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Age of Empires III Heaven » Forums » Tech Help » Failed to join - a guide on how to fix
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Topic Subject:Failed to join - a guide on how to fix
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NerVe_Viper
Age Sanctuary Admin
(id: FeaR_VipeR)
posted 03-10-10 02:41 AM EDT (US)         
It seems that lots of people are still struggling with failed to join (FTJ) all these years after AoE3's release, perhaps because they're buying new routers/computers and don't know how to get past new connection issues. So I thought we should make a check-list for people who are plagued by this problem, with a list of options that have worked to fix the FTJ issue for some people at least.

I've added a few options for people to try below. I will add more tried and tested options if people bring them up.

--------------------------

  1. Power cycle your hardware
    Turn off your router and PC. I imagine that many people have never done so with their router, and often you need to do so after installing certain software to ensure full connectivity.

  2. Head into quick search
    Apparently some people have had success with this option when experiencing FTJ. Both players experiencing connection problems need to go into QS and search for a 4v4 with TWC enabled. When you have 'found' each other in the search (you'll see a '?' come up for a 2nd player), close down QS and re-host your game.

  3. Restart your game
    Try closing then re-opening AoE3.

  4. Opening extra game slots
    Open extra slots in your game (say up to 7 players for a 3v3, then close the 7th slot once the person experiencing FTJ has successfully joined the game).

  5. Re-hosting games
    Let the person experiencing FTJ issues try host the game themselves. If you routinely see two people failing to join each others' games, then they should try options #1-4 listed above - given that those options are basic quick fixes that can work temporarily for many people.

  6. Create an exception rule for AoE3/TWC/TAD
    Virus checkers are pesky things that often prevent programs from connecting to the internet properly, or at all, until you create an exception rule for those programs. Open your virus protection software and navigate through the settings to find the option to unblock any of AoE3/TWC/TAD if they aren't already.

    Need help finding such an option in your virus protection software? Ask and we may be able to help.

  7. Forward your ports
    AoE3 requires certain ports to be open on a router for you to be able to play the game online. First you should set up a static IP. Most routers assign dynamic (random) IP addresses every time you reboot your PC, so you need to set an IP address that will remain constant and will allow you to forward ports. You can find instructions on how to do that here.

    Now, look up the model number of your router and find the corresponding tutorial on portforward.com. Follow the steps provided to open the required ports.

    Once you have opened the required ports, download their port checker software and test whether the required ports are in fact open. Some ISPs block certain ports, so if you still can't open the required ports, contact your ISP to ask them whether it is possible to unblock those ports.

  8. Turn on your router's 'gaming mode'
    Some routers have something known as a 'gaming mode'. Try looking through your router settings for any such option and try it out.

  9. Try disabling firewalls
    You may have multiple firewalls running at the same time, and any number of them could be interfering with your connection to other users on ESO. For example, there is Windows Firewall, then the firewall on your virus protection software, and also a firewall on your router. Try disabling each in turn and see if it has any effect.

    If it turns out that it is your virus protection software's firewall that is blocking your connection, then consider changing to a different brand. A firewall is important to ensure the security of your computer, so if you have to turn it off then you should be looking for better software.

  10. Enable DMZ
    This should be your last option, and is dangerous if you don't have the proper precautions in place. Enabling DMZ forwards every port on your router, which can leave your computer vulnerable. It does however allow you to connect to most people on ESO.

    To enable DMZ, you will need to set up a static IP for the PC you wish to play this game on. Once that is completed, you need to head to your router admin/options and enable DMZ on the static IP you have set up.

    I would recommend turning DMZ on only when you go to play on ESO, and then turn it off straight afterwards every time. Furthermore, make sure you have good firewall software to protect your computer, and perhaps close unnecessary programs to prevent them from connecting to the internet and further placing the security of your PC at risk.

    If you need help enabling DMZ, post below and we'll help out.

  11. Get a new router
    Some routers just refuse to allow you to connect to many other users on ESO. If you've tried all the steps here, then perhaps you need a router more appropriate for online play. Ask in this topic and you'll receive suggestions for routers that have been proven to work with this game.

AoE3 Heaven cherub
AgeSanctuary administrator
NerVe Clan member

[This message has been edited by A_VipeR (edited 03-10-2010 @ 02:45 AM).]

