Xbox 360 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 360 guide header.jpg

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Unmodified Xbox 360 consoles have a 30 millisecond ping limit on system link games (30/1000th of a second). This means you and your console must be geographically close to and have a very low latency connection to the game host! In general this will make Xbox 360 play on XLink Kai impossible for most users. A JTAG/RGH console can bypass this limitation and is highly recommended! Please read the RGH guide. Note that it is possible to host matches with an unmodified console if the other players are less than 30ms away OR they have the RGH ping patch enabled. Please read our page about the Xbox 360 game ping limit. This limitation does not apply to original Xbox games played under backwards compatibility.

Getting started & required hardware

  • Xbox 360 Console
  • One of the 216 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 360

Note: You can not play system link games over WiFi on Xbox 360. Your console MUST use a wired connection on the network connection to your PC

Wired Connection

The best way to play Xbox 360 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 360 and computer to your router with Ethernet cables as shown below:

Xbox 360 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 official Xbox 360 wireless adapter, or built in WiFi on slim consoles can not be used for system-link. 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 360 console.

Xbox 360 connected to laptop.jpg

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

Xbox 360 connected to laptop by USB.jpg

Confirming the network link is up

Since the Xbox 360 does not have an ethernet link light you will have to rely on the device on the other end of the cable to check the link status. Power on your Xbox 360 and connect your ethernet cable.

Xbox 360 ethernet connected.jpg

Connect the other end to your router or PC depending on your network setup.

Supported Games

There are 199 games with the system-link feature for Xbox 360. 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.

Xbox 360 System-link game.jpg

Playing a game on XLink Kai

  1. Start XLink and log in.
  2. Power on your Xbox 360 and load a game with system-link support. This guide will use Halo: Reach as an example.
  3. Click Game Arenas at the top
    Xbox360 kai 1.png
  4. Navigate to the Halo: Reach arena using the directory on the left.
    Xbox360 kai 2.png
  5. On your Xbox 360 in Halo: Reach select Main Menu and press A ButtonIcon-Xbox360-A.png
    XB360 HALOR 1 select main menu press a.png
  6. Press Y ButtonIcon-Xbox360-Y.png
    XB360 HALOR 2 press Y Select Network.png
  7. Select System Link Games and press A ButtonIcon-Xbox360-A.png
    XB360 HALOR 3 Select system link games.png
  8. Any available matches will be shown on the right hand side of the screen.
    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 360 console is detected.
    Xbox360 kai 3.png
    If your Xbox 360 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
    If you still don't see a match make sure your ping to the player hosting is less than 30ms. You can check by hovering your mouse cursor over the coloured bar under their name in the XLink Kai WebUI or clicking their name.
    Xbox360 kai 4.png
    XB360 HALOR 14 main menu system link.png
  9. Press right ButtonIcon-Xbox360-Dpad Right.png then down ButtonIcon-Xbox360-Dpad Down.png twice. Press A ButtonIcon-Xbox360-A.png.
    XB360 HALOR 15 system link join.png
  10. Select Join Player and press A ButtonIcon-Xbox360-A.png.
    If Join Player is greyed out you do not have the same game version (title update) as the host. Make sure you're running the same version as shown in the bottom right corner of the main menu. If there is no number shown you are on version 1.0
    XB360 HALOR 16 select join player.png
  11. Wait for the Party Leader (the game host) to start the match
    XB360 HALOR 17 wait for game start.png
  12. Have fun!

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.


  • Does XLink support modded Xbox 360s?

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

  • I don't see any system link matches?

Make sure your ping (latency) to the host is less than 30 ms. Click on their name in the XLink Kai WebUI to check the value. Latency is mainly caused by physical distance so you'll need to be pretty close to the other players.

  • 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.

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

Check that the ethernet cable is securely connected to your Xbox 360 and the router/PC on the other end. If you still have problems, try using a different ethernet cable and ensure that there are no issues with the ethernet port on both the Xbox 360 and the router/PC.

  • 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 restarting Kai. 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 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.