Arma 3 free weekend is now underway


Bohemia Interactive's "Make Arma Not War" modding contest is closing to entrants in just a few days, and that means it's time to play some Arma 3—for free! (And if you find yourself digging it, you can also buy the game for half-price.)

The looming end of the contest (winners will be announced next year) doesn't necessarily mean that it's time for free Arma, I suppose, but that's what the studio said on Facebook—"In support of the Make Arma Not War contest, you can temporarily play Arma 3 for free"—and so that's what I'm going with. The upcoming launch of the Helicopters DLC may have something to do with it too. Regardless of how you justify it, what matters is that Arma 3 is now playable for free on Steam and will remain so until, according to my time-zone-adjustment calculations, 10 am PDT on October 26.

Arma 3, for those not in the know, is a military FPS, but unlike, say, the Call of Duty series, its focus is on authenticity. It's also extremely moddable, as reflected by the nature of the Make Arma Not War contest, which is offering $680,000 in total prizes—including $250,000 for the winner of the "Total Modification" category—and provided nearly a full year to get the job done: The contest began on December 5, 2013, and will close on October 28 of this year.

If you haven't been working on your entry since at least early summer, in other words, there's no point in worrying about it now. But hey, at least you can play some free Arma. Hook yourself up at Steam.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.