From what I've found, the following appears to reflect how NAT rating affects your multiplayer capabilities:

  • OPEN - Can play & voice chat with anyone.
  • MODERATE - May be unable to play or voice chat with STRICT.
  • STRICT - Can only play & voice chat with OPEN.

However, this does not give me a whole lot of clarity as to what exactly these ratings mean as a reflection on my home network or internet connection, nor what I can do to get my system into an OPEN status.

What conditions might make a system show as MODERATE or STRICT? How can I get my system from MODERATE or STRICT to OPEN, without drastically changing my home network?


Basically, a "NAT rating" will tell you how easy it is for others to reach your system for peer to peer connections.

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on one or more poince, since I don't own an Xbox. This is based on my knowledge about networking. The only state I'm not 100% sure about right now is "moderate".

Basically, these three states or ratings can be described as follows:

  • OPEN: Your Xbox 360 can be reached from the outside by remote connections. If there has to be a port opened, it will utilize UPnP to tell the router to open the port.
  • MODERATE: Your Xbox 360 might be reached through some ports from the outside, but it wasn't able to utilize UPnP to configure your router.
  • STRICT: Your Xbox360 can't be reached from the outside by remote connections. Your router doesn't answer or react to UPnP requests.

Keep in mind that an open NAT with UPnP enabled can be a potential security risk (as with any server listening on remote ports). UPnP may also be abused by malware on PCs or mobile devices to be able to operate servers with incoming connections.

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  • Is there a way to make my Xbox appear to have OPEN NAT without actually enabling UPnP? – Iszi Jan 13 '14 at 14:31
  • No. Theoretically you could fake UPnP responses etc. but that won't change anything. The Xbox would think you've got an open NAT, while you don't have one. This is no deliberate rating just because they wanted to include some rating. It's a visual/simplified representation of your network configuration. It's essentially a bit like trying to tell the Xbox that there's an internet connection available while there isn't and then wanting it to play online content through the faked connection. – Mario Jan 14 '14 at 11:29
  • Keep in mind that - depending on your actual game - you might only have to open one or two specific ports for a MODERATE rating to play just the same way an OPEN one would. However, I don't know any specific details about this, so you'd have to look that up on the internet. – Mario Jan 14 '14 at 11:31

Although this does not answer your question directly, here's some links that i used when i was solving this problem. :)

What is strict, moderate and open NAT? - serverfault @ StackExchange

How Network Address Translation Works - HowStuffWorks

Understanding how NAT types affect online connectivity - Rockstar Support

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  • Links are great, but answers here should not be dependent upon them. – Iszi Jan 12 '14 at 18:38
  • Behind the links are answers to your questions. I don't understand the problem? – Redhawk Jan 12 '14 at 18:48
  • @Redhawk, those links will eventually go dead when the site closes down or when the site decides to change its URL scheme. Please summarize the most important bits from those links here. (Keep the links, though; they provide great in-depth information. We just don't want your answer to become worthless if the links go dead.) – PotatoEngineer Jan 12 '14 at 18:52
  • Just post a short summary, you can then add links to back claims or give further details. Just don't leave links alone as "answers". – Mario Jan 12 '14 at 19:08
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    @Redhawk Here at Arqade, we do not like answers that do nothing but give links. We like answers that can stand the test of time. If ever those sites go down, your answer is no longer valid, and it doesn't pass the test of time, either. That's what we want to prevent here, which is why we request answers do more than just provide a link to somewhere else. Besides, it saves readers a click. :) – Frank Jan 12 '14 at 19:25

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