ArmA 3 for Bullet Magnets

So, I figured I’d start a new category here, since I’m not the only utter newb when it comes to the ArmA series. I know we have a pretty good base of experienced operators here, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to start picking y’alls brains in one central place.

I’ve played through the Prologue mission when the shooting starts three times, and three times, I’ve been killed without even a glimpse at who shot me or where the fire was coming from. Seriously, how do you identify targets, and even better, tell at a distance who’s friend and who’s foe?

If anybody else has any other words of wisdom on other ArmA subjects, I’d love to hear them too.

Well if they’re shooting at you, odds are good they are target and very unfriendly. Smart assery aside generally the mission will let you know who the baddies are in a briefing, and you can generally tell by that. Factions will wear different camouflage patterns, wear different equipment, have different weapons.

I.E. if I’m a US rifleman, and all my battlebros are wearing multicam and rocking M4s, if there is a dude 300 meters away wearing green stuff, and rocking an AK or a bullpup, he’s probably a bad dude. Shoot him.

Once the shooting’s started, obviously if they’re trying to kill you, they’re no bueno. You’ll also fairly quickly pick out what each weapon sounds like, and be able to identify off of that.

Finally one of the bigger mistakes people seem to make when they’re transitioning from other shooters is that movement is not what keeps you alive in Arma. Being able to quickly identify good cover is what keeps you alive in Arma. You want to limit your exposure to enemy gunfire as much as possible, taking short sprints from cover to cover, moving perpendicularly to any enemy who can observe (or better, using concealment so they can’t).

Once you’ve found something considerably bullet resistant your next task is to try and win fire superiority. Suppression is modeled in Arma these days, so you don’t need to actually hit them to achieve this. Fire as much as you can in their general direction, and their ability to move, and aim will be degraded as a function of how many bullets sail past their noggin. Bigger guns net a greater effect.

Once they’re sufficiently suppressed, now is the time you want to use your fancy foot work, sprint around them to their flank, and finish them.


Your first objective is to survive. Always work from cover. Even when you’re just on a patrol always keep an eye out and think “if the shooting started now I’m gonna take cover here or there.”

While it is possible to control your stances with just X ( to toggle crouch) and Z (to toggle prone) There’s a million more stances available to you to get the most out of your cover.

The normal standing stance

You can lower your stance with CTRL-S and heighten it with CTRL-W. This is the first lowered stance. Slightly lower than standing upright.

Another tap of CTRL-S makes you drop to a knee. A great shooting position.

Another tap makes me duck while kneeling. Possibly one of the best stances to be in considering the cover I have. The barrel just makes it over the cover.

Sitting like this works great against targets at elevation with this cover, or when you’re in high grass.

A firing spot has a life expectancy of only a few shots or bursts. Popping out from the same place again is asking to get killed. Be creative with the cover you have.

You can shoulder the rifle on your left shoulder should the cover available dictact you need to pop up from a corner on your left by pressing CTRL-A. Don’t expose your entire body when looking around cover!

You can precisely dictate how much you lean to look around cover if you have a TrackIR.

Like in flight sims, it’s hard to represent both the periphial vision and decent long range vision in a videogame. So Arma has zoom as well.

use zoom-out ( double tap numpad -) to clear urban terrain while looking down your sights like a real rifleman would.

use zoom-in (double tap numpad+) to engage at range. Some sights come with both a reflector sight and a scope, you can use numpad / to toggle between these.

Finally, like Near_Blind said, make sure you find something that is súfficiently bullet resistant as cover.

Wood might stop a 9mm parabellum round

But 6.5mm Grendel ammunition might make it through several layers of it, killing you behind it.

You’ll be hard pressed to find something decent enough against very powerful calibres, like a .50 cal or as is the case with my extreme example, 40mm APFSDS-T.

Not even buildings are guaranteed safespots.

Find the penetration testing mission here!

Hope it was helpful!


Wowza, great show there @Sryan!


My best advice would be: Just hit the dirt! Standing while the shootings happening will almost always get you killed. Hit prone find some cover and then sort out whats going on. You can also hold right click to zoom your view in. This helps alot.

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I also completed the prologue yesterday.

I felt like missing the pre-prologue because of the three latter abbreviations Not sure who FIA and AAF are but based on the dialogs it’s definitely CSATs fault.

I had some trouble identifying the FT lead until I recognized the icons. Will they be allowed in our MP session?

When the shooting started I bravely kissed the dirt and let my team mates advance like a real hero. This kept me alive ;). I could not see exactly where the enemy was until being really close. Again the team mates were a good indications. I saw where they were looking and firing.

Moving in formation was a mess, though.

Holy crap, why aren’t any of these additional commands covered in the tutorial stuff? I’m wondering now what other controls I don’t know about…

Great stuff so far, thanks!

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While true, Holding right mouse button down also holds your breath. I personally splitted these so I can zoom and hold breath seperatly.

So the AAF are the Altian Armed Forces, a military dictatorship currently running the islands of Altis and Stratis. They rose to power in a civil war that happened sometime in the 2020s, and their main opponents are the FIA, which presumably stands for Freedom and Independence Army (an intentional throwback to OFP), which are your typical plucky resistance force intent on overthrowing the yoke of oppression, and obtaining the freedom to rock these guns.

CSAT is the Canton Strategic Alliance Treaty, a Chinese lead pan Asian Security and Economic alliance, that includes Iran, and presumably Russia, and seems to hover somewhere between NATO and the EU in scope and intent. They’ve got crazy russians developing their tech, and future china funding it, so they’re basically peer, if not exceeding NATO in technology. The forces you’re fighting specifically in Arma is a future Iran that has overthrown the Ayatollah, instituted a technocratic oligarchy, and depending on what is or is not cannon (it changed a whole bunch from announcement to release), may or may not have knocked over Turkey with a dooms day weapon.

NATO is the same NATO we know and love, but by 2035 Europe is in economic crisis (lol brexit), the US isn’t exactly hurting but China has become a massive economic power house and we’re the only ones that can realistically check their ambitions of territorial expansion. We’ve basically told Europe to sort themselves out while we and Robo-Oz 2021 go try and keep aforementioned Chinese off our pacific lawns.

The set up for the Arma 3 campaigns is that NATO and CSAT forces are in a joint international peacekeeping force trying to keep a ceasefire between FIA and the AAF in effect. Only problem is the US doesn’t want to be there, cause we’re busy having a Johnson measuring contest out Guam way. Europe is too busy dealing with riots and their lack of an economy, they can’t really be there. CSAT wants to be there as a means to expand it’s power into the central Mediterranean. The AAF don’t really want anyone there, but It’s heavily hinted CSAT, by means of being evil and giving 0 bothers about human rights, is actively helping them crush the FIA rebellion. FIA wants no one there, because the AAF are jerks, NATO keeps writing them sternly worded letters whenever they kill someone, and CSAT keeps killing them.

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