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For PlayStation gamers, the NW-31280-4 error code is one that pops up randomly and is generally harmless though frustrating. It’s harmless because it can be fixed and it doesn’t mean that your PS4 is broken irreparably.
Thankfully, the solutions are simple as well, and they include the standard reset of both the router and the PlayStation 4, adjusting the router or PS4 location, switching to a LAN connection, changing bands, and restarting the PS4 in Safe Mode.
None of these options are ideal. After all, no one wants to stop gaming to mess around with the PS4’s safe mode. However, once you get this message, it tends to return if you don’t actively try to make changes, especially if your PS4 is located a ways from the router.
Table of Contents
5 Fixes to PS4 Error Code NW-31280-4
1. Switching WiFi Bands
However, for those who don’t, all these routers do is allow you to access higher-speed data or lower-speed data with a higher range.
You have 2.4, 5.0, and now 6.0 GHz bands to access and each band has a number of channels. The 2.4GHz band has the most range but the lowest speed. At 6.0 GHz, you have the fastest available WiFi speed but garbage in terms of range.
Many of these routers have a default setting that automates the channels the different devices on your network connect to.
For instance, if your PS4 is connected to a channel on the 5.0GHz band that is sluggish, overloaded, or can’t connect, the router will automatically switch it to another channel, sometimes another band.
This switch creates a micro-hiccup in online play because the process is not exactly seamless.
One of the best things you can do with a router like this is to look at the back or bottom of the router, get the URL, username, and password, and jump on the router’s info to make changes.
Those changes include determining which channels have the most traffic and permanently switching devices to the ones with the lowest traffic. It also means turning off the automation process.
2. Restore Your PS4’s Default Settings
Safe Mode is essentially a way to force your PlayStation 4 to scan itself for errors, which would include, in this instance, the NW-31280-4. It also has a beneficial side effect because it scans your hard drive for corrupted files as well.
It’s a good cleanup method for your PS4 and something you should do every once in a while. The PS4 will turn on in Safe Mode if you accidentally unplug the console while it’s on or if you purposefully do it.
- Turn your PS4 off like normal
- Press and hold the power button
- You’ll get a single beep and a second beep several seconds later
- When you hear the second beep, release the button
- The PS4 will turn on normally but in Safe Mode
You have several options in Safe Mode, including restoring Default Settings, updating software for the system, changing resolution, rebuilding the database, or factory resetting the system (returning it to its original, out-of-the-box state).
In this case, you should choose the Rebuild the Database option. This won’t erase any of your games or screw with the things you have downloaded on the hard drive, though it sounds like it will do that much and more.
3. Router and PS4 Location
This one kind of plays off of troubleshooting tip number 1. WiFi is notoriously fickle and it weakens the more it has to travel through on the way to your PS4. Sometimes, it’s less of a hassle to play the Ps4 offline.
It’s also easy to interrupt with other Bluetooth signals, other WiFi signals, and microwaves.
Walls, metal, wood, concrete, brick, etc., are all anathema to WiFi signals. The more it has to go through, the worse it is. The absolute best way to take advantage of WiFi is by maintaining your most used devices in line of sight with the router.
If you can’t do line of sight, you should take advantage of an extender or repeater. The extender or repeater should definitely be within line of sight of the router and the PS4 within line of sight of the extender or repeater.
If you don’t play any competitive, online multiplayer games, this is probably not such a big deal. However, to avoid hiccups like the NW-31280-4 error code or lag in multiplayer (you’ll get a bit of the latter anyway if you’re not on a wired connection), you need to maximize your router and PS4 positioning.
Even if you do have a line of sight, if there is an entire house between the two devices with a load of devices in between as well, there might as well be five walls there instead of open air.
4. Reset Your Router and PS4
Sometimes, the best solution is the simplest. Reset your router and your PS4 and see if it will dump that error code and get you back online again.
- Power down and unplug the PS4
- Remove the ethernet cable from the PS4 to the router/modem/gateway (if applicable)
- Remove the cable connecting the router to the internet (fiber, coax, DSL, etc.)
- Unplug the router from power
- Go eat lunch or get some exercise
- When you come back, plug the internet connection back into the router/modem/gateway
- Power up the router
- Plug the ethernet cable in between the PS4 and router/gateway/modem (only after the router/gateway/modem is fully cycled back up
- Plug the PS4 back into the power outlet
- Power up the PS4
If you do things in that order, it should cycle everything back up without any outlying issues. If your PS4 is going to spit out the same error code, it will do so when it tries to auto-sign into the network.
However, if the problem continues to come back, there is most likely a communication issue between the router and PS4. Whether that’s an interference problem or a range issue, is dependent on your setup.
5. Switch to a LAN Connection
This is only a solution if the PS4 is close to the router and it’s a feasible setup. If you do most of your gaming in your bedroom and your router or gateway is out in the living room, that’s a little more difficult.
However, a LAN connection is the most stable way to game—period. You don’t have to worry about WiFi instability and you’ll get the maximum experience if you’re online gaming.
Besides, jumping to a LAN connection is known for eliminating these little error codes, such as the NW-31280-4.
If it’s doable, you can connect to your gateway or modem (router too but that’s the lesser option if you have a modem), via an ethernet cable.
However, you will need to go into your PS4 settings and switch over to a wired connection.If you’re curious about ethernet speeds on the PS4, we have an article about that here.
If you find however that you still have issues with this, the cause may be the ethernet cable itself. check out our article here on reasons why ethernet cables go bad.
On the bright side, this is one of the simpler codes to troubleshoot. It could be a lot worse than the NW-31280-4. In most instances, this will crop up as nothing more than a communication issue between the router and the PS4, which you can often physically change.