AuthorReplies:
PheonixWarrior
Skirmisher
posted 03-20-10 09:09 PM EDT (US)     1 / 42       
Are there any problems with using ad-hoc to set up a local multiplayer game?

Recently, I've tried using an ad-hoc network to play AoE III an TAD (each laptop on the same version) and no game hosted by either user appear in either game list.

I've disabled Windows Firewall, Avast Antivirus on both laptops yet no success. Are there any other methods that may allow us to play?
Maffia
AoE3H Seraph
(id: fred_ernie)
posted 03-21-10 10:07 AM EDT (US)     2 / 42       
Are you all fully patched up and everything?

This month I have mostly been playing Stellaris
Steam - Maffia GFWL - Maffia01 YouTube - HGMaffia Twitter - @HGMaffia
Age of Empires 3 Heaven Seraph

What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.
[This message hasn't been edited by fred_ernie (or Maffia) (not edited 12-29-2005 @ 09:57 AM).]
kdzhang2
Skirmisher
posted 03-21-10 06:22 PM EDT (US)     3 / 42       
What if you have a wireless internet? I have some problems...
PheonixWarrior
Skirmisher
posted 03-21-10 10:00 PM EDT (US)     4 / 42       
Ok. wait. I realized that I had an earlier patch. I'm patching atm.

I don't think that this will solve much, but I'll get back to you.

[This message has been edited by PheonixWarrior (edited 03-21-2010 @ 10:09 PM).]

harryvan
Skirmisher
posted 03-24-10 04:04 PM EDT (US)     5 / 42       
I've had this same problem for a long time. But I know how you can play via LAN with your friends. But you can only play with your friends and people you know. Anyway, here is the link that helped me out a lot. http://blog.lib.umn.edu/ayubx003/dividebyzero/2008/06/24/how_to_play_age_of_empires_iii.html

[This message has been edited by harryvan (edited 03-24-2010 @ 04:04 PM).]

FuriousInferno
Skirmisher
posted 05-18-10 10:09 PM EDT (US)     6 / 42       
Ok new problem that persists despite everything I've tried. Patching, restarting PC, disabling every anti-virus program and firewall. Nothing seems to work. (Both direct LAN and indirect LAN -- using Hamachii)

For some reason he can't connect to a LAN game in AoE, but they can in AoM. In addition, I can't ping him through Hamachii. I've checked through his router settings through Remote Assistance, but I didn't find anything different. It's pretty much the default settings, and he said that no one in his family usually messes with the router settings since they don't really know anything about it.

He's got a Dell studio with a Dell Wireless 1397 WLAN Mini-Card.
4 GB RAM, Dual Core.

I can't figure out how to fix this. I've disabled his anti-virus, disabled his firewall, restarted, and still I can't get him to join in a AoE LAN game.He can't even see the hosted game on the list. Is this a manufacturing error or something? Because that's the only thing I can think of
Maffia
AoE3H Seraph
(id: fred_ernie)
posted 05-19-10 10:03 AM EDT (US)     7 / 42       
Try restarting router as well as PC.

Also check his router ports are forwarded properly.

This month I have mostly been playing Stellaris
Steam - Maffia GFWL - Maffia01 YouTube - HGMaffia Twitter - @HGMaffia
Age of Empires 3 Heaven Seraph

What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.
[This message hasn't been edited by fred_ernie (or Maffia) (not edited 12-29-2005 @ 09:57 AM).]
FuriousInferno
Skirmisher
posted 05-23-10 01:02 PM EDT (US)     8 / 42       
Maffia, well, I don't think restarting the router would help, since this problem was pretty consistent.

This problem also occurs when trying to setup an ad-hoc network. Although my friend can join in network, he still can't see the game I'm hosting.
Maffia
AoE3H Seraph
(id: fred_ernie)
posted 05-23-10 02:43 PM EDT (US)     9 / 42       
Well try restarting the router anyway.

Have you checked the ports are forwarded etc?

Different versions of the game?

This month I have mostly been playing Stellaris
Steam - Maffia GFWL - Maffia01 YouTube - HGMaffia Twitter - @HGMaffia
Age of Empires 3 Heaven Seraph

What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.
[This message hasn't been edited by fred_ernie (or Maffia) (not edited 12-29-2005 @ 09:57 AM).]
FuriousInferno
Skirmisher
posted 05-23-10 04:11 PM EDT (US)     10 / 42       
Ok. Well, I've told him to reset the router to factory settings.

