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How to Add Mods to an Arma 3 Server

Last modified on Nov 27, 2023 in arma

mc head By Nathan Young


Arma 3 missions are exciting adventures to enjoy with friends, but sometimes there isn’t enough content. This can lead players to search for more, which is done through modifications. Whether you want silly cosmetics, better movement systems, or brand new scenarios, Arma 3 mods offer a wide range of features. These introduce large amounts of new content to the game and make your server enjoyable for all players. Although, installing mods can be difficult and may make people uninterested in them. Due to this, Apex Hosting will guide you through the needed steps to install mods on Arma 3 servers.


Before installing and activating Arma 3 mods, you must download them. Additionally, renaming and organizing them appropriately is required for the installation process. We’ll go through every step to get your modded experience started.

  1. Head towards Arma 3’s Workshop, then use the Browse By Tags section to narrow down mods.
    Arma 3 Steam Workshop Browsing

    Note: Otherwise, use the Search field to find specific modifications.

  2. Once you locate a desired mod, click Subscribe on its respective page.
    Arma 3 Mod Subscription
  3. After downloading all mods, head towards your Steam Library and play Arma 3.
  4. In the launcher, navigate to the Mods and check mark your desired modifications.
    Arma 3 Mod Load In-Game
  5. Return to the Library, then right-click Arma 3 and hover over Manage to select Browse Local Files.
    Steam Arma 3 Browse Local Files
  6. When the game files open, you’ll need to manually enter “\!Workshop” at the end of “…\common\Arma 3” in the directory location.
    Arma 3 Local Workshop Files
  7. Inside the !Workshop folder, copy all desired mod files that start with @.
    Arma 3 Mod Files
  8. Paste them on your desktop or somewhere else, then rename each folder that has spaces, capitalization, or special characters.
    Note: The only unique symbol remaining should be “@”. E.g. Enhanced Movement -> @‌enhanced_movement
  9. Afterward, compress all mod folders into a single ZIP file from WinRAR or 7zip.
  10. When everything is finished, keep the newly zipped document nearby for later.


How to Add Mods to Server

Now that all mods are downloaded and prepared, we’ll review the steps needed to install them on the server.

  1. Head towards your Apex server panel and enter in the FTP File Access area from the top left.
  2. Use your password to login, then in the top left corner press Upload.
  3. Drag and drop the ZIP file into the respective area, which contains all your mods.
    Arma 3 Upload Mods to Server
  4. Wait for this to reach 100% and return to the main directory of the files.
  5. Select the zipped file by clicking the box, then press Unzip in the top right and Submit.
    Unzip Mod Files Arma 3
  6. Next, enter the keys subfolder for each mod directory you uploaded.
    Arma 3 Mod Keys Folder
  7. Check mark the BiKey file(s) and press Copy at the top, then enter this pathway: …/keys
    Arma 3 BiKeys
  8. Click Submit and return to the main panel and click Customizations to the left.
  9. Under the Server Settings, input your mods in the Client Mods section.
    If you want them only for the server and not the client, then use Server Mods.
    Arma 3 Configure Mods

    Note: Client mods tend to be vehicles, maps, etc. and the server mods tend to be backend features.

  10. Afterward, Restart the server from the panel and join when it’s finished loading.


If there are too many mods or it exceeds a large amount of memory, then use FileZilla to add them. The mods will not properly upload if they are problematic for the FTP panel, hence this alternative method. We have a detailed tutorial on how to use this program here, which is advised in these situations.


Common Issues

Server is Not Starting
When the server no longer starts up, this is caused by a failing mod. In these situations, you can confirm the problem in the Console from the server panel. The “Cannot open file /@Mod1\addons\File” message proves a specific file failed to load, which is resolved by removing the mod. Alternatively, finding another version of the mod could work. This may require online research, so be careful as you do that.
Mods Don’t Work
In some cases, mods will not work due to missing requirements. For instance, one mod may need another one to properly work. This is typically listed on the mod’s page or description, but isn’t always on there. However, at times the mod will simply not function on servers. Although, if you confirm all mods are correctly set up and some still fail, then this could mean the files weren’t correctly uploaded. Try to use FileZilla to get them correctly on the server. Otherwise, you can possibly solve this issue by putting the broken mod names in the Server Mods section from Customizations. Make sure to restart the server after applying any of these solutions.
Players Cannot Join
If the mods were installed as Client Mods, then make sure every player downloaded them. Occasionally, the player would need to add -mod=Mod1\;Mod2\ to Arma 3’s Launch Options. This is located in the General section of Properties from the Library, when you right-click the game. When it’s entered, the mods should work as intended upon launching the game and joining the server.

Useful Links

Arma 3 on Steam
Arma 3’s Workshop
Arma 3 Server Hosting
How to Join an Arma 3 Server
Arma Guides

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