Arma 3 Alpha Grows Up, Will Be Beta Soon

I didn't do it
All good things must come to an end, and the Arma 3 Alpha is pretty good (Steam says I’ve played it for a healthy 36 hours). If you’re still considering buying it, you only have one more day left to buy it at the alpha price of €24.99, £19.99, $32.99. Tomorrow the Alpha fades out, like a flare sputtering its last embers of warning light, and the beta replaces it. It has more official content: 10 vehicles, 7 weapons, more showcase missions (Combined Arms, Supports, Commanding & Night), 2 multiplayer scenarios and 4 challenges, and with it comes a base price of €34.99, £29.99, and $44.99. Think of it as a military upgrade, or a nice new pair of trousers.

The showcases include a new night mission, a look at the command mode, and a giant combined arms battle that uses some of the new hardware they’re shipping. They’re still only giving us Stratis, though, so the full game’s Altis remains tantalisingly out of reach for now. It’s also missing the Steam Workshop integration. When that eventually ships, players will be able to upload missions directly from the game’s editor to the Steam Workshop for others to test. That’s a big win for casual players looking for more content. If you already have the alpha and you’re impatient, a little bird tells me all you need to do is right click the game on your Steam Library, select ‘properties’ then ‘betas’. If you opt into the development build there, the game will update.

Just before E3, the Bohemia team streamed the game from their offices. I watched one live, and can now appreciate the level of calm the developers had when their attached chatroom was flooded with ASCII penises. You can enjoy the two hours below, shorn of all winkies.


  1. Ultra Superior says:

    the price is the same

  2. Dominic White says:

    Can’t wait for the Beta update. Bohemia are developing the hell out of Arma 3. Performance steadily continues to improve, along with stability, AI and general fancy all-roundness. It’s a huge improvement over the previous two games.

    • slerbal says:

      Absolutely agree. The new vehicles and helos are great – all the initial beta content is already available in the Dev build and it is awesome :)

  3. Samonite says:

    “a giant combined arms battle” :-/
    A have had the beta for a few days now. The combined arms battle is just a small mission in a valley with infantry, a few helicopters, and an APC. Not giant at all (It is fun though)

    I strongly recommend this game, they have fixed a lot of stuff people hated in the previous games. The radio chatter has fx improved a lot

    You can sign up for the development version in steam, if you want the newest stuff (including bugs)

  4. Orija says:

    Still on the fence about this one. I tried the alpha which was quite decent, but the lack of a retail release is a bummer. Not only do I tend to avoid buying games off of Steam, but the alpha version itself was prices more than double of what games usually cost in my country.

    Plus, I haven’t really played any Arma games other than Cold War Crisis. I want to wait and see how the game turns out to be after release, and see if I should get the DayZ standalone instead, but a $50 price tag is gonna be a bit too expensive for me.

  5. plsgodontvisitheforums_ says:

    Steam workshop integration really has great potential and if implemented well will totally redeem the decision to go Steam only (sans drm ofc)

  6. Amun says:

    This is the kind of game that I’d love to toy around with for a few hours, but it I know I wouldn’t get $50 (or even $30) worth of fun out of it.

    When are we going to get digital game rentals on Steam, already?

  7. Inglourious Badger says:

    Alpha have they improved it? I hope it’s beta than before. (Just punz, it was great before. Heart u, ARMA3)

  8. alonsh2006 says:

    36? HA.
    I netted a good 40 hours in the first 24 hours of the alpha being out.

  9. Shooop says:

    I enjoyed the alpha more than I did ARMA 2 and Operation Arrowhead combined. The fact that I can actually fly the damn choppers is a major selling point.

    I’m not ready to pre-order anything but I’m definitely interested.

  10. Marvin says:

    Been in the series since first days of ARMA, enjoyed it thoroughly. But where I grew a lot was on ARMA 2 and OA / CO, becoming a squadron leader of the finest team of warbirds you could ever fly with. I was awaiting impatiently the release of ARMA 3, and to my pure joy the early access with Alpha/Beta/Final game package came forth. Being that I have put more than roughly 50 hours in-game and 10 or so in-editor this point into the Alpha it is safe to say that it will eventually hit the 1000+ mark on my game library.

