ArmA/ArmA3 Mission Making

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This page will cover some of the basic tools that are recommended when mission making along with areas that need to be checked whilst creating/releasing a mission and before uploading it to the server.

Seperate pages will be created covering some basic scripts and others that may be useful for inclusion into a mission.

Editing Software

This section provides some details regarding software that can be used to make life as a mission creator easier.


Probably the best tool that you can use to edit/create scripts is Notepad++. Download and install from here

Install the included plugins:

  • Compare which is useful to see changes between versions of scripts
  • Explorer which is useful to be able to select project files easier within Notepad++

To install included plugins:

  1. From within Notepad++, follow the path from the top menus Plugins -> Plugin Manager -> Show Plugin Manager
  2. Select the checkboxes next to the required plugins
  3. Select the button Install
  4. Follow instructions

A plugin that you want to also download and install is Notepad++ SQF Syntax Highlighting and Auto Completion, this can be downloaded from here.

To install the Syntax Highlighting plugin:

  1. Extract the contents of the zip file to a location of your choice (the files can be deleted at the end of the installation).
  2. From within Notepad++, follow the path from the top menus Language -> Define your own Language
  3. Select the button Import...
  4. Browse to and select the file Language\SQF.xml
  5. Close and re-open Notepad++

To install the Auto Completion plugin:

  1. From the extracted files
  2. Copy the file Auto/SQF.xml into the folder plugins\APIs, within your install directory
    • Default location
    WINDOWS 7/10: C:\program files(x86)\Notepadd++\plugins\APIs\
  3. Close and re-open Notepad++

With the above setup, when you open an sqf file it should look similar to the below:


From the above image, hopefully the reason why Notepad++ is highly recommended is fairly obvious (but to list a few):

  • Line numbers are shown so you can see easily the line that where errors report
  • Project manager so you can select any file wihtin that project easily
  • Remarks either using // or /* */ can be seen easily in light grey
  • Open and close brackets can be seen in red when you select next to one
  • Other syntax is colour coded so you can easily see what is going on

ArmA 3 Tools

From the point of view of a mission maker, the only tool that is beneficial from the ArmA 3 Tools package is TexView 2 for creating images to use within the game.

To install the ArmA 3 Tools package:

  1. From within STEAM, follow the path from the top menus Library -> Tools
  2. Double-click the ArmA 3 Tools package and install

Tex View 2

A few discussions have taken place over the years in the BI forums on which file format to use but to date the best and recommended one to use is the .paa format to ensure that the image displays correctly for all players.

Although file resolution should take the format 2^x / 2^y (e.g. 16x16, 32x32, 64x64, 256x256), for loadscreen images it is best to use 512x256 and for everything else use 256x256

To convert images into the .paa format it is generally better to import from .png into TexView 2 and then save as .paa.

A full manual for TexView 2 can be found here.

Starting Options When Mission Making

When creating/testing a mission it is best to start the game with a couple of different options than normal to make things easier to do.

Windowed Mode

Starting the game in windowed mode will make it easier to swap between the game and any files that you are editing.

To enable this from the launcher:

  1. Select the button Parameters
  2. From the Basic tab, select the checkbox next to Windowed
  3. Play the game


Suggested to keep the same screen size ratio that you normally use in fullscren e.g. 16:9, 4:3

Show Script Errors

Starting the game with the option Show Script Errors will show any errors within the scripts and mission on the screen whilst playing in preview mode


To enable this from the launcher:

  1. Select the button Parameters
  2. From the Advanced tab, select the checkbox next to Show Script Errors
  3. Play the game

Requirement in init.sqf

To enable troubleshooting from the server .rpt logs and also of benefit when looking at local .rpt files, all missions that are on our server must have the following in the first few lines of the init.sqf

/* Creates an entry in the server and client RPT file with the mission name in place of the %1.
Makes it easier to debug when you know what mission created the error. */
diag_log text "";
diag_log text "==========================================================================";
diag_log text format["|=============================   %1   =============================|", missionName];
diag_log text "==========================================================================";
diag_log text "";

Mission Testing

Prior to any mission being uploaded to our server, the mission maker MUST ensure that all script errors are cleared and they have tested the mission.

Commands to help whilst testing

When testing a mission, ensure you have enabled the Debug Console and you can then run some some commands to be able to test the mission fully.

Some of the better commands to use are:

Prevent player taking damage
player allowDamage false;

Prevent player vehicle taking damage
(vehicle player) allowDamage false;

Destroy vehicle that you are aiming at
cursorTarget setDamage 1

Once the commands have been entered select one of the buttons below to run the commands:



RPT file and errors

Along with using the Script Errors option when playing the game, viewing the local .rpt file will show any errors in the mission or scripts.

The defualt location of the .rpt file is (may be hidden):

WINDOWS 7/10: C:\users\{username}\AppData\Local\ArmA 3


To get the colour stlye that is shown in the above .rpt file, to make finding the start of missions and erros easier to find due to being in red, follow the steps below:

  1. From within Notepad++, follow the path from the top menus Settings -> Style Configurator
  2. Select Batch under the section Language
  3. In the field User ext. at the bottom enter rpt
  4. Select the button Save & Close
  5. Close and re-open Notepad++

Useful links and resources

OLD ArmA2 links still some valid points