To gain entry to PAX, one must possess one of the many types of Badges. These are typically obtained via PAX Registration. One must clearly display a valid badge that corresponds to the event being attended at all times.
General Admission Badges
At PAX Aus, PAX South, PAX Unplugged (and through 2012 PAX Prime and 2016 PAX East), the Multi Day badge is a 3-day badge. For PAX Prime, the Multi Day badge became a 4-day badge in 2013. As of 2015, PAX Prime no longer offered a Multi-day general admission badge and as of 2017, PAX East no longer offered a Multi-day general admission badge.
The Multi Day badge grants general admission for the full duration of PAX. These are the most popular and typically sell out first.
Multi Day badges are Red
The Single Day badges (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday) grant admission to PAX only on the day of the badge type. One can obtain all the Single Day badges and gain the same access as the holder of a Multi Day badge (albeit at a higher cost) as long as one wears the appropriate badge for the day in question. These typically sell out in the order of Saturday > Friday > Sunday > Monday. With PAX East 2018, came the introduction of a 'Thursday' badge which we have not seen a design for yet.
Friday badges are Grey
Saturday badges are Dark Teal
Sunday badges are Powder Blue
Monday badges are Red
General Admission badges do NOT have any names on them.
The Industry Badges mark folks that work in the gaming industry. They are obtained through a different registration process than general admission, and are only available to verified industry workers.
The Media badges grant the same access as a Multi Day General Admission badge with two exceptions. Media have access to a press room with internet access for writing and posting articles. Additionally Media typically are allowed into the Exhibition Hall one hour early on one day of the show.
Media badges are Yellow.
Content Creator badges are functionally the same as Media badges. However, they use a different registration process from Media. These are generally for streamers on Twitch or YouTube.
Content Creator badges are Yellow
Exhibitor badges are for employees of exhibitors on the Exhibition Hall floor. These passes grant early access during setup the days prior to PAX as well as in the morning before PAX opens and in the evening after the Exhibition Hall closes.
Exhibitor badges are Pink.
Vendor badges are for employees of vendors on the Exhibition Hall floor. These act very similar to Exhibitor badges.
Vendor badges are Green.
Speaker badges have sometimes been given to panelists at PAX instead of the Special Guest badge. They act identically to a Multi Day badge with the exception of allowing early access to panel areas for setup for the panel the badge holder is on.
Speaker badges are currently retired.
Those who are disabled/ have a mobility impairment/ use a wheelchair/ etc can apply for a medical badge after registration. The application for a medical badge can include a +1 for someone to help the person with the medical issue if he/she requires help. To apply for a medical badge, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the request after registration.
Those with a medical badge will receive special accommodation getting into panels and the like upon request. Holders of a medical badge still require a General Admission Badge in order to gain access to PAX.
Medical badges do not follow the main PAX badge design and are not assigned a specific color.
BYOC stands for "Bring Your Own Computer," which shares a room with PC Freeplay. BYOC badges are for people who buy a slot in the BYOC room to set up their own PCs. A BYOC badge is required to be allowed access to the BYOC half of the PC room.
BYOC badges are Orange.
Special Guest badges are essentially the same as Multi Day badges, as far as their use goes. They are at the discretion of PA and ReedPOP and may be given for reasons as they see fit.
Sometimes these are given in lieu of Speaker badges to panelists. In this case, they allow early access to panel areas for setup for the panel the badge holder is on.
Special Guest badges are Dark Green.
Omeganaut badges are essentially the same as Multi Day badges, as far as their usage goes. They are issued to Omeganauts who have been selected for a given show.
Omeganaut badges allow front of line access to Omegathon rounds.
Omeganaut badges are Yellow.
VIP badges are given to PAX VIPs (naturally). Such VIPs include Chris Perkins, Patrick Rothfuss, Strip Search Artists, and limited friends and family of PA or Reed Expo Staff. A VIP pass sometimes allows access to parts of PAX that are typically off-limits to regular badge holders, including but not limited to Main Theater backstage, special seating, and Expo Hall during off-hours.
VIP badges are Lime.
Enforcer badges are limited to PAX volunteer staff. These passes allow Enforcers access to anywhere they require access to in order to perform their duties. What this signifies depends on each Enforcer's assignment; the most senior Enforcers with PAXwide responsibilities have effective all-access, whereas an Enforcer working in one of the departments will have access privileges relevant to their department.
Enforcer badges are Black.
All Access badges are limited to Penny Arcade staff and families and Reed Expo staff. These badges allow said people complete and unrestricted access to all parts of PAX. At some shows these are Staff badges as opposed to All Access. They are functionally identical and as of yet there has not been both present at a single PAX.
All Access badges are Purple.
Buying Badges from Secondary Sources
I just bought a pass on craigslist / ebay, how do I know if it's legit? If you purchase a pass from a second hand source, you are putting yourself at risk of purchasing a counterfeit pass. This means you also risk having said counterfeit pass confiscated and being asked to leave the show. PAX had badge checking stations outside the show for both PAX East and PAX Prime in 2012 to help people identify if their badge was legit.
If you purchase your pass after a certain date or an international attendee who did NOT choose the FedEx shipping option you will be picking up your badge at Will Call. Fear not! This is actually very easy. It opens on the Thursday before PAX and is open throughout the show.
PAX Prime Location Will Call is located at the outdoor registration windows on the lower level of the WSCC.
PAX East Location Will Call is located at the registration desk which was right at the front entrance to the BCEC.
PAX South Location Will Call is located at the registration desk at the front entrance to the HBGCC.
PAX Aus Location TBD