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How do I install PunkBuster?

The PunkBuster client software is installed when you install your game. If you chose not to install PunkBuster at the time the game was installed or if you would like to reinstall PunkBuster, please download our PBSetup utility and follow the instructions.

How do I un-install PunkBuster?

If you'd like to uninstall PunkBuster, simply locate the "pb" folder under the game install folder and delete it. Note however that for some games, PunkBuster is a requirement. Un-installing PunkBuster for these games will prevent you from playing them.

How do I get PunkBuster for a game that does not currently have it?

The PunkBuster anti-cheat system is directly integrated into a game's engine. For this reason, Even Balance, Inc. works directly with a game's publisher/developer to integrate PunkBuster. There is no way to run PunkBuster in a game without tightly integrating it into the engine.

If the game you are playing does not currently have anti-cheat measures, ask the publisher why not?

I'm getting kicked from servers with a PunkBuster message. What should I do now?

If you are getting kicked from a PunkBuster enabled server, you will need to record the PunkBuster kick message. A typical PunkBuster kick message might look like any of the following examples:

PunkBuster kicked player 'xxxxxxx' (for 0 minutes) ... RESTRICTION: Service Communication Failure: XXXXXX

PunkBuster kicked player 'xxxxxxx' (for 2 minutes) ... Violation (GAMEHACK) #XXXXXX

PunkBuster kicked player 'xxxxxxx' (for 0 minutes) ... PB INIT FAILURE (If this persists, visit evenbalance.com and click support to manually update PunkBuster)

The following is a list of kick message classes and possible fixes for them. If you cannot resolve your problem after trying the following solutions, please feel free to use our Web Trouble Ticket system.


Kick Message Explanation
... RESTRICTION: Service Communication Failure: ..... One or more of the PunkBuster components is not installed or operating correctly. Use our PBSetup and PBSVC tools.
... Violation (XXXXXXX) #XXXXXX PunkBuster has detected a cheat program running on this computer. Remove the cheat program and try playing again.
... PB INIT FAILURE One or more PunkBuster components are out of date. Use our PBSetup and PBSVC tools.
... GLOBAL PunkBuster GUID BAN xxxxxxxx The PunkBuster GUID that is associated with your CD key/game account has been permanently banned. You will need to purchase a new game account and/or CD key to play again.
... xxxxxxxx [Admin Decision] The server administrator has placed a local ban on your PunkBuster GUID. You must either resolve this with the server admin or purchase a new CD key/game account.
... RESTRICTION: Disallowed Program/Driver A program or driver is installed on your computer that could be used to cheat in a game. Stop all unnecessary programs and try connecting again.
... This PB Server Requires (A1393 C2.306) - Error loading pbag One or more of the PunkBuster components is not installed or operating correctly. Use our PBSetup and PBSVC tools.


I'm getting kicked from Battlefield 3/4/Hardline, but I can't read the kick message. How can I find the reason?

If you are getting kicked in Battlefield 3 or 4, you can obtain the entire kick message by hovering over the "i" next to the ERROR message in BattleLog:

If you are getting kicked in Battlefield Hardline, you must retrieve the kick message from the "pbcl.log" file. In order to create a "pbcl.log" file, take the following steps:

1.Locate your "pb" directory. (Typically "C:\Users\<user_name>\AppData\Local\PunkBuster\bfh\pb")

2.Create a plain text file using notepad or another text editor named "pbcl.cfg"

3.Place the text "pb_logtofile 1" inside "pbcl.cfg" and save it in the "pb" directory from step 1 above

4.Play the game until you are kicked

5.Inside the "pb" directory (from step 1 above), open "pbcl.log" and search for the kick message. (Should begin with the text "PunkBuster kicked")

What is a PunkBuster GUID?

In general, GUID is an acronym that stands for "Globally Unique Identifier". The GUID inside PunkBuster is used to identify players with something more solid than their playing name or IP address. Your guid is loosely based on the CD key that was used to install the game on your computer. When Server Admins kick or ban a player from their server(s), PunkBuster uses the player's guid to enforce the kick/ban. Since it is based on the game installation, it is a better way to identify individual players than by looking at their IP address or playing name. For those concerned about privacy, PunkBuster uses a 128-bit one-way hash (a mathematical function) to generate the guid from the cdkey so that no one can figure out or compute your cdkey by knowing your guid.



PB setup

PunkBuster is designed to keep itself up to date using our proprietary auto-update system. For cases where the auto-update fails, we have created a utility named PBSetup that can manually update one or more installations of PunkBuster.

To use PBSetup:

  • Download the appropriate version of PBSetup below
  • Run PBSetup
  • Click "Add a Game"
  • Choose the game you wish to update and confirm the installation path
  • Click "Update PunkBuster" to update the installations
Operating System Version Download
Windows 3.8 For All Windows Games
Linux 3.2 For 32-bit Linux Games (GUI version)
Linux 3.2 For 32-bit Linux Games (Command-line only version)
Linux 3.2 For 64-bit Linux Games (GUI version)
Linux 3.2 For 64-bit Linux Games (Command-line only version)
Mac OSX 3.2 For All Intel Mac OSX Games



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