The saloon is where players challenge each other in randomly assigned games that make up the majority of the playing experience in Bang! Howdy. This is also the location of the Frontier Gazette, which is a news area with current events. Linked off this page is a page with the Top 10 players in each of the scenarios, as well as overall.
When you want to play a game, there is an area in the upper right corner of the screen with some checkboxes and drop down menus in it. These control the following parameters:
- Rounds (checkboxes) - The number of rounds, from 1 to 3, the game will consist of. By default, only 1 is checked.
- Players (checkboxes) - How many players can play, from 2 to 4. By default, all options are checked.
- Game Mode - Whether the scenarios available will be competitive or cooperative (ITP only)
- Range (drop down menu) - How far from your rank the players you are matched up against are allowed to be. This can be Near my Rank, Looser Match or Anyone. These are self-explanatory. By default, Near my Rank is selected.
- Include previous towns - Gives the player the option of playing previous towns' scenarios. (ITP only)
The less restrictive a player sets their settings, the more players they may be possibly matched up with. Players are only matched up when all of their settings are compatible; for example, a person who has only the two player checkbox checked cannot play with a player with only the four player checkbox checked. If both have the two player checkbox checked, the game could possibly match them up with a two player game. Additionally, even if one of the players also had the three player checkbox selected, the game will start right away when the two players are matched up, because the other one has set that he or she does not want any more players in the game.
When matched against other players, one cannot see their opponents' names or faces, and is unable to gather any information about their opponents at all. The presence of another player will be marked by the word "Player" and a cardboard cut-out taking up one of the player slots.
Underneath the game setup area, there is another area that says Go to a Back Parlor. A back parlor is a special area where people can enter a setting that is similar to a chat room, where people can type to talk to each other. A player can either enter an existing back parlor by clicking the Enter button adjacent to the parlor, which is always named for the person who created it, or one can create your own by clicking the Create button underneath the parlor window. When creating one's own parlor, a player can choose your parlors options:
A drop down box allows the player to select between:
- Social - Which creates a parlor designated for chatting and meeting other players.
- Recruiting - Creates a parlor for recruiting players into the player's gang. Only gang members with the rank of recruiter or above may access this option. These parlors names bear the name of the gang, rather than the creator. Only players without a gang can see recruiting parlors.
- Standard - Which creates a plain, undesignated back parlor.
- Pardners only - Which only allows players the player's designated as pardners to enter their parlor.
- Password - Which allows the player to lock the parlor so only people who know the password may enter. The box for typing in the password is just below the drop down box.
Below the type options, a check box allows the option for matched or unmatched games. Back parlors that have this box unchecked will be named Creators name's Table, whereas matched parlors are named Creators name's Parlor
When a player types something in the speech bar in the lower right hand corner of the back parlor and presses enter, the text shows up in a chat bubble next to a small picture of their avatar in the chat window above the speech bar.
To the left, a special game setup screen is available, in matched parlors, these options are identical to what's offered in the saloon. In unmatched parlors, this allows people to customize the game options even more. Instead of check boxes, these options are all in drop down menus. These options are:
- Players - Four buttons are used instead of a drop down box, clicking a button will toggle it between human player, tin can and no player.
- Rounds - Provides the option to change the number of rounds that will be played in the match.
- Units - Provides the option to change the number of units a player starts with, this does not include big shots.
- Duration - Changes the amount of ticks in a match.
- Speed - Changes the amount of time between ticks.
Adjacent to these menus are checkboxes labeled with the scenarios for the current town, and all previous towns. These checkboxes allow you to control from what scenarios one will be randomly chosen; if you only select one, only that game will be played. By default, all are checked.
Underneath this are three options only available to the person who created the parlor. They are:
- Social Parlors - Because they were designed for chatting, these parlors show up first on the list of back parlors before to attract more people to them.
- Standard Parlors - These parlors were designed for gaming with or without pardners. Standard parlors show up on the list of back parlors after social parlors.
- Pardners only - The same option as the one given when the parlor was first created.
- Password protected - Idem, but with a button next to it that allows you to change the password.
- Only parlor owner can start games - If this is checked, only the parlor owner is allowed to change the game's settings and create a new game.
- Prior to the February 16th Release, the Friendly Folks tab also included a Saloon chat. This was replaced with the social back parlors option.
- Prior to the October 18th Release, the Saloon interface had the Matched Game interface on the right and the Game News on the left. The older interface is shown on the right.
- Prior to the September 18th Release, the Saloon did not have the Friendly Folks tab that shows you any pardners that are in the Saloon.