Forza Horizon 4

Forza Horizon 4: How to Fix the Server Connection Error on PC?

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It isn’t very often that the gaming world comes to a standstill like this. Just look at the state of things right now: so many expected titles, very few confirmed ones. Sure, we know Far Cry 6 is due sooner than later, but we know too little about it since there’s no trailer yet. We know that Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is out soon, but it is little more than a remaster of some old (but gold) games.

Where are the huge AAA franchises, the Rockstar Games, Bethesda Studios, and Bioware, announcements when you need them? Even last year, in spite of the emergent ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, saw several high-profile AAA titles released throughout the year. Why then is 2021 looking so dry? Well, until something changes, the solution to your woes might be great, older games like Forza Horizon 4.

Sure, older games obviously lack the newest features. You can’t experience Forza Horizon 4 in raytracing at the moment. And their content might no longer seem new. That’s where our example, Forza Horizon 4, proves you wrong. It may have launched in 2018, but this online racing masterpiece is far from losing its steam. Oh, and speaking of which: the game just launched on the Steam Marketplace last week, to better engage a greater audience of PC gamers. And that means you, for some reason, don’t have Game Pass (despite it being a phenomenal service), you can finally try it out.

However, the Steam version of Forza Horizon 4 isn’t 100% the same as the Microsoft Store version. The game comes with several significant issues that need individual addressing. For instance, there have been reports of game crashes, which we’ve troubleshot here. Now, it seems another error, owing to the game’s online-only requirement, has sprung up.

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Players report experiencing Forza Horizon 4 server connection errors when playing the game

The main downside of every online-requiring game, whether it’s Fortnite, Apex Legends or The Division, is obvious. If there is even the slightest disturbance in connection, due to a network issue or a game bug, your game becomes unplayable. With no local coop options or custom offline races available, the issue is understandably severe.

Players claim that the issue can pop up at any given time, such as when logging into their account on startup. It can even happen, more frustratingly, in the middle of a race. The game flashes the notification that there is no active server connection, and kicks you back to the title screen. Then, players must wait till the connection is reestablished before they can get back into the open-world again.

The issue is highly persistent, meaning a simple restart won’t help much. It may also be somewhat random, especially if the Forza servers experience some kind of fluctuation. In that case, your game could stay offline for hours at a time, or until they resolve the issues. The good news, though? The developer, Playground Games, is usually quick to resolve such errors, and may even issue a patch or update in the coming weeks for this. Until then, we can help you get your ride back on track with this easy-to-follow guide!

1) Restart your PC, then launch the game again

The PC you play on, despite its powerful hardware and advanced power, is still a computer. Like all computers, the primary functioning revolves around numerous processes working in tandem. When one process starts up abnormally or gets its data corrupted, any associated processes also face the same risk. This can lead to a buildup of bugs, leading to a systemic error. This state is no laughing matter, as it can cripple game performance and introduce weak server connection stability.

The solution? Just restart your PC. This is because it will kill off all active processes, then make them launch properly. It can also free up faulty data sets in your RAM, making the next boot cleaner. Once you do this, try launching your game again.

2) Restart your router, and configure advanced network settings

The Forza Horizon 4 server issue can also arise from a network failure on your end. In this case, try restarting your router by powering it off for 30 seconds, then back on. This helps to clear up any traffic bottlenecks and strengthen your connection to the Forza servers. If you play wireless connection, we strongly recommend switching to a wired Ethernet setup. This will make your server connection more stable, and reduce latency and packet loss during competitive play.

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You can also maximize your network’s efficiency by optimizing advanced settings on your router. To do this, contact your internet service provider (ISP) for login credentials for the router’s portal. Once you’re logged in, look for the QoS and NAT type settings. By enabling the former, you can prioritize your gaming bandwidth over less immediate connections. And by changing the NAT type from Strict to Moderate, you ensure a stronger connection without compromising security much.

3) Run Forza Horizon 4 with Administrator Access

While Windows Defender, the built-in PC anti-malware program, does a pretty good job, sometimes it can take things too far. The biggest example of this is when it confuses an innocuous game process with malware. What does it do? Blocks off online connectivity to the ‘suspicious’ process without even telling you. Basically, it can straight up blacklist the components needed to prevent a Forza Horizon 4 server connection error.

To whitelist these processes if you suspect this to be the case, just right-click on the desktop icon. From here, select ‘Run As Admin’ and let the program launch. This will allow your PC to unblock online server connections for your game.

4) Update your game drivers

Like the people inside racecars, drivers become essential to running your game smoothly. While these software updates primarily focus on optimizing the GPU for smoother gameplay, they can also constitute bug fixes and the like. Some can quash errors, improve performance and prevent crashes. It pays to regularly check for new driver updates.

For Nvidia drivers, check the GeForce Experience app. AMD users can click here.

In case these fixes don’t work, you may need to reinstall your game. The large game download may seem like a pain, but it will resolve any internal broken/missing file issues. If it still doesn’t work, contact the Forza Horizon 4 customer support.

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