After many hours of testing, sweating, and cursing, I think I have finally managed to compile a pretty damn good collection of mods that will increase the immersion by at least 74%. It is proven, trust me. It should work with most custom campaigns, the main official campaign actually, and that is very good since that was the intent from the start – to improve the stuff already created that is! You can find the collection of mods in the link below, but here on this page I will go through them all and explain what they do, and why you want them if you are an immersion freak like I am.
Sweet immersion for the masses!
So, let us start. I will list it how it is listed on the STEAM-collection page.
This mod allows you and your AI teammates to rappel out of helicopters. It’s cool as all hell when it works, so make sure the chopper is hovering carefully in place, and make sure the ropes actually go all the way down. Otherwise, the mission can end fairly awkwardly pancake-like.
Advanced Urban Rappelling
Same as the above one, with one main difference. This allows you to rappel from any building. Very useful, and beyond making you feel like a badass swat operator, it will save you a lot of time. Arma ladders are notoriously slow to climb, both up and down.
Advanced Weapon Mounting
This little mod adds animation to optic swaps & more. Unfortunately, not all weapons will have this function, especially custom rifles, but I think most of the official stuff will work. So don’t unscrew the silencer in the middle of a battle with this one activated, it will make you look like an idiot just moments before getting hosed down by the enemy.
A tiny, but still an important part of this collection. This makes the sights a bit shaky when bringing them up instead of you having perfect aim 100% of the time, all the time.
Anims for PiR
This one is part of a larger mod which we will come to eventually, but what this one does is change the running animation to the one used in Arma 2. It looks a hell of a lot better, maybe a bit less tacticool, though. But considering the number of different troopers you can face and play as, I think it makes sense to have a little more natural running animation. Not all soldiers are born equally tacticool.
A small mod made by a guy that simply extracted the bullet impact dust-puffs & sparks from Blastcore. It’s a must-have for me. It makes it a lot easier to see where your bullets land in a distance, and as a bonus, a visual feast for your eyes when you light up a target with a hail of lead.
Campaign Compatible ACE + ACEX
ACE is another crucial mod for me. It adds a bunch of small details, and interaction to the Arma engine, and beyond that, it has a fantastic cook-off effect for vehicles with ammunition. But this isn’t pure ACE though, this version is modified to work with the main campaign by removing the medical system and explosives handling. The most important part here for custom campaigns and for ACE to work with another mod (which we will eventually get to) is the removal of the medical system since the AI can’t handle it. If you ever want the AI to actually heal themselves or maybe even you, ACE medical will, unfortunately, deny them that ability, but this version of ACE solves that issue.
Cinematic Lens Flare
Let there be light! Lights are made much more powerful for a cooler effect. Perhaps not realistic, but looks sweet nonetheless!
DUI – Squad Radar
This mod adds a little radar with a list of names of your squad mates to the UI. It also adds a much-needed “situational awareness” effect to the game. Instead of constantly having to swing around the camera to check for teammates, a quick glance at the radar will tell you who you got close to and where.
Improved sound effects all around, for weapons, flybys, bullet cracks, and different sounds depending on if indoor or outdoors. A feast for the ears, well, until you get pinned down by a pesky machine gun which will make you curse the demonic snaps.
Great mod that expands the movement range for your character. Now you can climb roofs, throw yourself over walls, etc., with corresponding animations. Looks great, feels great, and very important part of this mod collection.
Mod that should be used in combination with DynaSound 2 for the ultimate war experience for your ears. This one adds reverb and echoes, which makes the sound bounce around depending on where you are. Very noticeable in valleys and forest areas.
Immerse adds “immerse” effects such as flinching, camera-shake, force-feel from firing your gun, and more. Small detailed touches to make it as immersive as possible, firing your gun, and being fired upon.
Crucial AI mod that makes the AI “fear” for its life, which translates to the AI making better tactical decisions, like seeking cover instead of just standing still and firing upon each other. Truly a must-have mod that I think personally blows the other AI mods out of the water.
Modifies the AI to be more aggressive with their RPGs. They won’t waste them, but they can use their RPGs against infantry, especially against infantry in cover, which is an unthinkable act for the default AI.
Makes the AI more responsive to suppression, which allows for the tactical decision of overwhelming firepower. It also makes firefights a bit longer since AI doesn’t fight to the death as much and seeks cover instead if pinned.
This mod makes the AI a bit less accurate using turrets. For some reason, the AI becomes master snipers, regardless of training or rank, when you put one of them in a turret. This thankfully fixes this issue and allows you to seek cover instead of insta-doming you as it used to be with the default AI.
Project SFX: Remastered
This mod adds a lot of smaller sound effects for your character, like when moving around items in your inventory. It also adds screams and moans for a shot or dying soldiers, small touches that add a great deal to the full package of immersion.
Project injury Reaction (PiR)
One of the bigger mods on this list. Not in size, but in what it does. It replaces the medical system, adds a ton of reaction animation when getting shot, and a bunch of different dying stages – which together add a lot to the visuals of the battlefield. The medical system works similarly to the default Arma medical system, except that the AI is much more responsive to wounded comrades, which includes you. They will pop smoke and drag the wounded away to safety for medical aid. While very practical, it also looks cool, and the same can be said about all the new custom hit animation. Shoot a guy in the leg, and he will jump around on one foot in pain, shoot a guy in the arm, and he will be clutching his arm wound, shoot the weapon of your enemy, and he will panic. But remember, the same goes for you, and running around like a headless chicken on the battlefield looking for your weapon is neither tacticool nor good for your well-being. I talk from experience, of course.
RUG DSAI A3
Adds screaming, cursing, and announcement to the AI in many languages for different factions. It does make the battlefield feel much more alive, hearing grenade callouts, etc. Also, sometimes the soldiers will say something hilarious during downtime/marching, and strangely enough, it often fits what is going on currently. I have snickered many times by the comments alone.
This mod will make it possible for the player to come under suppression. It’s a graphical effect, but it works well enough and adds to the immersion. Heavier caliber and explosions will build up the effect more quickly, but it also drops away fast if you can escape being pinned down. It’s pretty balanced that way.
Another sound mod for your hearing pleasure. This one adds even more effects to the player and other characters, it also adds small cool details like chatter on the radio. It never gets old hearing the enemy whistle while casually leaning on a fence moments before you shoot him in the gut.
dzn Vehicle on Fire
Here we have another mod I can’t live without. In default Arma, all vehicles explode when they take certain damage, like from being hit by a missile. This mod changes that, so now when vehicles get hit they don’t immediately blow up in a fireball. Depending on the hit, tanks for example might or might not start to burn, and besides looking cool and feeling more realistic it gives the crew a chance to escape. You might have to make some changes since tanks and helicopters from what I can remember are not included in the mod setting. But adding [“Tank”,5] and [“Helicopter”,5] in the correct tab will make all tanks and helicopters non-insta-exploding entities. I can say it’s a big game changer for as above-mentioned tanks, but in particular, helicopters, since it makes it much more fun scrambling to bail than just to explode mid-air.
There we have it. All mods are in use for now. This list might get changed, or updated, or some mods might even get removed! But as it is now, these mods work really well together, and at least to me, it makes Arma so much better. AI is challenging and constantly moves and probes. Thanks to the improved sound, and additional sound effect, the immersion factor get increased massively just by the audio. Vehicle crew has a chance of survival and low-caliber anti-armor rounds don’t turn every tank into a burning husk – now you actually disable tanks instead of exploding them… & more!