Arma 3 Optimization Guide
By Nathan Young
Whether you’re in singleplayer or multiplayer, Arma 3 is a highly enjoyable and customizable game with many missions to complete. Unfortunately, some players run into performance issues while trying to join a server or engage with enemy targets. This can happen to anyone in almost any type of situation in-game. These problems arise from a variety of reasons, from poor hardware to unoptimized settings. Solving them is a bit tricky, as there are countless methods to increase performance. Some include technical configurations that many players might not know. Due to this, we’ll review how to optimize Arma 3 and fix lag in this Apex Hosting guide so you can start enjoying the game once again.
Before optimizing Arma 3, you’ll need to understand the most common issues players encounter. For example, sometimes a user can experience decreased frames that prevents smooth gameplay. There are many other problems someone can have, which can be frustrating to fix. The list below showcases the majority of them, but our solutions in the following subsections will help resolve every single performance problem.
Whenever you freeze or see visual glitches in-game, this is an indication of stuttering. This can truly disrupt your gameplay, as trying to fight an enemy team while not having a smooth experience makes it harder to hit your targets. Stuttering causes can include: an overheated computer, poor machine memory, and inadequate CPU functionality. However, there are other reasons that may not directly correlate to your hardware.
The frames per second (FPS) determines how your game feels, as it controls the smoothness of each graphic rendering. If this rate is low, it’ll make everything appear shaky or laggy. In other words, you’ll notice enemies, animals, vehicles, and your viewpoint skip around in-game rather than normal movement. Some causes for this may include: high graphics settings, an outdated GPU, poor CPU performance, among other factors.
Encountering high latency while connected to servers can be irritating, as it causes lag. This is similar to stuttering since you may see freezes or skips in-game. Experiencing this can also impact how others see your character movements. In most cases, the cause for high ping is a poor internet connection, but can also be from the server’s location, VPNs, or even firewalls. Due to the variety of reasons, solving this is tricky and takes time.
On rare occasions, players can completely crash due to any of the above issues and/or causes. However, this tends to happen when you’ve modded Arma 3. For example, having too many modifications on a server and client can spark issues, sometimes triggering a crash. There could be other reasons for these situations, which may not be entirely associated with performance problems.
How to Optimize Arma 3
As previously mentioned, optimizing Arma 3 involves many different kinds of methods. These may include upgrading your computer’s hardware, editing configuration files, installing mods, or updating your operating system (OS). There are other ones too, which all can be combined to produce the best performance results. Otherwise, selectively choosing what you do tailored to your exact situation will help. With this in mind, review our optimization tips and tricks to begin.
The first step towards fixing any performance issues is making sure you have adequate hardware. If you’re using an extremely outdated machine to play Arma 3, then it’s not surprising you have problems in-game. However, sometimes the lack of dedicated memory or processing power can cause the situation. Review the minimum and recommended requirements for the game down below, then compare it to your computer to see if you need to upgrade.
|OS: Windows 7 SP1 (64bit)
|Processor: Intel Dual-Core 2.4 GHz or AMD Dual-Core Athlon 2.5 GHz
|Memory: 4 GB RAM
|Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 9800GT / AMD Radeon HD 5670 / Intel HD Graphics 4000 with 512 MB VRAM
|Hard Drive: 45 GB free space
|Audio: DirectX-compatible on-board
|OS: Windows 7 / 8 / 10 (64bit)
|Processor: Intel Core i5-4460 or AMD FX 4300 or better
|Memory: 8 GB RAM
|Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 / AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series with 2 GB VRAM
|Hard Drive: 70 GB free space, SSD / Hybrid HDD / SSHD storage
|Audio: DirectX-compatible soundcard
Updating the GPU
Many Arma 3 players can have the right computer specs to run the game, but their graphics card may be outdated. This is an extremely common problem, as most of the time this isn’t automatically done. The process may differ depending on your model, such as Nvidia GPUs being updated in their GeForce Experience program. However, a universal method is found down below and should work regardless of your graphics card.
- Right-click on the
Windows Iconin the bottom left corner of your screen.
