Forza Motorsport 4: Fixing connection and disconnection issues

There’s no doubt Forza Motorsport 4 is a great game, and the best yet in the series. But any online game which gets extremely popular is likely to encounter some networking issues due to the huge variety of internet service providers, broadband speeds, routers and other factors they have to accomodate. Forza is no exception, and in fact has seemed to have slightly more problems than the average game over the most recent two releases.

Firstly there’s an issue affecting players trying to join private race lobbies in which they’re unable to connect, with those already in the lobby seeing their name appearing and disapearing. Secondly there’s a more frustrating issue in which you can be dropped mid-race from a game seemingly at random.

While we can’t promise to solve every disconnection problem, we can at least work together to try and provide the most useful solutions which we know have worked in at least some cases, if not all of them:

 

Connection problems with Forza Motorsport 4 Lobbies:

The seemingly most common problem we witness on a regular basis is the problem of joining a private online lobby – you may get as far as hearing lobby chat and seeing the symbols of those already present, but you’ll receive a network error message and end up back on your own eventually.

So what ways have we found to try and fix that problem?

  1. Keep trying. Occasionally we’ve found that joining will work on the 3rd, 4th or 5th attempt.
  2. You can try and join by joining other players in the same lobby. If you’ve selected to join, or been invited by, Player A, and had problems connecting, try joining Player B, then C etc. There’s no real reason why this should make a difference, so it may just be a variation on method 1, but it’s worth trying.
  3. Test your Xbox Live connection. This often helps in many games, including Forza and CoD. Simply hit the guide button, go to your network settings and test your connection. Often this will improve things, particularly if the problem is with a Strict or Moderate NAT.
  4. Reboot everything: The equivalent of nuking from orbit, this means turning off the Xbox, rebooting your router, and firing everything up again.

This will fix problems most of the time, although occasionally router conflicts seem to make the situation unfixable. Just don’t forget to drop a message to the players in the lobby so you don’t finally join to find them halfway through a 20 lap Nordschliefe race.

The other major problem is a public lobby attempting to start a race, and then every player except one returning to the lobby screen. That player, likely the host, will then either quit out and a new game can be started, or they’ll race around like an idiot, not noticing that they’re the only person there. It’s a  Turn 10 problem which is being investigated on this particular thread on Forza Motorsport.net.

Disconnecting from races in Forza Motorsport 4:

This is a bigger issue, and one which is most likely to cause controllers to be thrown across the room or steering wheels to get damaged. You’re leading a race by a mile, cruising to your first victory of the night, when you find yourself suddenly racing alone, before ending up with an error message and back at the main menu, often disconnected from Xbox Live as well as the race and lobby you were in.

  • Firstly it’s worth checking the settings on your router, and trying to minimise potential problems in your home by using a wired connection, possibly removing cordless phones and baby monitors etc. Xbox Live Support has some suggestions. Also make sure your firmware is the latest version on your router.
  • You can also try experimenting with router settings. Most routers now feature UPnP built in to allow games consoles to run easily, and this should be the starting point. If that isn’t available or working, it can be worth experimenting with Port Forwarding.
  • It’s been suggested that clearing the cache can help. While it may possibly alleviate the situation for a bit, it didn’t show any signs of fixing it for me.
  • And finally, there’s the prospect of buying a new router…

In my case, this was the eventual solution which has worked perfectly in terms of disconnections. I’d been using a Belkin Wireless G Plus Mimo Router for probably 2 years and having started to have problems with Forza, it also started to occasionally drop my internet connection when surfing the web generally. So I used that as an additional reason to make the change, beyond the fact I was obsessed with finally getting back into racing.

Having asked around, the majority of positive responses were for Netgear, and a couple of people had apparently had similar problems which had disapeared with their new router. I went for a Netgear DGND3300 RangeMax Dual Band Wireless N DSL Gateway. And since installing the new router, I have had NO disconnections from within races, and only very occasionaly problems joining lobbies, which have all been sorted following the steps above. Obviously newer Belkin hardware may be different, and I’m not suggesting the Netgear is guaranteed to solve all your problems, but it does seem that it is likely a router change can be the best choice – if you can, it’s worth borrowing a router from a friend, or seeing if you can return a router if it doesn’t make a difference.

Leaderboards/Forza Community/Forza Servers unavailable:

If you’re getting this message when attempting to access the online parts of the game it’s likely to be a problem with the Forza servers, not your router or Xbox. So don’t panic, and give it a little bit of time and then try again. Sometimes Turn 10 may be doing maintenance and upgrades, or it might just be a momentary glitch.

You may also find that sometimes the leaderboards or rivals mode options take a while to load – again, there’s nothing we can do about it as gamers except go back to the main menu and retry the service which can often work.

 

Want to help solve the problems?

Obviously Turn 10 are investigating the multiplayer lobby problems, and the right place to record dropping from public lobbies would be in their forum thread.

However, I’d be really keen to hear from more people who have problems with disconnecting, or have solved their problems with disconnecting, and particularly which router you are using. Commenting below is probably easiest.

Comments

  1. Cody says

    Hi I read through and cannot find out how to fix my specific issue. This has been ongoing and is getting quite annoying because both of us are part of a racing league where we have to show up to earn points and nobody wants to wait for hours until somehow miraculously we are able to connect together. Here is the issue: I have problems joining in a lobby with a specific player, we are usually able to connect in a party lobby but not always. It is only one player that has this issue with me. Example: we have a race lobby with other members of the racing league, if I am in the party, he can’t join in the party, and if he is in the lobby I can’t join. It’s only us and seems to be a very specific issue between the two of us. I cannot tell you how frustrating this is and how little help there is with this specific issue. We have tried EVERYTHING from rebooting our modems and killing the whole network, to clearing system cache and testing our connection, also all required ports are open and this issue is very specific to just us two. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. says

    Hi Cody,
    Definitely sounds like a specific network conflict, which I’ve seen happen in the past in some racing leagues. Unfortunately sometimes it seems to be a problem which doesn’t have an answer that anyone has discovered yet…
    Dan

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