Xbox One: How to Open your NAT to Connect to Live Members and Servers

xbox one feature article

As I anticipated, the Xbox One falls short on network connectivity. Microsoft raised hype about the networking power of the Xbox One, but it failed to deliver. Everyone expected the Xbox One to be the latest and greatest media streaming device. However, it currently only supports playback with Windows Media Player 11 natively compatible codecs and can only stream media over the network using the Play To feature of WMP. Getting your home network to communicate with the Xbox Live servers and other Xbox Live members, you will need an open NAT.

Nat Basics

First things first: You need to gain a simple understanding of NAT. Network Address Translation (NAT) is performed by your router to allow internally connected devices access to your external IP address. As you probably know, each device on your home network is assigned a unique IP address from your router. These IP addresses are usually of the form 192.168.1.100, 10.0.0.53, 192.168.0.155, etc. This scheme is known as IPv4 (versus the newer IPv6 that is not widely supported yet).

Let us walk through the following example. This is the typical default network configuration.

  • User 1, living in North Carolina, has just finished installing his router, and his laptop was assigned the IP address 192.168.1.100.
  • User 2, living in Texas, also just finished installing his router, and his laptop was also assigned the IP address 192.168.1.100.
  • Both User 1 and User 2 want to give User 3 access to their computers. If User 3 tried to connect to 192.168.1.100, he would never find User 1 or User 2.

 

The IP addresses User 1 and User 2 are using are INTERNAL IP addresses. These numbers only hold meaning to devices connected to the same router (network). This is where NAT comes into play. Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) is pushing an EXTERNAL IP address to your modem or gateway, which is how your router gains access to the internet. Most home networks have a single IP address. (If your home network has multiple IP addresses, you would know it, be paying more for it, and would probably have enough understanding of networking not to bother with this article.) Since your home network has a single IP address, it is only meant to connect one device to the internet. Using NAT, your router gives all devices on your network access to your external IP address. It does this by packaging up all requests sent to the router by devices on the network that have internal IP addresses and sending those packages out to the internet through the external IP address.

So here is our new network configuration once the NAT is opened:

  • User 1, living in North Carolina, has just finished installing his router, but this time, he configured port 5000 to forward to the IP address 192.168.1.100. He also went to www.ipchicken.com and found his external IP address to be 123.123.123.10.
  • User 2, living in Texas, has just finished installing his router, but this time, he configured port 5000 to forward to the IP address 192.168.1.100. He also acquired his external IP address, which is 11.22.33.44.
  • User 3 can now connect to either User 1′s PC or User 2′s PC using their external IP address and the port they have forwarded to their internal IP address.

 

Xbox One NAT Options

There are three NAT options within the Xbox One configuration. Each of these are specific to your particular router and network setup.

  • Open - Your network is behind a cone NAT.
  • Moderate - Your network is behind a port-restricted NAT.
  • Strict - Your network is behind a port-preserving port-symmetric NAT.

 

Xbox One Open NAT Options

I have arranged the methods below in the order you should try them to resolve your issue. Only move on to the next method if the previous method did not work. Before continuing with this guide, reset your network settings on your Xbox One to the factory defaults. Remove any wireless networks you have added, and re-add them AFTER you have completed the steps in each method.
 

Method 1 – Port Forwarding/Port Triggering

As previously mentioned in the Scenario, User 1 FORWARDED a specific port to his PC to allow User 3 to connect. In order for your Xbox One to connect to the Xbox Live servers as well as to other users online, it must use specific ports. These ports need to be open so that the Xbox One can communicate properly. For a more detailed explanation of why Xbox Live ports need to be forwarded, read this article by 

In order to open these ports, you will need to log into the administration panel of your router and assign a static IP address (or DHCP Reservation) to your console. This process is different for every router or gateway, and guides for your specific model can be found by Googling and your router model and “port forwarding.” After you have assigned a static IP address to your console, you can either forward the following ports to the IP address of your console or trigger ports in the range 88-88, 3074-3074, etc. It is recommended that you use the Triggering method, as it allows multiple devices to trigger the same open ports, instead of the ports being dedicated to only the Xbox.

  • Port 88 (UDP)
  • Port 3074 (UDP & TCP)
  • Port 53 (UDP & TCP)
  • Port 80 (TCP)
  • Port 500 (UDP)
  • Port 3544 (UDP)
  • Port 4500 (UDP)

 

Additionally, there are a few other ports floating around the internet with which other users have had success. They are as follows:

  • For Chat/Party/Matchmaking, try forwarding/triggering Port 16000 (UDP & TCP).
  • For Kinect/Skype/Video issues, try forwarding/triggering Port 1863 (UDP & TCP).
  • Xbox One seems to use Port 3075 instead of the 3074 that Xbox 360 used. After searching around, this may only be related to Call of Duty Ghosts, but you can try forwarding/triggering Port 3075.

 

Now, go to your Xbox One, and connect to your network. DO NOT enter static network information. Set it to Automatic instead of Manual. This ensures your router is doing all the work it is supposed to be doing. Now, select Test Multiplayer Connection. When your connection results are presented, before pushing A for Continue, press and hold LB + LT + RB + RT on your controller, and this will take you to the super secret Detailed Network Statistics screen with a Detailed NAT status. The Detailed NAT status will initially have “….” Wait 60-90 seconds, and it will update with one of NAT types mentioned above. The goal is to be behind a cone NAT, which should give an OPEN NAT type.
 

Method 2 – DMZ (Demilitarized Zone)

This method is somewhat similar to the previous method, except it is a bit easier. However, there are fewer routers that support DMZ than there are those that support Port Forwarding/Triggering. Refer to your router/gateway’s owner’s manual to determine if your product supports DMZ. (It may also be referred to as DMZ+ or DMZPlus.) If not, skip to Method 3. The objective here is to create a “Demilitarized Zone” for your Xbox One. This Demilitarized zone will forward all ports to the Xbox One, ensuring any and all ports are able to have a connection to the Xbox Live servers and other Xbox Live users.

