How to Fix GTA V ‘Unknown Network Error’

Some GTA V users are reporting that they’re consistently getting disconnected from an online game with the error ‘Connection to the session lost due to an unknown network error‘. This particular issue is confirmed to occur on both PC and consoles (Xbox One and Ps4).

Grand Theft Auto V ‘Unknown Network Error’

After investigating this particular issue thoroughly, it turns out that there are several different causes that might be responsible for the apparition of this particular error code. Here’s a shortlist of situations where you might see the Unknown Network Error when playing the Online Mode of GTA 5:

  • Underlying server issue – As it turns out, you might be seeing this error code while Rockstar is in the middle of a server issue that is beyond your control. In this case, all you can do is confirm the server issue and wait for the developers to fix the problem on their side.
  • TCP or IP inconsistency – A router inconsistency can also be responsible for this particular error with GTA V. If this scenario is applicable, you should be able to fix the problem by rebooting or resetting your router in order to clear TCP and IP data that are currently cached.
  • NAT is CLOSED – Another reason why you might see this error is a situation in which your NAT is closed, so the ports that need to be opened for the connection to take place in a stable matter are actually closed. In this case, you should be able to fix the problem either by enabling UPnP or forwarding the required ports manually.
  • Cached MAC Address (Xbox One Only) – If you’re encountering this problem on an Xbox One console and you have previously configured a custom MAC address for this console, that’s probably the reason why you’re seeing this network error. To fix the issue in this case, you need to clear your MAC address from the Settings menu of your console.
  • Inconsistent DNS Range – Depending on your ISP, you might see this network error due to the fact that you were assigned a bad DNS range that’s not really compatible with Rockstar’s servers. IN this case, you might be able to alleviate the problem by switching your DNS to the range provided by Google.

Now that you know every potential culprit, here’s a list of methods that will allow you to identify and/or fix the problem:

Method 1: Checking for an Ongoing Server Issue

Before you try any of the other fixes listed below, you should start by making sure that you’re not dealing with a server issue that is not beyond your control. If you’re seeing the Unknown Network error consistently and you have a good connection, chances are Rockstar is currently dealing with a server issue that is affecting GTA Online.

To verify this potential scenario, you should start by checking if their official status page is currently reporting any problems.

Investigating for a server issue with Grand Theft Auto Online

Once you’re inside the status page, check under Grand Theft Auto Online and see if your platform of choice has a red dot instead of a green one – If that’s the case, Rockstar is aware of the server problem and it’s actively working to fix it.

However, it’s also possible that you’re experiencing a server issue that Rockstar is not yet aware of. In this case, a great way to check if other users are currently experiencing the same issues to visit services like DownDetector.

Checking for server issues with GTA V

Note: If your investigations have revealed that you’re indeed experiencing this problem due to an ongoing server issue, your only choice is to wait for Rockstart to fix the issue on their side.

On the other hand, if none of the directories above are currently showing evidence of a server problem, move down to the fixes below to troubleshoot various reasons why the Unknown Network is occurring in your case.

Method 2: Restart your Reset Router

If you previously made sure that you’re not dealing with a server issue, the next most probably culprit that might cause this Unknown Network error is a TCP or IP issue facilitated by a problem with your router.

If this scenario is applicable, you have 2 different ways of fixing this problem:

  • Restart your router – This operation will successfully refresh your current IP and TCP data that your router is using without making any persisting changes that might affect your network interaction. However, if the problem is not related to TCP and IP cached data, this method will not do much for you.
  • Resetting your router – If the restart procedure doesn’t work for you, resetting your currently saved router settings will revert the device to the factory state in addition to clearing the cached data. However, keep in mind that if your ISP is using PPPoE, this operation will also reset the currently saved credentials.

A. Restarting your Router

If you want to start with something that doesn’t run the risk of affecting your immediate access to the Internet, start with a simple router reboot. This operation will clear the currently saved Internet Protocol data and Transmission Control Protocol data.

To perform a reset on your network device, identify the power/switch button (typically located on the back of the device) and press it once to cut off the power. After you do this, go ahead and disconnect the power cable from the power outlet and wait for 1 full minute or more.

