Gen Con 101

Buying Your Badge

How to Register for Gen Con

The first steps on the road to Gen Con 2020 are setting up your account at and purchasing a badge.

Your account and badge are unique to you, and your name will be printed on the front of your badge along with a barcode. You’ll need a badge to be admitted into the show, enter the Exhibit and Event Halls, register for events, and participate in Gen Con activities.

Badges from last year — pretty colors!

One thing about Gen Con that we think makes us special is that we have 20,000 (or more!) individually ticketed events that go on during the convention: everything from games and tournaments to classes and tours to a dance and a film festival and a 5K — and so much else in between. I can’t even begin to describe the cornucopia of geekery and splendor that is our event schedule.

Lots more information on events to come in future posts, but just know that while your badge gets you into the show, our extensive catalog of events allows you to find games and activities that interest you, and to reserve your spot by purchasing event tickets (many are free or cost like $2).

If you’re new to Gen Con and don’t have an account yet, check out the Account Information page on our website for help getting set up. Have an account but don’t remember your password? There’s a link on the log-in screen to request a reset.

Which Badge Should I Get?

The two primary types of badges for Gen Con attendees are 4-Day and single-day badges. Pretty self-explanatory here: a 4-Day gets you in for all four days, and a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday badge gets you in for that particular day.

If you’re going for just the weekend, a Saturday and Sunday badge together cost less than a 4-Day, but otherwise, you’re better off with the 4-Day if you’re going more than one day.

Badge TypePrice
Badge Prices for Gen Con 2020

Badges for Gen Con 2020 went on sale on January 26, and while badges don’t typically sell out until Summer, there’s no guarantees, and it’s a good idea to get your badge before May 17 (when event tickets go on sale) so you can have the best shot at getting your top event choices.

Game Masters, Exhibitors, Trade Day attendees, and some other folks will have different badge types and processes.

What About the Children?

We believe that the children are our future, and in fact I have a fictional child registered in our system named Our Future that I use for testing purposes (and because I will never stop finding that funny).

On more serious/useful note: children ages ten and under can attend for free with a Child Wristband and register for events in the “KIDS” category of the event catalog. The wristband will have information on it so we can help if you and your child become separated.

However, if your 9-year-old is a Stratego prodigy (like that kid from up the street I babysat who beat me every time) and wants to participate in events and tournaments with the grown-ups, they will need a regular attendee badge.

Gather Your Party

Like all the best things in life, Gen Con is better with friends. And if you want to purchase a badge or event ticket for your friends, you’ll need to add them to your Friends & Family list through your Gen Con account.

Note that friendship is one-sided (in this particular part of our registration system, but hopefully not in your life, though we all have at least one of those friends, am I right?): when your friend or family member accepts your request, they will be added to your list, but would need to send you a request in return to add you to their list.

Gen Con Returns to Indianapolis July 30 – August 2, 2020

Ship It

There are two ways to receive your badges and event tickets: USPS Priority Mail and Will Call.

The USPS option costs $10, and will cover everything purchased through your account until June 14. It’s super convenient, saves you from waiting in line, and we highly recommend it. You need a shipping address in the United States to select this option.

June 14 is the Ship to Me deadline: until that point, you can change your shipping method from Will Call to USPS or vice versa, and new purchases will continue to be added to your shipping packet. After that point, the system gets locked down to start printing, and all new purchases go to Will Call.

Will Call packets will be available for pickup starting the Wednesday of convention week at noon — then we keep it open 24 hours a day until the close of the show on Sunday.

A key distinction here: USPS packets are sorted by purchasing account, but Will Call packets are sorted by attendee. So, if I buy a badge for myself and and my dear friend Jonathan Fakeperson and select USPS, both badges would be mailed to me. If I had picked Will Call, Jonathan and I would each need to go and pick up a packet from Will Call with our IDs.

Electronic tickets will not be included in either type of delivery, because, well, they’re made of a pattern described by levels of abstraction from a series of ones and zeroes representing an association of charges among electrons and not…paper. They’ll be electronically associated with your account for when you need them. Or maybe it’s magic. E-tickets will be covered in full in a future post!

Anything I Missed?

Check out our Attendee FAQ, or contact Customer Service at

Jordan Augustine
Jordan Augustine

Content & Marketing Specialist at Gen Con