Frequently Asked Questions
This FAQ is out of date and needs to be updated as of 2021-11-4
Thought you had a question for us, but didn't want to look silly and ask something that's been answered a million times already? Welcome to the world of FAQs...
Note: Some answers relate to the Windows version of Kai only.
What is XLink Kai?
XLink Kai is a program that you run on your PC or Mac that allows you to play system-link / LAN-enabled games for your Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, GameCube, Wii, Wii U, Switch, PSP, and PSP Vita.
The software is referred to as what is known as a 'tunneling' application. There are various other single-console tunneling applications available, but XLink remains the only one to support most major consoles...
So how does it work?
For those people that really want to know, here's a quick briefing.
Your console uses the connectivity between your PC or Mac as a "tunnel". Data is sent from the console, to the PC or Mac, sent over the Internet through XLink Kai to the receiving PC or Mac, and finally sent to the receiving console. This happens in both directions so many times per second that you just have to believe us.
So you then ask, how is my console detecting these games over the Internet? Well these games are using standard Ethernet networks to transmit data. As long as the connection is strong and stable, your console is tricked into thinking the consoles it is connecting to are right there within the same house or building, when in fact they could be sitting 2000 km's away in another continent...
How much do I have to pay?
How does NOTHING sound?
What games can I play on XLink Kai?
Simply put, any game on the XBox/360/One/PS2/PS3/PS4/GameCube/Switch/PSP/PSvita that supports system-link / LAN play. What you see on this list is what Team XLink have set aside arena's for (see: What are Arenas?).
This means that from time to time, a new game may become available on a console that we may not be aware of that contains system-link / LAN support. If you do ever happen to be in this situation, test out the game with a few people and confirm that it works as expected over XLink Kai. If all signs are positive, throw us an email and we'll get on to setting aside an arena for it. (see also: Are all games compatible?)
Are all games compatible?
There are a few small conditions, most of the time that are beyond our control and cannot be changed.
Firstly, some games are region incompatible. This means someone with the PAL version of a certain game may not be able to play someone with an NTSC copy of the same game.
Also, games that are multi-platform (available on more than one console and / or PC) will never be able to play against each other. A typical example of this is Midnight Club 2, available on both the XBox and PlayStation 2.
For many other games, there is what we refer to as a ping limit. Often, games may be unviewable, extremely laggy (see: What is lag? How can I reduce it?), or will cut out at certain points. This is often due to game developers coding restrictions on the amount of latency that the particular game will allow players to have. You will hear hear this term often when it comes to online gaming...
What is lag? How can I reduce it?
Lag is one of those annoying things that can ruin the online gaming experience for anyone. Simply put, when you start to notice your games are not responding or are out of sync eg. the bullets seem to fire a few seconds after you press the button, then you've hit lag. Everyone gets it, and there's usually some good reasons for it. Some typical reasons include:
- The game you are trying to play is highly bandwidth intensive and requires a very large upload capacity on your Internet connection.
- You are playing people who are very far away in terms of location.
- You are running many other applications in the background that require Internet connectivity (instant messengers, P2P software etc)
- Other members of your home network may be trying to access the Internet while you are trying to play.
Lag in these instances can be reduced by doing a few things:
- Limiting the amount of players in the game (not always preferable, but if you're Internet connection cannot handle hosting a certain amount of people, there is little we can do to help you).
- Getting the person with the highest amount of upload bandwidth to host.
- Playing people in a geographical location that isn't too distant.
- Only joining game servers where the pings (the amount of time it takes for data to be sent from your PC or Mac and received on the other end) are of a decent amount. A decent ping could mean 50ms (milliseconds) or less for one particular game, but could also mean that a ping of 200ms will cause no problems.
Generally speaking for most games on all consoles, pings above 300ms will result in very difficult or not connection at all...
What do I need to run XLink Kai?
So you're really interested in getting on-board and becoming a part of Global Network Gaming? Here's what you'll need then:
- A PC running Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10 or Linux; or a Mac.
- An active broadband Internet connection.
- A network connection between your console/s and the PC or Mac. This could come in the form of a router (wireless or non), 2 NICS (Network Interface Cards), a wireless connection or even a combination of switches, hubs and other networking hardware (see: Networking and Firewall Questions)
- An XLink account (your XLink username is your XTag, similar to the XBox Live GamerTag™). You can create your account here.
- The XLink Kai client available to download here.
Once you've checked all those off the list, it's time for you to visit the Quick Start Guide.
Do I need a modified console to use Kai?
Certainly not. Some other tunneling services will shun you out if you mention the word modification - we won't. However, we do have a strict-policy on anything piracy related (see: Why can I not log in to XLink Kai / the website / the forums?). You are welcome to use XLink Kai on your console, regardless of what you have done to it.
Does that mean I can play games on my harddrive (XBox)?
