I just updated my Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 and now I can't play Battlefield 3.

When I attempt to play in a multiplayer server, I get kicked immediately, the game quits and I get the following error in Battlelog:

Game disconnected: you were kicked by PunkBuster. Stated reason: PunkBuster kicked player '****' (for 0 minutes) ... RESTRICTION: Service Communication Failure: PnkBstrA.exe

How do I fix this?

  • Sounds like your firewall is blocking Punkbuster from communicating. Have you tried disabling the Windows firewall?
    – Frank
    Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 18:01
  • @fbueckert Maybe he should try punching a hole in the firewall instead of disabling it altogether?
    – Cole Busby
    Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 18:05
  • 2
    @ColeBusby Simplest diagnosis is to just disable it entirely; if that turns out to resolve the issue, it can be re-enabled and then punching the proper holes to allow it safely.
    – Frank
    Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 18:06
  • it didn't work to disabling windows firewall
    – kofuv
    Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 18:22
  • what should i do now?
    – kofuv
    Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 18:23

4 Answers 4


Reinstall PunkBuster to fix the problem.

  1. Browse to your Battlefield 3 install folder and open pbsvc.exe.

  2. Select Install/Re-Install PunkBuster Service, click Next and wait for the installation to complete.

  • You say that the install/reinsall option should be used, but your screenshot has the uninstall option selected. Made me think for a second, it's confusing at first.
    – user41123
    Commented Oct 8, 2014 at 16:12

In most cases the problem is caused by outdated or invalid punkbuster installation. The easiest solution is to go to evenbalance.com (the developers of punkbuster) and download PBSetup.

Extract the downloaded archive and run pbsetup.exe. Once the launching prompts are done, add your game if it isn't there yet, and press update punkbuster. After it's done updating, you should be good to go.

PBSetup v3.7

It's always a good idea to keep anti-cheats updated to prevent unexpected behavior.

  1. Press Windows button and R at the same time
  2. enter "Services.msc"
  3. Locate PnkBstraA on the list
  4. Mark both and select "Start the service" on the left side. 4B. If already running restart it.

NO PB IS ISSUE FOR ME THIS FIXED MY PROBLEM FOR GOOD HAPPY Reverting your Game Settings to their Default State: NOTE: This solution is particularly useful for those who both utilize the Cloud Save feature and play Battlefield 3 on different PCs, as synchronizing your game settings across different computers may cause crash-related issues. Completing these steps and reverting your Settings back to Default will cause you to lose your single-player game progression.

Go to your Start Menu and select My Documents, then Battlefield 3, and finally Settings. Delete the following files: PROF_SAVE_body, PROF_SAVE_header and PROF_SAVE_profile. Login to the Origin Client and launch Battlefield 3 trough Origin. If prompted to synchronize files with the server, don't and instead select Local Files.

Disabling your Onboard Sound Card:

Go to your Start Menu and select "Control Panel." Select "Device Manager." Locate your Sound Card and double click. Go to the "Driver" tab and select "Disable." NOTE: This step will turn off your sound if you only have an onboard sound card. To turn back on walk through those same steps and choose "Enable."

Updating your Network Integration Card (NIC):

Start -> Computer -> System Properties -> Device Manager Locate your NIC card under Network Adapters Right-Click and Select "Update Driver Software. Walk through the prompts (typically "Next" -> "Install the sofware automatically" -> "Next") Reboot may be required after successful update.

Disabling Windows Aero:

Right-Click on your Desktop and select "Personalize." Scroll down and select "Windows 7 Basic."

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .