Halo 3’s Fixed IP Problem

Ever since opening Halo 3 and hopping on Xbox Live with it, it’s been complaining about my router’s NAT settings. Apparently, it needs certain ports open to connect to other gamers. Tonight, I finally set out to get it working properly, but came up short.

After first doing a little research and discovering that Xbox Live uses TCP and UDP port 3074 and UDP port 88 (largely UDP port 3047, as indicated by my Ethereal packet dumps), I thought I could get away with forwarding those ports straight to my Xbox 360. Since my console was set to automatically lease an IP address from my router, it would quite probably get a different IP each time it boots up, thus “breaking” my carefully forwarded ports. The obvious solution is to choose a fixed IP address in the Xbox Dashboard. Once the IP is set statically and the appropriate ports are forwarded, all seems to be well, except for one minor hangup…

If you boot directly to the Halo 3 disc with with a fixed IP address, the network connection never links up before executing the game. Halo 3 runs, then refuses to connect to Xbox Live. I have to exit the game, go back to the Xbox Dashboard, Sign In to Xbox Live, then re-launch Halo to get it to go online. It couldn’t be a more roundabout way, but it seems that’s the only answer aside from enabling uPNP on the router, which I’ll never do for security reasons. I doubt my DD-WRT powered WRT54GL router is “Microsoft Certified,” but the problem seems to lie with the Xbox 360 or Halo 3, as it won’t even acknowledge the presence of an Ethernet cable until the Xbox Dashboard launches. Weird.

Update: Here’s one solution: Open the DD-WRT settings, go to Administration, Services, then the DHCP Server grouping and set a static lease for the Xbox 360’s MAC address. Set the Xbox 360 back to Automatic IP address leasing, and the router will assign a fixed IP based on the console’s MAC, ensuring it’s the same every time, without the Xbox having to be set to static.

Halo 3’s Fixed IP Problem

8 thoughts on “Halo 3’s Fixed IP Problem

  1. Awesome suggestion!

    I went into the DD-WRT settings, Administration, Services, then the DHCP Server grouping and set a static lease for my XBox 360’s MAC address like you said (using the same IP address I set with my port forwards). I set my 360 back to Automatic IP address leasing, and gave it a hostname of “XBOX360” — if that has any effect. After saving the settings to my router, and saving and rebooting my console like before, it picks up the static lease right away with Halo 3 and has no trouble getting on Live with a full “Open” NAT type.

    Thanks again for your assistance! I hope that others who may run into this problem will find your solution helpful, as well.


  2. Andrew says:

    Yes, awesome indeed!!! I followed your suggestion just as Collin did and my XBox360 shows Open NAT! Thanks so much, this was driving me crazy!


  3. Steve says:

    Hey all:

    New problem, starting happening once I upgraded to the new patch level (ver 1.1 that is forced on you when you start Halo 3).

    I can connect to Live.
    I can login to the game.
    I get to see my opponents.
    Once it comes time to choose a game variant (example, Slayer on Construct), it cycles through three variants and kicks me out again.

    Any thoughts? Support is telling me it must be the port issue, but this would have been a problem before the upgrade too. I am also able to play any other game on-line, just not this one.




  4. Dave says:

    It is probably the disc. I had the same problem. Bungie sold some discs after the release that was not 100% working.. So all you need to do is go to the store where you bought the disk and get a new one. Atleast that’s what I did.

    Good luck!


  5. Sion says:

    “Maybe the solution is to have router dole out a reserved IP address based on the MAC address of the Xbox?

    Then the Xbox doesn’t see it as Static… HTH, J.”

    How do I exactly go about doing that. I see it worked for the other guy. I have a Linksys router. I can’t figure out how to do that. Any help please?


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