How To Fix PlayStation Error CE-33986-9

Some Playstations 4 users are getting the CE-33986-9 error code during the sign-in process on their console. This error usually pops up after the connection times out after several unsuccessful attempts.

PSN Error CE-33986-9

After investigating this particular issue, it turns out that there are several different causes that might cause this particular error code. Here’s a shortlist of potential culprits that might be involved in the apparition of this error:

  • PSN Server problem – This particular error code was reported in the past when Sony had to deal with a widespread server problem that affected account signup and license validation. To make sure you’re not actually dealing with the same problem, you should start this troubleshooting guide by checking on the status of the Playstation Network.
  • TCP / IP Inconsistency – Once you confirm that your router is not to blame for the issue, your next attempt at troubleshooting the issue is to solve a potential network inconsistency. To do this, you can either reboot your router conventionally or you can go for the most severe router reset procedure.
  • Firmware inconsistency – According to some affected users, this problem can also occur due to some type of firmware inconsistency brought about by a temporary file. If this scenario is applicable, you should be able to fix the problem by power cycling your PlayStation 4 console.
  • Wireless conflict – As some affected users have reported, this problem is mostly reported to occur with users that are connected to the Internet via a wireless connection. To avoid conflicts with wireless dongles, you can work around the issue by connecting to the Internet via a LAN cable.
  •  Overlapping Wireless channel or width – If you’re only encountering this issue while you’re using a wireless connection and you have a wireless headset connected to your console at the same time, you’re clearly dealing with a wireless conflict. To resolve this issue, you’ll need to log into your router settings and adjust the Wi-Fi channel and the channel width.
  • Bad DNS Range – As Sony has confirmed them themselves, this problem can also occur if your ISP has assigned you an inconsistent DNS range by default. In this case, you should be able to resolve the problem by making the switch to the free DNS provided by Google.
  • ISP Restriction – If you manage to burn through every potential fix detailed below, the chances of dealing with a restriction brought about by your ISP are very high. In this case, the only viable fix is to get in contact with your Internet Service Provider and ask them for assistance.

Method 1: Checking the status of PSN

One of the most common causes that will trigger this particular error code is a problem with the PSN network. If the entire network (or portions of it) are under maintenance ore are in the middle of an unexpected outage period, the sign-up process might not work at all.

If you suspect you’re seeing the CE-33986-9 due to a widespread server issue, you can investigate your suspicion by visiting the PSN Status Page. Once you reach the Status page link, check to see whether Sony reports any problems with the Account Management function or Playstation store.

Verifying the Status Page of the platform where you’re playing the game

If the investigation you just performed has revealed a server problem that might be responsible for the CE-33986-9 error code, this particular issue is entirely beyond your control. All you can do in this case is to wait for Sony to fix the problem on their side.

On the other hand, if there is no evidence that there’s a problem with PSN, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 2: Rebooting or Resetting your router

If you previously made sure that you’re not dealing with a widespread server issue, the next thing you should do is make sure you’re not actually dealing with a TCP or IP consistency.

In case you’re seeing this error because of a bad DNS rage or due to a different superficial network inconsistency, you should be able to fix this problem by rebooting or resetting your local network from your router.

This problem is reported to occur when multiple devices in the household are connected at the same time to a piece of low-tier router equipment that works with limited bandwidth.

If this scenario is applicable, you should start by disconnecting any non-essential device to free up as much bandwidth as possible. Once you do this, follow one of the sub-guides below to refresh the TCP / IP data that was previously assigned to your PlayStation 4 console.

A. Rebooting your router

The ideal way to start is by doing a quick router restart in order to force a refresh of the TCP / IP data. This operation will end up clearing the majority of temporary data that might be causing the CE-33986-9 error code.

In order to go for a router restart, look for the power button – typically located on the back of your router.

Once you see it, press it once to turn it off, then wait for a full minute. While you wait, make sure to physically disconnect the power cable from the power outlet in order to allow the power capacitors to drain physically.