Indeed, if that is what you want to do. You can always play games from your backup DVD's too if you like. In fact, load the game any way you want - we don't care.
Why can I not log in to XLink Kai / the website / the forums?
The XLink AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) details what we at Team XLink will consider tolerable. Any breach of the XLink AUP will result in a warning or a temporary / permanent ban. In more severe cases, authorities will be contacted and appropriate action taken. We hope that everyone is clear on what is and isn't acceptable here at Team XLink. We're all here to enjoy ourselves and play for online console games for free.
Where can I get more help?
Make sure you've gone through this FAQ quite thoroughly. After that, there's the help section. If you're still in need of assistance, have a browse of our Official XLink Forums to see if someone's already had the same problem. If nobody has, you're free to post up to the board for support.
If you want more responsive support, you could also try out our Official Discord chat room.
Any PM's sent through the forums to Team XLink members will be ignored and deleted, as will emails asking for support. Be warned, as continuous abuse constitutes a breach of the XLink AUP (see: Why can I not log in to XLink Kai / the website / the forums?)
Networking and Firewall Questions
Do I need to forward any ports?
You'd be happy to know that nearly all routers will no longer require any port-forwarding for use with XLink Kai. Upon connection, each user is probed for a randomly open port and assigned that port should a connection to the Orbital be successful. However, there will always be a select few people who will have no alternative but to force a port-forward.
If Kai reports your network as unreachable, port-forward port 30000 UDP to the local IP of the PC running Kai. Remember to enter the port number in 'Port' in the Kai Configuration Tool. If you are behind a network that will not allow you to forward ports, but are allocated a few ports (generally on College campuses for gaming), use whatever port number you have available, as long as it is a UDP port-forward (see also: How will I know if I need to port-forward?)...
How will I know if I need to port-forward?
If you've been following the Quick Start Guide then you would have been checking to see if Network Reachable reports as 'Yes'. If it says 'Not yet', then you know you've got to port-forward.
Alternatively, if people tell you that your ping always shows 'Establishing', you'll need to port-forward (see also: How do I forward a port?)...
How do I forward a port?
There are so many different brands and models of routers out there that it would be a hard task to collate all the instructions for you. Instead, we strongly suggest you visit PortForward.com and / or your manufacturer's website.
Note: If you are behind another NAT device such as an ADSL modem, you may be required to port-forward from the modem to the router, and then from the router to the PC. This creates a "chain" for the port to travel along to your PC.
How do I configure my software firewall to play with XLink Kai?
With so many different software firewalls available, each product will require different configuration. Firewalls can be responsible for not allowing you to view available games to join as well as kicking you from a game as soon as you join. Do no port-forward port 3074 UDP - these are software firewall instructions.
As a general rule of thumb, try the following:
- For XBox users, allow the IP address 0.0.0.1 full access on UDP.
- Also for XBox users, allow port 3074 full access.
- If you are still experiencing problems, browse our Official XLink Forums.
Note: Highly unrecommended but you may have to disable your firewall when you want to play on XLink Kai.
What network setups are compatible?
Generally, the average user with a home network will not have any highly technical equipment in use. For diagrams of setups, please visit the Quick Start Guide.
The following connection methods are acceptable:
- Routers, either wired or wireless.
- 2 network interface cards (one connected to a modem, the other to a console)
- A combination of hubs and switches
- Wireless *
* Wireless connections from the PC running XLink Kai are not supported unless the wireless card can support promiscuous mode. However, we recommend that the PC running XLink Kai remains wired (to the router or access point) with a CAT-5 Ethernet cable. Your console can be wirelessly connected, through the use of a Wireless Gaming Adapter or Wireless Ethernet Bridge. Consult your documentation or manufacturer's website for assistance in wireless networking.
What network hardware do I need?
If you're yet to get your console on your home network, here's a few simple steps to determining what you need. For more information, we suggest searching Google.
Thinking of eventually adding more devices to your home network - computers, consoles, laptops? Then a router would benefit you the greatest. Although they can be moderately expensive, routers work great for consoles and are easy to set up. Routers can have wireless functionality included, but will be dearer than a simple wired-only router.
Just have the one computer and want to hook your console up to the PC? Then a secondary network card is your best bet. Cheap and reliable, all you need is a spare slot in your computer and a cross-over CAT-5 Ethernet cable. The down-side? Setting up 2 network cards can be a much more troublesome task, especially if you're new to networking.
You may not be entirely sure what you want to do, and what you'll need. A little bit of research on the Internet, a chat with a computer-geek friend of yours and a little bit of patience will see you getting yourself online and a part of global network gaming...
I can't connect and I'm not sure what to do?
Please read all the help material made available to you by visiting the help page. If you're having troubles getting things to work for you, head over to our Official XLink Forums. Search around - or post in the XLink Kai Discord here.
XLink Kai Questions
What are Arenas?