In addition to checking the version of the game.

Port forwarding? Isn't that typically used in Hamachii? If that's the case, I couldn't ping him, nor could any of my friends. I think it's a problem on his laptop, though.

Ok. Nevermind. i just realized what port forwarding was.

My friends did it, and I didn't know what the term was called.
We did this when we were playing via Hamachii, but the only person that needed to port forward was the person hosting the game. My friend with the laptop problem didn't host the game, so he didn't try port forwarding.

(I didn't try port forwarding, and I had different IP addresses and I was still able to join the game.)

[This message has been edited by FuriousInferno (edited 05-23-2010 @ 08:45 PM).]

tockeyhockey
Skirmisher
posted 06-09-10 04:10 PM EDT (US)     11 / 42       
I'm having a problem that none of these options fixed. When I play AOEIII on my mac against the computer, everything works fine. But whenever I try to join an online game, AOEIII crashes. I get a "relaunch AOEIII" dialog box, which I click yes to, but then I'm launching the game and not joining the online game. I end up just sitting in a room by myself.

Any advice on this? I am upgraded to 1.05, but I skipped the other patches. Could that be the problem?
Maffia
AoE3H Seraph
(id: fred_ernie)
posted 06-10-10 01:54 PM EDT (US)     12 / 42       
Are you playing using bootcamp on the mac?

This month I have mostly been playing Stellaris
Steam - Maffia GFWL - Maffia01 YouTube - HGMaffia Twitter - @HGMaffia
Age of Empires 3 Heaven Seraph

What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.
[This message hasn't been edited by fred_ernie (or Maffia) (not edited 12-29-2005 @ 09:57 AM).]
wis3
Skirmisher
posted 07-22-10 06:42 PM EDT (US)     13 / 42       
I get failed to join game when I try to join most (probably like 80%+) of the games in game browser and can't connect to a game when some of my friends are in it and they can't connect when I'm in it (which is the thing I care about most, but I guess they are related).


I'v tried all of these except 10 and 11. Could it really be my router? I have a SAGEM which I got given when I moved to sky/BT. Or should I try a DMZ (I need help with that if you think its a possible solution)?

[This message has been edited by wis3 (edited 07-22-2010 @ 07:02 PM).]

Maffia
AoE3H Seraph
(id: fred_ernie)
posted 07-23-10 01:50 PM EDT (US)     14 / 42       
It is quite possibly your router, try restarting it/power off, power on.

Also make sure your ports are forwarded correctly.

This month I have mostly been playing Stellaris
Steam - Maffia GFWL - Maffia01 YouTube - HGMaffia Twitter - @HGMaffia
Age of Empires 3 Heaven Seraph

What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.
[This message hasn't been edited by fred_ernie (or Maffia) (not edited 12-29-2005 @ 09:57 AM).]
wis3
Skirmisher
posted 07-23-10 04:20 PM EDT (US)     15 / 42       
-_- as I said I'v tried all of these. I tried all of the suggestions in the first post apart from 10 and 11.

Should I try a DMZ (I need help with that if you think its a possible solution)? Or what sort of router should I try and get (what is it that makes it good for gaming) if it is just my router and there is no fixing it.
Maffia
AoE3H Seraph
(id: fred_ernie)
posted 07-24-10 07:25 AM EDT (US)     16 / 42       
You could try DMZ, it would tell you if the router is the problem.

This month I have mostly been playing Stellaris
Steam - Maffia GFWL - Maffia01 YouTube - HGMaffia Twitter - @HGMaffia
Age of Empires 3 Heaven Seraph

What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.
[This message hasn't been edited by fred_ernie (or Maffia) (not edited 12-29-2005 @ 09:57 AM).]
Maffia
AoE3H Seraph
(id: fred_ernie)
posted 07-27-10 01:49 PM EDT (US)     17 / 42       
Further to my previous comments, has this problem just started/started when you got the router?

Does the router auto update (e.g. like the BT homehub)?

