What is PunkBuster on Windows 10 and how can I disable it?

July 8, 2018 |

greater than 2 minutes

If you are looking for answers about the PunkBuster anti-cheat program, you have come to the right place. In this article, you will find out why this process is installed on your computer and how to disable it.

Essentially, PunkBuster is a program that is installed by come PC games in order to prevent the user from cheating. But where is the fun in that? At some point during the game, you want to have the option of bettering your situation and coming out on top. It’s not like we use games to imitate life to its fullest, right? Sometimes, you just want to win!

So, you are still wondering what can be done in your situation? Let’s recap.

PunkBuster is a program that is running with two processes that you will be able to see in Task Manager. Both of them run in the background mode. This way, your system is being monitored to find evidence of cheating in games. It’s a smart way to keep the user from cheating, especially considering that this program also runs with online multiplayer games. The PunkBuster server will scan your computer for definitive evidence of cheating and also update the known cheating programs to the app on site so that there is a possible measure of cheating when you are playing offline.

So, as you can see, this feature works a lot like an antivirus program. But instead of viruses and malware, it checks your system for cheat programs. There are some popular ones that Punkbuster is more focused on, such as:

  • aimbots (cheats that aim for your when you are playing a shooting game)
  • map hacks (cheats that allow you to see the full map in online games, increasing your chances of winning)

That said, Punkbuster doesn’t really care if you cheat when you are playing a single-player game. However, some users are still concerned if the program is actually doing what it is supposed to be doing and not spying on them. The answer is twofold:

  • If you are connected to a server that is working with PunkBuster, then it will have access to your background processes. While on that task, it will also take screenshots of your game and view information on your key bindings.

Although this is not exactly sensitive information, it still doesn’t feel like PunkBuster is respecting your privacy. In the event of you cheating, the feature will ban you by signaling the cheats to the server. Unfortunately, for some, this ban could be permanent and prevent you from playing any PunkBuster-enabled games in the future, provided you are using the same server and PC. Even though users are complaining about PunkBuster, some modern games are still using it. Others have moved on to Valve-Anti-Cheat Systems that can be built into Steam. You are more likely to run into a pre-installed Punk-Buster if you are installing the game on your PC manually from a disk.

If you wish to uninstall PunkBuster, you can take these steps:

  • Step 1. Open Control Panel on your computer.
  • Step 2. Select to Uninstall Program from the options list.
  • Step 3. Choose “PunkBusterServices” from the list.
  • Step 4. Click the Uninstall/Change button.
  • Step 5. The Wizard will take you through the process, and you will be free of the anti-cheat feature.

Remember that it is very important to still use anti-malware tools when you are playing online games. To prevent them from interfering with your system while you are playing the game, we advise investing in Auslogics Anti-Malware, a tool that will work in the background to ensure the safety of your online experience.

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