To briefly describe the problem, upon trying to launch BF3, before your browser even successfully opens Battlelog, you will be greeted with a message on the Origin launcher that x
DLC is not installed, and that you must install it before being able to play. Sometimes you will be able to launch Battlelog just fine but you cannot join any playlists that use that specific DLC in the map rotation. The most common one appearing to be Back To Karkand. If you look on the Origin Launcher and game details, it will show that you have that DLC unlocked
, but not installed. Which is often not the case, considering this issue will appear out of the blue even minutes after you have just played that DLC, and if you perform a certain workaround (which I will also include in this post), it will actually allow you to play that DLC when it is still "not installed".
A look through the forums will show you this has been a problem with BF3 ever since they removed the premium and standard purchase options, instead keeping the "limited edition", and awarding premium for free with it. It is an issue that has not ever received any permanent fix, and now that the game is so old, has been more or less abandoned.
The issue appears to have nothing to do with the player's install or system itself, but something to do with Origin or Battlelog recognizing the installation on your account.
As mentioned, since this is an old game, support appears to be largely unaware of the issue since they don't come across it frequently, so your first step to fixing should not be to contact support as you will mostly get the typical runaround before digging deeper. I've already been there and done that so let me share a few likely fixes, and these first two don't work, you'll have to contact support to try the last one for you.
FIX #1: CLEAR ORIGIN CACHE
Pretty straight forward, just follow the article linked here to do so: https://help.ea.com/en-us/help/faq/clear-cache-to-fix-problems-with-your-games/
FIX #2: COMPLETELY DISABLE ORIGIN PRIOR TO LAUNCH (temporary workaround, seems to be pretty consistent)
X out of the Origin Launcher, but then go into the Task Manager and hit End Task on Origin and
OriginWebHelperService or similar processes. This is what will allow you to play the game without being greeted by a message that you do not have certain content installed, and will actually allow you to play despite "not being installed". The downside of this is sometimes you have to do this every single time you join a new server, but sometimes just on first launch onto Battlelog is sufficient.
FIX #3: CALL SUPPORT AND HAVE THEM MANUALLY REMOVE AND RE-ADD CONTENT FROM YOUR ACCOUNT
Specifically call them, as live chat and email don't appear to really get their attention or have them take the issue seriously, in my experience, and as various forum posts through the years mention as well.
As mentioned before the core of the issue is not that the DLC is not installed or that your system's memory is corrupted, but there is some bug with Origin / Battlelog / EA not recognizing the install through your account. A comprehensive combing of the forums showed me several instances where support simply removed and re-added the DLC or the entire game and all the content, from their account and it cleared whatever bug or miscommunication was happening. This is what happened with me just now as well. There are a few other fixes out there but these appear to be the most common and consistent. If all else fails, this seems to do it.
I already went through the effort of compiling the info any support member should need no matter how foreign to this problem or this game they might be in my original support request, so that they can easily go back and reference old case numbers to see that this indeed work and how to do it. You could share with them my case number as a reference if you think it would help: #73628110
I hope this helps as this issue was immensely frustrating and would have never happened if EA just used a more established game launcher and didn't mess around with all this Battlelog nonsense!