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Not enough "eye zoom"! Cannot properly see distant enemies.
Reviewed, NormalPublic


Reforger has substantially less "eye zoom" than ARMA 2 or 3. Even at medium ranges, enemies appear extremely small.

ARMA has always provided combat on a grand scale. But if players can't see properly, the scale of the combat will be greatly reduced.

The game needs a larger "eye zoom" to compensate for the fact we are playing on flat monitors. A realistic field-of-view is very small, because your computer monitor occupies a small fraction of YOUR field of view. But a realistic field of view is also too small to be playable. Therefore, to represent realistic visual capabilities of a human being, we need to be able to quickly switch between the two fields of view.

The exact amount of zoom is somewhat debatable, but Reforger at this time does not provide nearly enough. You will not have realistic combat if player characters do not have realistic vision.

Attached are images showing how enemies appear at full zoom at 350 m in Reforger (measured via coordinates in Workbench), and how enemies appear at full zoom at 350 m in ARMA 3.

Reforger, 350m:

ARMA 3, 350m:


Operating System
Windows 10 x64

Event Timeline

Gews created this task.May 22 2022, 4:18 AM
Gews added a comment.EditedMay 23 2022, 2:24 AM

Added more comparison images. Compare to viewing at such distances in real life.

At 1920x1080, enemies completely disappear past about 600 m in Reforger, and past perhaps 450 m they have already practically disappeared, as even a moving enemy at 500-600 m is only a couple glimmering pixels, not enough to even resemble a human form.





Geez changed the task status from New to Reviewed.May 23 2022, 1:11 PM

Maybe reforger could use some better AA, but I prefer Reforger over 3, don't see this as a problem but a freature. Arma 3 shootings were too snipey. I'm not the only one who disagrees with this issue:

The comments in that thread are not addressing the problem with sufficient nuance, and are conflating overall visibility with angular resolution. If soldiers are too visible at long range, the solution is to adjust the colors and shading of the units to better blend in with the surroundings, not to place an unrealistically low limit on the eye's resolving power under all conditions. In ideal conditions, a person wearing brightly-colored clothes can be readily spotted at over 1000 meters, especially at high altitude but even at sea level. Rather than make camouflaged people difficult to see, the current implementation makes everything more difficult to see, even if it really should be visible. See my reply to that thread for more details:

Big no on this. You are making every players eyes be as strong as 8x scopes.

Plus it's not realistic, it's dumb and also ruins gameplay.
Holding down RMB and shooting at targets at 500M is EXACTLY the same,
as not having zoom and shooting targets at 200M,
How could this be? Is it perhaps the fact that ALL PLAYERS have the same zoom level?

If AI is too strong, just tone down the ai stats in your scenario, otherwise, "add more zoom" is stupid and cringe.

it's dumb and also ruins gameplay.
"add more zoom" is stupid and cringe.

Knock it off, this isn't reddit. That attitude isn't appropriate here.

I'm not sure I follow your point, Gews is saying that the engagement ranges in the game have been made unrealistically short by the limited visibility. What are you saying about all players having the same zoom level? That's true no matter how strong the eye zoom is, A3 was the same way. AI skill doesn't factor into this, we're talking purely about the resolving power of the player's eyes.

Eye zoom is a critical component of realistic sims and games, due to the fact that we're viewing the game through a monitor that only subtends about 25 degrees of your vision IRL yet is trying to display a 90 degree horizontal FoV. To accurately simulate the acuity of human vision, the FoV is knocked down to a smaller number with the "eye zoom." In Arma Reforger, that number is 38 degrees. In Arma 3, it was 28 degrees. The question (which is a somewhat subjective one that also depends on the display hardware being used) is exactly how much zoom should be used to appropriately capture the fact that in ideal conditions (camouflage aside) you can easily resolve a person out to 1000+ meters with the unaided eye.

Gews added a comment.May 25 2022, 3:33 AM

Big no on this. You are making every players eyes be as strong as 8x scopes.

I don't understand what you are saying here, an 8x scope in these games is 8x stronger than the eye zoom. By definition. I did check to make sure and the eyes in ARMA 3 certainly do not seem to be as strong as an 8x scope.

