Can’t connect to game server in Dota 2? Here’s how to fix that

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
Madalina has been a Windows fan ever since she got her hands on her first Windows XP computer. She is interested in all things technology, especially emerging technologies -- AI and DNA computing in... Read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • If Dota 2 can't connect to the game servers, this translates to less time in this awesome game.
  • It can also be that Dota 2 can't connect to the game after accepting a match, so you have to check your connection.
  • One way to deal with the fact that Dota 2 cannot connect to the game is to check your firewall.
  • Another solution to this dreadful problem is to try using a GPN like the one we recommend below.
 
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Can’t connect to the game server in Dota 2? This can be a big problem that can prevent you completely from playing Dota 2.

However, there might be a way to fix this problem, and today we’re going to show you how to do it. The latest Dota 2 update brings a series of unexpected issues that limit the gaming experience for players.

One of the most severe issues prevents players from connecting to matches. Usually, there is no error message accompanying this issue, and players are forced back into the main menu.

Here’s how one player describes this annoying situation:

Since patch 7.00 I’m not able to connect to any MM games or lobby games anymore.
I never had any big troubles or problems with Dota2 (mostly some UI/graphic glitches, but that’s it).[…]
I tried to host lobby games, filled with bots, but I’m always forced back into the main menu.
When I was trying to connect to the Matchmaking servers, I can accept the queue and get into the loading screen.
During Loading screen I’m only getting the message of “Establishing connection” on the right side of the screen, but it wont load into the game.
Is there any chance to fix this on my own?

Fortunately, one resourceful gamer found a solution for this issue where Dota 2 can’t connect after accepting a match, and it still works in 2021. We’ll list its troubleshooting steps below.


How can I fix the Dota 2 connection issue?

  1. Check your Internet connection
  2. Use a GPN
  3. Check your firewall, antivirus, and change the game launch options

1. Check your Internet connection

  1. Press the Windows Key + S and type in Settings.
  2. In the Settings app, select Network & Internet.
  3. Select the Status tab and check your internet connection status.

If you can’t connect to a game server in Dota 2, there’s a chance that you have issues with your Internet connection. Packet losses can lead to disconnects or bad latency.

If your connection isn’t stable, it’s possible that this is causing the issue. To fix the problem, check your connection and make sure that it’s stable enough.

In addition to checking the Internet connection, it’s also advised to check your ping. If your ping is too high, the server might be slow to respond, and that will cause this and many other problems.

2. Use a GPN

Yes, you’ve seen right, it’s not a VPN, it’s a GPN which stands for Gamers Private Network and it’s totally different from the VPN because it only optimizes the game connection data.

It doesn’t change or hide your IP address or even the network settings. And that’s a good thing because you can’t use a VPN in all the games.

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In order to properly connect o the Dota 2 servers, we recommend WTFast, a GPN that uses machine learning to select an optimized route to the game servers.

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3. Check your firewall, antivirus, and change the game launch options

  1. Launch Dota.
  2. Run the console (enable it in Advanced game options).
  3. Type net_force_steamdatagram 1 and hit Enter.
  4. Try to watch any game via your game client to see if you are able to connect.
  5. If this works, then you should be able to play as well.

First of all, make sure your firewall is not blocking Dota 2. Try temporarily disabling your firewall and connecting to Matchmaking or Lobby.

To disable your firewall, do the following:

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Go to System and Security.

  3. Select Windows Defender Firewall.
  4. Then, click on Turn Windows Firewall on or off.
  5. Toggle both of the options to Off and click Ok.
  6. If you wish to add Dota 2 to your firewall’s exception list, press Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall.

  7. Then, click on Change list, and find Dota 2.
  8. Check bot the Private and Public options, then press Ok.

In addition, add Dota 2 to your firewall’s exception list and install the latest Windows, Dota 2, and GPU driver updates on your computer.

Don’t forget to disable any unnecessary background apps and run a full system scan for malware, as well.

You might also want to check your antivirus. Sometimes antivirus can block certain features, and cause problems with online games.

If your antivirus is the problem, perhaps you should consider switching to a different antivirus.

We hope that you succeeded in getting to the Dota 2 server but if you have other issues with the game, we have an excellent article on how to fix frequent Dota 2 issues.

And because you’re obviously into online multiplayer gaming, here’s how you can reduce your ping in such games.

As always, if you’ve come across other solutions, you can help the community by listing the troubleshooting steps in the comment section below.

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