Arma 3: Performance Optimisation

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Arma 3 performance has always been a great interrogation topic. This page brings light on some aspects of the video settings.

General Guidelines

  • use auto-detection as a base for other settings - the autodetect button knows best, most of the time
    • an exception to that being that auto-detection will set the render sampling to at least 100% - this is not ideal if one wants to play e.g in 1920x1080 on a 3840 x 2160 screen.
  • in order to bring some relief to the CPU, play with (terrain/object) view distance
  • to alleviate pressure on the GPU, lower PiP settings and reduce 3D Sampling (e.g 50% on a 3840 x 2160 screen = 1920×1080)
  • to reduce stutter and greatly improve loading times, it is highly recommended to install Arma 3 on a Solid State Drive (SSD)
  • Do your tests on a Vanilla (no mods) Arma 3! Some ill-conceived mods can bring performance down.
  • Do your tests in a single player environment. If your performances in multiplayer are worse than in single player, the server/connection/mission is at fault; nothing can be done on your side.

Video Options

Settings Impacts

means a heavy impact on performance
means an average impact
means little to no performance impact.


Category Setting CPU GPU Additional Details
Quality Sampling
Defines the game's 3D resolution based on Display's Resolution setting (in %) - e.g 50% of 3840×2160 results in a 3D resolution of 1920×1080 (1/4 of the original resolution)
Defines textures' quality - dependent on the GPU's memory
Defines object's details and LOD thresholds
Defines terrain's geometry details at medium long range (does not affect textures)
Defines shadow precision
Defines quality and the amount of particles (smoke, fire, dust, etc) visible on screen.
Defines if Cloud Simulation should be used and at which level of detail
Adds (doubles?) the strain on the CPU - another scene has to be calculated in order to do the render. Quality here means PIP drawing distance
Visibility Overall
Terrain's view distance
Object's view distance - The CPU killer. Set to about 1/3 to 1/2 of terrain's view distance
Shadows' draw distance - range 50..200m
Lighting HDR
Sets HDR quality, 8 or 16 bits
Dynamic Lights
Sets the maximum number of dynamic lights (light sources that are not the sun or the moon) in the scene
Water Reflections
Defines quality of water surface reflection


Category Setting CPU GPU Additional Details
General Display Mode
Full Screen can solve some issues, Full Screen Window can fix some others. Windowed is useful for debug purposes
Should be set to the screen's native resolution and use Sampling to lower the 3D resolution if needed
Aspect Ratio
Set to auto or to the screen's aspect ratio. No impact on performance
Vertical Synchronisation
Interface Size
No impact on performance
No impact on performance
No impact on performance


Category Setting CPU GPU Additional Details
PostProcesses Bloom
Radial Blur
Adds "speed" blur to the border of the screen
Rotation Blur
Adds screen blur on fast camera movement
Depth of Field
Adds blur to non-focused background
Sharpen Filter
Makes the image sharper, but can also make it more grainy or too outlined
(Screen Space) Ambient Occlusion. HBAO stands for Horizon-Based AO (Nvidia), whereas HDAO stands for High Definition AO (AMD).
Water surface reflection on the ocean floor
Color Corrections
Color Preset
Post-process image brightness
Post-process image contrast
Colour saturation - the higher the more colours, the lower the more black & white
AntiAliasing FSAA
Full Screen Anti-Aliasing
Alpha to Coverage. Requires FSAA
Post-Processing Anti-Aliasing. Less taxing than FSAA, with very minor graphical glitches
Aniso. Filtering
Anisotropic filtering

See Also

External Links