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Troubleshooting guide/Network and multiplayer problems

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
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  • Check the game's page to see if the game is still playable online; the original services for many games have been shut down (there may be community replacements etc. for this).
  • Check that the game's multiplayer service is not undergoing maintenance (updates for this will often be posted on the official forum, Twitter account, etc.)
  • Check that the game has been patched to the latest version; this has to be done manually for most retail games and also some MMOs (even if the game was installed through Steam etc.)

Can't connect to the server

Check that the game (and/or launcher) is allowed through the firewall. On Windows the built-in Windows Firewall will open a large prompt window the first time a program's access is blocked (although you may have to use Alt+Tab or exit the game in order to see it) but other firewall programs may prompt differently or block unrecognised programs without sufficient notification.

Many games' official servers were shut down (whether they were proprietary or used middleware like GameSpy, or Quazal). Refer to individual game articles under the Network section.

LAN play problems

LAN play functions listed in many newer games actually require internet access (either during the initial session launch or throughout the multiplayer session) rather than truly working over the local network. Games with this issue should have LAN play listed as unsupported with a note about this requirement. This may also be caused by the firewall blocking internet access.

PunkBuster cannot connect

The PunkBuster software may have to be updated manually for some games (refer to the game's page for details, or see the PunkBuster page for general workarounds).

Multiple controllers not detected for local play

Some games with local multiplayer support expect specific control configurations (e.g. player one on keyboard/mouse and other players on controllers). See the Network section on the game's page for further details.