Rebooting Router

Once the waiting period is over, restore power by reconnecting the power cable, power up your router equipment once again, and wait for internet access to be re-established.

In case the PSN sign up still fails with the same error code, move down to the next potential fix below.

B. Resetting your router

If the simple router restart procedure didn’t work in your case, it’s likely that you’re dealing with a more serious network inconsistency that a simple temp data refresh won’t solve.

It’s possible that a network restriction you enforced from your router settings or a different setting in end up inhibiting the connection with the PSN. If you don’t remember exactly which settings, where changed that, might produce this error, the best course of action is to go for a router reset.

Important: Before you initiate this operation, keep in mind that this operation will essentially revert your router to the factory state. You will lose any forwarded ports, whitelisted items, blocked devices, and any other custom settings you previously established from your router settings.

If you’re determined to initiate this operation, look at the back of your router and locate the reset button. Most router manufacturers will build the Reset button inside to prevent accidental presses, so make sure you prepare with a sharp object like a small screwdriver, toothpick, or needle.

reset
The reset button for the router

Note: If you’re using PPPoE, keep in mind that this procedure will reset the currently saved ISP credentials. If this scenario is applicable, ensure that you have the login PPPoE credentials (issued by your ISP) at the ready).

Initiate the reset procedure by using a sharp object to press and hold on the reset button for about 10 seconds or until you see all the front LEDs on your router flashing synchronously.

After the operation is complete, re-establish internet access, return to your Playstation 4 console and see if the operation is now complete.

In case this problem is still not resolved, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 3: Power Cycling your PS4

If none of the potential fixes above have worked for you, it’s possible that you’re seeing the CE 33986 9 error code due to some type of firmware inconsistency brought about by a temporary file.

Several affected users that were previously dealing with the same issue have confirmed that the issue was resolved after they initiated a power-cycling procedure. This operation will ensure that your PlayStation 4 doesn’t carry any data in-between restarts by draining the power capacitors.

If you didn’t try this yet, follow the instructions below to initiate the power-cycling procedure on you PlayStation 4 console:

  1. Start by ensuring that your console is turned on and not in hibernation mode.
    Note: Preferably, you’ll need to close any applications before proceeding further to avoid any type of data corruption.
  2. Once your console is turned on but idle, press and hold the power button on your console. Press and hold it for about 10 seconds or until your console no longer shows signs of life.
    Power cycling Ps4
  3. Once your console is turned off, physically disconnect the power capable form the power outlet it’s currently connected to and wait for a full minute to ensure that the power capacitors are completely drained before proceeding to the next method.
  4. After you’ve ensured that the power capacitors are drained, boot up your console conventionally and wait for the next startup to complete.
  5. Once the next startup is complete, attempt the PSN sign up once again and see if the same error code is still occurring.

In case you still end up seeing the CE 33986 9 error code, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 4: Connect to the Internet via LAN cable (if applicable)

If you’re currently connected to a wireless network, you might be able to circumvent the CE-33986-9 error code entirely by making the switch to a wired connection.

This fix was confirmed to work by a lot of affected users that were previously encountering this problem while using a wireless headset – Apparently, with certain wireless headsets that are using a wireless dongle, you can expect a conflict with the Wi-Fi network unless you change the default channel from your router settings (Method 5).

But if you’re looking for a quick fix and you don’t mind using an ethernet cable to connect your PlayStation console to the internet, follow the instructions below to set up a wired network connection:

  1. First things first, ensure that you have a LAN cable long enough to make the connection between your router and your Playstation 4 console.
  2. Next, use the main dashboard of your console to swipe upwards, then scroll down through the options and access the Settings menu.
    Accessing the Settings menu on PS4
  3. Once you’re inside the Settings menu, access the Network tab and access Set Up Internet Connection.
  4. Next, connect the LAN cable to your console and your router, then make sure your console is not also connected to a wireless network.
  5. At the first Set Up Internet Connection screen chose Easy from the available options, then wait for the operation to complete.
    Connecting using Wired (Easy Way)
  6. Once the operation is successful, attempt to sign in with the PSN network once again and see if the CE-33986-9 error code is now resolved.

