ArmA for the Curious (Guide)


THIS DOCUMENT NOW LIVES @ http://arma.djbarney.org













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This guide is a work in progress but should at least be some help in its present form.

Straight to the basics ! The 5 minute ULTRA NEW-BE GUIDE ^_^

Introduction

THIS VIDEO GAME IS RATED 18 BY PEGI. IT IS NOW AGAINST THE LAW IN THE UK TO SELL GAMES TO UNDER AGE CHILDREN.


AAVP7A1 on Isla Duala, Warfare BE

This guide is intended for people who have heard of ArmA and are curious about what all the fuss is about. You may be coming from a background of playing the Battlefield games and other titles but have previously had little or passing interest in tactical or "realistic" titles. Hopefully I can encourage more to dive into the ArmA world and learn to accept its idiosyncrasies. It is well worth it and I highly recommend giving it a genuine effort. No instant gratification here I'm afraid but once you get to the gratification you'll see the kind of revolution in tactical video gaming that Bohemia Interactive Studios are creating.


Isla Lingor, Warfare BE


Isla Lingor, Warfare BE

This page is also my attempt to list all the relevant mods and addons for ArmA. It will be AI and Single Player focussed because that is the kind of game play that I settle on.

History Lesson

There appears to be a lot of confusion over the distinction between the various game types. Tactical shooters, of which ArmA is one example, are closer to the world of board/map based Tactical Wargames that were first developed in the late 60's and early 70's. Look at ArmA's map and compare. ArmA has the familiar first person 3D environment but that does not really show what to expect.

"These games typically simulate realistic combat, thus making tactics and caution more important than quick reflexes in other action games." ( Source )

The first tactical first person shooter games started coming out from 1998 to 2001. You could (and still can) find Infiltration mod for Unreal Tournament which was innovative, implementing what were at the time (2000/2001) brand new concepts.

That video pretty much covers it. This is all common place these days of course but was very exciting in 2001. This is why so many people are very enthusiastic about ArmA because it implements all those things that those players were fiercely imagining 10 years ago. The features you see in the video are classically pedantic and fetishistic which have carried through to other games of the genre like Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon or Project Reality. With a little knowledge of history its easy to see why some players fail to put ArmA in context due to ignorance or confusion. I have not seen (at least not yet) Tactical Shooter players trash talking UT or Battlefield so why do the same to ArmA ? It' simply another way of playing that many get a huge enjoyment out of. It's important to appreciate what experiences other players value in a video gaming community. After all everyone is trying to destress and get away from it all.

AI Introduction and Exploding a Few Myths

The fundamental point is this. ArmA is not a game, its a simulator (see below). People don't expect to go into Microsoft Flight Simulator and start shooting space invaders, so why do they go into ArmA expecting to be instantly fragging soldiers ? The converse is also true. Some of the ArmA people got extremely angry at Codemasters treatment of Operation Flashpoint (OFP) when they were obviously taking a new direction - combining the tactical elements of OFP with a more instant access (Battlefield, COD) approach. But the OFP veterans expected total realism. This is understandable as many of those players started playing on the original Operation Flashpoint so they identify strongly with the title. However ArmA is actually "Operation Flashpoint 2" because it is made by the same developers. Why is this distinction between these games so difficult to understand for some people ?

If you can get over the "where's the fire button I want to shoot something now!" mistake then ArmA will reward you with dividends. Big dividends. And if you like shooting things and blowing things up then, well, good things come to those who wait.

From the perspective of someone coming from the world of Battlefield or COD they will probably see the AI standing around and not doing very much. This is deliberate as they are simply waiting for orders. They won't run off and start doing things like in other games unless you tell them to. Of course there are ways of changing everything in ArmA once you get to know it so this state of affairs is not set in stone.

Myth 1: "ArmA AI is dumb and completely --insert expletive here--".

