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UO Gameplay Guide for Beginners

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So you're about to start your first mission or: The beginners guide to UO and ACRE, updated for ArmA3. Originally by Hellhound, editted by Herbiie.



First of all I want to congratulate you on taking the leap from mainstream shooters to the intense and challenging world of MilSim. You will find gaming with UO is unlike anything else you can encounter online, and once you start you will never look at mainstream shooters in the same light. The United Operations Community is unlike any other gaming community which remains open for all while preserving high level tactical play.

The influx of new players to our community has lead me to create this guide. We have a very thorough technical guide but one thing I noticed a lack of was an easy to use guide for what to expect. I've noticed a lot of new folks asking the same questions so I'm going to try to assuage your fears and anxieties. Additionally I have done my best to break up the wall of text with motivating pictures and an easy to follow format. Expect further refinement as time goes on.

This guide will be split amongst several posts in this thread, divided by major (numbered) section within the Table of Contents. While it may more suitably belong in the guides subforum, it was my intention to make this very prominent for our newest members. Before it is moved I humbly request that an admin contact me via PM to discuss this matter.

This is not a substitute for the UOTC Familiarization Course, but this will keep you afloat until you can get in one. They occur fairly frequently, just keep an eye on the UOTC FORUM for signups. I will include at the end of each section relevant UOTC courses to watch for. These courses will go into much greater depth than this guide, but this will serve its purpose as a jumping off point for much bigger things.


ADDITIONALLY: AC337 and others have compiled a series of videos to prepare you for basic infantry tasks within ArmA.  I cannot recommend them enough as supplemental material to this guide.

Table of Contents

  • Getting Started
  • ACRE
    • How does it work?
    • Radio Types
    • Basic Radio and Communication Etiquette
  • Pre-Mission
    • Choosing a mission
    • Slotting Screen
      • What to choose?
      • Joining in Progress
    • The Chain of Command
    • The Briefing
  • In-game
    • Orientation (Your first minute)
    • Keepin' it tactical
    • The firefight
    • So you've been shot.
    • Special Considerations for TVTs
  • C.S.E. Essentials
  • FAQ
  • Conclusion


Edited by HellHound

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Getting Started


Before you go any further, make sure you have read THE CHARTER and followed this INSTALLATION GUIDE to the letter. If you're confused about anything in either of these hop into our teamspeak (found in the guide), move into the Help and Support channel, and poke (found by right clicking on their name) anyone with a green, blue, or yellow letter to the right of their name. This signifies they are a regular and they will be more than happy to help you out, or point you in the direction of someone who can. If they're ingame they might not come right away, so try someone else or just wait in channel and someone will come up.

Some notes about teamspeak: Your username MUST match your in-game ArmA name. A working microphone is not required but is critical to a complete gaming experience, and if you do not have one they can be found for as low as $5USD at your local electronics store. Pick one up! You need to make your best effort at English, even if it's not perfect. We welcome people from any nation so as long as you make the attempt to be understood you will be fine. Talking and not being understood is better than not talking at all. We require push to talk capture to speak in our teamspeak. You may not realize it but background noise activating your microphone will quickly annoy other players and will more often than not earn you a kick (don't worry!) from the channel until it is resolved.

Remember that UO is a mature and tactical community. You don't need to be an Army Ranger, but you need to leave bad ideas at the main menu. In a nut shell, don't herp-derp. What is herp derp? Common examples include spamming music, noises, etc over your microphone, abandoning your squad, teamkilling, shooting because you're bored, and taking a vehicle you weren't assigned (even if you're stuck alone at spawn). Just ask yourself "Is what I'm about to do going to contribute positively to the mission?" if the answer is no, don't do it. If you don't think before you act, the ensuing ban period will be an excellent time for you to change that.



Edited by HellHound

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The Advanced Combat Radio Environment is a plugin for teamspeak that is an excellent addition to the tactical experience of ArmA 3. It uses teamspeak to simulate realistic usage of both radios and localized communications. UO is the official ACRE community, and ACRE is developed by our own members Jaynus and Nou.

How does it work?

I am unfamiliar with the technical side, I assume it is witchcraft. That being said, here's what you need to know: ACRE adds several different military radios (covered in the next section) that are modeled on their real world counterparts. This includes many of the features as well as the limitations. Additionally, it lets you communicate locally (i.e. as if you were just talking) in a realistic manner, similar to the direct VOIP feature in standard ArmA 2. It features higher audio quality, better reliability, and some cool interactions with ArmA itself that are not found with Direct Chat. It also includes an option to change your own volume. The louder the noise the further it will travel, so to avoid shouting down the microphone (which may anger the others in your house) you can simply bind a key to direct chat and, while holding it, use the scroll wheel to adjust your volume. Be careful though, the AI can hear you talking over ACRE, so it is important to remember to be quiet when close to the enemy!

With your standard teamspeak push-to-talk key (which you did set up, right?) you will speak just locally. With your CAPS LOCK key, you activate the radio that you currently have selected. Hold the key and speak normally, release it at the end of your radio message.

Different Types of Radios

Fundamentally there are two types of radios: Long range and short range. In many missions, especially if you are in a leadership or specialty slot, you will have one of each. To switch between different radios use ALT + SHIFT + CAPS. To bring up a radio to adjust you use CTRL + ALT + CAPS. You will see the radio type in the bottom right. This small window will also display your current channel and radio when you speak. If you're wondering if you are transmitting, look for the window. Radios are effected by terrain, so if you are trying to reach someone on the far side of a mountain it won't work. Also when you key a radio you won't be able to hear anything on it until you cease transmitting. You will however be able to hear multiple people transmitting at once.

