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Need help with an in-game network game bug that is solved with certain VPN protocols/ ports.

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Hello, I was wondering if anyone with a more extensive network knowledge of VPNs could help me solve this issue i've been having, to start off, i've been playing an Xbox series X game called NBA 2k23, and in this sports game, when starting a game,  there is a network bug that causes your "jumpshot" to have to be held for much longer for about 30seconds-1minute until it just goes away after the start of the game the user started, we found this out as group of friends of mine after analyzing footage and measuring the meter that visually scales upwards as you press the button. This bug happens on any stoppage of play in the game. Anyways, the solve to this issue has been to use OpenVPN -TCP on port 1212 or to use OBSTCP -4443 port, with SSL disabled, and shared to the console via the PC app. The only issue is that when doing this, it's common knowledge a TCP tunnel isn't ideal for gaming because of random latency spikes,but it's still much better than the extreme differences in timing without it. Is there any way to solve this issue with a more stable/faster connection? nba 2k uses AWS cloud servers, and I have no idea how these two ports solve the  issue of syncing players in the beginning of the game or stoppages.. I've tried UDP ports, and they don't solve it at all. I've also used Lightway- TCP from another VPN  provider and that weirdly also solved the issue. so to cap it off I'll list the 3 configurations that solve the issue, with encryption I pick being a non-factor it works with all forms of encrpytion, Network settings as well, it works with all DNS configurations or network settings being checked or unchecked...

OpenVPN - TCP Port 1212

OpenVPN - TCP port 4443 OBSTCP

Lightway TCP- AES or chacha20 encryption.

What do these have in common that solves the gaming  issue? anyone that can help me would be greatly appreciated.

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23 minutes ago, 19807409 said:

you can run wireguard over tcp, there are several possibilities, like this, or this, or ... . For openvpn, simply reduce encryption up to none, openvpn unencrypted should be fast enough.

Thank you so much! may I ask how to run openVPN unencrypted? can I do any of this with the Torguard PC windows  app?

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you are welcome ;). You need to create openvpn config or you can set encryption settings in torguard client (not sure if you can use it unencrypted), torguard offers config generator for quite any os including openwrt, you can create openvpn and wireguard configs. Also, torguard's 10Gbit servers (check under your account) support PPTP, which might work in your case too. It is normally not recommended to use PPTP, but it is sometimes useful for streaming and gaming, which would be probably fastest solution, however, try using first openvpn with some encryption which is fast enough.

EDIT: just check config generator, here a screenshot:

image.png

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okay! I will look into it, although at a quick glance the config generator they offer, doesn't have the two ports I need to work, 1212 and 4443 :(

Edit: These are the ports they have available, and I tried all of these ports on the PC torguard client app, and none of them solved the problem, only ports 1212 and port 4443 over a openVPN TCP tunnel solved the issue.  But i'm guessing I can just edit the config myself to change the port, nevermind :)

ports.png

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actually no, you can not set those ports to any random, only to those available because torguard does not listen on any port, just on those listed together with listed encryption. What you can do, you can create local tunnel/vpn over/to required ports, just like I pointed above for wireguard. I am still not understanding why exactly you want to connect to torguard servers on ports 1212 and 4443, can you elaborate? Are those two ports the available or do you need to open those ports? As if you need port-forwarding of those ports, then you can set port forwarding under your account for all ports above 2000, meaning that for 1212 you would anyway need a tunnel.

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anyway, you should contact support and ask them if they can help with 1212, 4443 as well as wireguard over tcp, they might enable required port with required encryption and if not, it is for sure possible with some kind of dedicated ip, but in any case, contact support and ask them if they can help.

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The reason I need those specific ports on torguard is because for whatever reason, when using either of  those two ports, it solves the network bug within the game that I am playing, I came here asking as to why only those two ports worked with the torguard PC app, any other method of connecting to the game, all other tunneling methods, or even no VPN just my straight connection to the game, doesn't solve the network bug within my game.  I came here asking what made those two ports so special on the PC app, and if there was something I could do to re-create that but with a more stable connection, as they both cause latency spikes. I have no issues with ports being opened or whatnot, I can use all ports with no issue. just wondering why the game I'm playing loves those ones in specific. i'm sorry if i'm being confusing.

