How long should a gaming session be?

How long is your ideal session? (you can select more than one option)

  • 1 hour

    Votes: 2 2.1%
  • 2 hours

    Votes: 16 17.0%
  • 3 hours

    Votes: 46 48.9%
  • 4 hours

    Votes: 56 59.6%
  • 5 hours

    Votes: 22 23.4%
  • 6 hours

    Votes: 15 16.0%
  • More than 6 hours

    Votes: 10 10.6%


CR 1/8
For regular games, around 4 hours is good. Much less doesn't feel worth the effort, much more gets tiring.
And since the question asks about ideals, I also voted "more than 6 hours" for those too-rare but super-awesome weekend retreat gaming marathons. Exhausting, but a ton of fun.

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Limit Break Dancing
I have two different gaming groups. My primary group meets online every Friday, and our gaming sessions run for about 5 hours (from 7pm until midnight). My other group meets in person every other week, and our gaming sessions are about 6 hours long (from noon until about 6pm).


He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
In person or online doesn't matter much to me but system does. Crunchy tactical combat games need a little more time to move between modes and 1-2 horus will never cut it for me.

3 hours playing online is about my limit. Anything beyond that gets to be too much. For in person we usually start around 3pm, stop for about an hour to eat dinner around 6pm, and finish up around 10pm or so. Worth mentioning we typically run 1 shots in person while online is our on-going campaign play.


Victoria Rules
You asked how long an ideal session would be (for each respondent) - I voted 5 hours but my real answer is "as long as people want to keep playing, however long that may be".

Some sessions capture the magic and could go on forever, others just don't have it for whatever reason and start to drag after just an hour or two.

I also based my vote on in-person play as online play tends to make me tune out somewhat faster.


Although i fondly remember HS days with 7-8 h long sessions and college with 5-6 h sessions, in this period of life, 3-4 is ideal. We have weekly game, sunday morning from 9:30-13. Sometimes, we end up early, sometimes we end a bit latter, but never past 14. Usually around 12:30 phones start ringing, wives calling for sunday lunch. ( over here Sunday family lunch is kind of tradition )

We don't usually do brakes. It's pretty casual with decent amount of off topic discussions and chit chating. At best, we manage 2 hours of pure play out of 3.5 hour session.


I have two overlapping groups. Both are f2f.

One plays weekly on Thursday evenings, and we all work so those come in at about 3.5 hours, 4 max. There are four of us in this one including the GM.

The other group plays monthly on a weekend and those tend to be ten hours sessions with a pizza break. There are six here, including the GM.

Depends on how often you play.
Generally true IME, with longer breaks leading to longer sessions. That said, if the average drops below once per two weeks I don't regard that as an ongoing game, that's some people who I game with once in a while. The number of no-shows and skipped sessions skyrockets when you're going that long between games IME, with everyone showing up being a real rarity. Makes a real campaign imprcatical, but one shots and short arcs work okay-ish. YMMV, of course.
In person or online doesn't matter much to me but system does. Crunchy tactical combat games need a little more time to move between modes and 1-2 horus will never cut it for me.
Good point. Very crunchy systems to get through a single fight. Larger groups take longer to do anything, social or combat or just shopping.

Personally online seems slower than in-person. You might spend less time on random table chat during a session when face to face, but online frequently sees individual player disconnects or AFKs so that aspect seems to balance out somewhat.

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