AI can make or break a game. Everyone can think of examples where AI does something stupid. Tell an engineer to fix a vehicle, and he just starts running at it. Or when they can’t navigate 50 meters past a fence that slightly obscures the path. We typically remember the mistakes more than when they succeed.

On the other hand, AI is the most complex thing when it comes to a full simulation. It generally takes the largest amount of processing for a server. Headless clients can offload some server processing and can combine to make a better experience. But you’re still dealing with a large workload when it comes to AI.

Would you be surprised if I told you that the Arma AI is one of the most complex AI in gaming? You’d be surprised at what they can and can’t do. Here are some facts about the AI you likely didn’t know about.

Movement & Pathing

  • AI rotation speed dependent on encumbrance
  • AI rotation speed dependent on stance
  • AI rotation speed dependent on the speed of movement
  • AI will walk through walls or other solid obstacles if another path cannot be found
  • AI prefers the crouch stance on most surface Types when in stealth or combat mode
  • AI can open doors in some buildings and search


  • AI can consider and control the recoil of the weapon
  • You can configure how the AI responds
  • AI can be suppressed 
  • Since Arma 3 v1.67 is it possible to create 288 AI groups per side instead of 144 as before
  • In a last-resort action, AI infantry would flee when unable to engage
  • AI can occasionally suffer a lower rate of fire when pinned down
  • AI prefers to stop and shoot, rather than run to cover if an enemy is close
  • AI soldiers can plan their path through objects along the coastline
  • When AI is ordered to engage, it will engage even a vehicle without weapons 
  • AI will use cover and flank you when they know your position and are seen
  • AI will attack an enemy vehicle with weapons but without ammo (he no longer has info about the number of magazines)
  • AI will avoid dead bodies
  • An AI unit that comes under fire will no longer return fire with the same accuracy as when it’s not endangered
  • AI vehicles will react faster to hits with 0 damage
  • The gun scope/sight will set the engagement range more than the weapon used

Vehicles (Land, Sea, Air)

  • AI will disembark a vehicle as soon as can move _vehicle; returns
  • Blackhawk AI gunners are more capable while searching for new targets
  • AI door gunners can engage targets that the pilot can see
  • AI-driving wheeled vehicles prefer roads less when in Combat or Stealth mode
  • AI won’t use the co-pilot’s seat when the pilot is dead
  • AI drivers hate can-openers (actually any small object with PhysX I believe) and will avoid them, meaning that if you place them under wrecks then the AI will drive around them, improving their ability to navigate down roads with obstacles dramatically
  • AI will not use HE or HEAT against infantry when driving a tank
  • AI is capable of sling loading from a helicopter
  • AI can fly a VTOL plane
  • AI in boats can navigate around piers
  • AI can drive physX vehicles
  • The AI tries to keep the turret aligned with the vehicle’s direction if it has no targets (Unless a search pattern is used)
  • Automated tailhook operation for AI is used when landing on an aircraft carrier
  • AI will not disembark to change position in the vehicle (if possible)
  • AI will stick to their assigned vehicle even when a man in a critical role is killed
  • Group units sometimes split into another group when entering another vehicle
  • AI (soldier/vehicle) will find the path faster (when close to or on-road)
  • AIs in helicopters can land (e.g. unload cargo) even under fire
  • AI drivers can determine when they are stuck

Detection & Coms

  • AI can disobey a player leader and follow another (JIP) player, not a leader
  • AI in groups share information about targets
  • The radio item only changes the com channel AI will use – it does not influence information sharing
  • As soon as any one unit in a group spots you, that info is transmitted to all units in that group
  • AI Can hear footsteps
  • AI’s hearing works a lot like vision, as in solid objects will occlude the sound
  • Your speed of movement and fatigue (breathing effect) make you louder and more likely to be heard by AI
  • Being over-encumbered does not increase your noise
  • AI hear you less the further you are away from them
  • AI Can hear gunfire
  • AI will react to being alerted by nearby explosions
  • AI cannot hear you if you are using a silenced weapon, depending on the distance and speed of the bullet
  • AI can’t hear you if you are using a silenced weapon and are 50m+ away
  • AI can hear you more if you are running versus walking
  • Making a distracting noise will not achieve the desired effect, they will become alert and search for targets of opportunity
  • AI can hear the sound of a vehicle distant, or nearby and respond to it
  • AI will respond to com chatter by other AI
  • AI will react to a grenade going off, it puts them into combat mode, and they will not look in the direction of the explosion
  • AI can target a sound, but can’t identify the sound source if it is friendly or enemy without visually seeing it
  • All anti-material rifles can be heard and seen by the AI at a similar distance
  • When going into combat mode, AI will go prone and search for targets
  • AI will not shoot you when concealed in a bush unless anyone spots you
  • AI cannot see through vegetation


