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This page provides instructions on how to start a game using direct connection and information about common problems when trying to host a direct connection game.
A direct connection game is usually hosted on port 8080 with port 8085 for spectators. You may use other ports if you like.
Connecting to a directly hosted game is basically no different from connecting to a game hosted via a proxy.
Unfortunately hosting a direct connection game is not always as simple as it sounds. Listed here are a few common problems that can be the cause if your opponent cannot join to the game you hosted. The problems are almost always with the host.
This section is more technical, so it might be a bit difficult to understand unless you know some networking basics. Do not worry about the examples too much, they are only examples after all. Your router most likely has an entirely different looking user interface anyway.
Your firewall must allow inbound access to the port you selected for hosting and to the spectator port if you want the spectators to connect. Most software firewalls on Windows ask you for permission to accept connections the first time you host. For example the Windows Firewall asks if you want to unblock the application. Turning off your firewall is never a good option, but you might try to disable it temporarily to see if that was the cause for the problem.
Port forwarding is necessary if you are behind a device (router) which employs NAT (Network Address Translation). NAT, in short, is a technique that hides usually private IP addresses behind a single public IP address. It is commonly used on home routers to set up a private home network.
If your computer is on a private network you cannot host directly until you set up port forwarding in the router. You can verify if you are on a private network from your computer's IP settings by checking if your IP address is in the following ranges: 10.x.x.x, 172.16.x.x – 172.31.x.x or 192.168.x.x. In Windows you can do this from the Command Prompt and typing 'ipconfig'.
What you have to do is to configure your router to forward the traffic coming to ports 8080 and 8085 to your computer. Consult the router manual on how to do this. Another good resource is portforward.com which has instructions on how to do port forwarding for a lot of different routers.