    ARMA is all about MilSim, highly tactical, constant communication, and real life situations presented in a virtual environment. This type of game is not for everyone, I’ve played just about any game you could name off the top of your head; but ARMA holds a special place when it comes to shear gameplay potential.

    All the aspects that I have been craving on ARMA2 are now common place, improved particles, textures, models, weapon selection, UI, night time, muzzle flash, physics. You name it, it is improved. I could not even begin to tell you how much better the systems within ARMA 3 are to CO. Night and day.

    Most of the user made content so far is amazing and has kept me on the edge of my seat. The progress of mods, whether transfered from ARMA 2 or not is staggering at times and only shows great promise for the future.

    Anyone that is on the fence about this title, I can tell you without a doubt to purchase it. This game will only get better as time and editing goes by.

    Hotel-6: T-10 for HALO, be advised – how copy. :)

  11. dsi1 says:

    Beta is so awesome, been playing since last friday!

  12. Leb says:

    Wondering how performance is doing on most pcs….

    Running Amd phenom ii x6 1100t and 1gb gtx 570

    Despite running recommended configurations listed on player forums, the game hardly uses my cpus

    Graphics card running at 90-100%

    I get around 16-19 frames when on the ground

    • PrinceofBees says:

      View distance makes a huge difference. I’m rocking a phenom ii x4 965 paired with a Radeon 7850. I have all my settings set to ultra, and get fps in the 30s and 40s with a view distance of 1500. I used to have it set to the default 3000, though, and even dropping everything to high I would get frame rates comparable to what you’re getting.

      • Leb says:

        will try bumping it down further and seeing how it plays, I’ve already bumped down to 2100~ and that gave a considerable boost (I used to be getting 9-10 frames compared to my 19-20)

        I’m excited to try the beta after work and see how it pans out!

        Here’s hoping for a motion-blur setting separate from the HDR toggle

    • PrinceofBees says:

      Also, I feel like I got a performance boost when I opted into the dev build, but I don’t know whether or not that was my imagination.

      • Premium User Badge

        Harlander says:

        What really bashes performance for me is the picture-in-picture stuff, like the working wing mirrors (even if they’re in a place where you can’t actually see them in the Ifrit). It looks so good though…

    • Thunder says:

      You have to know that multithreading is a bit more complex than just the percentage of CPU usage. If your CPU usage is low, it does not mean the game is lazy or something. Imagine it like many people working together relying on work the others are doing. Sometimes one has to wait for the work of someone else.
      It also depends on how fast your processor can process the information. I had an AMD Phenom II before for playing ARMA 2, CPU usage was at eighty something percent. Later I bought an Intel i5, CPU usage was at about 40% but performance (in frames per second) increased a lot.

    • Alfius says:

      I have similar specs (Phenom 2 X6 1055T, Radeon 5850) and this is the reason I’ve not put more time into the alpha, and, tbh I get noticeable slowdown in larger ARMA 2 CTI Warfare games.

      Upgrade soon, just waiting for the sweet spot in the cycle.

      • Leb says:

        Indeed… GTX 760 is looking like a good mid-range sweet spot right now… especially if I can catch it on a Black Friday sale in November.

        On the CPU side of things, my mobo is beastly AM3+ (sabertooth 990fx)…. waiting for AMD to really up the ante before I upgrade, bulldozer was a flop, piledriver is looking a lot better but not enough for me to fork out the cash for it

  13. jozefmrtveocko says:

    Where fuck is Altis in the beta?

    • Samonite says:

      Altis will be included in the final release, not in the public beta.
      If you signed up for the development version you will get Altis and all the final stuff before the release, but not just yet.

  14. Kondroid says:

    36 hours??…so I like this game a tad bit more (99 hours)

  15. SuicideKing says:

    Hey if anyone wants to support the inclusion of female characters in ArmA 3, head here.

    • darkChozo says:

      Oh, wow, the comments on that actually hurt to skim.

    • Mkilbride says:

      This is a simulator. As of June 26, 2013, in the U.S Military, female soldiers are not allowed on frontline duty / active combat.

      Maybe by 2035 – but it’s extra mo-cap and model work for the devs, for basically no payoff. Under all that armor and gear you can hardly tell.

      Does it really matter?