Workaround for the Battlefield 3 “no weapon” glitch

In my free time lately I’ve been getting into the superb online multi-player in EA and DICE’s Call of Duty baiter, Battlefield 3 on Xbox 360.  For anyone who’s not tried the series, it’s a large scale multi-player military shooter with wide open maps and a variety of land, sea and air vehicles with which to play.  While it’s enormous fun, especially if your fellow players work as a team it’s unfortunately riddled with game-breaking bugs.  Some players seem worse affected than others and the issues seem to be spread across all three of the game’s platforms; Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.

EA and DICE's Battlefield 3There was one of these bugs that I seemed to encounter in the majority of games I played and it left me very close to putting the game on the shelf and waiting until DICE released a patch.  Fortunately, I persevered and eventually found a workaround.  The bug in question was what I’ve seen referred to as the “no weapon” glitch.  It happened when spawning, either at the start of a new round or after a death.  Once choosing kit and deployment, I would then spawn with all of my HUD present, including crosshairs but no weapon visible on screen.  When this happens, the player is unable to shoot any weapons, use their knife, throw grenades or use equipment.  Basically you’re just a big walking target and once it’s happened in a game, there’s no getting rid of it.

I tried everything I could think of in-game to get rid of this issue: getting killed, suicide, changing class, switching team, jumping in and out of vehicles.  I even tried removing the HD content pack which comes on the disc as an optional install.  All to no avail.  The only remaining option is to quit out of the game, which unfortunately then leads to an endless loading screen.  All extremely frustrating and occurring far too regularly for my liking.  The video below shows the glitch in action (on PC).

[tube]LYO-44EPuSM[/tube]

I was close to giving up on the game and shelving it when I rather stumbled across a workaround.  As standard, whenever I start a new game, the first thing I do is install it onto the hard drive on the Xbox.  It cuts down on the noise from the optical disc drive (in most cases anyway) and often leads to faster load times.  However, not all games can support it properly and in some cases (such as Halo 3)  it can actually prevent the game from running.  I decided as a last resort to delete the install from my hard drive and give the game another chance.  I joined the first multi-player game I could find and got going without any issues.  I died and respawned a few times and didn’t encounter the issue.  That was a week ago and I’ve not encountered the problem since.

So what causes the issue?  I can think of 2 possible explanations for it that could either cause the issue independently or in conjunction.  Option 1: the hard drive could be partially corrupt or contain some bad sectors.  Option 2: there’s some kind of caching issue with the textures the game uses for weapons, which prevents them from loading properly when installed to HDD.  I’ve had some problems in the past with games freezing or failing to read while installed (Gears of War 3 and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood spring to mind) so it’s highly possible that my HDD isn’t as stable as it should be.  I hope not as it’s only an 11 month old Slim model.

Whatever the cause of the problem, it seems that uninstalling the game from HDD and just running it from the DVD drive does the trick.  On the plus side, the game doesn’t seem to utilise the disc that much more than it did while installed.  Leave a comment below if you’ve encountered this issue and let me know whether this worked for you or if you’ve come across another workaround.

Solutions Architect at Indicia. More years than I care to remember wrangling SQL Server and .NET, now mainly AWS. Data geek, football fan, and Xbox gamer. Check out my other blog Press B To Parent if you’re a gamer.

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60 Comments

  1. same issue only with battlefield and i’ve never installed it to hard drive, will be deleting any traces from hard drive and starting again, epic game, mw3 they,ve ran out of ideas, they should ak the user.

    • Graham

      Sorry to hear you’re still having the issue. Still seems to be working perfectly for me, I’ve not had a crash or “no weapon” spawn since I uninstalled. Had a few stuttery games but that’s about it. Any joy with removing all files from the HDD?

    • FIGG764

      I’ve been dealing with this glitch since mid-December it’s so game breaking and Dice has done nothing to fix this. If you go to battlelog.battlefield.co* go to the forums in “Technical Help” and search “Spawning with No Guns”. You will find a ton of people having the same problem some longer then me and some newer like yourself.