Think of Arenas as global "hubs" where people playing the same game on the same console system can simply become a part of the Arena, and view all the available games to join. For XBox users, this is the closest experience to the XBox Live service. When you are in Arena mode, there is no need to create a private server and it's just "plug-and-play".
Take for example, Halo 2 on the XBox. Upon joining the Arena, you notice around 200 casual players in the same Arena. 50 of those 200 people have started servers on their XBox, awaiting people to join. You decide to fire up Halo 2, and head over to the system-link menu. What would confront you is a list of all those 50 servers (depends on connection issues and speed if all servers would show), giving you the opportunity to browse and click any open Halo 2 server you wish to join.
So you joined a server, and found that everyone was just a little bit too experienced for your liking, and you decide to find another server to join. Well, here's the good part. All you would need to do is get back to the "Searching for Games" menu, and all open Halo 2 servers would be there for you to sift through once more. This method of play works best on almost all games, where the game lets you choose which server to join ie. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3, Return to Castle Wolfenstein etc.
But what if I want to play with some friends privately you ask? Well then there's always the traditional "Rooms Mode" (see: Private play?)...
What are the two gaming modes and how do they differ?
There are two gaming modes available in XLink Kai, to suit the different types of gameplay available - Messenger Mode and Arena Mode.
Messenger Mode is generally for private play, between a few friends. Contacts must be added on both lists in order for a user to view another contact's status, much like many Instant Messengers available over the Internet. Games can only be played with users who are also online and in Messenger Mode. The simplest way to get a game going is Private Message (PM) your contact, organise a game to play, turn on your console and decide who will host the game and who will join. You are not restricted to only playing against one other contact, but just make sure each contact has every other contact added to their contact list and is appearing as 'Online' and in Messenger Mode.
Arena Mode is a collection of Arenas (see: What are Arenas?) where the emphasis is on community gaming. There is no need to have users added to contact lists and all arenas are open to all users to play. Should you require an arena, but restrict access via a password, the option is also there to create Private Arenas. Private Arenas allow the creator of the Arena to kick and ban users, should a password not be set (see: Private play?)...
How do I switch between gaming modes?
Depending on your client version will determine how exactly you can switch between the two gaming modes. For the Windows client, the self-explanitory icons to the top of the client let you switch between Messenger and Arena Modes...
All other tunneling programs available at the time of writing / coding only supported the concept of "Rooms", where users must join a hosted room before being able to play. This could mean a lot of time wasted joining and leaving rooms, especially when a host decided to leave. XLink Kai introduced the concept of Arena Mode (see: What are Arenas?), but for some people who prefer closed-off gaming looking for specific opponents, the concept of rooms needs to be available.
Rooms in XLink Kai are just "Private Arenas". They still allow people to play without adding them to contact lists and such, but they do allow restricted access (via a password), moderation tools (kick / ban), player limits as well as brief descriptions of accepted users, intended game type, chosen map etc...
Where can I type to other users?
With the Windows client, you must expand the XLink Kai window by clicking on the side arrow. This button allows you to expand and collapse the chat area. Every area in XLink Kai is given a chat room. This means every arena has it's own separate chat area.
The messages are displayed in the upper area, chat users on the right and messages are typed in the lower region...
XLink Kai is detecting my console as the wrong console?
Typically this is okay, however this means your mac address may be listed as another console
If you are experiencing issues with this, please visit the Profile Editor and visit the Custom Console Mapping section.
XLink Kai is not detecting my console/s?
If XLink Kai isn't detecting your console, make sure that you are trying to create a game or join a game first, and make sure you're connected to the same network as your computer.
XLink Kai detects my console but says that configuration failed?
Please refer to the Step-by-Step Troubleshooter by clicking here.
I get disconnected when I try to join a game?
A firewall is stepping in and blocking you from what it believes is a potential threat, when there is no real threat. Please see our firewalls tips (see: How do I configure my software firewall to play with XLink Kai?) or alternatively you may find your answer on the Official XLink Forums.
My console is configured successfully but I can't see any games?
Make sure your NAT Type is either open or moderate, if your NAT Type is STRICT then you may need to follow this guide to port forward your computer to have an open NAT Type.
I think I found a bug?
How'd we let that one get away? ;)
If you seriously believe something is not right with the client, please make a detailed post in the Official XLink Discord under your respective Operating Systems Channel.
XLink Statistics Questions
How accurate are the statistics?
The server statistics are generated on the fly and refreshed every 5 minutes on the website. There are no hidden truths in our statistics.
What are orbital servers? What's the server integrity mean?
Orbital servers are machines that are around the globe that are "orbiting" our main server. The basic reason for this is so the load on the one server can be spread across multiple servers on high-speed Internet connections. When you connect to XLink Kai, you are attached to the orbital server that has the fastest response. All the servers work together and create a mesh, just like how the Internet works.
The orbital servers handle almost all of the work, including handling chat messages and user lists.