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Halo Custom Edition Article

I started a server and no one can join the game
Most people use either a router/firewall appliance or a software firewall to protect their computers from the Internet. When you use a router or firewall it effectivly blocks all traffic from the Internet trying to connect to your PC. In order for people to play on your server you need to allow people to connect. To maintain your protection from hackers you only need to open certain ports on the router/firewall.

NOTE: It is NOT recommended that you place the PC in the routers DMZ because this opens ALL ports to the Internet.

If you are running a Router/Firewall or a software firewall OR Windows XP service pack 2, which has a built in firewall, you need to open these ports:

Port listing

The following DirectPlay ports must be open for you to play a game over a local area network (LAN), to play a direct Internet multiplayer game, or to play a game through GameSpy Internet Matchmaking:

  • 80 (Transmission Control Protocol [TCP]) - Halo looks to see if there is a Halo update available. If there is an update, Halo downloads the update through this port.
  • 2302 (User Datagram Protocol [UDP]) - the game host listens on this port.
  • 2303 (UDP) - the game client connects to the game host through this port.
The Microsoft reference document is here:


In addition you may need to open ports for Microsoft's DirectX game play as follows:

DirectX: Ports required to play on a network

This article describes the default ports that are required to play Microsoft Windows DirectX multiplayer games through a firewall, a proxy server, a router, Network Address Translation (NAT), or Internet Connection Sharing. For the specific ports that are required by your game, see the game product documentation. For the ports that are required by games that are published by Microsoft, visit the following Microsoft Web site:


If you have installed Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
  • 842242  Some programs seem to stop working after you install Windows XP Service Pack 2
  • 875357  Troubleshooting Windows Firewall settings in Windows XP Service Pack 2
Troubleshooting Windows Firewall settings in Windows XP Service Pack 2 Troubleshooting Windows Firewall settings in Windows XP Service Pack 2 Some programs seem to stop working after you install Windows XP Service Pack 2 To verify that these ports are open or to open these ports, contact your network administrator or Internet service provider (ISP).

If you are the administrator of the network, see the documentation that is provided with your networking software to determine the steps that you should follow to open these ports.

To play DirectX games through a network firewall or proxy server, the following requirements must be met:

 To guarantee DirectPlay compatibility, the latest version of DirectX should be installed on the computers that are used by all players who participate in the game.
 The following TCP and UDP ports must be open on the firewall or proxy server:

Using DirectX 7 or an earlier version

ConnectionPorts for Client ConfigurationPorts for Host Configuration
Initial TCP Connection47624 Outbound47624 Inbound
Subsequent TCP Inbound2300-24002300-2400
Subsequent TCP Outbound2300-24002300-2400
Subsequent UDP Inbound2300-24002300-2400
Subsequent UDP Outbound2300-24002300-2400

Using DirectX 8 or a later version

ConnectionPorts for Client ConfigurationPorts for Host Configuration
Initial UDP Connection 6073 Outbound6073 Inbound
Subsequent UDP Inbound2302-24002302-2400
Subsequent UDP Outbound2302-24002302-2400

To determine the DirectPlay method for games that use the DirectPlay Lobby service, follow these steps:

1.Click Start, click Run, type dxdiag in the Open box, and then click OK.
2.Click the Save All Information button to save a Dxdiag.txt report.
3.Click Desktop, and then click Save.
4.Open the DxDiag.txt file on your desktop and find the section marked "DirectPlay Lobbyable Apps".

Note that each game listed here will report either "(DX7)" or "(DX8)" which corresponds to its DirectPlay connection method.

Note DirectPlay8 games can work with the Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) capabilities of Microsoft Windows XP. When the game starts to host, enumerate, or connect, the appropriate ports will automatically open and when the game quits, these ports will automatically close.

Additionally, Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me) Internet Connection Sharing, Windows XP Internet Connection Sharing, and UPnP-compliant NATs cooperate with DirectPlay8 to make it possible to run full-featured, DirectPlay8 sessions through the NAT. Users can host or join DirectPlay8 sessions that are hosted inside or outside the NAT. No special configuration is required.

If you are using UPnP compliant network devices and are having difficulty, verify the following:

When you use Windows XP, make sure that you log on as an administrator.
If you use a hardware NAT, contact the manufacturer to see if the hardware is UPnP-compliant or if there are any updates for it, if it is not.
When you use Windows XP Internet Connection Sharing, make sure that the Allow other network users to control or disable the shared Internet connection and the Protect my computer and network by limiting or preventing access to this computer from the Internet check boxes are selected in the shared network device's properties.
A client on a Windows Millennium Edition (Me) Internet Connection Sharing computer must join the session before any client behind the NAT joins the session or else the Internet Connection Sharing computer cannot join.

For more information about Internet Connection Sharing, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
  • 234815 Description of Internet Connection Sharing
  • 327299 Cannot use DirectPlay programs on the Internet after you install Windows XP Service Pack 1
  • 310563 Description of Internet Connection Sharing in Windows XP

GameSpy Ports required
You may need to open some of the ports required for GameSpy to work. Their reference articles is located here: 


If you are behind a firewall/proxy and are able to change its settings, Arcade needs the following TCP ports open in order to function:

6667 (IRC)
3783 (Voice Chat Port)
27900 (Master Server UDP Heartbeat)
28900 (Master Server List Request)
29900 (GP Connection Manager)
29901 (GP Search Manager)
13139 (Custom UDP Pings)
6515 (Dplay UDP)
6500 (Query Port)

University Internet connections
Universities usually protect their networks with firewalls. In most cases these cannot be opened by you the user. You'll have to consult a technician at your University to see if a workaround is possible. It might be necessary to open more ports in order to run certain games. Also, please not that this is a list of recommended ports. It does not mean that your particular firewall will be easy to configure. Please consult your firewall/proxy manufacturer for detailed instructions. In reality, getting Arcade to work on certain restrictive networks may even be a little harder than opening these ports. DirectPlay games in all likelihood will not launch properly at all. 

Disabling firewalls will not work
Unfortunately, in most cases, firewalls/proxies cannot simply be disabled in order to allow you to use Arcade and your game. Disabling the firewall / proxy will not open the necessary ports. It will simply shut down the firewall/proxy and leave the ports closed. Also, many factors may conflict with your firewall: Internet Connection Sharing, the use of more than one firewall, or your operating system may all cause conflicts that keep you from enjoying Arcade. To work around these issues, you will need to consult the manufacturer of your firewall/proxy.
Special notes to Windows XP users:

Windows XP has a built-in firewall. If you are using 3rd party firewalls/proxies with Windows XP, you will have to consult both the firewall/proxy developer and Microsoft to determine their compatibility with one another. You will also need to speak to your game's developer in order to determine the game's compatibility with WindowsXP, its firewall and your 3rd party firewall/proxy.

Many broadband service providers are reporting an incompatibility between Windows XP and some high-speed modems. Please consult your Internet Service Provider to ensure your Windows XP compatibility with their modem and software.

Finding out how to open the ports in your firewall or Router

To find out how to open the ports on your particular router/firewall appliance you will need to refer to your manual. You can also refer to the Port Forward Website website for information on common routers.

[Posted: Mar-03-2005 18:58 EST -  (Link)]