To be honest sometimes Bohemia Interactive (the creators of ArmA) don't do themselves many favours. No where on my ArmA 2: Operation Arrowhead box does it use the word "simulator". However they do in the overview of ArmA 2 on the official site.

"Combat Simulation

Lifelike combat simulation including bullet ballistic & deflection, material penetration and more. Unique and comprehensive AI combat system for large-scale battles."

( Source )

Plus BIS have pushed ArmA as an "FPS" - First Person Shooter so it's no wonder people like me have to write these kind of guides.

So back to the AI. You have to learn the AI menu system. Once set-off in the right direction the AI is very sophisticated. They can take cover, moving from point to point while covering each other and call out enemies, or if there are none there they shout "clear". They also ask you to cover them. They can also fly aircraft. They can land helicopters, off loading troops if you know what you're doing and then returning to the air. They have various movement modes from simply getting from point A to B as quickly as possible, right up to staying prone and as hidden as possible. If you are not very fast with the menu system in the middle of a firefight things can get frustrating when, for example, simply trying to get a squad mate healed (BTW there is an add-on to fix that). But this is the thing, this is the nature of the beast, the nature of the game, it won't be for everyone, but I wonder how many even understand enough to really appreciate if the game is for them or not ? Did you give it a chance ?

If you can spend some time learning a few simple menu commands to keep you going then you're well on your way. You cannot possibly know everything straight away with this enormous very complex game/simulator.

Make sure you use the functions in the main menu as those can give you instant access to flying a bomber and other vehicles and weapons. Look at creating a multi-player game as well as that is where you will find the sort of sandbox, knock around bot based play that some people might be used to from Battlefield. And this brings me to Myth 2.

Myth 2: "ArmA is not fun".

Maybe to begin with. Is anything ever so simple ? Once you get into Warfare multi-player with the AI everything will come clear. They'll be so much going on around you that you'll become immersed. Things will happen. I was setting up defences at a minor base. It was night. APC's were powering past me. I placed a missile defence at the edge of the base overlooking an airport almost half a kilomtre away. Suddenly there is an AI soldier firing the weapon and he has taken out a vehicle at the airport.

Once things start taking off you should no longer even be aware of the ugly menu system (yes, I'm afraid it is) or any other of the endless "annoying" defects that some people seem to list about this game (which are all modifiable with addons). Again there's some psychology at work here that's worth getting around. Are all those people saying that ArmA is crap because it IS, or because they just don't like it ? If I don't like something then I can take into account that others may love it and it may be a work of genius to them. Is this so difficult to understand or have we become so uninterested in helping other players have a good time ? After all this is what a video gaming community should be about. Helping people find the ways to make their fun, even if you don't like certain games, that game may be ideal for another person. Here we have a lot of Ego's out there intent on making THEIR game "the best" when its really the game suited to THEM. Is this so difficult to understand ? Why is there so much anger over various games and formats and development decisions ? After all everyone started doing this to have FUN. This applies to ArmA as well. I think its a great shame when potential players are put off by the baseless propaganda that spills around the net getting in the way of a good game. Its snobbish. Looking down on other players preferences. Battlefield or ArmA communities and any other game community can be very inspiring and friendly environments but it pays to work at keeping them that way.

Where ARMA fits in - The context

I mentioned the "ugly" menu system. It does seem impenetrable to new Arma users, me included. But Arma came out of the "serious game" simulation community. Virtual environments that are used for training and learning. the Arma menu's appear to be the way they are because they are used to teach various procedures and logistics - rather than being the quick access menu's that you see in many games. They are actually designed to be difficult to use in order to teach ... just like it might be difficult to work out some technical or mechanical procedure in the middle of an operation ... until you know it.

