I didn't get my validation email!

Generally, validation emails arrive fairly quickly. But on occasion they are blocked, delayed, or flagged as spam.

If a quick check of your spam folder turns up nothing then you can try resending the validation email via your account page. Note, however, that you must wait at least one hour after your account was created before you are given the option to resend your validation email.

If you are still unable to get the validation email you can be validated manually after we confirm you are a real person. There are several ways to contact a PXO Admin and have your account validated. Please see the FAQ answer below for contact information.

Back to Top

I don't see the PXO lobby!

If you are sent to the games screen instead of the PXO lobby you'll need to make sure that PXO is enabled in the options. From the main menu click on Options, click the Multi tab, and toggle the PXO option on. This setting is stored in your pilot file so if you switch it off to play a LAN or Direct TCP/IP game then you could just use separate pilots, one to use with PXO and the other for non-PXO games which has the option turned off.

If you are sent to a single player briefing or receive a warning about restarting the campaign, you will need to make sure to switch to multiplayer mode. When you start the game be sure to click the Multi button to switch to multiplayer mode before selecting your pilot.

Back to Top

Why is my game/server not visible to others?

The most common reasons that servers are not visible are:

  • Blocked by OS firewall
  • Port forwarding not set up on router
  • Network is behind carrier-grade NAT (CGNAT)

The Windows firewall should prompt you to allow access when you first launch your game. If it no longer does this then verify in the firewall settings that the game is allowed and not denied. For non-Windows operating systems please refer to your documentation for instructions on how to allow specific ports through the firewall.

Review your router's documentation for instructions on how to set up port forwarding to allow external traffic through to the game. FreeSpace 2 Open supports automatic port forwarding if your router has NAT-PMP or Port Control Protocol (PCP) enabled. This allows FreeSpace 2 Open to enable port forwarding only if, and only for as long as, it's needed.

Unfortunately, if your internet provider uses carrier-grade NAT then it will not be possible to host a server as you will be unable to set up port forwarding properly.

You can use the Active Servers List to help diagnose your connectivity issues. If your server has a firewall issue it should indicate that in the listing. If a firewall is not the problem then it's possible that there is a version mismatch and the listing should indicate whether your server version is older or newer than the recommended version.

If you are unable set up port forwarding then your best solution is to host your game on an existing standalone server, or have a friend create the server instead.

Back to Top

Why does my game complain about the version when entering the PXO lobby?

The retail releases of the game include a check to ensure you are using the latest version before playing on PXO. However this check is made against the original PXO service which was shut down in 2003, so it fails. And as there have been no new versions in 20+ years it is generally useless.

For FreeSpace 2 this version check can be disabled quite easily. Simply go into the Launcher, click the Setup button, click on the Network tab, and make sure that the Skip version check in PXO option is checked.

Unfortunately, Descent: FreeSpace does not appear to have an option to disable the version check.

Back to Top

Descent: FreeSpace keeps telling me I have hacked data!

The Steam and GoG versions of Descent: FreeSpace include the Silent Threat expansion pack. However the version of the expansion pack included is older than it should be which causes a data mismatch.

An add-on is available which provides the properly versioned data files allowing multiplayer to function normally. Your current files are unchanged, the add-on just lets the game use the proper file versions which allows multiplayer to function as it should.

Download the add-on,, and extract it into your game's installation directory. The hacked data message should now go away.

Back to Top

Why do I get a validation timeout when entering the PXO lobby?

Typically this is the result of a misconfiguration. By default the game will attempt to contact the original PXO service which was shut down in 2003. It is necessary to update the multiplayer configuration files to make sure that the game will talk to the new PXO service.

Please be sure to follow Step 3 in the Getting Started guide so that your configuration is updated properly.

Back to Top