Restarting your router

Note: Disconnecting the power after you turn your router off is essential since it allows the power capacitors enough time to drain and clear any temp data that they currently might be maintaining in between restarts.

If restarting didn’t fix the problem, move down to resetting your network restart.

B. Resetting your Router

If a simple reset didn’t do the trick for you, the next step is to go for a complete router reset to ensure that no setting or network-related cached data is currently causing the Unknown Network error.

But before you go ahead and reset your network device, it’s important to understand what this operation will do to your current network setup. First of all, it will reset your router back to its factory resets, which means that any forwarded ports, blocked items, and any other custom settings.

Furthermore, if your ISP is using PPPoE, a router reset will mean that the currently saved credentials will be ‘forgotten‘. So once you go through with the reset procedure, you’ll need to recreate the PPPoE connection.

Once you understand the consequences of this operation, you can initiate a router reset by finding the reset button (typically located on the rear of your router), pressing it, and keeping it pressed until you see all the front LEDs flashing at the same time.

Resetting your router

Once your router is reset, re-establish the internet connection by reinserting the PPPoE credentials supplied by your ISP (if necessary) and see if random disconnects stop when you play GTA V.

If you’re still dealing with the same Unknown Network error, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 3: Enabling UPNP (if applicable)

If resetting your router didn’t fix the issue in this case, the next step would be to focus your attention on making sure that the ports used by GTA V are successfully forwarded on your router.

Keep in mind that nowadays, the vast majority of routers are automatically capable of forwarding the ports used by the game you’re actively playing with a feature called UPnP (Universal Plug and Play). 

Unless you modified the settings on your router, this UPnP feature should be enabled by default. However, if you made some changes yourself, here are some instructions on enabling UPnP in your router settings.

In case your router doesn’t support UPnP, move down to Method 4 for instructions on forwarding the required ports manually.

If the ports used by GTA V are already forwarded, jump directly to Method 5.

Method 4: Forwarding the Ports used by GTA V

In case you’re still using a router that’s not equipped to support UPnP, the fix in your case is to forward the ports used by GTA V manually in order to prevent the unknown network error from appearing again. Doing this will ensure that your network connection is equipped to allow incoming network requests from the GTA V servers.

If you’re looking for instructions on forwarding the ports used by the Online component on Grand Theft Auto:

Note: The instructions below were generalized as the exact names and screens will different on your router manufacturer.

  1. Open your default browser and type one of the following addresses and press Enter to open your router settings:
    192.168.0.1 
    192.168.1.1
  2. Once you’re at the initial login screen, enter the login credentials to access your router settings.
    Accessing your router settings

    Note: In most cases, you’ll be able to get in with the default login credentials – admin as username and 1234 as password. If these generic credentials don’t work, search online for the default login credentials of your router model.

  3. Once you have successfully arrived inside your router settings, expand the Advanced / Expert menu, and look for an option named Port Forwarding / NAT Forwarding.
    Forwarding the necessary ports
  4. Next, go ahead and manually open the ports below to ensure that your network will accept incoming connections from the GTA Online server:
    Port 6672 (UDP)
    Port 61455 (UDP)
    Port 61457 (UDP)
    Port 61456 (UDP)
    Port 61458 (UDP)
  5. Once every port is successfully forwarded, restart your computer and see if the problem is fixed at the next computer startup.

If the same problem is occurring even after forwarding your ports or you’re encountering this problem on Xbox One, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 5: Clearing your MAC Address (Xbox One Only)

If you’re encountering the Unknown Network Error on an Xbox One console after you’ve manually set up a MAC address in the past (or brought a used console), it’s possible that a MAC address is inhibiting your console’s ability to connect to the Internet.

In case this scenario looks like it could be applicable, you should be able to fix the problem by accessing the Settings menu on your Xbox One console and clearing the Alternate MAC address that’s currently saved.

Note: This Alternate MAC address was put in place by Microsoft in order to allow users to utilize network features on restricted networks like hotels, public WI-Fis, hospitals, schools, etc.