The only short range radio modeled is the PRC-343. It has a theoretical maximum range of one kilometer, but quality severely degrades after 500 or so meters. When you bring it up the knob on the left is your current channel and the knob on the right is your volume. When you get the instruction to switch to short range channel (X) just left click on the knob until you reach the desired channel. Note that even channels aren't numbered, so for channel 4 you need to be in between channels 3 and 5. I generally leave my volume at the max. You can hover your mouse over the different buttons on radios to see what they do, whether it is long range or short.

There are several types of long range radios. The PRC-148, and -117 are the primary ones used. Depending on the model and power setting these can go anywhere up to 20km. Note that the -148 is a handheld style while the others are also backpacks. As a new guy you probably won't have access to a long range so don't worry too much. Changing channels and power settings on each depends on the radio in question. The -148 is relatively simple with a labeled button on the front, while others are more complicated. If you find yourself with an unfamiliar backpack radio, ask for help from someone nearby. The PRC-117 may only be placed in a backpack, while the 148 may be placed anywhere.

Most advanced radio features are only found in the long range radios. Focus on the PRC-343 for now, and take an RTO course for more information on the long range.


Communication Etiquette

This is the number one screw up for new guys, due to the much more structured way we communicate versus in other games.

No matter how you are communicating, stop and think about what you are about to say before you say it. It is okay to talk about random stuff in game, but only in appropriate situations such as the first few minutes while the platoon gets organized, or riding in a vehicle. Filling silence with noise for noise's sake is very annoying and can bog down missions if it disrupts a leader. Also thanks to ACRE the enemy CAN hear you, whether human or AI. Missions have been won and lost because someone was running their mouth in close proximity to an enemy.
With radios keep your messages clear and concise. Never use the short range to just chit chat, as it can prevent important messages from coming through. As a MOS (Member of Squad) the most frequent things you will say are ACE and contact reports. An ACE report will be requested from your fireteam leader. It stands for Ammo, Casualty, Equipment. Give him an idea of how much ammo you have left (magazine count), whether or not you are injured and if so how it is affecting you, and what the status on any important equipment you have is. This last bit is generally more applicable to real life military forces, but in some situations it comes up in ArmA (especially medical supplies). Examples of ACE reports:

TL- Hey Blue team, give me an ACE report
Soldier 1: 8 mags [Ammo], I'm fine [Casualty] and I've got all my stuff [Equipment]
Soldier 2: 2 belts, I've been shot but I'm okay, and I used all of my morphine.
Soldier 3: 4 mags, I'm hit bad and my aim is shaking. I need a medic, I used all of my bandages and morphine.
The team leader would process this information to hand up to the squad leader who would call for medic, resupply, etc.

Contact reports generally come in two forms. SALUTE and DDD. The DDD is quicker and easier and is what you will use as an MOS. SALUTE is more common for leadership. DDD stands for Direction Description Distance (interchange as needed)

"Hey 12 o'clock [Direction] I've got a guy with an AK [Description] 50 meters out [Distance]. He's by the red car" The point is to get it out quick.

SALUTE stands for Size, Activity, Location, Uniform, Time, Equipment. Pretty self explanatory. It's a lot of information and is more commonly used by your squad leader to inform his platoon leader, so stick with a DDD style report while working within the team or squad.

"This is Ghost 2, I've got a Squad plus , digging fighting positions [Activity] in grid 08049216 [Location]. They're Russian regulars [uniform] with light weapons and one PKM [Equipment]. Time now 1830 [Time]."

Do not say the words in brackets, that is merely to help you understand.

In teamspeak when you switch down to the Primary server channel you will probably hear everyone talking at once. This is because ACRE works so that you only hear people you should hear, i.e. someone near you or someone on the right radio channel. DO NOT talk during this period, as EVERYONE will hear you, loudly. This is known as "being global". Being global also happens when you have an ACRE issue. To sort out the millions of voices get in server and ACRE will stabilize and cut the chatter for you.

Do not under ANY circumstances type on side or global chat in ArmA during a mission. This isn't DayZ. Group chat is only to be used if you Join In Progress, or JIP, into a mission (i.e. where the mission has already begun yet you have joined anyway) to find out what short range channel you should be on.

When you are waiting for a mission to begin, it is okay to chat back and forth (do not spam music or sound files) but if you hear "Clear Comms" or anything to that effect, and you hear everyone else shut up, you best do the same. This is so the admin can select a new mission, the mission commander can call his slots, or give his briefing. I will go over this in the next section.

At any time a regular can moderate the channel. This is usually done if too many people are talking when something important is trying to happen, like selecting a new mission, and calls to "Clear comms" have gone unheeded.

Remember that a radio is the deadliest weapon in the game. Knowledge is power, and with that knowledge you can call in something much bigger than you are to obliterate whatever is opposed to you. See below image for example.

RELAVANT UOTC COURSES: Radio Telephone Operator Course, THIS THREAD

FOR ANY ACRE TECHNICAL ISSUES: http://negativerocks.../arma/acre.html courtesy of Verox


Edited by HellHound

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Before missions there are a few screens that the game needs to get through before you start a new mission. This section is to clarify the many, many "WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR?" questions we get in teamspeak.

