Nat type 2 , type 3 with playstation and xbox

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Nat type 2 , type 3 with playstation and xbox

L1 Bithead

Hello Everyone,

I have a problem with NAT that my end users are reporting that I have not been able to get to the bottom of. I am the administrator of a large University  and have multiple buildings for on site housing. 2-3k students live on site. Everything production wise is working fine but I keep having repeat tickets from students asking me to fix the nat type so that they can use playstations and xbox from their dorm rooms. I have been playing with the nat rules but have been unable to get them to change from nat type 3 to 2. I am needing some advise on the issue. It is a very simple setup when dealing with our nat. We source nat our users to a pool of IPs and I have included a screenshot.


Here is my security policy for the game consoles


I moved a few of the the game users to our Cisco ASA and they go type 2 with no problems but I can not leave them on our asa. it was for testing mainly to see if the PA was the problem.

This is the issue my end users are telling me they would like us to fix.

PS3™ | Internet Connection Test

Anybody else ran into this problem or know what could be the issue because I am not seeing anything that should be making the systems report type 3.


L3 Networker

For all of the functions on a PS3 or XBOX to work properly it is expecting to have ports open to incoming traffic from the Internet.  Here is a good article on the different types of NAT for the PS3 NAT Type 2 Tutorial - PlayStation® Community Forums.  On home routers this is addressed by utilizing UPnP or setting up the device on the DMZ.  You could achieve this on the Palo Alto but it could be a nightmare for management.  Basically you would have to assign static addresses to the gaming devices and them create individual NAT policies for each one (each one requiring a public IP address) and allowing inbound connections to those devices on the ports specified.

L7 Applicator

See this thread from last year.  They basically created a public vlan for the xbox ports to connect and get a direct address on the internet.

This is really hard to swallow that companies like Sony and MS can build networks that don't work with standard internet nat.

Re: XBOX Live

But I also wonder why Palo Alto can't write an app-id to cover this behavior in some way.  Surely they have enough academic clients with piles of these game systems in the dorm that would use the solution.

Steve Puluka BSEET - IP Architect - DQE Communications (Metro Ethernet/ISP)
ACE PanOS 6; ACE PanOS 7; ASE 3.0; PSE 7.0 Foundations & Associate in Platform; Cyber Security; Data Center

L4 Transporter

Hello noore.ghunaym,

Looking at applipedia gives us that the below gaming apps are available,


If the security rule does not have xbox-live it has to be added for the Pan to process traffic. Now considering the NAT question in regards to PS4 or Xbox one and so on they need open ports, static IP and so on per the above docs. Ideally once the application is defined in the security rule PAN would start to open the ports needed while inspecting the APP. Some applications may have a necessity to open dynamic ports and there may be a need to open predict sessions and analyse the ports and open the ports. If there is a change in the xbox behavior or the way they work or they open certain new ports or so we may need to share the scenario with the PAN support so that the app is enhanced.

Per the Xbox Network Ports | Xbox 360 Network Ports | Xbox Live Network Ports - looks like Kinect has a different port number which is not part of the xbox-live.


L3 Networker

I would recommend that you contact your Sales Engineer and have him open feature request.  All of the ideas above seem plausible and doable.

L1 Bithead

After doing research on how the game systems work and what the consoles are looking for I was able to find a fix. I would like to thank all of you for your responses and being so helpful.

dynamic-ip-and-port NAT was the problem. when this type of NAT is used every connection the game console sends out gets a different ip and port. This will not work because the way the consoles communicate is via UDP and they expect to use the same ip and udp port for 2 way communication. dynamic ip and port on PA seems to rotate the ports and ip aggressively. But on a cisco ASA it seems to use the same ip and ports per source ip as long as the connections stay active. Basically cisco ASA does not rotate the ports and ips as aggressively and attempts to maintain the same ports the client used to for udp communication. Keep in mind I am using dynamic NAT on the cisco ASA meaning I am using a pool of ip addresses.

I am a heavy user of BSD and linux so after reading that on bsd and linux firewalls you must have the static-port option enabled. I did some thinking and changed the NAT rule to STATIC. I was able to get away with this because our ISP allocates me a /20. I do not think having a /20 helped in any way because I have known of people who have had 10+ console on a single ip and it worked but I did it anyway because I had it available to me. I plan in the near future of just doing away with NAT and doing direct IP assignment.

Here is the FIX that worked for me without special VLANS or opening ports manually or assigning IP addresses directly to clients. I put this into production 24 hours ago and students are reporting they are able to use playstation and xbox consoles now showing nat type 2 and moderate when running connection tests. They also have 2 way voice communication now when playing inside of the games.

Changed NAT from dynamic to static. I assign internal /24 ranges to our LAN network in the buildings so I also assigned a /24 public ip address pool. I also made sure bi-directional was set to yes


Step 2 created a application filter called Game Consoles - I know this was over kill but it included xbox-live and playstation-network.


