Here we turn to another more complex PS4 error message – NW-31205-1. This is another error code which has multiple possible causes and solutions, but mostly relates to some kind of problem with a weak or unreliable connection or incorrectly configured settings on your home network.
The error message which appear is often “Network connection is unstable or too weak to reach the PSN server” or something similar.
When you get this error message, the first thing to do is either switch to a wired connection or move your router and PS4 closer together if you are on wireless. One of the key causes of this error is too weak a wifi signal, stopping the PS4 from connecting to the router. Manually changing your DNS servers is also a common fix to this problem.
Another thing to check is whether you can connect your PS4 to another WiFi network, such as a mobile hotspot or another wireless router. If you can, and other people can also connect to your router on other devices, then it is the network setup between your router and PS4 that needs fixing.
If you have this problem, then try hard resetting your PS4 and router, fully powering them off and unplugging them for 15-30 minutes before plugging them back in. This can sometimes reset all the network configurations and get your PS4 connected again.
If none of these initial steps work, then it is time to try some more in depth solutions, starting with DNS servers. Let’s look at these in turn below.
Solution #1 – Manually Configure DNS Servers For Your PS4
The first settings change to try to fix this error code NW-31205-1 is to manually set your PS4’s DNS servers instead of using your ISP ones that your console will automatically select. Most commonly, DNS Google servers can be used, though there are other free DNS servers as well.
The steps for manually configuring DNS servers on your PS4 are actually quite simple:
- Go to Settings….Network……Set Up Internet Connection
- Select Wifi or LAN depending on your connection. Plug into your router and use wired if the wifi doesn’t work.
- Choose 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 or you can also use these:
- Open DNS Servers: Primary 184.108.40.206 Secondary 220.127.116.11
- Cloudflare DNS Servers: Primary 18.104.22.168 Secondary 22.214.171.124
- See also our article on the Best DNS For Gaming.
This solutions works for a good number of people who get this error message, though not everyone. Let’s look at some other potential causes and solutions, starting with network congestion.
Solution #2 – Reduce Congestion On Your Home Network
Another not uncommon cause of this problem is trying to connect your PS4 on a home WiFi network that is too busy and congested. This can cause the signal to drop out or become weak as too many devices are competing for the same bandwidth, and the NW-31205-1 error can pop up.
One of the first things to do again here is get onto a wired connection if possible – see the section further below – but failing this, at least try to manage traffic on your home WiFi network. Firstly, try turning off any non essential devices that you don’t need right then, like phones, tablets, home systems etc.
This is especially important if you do not have huge amounts of bandwidth available on your internet package, but you have lots of devices trying to connect.
There is also an option on some routers called Quality of Service or QoS, which allows you to specify to the router which devices on the network should have their traffic dealt with first. By setting your PS4 to maximum priority on the home network, you can ensure the router deals with your traffic first, hopefully avoiding these disconnect issues.
Here are the steps to configure Quality of Service:
- Make a note of the IP and MAC address of your games console. They can easily be found in the Connection Status/Settings menus of your console.
- Login to the router using it’s IP address and password, IP commonly 192.168.0.1 (or .1.1)
- Go to Quality of Service or QoS settings, often under “Advanced” settings or similar.
- You should see a list of devices on the home network. You should be able to identify yours by the MAC and IP address you noted down earlier. Your device might need to be on for the router to recognise it.
- Set your games console to “Highest” or “Maximum” priority and make sure any non latency essential devices are set to a lower priority. Streaming devices should still be given a high priority if not quite as high as gaming devices.
- Apply or save settings and exit the router. You should now have Quality of Service enabled for your games console!
- See our article on Quality of Service for more on this.
- Unfortunately, QoS is not available on all routers.
Solution #3 – Use Port Forwarding On Your PS4
Another one of the officially mentioned causes of this problem is that your router may be blocking the specific ports that are required for the PS4 to properly connect to the internet and the Playstation Network. This may be because of high security settings or firewall software which is blocking the PS4 from getting online.
The simple way around this is to implement port forwarding on your PS4, which opens up all ports on your router and allows full, unblocked connectivity to the internet. There are three main ways of doing this – Manually setting a static IP, UPnP settings, and DMZ settings – see our article comparing the three in full detail.
However, for simple console gamers, the easiest way is probably to use DMZ – manually placing your PS4 in the DMZ section of your router automatically applies port forwarding and fully opens it up to the internet for best connectivity, removing all firewall filtering.
Here are the steps to use DMZ settings:
- Prep – Log into your router using it’s IP address (often 192.168.0.1 or 1.1 for last two) plus password found on the back or online. Find DMZ settings and check whether it asks for an IP address or MAC address to configure. MAC address is easier option. If it requires IP address then follow the steps in the video to set a static IP address.
