Getting Started – Arma 3

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Buying Arma 3

Arma 3 is a Steam platform exclusive game and can be bought on the Arma 3 Steam page.


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

Edition Details
Note that no Creator DLCs (CDLCs) are included in these editions!
Content Arma 3 Apex Edition Contact Edition Ultimate Edition
Arma 3 Checked Checked Checked Checked
Karts Unchecked Checked Unchecked Checked
Helicopters Unchecked Checked Unchecked Checked
Marksmen Unchecked Checked Unchecked Checked
Apex Unchecked Checked Unchecked Checked
Laws of War Unchecked Unchecked Unchecked Checked
Jets Unchecked Unchecked Unchecked Checked
Tac-Ops Unchecked Unchecked Unchecked Checked
Tanks Unchecked Unchecked Unchecked Checked
Contact Unchecked Unchecked Checked Checked

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 (TUTORIALS > 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 (Steam page) 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 or install the compatibility Mod for it (if exists) 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

The Virtual Arsenal allows to try even non-owned DLC content.

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!

Joining a Modded Server

A non-official server may require mods to play. The game itself cannot download the mods and will only tell you what is missing.
Joining a server from the Launcher can download the required mods before launching the game; see more information at Arma 3: Launcher - Servers.

Steam Workshop 101

Arma 3 does support Steam Workshop. You can find mods (a.k.a addons) that add some assets, features and experiences that don't exist in vanilla (addon-free) Arma 3, or user-made scenarios providing another game experience.

To add and install Workshop items, follow these steps:

Download and play a Scenario

  1. Open the Arma 3 Steam Workshop and select the Scenario tag.
  2. Find a scenario you like.
  3. Click subscribe on Steam SubscribeButton.png to subscribe to a scenario. It will automatically download when the game is started.
  4. Open the game and navigate to SINGLEPLAYER > SCENARIOS. If the mission has a Multiplayer/Co-Op tag on the workshop, you have to go to MULTIPLAYER > QUICK PLAY > HOST SERVER to see it.
  5. The subscribed mission will be downloaded and found under the Steam Subscribed Content.

Download and activate a Mod

  1. Open the Arma 3 Steam Workshop and select the Mod tag.
  2. Find a mod you like.
  3. Click subscribe on Steam SubscribeButton.png to subscribe to a mod.
  4. Start Arma 3 from your Steam Library, that will open Arma 3: Launcher.
  5. Subscribed mods will be downloaded automatically.
  6. Click the MODS tab.
  7. Downloaded mods are automatically loaded. If you need to unload a mod, click the checkbox.
  8. Press PLAY to launch Arma 3 with selected mods.
These tutorials and others (publishing to the workshop) can also be found on the Arma 3 website: Arma 3 Workshop 101.

Finding players, communities and help

Official communication channels

  • Arma 3 Official Forums
  • 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