To find the answer to your question, use the search or choose a category to read the related questions.

Print this article   
How to install and launch addons
The addons are .pbo files which add new content to the game like units, vehicles, weapons, ... or combined ones.

When we download an addon, normally a zip or rar compressed file that we can open using 7zip compressor, we have three options to install and launch them.

* Notice that for ArmA2 in this guide where it says ArmA you must use ArmA2.
* ArmA2 folders for steam version can be found following these instructions: Modfolders with Steam version.
* Since Operation Arrowhead, you can use the ingame expansions menu to manage the addons installed. Anyways you must use Modfolders to work with it. (Check Option 2: Modfolder method)

Addon & Mod installation for Arma 3

Extract into the ArmA 3 Directory, by default this is located in:
32-Bit - C:\Program Files\Steam/Steamapps\Common\ArmA 3\
64-Bit - C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam/Steamapps\Common\ArmA 3\
After extraction it should look like this:
Steam\Steamapps\Common\ArmA 3\@your_mod_folder_name\addons\

You can also use the "Arma 3 Alpha" folder in your "My Documents" folder. Your folder setup could than look like for example this:
mydocuments\Arma3 Alpha\@your_mod_folder_name1\addons\
mydocuments\Arma3 Alpha\@your_mod_folder_name2\addons\
mydocuments\Arma3 Alpha\@your_mod_folder_name2\addons\

When present place the "userconfig" folder into your game install folder, usually:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Arma 3".
You may already have "userconfig" folder from other addons and/or mods in which case it is safe to merge the contents from this archive.

You'll also need to add a Launch Parameter to Steam, in order to do so right-click on ArmA 3 Alpha and click Properties and then Set Launch Options. In the window that opens enter in -mod=@your_mod_folder_name
For using multiple mods you would then do so like this:

You can also use -nosplash to get rid of the splash art and intro videos.

And of course you can also enable and disable community made addons and mods through the in-game Options Expansions menu if you do not want to mess with startup parameters!

When the above information still does not provide you with enough to learn how to install custom addons and mods you can always ask in our Guide On Installing Mods.

Addon & Mod installation for Armed Assault / Arma 2 / Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead

We can use this method so we just load at the startup the addons we want to use, saving loading time, avoiding incompatibilities, ...

I will use the FDF Sound mod as an example:

First we have to create 2 folders inside the main ArmA one. We create a folder called @FDF_Sounds and inside this one another called Addons.

Inside this new Addons folder we place the .pbo file(s), in this case the FDF_Sounds.pbo and FDF_Sounds_c.pbo files.

NOTE2: If the download contains any .bisign file they should go to the same folder you place the pbo ones. This .bisign files are there so players using properly signed addons can join to that server which requires them.


Now what we have to do it's edit the ArmA shortcut so the game launches using that addon. To do this, we do rightclick on the ArmA shortcut in the desktop or where we have it and select properties.
In the target box we add -mod=@FDF_Sounds as shown in the pic:


NOTE3: The pic its in spanish but its easy to find the analogies.
NOTE4: By adding also -nosplash we will get that the game launches faster as it doesnt load the intro movies.
NOTE5: To load more than one mod folder use semi-colons to separate then (-mod=@mod1;@mod2;@mod3)
NOTE6: Since Operation Arrowhead you can install the modfolders in My Documents\ArmA 2 directory.

Modfolders + ArmAlauncher

After creating the folders and placing the .pbo files, instead of editing the shortcut or having to have various shortcut for different modfolders, we can use one of the arma launchers created by the community. For example the ArmA II Game Launcher by SpiritedMachine. (Other launchers can be found in this section: ArmA2 Misc&Utilities)

We start the launcher and first we have to select where we have the arma.exe file. We do this by clicking on "change" and pointing the program to our installation folder.

Once we do that in Options --> Options we can mark Skip splash screens so we don't launch the intro movies.

Now we have to add the mod(s), we go to Options --> Mods and we add the mod as its shown on the pic.


NOTE6: Check that the Mod directory name must be the same as the one we created, the other is just a name for reference.

And finally we have to launch the game on Single or Multiplayer, but first we have to select what mod we wanna launch by checking the box close to the mod name.


With the launcher we can also add any server and select what folders we want to use when we join that server, just go to Options --> Servers and fill the boxes with the required info.

Additionally we have a few videos for you so you can see how it is done:
Arma2 addon tutorial part 1/3 (use fullscreen and 720p)

Arma2 addon tutorial part 2/3

Arma2 addon tutorial part 3/3

And 3 more

Option 4 : Addons in your Documents folder

While majority of users still prefer the old fashioned OFP style command line driven mod handling, there is also another way of doing it, using the in game expansions manager and documents settings. One real advantage of doing it that way is that it no longer matter from where you launch the game (be it steam, other version etc.). It makes clean installations also much simpler than messing within the game folder.

Example how to use this system with the DayZ mod:
  • create DayZ folder in:
    C:\Users\your_user_name\Documents\ArmA 2
  • create sub folder Addons there and download / extract files from to it
  • run the game
  • in the game go to the Expansions, select DayZ and click on Enable button, restart the game
  • now the mod is installed and I can play easily with it anytime (using the Steam, Sprocket or retail versions, with or without the latest beta patch)

How to install addons topics:
Back To Top
Updated: Thursday 29th of May 2014 05:29 PM,  Submitted by: Big,  viewed 979775 times