Choosing a mission

After the completion of a mission it is necessary to choose another. At this point you will often see one of two screens. Don't freak out

(note this will have the list of players in the top right, but this was taken in an empty server)
This screen may or may not transition to this next one, depending on the admin

Unless you are an admin, which you are not, you won't be able to actually start a new mission from this screen. This is just to give you an idea of what you can play, so that you can suggest a mission. Usually the admin will ask for suggestions in chat. Select a map and a mission from the list and you will sometimes see a description on the right. The mission naming format is type, player count, campaign/style if applicable, name, version. So CO23_GCW_Fakemissionname_v1. A number in parentheses following the player count is the mission makers suggested minimum count. These are not always included. CO## is a co-op mission, TVT## is a team vs. team (player vs. player) mission, and COTVT## is a TVT in which one side is augmented with AI teammates in some way.

It is up to you at what point you want to start suggesting missions. Take into consideration the server population and the types of missions recently played. It is unpopular to play multiple missions of the same style in a row, and UO does not play the same mission twice in a row no matter how hard you ask. We tend to select missions with some spare slots for people to join in progress.

We have many talented mission makers in the community, and if you have a great idea don't be afraid to try your hand at making your own. All of the mission makers would gladly provide assistance.

The Slotting Screen


Once a mission has been selected the slotting screen will come up. The admin will forcibly deslot everyone for convenience sake. DO NOT CHOOSE A SLOT AT THIS POINT. Someone will volunteer to be the mission commander and take the appropriate slot. At this point the commander will start to call out for slots he wants filled, usually starting with specialty slots (medic, transport pilot) and branching on to squad leadership. Once a squad has a leader he will call for that squad to be filled. Take a slot within a squad, preferably as something simple like a rifleman or assistant to a weapon system (artillery and mortars being the exception to this, do not slot in these if you are brand new). If you are new do not try to get a specialty slot as they bring a lot of expectation and screwing this up, which you will, can ruin your chances of ever doing that slot. We almost never call sniper slots, and if we do they are assigned to someone the mission commander knows to be skilled. Later on you can expand your horizon, such as by becoming a vehicle driver or heavier weapon assistant. Whatever you do, DO NOT CHOOSE A SLOT THAT HAS NOT BEEN CALLED FOR, even as a joke. Do not take too long to choose a slot once it has been called, as this holds up the mission and people will be kicked if they do not choose one (assumed AFK).

Now would be a really good idea to get an idea of who took what slot in your squad. At the very least you should know your team leader and squad leader. I keep a pen and paper handy so that I can write down key info, usually the members of my squad when I lead.

Joining in Progress

If you join a mission already in progress (or at least already at the briefing screen) you will be known as a JIP. Often you will get to the slotting screen and see some awesome sounding slots left unfilled (such as a sniper, second pilot, door gunner, etc). 99.9% of the time these slots are empty for a reason, so now is not a good time to try and sneak into a sniper slot because the commander isn't looking. You will be told to leave and reslot, or outright kicked. Because of this, take a just a standard slot. Many times we will have a JIP squad. Look for one that isn't filled, usually towards the bottom. Unfortunately not every mission has JIP enabled, so you may spawn directly into spectator mode. If this is the case you can move up to the waiting room in teamspeak and someone will get you when the round is over. Or you can stay in the primary channel and watch. This might be an excellent opportunity for you to observe other players to get a feel of how you will be playing.

The Chain of Command


The chain of command is the list of people, starting from yourself and going up to the mission commander, who lead within the unit. You listen to your fireteam leader, your fireteam leader listens to the squad leader, the squad leader listens to the platoon leader, and the platoon leader listens to anyone higher than him if applicable (depending on mission size). You do not for instance listen to a fireteam leader from a different squad, but it is generally a good idea to at least consider what the other fireteam leader(s) in your squad are saying.

The UO Charter explicitly lists as a rule to obey the chain of command (so long as an order given will not violate another rule). These are people who have stepped up to fill a leadership slot within the mission. Depending on their position, they are fairly experienced with UO gameplay and leadership, but you never know if it is going to be a frequent fireteam leader stepping up to be squad leader for the first time.

During the pre-mission screens, you will mostly hear the mission commander speaking to the admin, an opposing commander (TVT) and his subordinate leaders. Pay attention to what is being said, but don't worry if something goes over your head, you'll pick it up as you go.

The Briefing



Once everyone is slotted and the mission is ready, the admin will take the round into the briefing screen. Pay attention here because this is how the commander intends and hopes the mission will proceed.
At first if no one is talking and nothing is going on, just wait. The commander is reading the mission notes and formulating a plan before he sets markers on the map. In the meantime, you should do the same. The commander will eventually brief you on what your mission is and what's expected, but it's a good idea to know what you're doing beforehand.

When it comes time for the commander to clear comms and brief, be quiet and listen. This stage can go anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on the mission, commander, and plan. Long briefings are rare, so don't be too worried. Pay attention to anything pertaining to your squad, as well as the command and signal notes (this will tell you what radio channel to be on). If the commander says something or makes a mark you do not understand, switch to group chat and TYPE the question out to your squad. This will keep from interrupting the commander or distracting the server. Your squad leader will be happy to help clarify for you.

