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Posts: 5

Level: Member

Country: us
Location: Sahrani's Basement
In-game name: NonovUrbizniz

#1 Posted at 2014-09-19 20:42        
Hi! I've created a text and video series of tutorials for modding in Arma.

I have published the first 3 text tutorials in a group I started called Open Modders Group -

Tonight, I just finished narrating, editing, and uploading the tutorials in video form to YouTube.

The videos narrate through the tutorial and provide a visual guide and some commentary on the various points.

Below are the 3 Videos:

And the Text of the 1st tutorial:

A Beginners Guide to Arma 2 and Arma 3 Modding

Arma and it's sequels are an amazingly robust modding environment, but to say it's difficult to navigate is a drastic understatement.

When you get down to it's nuts and bolts however, the documentation is there, and it is a VERY capable platform.
With a bit of effort, eagerness to learn, and most of all passion you can produce amazing content and enjoy it on an amazing platform.
But keep in mind... Arma Modding is not for the faint of heart.

There are far easier modding platforms that allow for instant gratification, however they do not offer the depth and breadth that Arma does.

I would venture to say, there is likely no other modding platform that is as accessible in terms of talented people, tools, and information.
Within months of my intrest in the series being piqued I had direct contact with not only pillars of the arma community modding scene,
but internal BI and VBS employees as well.

The aim of this guide is to give aspiring modders a good entry level introduction to modding in Arma the intent is to provide:

- Clear & simple instructions

- Real repeatable examples using Bohemia Interactive's Sample Models and tools (as well as some AMAZING time saving community developed tools)

- Links to all the resources

- Clear Roadmap for the Sections and Tutorials.


I - Establishing a modding environment - This topic is covered very well by Shinkicker's 4 part tutorial on for Arma 2:
Part 1 -

And the process is DRASTICALLY simplified in Arma 3, Atsche did a nice video tutorial of the install and initial setup for Arma 3

Check it out here -

1. Downloading BI Tools

2. Optional (but recommended) community tools

3. Optional free 3rd party tools for modelling or art/graphics editing (for those who do not own superior commercial tools)

II - Tutorials and Links will be broken down by focus as below:

1. Sound modification and Voice Acting

2. Mission Editing (including cinematics creation)

3. Coding

4. Community Tool Development

5. Model Making

6. Texturing

7. Terrain Artist (be prepared to have the steepest hill to climb)

Now, Obviously each one of these are VERY complicated and require intensive focus and dedication to master,
however they are pretty much ALL fairly accessible and can be toyed with fairly simply.
I am by no means a master of any of these focus', but I have spent a fair amount of time messing around with all of them.

So, I'm going to do my best to cover as many bases as I can, as accurately as I can w/o overstepping my knowledge base,
or providing useless guides.

I - The modding environment:

Arma 2:

Latest BI Tools -

Mikero's Dos Tools -

Shinkicker of the 2017 Mod Team created a wonderful 4 part series on setting up your BI tools, and P drive, as well as,
how to create a basic object and get it into game.

Check it out starting at Part 1 Here:

Arma 3:

Latest BI Tools - Go to your Steam library and scroll down to "Tools" and then select Arma3 Tools from the list

Manaual Download -

Mikero's Dos Tools -
For Arma 3 the process is quite different as it's done through steam, it's also a lot cleaner/easier to use as it has a
consolidated launcher for the tools that puts all the programs in one place, and even goes so far as to provide a quick means of
launching a few popular external toolsets like Mikero's Tools.

Atsche did a nice video tutorial of the install and initial setup for Arma 3

Check it out here -

HIT LIKE ON THESE FOLKS' VIDS, and PLEASE help support modders directly!

Whether it's by donating to them, or simply by promoting their work!

Donation Links:
OpenDayZ -
kju -
snakeman -

II - RULES to live by

1. RESPECT ALL AUTHOR'S RIGHTS - This is non-negotiable. Arma is a great platform to mod and learn on because of the respect that modders have
for each other, for those that showed them the ropes, and for Bohemia and it's spirit of sharing and open opportunity. Author's Rights Violations
are taken VERY VERY seriously in the modding scene, and on the BI forums.

For a VERY comprehensive look at Author's Rights, I suggest you consult the Addon Maker's for Author's Rights site:

2. Register an OFPEC tag and use it RELGIOUSLY do this FIRST THING don't assume your desired prefix isn't taken -
- ALWAYS prefix p3d (models) files with your OFPEC tag to ensure you do not create a conflict with a rival mod, or with native BI content
- ALWAYS prefix your PBO's IE your work folders in your P Drive

3. Use Mikero's tools.

- More specifically pack ALL your work with PBOProject, it will identify problems and errors, as well as ensuring proper packing and binarization
Always ensure the "Check Externals" selection box is checked.

4. Sign your files - This process is made VERY easy by PBOProject, you simply go into "setup" and point to the correct path where your
private key is stored. Using PBOProject for signing files also

III - Pick A Discipline

1. Sound modification and Voice Acting - You can add or alter sounds for any aspect of the environment or it's contents. You can create original dialogue or sounds
and integrate them into normal gameplay or special missions or cutscenes.

2. Mission Editing - Both Single Player and MultiPlayer. Can be intended for public use or just for testing assets or creating cinematic recordings.

3. Coding - Arma allows for HEAVY scripting, and code integration upto and including use of external Database's and Virtual Machine's. ALL assets in Arma are interpreted via Config.cpp files,
EVERY asset needs to be configured in order for the game to recognize it and take action accordingly. Many mods are nothing more than modifications to existing configs, or heavy
additions of original SQF scripts and functions.

4. Community Tool Development - This can range from something as simple as a batch script, to things as complicated as 3rd party Antihack or File/Server Browsers

5. Model Making - Bohemia provides an ENORMOUS library of content for anyone to use as a base for modification within the Arma Franchise & they also provide
tools to allow for the importing of originally produced content

6. Texturing - Again, the entire library of textures and materials are available from Arma 1 and Arma 2 in the MLOD releases. Bohemia also provide all the needed
tools to convert your custom textures to the proper formats and apply them to existing or imported models.

7. Terrain Artist - Be prepared to have the steepest hill to climb, and need essentially ALL the above skills (coding knowledge is not essential however you must edit/create config files)


There is an ASTOUNDING amount of content produced by the modding community, and an even more astounding amount of documentation and information produced by 3rd parties.

When you plan your addon, make sure it's not something that will be pointless, or construed as attempting to "piggyback" off of or copy others existing work.

It's always a good idea to look at how Bohemia accomplished something similar, and use that as a reference, however it's also a VERY good idea to contact the author's of
existing mods and ask if you can poke around their work to glean lessons as well.

REALLY valuable official and community resources:

BI Forums -
BI Wiki or "Biki" -
BI Licenses -
Public Data Files (Arma 1 and 2 + OA + DLCs) -
Arma 3 Sample data gets downloaded automatically when you install the tools via steam

Dev Heaven Community Modding Bible -
PMC Tactical -

Again, PLEASE consider donating to folks like kju, Foxhound, Mikero, & Snakeman

I will be recording some modelling tutorials on properly configuring objects and buildings in O2 for Arma 2 and 3 for the first series.