GTA2 requires port 47624 TCP/UDP and ports in the range 2300-2400 TCP/UDP to be open for incoming packets. UPnP may also need to be disabled on your devices. If you don't have permission to port forward or if your ISP uses CGNAT (carrier grade network address translation) then unfortunately you won't be able to join or host. You could use Hamachi, Tunngle or a VPN to play but your opponents would also need to use one and those methods aren't supported by GTA2 Game Hunter.
Fullscreen GTA2 may disconnect if you alt tab or if it's interrupted, so close other apps that might steal the focus, don't alt tab or just run the game in a window.
GTA2 is usually too slow against people on other continents. You should play with opponents that aren't on the other side of the world.
GTA2 multiplayer Questions and Answers
Q: Why can't I join? Why is the network window empty? Why is the join button disabled? Why can no one join my game?
A: This is because at least one of the computers trying to play (it could be your PC, the host's or both) does not have the required network ports open. If other players can join the host's games, then it's your PC that doesn't have the correct ports open.
Q: How can I forward network ports?
A: Your router should have an admin page. This is where you can forward the ports. Every router is different, so you must find the make and model of your one. It's usually written on a label, stuck to the bottom of the router.
Find your router on this portforward.com page and follow its instructions. Do not download their software (click skip in top right corner if it appears). If your exact router isn't there, choose a similar one and try to figure it out from there.
You need to forward some ports from your PC to your router. This is really technical and could take a while but it's good to learn since it can help you with many games.
Changing router settings can disconnect everyone on your local network, so make sure you have permission from all users.
For hosting and joining, you need to forward these ports to the internal IP address of the PC running GTA2:
Port 47624 UDP and TCP
Port range 2300-2400 UDP and TCP
Example router rules 1:
47624 -> 47624 Both
2300-2400 -> 2300-2400 Both
Example router rules 2:
47624 -> 47624 TCP
47624 -> 47624 UDP
2300-2400 -> 2300-2400 TCP
2300-2400 -> 2300-2400 UDP
GTA2 uses ports in the 2300-2400 range. If your router doesn't support forwarding port ranges then you can force GTA2 to use specific ports in the 2300-2400 range with a program called DXport. That program does not open ports, it simply forces GTA2 to use specific ports by blocking all the other ports. You still have to forward ports, just not as many.
Q: I don't have a router. Do I need a router to play GTA2?
A: NO! That won't help at all. You might still need to forward ports by logging into your modem, firewall or gateway device. Pushing F2 in GTA2 Game Hunter might give you a link to your gateway config webpage.
Q: Why does GTA2 stop responding when I try to join a game or when someone tries to join my game?
A: If everyone has all ports open then this can be caused by Universal Plug and Play (UPnP). This is a technology that tries to automatically forward ports but it's very common for it to fail and cause problems. Disable it on your router, there's usually a checkbox next to UPnP. You can disable UPnP in Windows with this simple program but that won't clear the existing rules on your router, so you might need to reset it.
Q: Why is the game so slow? Why does GTA2 lag?
A: GTA2 has simple network code that delays the game until everyone receives all the packets. This is great for accuracy but it means the game will slow down if there is even a single network delay.
You really need a ping to your opponents of under 130ms for fast gameplay. That eliminates playing against people on other continents.
Q:What are some obvious ways to speed up GTA2 multiplayer?
- Get low latency broadband.
- Close all apps that could possibly use bandwidth.
- Kick your colleagues/friends/relatives off your LAN or tell them not to download.
- Get a router that supports QoS and give GTA2 priority.
- Avoid using wireless and make sure no one is leeching your bandwidth.
- Play against people on the same continent or country as you. The closer the better.
- Play late at night or at whatever time both of your ISPs have the least traffic.
Q: How can I find GTA2 opponents?
A: Download GTA2 Game Hunter.
Q: Does GTA2 accept any command line arguments?
A: gta2.exe -n , this goes straight to the gta2 network screen, -r attempts to play test\replay.rep, -r red.rep (plays test\red.rep), -q constant replay save. v11.3 and newer supports -j for joining and -c for creating.
Q: Why do I get a black screen when I start a GTA2 network game?
A: It's normal for GTA2 to display a black screen while it is loading and waiting for all players to load but if it takes longer than 30 seconds and then GTA2 quits or it says that some players disconnected then something is wrong. This usually means one of the players has some of the ports open but not all of them. It can also happen if a player gets bored of waiting and quits while GTA2 is loading or they have a random connection issue. There are other reasons, sorry I don't have any easy solution for this problem. Just make sure everyone has all the right ports open and try again.
Q: How can I stop GTA2 from crashing when I kick a player?
A: Update to the latest version.
Q: Why is my friend running into walls?
A: Maybe he just sucks or maybe the game is out of sync. If the game is out of sync, it's like you are both playing completely different games. If you have confirmed that the game is out of sync, you will have to quit since there is no way to fix it.
Q: How can I stop the game from going out of sync?
A: You can't stop it completely but you can reduce the chance of it happening. Never push alt tab or alt enter during the game. Use the same GTA2 version as your opponent and make sure you both have identical files. The more players in a game, the more chance of at least one player going out of sync. I think some sync problems are caused by excessive network packet loss, the further away your opponent, the more chance of packet loss and the slower the game will be.
Some custom scripts will go out of sync. Check the GTA2 scripting page for scripting advice.
Q: Why is the game really slow?
A: GTA2 wasn't made for high latency connections. Even if both users have broadband the game can be really slow if you are far away from your opponent (Europe vs Australia or USA in GTA2 will be too slow for a fun game). You should close any programs using lots of bandwidth, especially peer to peer programs like BitTorrent and if someone is on your LAN, sharing your bandwidth, kick them off or tell them not to download during your game.
Q: How do I send messages?
A: Push F10 to chat in GTA2. What you type is seen in realtime and it disappears when you push enter so give your opponent time to read (unless they are about to kill you). If you are using the default keys then you won't be able to change weapons with Z and X while the chat bar is up, so you will have to clear your message from the screen by pushing enter.
Q: Where can I get the latest GTA2 patch or update?
A: You can get it here.
Q: I'm trying to play multiplayer but I don’t see the options listed in the manual. What's wrong?
A: The manual is referring to menus within the game that aren't actually present. Use GTA2 Manager or Game Hunter to setup a multiplayer game.
Q: Why does it say "Debug flags are different"?
A: It means there are different debug options selected in GTA2 Manager debug tab. Make sure to tick the same as your opponents (cheat settings are ignored, so they don't have to be the same).
Q: How many players can be in a GTA2 multiplayer game?
A: GTA2 only supports a maximum of 6 players per game and most people play with less players due to crashes and lag.
Q: Why are other games less laggy?
A: GTA2 Game Hunter still uses GTA2's buggy built-in multiplayer that was originally only intended for LANs. If slows the game down until all players have received all packets. This makes for perfect sync, so that when you are shooting someone you know you are really hitting them but it means the frame rate won't be any higher than network latency allows. Other games hide lag but you notice problems with sync when the latency is too high.
Q: Why does my router disconnect when I host or join a GTA2 multiplayer game? Why does GTA2 break my internet connection?
A: If your device has flood protection, try disabling it. Some routers are just really stupid. Self termination is a dumb solution to suspected flooding/DoS.