Step 3 - Create the security rule using the Application Filter and disabled server response inspection


Step 4 - Cleared the NAT tables via SSH

Made a few phone calls to the students and asked them to test the connections and I could tell by the OMG it says type 2 ( playstation users ) and for xbox users it says moderate now instead of strict.

They logged into a few different games and all reports it was working without lag and they were able to communicate via the headsets.

I hope this helps people in the future.

Did you have to use a different Public IP for each of your NAT rules?

If it was just down to the PA changing the NAT mappings too frequently; you may have been able to get away with mapping all these connections to a custom application definition with a much higher timeout on the UDP field that normal - e.g, an hour.

How would you go about doing that?

I can confirm the solution of noore.ghunaym works.
In my case I have 1 dynamic IP on the untrust interface.
I placed the static NAT rule above the general hide NAT rule. Also, I had to enter the current official IP hardcoded in the Source-translation field  (translated packet tab), since you can only enter a fixed IP or an address object referring to a fixed IP here. (It's not possible to select an object referring to a FQDN here).

When you say "Official IP" do you mean public IP?

Yessss, one million times thank you. 

L1 Bithead

Has anyone found any solution to this? Several years later and PA still refuses to acknowedge this problem. The solution I posted still works but I still belive we should not have go through with all this considering Cisco Firewalls do not have this issue with dynamic ip and port NAT. I understand PA is a security company but I still have to answer to 4k Univeristy Students. I had to request more IPs and do this for our wireless and wired in the dorms. 


I think the root of the problem is PA is trying to do this as a NAT type 1 and we are not asking for that. We are in need of NAT type 2 to work and that does not require open inbound ports.


I saw where someone recommend increasing UDP time out I am going to try that soon. I have to bring a PS4 to work to test this stuff....



I ended up putting a feature request in for this but there doesn't seem to be a great way to track it.  If you check my post history, I added the FR # to the recent post here to collect known FRs.


We came to the same conclusion you did as we also had an ASA previously.  The ASA's PAT implementation utilizes "sticky NAT" as well as a best effort to utilize the ports requested by the client.


We had two solutions and I actually ended up getting invited to do a presentation on a Palo Alto webex to present them to a few other universities.


Solution #1 was to create a EDL for game consoles after we reserved their IP in DHCP.  The EDL was used in a Dynamic IP NAT translation which seems more forgiving than DIPP.  This was time consuming as students had to call in and let us know they were having issues for us to add them to the list.  Furthermore, it didn't solve the issue for every game... Ubisoft games especially seem to have a horrible network stack implementation and there are lots of complaints about it on their forums.  Combine that with that at least some of their recent AAA titles have been basically peer-to-peer and it gets even worse.


Solution #2 is what we are currently using.  We ended up purchasing Infoblox to do DHCP fingerprinting on game consoles and gaming PCs and created superscopes for each residence hall that contained two scopes: one with private addresses and one with some of or publics.  Each scope has filters applied to deny consoles the private IPs but allow them to get the publics.  Combine that with multinet configuration on our Cisco router for each SVI and we have game devices that pull public IP addresses with no need to do VLAN switching (which can be troublesome for the client even with COA from RADIUS).


That solution seems a bit controversial.... some admins I've talked to said they dislike the idea of handing out public IP addresses but we have them and we don't need all the ones we have for anything else right now.  I don't believe we're in a position to lease or sell them so why not.  Our firewall blocks all inbound connections to them so it isn't like they can run a web-available server.


The end result is the consoles don't need to NAT and actually usually show Type 1 Open now with some individual game network tests showing Type 2 Moderate.  Ubisoft games still aren't always 100% but I can't fix bad programming.  My only regret is that my current address space setup doesn't allow me to simply give a public IP to every resident device... they all just work so much better.  Maybe IPv6 will help when we get a NAC solution that supports it.

I have put in more feature requests via our old rep and they are ignored. I will go look them up and post them later. We now have a new sales rep and sales SE as of last month. Slowly restoring my faith in PA customer support.

I have also opened another ticket with PA support and asking them to solve this or provide a solution... we will see what happens.

We have the same situation you are in. I ended up using our packetfence 802.1X to solve the issue for now.
We have 2 wireless SSID. One for SECURE 802.1X access to the network and the other is unencrypted using MAC auth via a user device registration portal.

If they register a gaming console, it puts them in a special Gaming VLAN in each dorm that gets a public ip with all INBOUND blocked. Works like a charm but teaching students how to use the thing is a problem every semester. We provide instructions but nobody reads now days......

I requests a new /20 from our ISP and waiting on a response. If they approve it I am going to just route WAN ip directly to the users and do away with NAT all together. Like you said all inbound will be blocked and if we set the lease time to 4hours for example it will keep rotating IPs because we have our DHCP set to never hand the device the same IP on renewal to avoid botnets or servers etc.


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