Constant unplayable connection

@TootsBoots has the DNS solution solved your connection issue?

@DaOne82 it did yesterday, and it worked well. But today it is back to disconnecting again. I really don’t know what to do anymore.

Try the other ones… It may be also from your ISP as well…

On which world are you playing and from what country/region? Playing on a World that is on the other side of the world during rush hours might give some issues.

I’m from EU but the planet is on US server. Not sure if it could be that bad as I haven’t had this issue before. And I experience it on several other planets. It is strange that it’s only been happening for the last two weeks.
We have checked everything suggested and anything else we can possibly think of. But it is still happening.

OK so this is more intended as encouragement/entertainment than advice, as it turns out that what happened to me this one time was I happened to be in such a location that I ran into trouble with a specific server that wasn’t configured correctly inside of amazon.

Things were a bit busier at that time so with some dev input I just kept on troubleshooting, heh. It turns out it really was just me having connection problems, but it wasn’t my problem (or theirs), of course.

I just linked into the post where Blake identified the issue but that’s a thread full of deeper and deeper troubleshooting while I had odd partial connection issues for a couple of days and everything worked fine for everybody else.

Two weeks is a while, though. Sorry to hear it.

I very much doubt this has anything to do with DNS. DNS has no effect on your ping times or latency (except when contacting a new server for the first time), and would not explain why you get “Unplayable Connection” and an increased ping value while walking around on a single planet, which I frequently do.

Slow or faulty DNS might explain an inability to open portals, which is what the linked thread is talking about, since planets are (as I understand it) separate servers. But once you are connected to a server (planet), DNS has nothing to do with the performance of the ongoing connection.

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I too have been suffering from this a lot recently, playing on Ceph Merika.

Someone did mention not to use a wireless connection to the router. I managed to connect my router to my pc with a cable. And so far so good, not had the problem for most of the day. I’m just hoping it will be the same when I next log on.

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I often have unplayable connections but I also have 5 meg DSL lol so pretty sure it’s me!

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Very much this.

I normally run on my VPN’s special DNS for the most part, but when I start up Boundless I switch to Cloudflare’s DNS (I’m not 'kin touching Google with a barge pole) and it’s perfectly fine now.

Oh … and my advise for changing the DNS on your router is … do it. HOWEVER … make sure it’s the most private DNS that you can have. Then whenever you need to change it on your device (let’s say it won’t connect to your bank on the one time a week/month you go there), you can choose to quickly change the DNS. Otherwise, keep it private at the router. :slight_smile:

Also, if you’re on Windows, too I have the absolute best tool for ya’.

DNS Jumper

I’m still using an old version, I think, and it just … works.

Also it makes it easy to clear your DNS cache, too. That’s the part of your PC that stores the routes to where you’re trying to get to. Sometimes this is needed if those routes are the issue.

Seriously, though, changing DNS is so much easier with this.

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I was fine till yesterday.

Today I get unplayable a lot. And even when i get a couple of minutes without that, there are frequent spikes to 300-400 from my normal below hundred.

I’m going to be on in a while, I’m UK based, and I’ll let you know how I get on with the above setup.

I’m on a (reliable) 80Mb (50-60 real numbers) down, 20 up, connection that mostly stays there or thereabouts.

I’ll try to do some ping tests, too. If anyone has any favoured servers … or if there’s an IP of Boundless that I can ping, I’ll do that 5-10 times and provide averages.

EDIT - This was originally posted 3 hours ago … I am now currently on (w/ Cloudflare) at ~13:40 UK time … and zero issues so far.

If Boundless use AWS for their services, then I would imagine that any Amazon provided DNS might be ideal for playing.

EDIT 2 - I’ve been bouncing around a ton of US planets (mainly trior) with zero issues thus far, will try some aus later.

