Listen Up, Maggots: Arma 3 Launches Bootcamps

~dream soldier~

Arma 3‘s battlefield simulation may not be so complex that one needs the full 26 weeks of basic training the real army provides, but it could definitely do with offering a little more guidance. Which it now does, thanks to today’s ‘Bootcamp’ update adding all sorts of training, with a single-player mini-campaign, multiplayer bootcamp where players can play at drill sergeant and holler while forcing rookies to crawl on their bellies under barbed wire, and VR training that’s an excuse to play around with its fanciest toys.

It also adds a ‘Virtual Arsenal,’ which is perhaps the closest you’ll get to a soldier dress-up game.

The Virtual Arsenal looks fascinating, an asset viewer for everything a soldier can carry and wear. Part of its purpose is to make people aware of quite what’s in the game, and to export characters to scenarios and mods, but it is also sort of a military paper doll. Pick from dozens of pairs of shades, 8 different bandanna designs, an unexpected number of boiler suits, then load them up with guns, goggles, smoke grenades in so many colours, ammo and add-ons, and go play as your dream soldier. Or a ridiculous goofball wearing the weirdest collection of junk you can find.

The patch is a biggun, also rebalancing weapon sway so players can’t whip giant weapons around as quickly, reworking the fatigue system, adding Steam Workshop support for new assets and whatnot, and loads more. Look over here for fancy explanations, or this-a-way for the changelog.


  1. Gap Gen says:

    This reminds me that I never finished the SP campaign of ArmA 3 because Steam/ArmA lost my saves when I changed hard drive and it made me restart from the beginning of the first campaign. Should probably go back to that at some point.

    Also today was odd because there was a military parade in town, so there were thousands of soldiers in dress uniform milling about and roads closed so that Leclerc tanks could rumble by.

    • frostwyrm says:

      Strange, your saves should be My Documents somewhere, also there is a “cheat” to skip missions so you don’t have to start over.

      • Gap Gen says:

        Yeah, the saves are spread out through various folders and I gave up in the end. There’s possibly a solution, I just ran out of energy to find one. Might use the cheat, though – can’t remember if there are choice-based mission triggers or anything, but in any case I’d be replaying from the start of the third campaign.

  2. jpm224 says:

    26 weeks for basic is surprising. Here in the States Army basic is only 10 weeks. Marines is 12.

    Does that 26 weeks include your equivalent of AIT or something?

    • Joshua says:

      It’s not that it’s particularely long, it’s simply that the States’ training is rather short compared to it’s allies.

    • Volcanu says:

      That 26 weeks refers to the training for Infantry regiments, which combines ‘basic’ training and more specialised infantry courses, FIBUA etc.

      Non infantry regiments do separate ‘Phase 1’ and ‘Phase 2’ training components -with Phase 1 being about 14 weeks and covering all the ‘basic’ military skills common to all soldiers. Phase 2 training then covers the relevant specialism -e.g. Signalmen, Army Air Corp, Royal Armoured Corps etc.

      So the 26 weeks isn’t really ‘basic’ training in the same way the US Army does it, if that helps?

      • jpm224 says:

        That makes much more sense. The 10 week US Army basic combat training is what’s referred to as “boot camp” – the basic military skills for all soldiers, as you described it.

        This is followed by up to a year of Advanced Individual Training (AIT) I believe, depending on what your MOS is. From what you said I take it your equivalent of this is included in that 26 week program.

    • MordeaniisChaos says:

      Well, Marine boot camp is 12 weeks, but all Marines also go to SOI, which is basically… well, it’s still basic training. And then there’s MOS training. The amount of training before hitting the ground running is significantly more than 12 weeks. For grunts, SOI adds another 8 weeks on to the 12 (more like 13) of boot camp. Etc etc etc.

    • Universal Quitter says:

      That’s what I was thinking. For the US Army, that’d be like boot camp + AIT for a friggin’ Intel Analyst.