Once the commander finishes his brief he will call for questions. Generally this is reserved for the squad leaders to ask, but it is not strictly limited to them. THAT BEING SAID, if you have a suggestion that drastically changes the plan, I suggest you keep it to yourself. Unless you see something that will obviously end in mission failure quickly (okay we're going to parachute onto this AA gun), let the commander proceed with his plan right or wrong. Post your suggestion after the mission, either typed out or if there is an AAR thread in there. Generally as a new player I would get a handle of a few missions before you exercise your creative juices. There is nothing more annoying than a briefing that stretches on for an extra 20 minutes because people (who aren't the commander nor did they volunteer for command slot) are constantly adding onto the plan and confusing the commander.

Weapon Condition/Rules of Engagement

Either in briefing or in-game, someone within your chain of command will go over the rules of engagement or weapon condition. The three conditions are Red, Yellow, and Green. Red is hold fire unless directly fired upon. Yellow is fire if you have reason to believe that you have been spotted, or see the enemy about to engage friendly forces. Green is free to engage any target. If at any time (perhaps they forgot to say it) you are unsure of the current weapon condition, ask your squad leader.

RELAVANT UOTC COURSES: None directly apply, this is just the standard procedure for every mission we do. Revisit THIS THREAD for abbreviations



Edited by HellHound

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Commander has had his say; it's time to shoot some faces!

Orientation (The first five minutes)

It takes up to a minute for everyone to load into the mission properly, and for ACRE to synch with the game. During this phase do not move or speak. You will slow down the synchronization and will be global. By synchronization I mean the transfer of data between the client and server. It takes a few moments to ensure everyone is up to speed before the mission can commence proper, so don't complicate matters by running all over the place (more work for the server). Once you see people start to move around you (it will look like they teleported) it is safe to move. You should still stick in the same general area though because you will be starting with your squad and you don't want to get lost before you even start.
In the bottom of your screen you will see a small circle and a list of names you hopefully recognize as your squad.


This circle is called the "ShackTac" in UO slang and is meant to boost situational awareness that is otherwise lost in a video game. It shows the 15 meters around you and reveals the position and heading of everyone within your squad and only your squad, as well as the cardinal directions of the compass. The squad leader will most likely assign colors (see the picture) to the individual fireteams to help with your situational awareness. You will be in the center and each ring represents a 5 meter interval. As a rule of thumb you almost never want to be within 5 meters of anyone else as this makes you a prime target for a grenade or a burst of machine gun fire.

Take the time now to switch to the assigned short range radio channel you were given (unless the mission maker has not given you a short range). Once you are on wait a few seconds for others to switch over and then say something to the effect of "This is (whomever), radio check." If you can hear others over the radio and you know they're in your squad, you're set. At this stage listen to your team and squad leader as they get the squad positioned to move out to the objective.

Keeping it Tactical

UO is a mature and tactical community. You don't have to have been to SoI to play here, but keep in mind that you should play with some sense of value of your virtual life. If nothing else, it's a pain to catch the first bullet and wait 45 minutes for a round to end before you can play again.
There are three basic fireteam formations you should know for combat. They can also be scaled up to the squad and platoon, but we'll keep it simple. They are the wedge, the line, and the column. Assume in all three pictures that the direction of movement is to the top of the page.



It's not always followed but a good team leader will keep his AR opposite the Rifleman/Grenadier to balance out the number of bullets going down range. In a squad column the AR of the other fireteam would be on the other side, but don't worry about that. This formation is common when contact is expected soon but you are not actively engaged as it allows a good balance between security and speed of movement.



The order of march tends to vary in UO, but this is the general principle behind the column formation. You trade security for maximum control and speed. It's used when contact is not expected soon, or in rough or dense terrain.



This is the slowest formation but maximizes firepower to the front, i.e. your target. This is the formation you will be using when you are in contact or about to initiate contact. When you hear your team or squad leader shout "Get on line!" this is what you want the end result to look like.

Sectors, Arcs, and Lanes

A sector of fire (or arc) is the region of the immediate area you are responsible for watching and covering, usually given by bearing, clock position, or cardinal direction. Your team leader will (should) assign you a sector of fire. Generally they have a degree of overlap. Your Squad leader or Platoon leader may assign entire sectors to your team or squad, but you should still listen to your TL to give you an individual arc. If he does not, take note of your position in the formation relative to the assigned arc and adjust accordingly.

"Archer, watch from 300 to 345. Lana, watch 12 o'clock. Cyril, watch the North-east to East." (it is unlikely that he will use three different methods to give your teammates their arcs, but this demonstration serves to show the different examples)

It is crucial that no matter what, you watch your sector. If Archer and Lana are heavily engaged to the Northwest, which they both share, you will probably want to help them. According to Murphy, this is exactly when the second enemy squad will show up to the East North East. If that squad is unengaged or worse unseen, it will have disastrous consequences to your element. Watch your assigned sector until told to do otherwise. I cannot stress this enough, no matter what is going on around you, watch your sector.

Similar to arcs are lanes. When moving, say in the wedge formation, this is the area ahead of you that you are responsible for. Imagine a wedge travelling north. It will have four side-by-side lanes that meet between each member of the fireteam. As you advance (either in formation or tactically by bounds) you should stay in your lane. These are never really spelled out like a sector of fire, rather it is on you to look ahead and choose your left and right limits and stay within these limits. The reason this is important is to maintain formation integrity while also preventing you from stepping in front of a teammate. Crossing into another persons lane is a serious issue as they will no longer be able to shoot to cover you. If someone crosses into your lane, yell at them but do not shoot. Friendly fire isn't worth it.