- Find and note down your console’s IP and/or MAC address in the Connection Status/Settings menu depending on what the router needs entering. These settings are easy to find within the menus of all games consoles.
- If required make the current IP address fixed or static by reconfiguring your connection manually with the IP address as described in this video. We also have an article on how to do it here. If the router only requires a MAC address entering in DMZ then you don’t need to do this step.
- Log into your router using it’s IP address and password, found on the back or on Google. 192.168.0.1 or 1.1 is most common for the IP address. Type this into your browser’s address bar and enter the router password.
- Go to DMZ settings, usually under “Security” or “Advanced” or similar.
- Enter in your console’s static IP address you just configured if needed, or MAC address depending on what it asks for. If it asks for just the MAC address the whole process is easy; some routers ask for an IP address which requires we configure a static IP as detailed above.
- Save settings and exit router. You have now placed your console in the DMZ for fully open ports and Open NAT type.
- Do not worry about opening games consoles like the PS4 fully up to the internet; they can’t catch viruses like other devices can so it is safe to do.
However, it is true that some people prefer to do this the fully correct way of manually setting a static IP address. This is a more complex and long winded process but also more precise. For those that prefer to do this though, see our article on setting a static IP and port forwarding for a full step by step guide to the process.
For games consoles, we much prefer to use the simpler and quicker DMZ method, which does the same job of opening up all ports to your console. Despite some murmurings of it not being safe, using DMZ settings is in fact safe to use for games consoles, but is not so safe for PCs and other devices. See our article covering the issues of DMZ safety in more detail.
Other Solutions to The NW-31205-1 Error Code
If taking all these steps still doesn’t resolve this NW-31205-1 error code, then here are some other things you can try to restore your PS4’s internet connection:
- Hard resetting and unplugging all devices for 15 minutes is always worth trying as mentioned above.
- Make sure all wires on your router and PS4 are plugged in fully and properly.
- Try full factory resetting your router – there is usually a pin or button you can push in on the side or back of the router. It will restores the router back to “out the box” settings.
- Also try restoring default settings on your PS4 – you need to reboot it in Safe Mode and select option 4 to do this. See this video for a guide on how to do it. This doesn’t delete any data.
- Make sure you are connecting directly to your main router, without any secondary routers or switches in between which can cause IP conflicts and other issues.
- It might be a more general problem with your ISP – check with neighbors to see if they are connecting fine. Contact your ISP if there are more widespread problems.
- If neighbors are fine but everyone in your house is struggling on the wifi, even close to the router, then the router itself is probably faulty. Contact your ISP for repair or replacement.
- If the DMZ method of port forwarding didn’t work, you may need to try the more long winded form of setting a static IP manually on your PS4. See our article covering these steps.
- If you still can’t get online even after trying these options as well, leave a comment below and we’ll try to look into it further.
More General Solution – Use Wired Connections Instead of Wireless
Several of the more common causes of this NW-31205-1 error code simply boil down to the fact that WiFi is an unreliable way of connecting games consoles, and can cause the connection to randomly drop out and cause errors. The signal gets weaker the further it has to travel, passing through walls, floors etc.
Similarly, WiFi networks are prone to congestion when a lot of people are using them at the same time. Using Quality of Service settings as we mentioned above can help with traffic management, but more generally it is simply better to be on a wired connection for games consoles if at all possible.
Wired connections are always more solid and reliable than wireless for online gaming, delivering an unobstructed connection that doesn’t weaken or drop out. Ethernet connections are also not prone to the same problems of congestion that WiFi is.
Each ethernet connection offers a dedicated, uncluttered communication channel to the router, so there is none of this hassle of congestion and lagging on busy networks. See our article on why wired is better than wireless for more on the technical details of this.
Of course some people realize this and would prefer to use wired, but are only on wireless because they are too far away from the router to run a cable directly, and don’t want to be messing around with any DIY, drilling holes in walls and ceilings and running long cables all through the house.
This is where a powerline adapter comes in as an excellent home networking solution, which can allow you to bypass wifi and get onto a wired connection even when you are several rooms or floors away from the router.
Powerline adapter kits consist of a pair of wall plugs, one of which is plugged in and connected to your router, the other of which is plugged in and connected to your PS4. The two adapters then communicate through the copper electrical wiring of the house to deliver a wired internet connection to any room you like in the home. They basically turn your wall socket into an internet connection.
They are a good alternative to having to use WiFi a long way from the router, and can greatly reduce the nuisance of all these PS4 connection error messages that are so much more common with WiFi. They can get you on a wired connection, with all the benefits it brings, and are simple plug and play devices with no complex setup. See the video just below for a demonstration of how they work.
See our powerline adapters page for links to some of the different TP Link models.