Connection Issues FAQ

    • Level   2

    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:

    (Thanks, Xezerez)

    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.

    Supported Countries

    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.

    Phone Support
    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.


    Uh oh... that shouldn't have happened.

    It appears you've found a glitch in the system.


    • Level   V

    Thanks for the thread eastmanblues.  Now with the need for .Net Framework 4 Client Profile and the Sign in assistant, this can cause issues as well if a users PC is not updated...

    As always, Play Safe!

    • Level   1

    Recently I've bought Dawn of War II. I've payed with my MONEY so I was expecting this to WORK. Of course it DOESN'T. Sometimes GFWL connects and allows me to play (so I don't need advices like "check if your internet is on blah blah"), but most of time it keeps logging me offline and when I try to log in to be online it says something about DNS (I don't know how it goes in english, cause I have polish version).

    My biggest question of the day is: why am I forced to pay for the game that doesn't work because of microsoft's incompetence and foolishness?

    • Level   1

    Hey i bought section 8 prejudice GFWLl is completely messing up i have tried every thing it says there's a network problem or it can't connect to GFWL. i got it off steam if that helps. please help me.

    • Level   2

    They are specifically updating halo 2 vista. etc etc from what i was told, it may now work with the gfwl client, which means, there won't be any more hacks that can be used and what not... hopefully that is going to happen and an update and stuff.  

    Halo 2 is like counter strike, its not going to go away.

    • Level   2

    epg, maybe find a patch for it? make sure the game is not being blocked by your windows firewall on the computer, and router and what not. possibly shutdown and then boot up your computer or something.

    • Level   1

    I can't seem to understand what is going on with the LIVE servers these days. Before I would've gotten good games, with some lag, but no connection dropouts. Now I get dropouts periodically every 2 minutes. I may play a bit, then the game (Halo 2) would be "Re-establishing Connection". This is really annoying...


    • Level   V

    I suspect NAT...

    As always, Play Safe!

    • Level   1

    Been thrown off the server repeatedly today.  Will Microsoft offer us a make up day on our subscriptions or are we SOL?

    Don Achelpohl

    • Level   V

    Never been done.  When you signed up, and read the TOU, you would see that Microsoft allows for down time etc.

    As always, Play Safe!