Router Configuration for Online Multiplayer Games
Last updated June 14, 2003
Adoped from Paul "Gamegeek" Stephanouk's forum thread, Making Your Router Work. Feel free to publish this on your Rise of Nations fan site.
This is the unofficial gamegeek guide to getting your router to host/play Rise of Nations. There is clearly a lot of room for refinement here and I'll work on improving this document over the next little while. This guide is intended to help folks set up their port forwards and isn't intended to promote any particular router model or vendor. The routers I had in my possession at the time I wrote this are the ones I used. If this document could benefit from adding other routers please let me know and I'll certainly do my best to include other useful configs. The routers I used were a Linksys BEFVP41 ("Etherfast Cable/DSL VPN Router"), Netgear RP614 ("Web Safe Router Gateway"), and D-Link DI-604 ("4-port Ethernet Broadband Router"). To the best of my knowledge these are all very popular routers and should be very similar in configuration to other models in their respective product lines.
The Easy Way
All three of these routers support DMZ mode. DMZ mode causes all Internet traffic to be forwarded to a specific computer behind the router, thus "exposing" it to the Internet. When you activate DMZ mode you basically open "all ports". This tends to solve most forwarding problems at the expense of some network security for the exposed computer. I was able to successfully both play and host multiplayer games of RON with all three routers in DMZ mode. Here are the screenshots of the router config interfaces. Note that my PC has the IP address of 192.168.0.100 except on the Netgear where it was 192.168.0.2. Replace this number with the IP address of your PC. You can get this a number of ways, I usually do it by typing "ipconfig" at any command prompt.
DMZ is a fast an easy way to get around forwarding issues but I wouldn't recommend leaving an unprotected PC connected to the naked Internet for a long time unless you want to end up running a warez site or worse. If you are going to leave a computer on a DMZ you ought to be running some sort of PC-based protection software. I hesitate to start listing them as there are so many and somebody will accuse me of playing favorites if I leave anybody out. Please just don't PC over to DMZ in order to play RON and then just leave it there. Either protected it or bring it back inside your router. The Internet can be a scary place.
- Linksys BEFVP41 (With the Linksys BEFSR41 you have to go to the Advanced menu to access port forwarding.
- Netgear RP614
- D-Link DI-604
The Better Way
Instead of using DMZ to fully expose your PC to the Internet, you can selectively forward data on specific ports to your PC. The ports I forward are 6500, 6515, 6667, 13139, 27900, 28900, 29900, 29901, 18890, and 34987. Some of these are UDP and some of them are TCP. In order to get this doc to you quickly I just set the router configs below to "both" (the router forwards both UDP and TCP for those ports). I also suspect that I don't strictly need to be forwarding some of these ports. I'll work on bringing you a tighter list in a future update to this document. In any case, go to your router's port-forwarding screen and set up those ports to forward data (both UDP & TCP) to the IP address of your PC. In the examples below my PC is 192.168.0.100 or 192.168.0.2 (for the Netgear router). I was able to successfully host and join multiplayer games of RON with these setups:
- Linksys BEFVP41 (With the Linksys you have to go to the Advanced menu to access port forwarding.)
- Netgear RP614
- D-Link DI-604
Does it work?
Still having problems? Try not leaping into games or hosting games rapidly after exiting a previous game. I have had some hangs launching games when I quickly move from game to game with either a host or a client system. This is an issue that is being looked into by the BHG dev team and will be addressed. In the meantime, and especially while you are trying to get your router set up right, give a brief pause between games. Obviously the very best results will be had by fully existing RON, but that is admittedly a big pain. I've noticed that just waiting 60 seconds or so between games (which probably happens naturally when you are looking for games in the wild - but probably less often when you are testing) seems to help a lot.
If these tips don't help please send email to email@example.com with your router make (Linksys, Netgear, etc..), model number (very important! please don't just say "a linksys router"), and how you have it configured (DMZ info, port forwarding info, etc). The more data you send us, the more we'll understand about the issue. Screen shots of your router config setup are always a big huge help.
Hope this helps folks play over their router!
Also - huge props to Thunder for helping with the test passes
Paul "Gamegeek" Stephanouk
Actual Router Setup For Rise Of Nations
Thanks to a forumer, Jeremy Wiley. He experimented some more with this and has found what should be the EXACT listing of ports along with type to be used for Rise of Nations. Rise of Nations requires that the 34987/UDP DirectPlay port be open to play a Local Area Network (LAN) or Direct Internet multiplayer game.
In addition to this port, to play through GameSpy Internet Matchmaking the following ports must be open:
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