Arma 3 Bootcamp Update: VR Training, Expanded Workshop

My first online experience with Arma 3 involved failing to grasp our mission, stumbling around in the dark, and falling accidentally out of a helicopter to be left stranded in a forest. Arma 3 Bootcamp is exactly what I needed. That’s the name of the next update to the military sim, and it’s going to introduce a new tutorial campaign, an ‘instructor’ scenario for multiplayer, a gun model-viewing encyclopedia and a virtual training mode. Plus greater Steam Workshop support and a new game launcher. Full details below.

In a long post on the game’s official site, creative director Jay Crowe set out the need for better teaching within the infamously complicated series. The bootcamp campaign sounds like a traditional tutorial, and the multiplayer bootcamp relies on the Zeus DLC and is dependent on having a patient player to instruct you, so it’s the virtual training arena (pictured above) that sounds most intriguing.

The VR Training concept is supported by a unique new ‘world’. ‘Virtual Reality’ acts as a digital blank canvas, where ‘real’ game assets are spawned alongside ‘simulated’ entities to create artificial scenes that serve carefully designed purposes. In official content, this includes the above-described VR Training topics. More broadly, it acts as a terrain to test content or features under simple or highly specific conditions, and – we hope – as a space for content creators to try out more experimental and innovative concepts.

Virtual Reality also includes a set of related assets, such as the VR Goggles and training suit. Additionally, a set of ‘generic’ VR Objects (cubes, primitive structures, etc.) are available. These are plain geometric blocks in the daytime, with glowing edges in low-light conditions, which provide the ‘building blocks’ to populate scenes and, hopefully, encourage the creation of different types of game modes and new possibilities for custom scenarios.

So it’s a toolset for players to make their own lessons, it’s essentially a set of whitebox-style assets for testing other kinds of scenario, and it’s reminiscent of Metal Gear Solid. Game, set and match, Bohemia.

The update should also bring changes relevant to those already expert at running military manouvers. A new system for weapon sway should make the tactical decision between pistols and submachine guns more meaningful by introducing advantages to the lighter weaponry, while new fatigue mechanics will mean that players will have to think more carefully about what they put in their pack before missions.

Meanwhile, although Arma had Steam Workshop support previously, that functionality is now being expanded to include add-ons rather than just custom scenarios. Those add-ons include vehicles, new features, and total conversions. That should make anything the famously creative Arma community makes easier to find and play, just as the Workshop has for other games. This is further aided by a new game launcher, which will make it easier for users to “organise, maintain and load mods”.

So that’s a crazy amount of new stuff, then. There’s no firm release date for any of it, but it should be available soon if Bohemia are sticking to the development roadmap they laid out last month.


  1. soldant says:

    Has the AI advanced beyond the Operation Flashpoint days? If not – I’m not going back.

    • fer says:

      It’s a great deal better than OFP (given the number of years that have passed, you’d expect that), and made even more so on servers that run specialised (server-only) mods that govern AI behaviour. Folk ARPS uses ASR_AI3 on its servers, which introduces some nice changes such AI squads popping smoke and breaking contact during firefights.

      • soldant says:

        Last time I played ARMA3, shortly after the ‘official’ release, the AI still had many problems that were present all the way from OpFlash, particularly the idiotic driving AI that couldn’t navigate a straight road.

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    Harlander says:

    It’s nice of Bohemia to add so many assets tailored for Metal Gear mods.

  3. eightbitrobot says:

    Coming from Project Reality BF2, I was kind of interested in trying ArmA 3 but the critical reception has put me off so far, the retail release looked unfinished and the mod community seem to be more focused on DayZ style gameplay rather than milsim stuff.. maybe I’m just looking in the wrong places.

    • Napoleon15 says:

      Like all the ARMA games, it’s not a perfect game, but it is a good game and it is in a much better state than when it originally released. The singleplayer campaign isn’t the best they’ve put out, but it’s enjoyable enough to play through, and I’ve had some pretty good experiences in stock COOP multiplayer where I’ve ended up teaming with random people who were tactically aware and good teamplayers. We cruised around in MRAPs completing objectives, calling airstrikes from other players etc.

      I don’t like pushing people towards buying stuff they’re not sure on, but I will say I’ve had some good fun with the game and that the Steam sale price is pretty generous for what you’re getting. Also plenty of fun to be had with the very simple, albeit powerful mission editor.

    • Alonso says:

      What about Tactical Battlefield mod for Arma 3: TacBF

  4. Synesthesia says:

    Very nice! Can we please, PLEASE have some working bipods no? The bug tracker has over 2.5k votes on it, and there is not even a single dev response. By now, even if they just copied and pasted the arma 2 functionality, it would be something. Right now, crucial elements of the fireteam are useless.

    Edit: and not a single memntion of weapong resting or bipods on the TWO YEAR roadmap. Classy shit, bohemia.

    • utzel says:

      I think you misremember that, bipods/weapon resting were never in a vanilla Arma game, you always had to use mods for that. The only simple change to weapon behaviour is a different recoil when prone, based on the stance alone. Last I checked that’s still in A3.
      There were no actual features named yet, but I hope for the Marksman DLC and a RO2 style implementation.

  5. bangalores says:

    Most realistic game ever….until the actual shooting starts.

    • Comrade Roe says:

      Considering the ballistic trajectories of weapons in Arma 3 is what makes it so realistic, the firing of firearms is really where the realism begins. They just need to fix the damage. If 7.62 can penetrate a stone wall and keep up it’s velocity then it can just as well penetrate body armor for a kill.

      • bangalores says:

        Doesn’t matter how realistic your ballistic trajectories are when the lag is so bad (even with a decent ping) that your target is teleporting/rubber-banding all over the place.

        • Comrade Roe says:

          Well, they have been trying to fix that at least. Sure beats Arma 2, at any rate. You have a point there, though. Arma 3 is still a work in progress, be it content, optimisation, or whatever.

          • soldant says:

            It’s in its official stable release though, netcode bugs should have been ironed out during the extensive public alpha/beta phases. I really don’t get how you can host big public testing periods like this and still have fundamental problems with the game.

      • Universal Quitter says:

        Current SAPI plates can stop standard 7.62mm rounds. Why would FUTURE BULLETS be any different?

        Though, to be fair, multiple shots should render the armor useless, and even a single shot should at least put them on their ass for a few seconds.

  6. MrUnimport says:

    The kind that’s indistinguishable from the real thing?