Method 5: Change the Wi-Fi channel from Router Settings (if applicable)

If you are encountering this issue only when you connect a wireless headset that’s using a dongle, it’s very likely that you’re dealing with a wireless channel conflict – Most likely, both your router and your wireless headset are attempting to use the same Wi-Fi Channel which ends up causing the CE-33986-9 error code.

If this scenario is applicable, you should be able to fix this problem by logging into your router settings and modifying the default used channel. Most likely, the setting is set to Auto, which ends up facilitating the conflict.

Follow the instructions below to change the Wi-Fi channel from your Router Settings in order to fix the CE-33986-9 error code:

Note: The steps below are just for orientation as your screens will be different depending on your router manufacturer. The steps below were performed on a TP-Link router.

  1. Jump on a PC that’s connected to the same network that’s giving you issues and open any browser.
  2. Next, inside the navigation bar of your router, type one of the following generic router addresses, press Enter, and see if you land inside the login screen of your router:
    192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1
    Accessing your router settings
  3. When you get to the login screen, insert the custom credentials if you previously established any. Else, use the generic ones – admin & 1234.
  4. Once you’re finally signed in into your router settings, access the Advance menu, then look for the Wireless menu.
  5. After you’re inside the Wireless menu, change the channel from Auto to Channel 1, since it’s not utilized by wireless headsets.
    Modifying the default wireless channel

    Note: If you have the option to adjust the channel range (with) switch it to 20Mz to ensure that there’s no channel overlapping whatsoever.

  6. Once the modifications have been made, hit Save to make the changes permanent, then reboot both your router and your console and see if the conflict stops occurring.

In case the same problem is still appearing, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 6: Switching to Google DNS

If none of the methods above have worked for you, you should also start to consider the possibility that you might be dealing with a DNS (Domain Name System) inconsistency.

Several affected users that were previously dealing with the same problem have confirmed that they manage to fix the issue by making the switch to the DNS range provided by Google.

If you think this scenario is applicable, follow the instructions below to swap up the default DNS range that was automatically assigned to you with the DNS provided by Google:

  1. From the main dashboard menu of your Ps4, access the Settings menu by navigating to the horizontal menu at the top.
  2. Once you’re finally inside the Settings menu, access the Network menu, then choose Set up Internet Connection and press X to reconfigure the Internet connection on your PS4.
    Accessing the ‘Set Up Internet Connection’ menu
  3. From the next menu, select Wireless or LAN, depending on the type of network that you’re currently using (Wireless or Ethernet).
    Going for a Custom Internet Connection on Ps4
  4. From the next menu, then set the IP Address to Automatically.
  5. Once you get to the DHCP Host Name menu, set the entry to Don Not Specify.
  6. Once you’re finally inside the DNS Settings menu, go ahead and set it to Manual, then change the Primary DNS to 8.8.8.8 and the Secondary DNS to 8.8.4.4.
    Google DNS settings in PS4 console
    Google DNS settings – PS4
  7. Once the DNS has been successfully changed, then restart your console and see if the problem is resolved once the next startup is complete.

In case you are still seeing the CE-33986-9 error code, move down to the next method below.

Method 7: Contacting your ISP

If none of the potential fixes above have worked for you, you should seriously start to consider that this problem can be actually caused by an ISP issue that is beyond your control.

According to some affected users, this problem can either occur due to a restrictive Level 3 note that’s making the connection unstable or due to a network-level restriction.

Either way, you should be able to resolve this problem by getting in contact with your ISP and asking for assistance. If you can, try to get in contact with a live agent rather than opening a ticket (if you don’t mind waiting for several days).

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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