The Firefight

When you first encounter the enemy, you probably won't be the individual who spotted them. If you gave a DDD report and if weapon condition permits it, open fire. The absolute best way to let everyone know you see bad guys is to open up with a rifle.

If your element is receiving fire, or someone calls a contact report and you can't see the target, you should still be shooting in the direction of the enemy. This is suppressive fire and works just as well on humans and AI. You will fix the enemy in place which will allow your leadership to send another element to close with and kill the enemy. You might also get lucky and hit the bad guy with a shot, or one of his buddies slinking in the woods. You should be firing as fast as you can while still keeping your sights in the general vicinity of the target. If you are being shot at and you are not shooting back (but I can't see them Sarge!) you are wrong. After you have expended a magazine or two, you can begin to slow your rate of fire and coordinate with your teammates so someone is always shooting, but you're not wasting ammo. Remember, you're not being paid to bring it back. Due to the range of ArmA and the types of engagements, you will only very rarely see an enemy you kill with clear sights. Shoot anyway.

If you are in an element that needs to close with and destroy the enemy (the mission of the rifleman), you will most often use a bounding technique. You take the standard 4 man fireteam and apply the golden rule of someone moves while someone shoots. Splitting into 2 man buddy teams, one pair will suppress the target. Simultaneously, the other pair will get up and sprint forward towards the enemy. After a few seconds, they will hit the dirt and begin to lay down their own suppressive fire, so the other buddy pair can move up. Rinse and repeat. To increase your odds of survival, while you sprint you should say to yourself "I'm up, he sees me, I'm down" and hit the deck on down. This will keep you up for no more than three seconds, which is too quick to settle in on you with a weapon. I also recommend rolling to the side once or twice in either direction so that when you get back up you're not in the same spot, but this isn't necessarily SOP and you run the risk of crossing in front of your buddy, which will keep him from shooting and probably get you both killed. Before you bound you should look for the next piece of cover you can find within your lane, so you're not caught in the open.

You've probably seen videos of UO gameplay by this point, but a new one that was posted that is a great example is this


Take note of: The RPK that suppresses the platoon (one man with a gun stops 30) and how the platoon reacts by forming a line and opening up. As the video progresses, my squad, not seen moves into the village while the players squad flanks. My squad fixed an enemy along the road which you will see the players squad bound by fireteam to assault and clear. Afterwards the players squad prepares to assault on another enemy squad in the factory that mine had fixed. During all this, the player dumps magazine after magazine into the area of his targets, although he never actually sees or kills anyone. There are minor details here and there, but overall this is exactly what you as an individual should be striving for in a firefight.

So you've been shot...

Everyone gets shot, and if they say they haven't then they haven't played Snow and Shells. You will either be killed outright, or wounded. If you are killed you will either respawn somewhere else, or be taken to a spectator pen. If you are in a spectator pen (you will be unarmed with everyone else who is dead in a fenced area) right click or scroll, depending on the mission and you will enter spectator view to watch the rest of the firefight. Note that you can usually talk, but in some missions (script dependent) the players alive will be able to hear you. It's common courtesy to switch to the waiting room channel at this point so you may converse with the other ghosts without ruining the game for those alive.

If you respawn, wait at your spawn area for others to respawn as well. Form an impromptu fireteam and start heading back to the fight. Often there will be a platoon truck or other means for you to get back, but not always. It's a good idea to have an idea where you were killed so you can tell the driver/pilot where to take you. If you're not sure, study your map for LZs, drop off points and go for there. If all else fails, follow someone else and when you link up with the platoon ask for directions. You can also double tap escape to bring up a green diamond on your squad leader for a few seconds. Run towards the diamond. You will probably have to double tap escape multiple times in your journey if your land nav isn't so good. If you respawn and there are empty vehicles just waiting there, DO NOT take them. Assets are assigned to squads and those left behind are out of play unless a leader makes a decision. Do not take one of your own initiative; you don't know how you could be negatively affecting the mission later.

If you are wounded but still conscious, tell your team or squad leader and continue the fight. You will see red at the edges of your screen, signifying you are actively bleeding. The intensity of the red flashes gives you an idea of how bad you are hit. You will also see intermittent white flashes and hear groaning. This signifies pain. Once you have achieved fire superiority, or there is a sufficient lull in the fighting, then you may patch yourself up. This is done via your ace self interaction menu, covered in the next section. Most of the time you will need to stop the bleeding with a bandage or compress, apply morphine for pain, and if the wound is serious enough use epinephrine to keep you conscious. If you have a bandage you can stop the bleeding. Many missions limit morphine and epinephrine use to designated medics, so it's important that you let someone know you are hit before you pass out from blood loss or pain. None of this is any good though if you are continuing to get hammered. Remember to keep shooting. Many wounds will affect your aim so you couldn't hit someone inside a crowded elevator, doesn't matter. Keep bullets going out. First aid administered by a medic will restore your aim. Other wounds will prevent you from walking, forcing you to crawl. In this situation crawl to safety and let someone know. A medic or someone with a first aid kit will have to treat you to get you walking again. You can be carried by teammates though, if the situation calls for you to move without treatment.

If the wound is so serious that you are immediately knocked out (you can't move and your screen fades in and out of black), there is only so much you can do. You can talk but can't hear, or type, so call out and someone will find you. You will either die of your wounds while unconscious, or you can regain consciousness long enough to move around and treat yourself quickly. It depends on the wound.

