Archive for December, 2010

PunkBuster Sucks

December 3, 2010

Everyone who plays PC games online knows what PunkBuster is. Evenbalance’s anti-cheat software is used in virtually every online game. Why? I have no fucking idea.To put it simply, PunkBuster sucks.

Supposedly it updates automatically, but I’ve had to update both CoD4 and BFBC2 manually. If you don’t have it up to date, you get kicked with a cryptic message. Why doesn’t it update automatically? Is this deliberate or just bad coding?

Apparently the method PunkBuster uses to identify cheaters is dubious at best. One group injected a stream of characters made to look like a common hack into an IRC stream while playing. The result? A ban. PunkBuster also has the (in my opinion scary) ability to PERMANENTLY ban cheaters from ALL PunkBuster enabled servers.

All this would be forgivable if PunkBuster did a good job of stopping cheaters. But it doesn’t. PunkBuster is woefully ineffective. I’ve played against so many aimbots and wallhackers it’s not even funny. And I’m not the only one experiencing this. There is no replacement for a good server admin.

PunkBuster is terrible software. And the guys at Evenbalance seem to be flaunting it like it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Why are game companies incorporating this shit? Are they simply too lazy or cheap to implement their own, proper anti-cheat software?