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How to Set Up Port Forwarding on Your PC
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How to Set Up Port Forwarding on Your PC

By: Hannah Fillmore-Patrick

Network Address Translation (NAT) is a default router option that hides your IP address from the people you interact with online. While NAT makes
your private network more secure, it can make online gaming more difficult. NAT controls your internet connection, which can cause lags, drop you from games, and keep you from joining lobbies.

Luckily, it’s easy to open your NAT for online gaming using a technique called port forwarding. With port forwarding, you can:
Reduce game lags
Stop getting dropped from games
Improve the sound quality of voice chat
Play with friends or join lobbies
Host games
To set up port forwarding, you need to (1) determine your NAT type, (2) give your PC a static IP address, (3) determine your game’s port number and type, and (4) change your router’s NAT type on the router setup page.

Determine your NAT Type

To see if your NAT settings are affecting your gaming, first determine your NAT type. Most systems have three NAT types: strict, moderate, and open. Each type provides a different level of network security and affects gaming in a different way.
  • A strict NAT provides maximum anonymity and network security. It limits connectivity with other players, particularly those who also have a strict or moderate NAT on their network.
  • A moderate NAT provides some anonymity and network security. It lets you connect to other players, but limits some functions. You may not be able to join lobbies if you have a moderate NAT.
  • An open NAT doesn’t provide any anonymity or additional network security. With an open NAT, you will be able to connect to any game hosted by anyone and host your own game.
To determine your PC’s NAT type, we suggest you explore your NAT settings in your router’s setup page:

  1. Access the setup page by entering your router’s IP address into your browser’s address bar. Most routers have the default LAN IP address
    192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1. See a full list of default IP addresses here.
  2. Login to access the setup page. The default password is usually “admin,” but here’s a full list of default router passwords.

Get a Static IP Address

Before you change your router’s NAT type, choose a static IP address for your internet network. It’s relatively easy to set a static address for your PC running Windows.

1. Open the control panel and navigate to Network Connections.

2. In Network Connections, right-click your internet connection. Then, navigate to Properties.

3. In Properties, click “Use the following IP address” to unlock the IP address fields. Choose an IP address that’s compatible with your router. Any unused address that’s outside the DHCP range of your current address will do. So, if your current IP address is 192.168.1.143 for example, you might choose the static address 192.168.1.3

4 When you enter a new IP address, the subnet mask field should automatically input. Enter your router’s IP address in the default gateway field. Then, click “OK.”

Determine your Port Number and Type

To change your NAT type to “open,” you need to input the port number and type of your game. To find your game’s port number, navigate to your game’s network settings and look for the number listed under “Inbound port.” Here are the inbound ports and types for some of the most popular PC games:
Fortnite
TCP: 5222, 5795-5847
UDP: 5222, 5795-5847
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
TCP: 3074, 27014-27050
UDP: 3478, 4379-4380, 27000-27031, 27036
Fallout 76
UDP: 3000-3010
Battlefield V
TCP: 5222, 9988, 17502, 20000-20100, 22990, 42127
UDP: 3659, 14000-14016, 22990-23006, 25200-25300

Change your NAT type

To change your NAT type to “open” with port forwarding, return to your router’s setup page.

1. On your router’s setup page, navigate to “port forwarding.” Every router manufacturer arranges the setup page in a slightly different way. Here’s how to find the port-forwarding panel on a Linksys router.

2. When you make it to the panel, a list of ports should pop up. Enable a new port and give it a name in the “Description” box.

3. Enter the inbound port number of your game and the type of port. See “Determine your port number and type” above.

4. Under “Private port” enter the same number you entered under “Inbound port” i.e. the one indicated in your game’s network settings.

5. Save your settings.

6. Unplug your console for 30 seconds. Then, reboot it. Your router and game settings should now indicate that your NAT is open.

For more in-depth information about switching between “strict,” “moderate,” and “open” ports, we suggest visiting your router manufacturer’s official website.

Port Triggering for Multiple Gaming Consoles

To change your console’s NAT type to “open,” you can use either port forwarding or port triggering. If you have multiple gaming consoles on the same server, you’ll want to set up port triggering instead of port forwarding. You can set up port triggering on your router’s setup page. Just navigate to “port triggering” instead of “port forwarding” from the main menu.

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