Edit: those two ports don't work over a UDP openVPN tunnel though, it has to be TCP weirdly. otherwise the bug occurs.

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Thanks for the explanation, is there anywhere some detailed info about this bug which explains this port issue/workaround? As example, would it resolve in your case to redirect simply locally to required ports? I do not understand what is the difference for the game itself which port you use, is your issue maybe resolved if you open tcp ports 1212 and 4443 when you are not using vpn?

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8 minutes ago, 19807409 said:

Thanks for the explanation, is there anywhere some detailed info about this bug which explains this port issue/workaround? As example, would it resolve in your case to redirect simply locally to required ports? I do not understand what is the difference for the game itself which port you use, is your issue maybe resolved if you open tcp ports 1212 and 4443 when you are not using vpn?

No sadly there's not any detailed info about it, we actually did the research ourselves about it and found out there's a bug, reported it to them but it's been in their game for a few years now, we figured it's just how sports games are made network wise with syncing players on stoppages, etc. so we found a workaround to it, and the workaround was to use openVPN on TCP ports 1212 or 4443. opening those ports on a straight connection didn't solve the issue, neither did blocking all UDP ports via my windows firewall and sharing the connection to the xbox so it didn't have UDP connections only TCP as we thought at first it was the TCP tunnel that the game servers liked.

Edit: Tried opening all TCP ports 0 to 65536 on my router

also tried opening all UDP ports 0 to 65536 on my router

then tried blocking all UDP ports 0 to 65536 on windows firewall then sharing to console

tried all different combinations of things above, even blocking all TCP ports too.

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Ok, can you then try following, just to reproduce your workaround.

1. create openvpn server using tcp port 4443 on some device

2. connect to your openvpn server with your pc

That would simply reproduce solution which you propose, there you could analyse it further, like as example with wireshark or any other tool to see what is actually going on on those two ports.

If that works, then try as next running on openvpn device a wireguard server with/without udp2raw and use it on your pc as gateway as well as openvpn client to your local server which uses wireguard (routes all traffic to 0.0.0.0/0), lets say gateway ip is 192.168.0.40), quick and dirty way testing wireguard server on your pc would be simply adding route:

# On client, add route to your wireguard client.
route add -net 0.0.0.0 gw 192.168.0.40

# Delete route:
route delete -net 0.0.0.0 gw 192.168.0.40

 

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If you have openwrt capable router, then I would suggest you set it there, you can do quite everything with openwrt, just like with any linux. This is just suggestion to check/verify proposed solution to use those 2 ports, if you have any old notebook or pc, it would be enough just to test it, point is to know if that is really solution.

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Here is a guide how to setup openvpn server: https://openvpn.net/community-resources/how-to/

If you have a pc with LAN and WLAN interface, then you could run server on one interface and connect with another, but I recommend to keep it simple, just use any pc in your local network using your local ip's. Do not bother with complicated configs, just use any example and set your suggested ports.

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you do not have to buy new router, I mentioned as many do have some capable openwrt router at home without knowing it. Instead of a router, better buy some SoC board like raspberry pi4 or more powerfull. If you want to run openvpn on it, make sure cpu supports aes then openvpn will be much faster. I think that cheapest rpi4 with 1g should be around $ 30 and should be able to reach 200Mbit, if you need higher speeds, then you need better device.

If you need multiwan router and do not want to bother with installing some linux on it, good and bad alternative would be cheap er605v2 from tp-link which reaches about 250Mbit with openvpn and has support for wireguard. Downside of it is, openvpn is not fully implemented and prommised release is in dec, which does not make a promise a truth immediately, however, if they release it, then er605v2 is quite good and cheap device supporting multiwan out-of-box.

EDIT:

Here would be emulator for er605v2 if you want to look up: https://emulator.tp-link.com/Emulator 605v2/index.html

Here some nice overview of soc boards: https://github.com/ThomasKaiser/sbc-bench/blob/master/Results.md

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