  3. Flank Sinatra says:

    Me and my friend both bought Arma 3 during the Steam Summer Sale because we thought the co-op would be fun. Maybe fly some helicopters and do some dogfighting in our own custom game. It turns out that after the Gamespy shut down, Arma 3 has problems creating servers on Steam. We tried for 2 hours to create a co-op server, forwarding ports and all kindsa arcane IT trickery, but nothing worked. Our games just wouldn’t show up on the Arma server browser and inviting friends to join the game through Steam doesn’t work. The only solution we could find after some internet searching said to create a virtual LAN using some third party software but it was late and we were tired and gave up on it. We were able to join other people’s servers but there are so many custom game types that we had no idea what was going on.

    Great game though. The graphics are outstanding. I just wish I could create my own server and invite my friend to join the game.

    • PoLLeNSKi says:

      This is basically because of Gamespy’s closure causing more havok than expected – devs are working on a fix

      as for gamemodes, I’d recommend Capture the Island (multiple capture points, awarding money to buy gear as you hold more and more) or Sector Control (3-way King of the Hill) for your pvp needs. For coop pve then there’s Invade and Annex where you’ll have various objectives with designated transport pilots and squads heading off from a central base.

      Learn the basics in pve though because the pvp’ers will eat a noob alive (and practice heli flying in the editor before you join a server and crash in a fiery ball with everyone on board PLEASE)

    • MordeaniisChaos says:

      Hey buddy! Jump on our teamspeak. We can help you out, and we can also take you and your buddy under our wings, and you can play with us as well. is the teamspeak IP, and if you want you can just add me on Steam as well: jArmAhead
      I’d be happy to help you get stuff figured out and we are trying to rebuild our community so we could use some fresh meat. I mean new friends.

  4. Bodge says:

    Is looking like quite a nice addition to the game. Rather liking the virtual arsenal with the export loadout to script function they mentioned, should save a lot of effort.

    If you want some 30 odd mens to shoot other mens with then come and join us at
    and shoot fellow readers in the mush or save them from such a fate. We have been doing so for a good few years now.

    • PopeRatzo says:

      19:20 UK time is approximately 13:20 Chicago time. Does that sound about right? That would be perfect for me.

      I believe I’m GST -6 over here, but I don’t know if that number changes during daylight savings. Damn you, longitude!.

  5. rebb says:

    Arma3 offers quite a package already with mods like Altis Life, Breaking Point, Battle Royale, Wasteland and the ( imo ) way way under-appreciated CTI missions ( and lots more of course ).

  6. CookPassBabtridge says:

    In the same way as RPS runs away from Wargame Games (*poke*), I find myself running away from Arma even though I have all its iterations. Its always the game I will play “one day”, when looking at it doesn’t feel so overwhelming. I played a lot of Arma 2 campaign and gave up because the AI was hatstand and couldn’t give me the tactical experience I wanted. And multiplayer just makes me feel like a man standing at the bottom of an abyss which is filled with warm toffee after having been injected with too much sugar. It looks so sweet but there’s just so effing MUCH. I am lazy.

    • P.Funk says:

      Perhaps a clan of some kind could ease you into it. There should be a clan for just about any player imaginable. No doubt there is a lazy Arma player’s clan out there, one that’ll basically let you play when you want and when you stand there staring into the abyss they poke you and say “naw, no biggie, just do this then this and you’re set”.

    • MordeaniisChaos says:

      Hey, we have a small, fairly easy going ArmA (and just gaming in general) community that we’re in the process of building up from the ashes of a previous group. We are pulling in new guys right now so it might be a good time to jump in. We have plenty of experienced ArmA players that can help you out, get you set up and find you a good role, etc. And don’t worry, even though our experienced members have a couple thousand+ hours of ArmA, we aren’t a super crazy mil-sim group that expects you to call admins “sir” or anything. We’re just in it to have fun.
      Our Teamspeak server is at and you can also add me on steam, my username there is jArmAhead. We’d be happy to help you discover the joys that ArmA has to offer with a group of fun duders.

  7. PopeRatzo says:

    Serious question: You think this “bootcamp” will get me to finally be able to enjoy multiplayer FPS games?

