Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead: Combined Operations Lite

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This is an unofficial guide provided by community members and not done by Bohemia Interactive.
CO Lite is still experimental as more feedback from people testing with the various distributions is needed.

Combined Operations (A2:CO) is the combination of Operation Arrowhead (A2:OA) and Arma 2 (A2). It extends it with additional content like new worlds (Chernarus and Utes) and various factions and their assets (USMC, Russian Armed Forces, Chernarussian Defence Forces, Chernarussian Movement of the Red Star, National Party).

Combined Operations Lite (also referred as CO Lite or CO:L) is the combination of OA with Arma 2 Free (A2:F). It is called Lite as Arma 2 Free has lower quality textures and sound files.

CO Lite allows A2:OA only owners to join A2:CO servers and therefore unifies the multiplayer scene.

Even for CO Full owners it might be worth considering to use. See the next section.

Pros and cons


  • More FPS: up 5-15% for both average maximum and average minimum (see PvPscene Benchmark Suite) due to A2:F low resolution textures
  • Less texture switching due to A2:F low resolution textures
  • Faster loading times due to smaller pbo files.
  • Ability to play on A2:CO servers for people that only own A2:OA.


  • Low quality textures
  • Lower quality sounds (though it seems hard to hear a difference)
  • A2:F v1.11 does not contain the addon/PBO fixes of standard A2 v1.11

How to

Basic version

  1. Get Arma 2 Free
    1. Download the file
    2. Extract the zip file to see the ARMA2Free_setup.exe
    3. Install the game
    4. Get the CD key
      1. Visit the activation site
      2. Log into Steam / your Google/facebook/Live ID account
      3. As alternative create an openID account at and use the full openID URL to log in
    5. Activate Arma 2 Free with the CD key
  2. Combine A2:OA and A2:F with the modline:
"-mod=c:\location\of\Arma 2 Free;..."
  • You need provide the full link to the Arma 2 Free folder
  • You need to enclose the parameter in quotes, if it contains spaces in the path.

CO Lite:

arma2oa.exe "-mod=c:\location\of\Arma 2 Free;Expansion"

With beta patch:

Expansion\beta\arma2oa.exe "-mod=c:\location\of\Arma 2 Free;Expansion;Expansion\beta;Expansion\beta\Expansion"

Advanced version

Visual glitch fix

There is a small visual annoyance in the main menu created by A2:F. This can be remedied by loading the misc_fix.pbo of A2 in a modfolder.

If you do not own A2, you could ask a friend to send you the said file and its bisign files.
  • Go to .\Arma2\addons
  • Select and copy the three files
    • misc_fix.pbo
    • misc_fix.pbo.bi2.bisign
  • To a new modfolder inside your OA game folder, like .\OA\@A2F\addons
  • And add the modfolder to your modline:
arma2oa.exe "-mod=c:\location\of\Arma 2 Free;@A2F;Expansion;..."

Selective A2F pbo loading

This only applies for CO Full owners that want to combine A2:F to CO Lite for better performance.

Rather to use all A2:F pbos to replace the A2 pbos, you can also load only a subset of the A2:F pbos.

For example you may want to use only the vegetation and buildings pbos.

To accomplish this you copy the desired pbos and their respective bisign files to a new modfolder and load this modfolder instead of the A2:F game folder:

arma2oa.exe "-mod=@A2F_Subset;Expansion;..."

Get CO Full

If you want to upgrade your CO Lite setup to CO Full your best option is to buy Arma 2 on Steam.


Or buy Combined Operations itself and make your Operation Arrowhead copy a gift to a friend to convert more people to the series. :)


In case of issues, head to the BI forum and this thread: