NAT Type 1 vs 2 vs 3
Nowadays, the 2 major gaming console types used extensively around the globe are
- Sony PlayStation
- Microsoft Xbox
NAT stands for Network Address Translation, which represents the ability to translate a public IP address to a private IP address, and vice versa. In PlayStation games, a key challenge is faced when connecting to other PS4 systems, especially when you are using the communication features, like the party chat. Hence, in order to understand issues of features not working, it is important to comprehend NAT types used in PS4 and Xbox. So, let’s start the journey –
PS4 (PlayStation 4)
There are 3 types of NAT in PS4:
Type 1 (Open) – The PS4 system is directly connected to the Internet, and you should have no problems connecting to other PS4 systems. You are able to chat with other people as well as join and host multiplayer games with other PS4 gamers.
Type 2 (Moderate) – The system is connected through a router which is performing NAT function, and generally you won’t have any challenges. One key aspect of NAT Type 2 is that router is well aware of your PlayStation system and is able to forward incoming packets on predefined ports to the PlayStation. Infact, due to this setup, connection requests from other players can be received by PS system. You are able to chat and play multiplayer games with some people. However, there is a chance that you might not be able to hear or play with others and can’t be chosen as the host of a match.
Type 3 (Strict) – The system is connected through a router and you may have problems related with the connection or voice chat. The reason is that Router is not able to forward PlayStation network ports or in one way we can say that UPnP is not working. The downside of Type 3 is that you are only able to chat and play multiplayer games with people who have a Type1. You are not able to be chosen as the host of a match.
Related – What is NAT Traversal?
Difference : PS4 NAT Type 1 vs 2 vs 3
|The system is connected directly to the Internet.||The system is connected to the Internet with a router. Generally it is positioned in DMZ Zone or UPnP is enabled.||The system is connected to the Internet with a router.|
|PlayStation is connected to the open Internet with no NAT configured on router or modem.||Your PlayStation is behind a router with NAT configured.||Your PlayStation is behind at least 1 router.|
|You are able to join and host multiplayer games with other people.||You are able to be the host of multiplayer lobbies||You are NOT able to be the host of multiplayer lobbies.|
|You are able to chat with other people.||You should have no limits on chat, video.||You WILL have limits on chat, video.|
Download the comparison table here.
Xbox is a Microsoft product. Similar to the NAT types supported in PlayStation platform, Xbox also categorizes Network Address translation into following kinds – Open, Moderate, and Strict. Let’s understand these 3 variants in more detail –
- Open NAT –In this category, people can chat as well as join and host multiplayer games with people who have any NAT type on their network.
- Moderate NAT – In this case, people can chat and play multiplayer games with some people. Not be able to play with others and normally you won’t be chosen as the host of a match.
- Strict NAT – In this scenario, people can chat and play multiplayer games with people who have an OPEN NAT type. You are not chosen as the host of a match.
Difference: Xbox NAT Type 1 vs 2 vs 3
|Your Xbox may or may not be behind a router.||Your Xbox is behind a router.||Your Xbox is behind at least one router.|
|If your Xbox is behind a router, then your router is aware of your Xbox and is forwarding incoming packets on predefined ports to your Xbox, usually 3074.||You might have UPnP partially working, where it may be forwarding some ports but not others||Your router is not forwarding incoming connection requests to the Xbox.|
|Your Xbox is able to receive incoming packets from the internet including connection requests from other players.||You might have some ports forwarded but not others.||You are NOT able to be the host of multiplayer lobbies.|
|You are able to be the host of multiplayer lobbies.||Your router might have a firewall that is blocking some packets but not others.|
|You should have no limits on chat, video.||You WILL have limits on chat, video.|
Download the comparison table here.
NAT assigns your router an IP Address rather than each one of the devices. The 3 NAT types, with regards to gaming consoles/PCs, such as the PS3/PS4, or the Xbox 360/Xbox are Open (Type 1), Moderate (Type 2), and Strict NAT (Type 3).
The Moderate, Type 2 NAT as well as Strict (Type 3 NAT) limits connections for chat and video.
Strict/Type 3 NATs can only connect with other users having an Open/Type 1 NAT.
An Open/Type 1 NAT will provide the best connection quality, whereas Moderate and Strict NAT Type restrict the connections between a gaming console and PC.
Related – NAT Interview Q&A