PnkBstrA.exe Process – What is it, Uses & How to Remove it

PnkBstrA.exe is a crucial component of software called PunkBuster. It is a dedicated anti-cheat application for multiplayer online video games. It’s a trustworthy component to detect cheats if any other player is using it while in multiplayer mode. PunkBuster’s anti-cheat characteristics are only triggered while playing a game supporting it. The files are automatically installed with the supported game. It is available for Mac, Linux, and Windows.


Which Games Uses PunkBuster Services?

Some of the popular games using PunkBuster include:

  • Battlefield Series: Battlefield Hardline, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4
  • Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad
  • Far Cry 3
  • Ghost Recon Future Soldier
  • Medal of Honor
  • Medal of Honor Warfighter

How Does PunkBuster Work?


The software runs in the background and automatically updates its databases to get new definitions for new cheats or hacks for different games. While playing a game, the component receives silently connected to the server and checks for associated cheat codes via various tools such as taking screenshots of your game and viewing information about your key bindings. Upon noticing anything suspicious, the PunkBuster-enabled servers can permanently ban you, disabling you from playing any PunkBuster-enabled games.

Is PunkBuster Spying On Me?


Picture Courtesy: HowToGeek

Once the PunkBuster is installed, it starts operating on your PC’s background. You’ll see PnkBstrA.exe in the Task Manager and the PnkBstrA in the Services application.

It gets instantly active when playing online games, but it downloads the definitions when connected to the Internet and not while playing games. So, it doesn’t do anything more; hence the service is not spying on you.

Common Errors That Appear Due To PnkBstrA Process


Although PunkBuster is responsible for protecting against hackers and detecting in-game cheating, it sometimes creates a couple of errors to hamper users’ experience. For instance, players who are playing honestly receive the message “Kicked by PunkBuster,” which is unfair and needs to be fixed. It can be due to various causes as follows:

  1. Malfunctioned PunkBuster service running on your desktop: It is one of the most generic causes, and the solution is uninstalling the previous component and reinstalling the latest version.
  2. Interference by Antivirus services:The antivirus program and firewall sometimes disturb the PunkBuster service, resulting in various errors.

You might want to read: How Antivirus Helps in Protecting Your PC

Should I uninstall PnkBstrA.exe?

uninstall PnkBstrA.exe

Picture Courtesy: Removefile

A legitimate PnkBstrA.exe doesn’t use many resources and is 100% safe to be installed on your computer, but it does not mean you should always consider keeping it. Whether you want it to be stored on your device depends on whether you need to play the associated game. If not required, then uninstalling it is a clever choice.

The principal reason for removing the PnkBstre.exe file is if it gets corrupted. If it is required for the next game? In such a case, consider reinstalling it. Otherwise, it must be permanently removed!

So, what are the potential signs that indicate you should remove PnkBstra.exe? For starters, if the illegitimate file consumes much of your CPU’s power or RAM, consider removing it immediately. Secondly, start observing the precarious nature of the PnkBstra.exe file. Finally, if the file’s location is in a different folder or subfolder than C:\Windows\System32 folder, you should remove it immediately.

Must-Read: How to Fix COM Surrogate High CPU Usage Windows 10/11?  

How To Deal With PnkBstra.exe?

Before removing the PnkBstra.exe, if you are suspicious about the virus or malware attacking your system, we highly recommend installing and running a security software like Systweak Antivirus to eliminate potential threats.

Install the latest version of Systweak Antivirus and initiate the scanning process for identifying underlying security threats and vulnerabilities. Once the infections are detected, you can further quarantine them!


Remember, in this process, we did not remove PnkBstrA but can decide if we have to reach that step or not. Systweak Antivirus is a fantastic security solution, equipped with an advanced heuristic mechanism and some security features like real-time protection, exploit and malware protection, etc. Besides, you will also get a 30 Days free trial. Hence, you can test the product before investing in the same.

To know more about the tool, visit the official website: Systweak Antivirus – Best Antivirus for Windows PC.

To uninstall the Infected PnkBstrA.exe variant, here’s what you need to do:

1. Open the Control Panel window.


2. Click on the Programs module and navigate the Uninstall a program window.


3. Select the associated file. In this case, you have to uninstall PnkBstrA directly.


Once you’ve successfully removed the file, consider updating your operating system to implement

Perform the steps as shown to update your operating system in Windows operating system:

1. Go to the search bar and type “update.” Once the relevant result appears, click on the “windows update” option.


2. Click “Check for updates.” Choose the available updates to install.

3. Click the download button to install the new update.

windows update settings tab

Additional Tip: Consider using a reliable PC Cleaner and Optimizer

System Optimizers are professional software that implements a variety of cleaning and optimization tasks. We recommend users running Advanced System Optimizer on their Windows PC to execute a multitude of tasks like free up RAM, clean junk files, delete duplicate files, fix invalid registry entries, uninstall apps/games (with their associated services) and do more to boost system speed and prevent unwanted crashes and slowdown issues. It even offers a dedicated Game Optimizer module that helps users smooth the gaming experience. And, it comes quite handy, in case you are reinstalling PnkBstrA.exe.


Final words

PnkBstre.exe has a critical role in keeping the gaming process free from malpractices, which is undoubtedly good, but sometimes the process has some errors that need to be fixed. We have discussed those processes and the solutions above. But if you don’t play the game at the current time, then you should remove PnkBstrA from your device. We have also discussed the steps to do so earlier.

And now, you know all you need to know about PnkBstrA.exe and how to fix issues associated with the file. We also discussed the property and behavior of the file and the reasons to remove it from our PC. Although we have discussed five ways to do so, it is vital to decide on the best option available to remove PnkBstrA. Amongst all the alternatives discussed, it will be recommended to go for system optimizers. Therefore, one of Systweak’s advanced system optimizers is strongly suggested. It is chosen over other options because it provides much more than uninstalling PnkBstrA.

You are highly encouraged to ask your questions or share feedback in the comments sec; we will be glad to answer and resolve queries. Follow us on social media – FacebookInstagram and YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions-

Q.1. Is PunkBuster a virus?

No, it’s neither a virus nor malware. It’s just a program whose purpose is to keep a check for cheating or hacking during online multiplayer video games.

Q.2. Can I delete PnkBstrA?

Yes, you can delete it. There are many ways to delete it. You can search for methods and delete them from your PC.

Q.3. What is PunkBuster used for?

It is used to detect software or other means to prevent cheating or other malpractices from occurring during online gaming.

Q.4. Can you uninstall PunkBuster?

Sure! You can take the help of a Control Panel or dedicated PC Cleaner & Optimizer to uninstall the games and associated services.


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