PunkBuster

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
PunkBuster
PunkBuster cover
Developers
Even Balance
Release dates
Windows 2000
Linux ?
macOS (OS X) ?

PunkBuster is a program created by Even Balance Inc. designed to detect forms of cheating in online games. It has been used in several prominent multiplayer games up until 2015, where development seemingly ceased as no new games were released with the anti-cheat protection, nor were any more updates or news published regarding PunkBuster on the official website.[1] Although it was in development since 2000, it was known to still cause problems with other programs and certain hardware configurations years after its initial release.

General information

Official website

Installing[edit]

Most games that require PunkBuster for multiplayer will install it when the game itself is installed. In cases where it is not, details on installing PunkBuster can be found at their website.

Updating[edit]

On occasion PunkBuster may release an update for a specific game. In this case, the game will usually kick you from servers if you are running an old version of PunkBuster for the game. To update the version of PunkBuster for a specific game, download PBSetup.exe from their website. If the game you want to update isn't listed in the main view, select Add Game and find the game you are looking for. Once it has been added to the main window, select the game then select check for updates. If there is an update available, PunkBuster will then install it.

Known problems[edit]

  • Some 64-bit games are not compatible with PunkBuster, requiring the user to play the 32-bit version of the game to play online.
  • Some older games that use PunkBuster require administrator privileges to play online properly.
  • The Steam overlay causes problems with PunkBuster, it is therefore recommended that you disable the Steam overlay for all PunkBuster games.
  • PunkBuster is not compatible with Wine, and possibly other similar compatibility layers, due to harsh API entry signature checks.[2]

List of PunkBuster titles[edit]

