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Mutley's Hangar rough guide to multiplayer without Gamespy


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Mutley's Hangar guide to Multiplay In FSX

Sadly, as many have found out, Microsoft has taken the decision to stop providing FSX users with Mutliplayer capability via Gamespy. Although it's a bit of blow, all is not lost. We can still all enjoy a little Mutliplayer fun is fsx by using 'LAN' and 'Direct Connection' to both host and join Multiplayer games. It just takes a few settings changes to make the system work. So here's a brief rundown of how to change these settings and how to get online.

FSX Multiplayer

Ok, so let's start here as for some, they may not need to make any changes to firewalls or routers. Connecting to a session from FSX is more or less the same. from the log in screen, instead of clicking 'Internet (Gamespy) you can click ’Local Network (Lan)' to join a game. Where it says name, you can just enter your name or indeed any callsign you like, as this login doesn't require your gamespy id to work. Once you've done that, just click 'Sign in'

Next you'll find yourself in the lobby, just like gamespy, but there won't be any sessions running. Instead, you'll see the lobby listed as 'Local Network’ . To connect to a session, you'll need to click ’Connect Directly’ at the bottom of the page.

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If your hosting, I'll deal with that later on.

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Once you've clicked on 'Connect Directly' you'll be taken to a screen that will ask you for an IP address. This is the IP address of the host. Hopefully your host will have provided you with it before they set up the session. Just enter the IP address as its written and then click, 'Find Sessions'

From here you should join the session your looking for and everything after this is just as it was when using gamespy. All your doing really is cutting out the middleman. All Gamespy basically did was to have the address of the Host and distribute it those wishing to join in.

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Hosting.

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If your hosting. Things are a little different. As above, select 'Local Network (LAN)' and sign in. Click 'Host Session´ and just like with gamespy, select your type of flight, session name, description and password if required. Then looking at the 'Session availability' section towards the bottom of the page, make sure you have selected 'Make this session visible to everyone’ and the 'On your local Area Network’ Is ticked (you should be unable to select 'on the internet' anyway.)

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From Here you can click next and the session set up remains as it was for Gamespy. Now an important note is that for you to be a host, you will need to know IP Address. Getting this is very easy. Simply log on to Google and type in 'What's my IP Address' Google very kindly list it at the top of the page saying 'Your Public IP address is x.xxx.xx.x' You need to supply this address to anyone who wants to join the session, Skype or email is good.

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Ports, Ports, Ports.

Chances are, that your main fsx PC isn't really set up for direct connections and a number of ports will need to be open or forwarded. This sounds difficult, but in practice, its usually not to bad. To test whether your ports are indeed open, you can click here to download a handy little tool from the guys who made FShost, a multiplayer server program that allows players from FS2002, FS2004, FSX and P3D to join in a combined multiplayer game. checkout http://www.chocolate...ware.com/fshost for details.

Anyway click on http://www.chocolate...ortTest_1.6.exe to download the port test software and run it. hopefully it will report everything is ok. If it doesn't it will show the ports that aren't open.

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Which Ports to Open

There's a number of different ports reported by different people that FS uses to connect. This list should cover all eventualities.

Port(s)

Protocol Type

6667 TCP

3783 TCP

27900 TCP

28900 TCP

29900 to 29901 TCP

13139 BOTH TCP and UDP

6515 BOTH TCP and UDP

6500 TCP

2300 to 2400 UDP

23456 UDP

6073 UDP

6112 to 6122 UDP

80 TCP

With these ports open, you should have no problem getting a multiplayer game running. Opening the ports however is a little technical. When I tried to host a session, i discovered that whist FSX had allowed exceptions through windows Firewall, By broadband router had not. Instead i had to add the ports above to my broadband firewall. here's a basic idea of how to do it, although it will alter from router to router.

1. Log in to your routers homepage (usually 192.168.0.1)

2. you should have a selection marked 'Security' or simply 'port Forwarding' Click on this. almost all routers have a port forwarding ability. If you can't find it on yours, Google the model number to find out where it is.

3. Once you've clicked on 'security' 'setting' or whatever your routers options are, you'll probably be asked to log in to access the features selected. Chances are its something like 'admin' 'user' or even just blank. unless you've changed the login and password details yourself, it should be set to default. Again, Google is your friend and you should be able to find you routers default login details there.

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4. now that your into the advanced settings, you can add exceptions to your routers own firewall. I found that most of these ports weren't listed and I had to add them to the routers list. this is usually fairly simple.

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5.To add a port, click on something like 'Services' you should then find an option to add a custom port to the list. This is really simple. you'll be asked for name, type, start port and finish port.