Special Considerations for TvTs

Generally speaking, the tactics and tips so far apply equally to Co-op matches and TvT matches. Just remember that your enemy is (often) smarter in a TvT match, so it is that much more critical that you watch your sectors and follow orders. Although the temptation to go off on your own and rack up kills may be high, it is crucial that you stick with your squad. We punish for "ramboing" as we call it. If you JIP into a TvT session, make sure to pick a side so that the teams are balanced. Usually a ratio is given in the mission description on the slotting screen, such as 1:3 Blufor Opfor, or 1:1. Meeting engagements are almost always 1:1. Keep the teams balanced for fairness to all players. Remember not to take any potentially game-changing open slot, such as if one side has an unclaimed A-10 pilot slot, or something to that effect.

There are some more things to consider when JIP'ing a round that has gone on for a while. There could potentially only be a few survivors left on each side, so you would be prolonging and unbalancing the match. You may also find yourself spawning behind the enemy. While they should maintain 360 security, they have a reasonable expectation to not be engaged from the spawn area, nor should they have enemies teleporting into an area they just secured.

RELEVANT UOTC COURSES: Soldiering Skills/Battle Drills, Fire Team Operations Course, Navigation Course


Edited by HellHound

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A.C.E. Essentials




Advanced Combat Environment 2 includes many features that make ArmA 2 more realistic and more immersive. The list is huge and can be found HERE but this section will include the basics you need to know to fight.



ACE Self interact and Interact with others keys - These default to right windows (others) and the key immediately to the right of the right windows(self). This opens up a list of contextual options for yourself (treating wounds, repacking magazines, putting on protective equipment) and others (arming/disarming explosives, treating others wounds, there are many examples). These are very important as you need to be able to self administer basic aid to live, and look after your buddies as well. You can also access their gear this way, say if you need to give an M240 gunner an extra belt of ammo you are carrying. If someone tries to access your gear, use your scroll wheel menu to accept and let them into your gear.


Backblast and Overpressure - Shoulder launched AT weapons like the AT4, RPG, etc have something called backblast. This is when the propellant gases are expelled out the back of the launcher. You can imagine this gas is pretty hot, and the pressure is nasty as well. If you are standing behind one of these weapons when it is fired, you will be wounded and possibly knocked out or even killed, depending on how close you are. This also can affect anyone in an enclosed room, including a shooter, so be wary when shooting indoors. To counter this, before firing the shooter will yell "CLEAR BACKBLAST!" to which someone should visually confirm the area up to 100 meters directly behind him is clear of anyone and respond with "BACKBLAST CLEAR!" If you are in the backblast danger zone, say something quickly, or you will be toast.

Additionally, heavy vehicle mounted weapons have an effect known as overpressure. Basically when they fire they substantially increase the air pressure of the immediate area. If you are close enough to the vehicle, especially the muzzle of the weapon, you can be knocked out, injured, or even killed.


Enemy weapons - Don't ever pick them up. If you are out of ammo, ask a nearby teammate for a mag until you can find more. Picking up an enemy weapon like an AK and firing it is just an excellent way to get shot by friendlies. Best part is that when the friendly explains the situation to an admin, he will be pardoned and you will be rewarded with a kick or one day ban. It's not worth it. If you absolutely must, ask your squad leader, but you really should ask for spare mags first. Your platoon will have plenty. (This is more of a UO Rule, consult local rules if playing with a different community.)




Gear and Weight - ACE adds a weight system to your gear. As can be expected, the more you carry the more your endurance will be affected. Mission makers very rarely give you more than you can reasonably handle, but expect your M240 gunners to complain constantly about 40 kg worth of gear. You can check how much you currently way in your gear menu (default G key). Weight management is crucial for battle, as you need to be able to sprint short distances without collapsing. It is always amusing to see someone in Domination take a Javelin and an M240 and then collapse in 20 feet. Additionally you will often see gear you can't imagine using, like gas masks, night vision during the day, and spare barrel bags for the Light and Medium Machine Guns. Hang onto these, for immersions sake, and the spare barrel bag because it is critical albeit heavy. You won't save much weight dropping a gas mask anyway. The spare barrel bag on the other hand is given to the gunner so that he can swap barrels when his gets hot. If he doesn't you will see his rate of fire plummet and number of jams increase. Jams are cleared with the scroll menu.


Rucksacks - Many missions will feature a rucksack. This is a backpack your player will have that acts as an additional inventory. It shows up in the bottom left. Use the arrow keys in the rucksack contents to transfer items to your primary inventory. Most often this includes extra magazines and grenades, and maybe special items like star shells, gas masks, and key cuffs. If you need to lose a lot of weight quickly, hit the drop ruck button in your inventory. Just keep track of where you left it. You can also drop it to rest your weapon on while prone for accurate shots, but that isn't covered in this guide.


Earplugs and masks - Most missions start with either issued earplugs and hopefully them already in. To be sure, check your ace self interact under masks, and put them in. Being too close to a loud weapon (machine gun, AT launcher) will deafen your character which severely restricts you. Ear plugs fight this. Goggles and glasses are used to counter dust, most commonly from helicopters. They also are aesthetic.


Weapon safety - Never point your weapon at anything you don't intend to destroy, keep your weapon lowered until you are ready to fire, and know your target and what is beyond. Negligent discharges occur frequently due to a slipped finger on the mouse, and can harm your battle buddy or give away your position. You don't want either of those. To counter this, double tap left control to lower your weapon. You can't fire it while its down like this, but can bring it back up easily by tapping again or sighting in. If you are going to alt-tab out of the game for whatever reason, hit escape first. Many times someone alt-tabbing back in will accidentally fire due to the wonders of ArmA. This has proved catastrophic on many occasions, because you don't know what will be in front of you when you come back in. I personally have been shot in the head by a friend in the first minute of a round from this.


