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Unable to Host a Game Troubleshooting Checklist

How to configure your computer and network gear to host games online

By on December 18, 2007 12:57:47 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

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If you are having problems hosting a game here are a couple things you want to verify your networking and Windows configuration.

If your network has a router that connects to you to your ISP equipment verify these 2 things.

1. UPnP has to be enabled on your router.
2. Port 6112 has been redirected to your IP address for TCP/UDP traffic.

Windows XP has 2 services that are required for UPnP that are set to manual by default.
1. Verify that the service "SSDP Discovery Service" is started and set to automatic.
2. Verify that the service "Universal Plug and Play Device Host" is started and set to automatic.

Additional Resources:

Microsoft’s information about of UPnP

D-Link walk thru enabling UPnP services for Windows XP
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December 18, 2007 10:26:04 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
Nice! You got it working then I take it?
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December 18, 2007 11:58:47 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
I have the oddest issue while hosting games. Sometimes players can't actually see the games I set up. They hit the refresh buttons, but my game still won't display for them.

To fix the problem, I have to usually reboot Sins and make a new map. Then usually players can see it and join up.

Of course, about 65% of the time, everything works out fine.
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December 18, 2007 12:27:58 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
Reported multiple times para
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February 8, 2008 10:28:28 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
I have enabled UPnP through my router and through the the network services from the control panel but when I host games no one can join them and they just get a message that says "Disconnected from the Server" instead. What can I do to fix this?

Nevermind all fixed I had the wrong IP addy. If you go to start and run file and type in "CMD" then at the MS dos prompt type in IPCONFIG you get your correct IP ADDRESS.
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February 9, 2008 4:53:11 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
I went under my router adn allowed the port 6112 and my firewall is allowing it too. I also then went under add/remove windows components and installed the upnp thing. Then i went under my router and set that to allowed as well as under my firewall, adn this still doesnt work. MY friend from school also got this and tried the same thign and we still cant host. what else am i supposed to do to get this game that i paid for to work the way it claims it does.
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February 9, 2008 10:16:10 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
I'm in the same boat, I can't get hosting to work. I have the port properly fowarded and I just can't get anything cooking. I have no idea about the upnp, but it didn't come up when I checked the add/remove windows components. But if I DIDN'T have those installed, wouldn't that hork up the host of other games I have that work just fine? Guild Wars, WoW, Potbs, Steam, among others.

I'm at my wits end, and I've reached the end of my technical knowledge.
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February 9, 2008 10:24:58 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
I know next to nothing about routers, but i discovered in the advance settings/applications a DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) setting which allowed me to turn off all firewall protection for my modem/router. I have a firewall program installed on my computer so i do not see the need for this on my modem.

Anyway, enabled DMZ and problem solved, and allowed me to host games with my friend who is behind a router firewall and is unable to get past it.
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February 9, 2008 10:26:51 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
Yeah, I can throw the router into DMZ, but I find that a bit unnecessary given that I didn't need to do that for all my other games. It's using a hatchet to kill a housefly.
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February 12, 2008 1:15:00 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
Did not help me either I've tried everything I can think of. Turning on/off my firewall setting the game on allow in my fire wall changing the ports the game uses.

I know it's not a issue with the port 6112 as other games I have use it without any fuss from my computer it would be nice if I could host games online. It's kind of ironic that the only game I've played with over a year of open beta testing is the single game I have multiplayer issues on.

Here are my system specs in case it helps:
e6600 Core Duo 2.4GHz
2 GBs of Ram
2900 XT 512MB
Telus AntiVirus with it's firewall on
Windows Firewall as well
A linksys router
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February 12, 2008 3:29:42 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
FOR ADVANCED USERS ONLY! If you don't understand what we're trying to accomplish here, JUST WALK AWAY NOW! You have been warned! hehe

Hey guys do this, while you have a MP game setup (using ICO), running, and waiting for players to join! (Alt+Tab out of the game):

1. Start > Run > type "cmd", then press enter key (no quotes)
2. type "netstat -abn -p TCP", then press the enter key (no quotes)

Remove (XXX out) any senstitive information, like public IP's (private are IP's OK) or hostname info if present (so lurking hackers don't get any ideas) in notepad/word, and post it. This will validate your PC is setup right and listening on the correct ports (6000, 6112). No Windows or thrid-party firewalls on please (only if you can't setup or know how to setup for that matter, the exceptions list!)

