves with an admission ticket. The tickets for Friday and Saturday are already sold out, tickets on the other hand, limited contingents are still available for Wednesday and Thursday. If you are looking for a ticket for gamescom 2018, you should check out various shops on the Internet: Remaining tickets may still be available for pre-order there.

In any case, it is important to hurry as tickets are only available in limited quantities. It is true that visitors have the opportunity to purchase admission tickets on site: if the day tickets are completely out of stock, they will no longer be sold at the Kölnmesse box office.

Family-friendliness is now a top priority at gamescom: Children between the ages of four and six enjoy free entry. Children between the ages of seven and eleven pay a reduced admission price of seven euros in advance sales. Arriving families should ideally use the South Entrance to the Exhibition Center, where there is direct access to Hall 10.2, the area for Family & Friends. 

In addition to your ticket, you definitely have to bring one thing with you: plenty of time. The queues for auditions are considerable, especially for popular titles. Gamers who want to play video games such as The Division 2 from Ubisoft, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 from Activision or Metro: Exodus have to accept waiting times of well over an hour. Also with other big publishers like Nintendo or Electronic Arts - like every year - you have to reckon with enormous queues. Some lucky players are given so-called fast lane passes by publishers through competitions. These VIP accesses get you to the games of your dreams faster, but not necessarily without waiting. It is worth keeping an eye out for promotions at gamescom 2018 that award fast lane passes.

Last call for gamescom 2018: Tips for visitors to the Cologne game fair
With around 350.000 visitors, gamescom is one of the most popular games fairs in the world. Despite good organization, waiting times and a gentle crowd in the corridors cannot always be avoided.

You have time to look at everything on Wednesday and Thursday from 10.00 a.m. to 20 p.m. On Friday and Saturday the exhibition halls are open an hour longer, namely from 9.00 a.m. to 20.00 p.m. However, your visit to the trade fair should be well planned so that you don't miss any exciting novelty. To keep the distances between the stands as short as possible, it is helpful to take a look at the hall plan, which you can find on the official gamescom website. the Hall plan can be printed out or used as a digital version on the smartphone. The Exhibitor search, so that you are guaranteed to find every trade fair stand that you want to go to.

If you want to avoid additional waiting times, ideally take public transport to Cologne. There are a total of around 14.500 parking spaces at the Kölnmesse and the parking situation has been largely relaxed in recent years - but there are noticeable queues at the driveways. By the way: inexperienced drivers should practice “starting up on the hill” so that the sometimes steep driveways do not become insurmountable obstacles. Free shuttle buses run regularly from the parking lots directly to the entrances.

If you arrive by train, get off at the Köln Messe / Deutz stop and continue your journey on foot. The Kölnmesse can be reached within a few minutes from the train station. Particularly practical: those who pre-order gamescom tickets receive a ticket to print out when they purchase the ticket. 

Catering options at gamescom 2018

Gamescom 2018 visitors have the opportunity to bring food and drinks from home. It is advisable to make use of it: at least a sufficient supply of water belongs in every backpack. A few snacks shouldn't be missing either, because the culinary offers at the Kölnmesse add up to the typical fair prices. Those who want to meet the celebrities at the computer fair - or at least watch them at dinner - often meet the stars of the industry in Cologne's trendy restaurants or pubs after the fair closes. Of course, everyone has earned their privacy through exhausting trade fair appearances. 

Special regulations for cosplayers

Gamescom without cosplay is unthinkable. The colorfully costumed fans shape the image of the Cologne video game fair and even have their own area with the Cosplay Village. For cosplayers, some special regulations apply to their costumes, especially the weapons. These are not just for chicane, but for the safety of all visitors. Weapons and other items of equipment that you have brought with you can be checked by trained security staff at the entrances to Hall 11 and at the North Entrance to the Exhibition Center. You can find out which equipment is allowed and how your items must be made in the official costume rules for gamescom. The maximum dimensions of your cladding are also 320 cm x 220 cm, otherwise you will simply no longer fit through the doors. In addition, the outfits shouldn't be too revealing: all sensitive parts of the body must therefore be adequately covered. This applies to all cosplayers, including characters from the survival game Conan Exiles by Funcom.

More than just video games

Gamescom is now a real all-round event. If you just want to gamble or watch your favorite streamers at work, gamescom 2018 is the right place for you. All those who want to experience more can visit the weekend that takes place Gamescom City Festivalwhich focuses on street food and cool music, among other things. From August 24th to 26th, well-known bands will present you hip hits on a total of three stages.

Publishers at gamescom with presentations on their new releases, give developers the opportunity to speak to fans or throw profits into the cheering crowds. It is worth keeping an eye out for exciting events away from the large stand structures. Stars of the scene hold fan meetings or autograph sessions on a regular basis. Participation in the special mini-events must be well planned: of course, you can find the relevant appointment lists on the Internet.

Anyone who comes to Cologne just for the Games - and would like to play them too - should get an age wristband as soon as they arrive at the Cologne Exhibition Center. Or you couldn't play the colorful bracelets at the exhibition stands. There are a total of three different armbands: a green one for games from 12 years of age, a yellow one for games from 16 years of age and a red one for video games from 18 years of age. To pick up the bracelet, you have to go with a valid ID to the designated stands, which are usually located near the entrances. Due to time constraints, no ID checks will be carried out at the exhibition stands themselves - unless you look younger than your bracelet color suggests. It therefore makes sense to have your photo ID stowed away in an easily accessible location in case of doubt so as not to risk unnecessary waiting times. 

For fans at home: gamescom 2018 in the livestream

If you can't find your way to Cologne on any of the days of the trade fair, you can simply watch gamescom 2018 in the live stream - from the comfort of your own sofa. The trade fair organizers' streaming team will broadcast the most exciting highlights straight to your home. This also includes the transmission of the opening ceremony, where well-known publishers are expected to provide a few surprises. This is followed by the presentation of the gamescom awards. Anyone who would like to attend the political exchange of blows "Debattl()e Royale" can do so comfortably in front of their home screen: politicians from the major parties discuss games politics in Germany, moderated by the popular YouTubers Peter Smits and Lisa Sophie Laurent .

The streaming program is rounded off by keynotes by the developers and insights into the lives of the stars of the scene as well as broadcasts of relevant cosplay contests and selected program items from the Red Bull stage. From August 21, 2018, every viewer can choose their own program from various parallel programs Streams put together. 

We wish you a lot of fun at gamescom 2018: May you reach all your targeted stands without detours!