Arma 3
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Arma3 Mods and the Arma3 Launcher
By RickOShay
Here's a quick guide on how to manage mods using the Arma3 Launcher.

Mods (modifications) allow you to add non vanilla assets like weapons, vehicles, maps (terrain) and other non standard functionality that are used by mission makers. Many mods are of a fairly high standard and are free to people who own Arma3.

NOTE: Mods can change game functionality - at best they add a lot of additional features. At worst they can destabilize the base game. Be aware of this if you notice a change to FPS or CTD after loading a mod. To troubleshoot simply try deactivating the mod or running the game in vanilla mode (no mods) to ascertain the cause of the performance loss.
Adding and managing Arma3 mods
There are a few ways to load and activate mods in Arma 3 but since Bohemia Interactive has done such an excellent job on the Arma3 Launcher – and since it offers huge advantages over other methods I will concentrate on using the official Arma3 Launcher as the default method.

Arma3 Launcher (BIS)
The Arma3 launcher is installed automatically with the vanilla Arma3 game and makes mod management very easy since it allows you to simply activate mods or groups of mods (called presets) that you have subscribed to via the Steam Workshop or manually installed if downloaded from other sources.

The Launcher opens by default when you start Arma3, select the MODS tab on the LHS. Steam Workshop (SW) mods you have subscribed to have a Steam icon next to them. Local mods do not.

How To Install and add Mods to the Launcher
Installing mods for Arma3 is a simple process. From the Launcher's perspective there are two basic types of mods – those that originate from the Steam Workshop and those that come from alternative sources that you have manually downloaded ie 'Local' mods.

Adding Steam Workshop mods to the Arma 3 Launcher (BIS)
To add a Steam Workshop mod simply click on the Subscribe button on the mods Steam Workshop page. The mod will be automatically downloaded and added to the Arma3 Launcher. It’s literally that simple.

Most likely you will add SW mods via the Steam client rather than via a browser or the Launcher. To visit the SW via the Launcher click on the +Steam Workshop button.

Adding Local mods (ie not Steam Workshop) to the Arma3 Launcher (BIS)
To add mods from alternative sources, first download the mod and unpack it using WinRAR (or similar) then place the @modname folder in either your My Documents\Arma3 folder or in C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Arma 3.

Each local mod must have its own folder and ideally follow a consistent naming convention. To help differentiate mods from vanilla Arma3 content - local mod folders have an @ prefix i.e. @CAF or @RHSUSAF. To add a local (non SW) mod to the Launcher click on the [ ]+Local mod icon (top lhs) - then browse to the folder for the mod you want to add.

Note: The !Workshop folder in C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Arma 3 at the top of the list in the image above. Do not delete or change this folder. This folder contains virtual links to each of the SW mods you have subscribed to and is managed by the Steam client / Arma3 Launcher.

The newly added local mod will now appear in the Launcher mod listing.

Some local mods have a "userconfig" folder, copy it into the Arma3 equivalent folder, usually: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Arma 3\userconfig". If there is a key in the mod Keys folder place the key file into the C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Arma 3\Keys folder. The key is used if you run a server.

Updating a local mod requires you to manually download the update then remove the old mod version - then repeat the above process for adding a local mod.

It should be pretty clear by now that Steam Workshop mods are a lot easier to manage - since they are automatically added to the Launcher and more importantly automatically updated.

Encourage mod makers to post their mods onto the SW.

Activating Mods
Ok so now you have installed some SW and Local mods, now activate them. Activation means loading the additional content into Arma3 at start-up. In the Launcher simply click on the checkbox LHS next to the mod you want to activate.

Presets and mod dependencies
Most mods live well with other mods – however some mods can cause unpredictable behaviour and can even crash the base game. As a safe guard and so as not to place too much extra load on your systems’ resources it is advisable to load only the mods needed for a particular level or scenario. This is where the preset feature comes in.

Most mod and mission makers will list dependencies that are required. The Launcher will automatically flag mods that have other mod dependencies and even offer to add them for you. Note this only applies to SW mods. You can save a group of mods as a preset. This will allow you to start Arma3 with just the mods you want to use and that are required.

In the example below I have activated a number of mods I use and saved this mod list as IFA3Lite. To save a list of activated mods click on the PRESET button top RHS – name the preset and click save.

Sharing your Preset lists
The Launcher can export a list of mods you use so that you can share them with your squad. To output a Preset file click on the Preset and then click on the share icon (circle with arrows).

