We’ve all been there, your squads still getting into position. You jump into cover and make callouts. Your opening shot will determine the course of the battle, it’s life or death. Then someone calls out, “range?” In those first moments, it’s one of the most important pieces of information to have. So how do you get the range in Arma 3?
You must first equip a Range Finder or laser designator. The default key is “B”. Once your range finder is out, right click to view through the eyepiece. With your range finder or Laser Designator armed, point to your target and press “T”. Your red distance LED will change to the range in meters. If you use ACE, you may have to fire the Laser Designator to activate the range. Even without batteries, you can get the range.
The range finder and Laser Designator are not the only things that can give you range. Some scopes like the Night Stalker can give you range. The MAAWS Mod 1 has a built-in range finder, making it the ideal ambush launcher. More on Launchers here.
Keep in mind that trees, bushes, and other things can obstruct the laser, giving you a false reading. This is especially difficult with dense foliage. When in doubt, point your range finder at the feet or base of the person for a more accurate reading.
I don’t know many people that can eye something and give you a good range, I’m sure it’s possible, but most people don’t have this ability. This is why I recommend that everyone take a laser designator or at least a range finder. If you’re interested in loadouts, click here. The range is important for anything past 200 meters, and especially for vehicles.
A lot of vehicles and smart weapons have a built-in range finder. This allows the vehicle to auto-adjust the range for a precise shot. However, if you “lase in” something on the move, the weapon will auto-adjust for your movement and theirs, making shots difficult. So when in vehicle combat, I find it better to lase in the ground next to the target, so I can manually lead. I generally have better aim than the auto-fire method, which can seem to fire way off. Still, this allows a lot of machine guns to fire at 2K distances, really arcing the bullets.