To enable DMZ you need to go into your routers settings, open your preferred browser and type the IP address into the address line (will probably be something like 192.168.2.??) and there should be a DMZ link.

This month I have mostly been playing Stellaris
Steam - Maffia GFWL - Maffia01 YouTube - HGMaffia Twitter - @HGMaffia
Age of Empires 3 Heaven Seraph

What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.
[This message hasn't been edited by fred_ernie (or Maffia) (not edited 12-29-2005 @ 09:57 AM).]
advertbandit
Skirmisher
posted 09-24-10 03:56 PM EDT (US)     18 / 42       
I just came here to find out how to host and join via lan after problems with using wireless but thought i'd share something... Sorry if this isnt a fix for 99% of you but as I only need to play my son and he's in the same house I used a crossover network cable instead of a router and directly connected the two laptops and after turning off both wifi's it works. BTW I used two original bought disks but I have seen it tested with one 'nocd' and one original and as long as they were the same version it worked so for those of you networking over the net the nocd being a barrier to connection may be a red herring.
Immortal_Warrior
Skirmisher
posted 10-27-10 08:23 AM EDT (US)     19 / 42       
hey i've done everything on the list, port forwarding isnt working for me, anyway i have it really severe, i cant play my ileague season 3 game because of it!!!! pleasse any help would be helpful, i tried everything... my router is decent, my computer has a i7 core, there is no reason for it not to work but yet, i still have chronique ftj :'(

the weird thing is though, my old crappy computer can connect to every single game, it is slow now and i hate using it, i was my new laptop to start connecting! this happens to every laptop i've had, it seems they have the worst ftj

i'm begging for help, and dont say "restart router" cos that has been done too many times to count and my problem is too consistent...
Maffia
AoE3H Seraph
(id: fred_ernie)
posted 10-27-10 01:01 PM EDT (US)     20 / 42       
Have you forwarded the ports on your computers firewall?

It sounds like a computer rather than router issue if another computer in the house isn't having the same problem.

WiFi or hardwire on both the computer that does work and the one that doesn't?

This month I have mostly been playing Stellaris
Steam - Maffia GFWL - Maffia01 YouTube - HGMaffia Twitter - @HGMaffia
Age of Empires 3 Heaven Seraph

What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.
[This message hasn't been edited by fred_ernie (or Maffia) (not edited 12-29-2005 @ 09:57 AM).]
Immortal_Warrior
Skirmisher
posted 10-28-10 04:52 AM EDT (US)     21 / 42       
this 1, the laptop, uses wifi and the other 1 just has a lan cord... and i tried using the lan cord for this but doesnt make a difference
Maffia
AoE3H Seraph
(id: fred_ernie)
posted 10-28-10 08:28 AM EDT (US)     22 / 42       
What OS does your laptop have, and what firewall are you using?

This month I have mostly been playing Stellaris
Steam - Maffia GFWL - Maffia01 YouTube - HGMaffia Twitter - @HGMaffia
Age of Empires 3 Heaven Seraph

What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.
[This message hasn't been edited by fred_ernie (or Maffia) (not edited 12-29-2005 @ 09:57 AM).]
Immortal_Warrior
Skirmisher
posted 10-30-10 00:20 AM EDT (US)     23 / 42       
i only have a trial version of norton anti virus, thats my only firewall, and i checked to see if it was interfering with aoe3 and it wasnt, any1 know of a good free firwalls that wont cause ftj?
Maffia
AoE3H Seraph
(id: fred_ernie)
posted 10-30-10 07:21 AM EDT (US)     24 / 42       
I use zonealarm free, and it doesn't cause me any problems, try that.

This month I have mostly been playing Stellaris
Steam - Maffia GFWL - Maffia01 YouTube - HGMaffia Twitter - @HGMaffia
Age of Empires 3 Heaven Seraph

What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.
[This message hasn't been edited by fred_ernie (or Maffia) (not edited 12-29-2005 @ 09:57 AM).]
Immortal_Warrior
Skirmisher
posted 10-30-10 08:13 AM EDT (US)     25 / 42       
k downloaded zonealarm but it hasnt helped with ftj at all so i'm starting to think it has nothing to do with the firewall, oh and i also found my router on this list in port forwarding and it says i have to pay $30 to get port config so i can open aoe3 port... every1 said its free. i dont understand :S
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