Ports that you must open in Windows Firewall to play or to host an Age of Empires III multiplayer game

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 907880 - View products that this article applies to.
Expand all | Collapse all

On This Page

INTRODUCTION

This article describes the ports that you must open in Microsoft Windows Firewall to play or to host a Microsoft Age of Empires III multiplayer game. Additionally, this article describes the advantages of enabling UPnP architecture that supports peer-to-peer Plug and Play functionality for network devices.

This article also lists the port addresses that must be open on computers that are not running Windows Firewall but instead are using a proxy server, a router, Network Address Translation (NAT), or Internet Connection Sharing.

More information

Windows Firewall in Microsoft Windows XP

Windows Firewall, previously known as Internet Connection Firewall (ICF), is a protective boundary that monitors and restricts information that travels between your computer and a network or between your computer and the Internet. This provides a line of defense against someone who might try to access your computer from outside Windows Firewall without your permission.

When you use Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), you do not have to manually create port exceptions in Windows Firewall. Instead, you can create exceptions for the program itself. In this case, when the program tries to access a port, Windows Firewall enables access to that port.

To create exceptions for a program in Windows XP, follow these steps.

Note Do not open a port for a program that you do not recognize.
  1. Click Start, click Run, type wscui.cpl, and then click OK.
  2. Click Windows Firewall.
  3. Click the Exceptions tab, click Add Program, and then click Browse.
  4. Locate the executable file for Age of Empires III, and then click Open. By default, the executable file for Age of Empires III is installed in the following location:
    C: \Program Files\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires III\Age3.exe
  5. Locate the automatic patcher for Age of Empires III, and then click Open. By default, the automatic patcher for Age of Empires III is installed in the following location:
    C: \Program Files\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires III\Autopatcher.exe
  6. Click OK.
  7. Click OK to close the Windows Firewall dialog box.
For more information about Windows Firewall settings, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
875357 Troubleshooting Windows Firewall settings in Windows XP Service Pack 2

Windows Firewall in Windows Vista

To resolve this issue, follow the steps in the appropriate section.

The computer is connected to the Internet

View the "Allow a program to communicate through Windows Firewall" topic on the following Windows Online Help and Support Web site:
http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/

The computer is not connected to the Internet

View the "Allow a program to communicate through Windows Firewall" topic in Windows Help and Support on the computer's hard disk by following these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Help and Support.
  2. In the Search Help box or in the Search online Help box, type Allow a program to communicate through Windows Firewall, and then click Search Help.
  3. In the list of topics, click Allow a program to communicate through Windows Firewall.
  4. Click the link that best describes the problem that you are experiencing.
  5. Follow the suggestions to troubleshoot the problem that you are experiencing.

UPnP architecture

With the addition of Device Plug and Play capabilities to the operating system, it became much easier to set up, configure, and add peripherals to a computer. UPnP extends this simplicity to include the whole network by enabling discovery and control of networked devices and services, such as network-attached printers, Internet gateways, and consumer electronics equipment. UPnP is more than just a simple extension of the Plug and Play peripheral model. UPnP is designed to support zero-configuration networks and automatic discovery for a variety of device categories from many vendors. With UPnP, a device can do the following things:
  • Dynamically join a network
  • Obtain an IP address
  • Convey the capabilities of the device
  • Automatically learn about the presence and capabilities of other devices
Devices can subsequently communicate with each other. This makes peer-to-peer networking possible with UPnP.

To enable UPnP in Windows XP, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click Add or Remove Programs, and then click Add/Remove Windows Components.
  3. In the Components list, click to select the Networking Services check box, and then click Details.
  4. In the Networking Services dialog box, click to select the Internet Gateway Device Discovery and Control Client check box.
  5. Click to select the UPnP User Interface check box, and then click OK.
  6. Click Next, and then click Finish.
To enable UPnP in Windows Vista, follow the instructions provided in the following Windows Help and How-to article.

To resolve this issue, follow the steps in the appropriate section.

The computer is connected to the Internet

View the "Using Internet Gateway Device Discovery and Control" topic on the following Windows Online Help and Support Web site:
http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/

The computer is not connected to the Internet

View the "Using Internet Gateway Device Discovery and Control" topic in Windows Help and Support on the computer's hard disk by following these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Help and Support.
  2. In the Search Help box or in the Search online Help box, type Using Internet Gateway Device Discovery and Control, and then click Search Help.
  3. In the list of topics, click Using Internet Gateway Device Discovery and Control.
  4. Click the link that best describes the problem that you are experiencing.
  5. Follow the suggestions to troubleshoot the problem that you are experiencing.

For more information about UPnP, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457049.aspx
Note You may have to enable UPnP on any external router hardware that you may have as part of the network. To make sure that your networking hardware supports UPnP and to obtain instructions about how to enable UPnP, see the documentation that came with your networking hardware.

For more information about UPnP architecture, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
821371 Capabilities of the Internet Gateway Device Discovery and Control Client and of Universal Plug and Play
886257 How Windows Firewall affects the UPnP framework in Windows XP Service Pack 2

Port listings for Age of Empires III

If you do not use the Windows Firewall program, you can still open the ports that are used by the game when you configure the network.

To make sure that these ports are open, or to open these ports, contact the network administrator or the Internet service provider (ISP). If you are the administrator of the network, see the documentation that is provided with your networking software to determine how to open these ports.

The following list explains the port configuration specifications for the game:
  • Port forwarding must be enabled on the TCP port 80.
  • Port forwarding must be enabled on the TCP port 2300.
  • Port forwarding must be enabled on the UDP ports that are in the range of 2300 to 2310 from your router to the computer that is hosting the game.

Manual port forwarding

If you use port forwarding on the network and want to manually configure the game, you must first download and then install the latest version of Age of Empires III. To do this, click Help and Tools on the main game screen, and then click Update Game. Alternatively, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.agecommunity.com/gameUpdates.aspx
Next, configure the game based on how you want to have the game connect on the network. To do this, set the Override Port and the Override Address in the game settings.

Override Port

The Override Port will let you specify a port to use instead of relying on UPnP or the game's port discovery process. This port is useful when you have multiple PCs behind the same NAT and you want to use port forwarding. To use Override Port, follow these steps:
  1. Open the My Documents\My Games\Age of Empires 3\Startup folder.
  2. If there is no user.cfg file there, create one. To do this, click File, click New, click Text Document, and then type user.cfg.
  3. When you are prompted to change the file name extension, click Yes.
  4. Right-click the file, and then select Open With.
  5. In the Open With dialog box, click Notepad, and then click OK.
  6. Type a new line: OverridePort=[a port number that you specify]. For example, type OverridePort="2301"
  7. On the File menu, click Save.
  8. On the File menu, click Exit.
  9. Configure your router to forward the port that you specified to the IP address of the computer that you are using.

Override Address

The Override Address will let you specify an external IP address to use instead of relying on the address that comes back from the game's address server or with LAN, the internal IP that the game uses. To use the Override Address, follow these steps:
  1. Open the user.cfg file again.
  2. Type a new line: OverrideAddress=[an IP address that you specify]. For example, type OverrideAddress="72.3.199.57".
  3. On the File menu, click Save.
  4. On the File menu, click Exit.
Note To determine your external IP address, visit one of the following third-party Web sites:
http://www.whatismyip.com
http://www.knowmyip.com
http://www.formyip.com
Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.

Properties

Article ID: 907880 - Last Review: November 16, 2012 - Revision: 5.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Age of Empires III
  • Microsoft Age of Empires III : The WarChiefs
Keywords: 
dftsdahomeportal kbhowto KB907880

Give Feedback

 

Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com