If you want to play games online, download content, or stream video, one of the worst things that can happen is that your NAT Type slips from being Open.
Whenever there’s a network connection issue, your Xbox Series X or S NAT Type will be the first configuration that you check.
Here’s how to check your NAT Type on the Xbox Series X or S:
- Press the Xbox button on your controller, move to the right to ‘Profile & system,’ and then select ‘Settings;’
- Move to the ‘General’ section and click on ‘Network settings;’
- On the ‘Network’ page, you check your NAT Type on the right side. It will say either ‘NAT Type: Open,’ ‘NAT Type: Moderate,’ or ‘NAT Type: Strict.’
If your NAT Type is one of the weaker two (Strict or Moderate), you’ll naturally want to change your NAT Type on the Xbox Series X|S to the ideal setting of Open.
Here’s everything that you need to know about your NAT Type, from what a NAT Type is to how you can change your Xbox Series X or S NAT Type from ‘Strict’ or ‘Moderate’ to ‘Open.’
What does NAT Type mean on Xbox?
NAT stands for Network Address Translation and essentially shows you how well your router and Xbox Series X|S can communicate with each other. There are three different NAT Types:
- NAT Type: Open means that your console has full access to online connections, enabling you to connect to others’ games, host games, and have others join your hosted games.
- NAT Type: Moderate means that you won’t have full access to all of the connection functions, but you will still be able to connect to others.
- NAT Type: Strict means that your connections are extremely limited.
As such, your NAT Type isn’t only tied to the performance of your Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S, with it primarily being determined by the connection to your router.
How to change your Xbox Series X|S NAT Type
There’re a few potential ways to try to enhance and change your NAT Type, with this method being the best to try first:
- Perform a hard restart on your Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S, wait for it to turn off, and then unplug its power cable;
- Turn off your router (likely by unplugging the power cable) for 30 seconds;
- Plug the router back in and wait for it to boot up;
- Turn on your Xbox Series X or S;
- Press the Xbox button on your controller, go to ‘Profile & system,’ and then select ‘Settings;’
- Move to the ‘General’ section and select ‘Network settings;’
- You will be able to see your Xbox’s NAT Type on the ‘Network’ screen, but you can run it through ‘Test NAT Type’ and ‘Test multiplayer connection’ if it doesn’t yet show NAT Type: Open or Moderate.
If that doesn’t work, there’s a chance that your router is overloaded with devices and can’t handle the strain. Should this be the case, be sure that other unnecessary devices aren’t connected and drawing from the router, and then run through the above steps again.
There is another, longwinded option available to Xbox Series X|S owners; if the above method to change your NAT Type fails, try following these steps:
- From the ‘Network’ page within the ‘General’ part of ‘Settings,’ select ‘Advanced settings;’
- On the ‘Advanced settings’ page, select ‘Alternate port selection,’ and then ‘Manual;’
- From the ‘Manual port selection’ window, use the dropdown ‘Select port;’
- Pick the next port down from the port that is currently highlighted as being in use and press ‘Continue;’
- You’ll return to the ‘Advanced settings’ page, so go back one step to the ‘Network’ page and then select ‘Test NAT Type;’
- If your first attempt doesn’t work, repeat the process and select a different port to try.
For many Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S users, the methods to change your NAT Type detailed above will work. However, should your NAT Type troubles persist, you may be able to find the solution on the Microsoft Support page.