Arma 3 Free Steam Weekend During Bohemia Sale

Me, I like my video game wars unrealistic enough that I can cross an entire battlefield in five carefully-placed strafejumps but you, you may fancy them more simmy. If you like your shooty-shoots militaristic and damned demanding, yet you haven’t hopped into the Arma 3 [official site] APC yet, hey: give it a go, as the whole game’s free to try in a free trial weekend on Steam.

Arma 3 is also on sale this weekend, half-price, if you decide you want to keep it. Developers Bohemia are discounting their other games too, including a wee 15% off DayZ.

The free weekend version includes most of Arma 3, except its paid DLC and the second and third chapters of its singleplayer campaign. Beyond that, sure, go wild, run around in the hills with your pals, carefully follow the virtual reality training, check out its multiplayer modes, go play weird player-made scenarios, go play serious player-made scenarios, fiddle with the scenario editor to make your own, or try to join a virtual battalion and be screamed at by a virtual drill sergeant with a crackly microphone. You can play most of Arma 3, I’m trying to say.

You should find Arma 3 in your Steam Library now if you want to install it. The trial will end at 10pm on Sunday, while the big Bohemia sale will end on Monday.


  1. AdamDenton says:

    Boring performance question please for anyone kind enough to help – if I struggle to run DayZ at a playable FPS, is it pointless trying Arma 3? I know Bohemia aren’t renowned for their wondrous optimisation.

    • Shiloh says:

      It runs fine on my now-ageing PC (Intel i3-2120 3.30 Ghz, 4 GB RAM, Win 7), with its AMD Radeon HD 6670.

      I run a lot of mods but bear in mind, I only really play small skirmish/firefight type infantry battles. I don’t play online and the massive combined arms scenarios don’t really appeal, so I can’t really say whether it would become a slide show if I played one of them.

      That being said, I’ve never had any problems running the single-player campaign. Give it a try and see if how it performs on your machine would be my advice.

      • AdamDenton says:

        Goodness, what a coincidence, I have the exact same GPU as you, and a very similar CPU. There is hope for single player Arma 3 yet then! Thank you – and to return the advice, if you haven’t bought DayZ yet, I wouldn’t bother without upgrading – it seems 10fps isn’t conducive to avoiding bandits. (Then again, by the time the game is actually released most of the world will probably have a new PC anyway,)

    • Pizzacheeks McFroogleburgher says:

      I’d say they’re both pretty demanding performance wise.. Dayz i get anywhere from 25-60fps on pretty high settings, arma3 i have to scale right down to medium ish settings if want 30-40fps. I wouldn’t go expecting anything blinding.. Try it and see..
      For ref I run a 660m with an i5, 8gb ram and 850evo ssd.

      • AdamDenton says:

        This confirms my suspicion that Arma 3 is in fact more demanding than DayZ. I’ve watched too many interesting games of Battle Royal to hope in vain for optimization improvements however, so I think it’s time to start putting some pennies aside a build with some similar specs to your rig. Thanks for the input!

        • Pizzacheeks McFroogleburgher says:

          Mine is a lowly laptop – you’ll get way, way more bang for buck if you build a PC.. See here for a basic gpu capability comparison, and there are loads of good YouTube vids on budgeting for and building good gaming PCs if u don’t know how.

          • AdamDenton says:

            Thank you for the useful info, hopefully it might be of use to other would-be PC builders around here

      • Oktyabr says:

        They are both based on the same engine but it’s really not so simple to say “I get crappy FPS in X, so will I get even worse FPS in Y?” Where the two differ, and where most of your performance issues are going to arise, are in multiplayer… especially when hosted on a less than ideal server.

        DayZ really relies on multiplayer and this will give you the performance overhead that is reasonable to expect. ARMA 3 in single player, or even in small team Co-OP, will give you much better performance… as long as you don’t get carried away with hundreds of AI, etc.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      I guess this is the sort of question a free weekend can help answer.

      • phelix says:

        Well, for people with slow connections or bandwith caps it might be worth knowing before devoting 14GB (or 7 hours of download time in my case) to something they may or may not be able to run.

  2. Shiloh says:

    Best mil sim out there by a mile – and a fantastic free modding community as well.

    • Ethaor says:

      Sad times when one has to precise “free” mods. :\

    • Stellar Duck says:

      It’s not like there is a lot of competition.

      I do think Arma 2 is better though.

      • P.Funk says:

        Arma 2 has a feeling that I just can’t place that makes me like it more too, but that ship has sailed. For about the first year and maybe some you could claim A2 was better, but now A3 has matured such that its just plain better.

        • Stellar Duck says:

          One thing it foes better though: equipment sounds. Running around in A2 sounds right, compared to my experience. Buckels, straps, bags, the rifle, all clanging together.

          And really, I think that’s why I prefer A2. It matched up with the experiences, gear and landscape I was exposed to in the army.

          Should have said I prefer it though, not that it was better.

          • P.Funk says:

            I totally get what you mean. I still don’t feel as comfortable or as immersed in Arma 3 as I ever did in Arma 2. The rational part of my brain recognizes how superior Arma 3 is but the emotional part of my brain misses Arma 2 more.

            Its funny you should mention it, the movement is actually what I think of when I imagine why I like A2 better. Something about it I just felt more in tune with. Its weird because A3 arguably has better control for the player avatar.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    Question! How hard is it to be a tourist in this game? If I don’t want to shoot anyone in the face, and also don’t want anyone else to shoot in my face, and just want to wander around and look at the flowers, can I do that?

    • Stellar Duck says:

      Spawn a car, your player and set the weather to something nice. Now drive around and take in the sights.