If possible, try to nmap your public IP...I was able to verify my ability to host from work, see below:

1. C:\nmap-4.53>nmap -v -sW -p6000,6112 xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx

Starting Nmap 4.53 ( http://insecure.org ) at 2008-02-09 11:36 Mountain Standard
Time
Initiating Ping Scan at 11:36
Scanning xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx [2 ports]
Completed Ping Scan at 11:36, 0.16s elapsed (1 total hosts)
Initiating Parallel DNS resolution of 1 host. at 11:36
Completed Parallel DNS resolution of 1 host. at 11:36, 0.02s elapsed
Initiating Window Scan at 11:36
Scanning c-xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx.hsd1.xx.comcast.net (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx) [2 ports]
Discovered open port 6112/tcp on xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx <=== yippee
Discovered open port 6000/tcp on xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx <=== yippee
Completed Window Scan at 11:36, 0.02s elapsed (2 total ports)
Host c-xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx.hsd1.xx.comcast.net (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx) appears to be up ...
good.
Interesting ports on c-xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx.hsd1.xx.comcast.net (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx):
PORT STATE SERVICE
6000/tcp open X11 <=== yippee
6112/tcp open dtspc <=== yippee

Read data files from: C:\nmap-4.53
Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 0.281 seconds
Raw packets sent: 3 (120B) | Rcvd: 3 (138B)

I was able to use the TCP Window nmap scan to verify my ports were being forwarded correctly through my router. Also, I get those messages saying other players may not be able to join my games too, still...just like the Monk does!

Note: This MUST be done from outside of your local network, otherwise the results will be misleading. What I mean by "outside" is using nmap from a machine that is NOT behind the same router/firewall protecting the PC you want to scan, which in most cases, should be your gateway to the Internet! If you're on a college campus or anyplace where you're not in control of the router facing the Internet, good luck convincing that IT Department for allowing those ports through to you!!!

There ARE many scanning methods nmap can use to check for open ports. There are a lot of factors that will dertermine which method will work best for you. How the vendor implemented the firewall and/or port-forwarding (RFC's followed), the OS you run (XP or Vista in Sins case), filtering at your ISP or campus, etc...So this guide should be used just as a reference. There's a excellent nmap howto out on the web...and/or you can use the -h option with nmap itself for some help too!

Here's that good nmap turorial link. It's not up a lot, so grab it when you can.
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February 16, 2008 9:10:26 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums


Windows XP has 2 services that are required for UPnP that are set to manual by default.
1. Verify that the service "SSDP Discovery Service" is started and set to automatic.
2. Verify that the service "Universal Plug and Play Device Host" is started and set to automatic.


Thanks for the Checklist, this is the first one to mention the XP services.

How exactly does one "verify" those services are running????

How do you set the SSDP to automatic ?????

On another note I am very frustrated that ICO is a useless service since only network admins can get SINS to run. The proof is that only a very few games are in the lobby, becuase there are some serious problems with ICO (
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February 16, 2008 9:35:13 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
Here is a simple tool to check and see if your port is open,
WWW Link
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February 17, 2008 3:38:07 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
Linksys Info:

For those of you who have a Linksys WRT54G series wireless router, Linksys has recently upgraded their firmware for these series routers to resolve UPnP problems. Myself and my friend had to go grab the latest firmware upgrade for our Linksys wireless router before we could host a SoaSE game.

My wireless router is a WRT54GL and his was a WRT54G. Same UPnP problem was resolved by upgrading firmware on each of our routers.


Chewy
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February 19, 2008 3:39:01 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
C:\>"c:\Program Files\Nmap\nmap" -v -sW -p6000,6112 xxx.xxx.xx.xx

Starting Nmap 4.53 ( http://insecure.org ) at 2008-02-19 09:34 W. Europe Standar
d Time
Initiating Parallel DNS resolution of 1 host. at 09:34
Completed Parallel DNS resolution of 1 host. at 09:34, 0.02s elapsed
Skipping Window Scan against 214-8-xxxxxx.nl (145.120.8.214) becau
se Windows does not support scanning your own machine (localhost) this way.
Host 214-8-xxxxxx.nl (145.120.8.214) appears to be up ... good.
0 ports scanned on 214-8xxxxxx.nl (xxx.xx.xxx.xxx)

Read data files from: c:\Program Files\Nmap
Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 0.047 seconds
Raw packets sent: 0 (0B) | Rcvd: 0 (0B)


What does this tell me? I can play all kinds of online games without hassle, except for this one. EVE Online, Pirates of the burning sea, CCS, Supreme Commander etc.

Also, when I play Sins through direct IP, I can connect and play with my friends just fine. It says port 6112 when entering the IP if I'm not mistaken, so why can't I connect to Ironclad Online?

