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Punkbuster is, as the name implies, an online gaming utility to help get rid of punks who want to cheat and ruin the gaming experience for everyone else. In this article, I will explain in further detail what Punkbuster does, why it is important, and where you can download it.
Punkbuster is made by a company called Even Balance (http://www.evenbalance.com) and is free to the user. It is most often found included with first person shooter games that have an online multiplayer component, such as the Call of Duty or Battlefield series. It currently helps to keep away cheaters from over two dozen online games. You can view the full list of games at the website.
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How Punkbuster Works
What Punkbuster does is scan your computer’s memory for any known cheats or hacks. What cheaters do is run outside programs that affect the game in ways that work to their advantage, like automatic aiming, invincibility, and so on. If Punkbuster catches you running one of these programs, you will be kicked out of the game. Furthermore, the owner of the server could choose to ban you from that server, which happens quite often.
Why is Punkbuster so necessary? Imagine: if you just spent fifty bucks on a brand new game, then go online to play only to see your character be killed or so limited that you can’t even play the game. What fun is that? Cheaters and hackers can completely ruin a game and it can be incredibly frustrating when you have to deal with one. I actually quit playing a game called Battlefield: Modern Combat on the Xbox because so many people were glitching, which is where you find flaws in the code that lets you hide inside of buildings where nobody can see you.
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Because cheaters and hackers are constantly updating their wares, Punkbuster must also update itself. It should update whenever you sign onto a server running Punkbuster. It all happens in the background and you should not notice anything happening. Just make sure that when you join a server in whatever game you are playing that it mentions something about being Punkbuster-enabled. There are some ‘cheat servers’ out there designed for people that want to run hacks, so you might want to stay away from them unless you are just experimenting.
Sometimes Punkbuster can have some issues and not update itself properly, and this will prevent you from joining some online game sessions. I just recently had to manually update my Punkbuster because I could not join any online games on Call of Duty: World at War. If you are getting kicked out of online games because of Punkbuster problems, just go to the Punkbuster support page and download PBSetup, then select your game and let the software update for you.
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It is somewhat unfortunate that you have to employ programs like Punkbuster to play games online, but sometimes it is the only way to have any fun in a game. I’ve seen too many games ruined by cheaters, glitlches, and griefers who use exploits to give them such an unfair advantage that it makes everyone else want to quit playing with them. If you have to cheat to win, then maybe you should find another game to play.