The below table includes all games that have historically used PunkBuster. Some of these titles do not use it any longer.
This list is generated automatically. To add or update entries simply edit the individual pages (see the editing guide for details). A list of missing games is available below.
Game Developer Publisher First release Systems LAN Online
America's Army U.S. Army July 4, 2002
Windows
Linux
macOS (OS X)
America's Army 3 U.S. Army June 17, 2009
Windows
America's Army: Proving Grounds U.S. Army October 1, 2015
Windows
Assassin's Creed III Ubisoft Montreal Ubisoft, Akella November 20, 2012
Windows
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Ubisoft Montreal Ubisoft November 19, 2013
Windows
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood Ubisoft Montreal Ubisoft March 17, 2011
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Assassin's Creed: Revelations Ubisoft Montreal Ubisoft December 1, 2011
Windows
Battlefield 1942 DICE Electronic Arts September 10, 2002
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Battlefield 2 DICE, DICE Canada Electronic Arts June 21, 2005
Windows
Battlefield 2142 DICE Electronic Arts October 17, 2006
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Battlefield 3 DICE, Visceral Games Electronic Arts October 25, 2011
Windows
Battlefield 4 DICE, DICE Los Angeles Electronic Arts October 29, 2013
Windows
Battlefield Hardline Visceral Games, DICE, EA Canada, DICE Los Angeles, Criterion Games Electronic Arts March 17, 2015
Windows
Battlefield Heroes DICE, Easy Studios Electronic Arts, Aeria Games June 25, 2009
Windows
Battlefield Play4Free DICE, Easy Studios Electronic Arts April 4, 2011
Windows
Battlefield Vietnam DICE Canada Electronic Arts March 14, 2004
Windows
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 DICE, Coldwood Interactive Electronic Arts March 2, 2010
Windows
Blacklight: Retribution Zombie Studios, Hardsuit Labs Perfect World Entertainment, Hardsuit Labs April 3, 2012
Windows
Call of Duty Infinity Ward, Gray Matter Interactive, Pi Studios Activision, Aspyr Media October 29, 2003
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Call of Duty 2 Infinity Ward Activision, Aspyr Media October 25, 2005
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Infinity Ward Activision, Aspyr Media November 5, 2007
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Call of Duty: World at War Treyarch, Arkane Studios, Certain Affinity, Pi Studios Activision November 11, 2008
Windows
Crysis Crytek Electronic Arts November 13, 2007
Windows
Crysis: Warhead Crytek Budapest Electronic Arts September 17, 2008
Windows
Doom 3 id Software, Splash Damage, Nerve Software Activision, CYBERFRONT Corporation, Aspyr Media August 3, 2004
Windows
Linux
macOS (OS X)
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Splash Damage, id Software Activision, id Software September 28, 2007
Windows
Linux
macOS (OS X)
F.E.A.R. Monolith Productions, TimeGate Studios Sierra Entertainment, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment October 18, 2005
Windows
F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate TimeGate Studios Sierra Entertainment, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment November 6, 2007
Windows
Far Cry Crytek Ubisoft March 23, 2004
Windows
Far Cry 2 Ubisoft Montreal Ubisoft October 21, 2008
Windows
Far Cry 3 Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Massive, Ubisoft Red Storm, Ubisoft Shanghai, Ubisoft Reflections Ubisoft November 29, 2012
Windows
Frontlines: Fuel of War Kaos Studios THQ, THQ Nordic February 25, 2008
Windows
Infestation: Survivor Stories Classic Hammerpoint Interactive OP Productions December 17, 2012
Windows
Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising NovaLogic NovaLogic, THQ Nordic June 15, 2004
Windows
Knight Online Noah System, Mgame NTTGame January 25, 2016
Windows
MechWarrior: Living Legends Wandering Samurai Studios December 26, 2009
Windows
Medal of Honor (2010) Danger Close Games, DICE Electronic Arts October 12, 2010
Windows
Medal of Honor: Airborne EA Los Angeles, Demiurge Studios Electronic Arts September 4, 2007
Windows
Medal of Honor: Warfighter Danger Close Games Electronic Arts October 23, 2012
Windows
Need for Speed: ProStreet EA Black Box Electronic Arts, 1C-SoftClub November 13, 2007
Windows
Need for Speed: Undercover EA Black Box Electronic Arts November 18, 2008
Windows
Prey Human Head Studios 2K Games, 3D Realms July 11, 2006
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Quake 4 Raven Software, id Software Activision, Aspyr Media, Bethesda Softworks October 18, 2005
Windows
Linux
macOS (OS X)
Quake III Arena id Software Activision December 2, 1999
Windows
Linux
Mac OS
macOS (OS X)
Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad Tripwire Interactive, War Drum Studios September 13, 2011
Windows
Return to Castle Wolfenstein Gray Matter Interactive, id Software, Nerve Software, Splash Damage Activision, Aspyr Media November 19, 2001
Windows
Linux
Mac OS
macOS (OS X)
Rising Storm Tripwire Interactive, Antimatter Games May 30, 2013
Windows
Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix Raven Software Activision, MacPlay May 20, 2002
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Ubisoft Romania, Ubisoft Paris, Red Storm Entertainment Ubisoft June 28, 2012
Windows
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield Red Storm Entertainment, Ubisoft Montreal Ubisoft, Aspyr Media March 18, 2003
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Lockdown Red Storm Entertainment Ubisoft February 16, 2006
Windows
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas Ubisoft Montreal Ubisoft November 28, 2006
Windows
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 Ubisoft Montreal Ubisoft April 15, 2008
Windows
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow Ubisoft Shanghai, Ubisoft Annecy Ubisoft March 23, 2004
Windows
War Rock Dream Execution Papaya Play July 14, 2006
Windows
Wolfenstein Raven Software, id Software, Endrant Studios, Blur Studios, Pi Studios Activision August 18, 2009
Windows
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory Splash Damage, id Software Activision, Bethesda Softworks May 29, 2003
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Name Released Notes
Bullet Run 2012 [3]
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Phantoms 2014 [4]

References

  1. Verified by User:Aemony on 2018-09-04
    Latest "announcement" on https://www.evenbalance.com/ is from Fri Jan 16 2015 12:00 about Battlefield Hardline using PunkBuster. Latest "PB News" is from July 2015 as well.
  2. Bug 9685: Punkbuster removes me from game for UNKNOWN WINDOWS API FUNCTION [131124] (Not a Wine bug) - WineHQ Bugzilla
  3. Even Balance, Inc. - PunkBuster Online Countermeasures - last accessed on 2018-09-04
    "Sun Jul 08 2012 12:00
    Sony Online Entertainment LLC has contracted with Even Balance, Inc. to integrate our PunkBuster™ Anti-Cheat software into the online game known as Bullet Run™. Bullet Run is a free-to-play team-based FPS that puts players in the ultimate reality TV game show, where contestants showcase their deadly talents in the name of fame.
    "
  4. Even Balance, Inc. - PunkBuster Online Countermeasures - last accessed on 2018-09-04
    "Mon Jul 18 2011 12:00
    Ubisoft has contracted with Even Balance, Inc. to integrate our PunkBuster™ Anti-Cheat software into the online game known as Ghost Recon Online.
    "