Arma 3: Difficulty Settings

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The Arma 3 logo black.png1.58 update brought a lot of changes to the difficulty system. A list of the most significant ones can be found at the bottom of the page.
There is a related forum thread where the changes can be discussed.

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Difficulty Menu


One of the main changes that came with 1.58 is, that the difficulty levels were transformed to true presets. Each preset has exactly defined value for each difficulty option. If any of the options doesn't match the preset, it is changed to Custom. The following table shows comparison of the presets. Options that have fade out set can be faded in via the J key.

Config Parameter Name in Game Recruit Regular Veteran Possible Values Note
reducedDamage Reduced Damage 1 0 0 0 = disabled, 1 = enabled Decreases damage dealt to the player and members of his group.
Situational Awareness
squadRadar - - - - - Shows a squad radar. Not implemented!
groupIndicators Group Indicators 2 1 0 0 = never, 1 = limited distance, 2 = always Shows indication icons on units in player's group.
friendlyTags Friendly Name Tags 2 1 0 0 = never, 1 = limited distance, 2 = always Friendly unit identification. Works only when the player aims at a unit.
enemyTags Enemy Name Tags 0 0 0 0 = never, 1 = limited distance, 2 = always Enemy unit identification. Works only when the player aims at a unit.
detectedMines Detected Mines 2 1 0 0 = never, 1 = limited distance, 2 = always Shows icons indicating exact positions of mines which are 200 m or closer.
commands Commands 2 1 1 0 = never, 1 = fade out, 2 = always Displays command icons like target markers, get in command and others.
waypoints Waypoints 2 2 1 0 = never, 1 = fade out, 2 = always Manages visibility of waypoint markers.
Personal Awareness
weaponInfo Weapon Info 2 2 1 0 = never, 1 = fade out, 2 = always Shows Weapon Info box contains round and magazine count, firing mode, etc..
stanceIndicator Stance Indicator 2 2 1 0 = never, 1 = fade out, 2 = always Displays stance indication contains actual stance, weapon resting and deployment.
staminaBar Stamina Bar 1 1 0 0 = disabled, 1 = enabled Manages visibility of stamina indicator. Fades in when stamina changes.
weaponCrosshair Crosshair 1 1 0 0 = disabled, 1 = enabled Shows weapon crosshair both in 1st and 3rd person view.
visionAid Vision Aid 1 0 0 0 = disabled, 1 = enabled Helps to detect units in visual range and identify friend from foe.
thirdPersonView 3rd Person View 1 1 0 0 = disabled, 1 = enabled, 2 = vehicles only Enables camera switching to 3rd person view.
Arma 3 logo black.png2.00 Vehicle only is now available
cameraShake Camera Shake 1 1 1 0 = disabled, 1 = enabled Shakes camera if player is near explosion, passing vehicle or if player's vehicle is under G-load.
scoreTable Score Table 1 1 1 0 = disabled, 1 = enabled Displays table with kills, deaths and overall score in multiplayer.
deathMessages Killed By 1 1 1 0 = disabled, 1 = enabled Shows in chat window who killed the player.
vonID VON ID 1 1 1 0 = disabled, 1 = enabled Indicates who is speaking through VON communication.
Map Content
mapContent - - - - 0 = disabled, 1 = enabled Arma 3 logo black.png1.68 This property was replaced by mapContent* but still works. If it is set, all other mapContent* properties are overwritten. Not available via menu.
mapContentFriendly Friendly 1 1 0 0 = disabled, 1 = enabled Arma 3 logo black.png1.68 Shows friendly units on the map.
mapContentEnemy style="text-align: center" | 1 1 0 0 = disabled, 1 = enabled Arma 3 logo black.png1.68 Shows enemy units on the map.
mapContentMines Mines 1 1 0 0 = disabled, 1 = enabled Arma 3 logo black.png1.68 Shows detected mines on the map.
tacticalPing Tactical Ping 1 1 0 0 = disabled, 1 = enabled, 3 = enabled plus show up on 2d map Allows players to highlight a position via a Tactical Ping.
autoReport Automatic Reporting 1 1 0 0 = disabled, 1 = enabled Former autoSpot Enables/disables automatic reporting of spotted enemies by players only. To stop AI from talking with script, use unit setSpeaker "NoVoice";
multipleSaves Multiple Saves 1 1 0 0 = disabled, 1 = enabled Allows player to create multiple saves in a mission.


