The Arma 3 Tac-Ops DLC Mission Pack is about to be released (November 30th, pre-order now), and so it’s time to polish our virtual boots, clean our digital weapons, and ramp up our cyber training. Here are some additional tips to help you accomplish your objectives and minimize friendly casualties in Arma 3 Tac-Ops.
1. Play Arma 3 Bootcamp
Arma 3 Tac-Ops expects players are already familiar with Arma 3’s basic controls and things like how to give orders to your squad or call in support. Therefore, in case you’re looking for an introduction to all this, or simply need a refresher’s course, we highly recommend you play the Bootcamp Prologue. You can find this in the Arma 3 main menu under ‘Campaigns’.
If you want to train specific areas of expertise, you can also fire up some of the individual Showcase scenarios, or take part in the VR Training courses. If you’re purely interested in practicing your weapon handling and shooting skill, be sure to run through the firing drills, which are listed in the main menu under Challenges. Of course, if you want to get some true Arma 3 combat experience under your belt, go and play Arma 3’s vanilla “The East Wind” singleplayer campaign if you haven't already.
2. Watch Dslyecxi’s Community Guide Series (& Read The Tactical Guide)
In collaboration with Andrew Gluck (better known as Dslyecxi, leader of the Arma 3 community group Shack Tactical), we’ve produced a series of videos to explain various aspects of warfare in Arma 3. There are now 16 Arma 3 Community Guide videos in total. Some of the episodes are more relevant to the Tac-Ops Mission Pack than others. If we were to recommend a few, we’d suggest to at least watch the following ones: Basic Infantry Combat, Snipers & Launchers, Combined Arms, Guerilla Warfare, and Reconnaissance. You can find the Community Guide series on YouTube (full playlist) and on Steam.
If you want even more in-depth information, Dslyecxi also wrote the official Arma 3 Tactical Guide, which contains more than 350 pages of tactical knowledge. The digital version of this guide was included in various Arma 3 editions (for example: Arma 3 Digital Deluxe Edition, Arma 3 Apex Edition, Arma 3 Supporter’s Edition, Arma 3 Special Edition) and can be found in the ‘Bonus’ subfolder of your Arma 3 installation folder (by default: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\Arma3\Bonus). Alternatively, you can also purchase the guide separately on the Bohemia Store both as a digital PDF or even a printed version.
3. Study Military Videos & Literature
There’s a lot more (non-Arma 3) knowledge and demonstrations on military tactics available on the Internet. Some popular (English-speaking) YouTube Channels for military enthusiasts are AiirSource Military, Gung Ho Vids, FUNKER530, Funker Tactical, and WarLeaks (and if you want an aggregate channel, check out /r/CombatFootage - but do keep in mind that some of this footage can be quite shocking). In addition, many countries’ military (and even all their respective branches) also have their own YouTube Channels. These can give you some useful insights into how real life armed forces operate and conduct warfare or train.
For those who really want to go all in, take a look at the US Army and USMC Field Manuals, which are hosted in several places online (use Google). These cover the best military procedures and techniques with regards to almost every aspect of modern-day warfare. Of course, we also have to mention one of the most seminal pieces of military literature: "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu.
4. Join the Arma Community
To become better at Arma 3, you should embrace all the help you can get. One of the best, and perhaps obvious, things you can do is watch YouTube play through videos or live streams. These will show you how other people approach a mission, what weapons they use, and how they use those.
Other than that, we welcome you to post your questions to the Bohemia Forums and/or Arma 3 Steam Community, and we recommend everyone to subscribe to the /r/arma subreddit (also check out the handy Getting Started guide by /u/ArtemisDimikaelo and /u/KillAllTheThings). Another suggestion is to browse through the hundreds of specialized guides created by users on Steam.
5. Adopt the Arma Mindset
At first glance, Arma 3 might look similar to a Battlefield or even Call of Duty, but there’s much more to it. In Arma, quick reflexes and twitch skill often take a backseat to thoughtful mission prep, careful movement, smart positioning, and patience.
Going in Rambo-style will almost always lead to immediate failure. Instead, think about how you would go about the situation as if you would in real life. This means you should consider which weapons to bring, how much weight you want to be carrying, how you position yourself and your squad mates, when you choose to open fire, and what your follow-up actions will be – while always carefully balancing risk versus reward.
Last but not least, Arma 3 is still a game, which you play for your enjoyment. Therefore, don’t hesitate to adjust the difficulty settings. There are fixed difficulty presets, but you can also adjust a few individual parameters. There’s absolutely no shame in playing Arma 3 on a lower difficulty. Start small, think big.