- Locate and select the
Device Manageroption from the menu.
- In the newly opened window, double-click the
- Afterward, right-click on your dedicated graphics card and select
- This will automatically install the latest version of your GPU on the computer.
Verifying Game Files
Crashing and lag may be due to missing game files on your client, which sometimes happen. This may occur if you’ve recently tweaked some settings, created custom CFG documents, or encountered an installation/update error. Regardless of the cause, verifying the game files will retrieve the missing data to hopefully fix the situation. Review the instructions below to accomplish this task.
- Navigate to your Steam
Library, then locate Arma 3 in the game list.
- Once found, right-click it and select the
- In the new window, press the
Local Filescategory to the left.
- From here, simply press
Verify Integrity of game filesto start the process.
- Wait for this to complete, then startup Arma 3 to see if that helped.
Another excellent way to increase the overall performance of Arma 3 is customizing the main config file. This may make FPS drops more noticeable, but will reduce input lag to optimize the game. The following steps show you how to access this file and what settings to change.
- Make sure to close down Arma 3 before proceeding.
- Navigate to this directory from File Explorer:
- Continue to find and edit the Arma3.cfg file, which is done from Notepad.
Optional: Using programs like Notepad++ is better for tweaking configurations.
- Inside of this file, locate and tweak the following settings accordingly.
Savethese changes and close the editor.
Besides editing configurations or verifying the game files, installing mods from the Workshop can help improve performance. This is due to some modifications changing how Arma 3 functions or calculates events, thereby reducing workload on your machine. A similar concept is applied to servers, but depends on the mod you install since some only work for clients. Review our two suggested ones down below to see if they help fix your lag. However, it’s also suggested to not install too many modifications on your client or server since this causes stress on the machines.
Performance Extension - This modification changes how calculations are performed in Arma 3, improving your gameplay experience. For instance, 100 AI enemies without this mod results in low FPS, but using this increases your frames by 30%. This can be used on singleplayer and multiplayer, but testing may be required for servers.
Enhanced Video Settings - More of a client-sided modification, this adds new video settings to increase the graphics with optimization. If you’re using high options and lag due to it, then installing this mod will improve your performance with the same visuals.
If the above methods didn’t entirely resolve the performance issue(s), then try the following. These can be considered your last resort, but share the same importance as the suggested solutions. Most players use or try all of them to fix the problem, which typically works. However, you may have to do additional online research to understand how to do them since every machine is different. Regardless of this, the possible solutions below will give you insight into what else can be done to remedy the situation.
Many players have Nvidia graphic cards, which comes with GeForce Experience that can optimize all your games. Utilizing this will change your settings to get the best performance in Arma 3. Additionally, it has a wonderful user interface that allows you to see the changes beforehand. Otherwise, it can provide you with useful information about what to tweak if you’re following other solutions to improve performance.
In some cases, updating your computer’s OS can improve performance. This may also help other games too, as your machine constantly needs to be maintained with proper updates. For example, installing a new OS version and/or patch may indirectly help your gameplay become more efficient. This doesn’t mean upgrading your current operating system’s type, such as Windows 10 to 11. However, consider an upgrade if you’re using an outdated one that may not be fully supported.
If you’re still experiencing high ping or general lag, then restarting your connection might help. This involves rebooting your router and flushing your DNS, which have different steps to do. The first is simple, as you just have to unplug the device and power it back on after a minute. As for the second option, you’ll need to enter ipconfig /flushdns in Windows CMD prompt with administrator privileges. Doing these solutions will restart your internet connection to give you the best possible chance at having decent latency.
As you know by now, there are many solutions available to resolve lag, stuttering, ping, and other performance issues. These range from tweaking configs to updating your hardware, but remember that a combination of our suggestions is best. There is no downside to trying out all of these options if you want, as they should all help improve your experience in-game. However, you might need to research additional solutions if the problematic situation persists, such as installing different modifications. Besides this, we hope this full tutorial helps you increase your Arma 3 performance for more enjoyable gameplay sessions.