Hand Grenades - They are finicky. When employed properly they are very lethal and can change the tide of a firefight. When misused, you and your team will be sent to spectator screen. The controls for ArmA and hand grenades are hard to get used to. Play around some in the editor first. You don't need to perfect aim, just know how to not drop one at your feet. And if you do, let other people know. You usually have enough time to sprint out of the kill radius if you are quick enough.


RELEVANT UOTC COURSE: Platoon Support Weapons



Edited by HellHound

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I will add questions as they appear, but in the meantime I will go off ones I hear most often and ones found frequently in the forum

Can I have that sniper/pilot slot?
Sniper slots are never called, like I said. Pilot slots bring heavy expectation, and bad pilots ruin missions. Do not take a pilot slot when you are new. Spend a few hours in the editor and then attend a rotary wing course before flying in game.

Does UO have ranks? Will I be a rifleman forever?
Unlike other communities/clans, UO is very open in this regard, as dictated in the charter. In-game no player is any better than any other and theoretically anyone can take any called slot. It is however expected that you know how to use the slot you choose, as I have said many times before. Taking a vein from the Marines, every UO player is first and foremost a rifleman, so start there. Pick up new skills and weapons as classes become available and as you get a hang of fireteam tactics. The AR and Grenade launcher are awesome pieces of kit, and greatly enhance the experience of the average MOS.

Someone told me I was global/ They keep saying "Off-side" in chat?
As mentioned in the ACRE section, being global means that you are not synchronized with ACRE. As such, everyone can hear you as if you were standing right behind them. Understandably this can be both confusing and highly annoying. If you are told that you are global, stop talking and seek to correct the problem immediately. Follow ACRE troubleshooting techniques or hop up to the help/support channel.

"Off Side" is posted when one or multiple people are typing over side or global chat in server. This is against the UO rules and can result in a kick. Like I said, just don't type in anything but group, and only then when you have a question or really need too. Remember that just because someone else is typing doesn't mean that you need to. Nothing breaks immersion like bright blue text in the middle of a screen.

Where are all the scopes and vehicles? Why are we walking so far?
A lot of our more common missions stick to the fundamentals. Light Infantry platoon engaged in some sort of realistic scenario. We believe that you must crawl before you walk, so you should be expected to learn how to shoot with an iron sight before getting a fancy ACOG that gets in the way half the time anyway. It also increases the difficulty in a sense, and makes TVTs a bit more fair.

As for walking, welcome to ArmA.

My squad leader is dead! We're getting cut to pieces and I'm all alone! What do I do?

If you've somehow survived an engagement that left your squad combat ineffective, your immediate priority is to reunite with friendlies. If you're able to, get to your Squad Leaders body and pick up his Long Range Radio (PRC-148, PRC-77, PRC-117, PRC-119). It should be on the same frequency as your platoon leadership. Wait for clear comms and then announce on the radio who you are, what squad you're from, and inform the leadership that your Squad Leader is dead. The leader will then tell you what you should do. Generally this will be to move back to friendly lines. Be careful doing so so that you don't surprise your teammates and get rewarded with a bullet to the face when you come out of the bush.


I have no idea what anything the commander is saying in the briefing.
Type in group chat, your squad leader will answer.

I joined in progress, where is everybody?/ I joined in progress, how do I go to spectator mode?
When you join in progress, and are not immediately taken to spectator mode, take a second to open your map. You won't have any mission markers that you would see in briefing, but that's okay for now. Go to the notes section. Scan for Mission Notes or something to that effect. That will usually list if there is a respawn system, tickets, or something of that nature. If it says nothing assume the mission has JIP but no respawn. You can also check this from the slotting screen of many missions, in the description.

Use your scroll wheel and look for a "Teleport to SL" or "Teleport to [Vehicle]" option (it may also come up as a hovering message in front of you, do what that message says). Use this command and you will either be taken immediately to your Squad Leader, or to a vehicle that is (hopefully) nearby. If there is no such luck, you still have options. Review the notes to figure out what radio channel you are on, switch to that channel and call out on the radio. If they respond or you hear some sort of noise, they are reasonably close. Have them talk you on, or find a position with better radio reception. If that doesn't work, double tap your escape key. This will place a green diamond on your squad leader for a few seconds. You may have to look around to find the diamond. Start running towards it, double tapping again when you want to update yourself on his position.

Do NOT take an empty vehicle in the spawn area. It was left there for a reason by the mission commander, and having one person take a humvee up and leaving others stranded is a total waste. Many missions with JIP or Respawn also feature some kind of dedicated transport asset. Sit at base for a few minutes (could be as many as 10-15) and wait for a truck or helicopter to show up. Get in that vehicle and say "take me to [#] Squad." The driver/pilot will either take you right to them, or if he does not know use his radio to find their location and take you to a suitable direction. Once you are at your dropoff point, ask him which direction they are and he should let you know. Double tap escape and/or try your radio from here. Typing to communicate (in group chat only) may be acceptable, unless you are in a TvT match. You will know it is a TvT match because it had different teams at the slotting screen.