Arma is related to what is known as a Distributed Interactive Simulation or High-level architecture (simulation). This is what Bohemia's professional customers use it for (under it's trade name VBS2). Various installations can be linked together to operate large simulations for teaching environments. First responder and emergency services also use similar teaching aids. NASA also uses the same approach. The render of the ISS that you see on many NASA TV broadcasts is actually a huge engineering simulation of the Space Station, probably down to the last bolt knowing NASA. This is because something so huge and complex needs careful logistical overview in light of the many complex and sometimes potentially dangerous operations. For examples NASA and JAXA have a simulation running in the USA and in Japan that communicates over the internet to simulate docking operations. All this might give an idea of the massive potential of Arma for creating ideas - being creative. Land, see and air can all interact with one another in ways that can be modified. So it's not limited to military operations but can cover rescue services or any other idea. Yes even zombies have infiltrated Arma ... the DayZ mod. There are many other ideas out there as well.

Logistics. Advanced game play in Arma will reveal this, and the game of Chess comes strongly to mind. Think of the way all the Chess pieces have their unique moves and how you have to get them all interacting. The origins of the game of Chess become quite obvious in advanced usage of Arma, as well as how the same ideas are not unique to military strategy but many other endeavours where logistics plays an important role. Could Arma be the ultimate game of virtual battle chess ?

ULTRA NEW-BE GUIDE !

1. Start a new LAN multiplayer game of Warfare.

2. Vote for the AI commander (mouse middle click).

3. Buy units(mouse middle click).

4. Select / deslect them all with "~" (usually before the 1 key, top left of keyboard).

5. Experiment with selecting your units. Either all (with ~) or individual with function keys (F1 to F12).

6. When a unit or units are selected issue commands with 1 to 0 number keys command menus, or spacebar. Point to vehicles/targets for context menus.

7. Note that if your units are in "danger" of "stealth" status then everything will happen very slowly because they spend a lot of time checking for threats. Return to safe or alert status if you want units to do anything fast (like jump in vehicle asap).

8. Find an urban area (should be one nearby, M for map). Hop in a humvee (mouse middle click when pointing at the door), then select all units (~) and use spacebar to get them all to enter the vehicle.

9. Practice moving through the town/urban environment. Switching between safe/alert and danger/stealth mode. This will show you the center of the AI functionality. AI should move from cover point to cover point. They should cover you (and will tell you they are) so you can move to a new cover point. They should call out enemies as well. Make sure you have selected "fire at will" ... "~" ..."7".

That's it. Those are the basics for a single player / AI player.

Performance

If engine performance falls too low (<10 to 15 fps) the AI performance will suffer. AI soldiers will fail to react and fire. Solution: First optimise your PC, hardware and OS. Tthere are plenty of guides out their like Tweakguides. Then optimise your ArmA2 installation. Graphic settings can be turned down low as many of the high settings add little but have a high performance hit.

If you are still getting low performance then consider running a dedicated server. This can be done on the same machine as the client (the graphics part) as long as you have at least 4 CPU cores.

CLIENT:

"C:\Program Files\Bohemia Interactive\ArmA 2\Expansion\beta\arma2oa.exe" -winxp -cpuCount=2 -exThreads=3 -malloc=nedmalloc_bi

BETA CLIENT:

"C:\Program Files\Bohemia Interactive\ArmA 2\Expansion\beta\arma2oa.exe" -beta=Expansion\beta;Expansion\beta\Expansion -winxp -cpuCount=2 -exThreads=3 -malloc=nedmalloc_bi

SERVER:

"C:\Program Files\Bohemia Interactive\ArmA 2\arma2oaserver.exe" -mod=@CBA;@duala;@glt_missilebox;@TPWC_AI_SUPPRESS;@TPW_HOUSELIGHTS -cpuCount=2 -cfg=basic.cfg -config=config.cfg -profiles="C:\Documents and Settings\User\My Documents\ArmA 2 Other Profiles\Phorce"

BETA SERVER:

"C:\Program Files\Bohemia Interactive\ArmA 2\expansion\beta\arma2oaserver.exe" -beta=Expansion\beta;Expansion\beta\Expansion -mod=@CBA;@duala;@glt_missilebox;@TPWC_AI_SUPPRESS;@TPW_HOUSELIGHTS -cpuCount=2 -cfg=basic.cfg -config=config.cfg -profiles="C:\Documents and Settings\User\My Documents\ArmA 2 Other Profiles\Phorce"

These command lines as well as CONFIG.CFG and BASIC.CFG can be found in this download.