EDIT 3 - OK, so I couldn’t totem a portal location to Tenstacia … but managed to make one to Uhanan … (exos) … maybe that’s related? Because it’s not resistance related … :thinking: … Maybe I’d run out of places? I did clear them before getting it to work on Uhanan.


How do you do a ping test?

Since I connected my router with a cable it seem to work fine. I have noticed the game glitch a few times or run slow, although it didn’t show that little notification.

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Ah, yeah, the cable will be your saving grace, here. That will have resolved your issues, I believe. Plus, since you’re good, I’d say this looks like a closer for @majorvex, wouldn’t you, @TootsBoots?

What Is Ping?

A ping test measures the time it takes to send and receive the same packet of data to an IP address. So if you were on your Windows PC now and wanted to send a ‘ping’ to (which is cloudflare) you would open up CMD (‘Command’ line) or PowerShell, and type:


That would then provide something that looks like this:

Pinging with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from bytes=32 time=5ms TTL=57
Reply from bytes=32 time=5ms TTL=57
Reply from bytes=32 time=5ms TTL=57
Reply from bytes=32 time=5ms TTL=57

Ping statistics for
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 5ms, Maximum = 5ms, Average = 5ms

This shows that it took, on average, 5ms for the packet of data to go to and come back again.

Why Does This Matter?

So … if that were more like 20ms (or 30/40/50ms!) imagine how that might affect how a game which relies on much larger amounts of data going to and from a server getting to the server and back again for your travels in-game.

What you’ve seen is the immediate benefit and difference that using a cable to your router (or switch) will have to that ‘ping’ since it has a much faster route from your PC to the router … then to any server that it has to reach. :slight_smile:

... more

Wireless can still be good, but any number of things can interfere with that, and mean that it takes longer for your data (or that from the server) to get to where it needs to go. Not all cable connections are super fast, but they’re mostly much more resilient to other factors messing with the journey from you to the server. So you might actually end up with a faster ‘ping time’ and a lower overall speed, but that’s somewhat abnormal.

Why Different DNS Servers?

All of this doesn’t mean that there can’t still be problems that cause the same issue, and that’s why you had folks talking about DNS servers here.

That’s because when you (or a game, or internet connected service) wants to connect to their systems, they will not use an IP, they’ll use an address.

They do this because they may need to change the IP address that a service is on (for many reasons, but let’s say they switch from Amazon to Microsoft) but they can keep the domains that the IP addresses are associated with. This allows them to potentially (for example) improve the service that an online game provides without forcing an update to the users.

Example - This Forum

Using your browser as the easiest example, if you want to come to this forum, you open your browser, type in and bosh, here you be.

In the background browser is asking what IP address is on, finding that IP address, then retrieving the data from that IP address and displaying it on the screen. If it doesn’t already know that, then it has to ask the DNS Server where it is, introducing the extra step.

The faster the DNS, the faster the ping.

Think of it like a phonebook and directory services for the internet.


You can think of the DNS server as a phone directory, of sorts. You want to speak to the people that run the community garden that you visit, but you don’t know their phone number. So instead of calling “Play Boundless Fora and Fauna” because that can’t be done, you look in the phone book for “Play Boundless Fora and Fauna”, get their number, and voila, you can call them.

So, let’s play the game without a DNS server. Let’s be our own DNS server. Do this:

  1. Ping
  2. You will get an IP address (I got, but it won’t give you further replies.
  3. Take that IP address and put it into the address bar of this browser.
  4. Hit go.


Why Did Someone Say “Clear the Cache”?

So, imagine how fast all this needs to happen in order for your experiences to not feel onerous? It needs to be fast. So you need to have your own phone book, AND access to directory services, because your phone book might be out of date.

This means that sometimes if you’re having issues, clearing your cache, is like getting an up to date phone book.

So if you clear your cache, then your computer will not have in the phone book, and you will have to ask directory services for the number. Once you have that, boom, it’s in your new phone book.