  2. talon rose

    dude i have this glitch and its been going on since about a week after the game came out Ive tried reinstalling it Ive also tried deleting all bf3 data from my console and re starting it has driven me to just not play it and a game stop clerk i know says its a bug and ill have to wait for a patch but Ive only heard of very few cases maybe 10 or 12 out of the millions playing battlefield they probably wont event patch it course of the small amount of players with the problem please respond with a solution anyone who does will be greatly appreciated

    • Graham

      I feel for you, it’s an incredibly frustrating bug. I’ve heard of quite a lot of people who have had this issue, although I don’t know how many have been fixed by deleting the install, like me and how many have persisted beyond that. If you’ve not already, it might be worth giving DICE a shout on the Battlefield Twitter account as they seem to be really good at getting back to people on there.

  3. sirrahr

    hi mate. i have this stupid glitch aswell. yesterday i uninstalled bf3 og updated graphic drivers and installed the game again. thought the problem was fixed but today it returned. afterwards i can’t see my harddisk anymore ?? the harddisk the game is installed to. any ideas ?

    • Graham

      Hey, from your comment I take it this is the PC version? I only encountered the issue on Xbox 360 I’m afraid. If you try rolling back your graphics card drivers do you still have a missing HDD? Messing about with drivers etc is one of the main reasons I moved away from PC gaming to console – but then that’s not exactly helpful for you. I can’t really suggest anything outside the standard stuff: roll-back drivers, try restoring to your previous restore point, if you can possibly get your HDD back, try and re-install the game. Did you have the recently released patch installed? Failing that, give DICE a shout on the Battlefield Twitter account, as I suggested to talon rose above, they’re usually pretty good at getting in touch.

      If anyone reading this has any suggestions how to help with this issue on PC, please feel free to add your comments!

  4. Ballerino

    I have this problem too. It is nice to hear that i am not the only one, i thought my xbox or my harddisk could be broken.

    Today the Back to Karkand DLC lauched but the problem still exists!

  5. Matt

    This glitch is driving me nuts! Im restarting and restarting my xbox over and over again. When i first bought BF3, i had very high expectations, but once the glitch came up, ive been playing alot more MW3. Hope DICE and EA fix this soon.

  6. Ballerino

    I fixed the glitch by reinstalling the game a few times,
    now it is working and the game is installed on my xbox, i don´t know its a very crazy bug…

  7. maoriwarrior888

    sorry for sounding like a noob, how did you do that
    it won’t let me into xbox live with out downloading
    game onto my hard drive
    can you help with that
    cheers

    • Graham

      Hey, sorry for taking so long to get back to you, been a busy time over Christmas/New Year! With Battlefield 3, there are 2 installs you can do. When on the Xbox dashboard, you can install the game to hard drive, as with any other Xbox game. This cuts down loading times, reduces optical disc usage etc (read: less noise :-p). However BF3 has an HD content pack and when you start up the game, it’ll prompt you to install this, which is done while at the game’s main menu. I’m assuming you’re talking about the latter? I encountered the glitch when I did it the first way, installing the game to my HDD from the Xbox dashboard. Deleting the install solved the issue for me but it seems that it doesn’t always work (Details on how to install/uninstall to/from HDD available here).

  8. Sam Johnson

    I’m having a nightmare with BF3 on PS3. I’ve been on the phone endless times with EA customer support, going round in circles and still remaining at square 1. Delete then reinstall they’ve given me 2 redeem codes and the no weapon glitch is still ongoing and becoming extremely frustrating. It’s even affecting the campaign even when my Ethernet cable has been disconnected.

    Help anyone?

  9. David

    God, I have the EXACT same problem on PS3! DICE Need to fix this ASAP!

  10. Mob

    For the past 5 days I’ve been having this exact same issue. It’s damned frustrating and I am getting to the point of getting rid of BF3 even though I love playing it. Glad to know it’s not just me. Was starting to wonder about my Xbox.

  11. Wade

    I have it and it drives me freaking nuts!!

  12. Chris

    I suffer from this too, on PS3. Tried to uninstall/reinstall severly times. ReAligning origin and psn accounts and reaccepting terms of use after suggestions from EA support…. Nothing helped. Tried to contact them again, bit they don’t respond. Really hoping they produce that patch soon, the game is totally unplayable as it is.

  13. Mark

    Having the same problem on ps3 even sent my disk to repair or whtever and got new one but this glitch is still there got new redem code and so on.Tryed to reinstall like 10 times but still facing this glitch!!

