Palworld is pretty fun with friends! Maybe I’ll write more about the gameplay later.
We ended up using ZeroTier, which let you set up a private network containing only your friends. This is nice because now only your friends can join your game, even if you don’t set a password.
At the time of writing, the UI for joining a Palworld server with a password is buggy. You can’t just enter the IP address of the server you want to join because it won’t even prompt you for a password; it’ll just fail. Instead, you have to first click to join a random public server with a password (i.e. one that has a lock icon next to it), then enter the password you were given (even though this is the wrong password for the random server!) Now, instead of joining the public server, click “Cancel”, then try to connect to your friends’ server. Palworld will remember the password you entered for the public server and use it for your friends’ server.
ZeroTier also means you don’t have to set up port forwarding, which my friend was having trouble doing. If you have one technical friend I think it’d be pretty easy to set up even if everyone else isn’t technical.
My friend did run into some issues allowing others to connect through Windows Defender Firewall. He used the following PowerShell to change the ZeroTier interfaces to the “Private” network category. This way you can allow access to the Palworld dedicated server through your LAN and ZeroTier networks in Windows Defender Firewall settings while blocking access over the public Internet:
Get-NetConnectionProfile | Where-Object "InterfaceAlias" -like "Zero*" | Set-NetConnectionProfile -NetworkCategory Private