Original Xbox XLink Kai Setup

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XLink Kai is a multi-platform and peer-to-peer LAN tunneling service which enables users to play system-link / LAN and ad-hoc multiplayer games on their consoles online with people all over the world. XLink Kai was first released in 2003, supporting the Xbox, PS2, and Gamecube at launch, with PSP, PS3, Xbox 360 and others support arriving soon after.

Xbox guide header.jpg

XLink Kai Home Page - https://teamxlink.co.uk
XLink Kai Status Page - https://status.teamxlink.co.uk/
Popular on XLink Twitter Bot - https://twitter.com/PopularOnXLink
Team XLink Official Discord - https://discord.gg/UyyjNpa
Supported Games List - https://www.teamxlink.co.uk/supported-games

Getting started & required hardware

  • An Xbox, Xbox 360, or Xbox One console (Many original xbox games work under backwards compatibility on xbox 360 and xbox one!)
  • One of the 141 supported games with the system-link feature
  • A PC/Mac/raspberry Pi
  • 1 or 2 network cables depending on your setup
  • Some form of internet connection.

Creating an Account

To begin, you'll need to register for an XLink Kai account and download the program. Click on 'Sign Up' at the top of the XLink Kai home page and fill in your details, then click Submit. You then need to verify your email address and consent to the XLink Kai data collection policy (GDPR compliance). Please be sure to read the Acceptable Use Policy.

Installing XLink Kai

Follow the installation guide for your Operating System:

Connecting your Xbox

Wired Connection

The best way to play Xbox system-link on XLink is with a fully wired set up. You will get the lowest latency (ping) and most stable connection possible.

Connect your xbox and computer to your router with Ethernet cables as shown below:

Xbox connected to router and laptop.jpg

Wireless with PC/Mac/Raspberry Pi

If it is impossible to use a wired connection, WiFi can be used instead but the console must be connected directly to the PC/Mac/Raspberry Pi with an Ethernet cable. The computer running XLink Kai can not be fully wireless and there must be a wired connection to the computer for the network interface going towards the xbox console.

Xbox connected to laptop.jpg

If you computer does not have an Ethernet port a USB Ethernet adapter can be used.

Xbox connected to laptop by USB.jpg

Confirming the network link is up

Power on your xbox and make sure the link light comes on. If it doesn't check that your cables are firmly plugged in. If your xbox is connected directly to your computer and the link light does not come on you may need to use a crossover cable if your network interface is older and does not support Auto MDI-X

Xbox link up.jpg

Supported Games

There are 139 games with the system-link feature for the original xbox. To see if the game you want to play is supported please check the supported games page or look for "System Link" on the back of the game case.

System-link game.jpg

Note: There were many misprints on the back of cases where system-link was mistakenly included. All games on the supported games list have been verified!

Playing a game on XLink Kai

  1. Start XLink and log in.
  2. Power on your xbox and load a game with system-link support off DVD or HDD, either is fine. This guide will use Halo 2 as an example.
    Xbox ready to play.jpg
  3. Click Game Arenas at the top
    Xbox kai 1.jpg
  4. Navigate to the Halo 2 arena using the directory on the left.
    Xbox kai 2.jpg
  5. At this time of day there are usually a few dozen players in the Latin America Halo 2 arena (Make sure you have a fast trigger finger, these guys are really good)
    Xbox kai 3.jpg
  6. In Halo 2 press START ButtonIcon-Xbox-Start.png, choose your player profile then choose Don't sign in
    Xbox halo 2 1.jpg Xbox halo 2 4.jpg Xbox halo 2 2.jpg
  7. Choose SYSTEM LINK from the main menu and Press A ButtonIcon-Xbox-A.png
    Xbox halo 2 3.jpg
    Note: If your network cable is not plugged in you will get an error message.
    Xbox halo 2 5.jpg
  8. If you have more local players who wish to play connect a controller now and press A to join the game. Press A ButtonIcon-Xbox-A.png to continue.
    Xbox halo 2 6.jpg
  9. You should now see the list of available matches.
    Xbox halo 2 7.jpg
    If you do not see any matches make sure there are other players hosting a match and check the metrics tab to confirm your xbox console is detected.
    Xbox kai 4.jpg
    If your xbox is not listed check your cabling, make sure Xlink Kai was run with administrator rights and that it was allowed in your computer's firewall (if applicable). If you still have trouble please contact our support email or seek help on our Discord chat
  10. Join a match and play! Happy gaming!
    Xbox halo 2 8.jpg Xbox halo 2 9.jpg