Use something like Affinity 2 to set client and server to the correct CPU cores.

Also see ...

http://community.bistudio.com/wiki/arma2.cfg
http://community.bistudio.com/wiki/arma2oa.cfg
http://community.bistudio.com/wiki/Arma2:_Startup_Parameters
http://community.bistudio.com/wiki/ArmA_2:_Custom_Memory_Allocator
http://community.bistudio.com/wiki/ArmA:_Dedicated_Server

Guide to the AI

(WIP)

TO DO: Visual guide to command menu's. Visual guide to Gear system (not always obvious).

Nothing, of course, can ever replace a human team-mate. But the AI in ArmA is a pleasure to use compared to most other games or simulators that I've used. But of course they are not they perfect.

Combat mode status is important. "Aware" and "Danger" will keep them safer. The AI will use cover and move as a team. But they will move slower and spend a long time getting into vehicles. Set them to "safe" to speed up mounting of vehicles. "Stealth" will make them hide themselves and (I think) only fired back if they are fired upon (depends on "fire at will" setting).

The most often used command will usually be the "move" command. Be aware that orders are sometimes chained. So the AI soldier might complete a task in the queue before going on to your latest order. Using SHIFT - MOUSE LEFT CLICK can be used to set waypoints on the map for finder control of movements. Set the waypoint and then use "move to waypoint" in the menus.

Other interesting AI facts.

Example AI mission

Here is an example of what is possible with the AI.

I decided to provide MG cover for advancing AI units. Filled truck with MG kit bags and various supplies using Gear GUI menu. Bought Engineer, Medic and Rifleman. Proceeded to hill to rear of advancing AI units. Used safe roads and cover of buildings. Stopped to listen every so often with truck engine off. Disembarked soldiers every time to provide protection (they can't shoot when in a vehicle). Encountered enemy truck in rear town. Quickly hid truck and disembarked soldiers in Danger mode. Carefully moved through buildings as cover. AI took out enemy soldiers from cover. Moved on to target hill and set up MG. Ordered soldiers between crouching and prone positions when necessary. They will prone but only under fire which is often too late. MG took out a few of the enemy around advancing AI units. By his time enemy was starting to attack my hill. Put smoke out and recc'ied around with one of the AI. Decided to withdraw ... by this time just in time. Took truck with AI units covering rear. Noticed we are now well inside enemy territory which has moved around us. Carefully plan retreat via map switching AI units between Danger and Aware modes to keep them moving fast enough. Take long range fire while retreating so stop in clearing. Medic heals units. Engineer repairs truck. Move on back to HQ but get bogged down in buildings with enemy approaching. Good position surrounded by walls insures AI use cover well. Use Watch direction command (2) to keep them watching enemy. Manage to get out of position eventually with help of other AI units. Proceed to nearest town in truck with AI out covering. Eventually set up MG again.

With careful use of terrain and cover he AI tend to move naturally to where they provide the best protection. Only exception is on the edge of hills where they have to be moved to safe location or proned. Once AI commands are known and can be used quickly its possible to use the AI effectively.