  14. Mike

    What about for PS3 users? Same problems, i don’t know how to deal with this annoying bug! Thanks dude

  15. DANNYBOY

    I have a 40gb PS3 & I have a 250gb PS3,, BATTLEFIELD 3 works PERFECT on my 40gb, but is driving me FREAKING CRAZY on my new 250gb (no weapon, freeze at “end of game screen”(EVERY TIME)) even freezes offline on campaign NOTE: none of these problems occured until the Back to KARKAND was released , not sure if its something made differently inside, but my “OLD” PS3 is OUT-PERFORMING the “NEW” one…I dont like using my old one because of the fan is way too loud. From what i have read online, dice is more worried about getting this new DLC on the market rather than finding-out/fixing this major problem…., love BATTLEFIELD alot, but I WILL NOT PURCHASE ANY DLC UNTIL THIS IS PATCHED…..

  16. Cory Jephcote

    I have tryed everything and nothing has changed. Ive even sent complaints to E3 and their advice was as usfull as a tv without a screen. E3 needs to sort this out, not us, them.

  17. tavin

    wow I cannot believe nobody figured it out yet the only fix for the glitch is getting a layer of the disk removed.the reason for this ofcourse is the disk has minute to severe scratches. works for me everytime

    • pat

      where didu get get a layer of ur disk removed?

  18. Jon

    Same issue on ps3, started happening about a week or so after the game came out..have hardly played since because it makes the game more frustrating than fun by a mile….please fix this!

  19. Skele

    The same always happens to me mostly when i play conquer dunno y this happens im gona try uninstallin the game and do it agen its shockin that somthin this stupid as been leaked onto a game so massive

  20. routed77

    got this problem too, and its properly ongoing. i’m on my 3rd disc, and yesterday i got a brand new PS3, put my account on it, downloaded/installed the patches, and guess what? 3 hours of good game play followed by this glitch. now its back to every round. does it on all accounts on that machine. got so bad on my last ps3 the campaign and co op were rendered useless too. can’t work out the cause, can’t fix it either……..

  21. oisin

    ive been having the same on 360 exept its not just when i die its constant f-ing stupid bug i dont think they will patch it i was on the website for bf3 there is a section where it shows you what they are patching i read down through the list and there was nothing there patching the mav thing where you can get up on it and they arent patching this WOW what idiots apoliges im angry i have had this for 5 to 6 weeks now

  22. Mecchman

    I have the same issue on my PS3 plus also the game sometime freezes on start up or loading a new map on multiplayer. Extremely frustating… I am now trying a reinstall which looks like I have to download the 767Mb patch again :S
    Fingers crossed it works, but I have to admit I’m not too hopeful… very disappointed with EA – DICE…
    Whats the point of a kick arse game if you get no kick but lots of arse?

  23. Rob

    ps3 user here, same bullshit glitch on mine which only occured after they added back to karkland… they broke their own game with DLC and they wanna create another before fixing this one?? EA and DICE have lost soo much respect over this..

  24. Graham

    Anyone tried Mecchman’s suggestion for the PS3? Did it fix the issue for you?

    • Spetsnaz

      That fix is only for the over head weapons glitch in B2K. I’ve had the no weapon glitch since the patch and I’m furious…they need to fix this 3 months ago

  25. joe

    Just got this bug 5 fays ago I took the game back and replaced it and deleted game data used the new game and didn’t down load back to parkland..its working nowadays. Before I tried every the glitch wouldn’t goaeay

  26. You need to delete all data for battle field except the online data then redo

  27. Gypsymob5150

    Battlefield 3 no weapons glitch is driving me crazy This game suck so bad I am going to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau since January this bullshit’s been happening. You suck EA sports you screwed a lot of people out of money you suck

  28. IWantMyMoneyBack

    This is some bullshit for real, I went and bought a New bf3 thinking my old one was fucked due to the no gun glitches and the same Shit happend, I’m pissed as you can see because in my opinion bf3 rocks ..I have mw3 and I don’t play it at all…now I’m hearing that dice has a patch coming out to fix all glitches, hacks, bug whatever the fuck you want to call it….man this Shit better work!!!!

