PS4 gamers sometimes get the annoying error message that the console cannot connect to the internet, along with the error code NW-31294-9. They either can’t get online at all or have usually been waiting a long time to connect to a lobby or service, only for this error message to pop up.
This error message usually means that the wireless connection has timed out because the connection is weak or unstable. Put simply, your PS4 can’t get a reliable or consistent Wi-Fi signal from your router so the connection has dropped out.
The most common way to solve the NW-31294-9 error code is to either improve the wireless connection by resetting your devices, or moving closer to the router, or switching to a wired ethernet connection instead. If this doesn’t work, try entering Safe Mode and running a System Software Update for the PS4 (Option 4).
Playstation’s own page on this error code is surprisingly short and shallow on real options to actually sort this error out more permanently. Let’s gather together all the different ways we can properly fix this problem and get a better connection for your PS4 online.
Quick Tips For Solving This Error Message
Here are some of the more quickfire things you can try to see if you can either restore your wifi connection or get a better signal so this error message doesn’t pop up.
- Do a connection test to make sure your PS4 can connect to the internet. Go to Settings….Network….Test Internet Connection to see if you can get a signal.
- Try quick resetting your router and PS4
- Try hard resetting your router and PS4, powering them off and fully unplugging for 5 minutes before plugging them back in.
- Try moving the router and console closer together.
- Try connecting to another wireless network if available.
- Check with others in your home, can they also connect? This can isolate whether the weak Wi-Fi is a problem more specific to just your PS4, or a more general problem with the network and router in your home.
- Check with your ISP to see if they are having problems with the internet in your area.
- Preferably, it is best not to be on wifi at all for online gaming. Wired connections are much better. See the section further below for more on this.
Make Sure Your PS4 is Fully Updated
One of the first things to check on your console if you get this error is that the system software is fully up to date. Sometimes the PS4 doesn’t actually tell you there is an update available, so you carry on using it, not realizing there is a more up to date system patch available that still needs installing.
You can do this by going to Settings….System Software Update on your PS4. However, it is generally considered better to do system updates in Safe Mode. Here are the steps to do this:
- Power your console off then power it back on in Safe Mode. To do this, press and hold the power button on the PS4 for 7 seconds. It will then boot in Safe Mode.
- Once in Safe Mode, choose the Update System Software option and click Update via Internet. If the wifi still doesn’t work then connect direct to your router with ethernet.
- A system update should download. Once complete, reboot in normal mode.
- This update fixes the problem for a lot of users. If it doesn’t then there are other things you can try, which we will go into more detail about below.
Move Onto a Wired Connection If Possible
One of the first things to do with games consoles in general to give them the best possible connection online is to use wired ethernet instead of Wi-Fi, since wired connections always give a more solid and consistent connection than Wi-Fi. See our article explaining this in full detail.
Having a wired connection is really essential for anyone looking to game online, stream videos or download large amounts of data. Wired connections provide the most bandwidth and the lowest ping or latency, compared to Wi-Fi which can be temperamental and unreliable and drop out at regular intervals, leading to error codes like this.
However, if you are only using Wi-Fi in the first place because you are too far from the router to run an ethernet cable directly, then a powerline adapter is an excellent next best solution which allows you to get on a wired connection without having to run long cables through the house.
Powerline adapters consist of a pair of adapter plugs, one of which is plugged and and connected to your router, the other of which is plugged in and connected to your device. The two adapters then communicate through the electrical wiring to deliver a strong, wired internet connection to your PS4, bypassing the need for using Wi-Fi.
If the wiring in your house is in good enough condition, they are great solution allowing you to have a wired connection to your router without any need for DIY, complex setup, long cables, or using unreliable Wi-Fi. They are an ideal gaming solution if you are currently on Wi-Fi and a long way from the router.
Use Quality Of Service To Manage Traffic On Your Home Network
Another potential cause of this error is simply that the Wi-Fi network in your home is too busy and congested to properly manage all the traffic, so the weak keeps dropping out as too much combined bandwidth is being used by all the people in the house.
There is a way around this sometimes, which is to implement Quality of Service or QoS on your router to manage traffic. This tells your router to process gaming traffic first, so your console get it’s data dealt with first, hopefully reducing lag when others are also using the internet.
Here are the general steps for configuring Quality of Service settings:
- 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 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.1.254)
- 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!
- Unfortunately, QoS is not available on all routers.
Other Options to Solve This Error Message
Here are some additional options to try if eveything above is either not possible or hasn’t worked. These options are less likely to work, but may help you out in some limited cases if nothing else solves the error code, or are last resort options.
- Some users have solved this problem by connecting another third party router to their main ISP supplied router, and then connecting their PS4 to this new wifi network, not the one from their main router. May be worth a try if you have a spare router lying around.
- Use DMZ settings to get the most open connection to the internet possible. See our article on DMZ for more on this. Here are the very quick steps:
- Get the MAC address of your PS4 (Connection Settings/Status).
- Log into your router by typing it’s IP address in any browser (often 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1) and the password.
- Find DMZ Settings under Security or Advanced or similar.
- Enter or select your PS4’s MAC address and to place it in the DMZ.
- Save settings and close.
- Let the PS4 rebuild the database. Available under Initialization options; a kind of weak reformat that doesn’t take as long as a full reformat. See the Safe Mode video embedded above.
- Hard full reformat your PS4 back to factory settings (obviously a last ditch option if nothing else works). Again this is done in Safe Mode as instructed in the video above.
- Send your wireless router in for repair or replacement if the Wi-Fi signal is weak for everyone in the home.
- Send your PS4 in for repair or replacement.