You will be prompted to save the file. The file will be saved in html format and contain all the appropriate links! Note this applies to SW and local mods. To load a Preset click on the Import button at the bottom of the Preset list or on the …More \/ icon at the top centre of the screen and select import list of mods from a file.

Removing mods
To remove mods click on the mod and then the Unsubscribe (Trash can) icon. This unsubscribes you and deletes the mod folder.

Parameters – Arma3 Launcher
Start-up time can be dramatically improved by skipping the intro and splash screens and only loading mods that you need to use. Also checking the No logs checkbox is also advisable for general use since many mods and Arma3 in general tends to spam the rpt file. See C:\Users\urname\AppData\Local\Arma 3 for the rpt file. Rpt files list all the errors Arma3 encountered during start up mostly relating to loaded mods. Most can be ignored - so don't panic if there are a lot of entries.

Moving mods to save SSD space.
In the Launcher click on the Options button (top RHS) > Launcher Options > Mod Options. Select move and choose an alternative drive and folder for your mods. You can also keep local mods in an alternative location using the watch folder. Pretty self explanatory.

RickOShay - FB
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RickOShay  [author] Oct 1 @ 12:31am 
@JensenCDenton - I need more info - what location are you saving the Local mods to? They should be placed here in their own folders: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Arma 3\@modname
JensenCDenton Sep 30 @ 11:08am 
@RickOShay Hey, nice post. I have a few SW mods and a bunch of Local Mods. I can use the 'Local Mods' advice above to add them manually, but it seems I have to do this each time I start the Launcher. I've tried entering them using the 'watch' folder feature and saving as a preset with them loaded, but each time I close and re-open the Launcher, only the SW mods are visible. Any advice?
RickOShay  [author] Jul 8 @ 2:16am 
@@☢[LEB]Sgt.Aʒar✞ I added the last paragraph to help with the process of moving mods. Hopefully it's self explanatory. My original answer wasn't entirely accurate. Sorry about that.
RickOShay  [author] Jul 7 @ 5:02pm 
@SniperSwiper - thanks man - nice that some people appreciate the free help !
SniperSwiper Jul 7 @ 4:53pm 
Rick you da real MVP man your awesome that your still doing this
☢[LEB]Sgt.Aʒar✞ Jul 2 @ 6:30am 
@RickOShay Hey , i tried to search in the questions if it was asked before but i probably missed , id like to ask about the mods and the Arma 3 question : Specifically about mod managment ( moving)
i have a SSD and its nearly full , having some mods to download CUP... id like o download them to another file on my HDD, and move the already downloaded ones to this folder is this possible and how ? there was in the launcher option mod storage , i assigned a new folder but it didint do anything
Massiv Igel Jun 13 @ 5:54am 
thx ;) i lkl do that if this problem occures one more tim ;)
RickOShay  [author] Jun 13 @ 1:29am 
@lgel Note: you perform these suggestions at your own risk. Issue relates to a corrupt mod database - so you will need to reset it by clearing all subs - then resubbing to all mods. Tedious I know but the only solution I can think of. 1) Open Arma3 Launcher and export the entire mod list to a file for later reference. Keep Launcher open. Deactivate all mods - click first mod - on rhs click on Dustbin to unsubscribe from mod - this will also remove the file from the folder above. Obviously if some are local mods just delete listing. Then repeat process for all mods. Once completed you need to close the A3 Launcher AND Steam. Delete appworkshop_107410.acf in C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\workshop. Delete all folders in C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\workshop\content\107410. Restart Steam & Launcher to check no mods being downloaded. Click ...More \/ top of screen - click import mod list - file you previously saved. Have tea.
Massiv Igel Jun 12 @ 6:52pm 
My Arma 3 launcher / steam keeps updating all the mods when i restart windows. Kinda pisses me of cause it s 20 GB not a small feat. So why does this happen ?
RickOShay  [author] Apr 17 @ 2:10am 
@Thor many of the mods you are referring to have signature files. So should work.Make sure you don't use -servermod - this command is for serverside mods only. You should mostly use -mod @modname. Also make sure all mod keys are in your keys folder - the keys folder contains bikeys which stipulates allowed mods. Assuming you have done the above and it still doesn't work - it maybe an access rights issue. Suggest contact your host - and ask for them to help fix rights issue.