    There hasn’t been one that I’ve connected with since Unreal Tournament. I’m usually just so far behind everyone else that I get tired of apologizing to my squadmates and give up.

    Even the excellent people of the PRS Planetside 2 outfit couldn’t make me confident enough of a player to not feel like I was spoiling other peoples’ fun because I sucked so bad. Maybe an automated “bootcamp” would be just the thing.

    • P.Funk says:

      Its always been my experience with multiplayer gaming that playing with the right group will make anyone useful. Arma in particular can make use of the useless grunt quite well. I assume you’re confident enough to be able to aim at a door and shoot something that comes through it? Stand behind the stack and look out for anything that might sneak up on you? Drive a tank in such a way as to not fall off a cliff?

      Teaching people to play is one thing that Arma clans are usually very good at, at least the good ones. The good ones also rarely respond to someone’s incompetence with anything but encouraging words and effort to help them. Really it doesn’t take much to be basically useful. Arma being slower paced and more about positioning than raw reflexes, unless you’re in some tense urban fight, makes using a total nub much easier than in other games.

      Mainstream shooters are usually all about min maxing your performance and being constantly on the attack. Its a culture that often assumes you’re good at it and if you’re not you’re wasting everyone’s time. Arma involves practice a lot of the time. Clans will spend hours practicing to get people to click so that when they go to “execute” they can observe it as a thing of beauty. Also Arma clans can often be populated by totally different mindsets to typical objective based shooters. Since its a sandbox game its often about creating your own objectives your own goals, you might very well create an entire mission specifically with the intent of using it to practice a particular kind of teamwork.

      Ultimately Arma is one of the few multiplayer shooters I’ve played where everyone consistently doesn’t worry about KDR. Many of the mature groups of players will consider just the act of being in the right place at the right time together gratifying. The fireteam leader being a stronger presence in Arma also means that even if you’re utterly confused there’ll usually be someone there telling you what to do. “Just look there, shoot anything that moves, and tel me about it”. Shoot in its general direction, tell him about it and you’ll have been a credit to your job.

      I assume even your low confidence skills allow you to shoot in a general direction right? :P

    • MordeaniisChaos says:

      Probably won’t, but playing coop missions with people who know how to play and can guide you through it would probably be a lot of fun. ArmA isn’t really a competitive shooter the way those games you mentioned are.
      If you’re interested, hop in our Teamspeak at and we can chat about it. Or add me on steam, my username is jArmAhead :) I strongly encourage you to give it a chance! It’s a really fun game, and it’s a little slower paced and cerebral than other games so while it may seem intimidating it actually allows a little more flexibility for newer players.

  8. gorgonaut says:

    I found this ad for a new mod for Arma3 – in an old science magazine from 1988!
    This either proves a super long dev cycle, or the existence of time machines.

  9. DoktorV says:

    I’m now convinced I must purchase a copy of Arma 3 once I can afford to do so – not for the training, not for the warfighter-dress-up mini game, not even for the mod support.

    It’s because Bohemia Interactive appreciate the vast superiority of the 6.5mm Grendel as a combat rifle cartridge over the 6.8mm SPC, our mortal enemy. Just behold this higher-res version of the image at the head of the article: ARMA 3 sample arsenal A variety of 6.5mm rifles but not a single 6.8mm! Truly the unit armorers are enlightened sages of small arms!

  10. M3GA says:

    I’ll never, for the life of me understand why BI are content on the level of voice acting they have. From what I understand, the game has sold well, they just released the Karts dlc that sold 1 million copies. Surely theres money in the till for better voice actors?

    The main guys voice is soo fucking annoying I can’t stand it. He sounds as if hes reading a not very well written script and whats with all the hostility and racism in his dialog? He seems to do it every chance he gets in the game. The level of script writing and voice acting of Arma is way sub par in my opinion. Horrid, if I had to keep it to one word.

  11. Alonso says:


    “A little elf hiding some caps has been found and dealt with, thus the caps shall be available again”

  12. SuicideKing says:

    Still no female characters? Wow. So they have time for Zeus, Karts and this but not to make one female character and implement her radio protocol.