Your operating system (and some programs) keeps a local store of what all of the requests that you’ve made, and their corresponding IP addresses. This is the first port of call for any request to an online service that isn’t asked for specifically by IP.

This is built, over time, as you’ve seen above. However, over time, some hosts move to different IPs, or use a variety of IPs to provide services.

Meaning that the next time you request it asks the DNS Server what the IP address is, which sends that back to the browser, which then gets these pages!

This process is also done by the DNS server to a more complicated degree.


I would hope so, thanks for all the great help :+1:

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Take whatever you read in this thread (including my own comments) with a large pinch of salt. It’s about 85% accurate information, 15% guesswork and “cargo-cult network engineering”.

The idea that DNS is the cause of “Unplayable Connection” messages is, to use the diplomatic term, somewhat questionable. DNS affects the time to resolve a name into an IP address; it has absolutely nothing to do with the ongoing latency once your computer has an active connection to the server. The claims that changing DNS has “fixed the issue” for some people seem to be contradicted by subsequent statements that the issue reappeared shortly afterwards, meaning that it was not actually fixed at all.

If changing DNS servers or clearing caches has ever seemed to help, this is most likely coincidental: for example, a situation where one particular Boundless server is having performance problems might appear to be resolved when a subsequent DNS query takes you to a different (randomly-selected) server — but this is not a problem with DNS, it’s a problem with the Boundless server itself. There is no guarantee you won’t get the problematic server again some time later.

Using a fast/alternative DNS is still a decent idea in general (I use CloudFlare), since it may improve browsing speed (when your browser is making a large number of DNS lookups to lots of different sites at once). Depending on the policies of your ISP and the particular alternative DNS you choose, it may also improve privacy, and avoid certain forms of ISP-implemented censorship. But don’t expect it to improve ping times, because these only measure the time to send and receive a packet to the server’s IP address — the DNS resolution happens once, before the first “ping” packet is even sent.


Yeah I usually just quiet out after someone completely mis-reads something I post lol. If you can stay connected at all, DNS isn’t the problem. I linked to a thread with nothing about DNS in it except (as usual) someone suggesting I check my DNS, and was basically told “IT’S NOT DNS JEEEEZ…” :rofl:

There are several tools available to isolate an issue and troubleshoot it further. Usually if these issues are not transient, they’re local. It’s odd, but it happens, that you are able to nail it down to something specific out in “the cloud”, as I linked above. If you can directly ping the world server with a 35ms ping time then boundless reporting 350 - 400 ms is an indication that the problem is somewhere besides your connection to the server.

The thing is that boundless’ “unplayable connection” rarely has anything to do with the actual ping time shown in game. There actually is some dev info posted here for those who don’t understand how that works but it’s an “effective round trip” time that also includes packet handling and some processing.

Wraithling is right, if you can ping it by it’s DNS name, then DNS is not the problem.

The typical solution when it’s an individual problem seems to be focused around junk on the pc or bad connection at the house (or wherever). It’s like “road plots” it seems like the verbiage chosen for the warning - “Unplayable Connection” - is misdirecting for a lay person.

People get so mad though.

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I’m not disagreeing with what has been said but I know from experience that when I did change my DNS it solved my issue completely… Just saying but of course there can be a wack load of other issues leading to the bad connection as well. I just mentioned my solution because it worked for me :slightly_smiling_face:

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It’s worth checking out because it’s easy to adjust and if your ISP has you pointed at a crappy DNS server it can solve some problems. Amazon moves stuff around internally and things … change … on the internet so it IS important to have a good DNS server that’s updating constantly and etcetera.

Also unless you’ve manually fixed your DNS on something that’s failing, not updating, whatever, most DNS specific issues are going to disappear within 24 to 48 hours anyways. The same with a lot of transient routing issues that aren’t technically DNS related.

So DNS is typically either an immediate answer, or not really relevant, from what I’ve seen. When you’re staying connected but having other problems there are more tools available, also in game, to nail it down.

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