  1. The AI will scan the surrounding area for a while until the are satisfied and give a "clear" response. This is on "aware" or "danger" settings (combat mode menu).
  2. AI tricks and persuasions

    (WIP)

    • Managing AI aircraft pilots. For example I did this with an A-10. Pilot should automatically follow airport makers and runway after spawn. He will taxi and take off. Landing is a case of giving the "disembark" order using the map. Make sure the marker is placed at the end of the runway that he started taking off from. The AI at airports seems to be on a cycle (this was tested in Warfare BE, Isla Duala). The pilot will land and then taxi slowly. However it seems to be impossible to actually get him to leave the aircraft or stop (this may have something to do with my set up). I had to block his progress with a fuel and ammo truck when he was moving most slowly. He will stop. Backing trucks up to the aircraft and choosing appropriate orders in menu 6 will allow refuelling and rearming. Move the trucks away and he will take off again. Unfortunately after doing this I ran into a client bug probably due to running the beta. But I think this works fine in fixed beta's or running with the latest patch.
    • Moving to positions onto roofs of buildings. This seems to depend on how the building has been set up and/or placed. Some buildings allow the AI to move in and out at will. Other buildings never let the AI in, or if they get in they can't get out again.
    • Lack of driver/pilot response to commands. Disembarking a soldier and then getting them to embark as driver/pilot almost always fixes this. You will hear "driver .... get in vehicle".
    • Carrying around kits necessary for M2 Minitripod Machine gun assembly. Buy a "Tripod Bag" for yourself. Then give an "M2 Mini Tripod Bag" to another soldier (he will carry it on his back). To assemble, drop your tripod bag. Call the soldier near keeping the MG on his back. The "Assemble M2 Tripod" action will appear in the Action menu (6). Select that and the MG is built and can be mounted by you or the AI. To take it down use the "Disassemble" context menu item (mouse over MG) or select from menu 6 for an AI soldier (has to be near the MG), then pick up the tripod pad. Get the AI soldier to pick up the MG part of the kit again (Action menu on 6). Your MG assembly training is now complete. Well done !

      Another method: Give tripod bag and any weapon_name-mini-tripod-bag to soldiers. Then order one to drop the mini tripod bag (6, drop bag). Then order the other to assemble.

    Little known Arma2 surprises (Alert ! Spoilers ?)

    (WIP)

    This is something that advanced players will come across naturally as they progress. It's all part of the surprising nature of ArmA2. If you'd rather follow that process then look away now !

    • M2 machine guns can be assembled from tripod and MG bags that you see in the gear purchase menu. See AI tricks and persuasions.

    Warfare Benny Edition Guide

    (WIP)

    Please note: At the moment this is based on WFBE 071 which is outdated. I've been using this because it has versions for islands like Duala for which later versions don't have yet. I'll play 073 soon and base this section of the guide on that.

    "Warfare" is a game play type originally provided Bohemia Interactive on which Warfare Benny Edition (WFBE) is based (forum thread). It is probably better to become familiar with Bohemia's Warfare first as it is simpler than WFBE which can be quite complicated but gives a huge amount of options and flexibility when it comes to the AI and AI/MP interaction.

    Here is the definition of WFBE from "description.ext" extracted from the mission .pbo file.

    WARFARE Benny Edition
    Note: This mission was made from scratch.
    Status: Work in Progress.
    Contact: see the file

    Description:

    Warfare is a gamemode which focus on the PvPvAI (Player versus Player versus AI), each team has a commander which have to build a base and perform upgrades.

    The others players have to conquer towns in order to gain more supply, this supply is used to build a base and perform upgrades, a town generate a variable income each x min (Supply and Funds), the funds are used to purchase different assets (Infantry, Vehicles, Support...)

    Each team has a MHQ, This last one is used to build the base, once that the MHQ is lost, The commander won't be able to build a base until that the MHQ get fixed with a repair truck.

    The towns are defended by resistance, once that all resistance is neutralized, the town will belong to the team who took it, depending on the Supply Value of the town, a defense team will spawn in that town to prevent enemy from taking it.

    The game will end as soon as all towns are captured by a side or once that all of a side's base is destroyed.

