Whether you are an Xbox or Playstation owner there inevitably comes a time when COD or many other games fail to connect you to your favorite game server. Enter the daunting task of Port Forwarding and NAT, inevitably you will be making a phone call into either Xbox or Playstation support and/or your ISP to get help with the advanced network configuration of Port Forwarding. What may come as a surprise is when you are told by your ISP this is an advanced network configuration that is typically outside of their scope of support, what to do next? Follow along and we will demystify the process.
Game Lobby Disconnections – XBOX / Playstation
If you are experiencing a disconnection in your game lobby, may not need to Port Forward – Most game lobby’s send a PING to/from each person’s Console, which by default is blocked by most routers. If this is your issue follow the sign in process to your router below and locate Firewall settings, enable allow PING from WAN and save your settings. This should resolve your issue. WARNING it will open you up to DoS attacks, but should resolve your issue with the game lobby, if not keep going and follow this how to guide for Port Forwarding.
If you are able to connect to your game but while playing are disconnected you may need to enable QoS or Quality of Service on your router and set the Priority for your console/PC device as HIGH. This will route the time-sensitive packets needed for your game to your device before any other packets on the network, in short, you get your data before any other device which keeps the connection from timing out and disconnecting you.
Before we begin a quick warning Port Forwarding can lead to security vulnerabilities that can in some cases allow attackers to gain access to your LAN and devices, as such WE ACCEPT NO LIABILITY if you choose to proceed with these changes. (I know you will because let’s face it you want to get back to gaming with your friends.)
First off you need to sign into your Router to begin making changes.
- To do this on Windows 10 right+click the Start Menu and load Command Prompt or Power Shell > type ipconfig press enter > locate Gateway IP address
- On Apple load System Preferences > Network,> Click Advanced Button > Click TCP/IP and locate Router IP
Now that you have located your Gateway IP address open a browser (IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari) and type in the URL bar at the top, your Gateway/Router IP address.
You will need too login to make changes, most router manufacturers include your login credentials on your router so check the back and bottom for the sticker. If assigned a router/modem from your ISP it is likely to have a similar sticker, such as the default WiFi Password, the username is often cusadmin or admin. (Contact your ISP if you have trouble signing in for the login information.)
Assigning static LAN Addresses
Next, we need to assign a static LAN IP to your console/PC this can be done by locating the DHCP settings (Also called DHCP Reservations) in your router. WARNING when assigning a static IP to avoid conflicts with other devices, keep the IP address number much higher/lower than the currently assigned addresses. For example, if the gateway is 192.168.0.1 assign the console as 192.168.0.100 allowing 98 other devices to have dynamically assigned addresses.
You may need to locate your consoles MAC address to assign a static IP, on most routers as long as the console is powered on and connected it will be listed in DHCP or LAN tabs of your router. In the event you cannot locate it because it is not online or not connected, you can find it on the console itself see below for instructions.
Locating your Consoles MAC Address
Xbox One – (Note can be a different process if not currently connected or signed into your profile)
- Navigate to My Games and Apps.
- Select Settings.
- Select Network.
- Select Advanced Settings.
- The MAC Addresses for the wired and wireless adapters should be displayed.
- Go to My Xbox in the Xbox Dashboard and select System Settings.
- Click Network Settings, Configure Network.
- Select Advanced Settings from the Additional Settings tab, then select Alternate Mac Address.
- At the bottom of this screen, you’ll see a heading called Wired MAC.
- On the XMB, arrow up to the very top until we see the XMB Menus.
- Scroll over to the right to Settings.
- Go down to Network.
- Then down to View Connection Status.
- From this area, we can get the WiFi and Ethernet MAC Address.
- Startup your PlayStation 3 without a disk in the drive.
- Find the System Settings icon and select the X.
- Click System Information and press the X.
- Your Mac Address will display.
Every router and manufacturer is different and some manufacturers call port forwarding rules, routing or advanced routing. As an example, I have included some images to help find them.
Now that you have located your Port Forward Rules head on over to Xbox support or Playstation support and locate the ports you need to forward for your specific game and online service. (Keep In mind these are specific for each game title and console/PC.)
After adding all the Ports for both Live/Playstation Service and the Game itself, (I cannot list each game titles required ports here for obvious reasons) you can save the settings on the router. WARNING – This may restart your Router!
Congratulations, you have now completed your Port Forwarding settings! Advanced and complex as it may be with perseverance you will be on and fragging your friends once again. Check out my other great how-to guides, like LAN Connection Troubleshooting!