End Game Spectator Mode – Arma 3

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The Nexus Update has introduced a new spectator mode which should improve the way players can observe a match. While this new scenario viewing mode was introduced with End Game it can be used outside of the multiplayer mode, open to community members to use in their own missions.

Camera Perspectives

  • 1st Person Perspective
  • Free Perspective (Optional)
  • 3rd Person Perspective (Optional)

Vision Modes

  • Normal
  • Night Vision (in 1PP depends on the unit's current state)
  • Thermal Vision (in 1PP depends on the unit's current state)

Flashlight Mode

Point lights are created at the camera location and at the cursor location in world.

Custom Map

A custom map designed for the spectator mode, allowing for fast but precise map navigation and changing focused unit.

BIS Arma3 EDEN VirtualSpectator 4.jpg


For a full list see the ingame control hints

Keybinding Action
W/S Free Perspective movement forward / backward
A/D Free Perspective movement left / right
Q/Z Free Perspective movement up / down
⇧ Shift + W/A/S/D/Q/Z Free Perspective fast speed
Alt + W/A/S/D/Q/Z Free Perspective very fast speed
Alt + ⇧ Shift + W/A/S/D/Q/Z Free Perspective ultra fast speed
Right Mouse Button
  • Look in Free Perspective
  • Rotate in 3 Person Perspective
Left Mouse Button Select / Deselect spectator focused unit / vehicle
Mouse Look / Rotate Around
Hide / Show spectator interface
Space If spectator has a unit focused it changes through the available camera modes
L Flashlight mode
M Map
N Night Vision
Ctrl + F1..F10 Save currently selected soldier
F1..F10 Select saved soldier
Ctrl + 0..9 Save current Free Perspective camera position
0..9 Select Free Perspective camera position
NUM Enter ↵/NUM 0/NUM . Select camera view
O Draw projectiles
Page Up View Distance +250 m
Page Down View Distance -250 m

Scenario Implementation

Debug Spectator Mode

It is possible to access the Spectator Mode while previewing in the Editor / EDEN Editor by pressing Esc and clicking Spectator, to close you can repeat previous step.

BIS Arma3 EDEN VirtualSpectator 3.jpg

Respawn Type

In certain respawn types, the Spectator Mode is automatically executed upon death and replaces the old mode. It works automatically with respawn 1 ("Bird") and 5 ("Side" if there's no AI left). For more information on the available respawn types and their specific behavior see Arma 3: Respawn - Respawn Types.

respawn = 1;

Full Control

In case you would like to control when a player starts / stops spectating, you can use the built-in functions to do exactly that. See BIS_fnc_EGSpectator for more information.

Spectate When Dead

If you are using a respawn type different then 1 ("Bird"), you may want to execute the spectator mode when a player dies, then stop the spectator when the player respawns, this could be achieved in many ways, such as the one below, which will make every player start spectating when dead, and stop spectating when he respawns, 60 seconds after:


respawn = 3;
respawnDelay = 60;


["Initialize", [player, [], true]] call BIS_fnc_EGSpectator;


["Terminate"] call BIS_fnc_EGSpectator;

Virtual Spectator

The new Spectator mode also brings a new special object that can be controlled by a player and will give the controlling player the Spectator Mode control, just drop it in a scenario and start spectating that easily. If you are accessing the Virtual Spectator from EDEN Editor, you will see custom attributes to control certain parts of the Virtual Spectator functionality within EDEN.

BIS Arma3 EDEN VirtualSpectator 1.jpg BIS Arma3 EDEN VirtualSpectator 2.jpg

Mission Configuration

Set the following variables in the player's namespace, preferable in initPlayerLocal.sqf to configure the specatator UI.

player setVariable ["AllowAi", false]; //Can the player view AI units player setVariable ["AllowFreeCamera", false]; //Is free camera allowed player setVariable ["Allow3PPCamera", false]; //Is third person camera allowed player setVariable ["ShowFocusInfo", false]; //Will the focus info widget be shown if a player selects an entity player setVariable ["ShowCameraButtons", false]; //Will camera buttons be shown. These allow to change camera mode, same as pressing "space". Keep in mind that these buttons overlap with the respawn UI player setVariable ["ShowControlsHelper", true]; //Should control hints be shown. Be aware that pressing "F1" will not bring them up any longer if disabled player setVariable ["ShowHeader", true]; //Should mission time be shown at the top player setVariable ["ShowLists", true]; //Should entity and location lists be shown player setVariable ["WhitelistedSides", ["WEST"]]; //Which sides can be watched

Overwriting Random Insignias

arma3 spectator insignia.png

By default, spectator assigns a random insignia for each group. This leads to issues where western forces have eastern insignias and so on. With the following script one can force a certain insignia per side. Of course, this script can be adjusted to your needs. The script needs to be executed for every player preferably in initPlayerLocal.sqf.

#define INSIGNIA_DEFAULT missionNamespace getVariable ["Spectator_Default_Insignia", "a3\3den\data\displays\display3den\panelright\side_empty_ca.paa"] #define INSIGNIA_DEFAULT_WEST missionNamespace getVariable ["Spectator_Default_Insignia_West", "a3\3den\data\displays\display3den\panelright\side_west_ca.paa"] #define INSIGNIA_DEFAULT_INDEPENDENT missionNamespace getVariable ["Spectator_Default_Insignia_Independent", "a3\3den\data\displays\display3den\panelright\side_guer_ca.paa"] #define INSIGNIA_DEFAULT_EAST missionNamespace getVariable ["Spectator_Default_Insignia_East", "a3\3den\data\displays\display3den\panelright\side_east_ca.paa"] #define INSIGNIA_DEFAULT_CIVILIAN missionNamespace getVariable ["Spectator_Default_Insignia_Civilian", "a3\3den\data\displays\display3den\panelright\side_civ_ca.paa"] //Set default insignia shown in spectator mode for every newly created group addMissionEventHandler ["GroupCreated", { params ["_group"]; private _insignia = switch (side _group) do { case west: { INSIGNIA_DEFAULT_WEST; }; case independent: { INSIGNIA_DEFAULT_INDEPENDENT; }; case east: { INSIGNIA_DEFAULT_EAST; }; case civilian: { INSIGNIA_DEFAULT_CIVILIAN; }; default { INSIGNIA_DEFAULT; }; }; _group setVariable ["BIS_dynamicGroups_lastinsignia", _insignia]; }]; //Set default insignia shown in spectator mode for every existing group at mission start allGroups apply { private _insignia = switch (side _x) do { case west: { INSIGNIA_DEFAULT_WEST; }; case independent: { INSIGNIA_DEFAULT_INDEPENDENT; }; case east: { INSIGNIA_DEFAULT_EAST; }; case civilian: { INSIGNIA_DEFAULT_CIVILIAN; }; default { INSIGNIA_DEFAULT; }; }; _x setVariable ["BIS_dynamicGroups_lastinsignia", _insignia]; }; true

Game Phase Setup

The spectator UI can display different game phases. These can be set by executing

["SetGamePhase", ["PHASE III"]] call (uiNamespace getVariable ["RscDisplayEGSpectator_script", {}]);

where "PHASE III" can be any string describing the phase.

The current game phase can be retrieved with

["GetGamePhase"] call (uiNamespace getVariable ["RscDisplayEGSpectator_script", {}]); // "PHASE III"