ArmA III

Postcards from Stratis: how to take fancy screenshots in Arma 3

Craig Pearson at

What we've learned from Arma 3's development so far is that Greek islands with a heavy military presence and snap-happy tourists are not a happy combination. Luckily for budding travel photographers, Bohemia Interactive's developers have suffered so you don't have to, and you can still turn the Aegean into picture postcard memories thanks to their sterling efforts to recreate the landscape of Stratis in Arma 3.

The 20km slice of Mediterranean that Bohemia created to show off their mil-sim is a gorgeous place. The rolling sun-scorched hills, lapping waves, and hidden delights might easily be lost amid the cordite smog and tracer fire if you simply treat this as the backdrop to a war game. Don't. Take the time to enjoy the world. Grab the editor, place a character, take a stroll and capture the sights for posterity. Here are a few tricks to make the most of your snaps and coordinate locations of cool places to visit.

There are two ways to take screenshots of Stratis. An easy way and a slightly harder way - the latter, detailed on the next page, enables a floating camera. The easy way involves spawning a civilian in the game's editor. Load the editor, but before you do anything, click the layout button on the taskbar and change the editor to 'Traditional' and restart. It gives you easier access to the time of day and weather settings. Arma 3's sunrise and sunset hours start at about 3.45am and 19.45 respectively. And it's better to add some clouds to give the sky some texture, but don't make it overcast.

Now double click where you want to take your screenshot and select a civilian from the 'Side' menu. Why a civilian? He has no HUD or gun model, so you have the full frame to work with. You're still stuck with the obnoxious 'Arma Alpha' watermark, alas, but not thankfully with the default FOV: the plus and minus keys on the numpad will give you some interesting effects.

Now hit 'preview' to set the game rolling. These were all taken at the same spot on the map, altered with the numpad's FOV.

These are not good shots, but they are demonstrative of the power of FOV twiddling. Experiment and have fun with it. And remember you can crouch and tippy-toe if you need to subtly alter things.

Then there's the hard way - which allows you create a floating camera. Just like Arma itself, its fiddliness conceals much reward... Read on!