  • Weapon attachments properly affect AI aiming
  • AI will use Binoculars if they have them
  • Mortars controlled by the AI can not shoot more than one round at a time
  • Countermeasures timings and bursts can be used by the AI
  • Body armor works on the AI
  • AI can shoot over animals
  • AI can shoot through penetrable doors and walls if they know you’re on the other side
  • AI will switch to and use a pistol in a CQB range vs. its sniper rifle
  • AI have more or less dispersion based on their skill when firing
  • AI will use 30mm HE shells against infantry
  • AI won’t switch to their sidearm when their rifle still has some ammo left
  • AI prefers not to waste rockets on infantry but rather shoot them at vehicles
  • AI can engage targets while firing from a moving or static vehicle
  • AI firing from a vehicle with personal weapons will lose aim if you shoot around the vehicle
  • AI accuracy is influenced by rotation (faster rotation, less precision)
  • AI accuracy is influenced by shooting (more shooting, less precision)
  • AI accuracy is influenced by movement (more movement, less precision)
  • AI accuracy is influenced more logically in proportion to the skill
  • AI accuracy is affected by fatigue


  • IR grenades do not attract the attention of AI, even if the AI is equipped with thermal imagery
  • IR grenades can be identified for AI as a target if you give an indication to AI about a target on an IR grenade
  • AI will not run from grenades
  • AI will not react to chem-lights
  • When AI uses a thermal sight, the smoke screen is ineffective
  • When AI does not use a thermal sight, the smoke screen is effective
  • AI will use smoke grenades when the suppression level is too high
  • Smoke grenades can block AI’s view
  • Stun grenades do not work on AI
  • AI can and will throw hand grenades
  • AI is able to use grenade launchers
  • AI soldiers will check friendly smoke grenades in their vicinity
  • AI can detect mines and avoid them if they have a mine detector
  • AI Sapper reacts to all types of mines
  • The AI sapper commander of the group will lay a route for the group through the minefield if the group is built in a column
  • If the group is not built in a column, part of the group may suffer
  • If the AI sapper is a member of the group, the sapper will not make a route for the group through the minefield


  • AI can heal their wounded, but rarely do
  • AI can use a first aid kit if they are wounded (giving more FAKS can increase their difficulty)
  • AI can heal another player if not in combat mode
  • AI can’t revive another AI without scripts/mods
  • Reloading or wounded AI will affect their aim
  • AI leader will continue to give orders to incapacitated units

Recommended AI Mods

While the AI has a lot of features, it can feel underwhelming. The AI doesn’t seem to have situational awareness and respond to situations. These mods will fix some of these issues and make the AI seem a lot smarter than most units I’ve played with. This will bring your AI to the next level.


A simple mod that will change how the AI behaves and moves around. Mostly tweaking the settings for the AI. This will make the AI a lot more aggressive and use units throughout the entire map to assist each other.


Increases the stress response of the AI. They will use more cover, become suppressed easier, and lean around corners to engage the enemy.

LAMBS Danger

aims to make AI use the terrain more. Enter and search buildings, cause tanks to support friendly forces.

ACSTG AI Cannot See Through Grass

aims to cause people to lose your position faster. While the AI already does this ‘feature’, if spotted, your general location will be more generalized, and they will forget your position faster.

Project injury Reaction (PiR)

is a medical replacement mod. While this can conflict with ACE, you can turn off the player options in CBA. This then turns into a special medical system just for the AI. The AI will drag each other away and heal each other. There are also injury reactions to being shot. This greatly improves immersion and the effectiveness of the AI.


Dynamic Camouflage System

A simple mod that makes your camo uniform and Guille suit more effective against the AI.

SSD Death Screams 2.1

Adds more dynamic injury and death screams for the AI and players. Doesn’t affect the AI and how they respond, but it is more immersive.

These set of mods will transform your Arma experience from a basic shooter to a very dynamic simulation. As Zeus, I’m actually able to join my squad, as I can’t predict how the AI will react and what reinforcements will respond. While they are more aggressive and tactical, I can also employ faints and spring ambushes more effectively.

You won’t be able to hide in buildings.
You will be ambushed.
They will steal your unattended tank.
They will steal your unattended turrets.
They will secure, search and use buildings looking for you.
They will support each other and utilize their medics effectively.

Try my mods! You have been warned.

Send your thanks to Gunter Severloh for the research into the AI.