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Suspends code execution for given time in seconds. The sleep precision is given by a framerate, the delay given is the minimal delay expected. Must be called inside of a context which is interruptible, i.e. a script executed by execVM or spawn.
  • this command will suspend the code for at least the given amount of time, and can be way more if the script scheduler is busy.
  • this command will suspend the script as the game gets paused in single player (and will resume with it). To avoid this, use uiSleep.
Program Flow


sleep delay
delay: Number - in seconds. Negative values will not be considered.
Return Value:


Example 1:
0 spawn { sleep 5; hint "after (at least) 5 seconds..."; };
Example 2:
sleep 5 + random 10; // incorrect - will only sleep for 5 seconds, as it will be interpreted as (sleep 5) (+(random 10)) sleep (5 + random 10); // correct

Additional Information

See also:
uiSleep waitUntil canSuspend execVM spawn sleep vs uiSleep Control Structures


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
CrashDome - c
Posted on Dec 20, 2006 - 20:53 (UTC)
Sleep suspends both SQF functions and SQF scripts. In functions, the calling script is still in suspension due to waiting for a return from the call command. The game engine will continue, however. See Function for more detail.
Kronzky - c
Posted on Feb 12, 2007 - 20:16 (UTC)
Sleep durations between .0005 and .02 will cause the same delay (roughly .02 seconds).
Delays of .0005 and less have no effect (i.e, the sleep call will return immediately).
Sbsmac - c
Posted on Feb 13, 2007 - 22:32 (UTC)
The comment above is a little misleading. The game engine appears to work by processing frames and then checking to see whether scripts are available to execute. Sleep causes the script/function to be suspended until at least the specified time has elapsed. To wait for the next frame, or give other scripts a chance to run, use Sleep 0.001.
Inkompetent - c
Posted on Jun 16, 2007 - 00:13 (UTC)
For scripts called by the Init Event Handler the first sleep command will suspend the script at the briefing screen at the start of a mission. The script will continue after the briefing screen, when actually "in game".