    • Shiloh says:

      The editor is really easy to use – and it’s got quad bikes if you don’t fancy a car. Once you’re happy with that, get one of the ambient civilian mods and have fun trying to avoid getting hit by cars and trucks. Or get above the traffic and pilot a chopper, ooh-ing and aah-ing at the lovely views while shooting goats (and in the game).

      Don’t expect to find the girl of your dreams on Altis, though – there are no ladies on the island. It’s like the biggest open men’s prison on earth.

    • SuicideKing says:

      You can also spawn as a rabbit, just saying.

  4. Grizzly says:

    This is a great time to check out Folk ARPS, The RPS co-founded no-frills-attached arma 3 group!
    You can find them at

    • SuicideKing says:

      I wish RPS would give FA a shout out in their Arma 3 articles.

      I think it’s also worth mentioning that no one at Folk ARPS cares whether you’re a hardcore gamer(TM) or not, what your gender is, where you’re from, etc. Anyone who wants to play with us can and should!

    • audiox says:

      Hey. One of the Folk ARPS hosts here. If anybody here wants some more person to person info before they come play with us then just poke me with a comment underneath here or somesuch and i’ll be on hand to help.

  5. Asurmen says:

    I bought this hoping I’d suddenly have the balls to play it with people. Those balls never appeared.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Check out Folk ARPS (Grizzly’s link above), I was nervous too but they’re great to play with.

  6. Hunchback says:

    I tried the open beta (alpha?) back then, since i am a huge fan of Battlefield, but found the game very confusing and un-userfriendly. I do like realistic combat sims and all, but i never got to buy this since i am too scared and don’t want to waste my money. I’ll get to try it this sunday, since i work saturday too, but i doubt i’ll have the time to actually get a real grasp of it.

    Can anyone explain a bit more about what it’s really like to play this online? I hear things about campaigns and some sort of organised roleplay-ish kinda thing, that probably demands a large number of people to play together in an orderly manner, which i really can’t see happening online. At least not today. Back at circa WoW vanilla you could get 40 people together to run a raid and it went smooth, but lately i’ve noticed that even finding 5 people to play at the same time with is a mess…

    So yeah, is this like BF++ or is it a completely different story?

    • P.Funk says:

      Arma definitely has online public servers that try to get things together. I can’t attest to how effective it is but the clan I’ve been in for a long time did A2 public server play where we’d play with the randoms who’d join offering organized play against the AI to those people who found us. It was a great recruitment tool, so probably a few servers like that out there.

      Also, check out communities. Arma has lots of communities that do public organized things, like I described above, because they want to get more than just the super serious full timers. There’s such a spread of groups that you can choose to go through super serious training or just join a community that hosts events regularly and doesn’t enforce attendance or training.

      Generally speaking in any game you need to look for groups and communities to get a good mix going but Arma excels at having no committment communities in my experience. I remember one called United Ops that would basically have full time people who organized things but total open drop in events where you only needed their mods installed.

      Basically, there are a lot of choices, a lot more than with contemporary AAA shooters that have stupid matchmaking.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Look at ShackTac and Folk ARPS videos for an example.

    • Oktyabr says:

      ARMA online will never be BF, but it can in fact be quite better (check the Shacktac vids on youtube, etc.) As for more casual playing? Try one of the COOP servers. There are still a few vanilla (un-modded) “Invade and Annex” and “Domination” servers out there. I play on one several nights a week.

      The big difference here is that these are COOP, not TVT like in BF. You still have some of the same problems… noobs jumping in an APC just to race over to the helicopters. that most of them can’t fly… But for the most part a public COOP server is a great way to learn the game, meet other players (I have a few I met just a week ago that I’ve been playing with a lot lately), and have fun… through teamwork.

      The AI on these servers are generally like buggy terminator robots… a lot of the time they will just stand around and let you shoot them from a distance… and then all of a sudden they start returning fire with alarming accuracy. They are also quite good with AA and AT and sooner or later, if you stay put in one spot too long, they get almost humanly cunning and you find yourself getting flanked and shot point blank in the back! Generally pretty easy opponents but since they typically outnumber the human players (in the AO) several times over, lone wolfing it is a good way to die quickly. Teamwork develops over time, almost as an emergent property of “the system”.

      Then maybe you want to try some TVT/PVP? Tactical Battlefield (not to be confused with the BF games) is a very good TVT mode. Battle Royale, King of the Hill, Insurgency can all be fun too. Want a little more RTS in the game? Try an EPOCH server, etc. RPG? The “Life” servers are very popular for some reason too (I don’t play it.)

      Last but not least, if you have a good internet connection and a handful of trusted friends you can host a finely tailored coop mission, either downloaded from the workshop, etc. or make one yourself! Good times, and definitely not BF ;)

      • Oktyabr says:

        Oh! And BIS’s new “End Game” mode looks very promising too!

  7. jonfitt says:

    No discount on the expensive DLC? Booo! Booo I say!

    • rebb says:

      Boo-urns indeed.

    • SIDD says:

      I have the overpriced ARMA3 DLCs on my wishlist … got the “an item on your wishlist is on sale”, jumped it with much glee and paypal preloaded and ready…but nay….DLCs still full price.
      Booo, say I!

    • Oktyabr says:

      Same here! I keep waiting for the DLC bundle to go on sale too. Not because it’s too expensive but because I’m worried that if I pay full price for it that a few days later it WILL go on sale! Why put everything in the catalog on sale *except* the DLC?!?!? Mostly I just want to get rid of the Helicopter DLC nag screen when I ride in the back of Huron in coop. But not bad enough to pay $15.99 for it!

      I think BIS is really shooting themselves in the foot on this one. Sure, free weekend, half off sale… I have friends that are buying it this weekend. How many who already have the game would buy the DLC bundle too, if they thought they were getting a great deal? How many new buyers would just throw the DLC in the cart as well?