Open NAT on Xbox Creates Best Multiplayer Experience

Xbox One, Xbox, Microsoft, Console, Game Consoles

Whether video game aficionados are seeking updates and bug fixes or just playing with friends online, their user experience can be enhanced or marred by their network connection.

Most home networks today are made up of many devices: cell phones, laptops, and iPads, to name a few. These devices utilize the same IP address and access the internet at the same time; yet, they request different information. For example, your mother might be looking up a recipe for a delicious meal, while your brother is reading cliffs notes on a play he is studying in English class. How do each of these devices receive the proper information without any entanglement? In other words, why doesn’t your brother receive the recipe, or your mom receive the cliffs notes? The answer is NAT.

Network Address Translation (NAT) is the process whereby a network device (such as a laptop or home computer) inside a local area network (LAN) makes a request to access the internet outside of the LAN. The device communicates through a router to reach the web, and NAT ensures that the information requested is sent back to the correct device, and not another device within the same network.

Different Types of NAT:

Xbox has three types of NAT that can foretell the kind of experience a gamer will have. Gamers can view this as “NAT type” either in pre-game lobbies or on a network settings menu.

In this chart (, one can see how an “open” NAT type is preferred, as gamers can easily join games with other NAT types that aren’t open, increasing your likelihood of having a good online experience). If one’s NAT type is strict, he or she can only play with OPEN NAT users, which is severely limiting.

Chart for Xbox

Adjusting your NAT type:

Navigate on your Xbox One to Home -> Settings -> Network Settings and you’ll see your NAT type. If it’s not open, you can try these settings. Check your router’s DHCP settings (the range it gives out local IP addresses).

  1. Assign a Static IP to your Xbox that is outside the router’s DHCP range. In the Network Settings screen, go to Advanced Settings and assign it a static IP there. Also take note of the Port Number, which will be needed for your router.
  2. Log into your network router and add a port forward of the Port Number (in step 1) to the static IP address of your Xbox.
    1. If you have multiple Xboxes on your network, you will need to enable an “Alternate Port selection” on your Xbox and forward that port to the other one.
  3. Go back to your Xbox and test the multiplayer connection, and then test the NAT type. This should give you an open NAT (unless the default port of 3074 is in use).