Finding players

If you are having trouble finding other players to game with please join our Discord chat and use the various game-specific channels. There are also several fan-run discords that host regular game nights.


  • How long does it take to set XLink up?

This varies on a user to user basis. For example, a user with their hardware already set up using methods one or two, and UPnP enabled in their router may be able to simply download the program and get going in under 5 minutes, whereas a user with a router that requires manual port forwarding, and who made need to source a USB Ethernet adapter for Kai may take a few hours to get set up, when troubleshooting time is factored in.

  • Does XLink support modded Xboxes?

Yep, all systems are supported regardless of whether they're retail or modded.

  • Can I play with people on a different orbital server from me?

Yes, only chat and arena data passes through the orbital servers. Game traffic is completely peer-to-peer.

  • Do I need to bridge my two adapters or use internet connection sharing for hardware setup method two?

Nope, only the computer needs to have a connection to the internet, not the console.

  • XLink doesn't start up

On Windows, this is usually due to WinPcap not being installed. On any OS, this can also be due to you not being connected to the internet.

  • I can't access System Link mode. It is greyed out in game

Check that the link light on your Xbox's ethernet port has come on. If it has not, try using a different ethernet cable and ensure that there are no issues with the ethernet port on both the Xbox and the PC.

  • I'm getting 'Wrong IP Detected' under my console in metrics

Unless you are playing homebrew games, you may safely ignore this error. Otherwise, go through the homebrew guide again and ensure you have followed all the steps.

  • I disconnected from a match and can't rejoin

Restarting Kai should do the trick.

  • Other users have 'No connection' under their names

This indicates that Kai cannot make a P2P connection to the user, and that either your port or the user's is closed. If both users have port forwarding set up correctly, try restart kaiengine. If that fails, restart your router. Ensure that you also do not have DMZ enabled on your router for any IP address. UPnP as a protocol can be rather unreliable so if this happens a lot for you, try switching to manual port forwarding.

  • I've manually port forwarded but I still get 'No connection'

If you have two or more routers on your network (you are double NATted), you should set one of them to bridge mode so only one router is performing NAT. If you only have one router, double check that port forwarding has been done correctly: the rule needs to be applied to the IP address of your computer running Kai, UDP selected as the protocol, and the port then manually set in Kai's configuration menu.

  • I can see my console and establish a ping to all other users but I can't see matches

Get any other user in your arena to search for matches while you have the metrics tab open, then check if broadcast traffic inbound flashes a 1 or some other value. If it remains 0, double check there are no firewalls on your network that Kai has not been set as an exception in. If you can detect other users' consoles, read on.

  • I can see my console and establish a ping to all other users, plus see broadcast traffic inbound but I can't see matches

Search for games, then ask users in the arena to check if they see your console under your profile. An alternative method of checking this is looking at outbound broadcast traffic under metrics while searching. Upon doing this, your console should be visible to all other users. If ethernet adapter shows "no traffic", navigate to the configuration menu and select your adapter manually. If you cannot see your adapter, refer to the issue below. If your consoles are visible to each other under your profiles, check if the game you are playing has any issues with region locks, ping limits, or update version incompatibilities (this info is usually pinned in the XLink arenas for the games).

  • I cannot see my network adapter in the configuration menu

If you are on Windows, there is a WinPcap bug which occurs if a network adapter's drivers are installed after WinPcap is installed. To resolve this, open an admin command prompt or powershell, and type in net stop npf followed by net start npf.