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Setting Up an Area Server


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There is only 1 central lobby server, and only 1 is necessary. This is the main hub for fragment, however people don't play on the lobby server, they play on player hosted area servers. These are where players actually meet up and play together on in groups of up to 3 per area server. Which makes hosting an abundant of area servers necessary for people; because is there's high demand of players online at a given time wanting to play but no supply of area servers to play on, then playing would be impossible. So how do you host an area server?

First you will need the Area Server program itself, and a Windows PC or Windows emulated computer

There is many iterations both official and unofficial for the area server program, i.e. the original 5 Japanese ones which point to the old server, the translated one, the multi-server one, etc... I recommend this one

Download the zip, extract the file/folders somewhere on your computer, run the AREA_SERVER.exe file


Start with map editor


go to File


choose New Area


give it a name and a "symbol" can be whatever you want, I just abbreviate but whatever


the root town will be the root town all players will see when they enter your Area Server, they can not change, only you can from this program
hit OK, and you can start making new keywords and custom maps if you want, but entirely up to you

the root town shops are static to whatever root town you pick
the keywords dictate monsters and whatnot, click on Word Editor and you'll get tabs like this


use existing keywords or click on "Add" to create new words, whenever your pick A B C here, Result will unlock


whatever you do, be sure to Save


pick a slot from 0 to 100; you can create more than 1 area server, but you can only run 1 area server per .exe; you can make more copies from the ZIP file link above and host as many area servers you want


you can pick a random number and press save


after you make an "area server" in the Area Server program and saved, go to the Area Server icon


click on Area, then click on Publish Area Server


select from the list of saved area servers and click publish


you'll see a bunch of messages on screen, and in the message window box; if all goes well you should see "area server is now open"


this is 50% of the work
the other 50% is port-forwarding your computer/router
without doing that, no one can join your area server
it'll just be listed but inaccessible without port-forwarding


it depends on what is in profile.ini; and if you host more than one area server, you'll want to change the port in each file to be different; between 20000 to 20100


if all goes well your area server will be listed


then the area server program will say "a player is joining"


you can see their HP/SP live, but you can not edit the values
you can even see all players on the current map; people can't wander off to different maps, everyone is limited to 1


even on the field map


and if they die, they will be booted back to the root town


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  • 4 months later...
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Sometimes setting up port-forwarding on your router is not enough. Sometimes you need to setup inbound rules for Windows. Here's a short guide how to allow port 20000 for AREA SERVER.exe program via Windows Defender Firewall.

Go into Advanced Settings on Windows Defender Firewall


you'll see this window


click on Inbound Rules on the left column
then click on New Rule on the right


choose port


enter 20000 for port


allow the connection


these rules all apply


enter a name and hit finish

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  • 3 weeks later...
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Previously I had mentioned in the first post, you need to port-forward your router for the area server to work. By default when you launch the .exe file, the area server will be listed on the lobby server menu. However, players will not be able to connect until your router allows for the exception of people to connect to your PC at the designated port address to access the .exe area server program. So even though you still see your area server name listed, if it's not configured on your router properly, not you or anyone can connect to it and play. (additionally some VPN's may cause issues)

You know if you haven't done it properly if trying to connect you get Login failed. Error : (3002) code on screen in-game.


So if you never port-forwarded before, here's a short and simple setup. On your Window's PC, go into the command prompt, otherwise press the windows button and Q at the same time for the search and type in "cmd" no quotes.



Now you'll be on the command prompt, a basic MS-DOS looking window.


Now type in "ipconfig", no quotes and press enter.


You'll see some information like this with numbers on the right.

What's most important are the two lines near the end, IPv4 Address and Default Gateway


The default gateway should end in .1 whereas the IPv4 address number can end in any number. You'll notice in my instance, both lines begin with 192.168.0 with the last number being the only difference. Your router will normally be the 1st address, hence .1 and your PC you are hosting this area server will be whatever number after that, in my case .24, because I have other devices connected to my router.


So on any web browser such as Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc.. Type in the default gateway address you have, such as in it's entirety then press enter.

Doing so, you'll get a login screen somewhat like so, it may be different depending on your router's brand.


But your login and password, in modern times, will have the login written on the bottom of your router. Enter that information on this screen, sometimes the default login and pass might simply be admin and admin, if that's the case, I strongly urge you to change this later.

After a successful login, you should see your router's screen. This WILL VARY based on what brand your router is, I have Netgear brand so locations of the following will vary but not be too dissimilar.


With the Netgear brand, click on the giant ADVANCED tab at the top, now the tabs on the left will change.


Click on Advanced Setup tab on the left, and it will open to show a list including Port Fowarding / Port Triggering.


Click on the link.

Now you'll see a window like so that has a table listing all port-fowarded ports that are open.


For the areaserver.exe, we're going to add a port to this table, and at the bottom of the screen you will see "Add Custom Service"


Click on that link and now we'll be brought to a window that has some similar information regardless of brand.


Including giving it a name, choosing between TCP or UDP or both, starting port and ending port as well as Internal IP Address.

So give it a name so you know what this instance is for. In this case Area Server or Fragment Area Server or if you are running more than one AS program, perhaps Area Server 1.

If you are forced between TCP or UDP but not both, then choose TCP. But allowing for both wont't hurt.

The starting and ending port should BOTH be 20000 because you want to allow it to start with and end with 20000, meaning only limiting this instance for just the one port and not all ports on your router's security.

And finally that IPv4 Address we saw on the window command prompt, now we'll be putting that last number .24 to use with just simply 24 in the last spot.

So it'll all look something like this.


Then hit save and you are done.


If you are wanting to host multiple areaserver.exe programs from one PC, this is doable but you will want to modify the profile.ini in each folder to a different port. And make more port-fowarding instances for each additional port. The official .hack//fragment support site back in the suggested only using ports between 20,000 and 20,100 so in reality you could be hosting 100 area servers from 1 PC, if you wanted.

I have witnessed and heard of people doing all the proper steps and still not being able to connect to their own area server from the same PC, i.e. if you are hosting an area server and playing fragment on the same network, you and only you are unable to connect; but everyone else outside across the world can. This is suspected of a hair-pinning issue where your router won't allow it, which is why you are blocked but everyone else is not. I don't know of a fix for this, other than getting a new router but that's a bit excessive.

Other issues are VPN's or virtual private networks causing issues. Most people just disable this and it works fine after.

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