Arma 3's new Warlords mode features large-scale combat for control of an island

A free update to the first-person military shooter Arma 3 has added a new large-scale competitive multiplayer mode called Warlords. First and foremost, it is not a battle royale: Instead, it puts NATO and CSAT teams in bases on opposite sides of the map, from where they must conquer AI-controlled sectors, chain them together into a route across the island, and then launch an assault on the enemy base. 

Players who do well in battle will be rewarded with Command Points, which can be used to call in vehicles, AI-controlled reinforcements, better weapons and gear, or for "strategic advantages" like fast travel or sector scans. Command Points are earned by killing enemies and taking control of sectors, and sectors will also generate points for whichever team controls them. The new mode is clearly focused on competitive multiplayer combat, but players can also opt to team up on one side to do battle with the AI, and it can be played solo as well, with AI handling friendly and enemy forces alike. 

Senior scripter and designer Josef Zemánek explained in a November update that Warlords is rooted in "Capture the Island," a scenario released in 2003 for Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis, the game that would spawn the long-running Arma series. But Warlords foregoes some familiar elements of CTI, including base building and player progression, both of which he felt would get in the way of his vision for the mode. 

"The reasoning behind these decisions is simple: you join the game, you know what to do, where to go, and who to attack in order to push towards the enemy base," he wrote. "You know where to go and defend to prevent the enemy from getting to your base. And how well you perform depends only on your skill and not your rank." 

Warlords has been added to Arma 3 as part of the 1.86 update, which also includes integration of the ADR-97 Weapon Pack into the vanilla game, improved multiplayer security, five new playable characters "with heads of notable Bohemia developers," and an array of fixes and tweaks. The full patch notes are yours to enjoy at

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.