Strict NAT with Forza Horizon 5 - complete lack of online compared to FH4 (Windows Firewall Control)

EDIT - This has next to nothing to original “Strict NAT” problem. I’ve narrowed the problem down to an issue with 3 things:

  • Forza Horizon 5 using some kind of virtual drive technology that’s hidden from user
  • Windows Firewall run in a sane configuration of “Deny All unless explicitly Allowed” that’s not coping well with virtual drive thing
  • and an application called Windows Firewall Control that I use to configure firewall rules, that’s hardly to blame here

tl;dr - drop the filtering profile of WFC to “low filtering” (AKA default Windows Firewall setting) to play the game.

original post:
I didn’t even realize I had Strict NAT as FH4’s online component was and is fully working. I can join events, do forzathons, download setups, liveries, I see my online friends, etc. But Forza Horizon 5 says - nope. It’s NOT EVEN TRYING to connect and I see no way of forcing it.

Any way to solve the issue other than changing my ISP? I don’t have access to the router, it’s locked by my ISP.

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Well you can try to change the teredo type, so it identifies NAT differently, but i’m not sure if it will work since your router might be blocking it.

U can force
MainMenu->Online->RightBottom “SinglePlayer/Online”

I can’t. The game starts with Serves Unavailable massage and that’s the core problem. I think it checks for NAT type upon start, sees Strict and decides that it’s a hard NO for ANY online connectivity. The effect is that there is an ONLINE tab but it’s grayed out and I don’t have access to it.

FH4 had a join online button that I occasionally used, but it usually connected by itself without issue. Not that it was perfect online experience, but all the basic stuff worked, as opposed to FH5 where single player experience is stripping the game of 90% of its charm.

Same issue, but it isn’t really the fault of WFC. I spoke with the dev of the app months ago when I had issues with other windows apps and the firewall and he explained it all comes down to how windows itself handles things - his app is really more of an interface.

Silly that FH4 worked just fine, but can’t play FH5 without dropping down the security. I have seen this on a few other windows games, though most seem to work just fine with the firewall.

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You are correct about WFC, the only thing it does is that it sets a very sane “Deny All until specifically Allowed” rule and it is a problem. On a side note - I actually think I spoke with the dev yesterday too and he chimed on a few issues.

The consensus is that FH5 and other new Microsoft Store games (Flight Simulator) use some kind of virtual drive technology that’s hidden to the user and isn’t obvious how to set up in Windows Firewall (I tried lots of configurations). I’d love to know how to properly set the FW for this title. In the meantime however - “low filtering profile” seems to be the workaround.

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I’ve been experiencing this same issue with WFC - took me a while to work out what was stopping FH5 from connecting, and yes setting to Low Filtering is the only solution I’d found.

It’s nice to know (in an odd way) that it is the issue, so thanks to Trupi Synod for confirming it with the Dev.

I’d like to think MS will update their firewall to take into account these sort of issues caused by the virtual drives (yeah, right!) but for now, I’ll stick to switching Medium to Low to play FH5

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I wish. I’ve had issues with certain windows store games for well over a year. Usually if I try a gamepass game that has these firewall issues I just uninstall it and move on. Thankfully I haven’t purchased FH5 yet and unless this issue is somehow resolved I won’t be buying the ultimate edition like I did on FH4. I have to wonder if the steam version has this same issue.

windows is not a very good game platform

Trupi Synod - sent you a PM regarding this issue. Not sure how notifications on here work.

This is true, if you open up device manager in windows and enable “hidden devices” , at storage devices you will see alot of hidden “Xvd” devices, and i think these are also related to the firewall messages players get when launching the game because it uses a strange drive letter like E:4\forzahorizon5.exe or C:3\forzahorizon5.exe etc .

Microsoft Gaming Filesystem Driver (xvdd.sys) is part of Gaming-Services.

TL;DR - Just buy the Steam version, I could play FH4 perfectly fine there.