How to get Open NAT on Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S with port forwarding

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Source: Matt Brown | Windows Central

Network Address Translation (NAT) plays a huge role in connecting multiplayer games and deciding how to handle incoming traffic. For players, NAT determines who you can play with it, setting up barriers between players if they are closed.

NAT was a hot topic throughout the Xbox 360 era, and it still plays an important role for Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S. Even for the best Xbox games, struggling with strict NAT can provide an inferior experience. However, with the help of port forwarding, it is easy to improve your NAT type.

When you’re connected to the Xbox network and playing games online, you might have seen terms that indicate leniency for NAT types. This sort of represents your compatibility with other players, with stricter NAT types often encountering multiplayer connectivity issues.

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A good way to show how NAT influences connectivity is to use a handy grid courtesy of Xbox Support. This shows the compatibility between NAT types and why aiming for Open NAT provides the best overall experience.

On the surface, users with Open NAT will generally see the best experience with Xbox multiplayer. While opening your NAT is ultimately the end goal for the best connectivity, it has proven difficult for many users. One of the common solutions is port forwarding, or helps route game traffic directly to your console. We recommend that you first review our UPnP guide for Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S and return to these steps if you are still having difficulty with NAT.

Agreement port forwarding

Ports are basically digital channels for your router, used to sort incoming and outgoing internet traffic. Port forwarding makes your console more accessible over the Internet, allowing traffic to be routed directly to your device. By using user-created rules to forward specific ports, connectivity can be greatly improved. Most importantly, port forwarding can be configured per service or per game, tailoring your network configuration for the best connectivity with certain experiences.

In short, port forwarding can frequently fix a lot of low latency gaming and chat issues on Xbox.

How to forward the port of your Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S

To get the most out of your Xbox console, we recommend that you forward specific ports recommended by Microsoft. These ports are used by Xbox consoles and ensure that all incoming Xbox network traffic arrives directly to your console. The steps below provide an overview of port forwarding, although the exact steps may vary between router models and manufacturers.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Xbox console.
  2. Select the Network tongue.
  3. Select the Advanced settings tile.

    Xbox One IP AddressSource: Windows Central

  4. Note the IP adress from your console. This will be required later in the port forwarding process.
  5. Note the Mac Address from your console. This may also be necessary for later steps.
  6. Access your router login page. For details on connecting to your router, search online for guides related to your specific model.
  7. Log in to your router using the required credentials.
  8. Manually assign an IP address to your Xbox console using the previously retrieved IP and MAC addresses. This action again varies between models, so look for specifics on your router.

    Xbox One Open NATSource: Windows Central

  9. Open the Settings app on your Xbox console.
  10. Select the Network tongue.
  11. Select the Test the network connection tile.
  12. Follow the steps on screen to make sure your Xbox console connects to your network.
  13. Navigate to the port forwarding tools on your router. This action again varies between models, so look for specifics on your router.
  14. Open the following ports, making sure you are using the correct protocol:

    • UDP: 88, 500, 3544, 4500
    • TCP and UDP: 3074
  15. Open the Settings app on your Xbox console.
  16. Select the Network tongue.
  17. Select the Test the type of NAT tile. You should now have Open NAT on your Xbox console.

By following these steps, you should now have obtained Open NAT on your Xbox console. If problems arise, make sure that the IP and MAC addresses provided match those on your console and that the correct ports and protocols have been used.

While port forwarding is a common remedy for Xbox NAT issues, it is far from the only solution available. Our breakdown of UPnP and its benefits for Xbox games provides another potential solution and only scratches the surface of complex Xbox networks. You can also enhance your Xbox NAT with DMZ, although this should be thoroughly researched, given the security implications associated with the method.

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