ArmA 3 Replacement Config Tutorial

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Introduction

Anyone is welcome to improve this guide by any means. Be it making it easier to understand or more comprehensive.


This is a guide how to create an addon to replace the look of a given weapon/unit/vehicle with a different model from another community made addon. To avoid issues the replacement should be of the same type and behavior as close as possible. Generally the goal is to to achieve a better visual look or better sound experience.

Required tools

Overall process

Basic preparation

  1. Download the desired addon(s) you want to use for the replacement
  2. Load it/them via a modfolder
  3. Make a config overview for the above mentioned config dump mission in the editor; cfgVehicles for infantry or vehicles, cfgWeapons for weapons (or make subsets like CAManBase, AllVehicles, Tank, Cars, etc); for sounds cfgAmmo and cfgMagazines are also relevant and a few other specific classes for UI or terrain sounds
  4. Extract the classes of the desired vehicle/infantry/weapon item/set/type/faction to replace
  5. Extract the classes of the replacements
  6. Clean both their content for all but the relevant parameters (see below for more information); this regex will remove all but the mentioned parameters:
^(?!.*?(^\tclass|parameterA|parameterB|etc)).*\r\n

Preparing the addon

  1. Create a new folder in your @test\addons modfolder
  2. Give the folder a descriptive name like YourTAG_ReplacementSet_With_AddonName
  3. Create an empty text file
  4. Rename it to config.cpp (make sure to have windows show file extensions)
  5. Add a cfgPatches header - see sample below
    1. Give it the same name as the folder
    2. Add the cfgPatches class dependency of the addon used for the replacement in requiredAddons definition
  6. Add the cfgWeapons/cfgVehicles body
  7. Add the desired vehicles/infantry/weapons classes you want to replace
    1. It should include the base class
    2. The definitions should be strip of all unnecessary parameters at this point
    3. Disable all the remaining parameters (by adding '//' at the start of each line to comment it out) - they only serve as a reminder what you have to replace for a given class

Sample config:

 class CfgPatches
 {
 	class YourTAG_ReplacementSet_With_AddonName
 	{
 		units[] = {};
 		weapons[] = {};
 		requiredVersion = 0.1;
 		requiredAddons[] = {"DependencyToAddonsCfgPatchesClass"};
 	};
 };
 class CfgVehicles
 {
 	class SoldierWB;
 	class B_Soldier_base_F: SoldierWB
 	{
 //		model = "\A3\characters_F\BLUFOR\b_soldier_01.p3d";
 //		nakedUniform = "U_BasicBody";
 //		uniformClass = "U_B_CombatUniform_mcam";
 //		hiddenSelections[] = {"Camo"};
 //		hiddenSelectionsTextures[] = {"\a3\characters_f\blufor\data\clothing1_co.paa"};
 //		linkedItems[] = {"V_PlateCarrier1_rgr","H_HelmetB","ItemMap","ItemCompass","ItemWatch","ItemRadio","NVGoggles"};
 //		respawnLinkedItems[] = {"V_PlateCarrier1_rgr","H_HelmetB","ItemMap","ItemCompass","ItemWatch","ItemRadio","NVGoggles"};
 //		class Wounds
 //		{
 //			tex[] = {};
 //			mat[] = {"A3\Characters_F\BLUFOR\Data\clothing1.rvmat",...};
 //		};
 	};
 	class B_Soldier_F: B_Soldier_base_F
 	{
 //		nakedUniform = "U_BasicBody";
 //		uniformClass = "U_B_CombatUniform_mcam";
 	};
 };

Defining the replacement

  1. Next you have to select which addon unit should replace each given source class; generally one copies GL over GL, MG over MG and so on
  2. You do so by copying the parameters of the addon class into your replacement addon for the given class
  3. Very important is to keep the parameter inheritance in mind in both addon and source class; in other words you need to check carefully where each required parameter is set and if you need to replace it in the given/specific class or at the base class level

To make some examples for infantry classes:

  • class Wounds or the model are often set only in the base class; except for specific types like snipers, officer, pilot/crew classes
  • whereas the linkedItems list/array is mostly defined per specific class
  • make sure what parameters are set in the base class of the replacement addon

Building the addon

  1. Once each class of has the required parameters set/overwritten with new definitions from the desired addon
  2. Check your config for error (brackets, semicolons, etc) - rapify/mikero's tools have the feature to verify a config for correctness
  3. Build your addon folder to pbo
  4. Load your new pbo in a modfolder, as well as the addon it depends on
  5. Verify in the editor that the replacement works as desired and that you have no onscreen errors and none in the rpt

Different types

Visual replacement

Infantry

Relevant config parameters:

  • model
  • hiddenSelections[]
  • hiddenSelectionsTextures[]
  • class Wounds
  • nakedUniform
  • uniformClass
  • linkedItems[]
  • respawnlinkedItems[]
  • backpack (somewhat problematic as it may have gameplay impact - better to replace the backpack look itself in its definition/class)

Sample config:

 class CfgPatches
 {
 	class AiA_ModelReplacement_BAF_With_STALKERGBs_BritishInfantry
 	{
 		units[] = {};
 		weapons[] = {};
 		requiredVersion = 0.1;
 		requiredAddons[] = {"AiA_ActivateA3Models_ModelReplacement_CO","STKR_BritMTP"};
 	};
 };
 class CfgVehicles
 {
 	class SoldierWB;
 
 	class BAF_Soldier_base_EP1: SoldierWB
 	{
 		model = "\STKR_BritMTP\Rifleman";
 		uniformClass = "STKR_UBACS";
 		backpack = "Brit_MLode";
 		linkedItems[] = {"STKR_Osprey_R","STKR_MK7_Scrim","STKR_HMNVS","ItemMap","ItemCompass","ItemWatch","ItemRadio"};
 		respawnLinkedItems[] = {"STKR_Osprey_R","STKR_MK7_Scrim","NVGoggles","ItemMap","ItemCompass","ItemWatch","ItemRadio"};
 		class Wounds
 		{
 			tex[] = {};
 			mat[] = {...};
 		};
 	};
 ..

Vehicles

Weapons

Sounds replacement