GRAW Connection Issues Resolved

GRAW Multiplayer connection issues
Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter has been a headache for many gamers playing online multiplayer. Dropped connections, inability to join friends' games, and lag in general have plagued quite a few avid fans.

I have done a bit of research into this problem, and have corrected it on my setup, for the most part.

Firstly, this game is not necessarily bugged or broken, it just has inefficient network code. It works, but you need to have a good connection, and the game host needs a good connection. Even when everything is working properly and the stars are in alignment, the game will drop ranked matches. However, it wasn't really designed to host consecutive ranked games from the same lobby.

Also consider that you have a PIP hud view of a teammate, as well as map tracking. That video feed to every player doesn't come cheap in bandwidth. This game would probably require more bandwidth to run than any other 360 game, even with better net code.

So, the game could use some better network code, but we've got what we've got, and when it works this game just rocks. Here is what you need to do to get the most reliable online play out of GRAW:

1) Test your Xbox Live connection in the dashboard. If the test runs ok and your NAT shows OPEN, you're good to go here. If not, you need to fix this. This has already been covered in detail in numerous places, search if you need to.

2) Make sure you're running a direct connection to your broadband modem, or use a router that is approved, with the most recent firmware.

Xbox Live List of Approved Routers

3) Now, your local setup should be good to go. Next up is to see what bandwidth you have. Run a speedtest at Speakeasy. Click on the city closest to you, and run the test. There are several speed tests out there, but after checking many of them out, I found this one to be easiest and most reliable to use.

You need to check your DOWNload speed as well as your UPload speed. Both are important to GRAW.

Getting less than 1 meg down and 128k up? Forget it, you might be able to run some 2on2 or 4or4 matches, but even that may be pushing it.

Getting 3 meg down and 256k up? You'll probably be ok most of the time, but expect some drops on bigger matches.

5 meg down and 512k up? Now you're talking. This speed and better will get you a good connection to most games.

So, you might need to call and up your connection at your ISP. Not an option? Then you've got what you've got. Deal with it or sell your copy on ebay.

*** CABLE MODEMs - This is IMPORTANT ***

If your cable modem has a weak signal from your cable service, you may have great UP and DOWN speeds, but they may not be consistent. You may drop bandwidth occasionally, just enough to drop you from a connection sensitive game like GRAW.

So, find out what your signal is like at your modem. The easiest way to do this, is call tech support and ask them how strong your signal is at the modem. They can check easily and put into layman's terms how strong the signal is. Tell them you are having trouble with Xbox Live staying connected, and need to know if you can get a stronger signal to the modem.

You can also check signal strength yourself, but you may have to dig out some info on how to get into your modem. Most providers allow you to at least access signal strength at your modem. Try going to in your browser and see if you admin section comes up. If so, look for Download or Downstream signal strength power level. This should probably be between -15 to 15 dB. (Close to 0 is good.) Some cable companies vary, but this is a good general rule.

Upstream signal strength should be between +8 to +58 dBmV.

Next check is SNR or Signal to Noise Ratio. This figure should be at 30 or more.

Again, you need to know what you are looking for and where to look for it, so if this is over your head, just let tech support handle it for you. However if you take the time to learn this now, you can just check your modem for problems if you run into trouble again later.

If you determine you have a signal strength problem, you will either need to check your splitters and connections and house wiring yourself, or call and schedule tech support to come out. If you have a problem with wiring inside your house, you may be required to pay for the repair. Many cable companies offer a wire maintenance program, which is well worth a month or two of investment (ususally 2-5 bucks a month) while you troubleshoot your connection.

The easiest thing to do is check for splitters. Your main cable line coming to your house is just one coax cable. It is usually split at or near where it enters the house. (One input on the splitter and 2+ outputs to run to different rooms/areas of the home.)

Every time the line is split, the signal power drops. So, if you have 2 or 3 splitters between your main cable line and your cable modem, you probably need to remove one or more of them. Try to put the cable modem on 1 leg of the first split. This may mean moving your modem to another location and getting a wireless connection for your Xbox or PC.

You can let a tech do this work for you, if you pay for the repair or maintenance plan, and don't mind waiting on the cable company. (Heh, you've got more patience than I do.) Or, you can work with it yourself, get it running better faster, and learn something in the process.

You may just have some old wiring that needs to be replaced, a rusting connection outside, or a bad drop (buried line from the trunk to your home.) This may be easier for a tech to find and replace.

Here is the exact example of what I was experiencing:

Lots of game drops, mics dropping, etc. It worked less than half the time.

I check the live connection in the dashboard - checked good and NAT open.

I check my router and version and firmware and that looks ok.

I find my connection speed is 3 meg down and 256 up. I get this bumped to 5 meg down and 512 up. Costs me a total of 7 more bucks a month, and my PC connection is faster now too. I would pay for even more bandwidth, but this is the max with my provider.

I check my cable modem signal, and the power level is at 17. Hmmm, not good. I remove the splitter at my cable modem and give it one of the 3 splits off the main line coming into the house. Level comes down to 14 dB, great, just in spec.

Now I get great connections in most games, and rarely drop ranked games when hosted properly. I can consistently host 14 in player matches, maybe 16 but haven't tried much. I can consistently host 12 in ranked matches, sometimes 14 without problems.

My mic still drops at times, which does seem to be a bug. (I think this happens to everyone except hosts.) I just reboot the 360 and I'm good to go.

Remember, games running smoothly is contingent on you having a good connection and the host having a good connection. If you and your host game together for hours without problems, but a few guys have trouble staying connected - those guys probably need to check their stuff.

If you run with a host for a while and often see lag and dropouts no matter who is in the games, the host is probably trying to run too many players for his connection.

This game ain't perfect, but if you take the time to tweak your setup and get it working properly, I think you'll find it's worth the effort.

See you online, when I send you to the dead room....

Post to Twitter

Comments (23)


  1. I would try 12 to start with and go from there.

  2. SC CALIFORNIA says:

    Thanks for the Info. I have been looking all over the web for the 360 Bandwidth operating requirements. I’m glad I found this, My ISP ofers Up to
    3Mbps on down with Up to 512Kbps on up. That’s there best offer and I’m going to take that one insted of there cheaper offers that run a LOT slower. Now I can get my ShadowRun fix.

  3. Terry says:

    when i do my xbox live connection test it says failed next to ip address, how do i fix this?

Leave a Reply

Search Box

Featured Video

360maniac's Youtube Channel