I'd like it easier for my three minecraft-playing sons to connect to LAN games together, on Laptops, connected via WiFi to our home network. They can directly connect, and have gotten better at it, but sometimes there are tears and they need their dad to come over and help them.
Is it possible to use the built-in feature to advertise games on the LAN and directly connect to them? Is there anything else -- a mod perhaps -- I can do to make it easier for them to connect to each other?
Today, I decided to investigate, firing up Wireshark, Minecraft, and using a nifty python utility to announce and listen for Minecraft games.
Here are my conclusions:
- Minecraft watches for multicast and broadcast info about LAN games on UDP port 4445.
- Minecraft announces games using multicast; on my 192.168.0.x network, messages are sent to a multicast group at 126.96.36.199
- Multicast messages do not go from one WiFi device to another -- but broadcast ones (to, ex 255.255.255.255) do
- Multicast and broadcast messages are received by devices hard-wired in to the LAN
I did look at my home router's settings to see if there was any way to make multicast messages go to WiFi devices, and found nothing. I also looked into minecraft settings to see if there was a way to force it to broadcast, and saw nothing. Also, while the computers in question run fairly current versions of macOS and Windows, I don't believe the issue lies in firewall settings
Is there anything I can do to make it so the built-in LAN game finder works? Is there anything else I can do to simplify connections without requiring the use of the 'Direct Connect' button?