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Introduced with Operation Flashpoint version 1.341.34
Arguments of this scripting command have to be local to the client the command is executed onEffects of this scripting command are broadcasted over the network and happen on every computer in the network
Hover & click on the images for descriptions


Broadcasts missionNamespace variable and its value to all computers. The data is sent consequently and reliably to all clients. Using publicVariable too frequently in a given period of time can cause other parts of the game to experience bandwidth problems.

Variables broadcast with publicVariable during a mission stay persistent for JIP clients. Such persistent variables are synced to the JIP client before the first batch of client side Event Scripts are run.

The following data types are supported: Since OFP version 1.34: Since ArmA version 1.00: Since ArmA version 1.09: Since Arma 3 version 1.26:
Limitations: Cannot use reserved names, such as "player" or "west" or "side", etc. It is also not possible to transfer references to entities which are local, like scripts, displays, or local objects. Team Member is also not supported.


publicVariable varName
varName: String
Return Value:


Example 1:
publicVariable "CTFscoreOne";
Example 2:
MyPubVar = [123, "456", true]; publicVariable "MyPubVar";

Additional Information

See also:
Multiplayer ScriptingInitialization OrderaddPublicVariableEventHandlerpublicVariableClientpublicVariableServer


Only post proven facts here. Report bugs on the feedback tracker. Use the Talk page or the Forums for discussions.


Posted on 3 Aug, 2006 23:03
This command broadcasts a variable to all clients, but as soon as you change the variable again, you have to use publicVariable again, as it does not automatically synchronise it.
Posted on 12 April, 2008
Be sure to place your variable name in quotation marks. This may sound awfully simple, but many times I have forgotten to do this, and it has resulted in no end of headaches for me.
Posted on 2 Feb, 2008
When initialising a public variable to handle JIP, you will usually first want to check if the public variable has already been (broadcast, received and) set locally. Otherwise you may inadvertantly overwrite the broadcast value with your default value.

To perform this check, use code similar to the following to first check that the variable is nil: if (isNil "PV_abc") then { // set the nil variable with a default value for server and both JIP & 'join at mission start' PV_abc = [7, 8, 9]; }; // else public variable has already been set due to a public variable broadcast.
Posted on 14 July, 2011
To make Dr_Eyeball's note even more clear: For JIP players pV'ed variables are received and set BEFORE the init.sqf. So to avoid the received variables getting overwritten by variable initialization normally done in the init.sqf, you HAVE TO to use the 'if (isNil "PV_abc")' pattern. It says literally: "Only initialize value it has not yet been set. And in a JIP this may already been the cause due to publicVariable use".
Posted on 21 September, 2013
To make Dr_Eyeball's and kju's notes even more clear, public variable is persistent. Once it has been broadcast it will be delivered to all clients, present and future. Therefore it is wise to check if the variable already exists on a client due to it being persistent before initialising its value.
Posted on 23 February, 2014
Just to clarify, when players JIP, they get the value of the variable from the last call to publicVariable, not the current value of the variable. Eg. with SomeVar = 5; publicVariable "SomeVar"; SomeVar = 10; Connecting players will receive 5, not the current value of 10.

Bottom Section

Posted on October 19, 2014 - 00:21 (UTC)
I'm pretty far down the notes list so I hope this doesn't get buried.

For clarity, after a variable has been publicVariable'd, scripts in all clients can use it as if it had been defined locally.
Variables that have been publicVariable'd do not need to be pre-defined on receiving clients. In fact, this could cause issues with JIP players overwriting a publicVariable value, as mentioned above. (tested in A3 1.32.127785)
Local variables cannot be publicVariable'd. (tested in A3 1.32.127785) (tested by having dedicated server publicVariable a local variable, then trying to hint it on client. Error was "Undefined variable in expression")