The PS4 NW-31189-2 error message appears from time to time, stopping gamers connecting to the internet or the Playstation Network. It appeared particularly common in early 2016, hampering PS4 gamers in Romania especially.
If you get this error message, there are a couple of very quick things you can try, like quick resetting your router and PS4. You can also try power cycling them, which means fully unplugging them for 5-10 minutes and powering them back on, router first and then the PS4. Failing that, changing your DNS servers to Google DNS (18.104.22.168; 22.214.171.124) is the most common solution to this error.
The fact that this error appears to affect PS4 users in a specific region, perhaps indicates it is more of a problem with external internet servers in that area than anything internal, which is why the DNS solution appears to work most often.
Let’s look at this main solution first, before moving onto other peripheral solutions which may occasionally fix this error.
Solution #1 – Manually Change the DNS Servers on Your PS4
By far the most effective solution for this NW-31189-2 error code is to change your DNS servers on your PS4 to Google DNS or another provider. It may be that the default DNS servers your PS4 would normally use from your ISP are not working for some reason, and preventing you from connecting to the Playstation Network.
Manually changing them to something else appears to get around this problem most of the time for PS4 users who get this error. Here are the general steps to do it:
- Go to Settings….Network……Set Up Internet Connection
- Select Wi-Fi or LAN depending on your connection. Plug into your router and use wired if the wifi doesn’t work.
- Select Custom setup
- Run through all the settings as they are, without changing them, until you get to DNS Settings
- For DNS Settings, switch to Manual
- Input these Google DNS servers: Primary: 126.96.36.199 Secondary: 188.8.131.52
- You can also use other free DNS servers; here are two common pairs:
- Cloudflare DNS – Primary 184.108.40.206 Secondary 220.127.116.11
- Open DNS – Primary 18.104.22.168 Secondary 22.214.171.124
- If one pair don’t work, try another pair. See our article on the best DNS for gaming for more information.
- See just below for a video demo of how to do this.
See here for a video showing you how to change your DNS servers at the router level instead of the console. This will apply these settings not just to your PS4 but to every device which connects to that router.
With this error code, be sure to test out another pair of DNS servers if one custom pair doesn’t work. It may be that one specific set of DNS servers does the trick, whilst others fail.
Solution #2 – Playstation Network Account Settings Change
This DNS solution appears to work in the majority of cases in solving this error, especially when it appears to be location specific, restricted to a certain country.
However, if this method doesn’t work, and power cycling your PS4 and router also doesn’t get you back online, then making a quick settings change has also worked for some users in getting rid of this error message NW-31189-2.
You basically need to log into your PSN account and either change your password or simply move through the settings and exit. Here are the steps:
- Go to Profile……Privacy Settings on your PS4.
- Enter your PSN profile email/password if asked to do so to access the Privacy Settings.
- Either change your PSN account password, or else just move through the menus and exit the privacy settings without changing your password
- For some users, this has also got them back online if they had this error code. It is not clear why this works but it sometimes does.
Other Solutions For Error Code NW-31189-2
If neither of these two solutions worked, then there are not many options left to solve this error. It may simply be a PSN outage that you can’t do much about from your end, and you need to wait to be fixed. You can check the current status of PSN here to make sure it is not offline.
Otherwise, there are some other things you can try on your home network which may help restore a connection to PSN servers. Be aware though that this error code appears to relate more to external servers errors rather than home network issues; nevertheless it does no harm to try out the following options to see if they work in very occasional cases.
1. MTU Settings – Manually changing your MTU settings on your PS4 to either 1473 or 1475, or playing around with other values, has sometimes allowed PS4 users to get around PSN outages and log into their account even when others couldn’t.
You simply configure your PS4’s internet connection as per the DNS solution above, but switch to Manual for MTU settings as well and enter your own number. See the first solution of this article for a full run down of how to do it. See also our article on the Best MTU for Gaming for more details.
2. Switch Wi-Fi Access Points – Another option to try if your PS4 is on Wi-Fi is to simply connect to another wireless router or access point, such as a friend’s router or a Wi-Fi hotspot, and then connect back to your original Wi-Fi router. Sometimes this refreshes network settings and allows you to get online again.
3. Use a Wired Connection Instead – A longer term solution to many of these PS4 error codes is to get off Wi-Fi altogether and use a wired LAN connection instead, since they are more solid an reliable than wireless networks.
See our article on the numerous benefits wired connections have over Wi-Fi for gamers. If you are too far from the router to run a long cable directly, then consider using a powerline adapter as a next best solution which uses existing electrical circuitry to bypass Wi-Fi and deliver a wired connection at distance from the router.
4. Update/Restore Settings/Rebuild Database on PS4 – Resetting your PS4 to Default Settings in Safe Mode can sometimes flush out any faulty network settings that are preventing you getting online. You need to go into Safe Mode as per this video, and firstly check there no System Software Updates (Option 3) that need installing.
You can then try Option 4 – Restore Default Settings – to see if it gets you back online. If you have no luck with this, you can also try Option 5 – Rebuild Database. This fixes any corrupt files which may be causing connection errors, but may take up to an hour.
5. Set a Static IP – Manually configuring your PS4 with a static IP address can also resolve connection issues if your connection tests seem to be failing at the first step – can’t even find an IP address. This may mean there is an IP conflict on your home network, where your PS4 is trying to use an address already in use by something else.
To get around this, you can quickly manually set your own IP address as per Solution #3 of this article. See also our article on setting a static IP the more long winded but technically correct way. This can sometimes resolve connection issues on your home network.
6. Use DMZ Settings – Another option is to place your PS4 in the DMZ section of your router, which basically fully opens it up to the internet for the best connection possible, removing all firewall filtering. This can help if your router or ISP have particularly strict security and firewall settings which may be preventing your PS4 from properly connecting to PSN or other gamers.
See our article on DMZ Settings for a step by step run down of how to do this. It is basically a shortcut way of port forwarding, which is designed to give your PS4 the best connection possible to the wider internet. May work in occasional cases of this error code.
This error code is less well covered online than other error codes, so this guide is still a work in progress. Please let us know in the comments which solution worked for you in sorting this error out, and also if none of the solutions worked. We will update the post as we get more information.