To set up a DMZ, you must first set up a static IP address in your router for your Xbox One. If you have not done so yet, do it now, and retry Method 1. If you followed Method 1 and have already got your Xbox One on a static IP address, continue reading.

Disable Port Forwarding/Triggering on your router, or if you use forwarding/triggering for other services, remove the port rules you created in Method 1.

Now, log into your router, follow your owner’s manual to locate the DMZ feature, and enable it. Some routers point DMZ to a specific IP address where you should enter the static IP address of your Xbox One. Others point DMZ to a specific MAC address, which should be the MAC address of your Xbox One.

Again, remove any previous network settings that you have tried on your Xbox One, and reset the network settings to factory default. Now, go to your Xbox One, and connect to your network. DO NOT enter static network information. Instead, set it to Automatic, not Manual. This ensures your router is doing all of the work it is supposed to be doing. Now, select Test Multiplayer Connection. When your connection results are presented, before pushing A for Continue, press and hold LB + LT + RB + RT on your controller, and this will take you to the super secret Detailed Network Statistics screen with a Detailed NAT status. The Detailed NAT status will initially have “….” Wait 60-90 seconds, and it will update with one of NAT types mentioned above. The goal is to be behind a cone NAT, which should give an OPEN NAT type.
 

Method 3 – UPnP and Energy Saver

UPnP, or Universal Plug and Play, is a set of networking protocols that permit networked devices, such as the Xbox One, to seamlessly discover each other’s presence on the network and establish functional network services. It is intended primarily for residential networks without enterprise-class devices. Therefore, it basically allows your Xbox One to automatically tell our router what ports it wants to use, and the router will let it do so, without having to manually configure any settings.

You are probably thinking: “If my router can automatically do this, why did you save this one for last?!” Well, UPnP does not work well on the Xbox One, at least for some users. I am unsure if this will be patched or if the consoles should be returned to manufacturer, but my console is one of the unlucky ones with which UPnP does not work (at least without putting the console in Energy Saver mode, which I will cover later).

With this method, having a static IP address configured for your Xbox One is not mandatory, but I always recommend assigning static IP addresses to devices that get used regularly. Also, remove all ports forwarded/triggered from Method 1.

To enable UPnP, consult with your router/gateway’s owner’s manual which should tell you where UPnP is located in the router’s administration panel. Log into your router, and follow the owner’s manual to enable UPnP. Some routers will have the option to Clear port forwards at startup, which I recommend enabling if the option is available.

Again, remove any previous network settings that you have tried on your Xbox One, and reset the network settings to factory default. Now, go to your Xbox One, and connect to your network. DO NOT enter static network information. Instead, set it to Automatic, not Manual. This ensures your router is doing all of the work it is supposed to be. Now, select Test Multiplayer Connection. When your connection results are presented, before pushing A for Continue, press and hold LB + LT + RB + RT on your controller, and this will take you to the super secret Detailed Network Statistics screen with a Detailed NAT status. The Detailed NAT status will initially have “….” Wait 60-90 seconds, and it will update with one of NAT types mentioned above. The goal is to be behind a cone NAT, which should give an OPEN NAT type.

It has been reported that when the Xbox One is in Instant-On power mode, UPnP does not register properly with your router, and Energy Saver mode allows UPnP to register properly. This is definitely a bug on the Xbox One that needs to be resolved. Xbox has a guide to switching power modes that will come in handy for you. Follow the guide to switch your Xbox One to Save Energy mode, and retry Method 3.

I personally was able to achieve Open NAT without switching to energy saver by only triggering ports. I would prefer to allow UPnP to handle the port requests, as I use it on my network for other services. However, for the time being, I have simply triggered all the ports my other services need. For my specific case, assigning my Xbox One a static IP address and adding all ports, including the bonus ports, I was able to achieve an OPEN NAT in both network settings and online gaming.

 

About Aaron St. Clair

Aaron St. Clair is a tech guru studying Computer Science at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. When he's not tinkering with new gadgets, modding systems, or slaving away at the mercy of the Tech-Recipe overlords, you can find him exploring the high country.
View more articles by Aaron St. Clair

The Conversation

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  • http://justfortech.com abhishek

    can you pls tell which is the easiest amongst the three methods ???

    • http://www.tech-recipes.com/ Aaron St. Clair

      It doesn’t really come down to which is the “easiest” versus which method works for you. I’ve detailed the instructions in the order you should try them.

  • http://proresults.in Abhiraam

    ive googled it and youtube’d it and it just tells me to go to my network settings on my xbox and test xbox live connection ive done that a few times and my NAT type is still Moderate. how do i access my Verizon Fios router settings without change the password or without changing anything on it cause i do not want to change anything.

    • http://www.tech-recipes.com/ Aaron St. Clair

      You’re not going to have much luck if you don’t change anything on the router… I know it can seem sketchy to go messing around with your router settings, but there’s nothing you cannot undo on your router. What is the Model of your FIOS router? Different models have different ways to access the admin panel. Check this article to see how to access your FIOS backend: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/35374/how-to-reset-or-change-the-password-for-your-verizon-fios-router/

      • Nykon

        > What should I do if my xbox says I have an “Open NAT” but still cant connect?

  • Running Man

    I have a D-Link Wireless AC1200 Dual Band Gigabit Router and the port forwarding is pretty different and it’s complicated. Everything is different from my old Linksys router, I need help from someone who understands this more than I do. Because idk how to use Port Forwarding.