    Credits:
    Benny - Mission Maker
    MrNiceGuy - UI Design - Beer provider

    But actually that does not describe what makes WFBE so special, which is the upgrade tree (very like some top down / isometric Real Time Strategy games) as well as interesting functions like being able to see through the eye's of remote AI soldiers. Actually the camera system is probably the defining feature of WFBE. Bohemia's Warfare was always an excercise in using their simulator to create an RTS in the tradition of Command and Conquer and other well know games in the genre. For example see Bohemia's Carrier Command. Warfare is good but it doesn’t seem to unleash the kind of madness that the ArmA2 engine can achieve. WFBE uses a lot of AI enhancements such as the ability to call in an entire flying squad of parachutists when needed, and if money allows. AI units are also fun to play with. Airborne units land, drop off soldiers to capture a town and then pick them up afterwards. All the interacting elements giving and eerie impression of some huge campaign going on over very large landscapes. It can sometimes be a struggle to keep focus in the midst of all this, especially when you realise the enormous combinations of options available to you when you combine all the possible skills that the AI has. I've never seen any other game provide this number of possible approaches to tactical and strategic problems and it's nice to see a developer "get" the strengths of Bohemia's product.

    Before I begin the guide proper an important point. The Repair Truck has the ability to build a camp fire. Yes, I did say that. Your soldiers need camp fires ! I'm at least half convinced that the fire (you can in fact light it) can make tea or cook food .... but I digress.

    Gameplay

    WFBE seems to be orientated towards server gameplay. I had a few problems starting WFBE from the client alone using the menu's. For example saving a game of WFBE for later play can set off some bugs. Recommended way is to run it on a server. This can be on the same machine if you have multiple CPU cores. See the Performance section. Running a server and client on the same machine means that gameplay can be saved by using hibernate. This worked on my Windows XP system. Server and client were both stable coming out of hibernation. However using this approach tends to tie up the entire system. A better approach might be to use ArmA2 Persistent Database Scripts. I plan to test this approach in the near future.

    (WIP)

    Notes: Salvage Truck acts as a point available to the AI. Tanks and other vehicles will use it to repair if they find it nearby.

    Developing for ArmA

    Here is the current process I am following to start developing for ArmA2/OA.

    • Install the official BIS tools.
      The tools set up their own drive (default drive p:). This simply uses the command line program "subst" to link a directory to a drive letter.
    • Install DePbo.
      the Pbo DLL is best placed in the windows/system32 directory.

    • Install ExtractPbo.
    • Extract all ArmA2/OA Pbo's.
      Once you have ExtractPbo in it's own directory you can run the included "InstallOA2P.bat" batch file to extract all the ArmA2 or Operation Arrowhead Pbo's to your p: tools drive.

    Taking Screenshots

    GCam - free camera.

    The time compression key's may help as well (+ and -).

    AI addons and Mods

    Warfare Benny Edition (Bohemia Forum Thread) - If you've played Battlefield 2 then you might be familiar with this, but really the only similarity is that it has Capture Points, here called towns. The rest is just so huge and way beyond what most people are taught a video game is that you may well be shocked, stunned, or not be able to handle it all and run screaming from the room. Warfare BE has all the tactical, strategic and simulation elements of ArmA but adds an upgrade tree, full control of the AI and many possible configurations. It's possible to set this up as a knock around game or make it much more realistic.

    A.C.E. Advanced Combat Environment Mod - includes AI improvements.

    AI FIRST AID SUPPORT 2.1

    Dynamic View Distance ... makes a lot of sense for optimisation.

    Keyboard Command List .XLS . Though BIS put a few nice keyboard layouts in the manual it still comes up a bit short in terms of funtionality. It's missing about 100 commands and one of the keyboard layouts is totally unreadable when you print it out (for us blind people, yellow on tan is about invisible). So I created this for myself and figured others might find it useful too. This will help make it much easier to find where a key command is so you don't spend an hour trying to scroll through through the in-game list to find that one command you wanted to adjust.

    Other fun/random mods:

    Entire new islands to explore.

