launched without its campaign mode, meaning that soldiers who stepped onto the field of battle early would've been left kicking their heels and cleaning their rifles – would've been, were it not for an industrious army of Arma 3 modders. Even a quick reconnaissance run on Bohemia's military simulator's Steam marketplace turns up some impressively professional missions. Here ten of the best Arma 3 mods we've enjoyed so far.
There's something of DayZ in sandbox mission Wasteland, both in terms of mechanics and cult popularity. It's a multiplayer-only mode that drops players onto the island of Stratis, before asking them to select a team: BLUFOR, OPPFOR, or Independent. From there, players have to stay alive, scavenging money, food, and water from the island's settlements, and spending their gotten gains on new weaponry. Occasionally the game spawns missions and AI enemies that reward teams that combine to complete them with hefty payouts. Because it's a multiplayer mission, you don't technically need to download or subscribe to anything before playing Wasteland - simply pick a server running the mode.
You'll find a few rally courses already available on the Steam Workshop, but none are as slick as m@gicpanda's Skopos Course. It's set on a country road with straights long enough to let you floor your hatchback's accelerator, but it's the visual touches that make the course memorable. Come round the first corner and a jet screeches overhead; round the second and you're dodging burning armoured car wreckage. Try and avoid spectators if you can, but don't worry too much: I ran seven of them over after misjudging one tricky corner, and the rally organisers didn't seem to mind.
Antorugby's chopper-centric mission is good practice for helicopter pilots. It starts off simple, asking you to cart a lazy squad a few hundred metres down the road, but gets hard fast. Your next landing zone is covered by enemy AA guns, meaning you'll have to fly low, land quickly, and get out fast before your wings are clipped. Later, you're able to redistribute some aerial justice with your copter's own cannons, meaning that by the end of the job, you should be comfortable landing, hovering, and manoeuvering yourself around the sky.
This download is a surprisingly complex retelling of the Metal Gear Solid in the Arma III engine, complete with boss battle, codec, and audio cribbed from the Playstation game. Arma III's AI - still a little suspect at the best of times - isn't really built for this kind of difficult stealth workout, but it's the little touches that make MGS1 worth playing. You'll start near a minisub, correctly aping the real Metal Gear Solid's aquatic infiltration, and regular checkpoints mean that being spotted won't lead to too much frustration.
Survivor's a simple mission that drops you into a town with a pistol and an electro-ed up version of a '50s boogie song, before asking you to survive against a roving gang of “bullies” who want you dead. There's a time limit, so hiding on the top floor of a house - however much it might be my cowardly instinct - won't work. Survivor's a good mission for training your iron-sight aim, too, forcing you to be quick on the trigger but fairly conservative with your ammunition.
One of Arma III's most ambitious and impressive mods yet, Dynamic Universal War System will invent you a procedural war upon startup. You're plonked onto the vast island of Altis, given a base, and asked to capture enemy territory. Squads and vehicles can be purchased with command points; command points are earned by capturing more territory. There's an admirable amount of choice in how you approach DUWS's war: use your own sniper rifle to clear enemy territory, or send a mechanised force to clear out an enemy outpost from the comfort of your own base.
One for PC Gamer art editor and Operation Flashpoint obsessive John Strike, Revenge! is a retread of the mission of the same name from 2001's original OpFlash. You're a team leader in one of two APCs converging on a large, terrorist-held settlement. Clearing the area is a matter of slow and deliberate progress, splitting your squad into fire teams and closing off firelanes. Or, in my case, ordering all your men to run toward the objective and hiding around at the back so you don't get shot.
Mateck's Assault from the Deep uses Arma III's newly introduced submersible well, asking players to pilot the craft up to a beach where they have to clear a small gang of foes before regrouping and pushing toward a larger force. It's one of the easier missions available on Steam Workshop, but it's well suited for small groups, making it another good training exercise. Just remember to shut the hatches on your mini-sub so your team doesn't unceremoniously drown on the way in.
Casting you in the role of sniper in a sniper/spotter duo, Ekali Apocalypse is short, giving you only one target to eliminate before extracting. But it's notable for letting you choose your vantage point and forcing you to scan around the area before making your shot with one of Arma III's realistically unwieldy sniper rifles. Overcompensate for bullet drop, or else you'll end up alerting the entire town to your presence.
Graduate to this after you've completed your GhostHawk Shift. The second of DICS' Ground Attack missions has you attacking convoys at low altitude. You're piloting, so you don't need to worry about shooting - your gunner will do the killing for you. That is, unless, you're feeling particularly ambitious and want to take manual control of your cannons. Knock out the convoys across Stratis, then it's back home for a congratulatory hug and a sandwich.
Have any favourite Arma 3 mods and missions of your own? Share them in the comments!