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 4 July 2002
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
America's Army 3 U.S. Army 17 June 2009
Windows
America's Army: Proving Grounds U.S. Army 1 October 2015
Windows
Assassin's Creed III Ubisoft Montreal Ubisoft 20 November 2012
Windows
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Ubisoft Montreal Ubisoft 19 November 2013
Windows
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood 17 March 2011
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Battlefield 1942 DICE Electronic Arts 10 September 2002
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Battlefield 2 DICE Electronic Arts 21 June 2005
Windows
Battlefield 2142 DICE Electronic Arts 17 October 2006
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Battlefield 3 DICE, Visceral Games Electronic Arts 25 October 2011
Windows
Battlefield 4 DICE, DICE Los Angeles Electronic Arts 29 October 2013
Windows
Battlefield Hardline Visceral Games, DICE, EA Vancouver, DICE Los Angeles, Criterion Games Electronic Arts 17 March 2015
Windows
Battlefield Heroes DICE, Easy Studios Electronic Arts, Aeria Games 25 June 2009
Windows
Battlefield Play4Free DICE, Easy Studios Electronic Arts 4 April 2011
Windows
Battlefield Vietnam DICE Canada Electronic Arts 14 March 2004
Windows
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 DICE, Coldwood Interactive Electronic Arts 2 March 2010
Windows
Blacklight: Retribution Zombie Studios, Hardsuit Labs Perfect World, Hardsuit Labs 3 April 2012
Windows
Call of Duty Infinity Ward, Gray Matter Interactive, Pi Studios Activision, Aspyr Media 29 October 2003
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Call of Duty 2 Infinity Ward Activision, Aspyr Media 25 October 2005
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Infinity Ward Activision, Aspyr Media 5 November 2007
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Call of Duty: World at War Treyarch, Arkane Studios, Certain Affinity, Pi Studios Activision 11 November 2008
Windows
Crysis Crytek Electronic Arts 13 November 2007
Windows
Crysis: Warhead Crytek Budapest Electronic Arts 17 September 2008
Windows
Doom 3 Id Software, Splash Damage, Nerve Software Activision, CYBERFRONT Corporation, Aspyr Media 3 August 2004
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Splash Damage, Id Software Activision, Id Software 28 September 2007
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
F.E.A.R. Monolith Productions, TimeGate Studios Sierra Entertainment, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment 18 October 2005
Windows
F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate TimeGate Studios Sierra Entertainment, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment 6 November 2007
Windows
Far Cry Crytek Ubisoft 23 March 2004
Windows
Far Cry 2 Ubisoft Montreal Ubisoft 21 October 2008
Windows
Far Cry 3 Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Massive, Red Storm Entertainment, Ubisoft Shanghai, Ubisoft Reflections Ubisoft 29 November 2012
Windows
Frontlines: Fuel of War Kaos Studios THQ, THQ Nordic 25 February 2008
Windows
H-Hour: World's Elite SOF Studios
Windows
Infestation: Survivor Stories Classic Hammerpoint Interactive OP Productions 17 December 2012
Windows
Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising NovaLogic 15 June 2004
Windows
Knight Online Noah System, Mgame NTTGame 25 January 2016
Windows
MechWarrior: Living Legends Wandering Samurai Studios 26 December 2009
Windows
Medal of Honor (2010) DICE Los Angeles, DICE Electronic Arts 12 October 2010
Windows
Medal of Honor: Airborne DICE Los Angeles, Demiurge Studios Electronic Arts 4 September 2007
Windows
Medal of Honor: Warfighter DICE Los Angeles Electronic Arts 23 October 2012
Windows
Need for Speed: ProStreet EA Black Box Electronic Arts 13 November 2007
Windows
Need for Speed: Undercover EA Black Box Electronic Arts 18 November 2008
Windows
Prey Human Head Studios 2K Games 11 July 2006
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Quake 4 Raven Software, Id Software Activision, Bethesda Softworks 18 October 2005
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Quake III Arena Id Software Activision 27 December 1999
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Mac OS
Linux
Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad Tripwire Interactive, War Drum Studios 13 September 2011
Windows
Return to Castle Wolfenstein Gray Matter Interactive, Id Software, Nerve Software, Splash Damage Activision, Aspyr Media 19 November 2001
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Mac OS
Linux
Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix Raven Software Activision, MacPlay 20 May 2002
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Ubisoft Bucharest, Ubisoft Paris, Red Storm Entertainment Ubisoft 28 June 2012
Windows
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield Red Storm Entertainment, Ubisoft Montreal Ubisoft, Aspyr Media 18 March 2003
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Lockdown Red Storm Entertainment Ubisoft 16 February 2006
Windows
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas Ubisoft Montreal Ubisoft 28 November 2006
Windows
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 Ubisoft Montreal Ubisoft 15 April 2008
Windows
War Rock Dream Execution Papaya Play 14 July 2006
Windows
Wolfenstein Raven Software, Id Software, Endrant Studios, Blur Studios, Pi Studios Activision 18 August 2009
Windows
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory Splash Damage, Id Software Activision 29 May 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.
    "