Most connection issues are related to a few different problems:
1) Verify that all ports are opened (Port list available further down this post) or circumvent the router entirely by connecting directly to your modem*.
2) Ensure that allowances have been made in your firewall or circumvent it entirely by disabling it*.
3) Make sure no programs are running that could interfere. This could range from security programs like Norton Internet Security to anti-virus programs*, or simply other programs such as xfire or hamachi that seem to have some issues running simultaneously.
* These steps are provided as troubleshooting assistance. We do NOT advocate running at all times in the DMZ mode or without any sort of firewall or anti-virus. Once you have verified where the problem lies, then you will want to take steps to allow the program to work WITH your security software, not leave it out of the loop forever.
How to check the status of Windows Live ID (sign in) and LIVE services
A service may be down, which will prevent you from accessing the LIVE services or sign in. To check status of the servers click the links below:
LIVE server status
Windows Live ID server status
If you cannot connect to any of these sites, please contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for assistance.
Open Port Requirements
The following ports are required to be opened to use Games for Windows - LIVE.
- TCP 80
- UDP 88
- UDP 3074
- TCP 3074
- UDP 53
- TCP 53
- TCP 443
To make sure that these ports are open, or to open these ports, contact the network administrator or the Internet Service Provider (ISP). If you are the administrator of the network, check the documentation that is provided with your networking software to determine how to open these ports.
Please note: games require additional ports. You can find assistance for opening ports for your particular router at the following link:
Incompatible Network Card
Some users have reported getting an incompatible network card error that is not resolved even after updating network card drivers and trying other solutions listed above. Many of these users report that this error can be fixed in WinXP by running a program called winsockxpfix. This solution is provided by the community and cannot be confirmed, however users have reported that this resolves their issues.
Here is a list of countries supported by Games for Windows - LIVE. If you are from a country that is not on this list, you will not be able to connect to the LIVE services, and we will not be able to provide you with assistance or a workaround.
I am unable to type the @ symbol when attempting to log in, why?
Users reporting this issue have indicated that on Vista they can resolve it by going to Control Panel, and into Administrative Tools, and choosing the Local Security Policy shortcut. Once the Local Security Policy window opens, expand the Local Policies folder, and click the Security Options folder. In the right hand pane, scroll down to "System Cryptography: Use FIPS compliant algorithms for encrypting, hashing, and signing." and set it to Disabled. Then restart the client, and the issue should be resolved.
Finally, if none of the above steps have helped you resolve your issue, and you are sure the issues is with LIVE and not covered on the forums, you can use the following steps to contact LIVE support via phone in North America only:
Please dial 1-877-274-4349 from 9 am EST (6 am PST) to 1 am EST (10 pm PST). Our technical support agents there will be more than happy to assist you.