Question: An error message appears saying that my NAT type is Strict. What does this mean and how can I change my NAT type?
Answer: NAT stands for Network Address Translation. It is a function of your router or internet gateway device that translates your PC's private IP and port to a public IP and port. Your NAT type describes which method your NAT device uses to perform this translation, and how the device filters incoming packets.
Essentially, your NAT type determines how easily the game can connect to other players over the internet.
There are three general classifications of NAT types:
OPEN: Can play games with any other NAT type.
MODERATE: Can play games with open or moderate NAT types.
STRICT: Can only play against open NAT types.
If your NAT type is Strict, you will be unable to make a direct connection with most players. This will cause problems such as higher latency (lag), smaller session sizes, longer wait times, and more frequent disconnections. When connection conflicts occur, the game may choose to drop the player with the strictest NAT type.
How can I change my NAT type?
Some routers have a 'Gaming Mode'. Enabling this mode can often give you a better NAT type. Read your router's manual or search online to see if your router supports it.
If your NAT type is Strict, it may be blocking ports used by the game, or it may translate your private port to a non-deterministic public port when sending packets to each different player in your session. Other players will be unable to determine which port to use to make a connection. You can fix this by enabling uPnP, or setting up a port-forwarding rule on your router. Most routers support some form of port forwarding. When this is properly configured, it instructs the router to forward incoming traffic from certain ports to a specific device within your network. You may also need to give your PC a static IP for this to work (note that you don't need a static IP from your internet service provider, just a static private IP for your PC on your internal network). Check out http://portforward.com for instructions on how to enable port forwarding for your specific router model and http://portforward.com/networking/staticip.htm for instructions on how to give your PC a static IP. GTA Online uses UDP port 6672 for multiplayer traffic. Once your PC has a static IP, forward UDP port 6672 to that IP.
Additional Ports to Forward for GTA Online:
TCP Ports: 80, 443
UDP Ports: 6672, 61455, 61456, 61457, and 61458
Other things you can try to improve your connectivity:
- Make sure your router's firmware is upgraded to the latest version (very important).
- Unplug your router for 10 minutes and plug it back in. Some older routers degrade in performance over time until it is rebooted, similar to a PC.
- Disable any firewall or other network filtering for the game, or open the ports mentioned above.
- Enable or disable uPnP (universal plug and play) on your router.
- Bypass the router entirely and connect your PC directly to the modem using a wired Ethernet cable (not wi-fi).
- If your router is connected to a gateway (a gateway is a modem and router all in one box), both devices may be performing NAT. To resolve this issue, put your gateway into 'Bridge Mode' so that only your router performs NAT. Consult your gateway's manual or contact your ISP to get instructions on how to put the gateway into bridge mode or obtain your PPPoE information if you have ADSL. See http://portforward.com/help/doublerouterportforwarding.htm for information on double NAT scenarios.
- If you use an ADSL connection, see if dialing a PPPoE connection from the PC improves the NAT Type. Read your device's manual or contact your ISP for instructions.