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Mark a unit as captive. If unit is a vehicle, commander is marked. A captive unit:
  • is seen as belonging to the civilian Side
  • will not be fired upon
  • will still shoot at its real side's enemies
  • will make its killer earn/lose score/rating as usual
  • will not get its weapons removed (see removeAllWeapons)
  • will not trigger "detected by" conditions for its original Side.
The number used as status can be retrieved by captiveNum to keep track of the captivity status at a finer resolution (e.g. handcuffed, grouped, etc).
Object ManipulationSides


unitName setCaptive status
unitName: Object
status: Boolean - true means captive
Return Value:

Alternative Syntax

unitName setCaptive statusNumber
unitName: Object
statusNumber: Number - zero means non-captive, a non-zero value means captive; see captiveNum
Return Value:


Example 1:
_soldier1 setCaptive true; side _soldier1; // returns civilian side group _soldier1; // returns e.g blufor
Example 2:
_soldier1 setCaptive 1; captive _soldier1; // returns true _soldier1 setCaptive 42; captive _soldier1; // returns true _soldier1 setCaptive 0; captive _soldier1; // returns false

Additional Information

See also:
captive captiveNum


Report bugs on the Feedback Tracker and/or discuss them on the Arma Discord or on the Forums.
Only post proven facts here! Add Note
Talkingtoaj - c
Posted on Jan 01, 2011 - 13:11 (UTC)
If you change a unit from captive to no longer captive (for example, to "reveal" an undercover unit), enemy units that already have prior knowledge of the unit as a captive will only partially engage, making it very easy for the undercover unit. This seems to be a bug. However other enemy unit the unit later encounters will engage freely with full force.
Lou Montana - c
Posted on Nov 19, 2017 - 10:58 (UTC)
Talkingtoaj's note does not apply to Arma 3 anymore (earlier than 1.76)
A captive unit will immediately be shot (after a normal "human" reaction time from the AI)
DreadedEntity - c
Posted on Apr 26, 2022 - 01:15 (UTC)
In A3 2.08.149102, entering an empty vehicle with the same side as the player as defined in configFile >> "CfgVehicles" >> _vehicleClassname >> "side" will briefly switch the side of the vehicle to the side of the player soldier (specifically, while the get in animation is playing), even if captive. Once exiting the vehicle, it will retain that side until the player enters a new vehicle or, seemingly arbitrarily, moves more than 100 meters away from the vehicle player distance _vehicle > 100. If the player gets within 100 meters of the vehicle without entering a new vehicle, it will again switch to the players side. This is probably a bug, in my opinion