Online gaming has become a staple in the video game industry and only continues to improve as time goes on. That being said, internet connections are often a frustrating topic when it comes to gamers. Dropping out of games, not having access to content you bought, and not being able to connect to a friend’s game for no apparent reason has given more than one person a headache throughout the years.
A vital factor to consider in your gaming connection is your NAT Type. This lets you know how well your console is communicating with your router. When playing on your Xbox Series X or Series S, there are three different NAT Types that can be applied to the situation. To find them, open your guide by pressing the Xbox button on your controller. Go to Profile & system, scroll down to Settings, and in General, you will find Network Settings. On the right-hand side, you will see your NAT Type with one of the three following statuses.
Open- the best NAT Type. If you are open, you can connect to anyone else without issue and host lobbies as well.
Moderate- Most of the time, you will be able to connect with others. There may be some issues with hosting or connecting to someone with a lower rating.
Strict- If you have a Strict NAT Type, it is probably best that someone else hosts the lobby. You could see a lot of lag and issues with keeping people connected.
The above types will not solely show if you have a good connection or not. Sometimes you can play with a Strict NAT Type and not see any issues, but it will depend more on the other connections in the game to ensure you are getting the best experience
For a refresh on your console, select Test NAT Type in Network Settings to get your up-to-date NAT Type.
How to change NAT Type
There can be a variety of issues as to why you may have a Strict NAT Type. To try and change it to something more ideal, let’s start with the basics. First, hold the power button on your Xbox Series X or Series S for a few seconds to fully shut it down. Also, shut down your router for about thirty seconds and turn it back on. Test your Multiplayer connection in Network Settings. If that did not fix anything, select Advanced Settings. Turn it to manual, and you will see a list of port numbers. Go through choosing them and testing your NAT Type to see if that helps at all. Most of the time, this can help get you to at least a Moderate NAT Type.
If you have multiple game consoles, your router could simply not be able to support the strain from both. In other cases, your router could need to be factory reset. If that does not work, you may want to try to upgrade the firmware on your router. This can be done by directly connecting your PC or laptop to the router via an ethernet cable. You will need to visit the router manufacturer’s website to learn how to configure and update your specific network hardware.
If the above methods have not helped, you should consult the official Xbox support page on NAT Types.