If you suspect that an improper Alternate MAC address is causing the problem, follow the instructions below to clear this address from your computer:

  1. From the main dashboard menu of your Xbox One console, press the guide menu on your controller to bring up the menu, then go to Settings > All Settings.
    Accessing the Settings menu on Xbox One
  2. Once you’re inside the Settings menu, navigate to the Network tab from the menu on the left, then click on Network Settings.
    Accessing the network Settings
  3. Next, access the Advanced Settings menu, then access the Alternate MAC address menu.
  4. From the Alternate MAC address, choose Alternate Wired MAC or Alternate Wireless MAC (depending on which configuration you’re using) and hit Clear to confirm that you remove the cached data. 

    Clearing the MAC address on Xbox One
  5. Restart your console and see if the issue is fixed the next time you launch GTA Online.

If the same problem is still occurring, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 6: Changing the Default DNS

If none of the methods above have worked for you, you should start to consider the fact that you might be seeing the Unknown Network Error due to an inconsistent DNS Range that is inhibiting your machine’s ability to communicate with Rockstar’s servers.

Several affected users that found themselves in a similar scenario have confirmed that they’ve managed to fix the problem by switching their default DNS to the range provided by Google.

However, the instructions on doing this will be different depending on the platform you’re playing the game on. To make things easier for you, we’ve put together a series of guides that will walk you through the process of switching the default DNS (Domain Name Address) range to Google’s equivalents before launching Grand Theft Auto once again.

Follow the guide below that’s applicable to you platform of choice:

A.Changing the Default DNS on PC

  1. Open up a Run dialog box by pressing Windows key + R. Next, type ‘ncpa.cpl’ and press Enter to open up the Network Connections window.
    Accessing the Network Connections menu

    Note: If you are prompted by the UAC (User Account Control), click Yes to grant admin access.

  2. Once you’re inside the Network Connections tab, go ahead and select the connection you want to configure by right-clicking on it and choose Properties from the context menu.
    Opening the Network Properties screen
  3. Inside the Properties screen of Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection, go to the Networking tab and go to the settings under This connection uses the following items. From there, choose Internet Protocol 4 (TCP / IP4) and click on the Properties button.
    Accessing the IPv4 settings
  4. From the next settings, go to the General tab, check the toggle associated with Use the following DNS server address, and replace Preferred DNS server and Alternate DNS server with the following values:
     8.8.8.8
     8.8.4.4
  5. Next, repeat the steps above with Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6), but this time uses the following values for Alternate DNS server and Preferred DNS server:

    2001:4860:4860::8888
    2001:4860:4860::8844
    
  6. Save the changes, then restart both your PC and router and see if the issue is now fixed.

B. Changing the Default DNS on PS4

  1. From the main dashboard of your PS4 console, go to Settings > Network > Set up Internet Connection.
  2. Next, choose either Wi-Fi or LAN (depending on your type of connection), then select Custom from the next prompt.
  3. When asked to select the type of address you want, choose Automatic.
  4. At the next prompt, set the DHCP Host Name to Do not specify. 
  5. When you finally get to the DNS Settings prompt, choose Manual, then set the Primary DNS to 8.8.8.8 and the Secondary DNS to 8.8.4.4.
    Setting the DNS from Google on PS4

    Note: If you prefer to use IPV6, use the following values instead:

    Primary DNS - 208.67.222.222
    Secondary DNS - 208.67.220.220
  6. Save the changes, then restart your console and see if the connection issue is fixed.

C. Changing the Default DNS on Xbox One

  1. From the main dashboard of your Xbox One menu, go to Settings > Network > Advanced Settings.
  2. Once you’re at the next menu, choose DNS settings, and select Manual.
  3. Next, set 8.8.8.8 as the Primary DNS and 8.8.4.4 as the Secondary DNS and Save the changes.
    Changing DNS in Xbox
    Changing DNS in Xbox

    Note: If you prefer IPV6, use the following values instead:

    Primary DNS - 208.67.222.222
    Secondary DNS - 208.67.220.220
  4. Save the changes, then restart both your console and your router and see if the issue is now fixed.
Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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How to Fix GTA V ‘Unknown Network Error’

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