  29. Battlefield 3 No gun

    the patch never sorted the no gun glitch for me i have now washed my hands of this great great game cause i juast cant play it thanks, to all you guys that can play shoot someone for me ok

  30. Graham

    Well, I encountered this glitch again at the weekend for the first time since removing BF3 from my HDD about 8 months ago. Quite annoying as I was playing pretty well at the time! Quick restart and I’ve not had it again since. Really hope @Battlefield get it sorted soon!

    Anyone made any further progress with it?

  31. JV

    had it for about a week – uninstalled / rebooted multiple times / cleaned disk – but still keeps happening. Pattern seems to be – get it fixed, plays one game / can start getting juddery on screen – can start seeing under rocks and things – sound goes out for certain things i.e. missile lock on and then when you try to get out – freeeeeeeze. start over.

  32. rishav

    So i was playing BF3 and all of the sudden my gun goes kaput… i restart the game do everything said in the article but the thing is I dont even have a hard drive so what do I do?

    • Graham

      Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do. The uninstall mainly did the job for me, with just one occurrence of it again in the 8 months since. All you can do is reboot the game, let the nice folks at @Battlefield know about it and hope it doesn’t keep happening. The more people who report the issue, the more chance of a fix.

  33. Tekknician

    I was having the same problem starting with no weapon roughly half way through a 500 ticket game and doing extremely well. All of a sudden I respawned with just my crosshairs( no gun , no arms). Fortunatley for myself it was the disc itself. It was full of my daughters finger prints. Just micro cloth cleaned it and no problem since, knock on wood.

  34. JohnFarley1997

    i dont know what to do when i start the round i have my guns and equipment but after i die the first time i respawn and i have nothing i only got the game today and i cant even play.

    • nick legler

      delete strike to karkland

  35. nick legler

    i just deleated strike to karkland and now its working

  36. nick legler

    all the talk about strike to karkland so I deleated and I dont use those maps and it seems to be working now …cross my fingers

  37. Josh

    I just moved back to the States. I was stationed in Germany and I’m having the same problem with this “glitch”. How can I fix this issue. My internet is not the problem, I’m running on 20mp/s and I’m on PS3.

  38. Ashley

    My glitch is in the campaign part a rock and a hard place there is no stinger in the growler… so im stuck.. can shoot down the jet… what can I do?

    • Graham

      From reading around, it sounds like the latest patch may have introduced this bug, as a lot of people have been complaining about it since. I guess you could try deleting the update/clearing your system cache to remove any updates and try playing an un-patched version to see if it works?

  39. BF3 Guy

    I’m currently running an RU version of BF3 and was having the problem with the no weapon and low quality ground textures, to fix I had to rename the ru.loc and ru.sb files located in the C:Program Files (x86)Origin GamesBattlefield 3DataWin32Loc folder to en.loc and en.sb

  40. Jack

    I’ve been playing this game on the PS3 for about a year and have had no issues at all besides maybe a frozen frame once a month. Just recently, however, I have been having the same issues mentioned above. First the sound abruptly goes out, then the next time I respawn all my guns disappear, and finally the game freezes a short time later. If I try to quit before the game freezes i get a continuous loading screen. I have reinstalled the game and checked for corruption in the data, but it just seems to be getting worse. At the moment the game is fairly unplayable, and from the dates on this page it seems like this is an old issue that may have been patched, but has reappeared in my system.

  41. Curtis Chedester

    I’ve had the glitch for 3 days now. I want to thank everyone for all their comments. Hopefully after deleting the update I’ll be able to play Bf3 all I want, when I want.

  42. BF3boy

    I hate EA now.. 2 years now and still no patch for the bug.. Well.. i’ll try deleting the BF3 files.. I’ll get BF4 for PC and hope they’ll work on patches faster and since i have a nice rig, it would be no problem

  43. inkindoug

    I just purchased a copy of bf3 In prep for bf4 and it took 207mins to update my ps3, 3 games in and I have no guns. I havent installed the game so how do I fix this? uninstall the update and try again?

  44. S

    I found a solution to the ‘no weapon’ glitch. I simply don’t buy EA or Dice any longer. If they do give a crap, no problem- bye bye crap. No more gambling with the EA Dice, I work to effing hard for the money I spend on games. I play to relax, not to be stressed about subpar games.

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