xLAN

What is xLAN?

xLAN is a tunneling program for Xbox System Link. Much like XBC and XLink Kai, xLAN allows players to tunnel Xbox system link traffic over the Internet. Read on for information on how to use xLAN as well as troubleshooting steps.

Is xLAN a replacement to XLink Kai?

Not quite. While xLAN and XLink Kai do have similar basic functionality, they have different uses and are for different people. xLAN only supports the original Xbox (and, to a lesser extent, the Xbox 360). XLink Kai supports the original Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, Playstation 3, GameCube, and PlayStation Portable.

Why use xLAN instead of other alternatives?

xLAN was designed with the future in mind. Since it doesn’t require a connection to a master server in order to function, xLAN can never be “shut down” or “hacked” as was the case with XBC. The only dependency it has is the connection to the Channel List server. This Channel List is a great feature that allows players to join each other’s lobbies by selecting from a list (or connecting via channel name), but is not required as players will always have the option to connect to each other via direct IP.

Furthermore, there is no chance that some xLAN system failure will cause interruptions in-game. Once players are in a lobby, they are connected to each other directly and not through any master server. Any problems encountered in-game can safely be blamed on the network instead of some remotely hosted infrastructure (no more “Detached from engine” or “Orbital sync lost” errors as seen when using XLink Kai).

Getting Started

This part of the documentation is to give information on how to set up xLAN. Setting up xLAN should be fairly simple. The hardware required is fairly inexpensive, and it’s likely that you may already have the hardware.

Download latest xLAN version

Console requirements

While XLAN may work with Xbox 360 and even Xbox One via backwards compatibility, it was designed and tested with the original Xbox in mind. Microsoft introduced a ping limit of 30ms to the Xbox 360, so results may vary from game-to-game on systems other than the original Xbox.

System requirements

  • OS: Windows 7 or newer (Mac/Linux not yet supported)

Older Windows OS versions (such as Windows XP) may work, but they are unsupported and you may experience issues. 

Additional Software Requirement: WinPcap

Download WinPcap
The WinPcap software is required in order for your PC to send and receive packets to your Xbox, and it must be running before xLAN is started. xLAN will give an error message upon starting up if WinPcap is not detected to be running. If default installation options are used, this is set-and-forget (the WinPcap service will always be running).

Network Setup

The network setup for xLAN is the same concept as XBC or XLink Kai: connect your Xbox to the same router as your PC. For best performance, both your PC and Xbox should be connected to the network via cable (wifi not recommended). For best results, connect both your PC and your Xbox to an unmanaged network switch, and connect that to your router.

You will also need to forward port 5000 to your PC. See http://www.portforward.com/ for instructions (search for your router’s specific instructions)

Setting a Nickname

The first time you launch xLAN, you will be prompted to specify your nickname. Your nickname will be used to identify you in a channel.

You can change your nickname by click the Edit Menu > Set Nickname…

Joining a Channel: The Channel List

Step 1: Open the Edit menu and select Channel List

Step 2: Double-click the channel you wish to join

Step 3: You should now be in the channel. You can now see your local Xbox’s physical address (MAC address) in the Local Xboxes panel, and the host’s information (including your ping to the channel) in the Remote Clients panel.

On your Xbox, you should now see the host’s lobby in the System Link Games menu.

To disconnect from a channel, simply click the Stop button.

Joining a Channel: Entering the Channel Name Manually

Step 1: Simply enter the channel name, preceded by #, into the text field and click the Connect button. The # prefix is required so that the program knows you are entering a channel name instead of a direct IP address.

Step 2: You should now be in the channel. You can now see your local Xbox’s physical address (MAC address) in the Local Xboxes panel, and the host’s information (including your ping to the channel) in the Remote Clients panel.

On your Xbox, you should now see the host’s lobby in the System Link Games menu.

To disconnect from a channel, simply click the Stop button.

Joining a Channel: Join via Direct IP

Step 1: The channel host will need to provide you with their public IP address. Channel hosts can find their public IP in the bottom right corner of the xLAN window, or by visiting this page: http://halo1hub.com/xbawks

Once you know the host’s public IP address, simply enter it into the text field and click the Connect button

Step 2: You should now be in the channel. You can now see your local Xbox’s physical address (MAC address) in the Local Xboxes panel, and the host’s information (including your ping to the channel) in the Remote Clients panel.

On your Xbox, you should now see the host’s lobby in the System Link Games menu.

To disconnect from a channel, simply click the Stop button.

Hosting a Channel

NOTE: Setting a channel name is optional, and requires a connection to the master server. Specifying a channel name and broadcasting to the master server is the most user-friendly way to host a channel, but in the event the master server is no longer available, but you can also just provide your public IP to other players. You can find your public IP in the bottom right corner of the xLAN window, or by visiting this page: http://halo1hub.com/xbawks

To set a channel name, simply click the Edit menu > Settings… and enter a name into the Channel name field. You can also optionally specify a maximum ping limit, hide your channel from the list, and enable the ping balancing feature.

Do not modify the Master Server settings (including the ports) unless you know what you are doing.

When you are finished, click the Save button

Your channel is now up and other players should be able to join via channel name or direct IP. Other clients can be seen in the Remote Clients panel on the right, and your local Xbox can be seen in the Local Xboxes panel. If you don’t see your Xbox in the Local Xboxes panel, navigate in-game to the System Link Games screen.

To stop hosting the channel, simply click the Stop button