If you don't want to walk the many miles to find your squad for whatever reason, or want to spectate, you will have to kill yourself. Don't do this immediately though, first scan the notes. If the mission does not have tickets, you are okay to kill yourself. Hit escape and then select respawn. This will take you to the spectator pen or to the spectator script. If the mission does have tickets, don't kill yourself. Simply wait around at base for someone to respawn, and follow them. Killing yourself in this situation will waste a ticket for the other players, which is impolite.

Someone is harassing me or blatantly being a troll when I ask for help.
Tell a GM. The situation will be dealt with. We are a community founded in respect. We give it to everyone at first, some lose it. If you have lost our respect you will see why in the ban thread. Otherwise you deserve to be treated like someone who has been here for years.

Someone else is typing in side chat, does that mean it's okay for me to as well?
No. The only time this is somewhat acceptable would be a mission commander talking to an admin to end a mission. Otherwise anyone else is breaking the rules and will be yelled at, regardless of status.

Why is the game acting so strange? I have a great computer.
With high player counts and large co-ops, anything can happen. We run several servers and our mission makers are fallible. Missions that are unplayable will be called early by the admin.

I'm bored, what should I do?
That will happen. Not every mission has Black Hawk Down worth battles, but when they do happen they are awesome and you won't forget it. Remember that ArmA is a simulation, and real life soldier stuff is boredom spiced with brief moments of sheer terror. Whatever you do, don't act like an idiot. Herp-Derp kills a server faster than an EMP, and just because someone else is acting like a fool doesn't give you permission.

When is the next UOTC Familiarization Course?
Check http://forums.united...raining-center/ . You can either post a request for one, or scan the training schedule for dates.

Is there anything I should know about vehicles?
Most missions with vehicles offer infantry slots as well, I highly recommend you take an infantry slot until you are familiar with the kinds of things expected of vehicles. Once you are ready, you can try a driver slot. Just be prepared to listen to your vehicle commander. You will have to rely heavily on him as you will be limited in your own situational awareness from within a vehicle. Other than that, stay away from the front and rear of any vehicle or you will soon find out why tankers refer to dismounts as "Crunchies." You should also never approach a recently knocked out vehicle without serious consideration, as they are prone to secondary explosions from fuel and ammo.

I've gotten the hang of this over the past few days, can I sign up for the elite classes in UOTC?
Many of the advanced classes have a list of prerequisites. These are there for a reason. Do not sign up for the Attack Helicopter class if you haven't taken the rotary wing class, and especially if you've never flown before.


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I hope this has been an enlightening, albeit long thread for our influx of new players. I've surely missed details, but the knowledge I have given you will keep you from sticking out like a sore thumb amongst the other fresh meat new folks. If you've come this far, you should also read Militant's thread
We cover a lot of the same ground, I just attempted to go into more detail and explain the method to my madness.



version 1.2, Last updated 5JUN2012

This was written by HellHound, with proofreading by ratlover232 and Famine, and assistance from Graeme. If you are wondering where I come from, I mix off and on playing ArmA with the UO folks over the past three years (including kicking all of their asses in Project Reality with my own community, [TF21]) as well as my own personal experience of four years now in US Military commissioning programs. I also obviously have too much free time, so hook me up with your hot, of-age sisters. A good portion of my pictures came from theBrigade, but others I have amassed over the years.

I welcome any and all additions and criticisms.

To anyone wishing to copy from this, you have my permission so long as you credit me, the author. Because I'm selfish, and this took me several hours to create and format.

I never look at explosions.

Edited by HellHound

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This is amazing. Should be a link to this at the top of the website.

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Several hours, 7500+ words, 17 pages, 28 pictures, 2 videos, and many beers later. Done.


Thanks for the support and feedback. I feel like this needed doing. Please link it to every introduction post you guys see, and point all the new folks to this post. I hope that with this we can improve our level of play tremendously.

Edited by krause

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Thanks for the great work hellhound. I added this to the site news, made a TS announcement and think this should be expanded upon to be our standard welcome literature.


You have done the community a great service for writing this guide. Good job.


edit: also moved to the important information forum.

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This is great, nicely done.

Hell, I learned a thing or two.



And my squad leading got in this...yay!

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Wow, really nice work HellHound!


Wish this guide was around when I started.

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Very nice stuff! Awesome with a single-thread compilation like this.


Got a few things I discovered though that could be cleared up since I don'tt think all (most?) new players aren't aware what they mean.


First "You will slow down the synchronization and will be global." in the orientation-section. I think a rephrasing or a paranthesis explaining what "will be global" means.

Secondly in the first part of the firefight-section I think the "DDD report" could need being explained with a paranthesis.


Thanks for the effort!

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I go over "being global" in the ACRE section. DDD is defined immediately after I mention it (right before the example).


Added to FAQ though

Edited by HellHound

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Very, very useful - especially as I've yet to do any UO courses. Thanks for putting this together.


Edited by j0hnanderson

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Hellhound could it be put in PDF format so that players (me) can print it out and have it next to the (computer) with the rest of the documents on how to be a team player :biggrin:

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Outstanding! I wish I had this 2 days ago as I joined my first game last night. It is chock full of stuff I needed to know but couldn't find (at least not easily).

As a new guy, I have a couple of comments. Do you want comments in this thread?


Comments on "Joining in Progress"section

  • How do I spawn directly into spectator mode?
  • Last night, I did join a mission already in progress. I had no idea where my squad was, what they were doing or how to find them. What should I do when I join a mission in progress?

Edited by castlerock

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