What is Tantrix?
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|TANTRIX NEEDS JAVA|
| Java required
Tantrix is written in Java, which means you can run the game straight from within your browser without installing any software. Your web browser should come pre-installed with everything that's needed to play Tantrix online. Unfortunately this is not always the case. So, if you tried to load Tantrix but it did not appear, then most likely Java is missing or not configured correctly.
If the phrase "Java appears to be working on your PC" is scrolling along beneath this paragraph, then your Java is working fine. If not, click here. The page you are taken to will automatically test to see if you are running Java and what version is installed. If it is missing or outdated, follow the instructions on the test page. Download is free and easy.
| Problems unrelated to
If you have confirmed that Java is installed correctly on your machine and yet you have problems connecting to the Tantrix server, then the next step should be to check the configuration of your firewalls, routers, ports and proxies:
"Can't connect" message in the lobby chat area
The java applet for Tantrix must be able to open an outgoing tcp connection on port 2244. Most firewalls and routers are configured to allow this; but some institutions (work, schools) and some firewall products (Blackice, Zone Alarm) may block this port. If the applet window comes up, but can't connect to the server, look for problems with port 2244. The applet will also fail to connect if it was loaded from some place other than Tantrix.com, which could be a side effect of some browser proxy setups.
Message "rcv 221 err Connection error"
You have successfully connected to the server, but your connection has been rejected. The most likely cause of this is that you accidentally connected to the server without going through the login procedure. This can happen if you use your browser's back button, or if your browser has cached the login page (and therefore didn't chat with the server to login). Check your browser cache settings.
If you lose your connection in mid-game: don't panic. You can reconnect and rejoin the game. This can happen for a variety of reasons, most of which are impossible to predict or control. Watch the little spinner located next to your and your opponet's clock. This spinner should change position at least every 10 seconds or so, and if it has not changed position recently, the color starts fading from green to red. After 2 minutes of inactivity a timeout will occur and you can try to reconnect.
Once the applet is downloaded, the bandwidth required to maintain the lobby and a game is very modest, and any type of internet connection should work fine. One problem we have seen a few times is that firewalls such as Zone Alarm interfere with the flow of data to the server without completely blocking it. We don't know why, but disabling Zone Alarm fixes the problem. A test for this condition is to switch the type of a game room, say from "Game Room" to "Challenge Room". The changeover should happen very fast, within a second. If there is more that a very brief lag, look for this kind of networking problem.
Problems scoring games
If you successfully play games, but the scoring repeatedly fails: To score games properly, the applet must be able to make HTTP requests on either port 80 or 4321. Port 80 is normally used by browsers, so it can be expected to be open, but some sites enforce the use of an http proxy server by blocking port 80. Scoring a game fails occasionally if the server is unusually busy, or just due to random internet glitches. If port 80 is permanently blocked, try referring to Tantrix as http://www.tantrix.com:4321
Problems connecting to www.tantrix.com
If you are having problems connecting to www.tantrix.com and have ruled out everything else (firewalls, ports, proxies, etc.), it may be a routing error. To check this, you will need to email us a traceroute to our site. You can obtain a traceroute fairly easily by going to this page and following the instructions.
| Browsers, Platforms
and Java versions
The Java applet that runs the game works in any browser that supports Java, but not all browsers or platforms are created equal. None of them are perfect, but some are more trouble prone than others.
Windows (any version)
Macintosh and Linux
All four major browser types (IE, Netscape, Safari and Mozilla) use the Java plugin, so if they work, they all work about the same. The key word is if. The OS developers and browser developers haven't always played together well, so there are gaps where some version of browser doesn't support Java for some version of OS. Relatively few of our players use Macintosh or Linux platforms, the only general statement we can make is that the most current combinations work ok. Some quite old versions of Macintosh "MrJ" java had serious bugs and did not work with Tantrix.
Old Java versions
Tantrix works even with Java VM version 1.2 and higher.
We recommend you occasionally clear your browser cache. This will force the browser to load the latest versions of web pages and programs. By doing so, it will get rid of problems caused by stale or corrupt files lingering in your cache. It is also a prudent measure to close and reload your browser after a series of games, or even reboot your computer if it has shown "serious signs of deterioration". These measures will refresh your system and are particularly useful before playing important games, such as tournament matches.
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Last update: November, 2014