Network Address Translation (NAT) plays a huge role in connectivity with multiplayer Xbox One games, deciding how incoming traffic is handled. For gamers, NAT can play a huge role in who you can play with, establishing barriers between players if closed. With the help of port forwarding, your NAT type can likely be quickly improved.

Everything you should know about Xbox One networking

Why you need Open NAT on Xbox One

When connected to Xbox Live and playing online games, you may have seen terms thrown indicating the leniency of NAT types. This somewhat represents your compatibility with other players, with stricter NAT types often experiencing issues with multiplayer connectivity. A good way of showing how NAT influences connectivity is through a handy grid courtesy of Xbox Support. This shows compatibility between NAT types and why aiming for Open NAT makes for the best overall experience.

Open Moderate Strict
Open
Moderate
Strict

On a surface level, users with Open NAT will usually see the best experience on Xbox Live. While getting your NAT open is ultimately the end goal for the best connectivity, this has proven to be difficult for many users. One of the common solutions is port forwarding, helping route gaming traffic directly to your console.

Understanding port forwarding

Ports are essentially digital channels for your router, used for sorting incoming and outgoing internet traffic. Port forwarding makes your console more accessible over the internet, allowing for traffic to be routed directly to your device. Using user-created rules to forward specific ports, connectivity can be drastically improved. More importantly, port forwarding can be configured on a per-service or per-game basis, tailoring your network setup for the best connectivity with certain experiences.

In short, port forwarding can frequently solve many issues related to low-latency games and chats on Xbox One.

How to port forward your Xbox One

To get the most from Xbox Live, we recommend forwarding specific ports recommended by Microsoft. These ports are used by Xbox One and ensure all incoming Xbox Live traffic makes it directly to your console. The below steps provide an outline of port forwarding, although exact steps can vary between router models and manufacturers.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Xbox One.
  2. Select the Network tab.
  3. Select the Advanced settings tile.
  4. Note the IP address of your console. This will be required later in the port forwarding process.
  5. Note the MAC address of your console. This may also be required for later steps.
  6. Navigate to your router login page. For more details on logging into your router, search online for guides related to your specific model.
  7. Log into your router using the required credentials.
  8. Manually assign an IP address to your Xbox One, using the previously fetched IP and MAC addresses. This action once again varies between models, so search for specifics on your router.

  9. Open the Settings app on your Xbox One.
  10. Select the Network tab.
  11. Select the Test network connection tile.
  12. Follow the on-screen steps to ensure your Xbox One connects to your network.
  13. Navigate to the port forwarding tools on your router. This action once again varies between models, so search for specifics on your router.
  14. Open the following ports, making sure to utilize the correct protocol:

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

Following these steps, you should now have obtained Open NAT on your Xbox One console. If issues occur, ensure your provided IP and MAC address match that of your console, while the correct ports and protocols have been used.

Getting the most from your Xbox

For more tips and tricks related to Xbox One networking, be sure to read our cohesive Xbox One networking guide. Furthermore, if you've been having NAT issues, let us know how port forwarding worked for you.

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