ARMA 3's Incredible Ballistics Model Explained

With CPU cycles ever the more generous and efficient, modern shooters have had little reason not to incorporated bullet penetration into their physics models. However, the inner workings of such mechanics are never fully revealed, leaving most to spray at wooden doors, sandbags, windows... OK, well anything solid really, in the hopes of getting a lucky hit on an opponent.

With ARMA 3, we finally get a look at just how accurate a ballistics model can be... and the answer is very.

YouTube user Dslyecxi put together an almost 14-minute video that painstakingly goes over the penetration profiles of several weapons from Bohemia Interactive's recently released FPS, including 5.56mm, 7.62mm and .50-cal rifles and a .45-cal SMG. Dslyecxi uses a custom script to not only paint the trajectories of the bullets as they leave each weapon, but to colour-code changes in velocity as well.

Along with firing the weapons at different materials of varying thicknesses, he also unloads at obstacles at various angles, to show the effects of deflection.

Unsurprisingly, the .50-cal performs the best, but I was surprised at how poorly the .45 SMG performed — for some reason I thought it'd do better.

Arma 3 Terminal Ballistics [YouTube, via Reddit]


    Obviously this game is designed for online, however does it have offline or LAN to just mess around with? It looks like a blast

      The game has an editor where users can create their own missions by placing things (things being infantry, vehicles, etc.) and linking them all up with waypoint markers, scripting, etc.

      Otherwise there's single player 'single missions', and there's part 1 of the campaign mode coming on Oct 31st.

      I haven't actually checked for a LAN option, but if their previous games are anything to go by, I'm thinking yes.

      There's also heavy mod support ranging from small things like recoil mods or HUD alterations to full blown reworkings of the game with complete custom campaigns and everything.

      I'm pretty sure they're making a campaign for it

        The first chapter of the campaign is supposed to come out on Thursday.

      You can also host a MP session by yourself and just play with the AI. But the AI is pretty thick.

      Yeah mate, there's a bunch of "showcases" which are short standalone missions that sort of act as tutorials, and the first episode of the campaign was released on devbranch the other day. There's a pretty comprehensive mission/scenario editor though too so you can build your own missions and such - the official campaign and all community-made missions are built using it. :) As f4ction said though, the AI can be pretty clumsy at times.

      Look up videos on Domination 2

      There are a lot of user created scenarios to play as well. You obviously need a net connection to download them, but once you have them you can play them alone.

      Last edited 28/10/13 8:30 am

      It's entirely playable as a single player experience, as Tails said there's heaps of user made missions on the steam workshop, in fact there's currently 1407 things tagged as single player. Some of these aren't actual missions, just stuff like firing ranges or things to show off stuff like ballistics but there's masses of stuff for a solo player to check out.

      Add to that the mission editor which can let you make pretty quick & simple missions with a minimum of work and you shouldn't lack for things to do.

    Wow... No wonder it took them so long to make!

      its also been the least buggiest launch of the series as well thanks in part to the steam early access alpha and beta

    So they didn't apply the shape of the projectile? Or did they take a generic shape? Because he didn't mention it in his list of factors.

    all I wanna know it what GPU is he using

      I know he runs it at a pretty high res, something like 2560x1440 but my old GTX480 ran the game pretty well on high settings so it's fairly friendly to lower powered cards.

      That said, my new GTX770 runs it much better

    Another youtuber, Jester814, did a similar penetration test a few weeks ago. It's more extensive, showing the effects of most weapons on most surfaces, but it lacks the nicely colour coded projectile speed which is pretty sweet.

    Still worth a watch if you're interested in seeing what's safe to take cover behind

    Last edited 28/10/13 1:25 pm

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