Arma 3: Getting Started

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Buying Arma 3

Arma 3 is a Steam platform exclusive game, but it can also be bought on the Bohemia Interactive Store:


Arma 3 has some Editions and bundles to purchase. Bundles are always rather cheaper than purchase products separately.

  • Arma 3 Apex Edition (BI Store/Steam) has the base game, 3 DLCs and the "crown jewel", Arma 3 Apex. This is slightly cheaper than buying Arma 3 and Arma 3 Apex separately.
  • Arma 3 Contact Edition (BI Store/Steam) has the base game and “spin-off” expansion Arma 3 Contact.
  • Arma 3 Ultimate Edition (BI Store/Steam) has the base game and every DLCs and expansions by Bohemia Interactive.

Buying DLCs

You may wonder if you need to buy DLCs. You do not need anything to enjoy playing Arma 3 (but the base game), but depending on which experience you are after the common recommendations change:

  • For a Singleplayer experience, the base campaign, Arma 3 Laws of War and in an other style Arma 3 Contact singleplayer campaigns are considered among the best singleplayer moments. If you can afford it too, see also the Arma 3 Tac-Ops Mission Pack for a combat experience from multiple points of view.
  • For a Multiplayer experience, it is recommended to at least own Arma 3 Apex to be able to play with its assets and have access to the Tanoa terrain. The cooperation campaign is good to play through too.
  • Every asset such as weapons and vehicles provided by Bohemia Interactive are free to test in Arsenal (LEARN > VIRTUAL ARSENAL). If you wonder if the DLC is worth your money, it is possible to try it for free.
  • You can purchase Arma 3 DLC Essentials (BI Store / Steam) to collect the entire DLC sets (except the Expansions, Arma 3 Apex and Arma 3 Contact).
Creator DLCs (CDLCs) are not always available to test for free and their assets are never included into the base game. You must purchase them before using them.

Starting with the game

You bought the game, downloaded it, installed it, configured it via the launcher, started it: now what?
If you are not familiar with the Arma series, a usual recommendation is to access the main menu and select Tutorial, you can find choices such as:


Playing in Single Player

In-game training

  • Play the VR Training missions to understand the principles
  • Play the Showcases to apply these principles in real action
  • Play the Bootcamp campaign
  • Practice weapons and vehicles in the Virtual Arsenal
  • Discover the available Terrains in Eden Editor


Playing in Multiplayer

Playing in Multiplayer is way different from Single Player; an AI can be predicted, its skill altered, its behaviour planned,
whereas an experienced human being will keep you on your toes and make you change tactics… under the threat of imminent death!
  • If you own Arma 3 Apex, play its Multiplayer campaign "Apex Protocol" with experienced friends
  • Hours of practice will help you:
    • Find the kind of game you like, among the various Multiplayer game types
    • Getting different experiences no training can bring (situational awareness, reflexes, specific cases)
  • If possible, try to play on multiple servers with friends or an Arma 3 Unit!

Steam Workshop 101

wip Arma 3 does support Steam Workshop. You can find Mods (aka addons) that add some assets, features and experiences that don't exist in vanilla (default game) or scenarios that also don't exist in the game to find another game experience.

To add and install Workshop items, take these steps.

Find and subscribe an item

Head to Steam Workshop and look for any items that might satisfy you. If you find something interested, hit the green “Subscribe” button. It'll download the item automatically.

Activate Mods

Mods need to be activated before launching the game from the Launcher. You can active mods in the mods tab of the Arma 3 Launcher.

Enjoy Mods and scenarios

To play scenarios, hit the SINGLEPLAYER > SCENARIOS button from the main menu. You can find Workshop scenarios there, and start playing a scenario. To enjoy Mods, it depends on the type of the Mod. If the Mod adds assets, you can test them from Arsenal or Eden Editor, if adds systems, you can test them in game.

Finding players, communities and help

Official communication channels

  • Arma 3 Official Forum
  • Arma 3 Official Discord
    • #looking_for_game channel if you are looking for players
    • #looking_for_squad channel if you are looking for squads
    • #communities_arma channel if you are looking for communities
    • #singleplayer channel for… Single Player content advices and discussion
    • #scripting channel for help in scripting, as well as Arma 3 Scripting Commands
    • #community_wiki channel where discussions about articles on this wiki happen
    • And for all your other questions, #ask_questions_here is the channel to be!

Common game modes servers

More links