For name it's a good idea to call them something like FSX1. so you'll know exactly what the open ports are there for.

For type, well referring to the table above, it'll either be TCP, UDP or TCP/UDP

Start port is the number of the port

Finish port is usually the same number if your entering a single port or the last number in the sequence if your adding multiple ports (6112 to 6122 for example)

Once you've filled in the appropriate boxes. click save, apply or whatever the option is. You should then see the port you've just added in the services list. Do this for all the ports above numbering them FSX1, 2, 3 and so on.

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6. From here you can head back to your firewall or port forwarding screen. there should be two options, Outbound services and inbound services. all the ports we've added are to go into the Inbound service. There are two that also go into the outbound services as well. To Add the first port to the Inbound services section, click add. This should open up a new window. Again options will vary here depending on your router. from the pull down box, select FSX1

Next you should have a default action, usually Block Always. Change this to Allow always. Next you'll need to enter the IP address of the machine running FSX. This IS NOT the same IP address the public sees, rather the IP address assigned by your home network. To find out your PC network IP address go to the windows search bar in the start menu and type CMD

This will open a command Prompt. In the command prompt window type ipconfig This will list your ip address. the line you're looking for is IPv4 Address. it should read something like 192.168.0.x where 'x' is the number given to your computer by the router. take this number and enter it in the 'Send to LAN user' window or equivalent of your router. That's it, you've added the service to your routers firewall. do this for all the ports we opened and add them to the inbound side. to the outbound side, also add ports 23456 and 6073 to allow for two way communication between the host and the rest of the group.

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That's it. your router should now allow you to start a direct connection multiplayer game.

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Superb work Jess, very thorough! star_gold.gifstar_gold.gifstar_gold.gifstar_gold.gifstar_gold.gif

It looks more daunting than it actually is to and if you're lucky, you won't have to make any changes, the port test software is a great help for this task.

@Micke, when I was trying this out with Jess, port 80 was the one which made the difference for me, not sure why it needs it, but it does!

I am sure this guide will be really helpful for our members too.

Cheers,

Joe

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Great work, Jess. I'm planning to link this in the next club newsletter to make sure our local FS club members are all aware of it.

 

One point - if I understand correctly, MS was not involved in this decision in any way. As far as I know Gamespy was recently bought by another outfit who have decided that providing free access is not something they wish to continue to do. I may be wrong, but I believe that MS is blameless in this one.

 

John

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I think I've read both versions on why it was scrapped John.

One source is this article regarding a press release from GLU, the new owner of Gamespy, but from what I've gathered the GameSpy Open service mentioned in the article has nothing to do with the FSX connections.

A citation of the offical reason why GLU shut down support for FSX, and other games, can be found here. It's in an article from the 8th of December headlined "FSX GameSpy Support Closed Permanently". Currently the third article from the top.

In short it claims that Microsoft have decided to cease payments on the contract they had with Gamespy to supply FSX Connectivity, and thus Gamespy shut the service down.

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Just to follow up, I'm sure a few will ask, "why not use FSHost?"

Well on the face of things, FSHost is a brilliant option. It enables fs2002,fs2004, fsx and even P3D users to all fly in the same session on thier own server. But for fsx and P3D users though, there's an unfortunate side effect. Thanks to Microsoft's reliance on simconnect, fsx and P3D users will see thier aircraft behaving rather jerkily. This is because the FSHost software has to 'guess' where an aircraft is going. It does this various times a second, but simconnect is just to slow to make the flight look fluid. The guys who made fshost have tried to smooth it out, but to no avail. Other sim flyers don't have this issue.

So it's up to you of course. FSHost offers the same kind of service as gamespy for free (technically its postcardware, where if you find the software useful, send the author a postcard to say thanks. :-) ) and if people are interested in using it, I'll happily write a quick guide to that as well.

Jess B

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  • 4 months later...

Great guide to port forwarding, which is sure to be helpful for those not sure how it's done. Just one thing, though. In order for port forwarding to work correctly all the time, the PC needs to be issued a static IP address or the forwarding will cease on the renewal of the IP address lease (which can be anywhere from a week to months depending on the router settings). Here is a link to a guide for those who have yet to delve into the world of networking which will go hand in hand with Jess's great port forwarding guide.

 

http://portforward.com/networking/staticip.htm

 

 

Hope this is helpful.

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Thanks for the extra info Adrian, nowadays, with network printers, mobile phones, laptops and smart TV's etc. it is so much easier to manage a network with static IP addresses so that is good advice :thum:

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