Hello, I am NikkoJT and I will be your host for this lovely wonderful post.
This post is about:
Controls or tricks that are very useful, but not immediately obvious
If you are new to Arma (or old, but inattentive) this may help you!
There's a lovely sticky post in this very forum that explains how to use an optic to rangefind. But there are other ways!
Most static mounts and vehicle weapons have Fire Control Systems. When you press the FCS Lase Target button (same as for with an infantry rangefinder) your FCS not only displays the range to target, but also automatically sets your gun so your shots will be on target for that range. Bonus: in tanks, if you lase a moving target, the FCS also adjusts for the target's horizontal motion at the time you lased it.
If your weapon doesn't have a fire control system, you may be able to manually zero the sight using the Page Up and Page Down keys. This works for many marksman scopes, as well as iron sights and grenade launcher sights. You'll need to know or estimate the range first, but this will help keep your shots on target.
The current zeroed range is displayed in the top right panel. For most weapons it increments in intervals of 100 metres.
Many Hold keybinds in Arma also have Toggle counterparts. These are usually activated by pressing the Hold button twice quickly, although you can customise them. This is useful for controls like Lean and Freelook, which can be tiring to hold down. Also, use freelook! It's on Alt by default.
Infantry FOV zoom
As an infantry, you have the ability to zoom in without an optic! This is Arma's way of simulating the human eye's ability to focus. It's useful for searching for targets without the gun getting in the way. This may be bound to the same control as "use sights" by default - I prefer to have "use sights" on right click, and FOV zoom on hold-right-mouse.
In most cases, you will have a GPS terminal. Press RightCTRL+M to bring up a panel that shows the GPS at all times, like a minimap. Good for navigation and finding your team!
The GPS also displays your compass bearing at the top of the panel.
Folk ARPS recommends (but does not require) using the ShackTac HUD mod, which gives you a "radar" showing fireteam members in close proximity.
Combat pace is a movement mode where you move slightly slower, but your gun is always ready to fire (unlike regular jogging where it's lowered while moving). Double-tap C to toggle combat pace.
Normally in Arma, you jog. But if you're feeling lazy or Netkev wants to do jungle patrols (do not go with Netkev on jungle patrols) you can press CTRL+C to walk instead.
Laser designated targets
If you have a laser designator, or are in a vehicle seat that has one (such as a UAV gunner, Strider commander, or Rhino commander) you can turn it on to mark a target. This mark is visible on NVGs and thermals, and is also a target for laser-guided missiles and bombs. People who have laser-guided munitions, such as attack aircraft pilots, or Rhino and T-140K gunners with LG ATGMs, can lock onto these targets using the "next target" control.
Note that laser rangefinders and weapon-mounted laser pointers are not laser designators.
The step over control (V) is used to step over things that are about waist height or below, like sandbag walls or roadside crash barriers. It's also good for extricating yourself from terrain if you get Arma'd. Note that stepping over things is not a jump, and attempting to use it to move on top of a higher object may have unexpected consequences.
Top attack mode
This is a new one with Tanks DLC. When using some missiles, such as the PCML, Titan, or gun-launched ATGMs, you can press your fire mode selector key (F) to switch to top-attack mode. This makes the missile come at the target from above, which is more effective against armoured vehicles.
Double-tap left CTRL to lower your weapon. This is a less threatening posture, stops your vision being obstructed, and uses less stamina while moving. The same control is used to raise your weapon if you're in a vehicle seat that supports Firing From Vehicles, like LSV passengers and helicopter bench seats.
You can use stances to adapt to cover. Press CTRL+movement (WASD) to change stance. There are higher and lower versions of each of the standard stances (crouch, stand, and prone) as well as lean-left and lean-right stances.
In some missions you may be equipped with an IR strobe. This is used for friendly identification (IFF) when using night vision - it makes a flashing infrared light appear on your chest when active. Check to see if a night-time mission has IR strobes by opening the action menu (scroll wheel). Commanders usually request that IR strobes be turned on to avoid friendly fire.
Note that IR strobes cannot be activated when in vehicles.
This isn't essential, but it's very useful for medics. In your communications controls, you can set a keybind for Direct VON. This essentially makes your voice input come out of your character's mouth, as if they're saying it in the world. It's not transmitted over the radio like Group VON, and only people nearby can hear it.
Marker types and colours are selected in the top right of the map screen, and automatically placed in the channel you're set to talk in. Double-click to place a marker, CTRL+click to draw lines, and CTRL+Shift+click to draw straight lines.
Remember to avoid creating unnecessary markers, especially if you're not an element leader.
Map square sizes
The most useful map squares are the smallest (100 metres) and medium (1km). Knowing these sizes will help you estimate ranges and distances if you don't have a rangefinder.
When flying UAVs, the UAV will usually automatically loiter in a circular pattern when you disconnect or switch to the gunner camera. If you would like it to sit still without automatically levelling or orbiting, open the UAV terminal and un-check the "autonomous" checkbox.
The mission ending bug
Sometimes, a mission may appear to end immediately after starting. Our mission development team is working on this, but for now, you can usually continue the mission by clicking "continue" until you get back to the slotting screen, and then clicking "continue" again.
FA Virtual Spectator
Late to a session? Mission already slotted? While you're waiting for the next mission, you can often observe the current mission by going to the Virtual (white star) tab in the slotting screen and taking a Virtual Spectator slot. Not all missions have this feature, but when they do, you're welcome to use it.
Please feel free to contribute other tips. Bear in mind that this is a resource for simple tricks and useful controls, not advanced concepts that may require training. If you would like to learn advanced concepts like CO planning or vehicle command, ask in our Discord or contact a host.
Epic fail avoidance
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FA missions & session host. Tank appreciater.