    An ArmA Navy.

    Hell in the Pacific. ArmA goes all WW2 in the East.

    Invasion 1944 ... ArmA goes all D-Day.

    Development

    A Page about AI scripting

    Official BI Wiki site on using the in game artillery module. It covers setting it up for use by players and A.I. via scripting.

    There are a few methods in ArmA 2 to simulate AI intelligence and inter-group communication.

    How To Setup ArmA’s Built In Support System.

    Forum Threads

    Bohemia Interactive Forums - ATTN NOOBIES! - New to ArmA II or OA - Here's the place for your questions

    Tactical Gamer Forum - The Arma2 Scripting Database

    Guide to AI Squad Commands, taken from an original forum thread.

    Various Notes

    (Some to be added to main article)

    Apparently the AI respond to some radio commands.

    Use "No target" to cancel previous commands. For example I told an attack chopper to target a building. I could not then get him to move because I had not cancelled the command with "No target". Have not tested this yet.

    Use "/" on the numerical keypad to look OVER optic sights.

    Backpack management is essential. Use "Open bag" in the GUI interface to gain access to the backpack and then use left/right arrows in the menu on the left to add/take away items from the backpack. You can also get items in a squeeze by selecting "Gear" from the 1 to 0 menu's (I forget which one 6, 7?) which will make the AI go to the nearest vehicle. Then you can order them to "drop" items for you to pick up (the gear GUI will show to allow you to do this). Actually the AI soldier will put it in the vehicle. You can drop items and order them to pick it up. Using "Gear" near a vehicle (the gun/ammo green icon will come up) will also allow access to items in the vehicle which is where you will find the "dropped" item from your AI soldier.

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

    Q. I can't get my addons to work. What am I doing wrong ?

    A. There is a lot of confusion over this. This may vary per setup but use the IN GAME expansion menu .. Main Menu --> Expansions. From there you have a nice simple GUI where you can enable/disable addons and change their load order. Any changes mean you have to restart the game but that ain't so bad. If you can't get the expansions GUI to work then you must have started ArmA with "-mod=" after the arma executable. REMOVE IT and you will get expansions functionality. Some guides recommended installing addons to "C:\Documents and Settings\blah-blah". In my experience this is NOT worth it and does not work ! Install ALL addons to the top of the ArmA folder ... "C:\Program Files\Bohemia Interactive\ArmA 2\" in mod folders (starts with the @ symbol). That way they will all load into your expansions menu. Took me a while to discover this, when I did I realised NONE of my addons had been loading EVEN THOUGH they were showing in the expansions menu, because I'd been using the stupid "-mod=" method. VERY CONFUSING !

    Bottom line - DON'T USE "-mod=" exe option method to load addons.

    Q. Arma has a low framerate and is very slow.

    A. Don't be afraid to turn everything down to "normal" in advanced video settings. Keep screen size as small as you can. Arma can still look very good even at nominal settings. For example check out Isla Duala which still looks very pretty on normal settings. If you are still experiencing performance problems that check your add-ons carefully as you could have too many scripts running or one's that are not well optimised.

    Q. What are these weird glitchy shadows I see below buildings ?

    A. You may have an Nvidia video card and have shadow settings set to the minimal settings. Take the setting up a notch and shadows should return to normal with little or no performance drop.

    Q. What do the .cfg file settings mean and what are these commands line options ?

    A. You may well be confused. Many people seems to quote various settings without actually knowing what they do. Do check the Bohemia pages that often link to explanations by Bohemia developers and coders. Startup Parameters. ".cfg" file.

    Operation Arrowhead Gameguide and Walkthrough. Very useful for those new to the game.

    ArmA Wiki.

    Dslyecxi's ArmA2 Tactics, Techniques and Procedures Guide.

    Armastack Arma Editing questions.

    Arma2: Why we love it !. This article is about the creative part of Arma2 and what players can expect when entering the Arma2 scene.

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