Edit. I run no firewall and turned off the Windows firewall too.
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February 19, 2008 1:37:41 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
What does this tell me? I can play all kinds of online games without hassle, except for this one. EVE Online, Pirates of the burning sea, CCS, Supreme Commander etc.Also, when I play Sins through direct IP, I can connect and play with my friends just fine. It says port 6112 when entering the IP if I'm not mistaken, so why can't I connect to Ironclad Online?Edit. I run no firewall and turned off the Windows firewall too.



It tells me you're not following the guide correctly. Did you use nmap to scan the same machine you're hosting the game on? That's what I see you did, and that's not valid.

Like I stated with my instructions...you MUST use a second machine (do it from your work or a friend's house) to do the scan, otherwise it won't work. It can NOT be on the same network or the same PC!!! ICO uses port 6000, direct LAN play uses 6112. What router do you have and how is your port-forwarding setup?

The main reason I posted what I did is the end result is you'll actually PROVE you have it all setup correctly, from the router config to your PC firewall settings (if any). It's easy to say, "Yeah, I've gotten it all configured right!", but much harder to prove to a techie guy that you do!

I'd do it for you, but can you trust me? I'm some random guy on the Net that uses nmap a lot...How comfortable would you be sending me your public IP and scanning your PC (knowing now you've disabled your firewall)? This is why I suggested doing this yourself or maybe allowing a trusted friend to help you! If I were to guess what the problem is, you didn't open up port 6000.
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February 19, 2008 7:27:41 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I've done the last 2, and I've enabled UPnP on my router as well.
What do u mean by 6112 has been redirected to you ip?
What should i do about it? I'm using WRT54G

Thanks
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February 20, 2008 9:17:31 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
Thanks for your effort to explain it again Slimpinto, despite me doing a bad job at reading :embarrased:

I contacted my ISP in the meantime and they confirmed that they were not blocking either port. However since I'm in a student dorm with over a hundred students, it is likely that UPnP is not enabled on the central router, and I doubt very much they would be willing to open that up for a game and risk the router's defense versus port requests from outside the dorm.

Am I right to understand that the game's networking nature is p2p rather than being hosted on and through a single server? Cause no game that I have played so far is doing that, instead they all go through one server(-park). And for that you need UPnP enabled on your router, right?
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February 20, 2008 11:43:01 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
Thanks for your effort to explain it again Slimpinto, despite me doing a bad job at reading :embarrased:I contacted my ISP in the meantime and they confirmed that they were not blocking either port. However since I'm in a student dorm with over a hundred students, it is likely that UPnP is not enabled on the central router, and I doubt very much they would be willing to open that up for a game and risk the router's defense versus port requests from outside the dorm.Am I right to understand that the game's networking nature is p2p rather than being hosted on and through a single server? Cause no game that I have played so far is doing that, instead they all go through one server(-park). And for that you need UPnP enabled on your router, right?


No worries...Since you're on a campus, it's highly likely you're locked down behind the edge router. You probably would be fine if all the connections (TCP/IP) were initiated from your PC, but ICO needs to be able to establish the connection from itself (outside)! Thus, you'll never be able to connect to ICO because that connection is getting dropped at that router and I doubt they'll open it for you, because IT guys hold all the POWER! hehe
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February 20, 2008 12:26:47 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
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February 20, 2008 12:34:47 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
This is simple not good enough - you shouldn’t have a technical "upper" class degree exam to set up and host a game here. This of cause has to be fixed "pronto" or company loose customers - but I believe it will be fixed soon – made a way so it will be soooo mush easier
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February 20, 2008 4:33:59 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
This is simple not good enough - you shouldn’t have a technical "upper" class degree exam to set up and host a game here. This of cause has to be fixed "pronto" or company loose customers - but I believe it will be fixed soon – made a way so it will be soooo mush easier


You don't have to be in the "upper" class...but...

Look at all the variables here! You start with your PC, does it meet all the minimum specs to play/host a game of Sins? What Operating System do you use? Does your OS have a built-in firewall, if so, did you set it up correctly? Do you use any third-party firewall (anti-spyware, etc...), if so, are they configured right?

Now, you have Internet...do you have Cable, DSL, Satellite, etc? Does your ISP provide you with a modem/router OR are you on a LAN (e.g. college campus)? If so, have you verified they forward all ports to you? Do you have your own router as well (e.g. D-Link, Linksys, etc...) and did you set it up correctly (port-forwarding)? Then you can have bad cables, old firmware versions, busted TCP/IP stack on your PC, etc...the list is HUGE!

