Wondering how to refresh or change NAT Type on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S? We will show you!
If you’re having trouble with your connection when playing games online on your Xbox One or Series X, it could be down to a little something known as your system’s NAT Type.
What exactly is a NAT Type, we hear you ask? Well, it stands for Network Address Translation and, in simple terms, it’s to do with how your Xbox One communicates with your router and connects to the internet. So, if you’re experiencing issues such as game lag, slow connection, being kicked out of games during play, or being unable to host online multiplayer games, it could be down to the NAT Type that your console is using.
Luckily, it’s easy to check this via your Xbox, and there are a couple of simple steps you can take to resolve the problem. Let’s break down the different NAT Types and take a look at the troubleshooting solutions available…
What do the different NAT Types mean: Which NAT Type is best?
There are three NAT Types that your Xbox One might offer:
- Open NAT: This is the best NAT Type, enabling you to connect to other players with no issues. You can also host multiplayer games with users of any NAT Type.
- Moderate NAT: This is mostly ok, but not ideal – connection to games is slower, game lag is more likely and you won’t host games most of the time.
- Strict NAT: This is the worst NAT Type – you can only connect with Open Nat players, game lag will be much worse and you’ll often end up being disconnected in the middle of a game.
Your Xbox One automatically uses a process called Universal Plug ‘n’ Play (UPnP) to communicate effectively with your router. This usually means you can play Xbox Live on an Open NAT Type without having to configure it yourself. However, this isn’t always successful...
How to check your NAT Type on Xbox One
It’s easy to check which NAT Type your Xbox is using to connect you to online games. Some games, such as the Call Of Duty and FIFA titles, will display this information on the in-game network menu. If the game doesn’t do this, just follow these simple steps…
- Press the Xbox button on your controller to bring up the little 'Guide' menu
- Scroll across to the ‘Profile & System’ section (which is represented by your own profile picture).
- Select ‘Settings’ and then ‘Network settings’.
- You’ll find your NAT Type under ‘Current Network Status’.
How to change your NAT Type on Xbox One
If your NAT Type is Moderate or Strict, this will likely explain any connectivity issues that you’re experiencing. However, there are a couple of easy ways to try to change your NAT Type without the fiddly last resort of messing with your router settings.
- Go to the Settings menu and navigate to Network settings. Select Test NAT Type and refresh if necessary.
- Do a hard reset on your Xbox One by pressing and holding the power button. Once your console has rebooted, re-test your multiplayer connection in ‘Network settings’. This should renew your UPnP leases and boost your NAT Type.
- If that doesn’t work, head to Network settings and select Advanced settings. Now select Alternate port selection and switch from Automatic to Manual. You’ll see a list of different port numbers – try selecting different ones to see if any of them provide you with an Open NAT Type.
Finally, to boost your chances of securing an Open NAT Type whenever you log on, enable the Energy Saver power mode on your Xbox. Head to the Settings menu and select General, then Power mode & startup. In the Power mode option, turn off Instant On and enable Energy-saving.
This will result in longer startup times, but it means your Xbox will renew its UPnP lease every time you power on.
How to change NAT Type on Xbox Series X/S
For those of you lucky enough to have picked up a next-gen Xbox console, you're in luck. The method for changing and checking your NAT Type on the Xbox Series X or Series S is exactly the same as if it was an Xbox One.
This is all part of Microsoft's desire to continue its Xbox ecosystem through the next generation of gaming. A variety of Xbox One products, such as the controllers, are completely compatible with the Series X, and vice versa.