PunkBuster is an anti-cheat program that is installed by some PC games. It consists of two processes, PnkBstrA.exe and PnkBstrB.exe, which run in the background on the computer. PunkBuster monitors your system for evidence of fraud in online games.
PunkBuster, developed by Even Balance, Inc., has a long history. It was created in 2000 and was first integrated into Return to Castle Wolfenstein in 2001. It is now available for Mac and Linux as well as Windows, so even Mac or Linux gamers can see PunkBuster. is running in the background. PunkBuster is installed automatically when you install the game using it.
This software runs in the background on your computer. If you are playing multiple PunkBuster online games and have connected to a PunkBuster-protected server, it will scan your computer memory for evidence of phishing or hacking programs. PunkBuster has an automatic update feature, which downloads the database “definitions” of known phishing programs.
In other words, it acts as an antivirus program, except to scan your computer for phishing programs instead of malware. In particular, PunkBuster is also looking for gadgets like aimbot for shooting games, map hack displaying full maps in online games, tools that allow players to look through the walls and bring anything. unfair advantage by breaking the multiplayer game rules. It does not care if you cheat in the game alone.
PunkBuster not only looks at processes running on the computer, it can also check if you have modified game files. PunkBuster is designed to break those cheats.
When is PunkBuster services enabled?
The anti-cheat feature is only enabled when you are playing a PunkBuster-enabled game on the PunkBuster server. Games must be specifically designed to activate PunkBuster and it is up to each operator of the game server to choose whether or not to use PunkBuster. However, while you are connected to a server that requires PunkBuster, it will monitor your computer in the background to ensure you do not cheat. And while the server administrator uses a variety of tools to test your system, including taking screenshots of the game and viewing the link information.
If PunkBuster finds anything suspicious, the PunkBuster-enabled server can ban you from playing the game. Sometimes you will get warnings but may be permanently banned based on the CD key of the playing game or the hardware information of the computer playing on it. These permanent restraints can prevent you from playing any game that has PunkBuster enabled on the PunkBuster server on that computer.
Does PunkBuster track users?
If PunkBuster is installed, it will always run in the background on your computer. That is why you will see the PnkBstrA.exe process in Task Manager and the PnkBstrA service in the Service application.
However, most of the time PunkBuster does not really do anything, it only boots when you are playing an online game integrated with PunkBuster and is playing on PunkBuster support server. Otherwise PunkBuster will not perform anything other than updating.
Which game uses PunkBuster?
PunkBuster is not as popular as before. Modern games have largely moved on to other anti-phishing tools, such as the Valve Anti-Cheat System (VAC) built into Steam. Blizzard games like Overwatch also feature built-in fraud protection. However, if you have installed some games on your computer, PunkBuster may be running in the background.
The last major game to integrate PunkBuster is the Battlefield Hardline, released in 2015, but it’s also integrated into older Battlefield games. PunkBuster is also part of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, as well as games like Far Cry 3 and Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag.
However, PunkBuster has not been integrated into the new online game since 2015. If you are playing multiplayer online games released in the past few years, it does not require PunkBuster.
Is it possible to uninstall PunkBuster?
If you do not play multiplayer games that require PunkBuster anti-fraud software, you can uninstall it if you wish. To do this, navigate to Control Panel> Uninstall a Program, select PunkBuster Services in the list of installed software and then click the Uninstall/Change button.
If you need PunkBuster for some reason, you will see an error message related to PunkBuster when trying to connect to the online multiplayer server in the game. You can visit the official PunkBuster download page to download and install it on your system. Again, you can connect to the PunkBuster support servers once you have installed it.