That's A LOT of "unknowns" for a game developer to have to deal with, when designing a game. The unfortunate part to all this is a very small minority of gamers (like on a college campus for example), may not be able to play all aspects of the game (like hosting a MP game on ICO). The majority of players probably play at home, over the Internet with one of the big ISPs out there and have some sort of router plugged into their modem. This setup WILL require you to have to manually set it all up on your own however!

With my postings above, what I did was just "prove" I could connect to my home PC hosting a game of Sins using a common networking tool (hacker tool hehe!), that's all. There are other posts in the this technical forum with details on how to setup port-forwarding, firewalls, etc...and even another techie guy called "the Monk" that will actually help you out over teamspeak, if you ask him nicely! My home setup is most likely different than yours, so how I got mine setup may or may not help you!

I have the following:

Comcast (cable) <--> cable modem <--> D-Link Gamers Lounge router (DL-4300) <--> PC (WinXP Pro x64)

All I did was setup the router to forward ports 6000,6112 (one simple step through the GUI) and configure the Windows firewall to allow those ports to my PC. That was it! It's really not IC's fault, that some people can't connect to ICO, they can only control their end of the equation!



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February 21, 2008 6:11:00 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
Don't get me wrong m8 - I have deepest respect for what you trying to do here - this including The-monk as well I have learn some new stuff going trough your and the-monk threads so that’s good at least!

It's just me, I’m angry at - I SUCKS big time when it comes to network

I have done all what I could do my self after your and monks directions. And I just can’t host anything.

My specs:
XP –SP2
XP firewall
(a good link, for those who like it shown in pictures, about - Configuring Windows XP Firewall To Allow Inbound Connections: WWW Link )
AVG antivirus

ISP<--> PC(XP pro x32) . . I mean, direct from wall to my pc (we are about 2000 on same network, and I have normally about 6-7Mbit in/out connection)

Therefore I took contact to my ISP this morning to discuss what’s wrong and (here comes my stupidity when it comes to networking – doh ) I do need a explicit IP from them I was told. I have a dynamic I think he said or something like this.

But again you and monk (and others) have my deepest respect for this pretty time consuming helping you providing in here.

Redion
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February 21, 2008 12:26:03 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
Don't get me wrong m8 - I have deepest respect for what you trying to do here - this including The-monk as well I have learn some new stuff going trough your and the-monk threads so that’s good at least!It's just me, I’m angry at - I SUCKS big time when it comes to network I have done all what I could do my self after your and monks directions. And I just can’t host anything. My specs:XP –SP2 XP firewall (a good link, for those who like it shown in pictures, about - Configuring Windows XP Firewall To Allow Inbound Connections: WWW Link )AVG antivirusISP<--> PC(XP pro x32) . . I mean, direct from wall to my pc (we are about 2000 on same network, and I have normally about 6-7Mbit in/out connection)Therefore I took contact to my ISP this morning to discuss what’s wrong and (here comes my stupidity when it comes to networking – doh ) I do need a explicit IP from them I was told. I have a dynamic I think he said or something like this. But again you and monk (and others) have my deepest respect for this pretty time consuming helping you providing in here. Redion


the Monk has been more helpful than me for sure, but thanks for the props anyway!

I don't think it's anything on your part though (and out of your control for sure). You should be able to host a game on your local subnet or possibly via direct IP (granted port 6112 is open). I get a public ("dynamic") IP from Comcast, which my D-Link uses on it's WAN interface...my PC's all get provided a private IP address from my router (via DHCP). You are a little different though, as your campus network gives you your IP (via DCP most likely as well) and you can't control that or the access-lists/port-forwarding, etc! That being the case, there may always be a problem for you hosting p2p games like this! For those that claim theirs ALWAYS just worked, obviously have those ports open (or are directly connected to the internet with no firewall of any kind...what's all of your IP's again??? hehe!)
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February 22, 2008 5:19:59 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
Ya, u right I will not be able to host games like sins before I get my own direct IP. As it is now (have done some reading ) my problem I have a timeout IP. It seems like I have the same IP all the time if I test/check from internet but it's change when it goes trough the site/router who operating the net for those 2000 I talked about. I think (if u understand my bad English ) this is NAT - am I right? So I can’t host anything as it is now.

Could IC or any tell me why Sins not on ex. GameSpy. Any special reason why it's not in such a place?

what's all of your IP's again??? hehe!)


. . ya u like - heh

Redion
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February 23, 2008 3:39:17 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
meanwhile I think there is a bug in the game in regards to this error message. I have properly setup my router and firewall and http://www.canyouseeme.org/ says my port 6112 can be connected to from outside.
Still I get the error telling me I can't host. Now it is getting real funny: I can host without a problem. So the message is totally wrong for me....
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