Fixing NestJS Error: Unexpected Value from WebSocketServer Decorator

Updated: December 31, 2023 By: Guest Contributor Post a comment

When you encounter the error “NestJS Error: WebSocketServer decorator gives unexpected value,” it often means that there is a problem with the way you are trying to set up or use your WebSocket server within a NestJS application. This error may occur if the decorator is not used correctly, typically due to an outdated syntax, misuse of the API, or incorrect import paths.

Understanding the WebSocketServer Decorator

The WebSocketServer decorator is part of the WebSockets module in NestJS which enables real-time, bi-directional communication between web clients and servers. The decorator allows you to inject the underlying native websocket server directly into your class, enabling you to manage events and connections within your application.

To correctly use the WebSocketServer decorator, ensure that you’re following the latest NestJS documentation for WebSockets. As of the most recent versions of NestJS, the recommended way to create a WebSocket gateway is by using the @WebSocketGateway decorator at the class level and @WebSocketServer to inject the server instance.

Properly Importing WebSocket Modules

Make sure that you are importing the correct modules from @nestjs/websockets and @nestjs/ or @nestjs/platform-ws, depending on the underlying WebSocket library you’ve chosen to work with. Incorrect imports can lead to unexpected values for decorators and ultimately errors.

Ensuring Compatibility with Versions

Version mismatches between NestJS and other dependencies can lead to various issues, including problems with decorators. Ensure that your package.json specifies compatible versions of NestJS and related WebSocket packages. Always refer to NestJS’s package documentation for compatibility guidelines.

Example Code

Here’s an example of a simple WebSocket gateway using the latest NestJS syntax:

import { WebSocketGateway, WebSocketServer, SubscribeMessage, MessageBody } from '@nestjs/websockets';
import { Server } from '';

class YourGateway {
    server: Server;

    handleMessage(@MessageBody() data: string): void {
        this.server.emit('message', data);

In this example, you can see proper usage of the WebSocketServer decorator to inject the server instance, as well as how to define message handlers using the SubscribeMessage decorator.

Advanced Troubleshooting

If you’ve followed all correct usage patterns and still encounter the error, it may be due to deeper issues such as operating system-level restrictions, network issues, or configurations that are obstructing WebSocket connections. Check your OS firewall settings and ensure that there are no network-level barriers to WebSocket traffic. Additionally, investigate your application’s configuration, particularly the ports and host settings, as incorrect configurations can also cause the WebSocketServer decorator to return unexpected values.

Following these steps should help address the WebSocketServer decorator error. Always make sure to test your WebSocket functionality thoroughly after applying the fix to confirm the issue is resolved.