Please note that the following information applies to the config in game's data (namely data_f.pbo) not to the profile. For profile related information please refer to this page. Since Arma 3 1.58 the game's config uses CfgDifficultyPresets class. The former CfgDifficulties is now obsolete and was left in the config only not to break scripts that might have used it.

Show text

Extraction script can be found on the Biki Export Scripts page.

Difficulty Overhaul

Phase 1

  • Class CfgDifficulties will be left in config for backwards compatibility. Game will use class CfgDifficultyPresets from now on. Because of this and change of particular flags, it is recommended for both client and server to use the new exe, so the difficulty in MP works flawlessly (if the versions won't match, MP will work, but certain flags may not be enforced on clients).
  • Transform difficulty levels to presets (i. e. unlike the current state, each preset will have exactly defined values, if they don't match, preset will be changed to Custom).
  • Reduce number of presets to three plus Custom to simplify choosing of difficulty. Recruit and Regular will be mostly identical to what they were, Veteran will use the values of former Elite.
  • Vision Aid flag will be added. It shows "bubbles" which help to spot units. Before it was available only in config and enabled on Recruit difficulty.
  • Unlimited Saves flag will be set to Enabled on Regular difficulty.
  • VON ID will be set to Enabled on all difficulties, since by default we want to know who's speaking.
  • Clock Indicator flag will be removed. Clock Indicator was switched off long time ago, only the flag remained in code.
  • Game Options button and difficulty indicator in MP Create Game dialogue. The button will allow users to set difficulty flags without shutting down the server.

Phase 2

  • Difficulty options will be divided to groups and some of them renamed for better comprehensibility.
  • Extended HUD Info will be split to:
    • Weapon Info (weapon, magazine and round count in the top right corner of the screen).
    • Commands (command and informational icons displayed in the 3D space - heal, get in, injured in etc.).
  • Instead of separate options for displaying UI elements permanently, ComboBoxes with multiple values (Show, Hide, Fade out or Limited distance) will be introduced. Work on them is currently in progress and will be finished in Phase 3.
  • Indicator of required position in formation will become part of Group Indicators.
  • AI sliders will be visible on all of the AI Level presets.
  • UI helpers in the 3D space that fade out (commands, waypoints) will be able to be brought back by the J key, the same way as the new tasks do.
  • Auto Guide AT will be removed, since it has no impact on ammunition guidance. Moreover it influences target marker (square) and lock indicator (diamond) of various weapons, which should be part of the weapon itself not difficulty. From now on, the target marker and lock indicator will be dependent purely on canLock parameter of the weapon in a following way:
    • canLock == 0 - indicator is hidden
    • canLock == 1 - indicator is hidden (left only for backwards compatibility)
    • canLock == 2 - indicator is shown
  • Parameters in class Flags in CfgDifficultyPresets will be changed (names, their count, some of them will have int value instead of bool) according to the needs of the new system. Class Flags will be renamed to class Options to reflect the new state.
  • Script command difficultyEnabled connected to the former difficulty system will become obsolete and will always return false.
  • New script command difficultyOption will be added instead.

Phase 3

  • Added explanatory images and descriptions of the difficulty options.
  • Added Hide option to Weapon Info.
  • Added Limited distance option to Friendly and Enemy Name Tags, Detected Mines and Group Indicators.
  • Added new server config parameter forcedDifficulty. More details could be found in this post.
  • Tweaked UI in MP Create Game display to indicate more clearly which difficulty is selected, including indication of the forced difficulty.
  • Fixed unintentional disabling of the Difficulty tab in Game Options display when mission is not running.

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