Arma 3 Vehicle Weapon Switching

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Introduced with Arma 3 version 1.54

As part of Arma 3 release 1.54, we added four new actions offering the ability to switch vehicle weapons based on categorization, which avoided the need to cycle through every weapon first. We also made the system fully configurable, so developers can specify exactly where they want their weapons.

Config Defines

The weapon groups use enumerated data types and are defined in Arma 3’s basic defines as the following:

#define WEAPONGROUP_CANNONS      1  // Cannons
#define WEAPONGROUP_MGUNS        2  // Machine Guns
#define WEAPONGROUP_ROCKETS      4  // Rockets
#define WEAPONGROUP_AAMISSILES   8  // Anti-Air Missiles
#define WEAPONGROUP_ATMISSILES  16  // Anti-Tank Missiles
#define WEAPONGROUP_MISSILES    32  // All / Other Missiles
#define WEAPONGROUP_BOMBS       64  // Bombs
#define WEAPONGROUP_SPECIAL    128  // Laser Designator + Misc

Weapon category definitions can be added to iterative weaponsGroup parameters in the vehicle class structure, which simply adds that category to a specific weapons group, which can then be directly selected from the controls. All vehicles that inherit from Arma 3's base classes will already have some weapon grouping template.

class CfgVehicles
    class MyPrettyAirplane
        weaponsGroup1 = WEAPONGROUP_CANNONS + WEAPONGROUP_MGUNS;                                // Adds Cannons and Machine Guns to Weapons Group 1
        weaponsGroup2 = WEAPONGROUP_ROCKETS;                                                    // Adds Rockets to Weapons Group 2
        weaponsGroup3 = WEAPONGROUP_AAMISSILES + WEAPONGROUP_ATMISSILES + WEAPONGROUP_MISSILES; // Adds All Missile types to Weapons Group 3
        weaponsGroup4 = WEAPONGROUP_BOMBS + WEAPONGROUP_SPECIAL;                                // Adds Bombs and Laser Designators to Weapons Group 4

Once this is defined, the "Switch to Weapons Group" actions will correlate to the groups in the vehicle config, since the engine automatically determines the category for each weapon based on the ammo simulation.

Weapon Override

It is possible to override the engine's determination of weapon category by altering the weaponType parameter in the ammunition of the weapon, found in CfgAmmo:

class CfgAmmo
    class B_19mm_HE;
    class B_30mm_HE : B_19mm_HE     { weaponType = "cannon"; };

    class BulletBase;
    class B_30mm_AP : BulletBase     { weaponType = "cannon"; };

The weapon category strings are:

  • "cannon"
  • "mGun"
  • "rocket"
  • "missileAA"
  • "missileAT"
  • "missileAAAT"
  • "bomb"
  • "special"