Troubleshooting guide/Network and multiplayer problems
- 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.
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.
GameSpy servers have been shut down for all games. Some games have official or community patches to connect to replacement servers (refer to the game's page for details, or see the GameSpy page for general workarounds).
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.