Gews added a comment.EditedMay 25 2022, 4:20 AM

Here is some good information I found in a US Army machine gun manual (TC 3-22.50 HEAVY MACHINE GUN M2 SERIES). The manual states that:

At 200 m, "the target can be clearly observed, though there is a loss of facial detail. The color of the skin and equipment is still identifiable."
At 300 m, "the target has a clear body outline, face color usually remains accurate, but remaining details are blurred."
At 400 m, "the body outline is clear, but remaining detail is blurred."
At 500 m, the body shape begins to taper at the ends. The head becomes indistinct from the shoulders."

I would say on my screen, according to this range estimation method, 200m in Reforger "looks" like 300m-400m. And at 300m in Reforger, "the head becomes indistinct from the shoulders", etc. And so 300 m in Reforger has the detail of 500 m according to this training manual.

(at least, on 1920x1080 ultra preset)

I don't think your 200m 300m 400m 500m image is really fair as there is more detailed background in the Reforger screenshots, especially the guys at 400m and 500m are standing in front of a bush! On the other hand the Arma3 screenshot shows them standing in a field that contrasts with their darker camo.

You may have a point but the images feel cherrypicked, a comparison where they all stand on a road or clear field might be better to illustrate your point.

I feel like the visibility "issues" below 500m are actually just because of the new graphics which are more detailed even at distance, so it's easier to blend into the environment.

On the other hand not being able to see them at all beyond 600m is quite bad in a game like this. It's probably due to draw distance as it seems they're not rendered at all? If anything the draw distance of characters should be reviewed, but below that it seems okay to me subjectively.

Socrates added a subscriber: Socrates.EditedMay 26 2022, 3:22 PM

Seconding this.
I believe that current system fits DayZ (which is close encounters-focused due to it's "Friendly?" nature and need of social interactions between players), but it needs fine tuning to fit Arma.
Reforger's implementation has several problems:

  1. It promotes close firefights no further than 100 meters (tbh, I never had even a midrange firefight at this moment), and this is wrong on so many levels as Arma was always about combined arms and actions on a squad/platoon level.
  2. Since soldiers become just a few pixels beyond 200 meters, players can't see the result of their shootings, even that Arma 3 jittery hit animation was much better. It's a game, almost no one enjoys bullet-raining trees and bushes for an hour as it happens in real life. This detrimens gunplay a lot.
  3. This basically makes any kind of rifle optics is necessary to hit something beyond 200 meters, so all public servers will be just PSO-1/ACOG fest. Humans are able to recognize and hit standing target with naked eye up to 400 meters as it stated, for example, in AK-74's shooting instruction books.

So, the solutions will be:

  1. Reduce character movement speed up to 70-80% from it's current levels, eliminate bunnyhop and Counter Strike-level strafing.
  2. Increase right-click zoom level at least twice from it's current values.
  3. Make distant silhouettes bigger and more distinguishable.

What about if the focus is lower or you couldn't do it at all except when you walk or stand still. That way you could better focus when you go slowly. Focusing should be hard when you move especially sprinting.

This way you can engage better from further away but it's easier to miss stuff from further away when you're moving fast.

mebel added a subscriber: mebel.EditedThu, Jun 16, 2:52 PM

@StJimmy I strongly agree.

@the_Demongod you got your point buddy. I mean, even though I don't really like the idea of increasing focus zoom, I strongly agree with many points that you are issuing. Visibility problem should not only be solved by lowering the angular size of objects (in this case - by lowering the zoom). Other aspects, that are also harder to address, should be taken into account - eg. how the model actually blends into surroundings. As the scene drastically simplifies over a distance, player-models should be somehow blended into those simplified surroundings. That's why I've proposed to apply some graphical techniques, some shaders on objects, especially players, over a distance. Currently optics are too overpowered compared to naked eye. One solution, to keep the realistic balance between optics and naked eye, is to lower the optic zoom (or increase naked eye zoom - as you stated). The second solution for me is to apply graphic techniques to blend the models into surroundings - transparency, blur, dither, or even simply render/not-render dependent on circumstances of a target model. Personally, what I would like to see is the second solution being delivered by developers, as the FOV values can be easily modified via modding with tools that we already have - however we could have more immersive techniques around, and have not to apply methods that drift things away from real-life counterparts.

The issue from my side was posted here:
I think we both have strongly tangent opinions on this matter. Keep in mind tho, that 1080p becomes pretty obsolete recently in favor of 2K and 4K displays, where things are much more visible - however, that's why I consider graphical blending in contrast to playing with FOV as a better solution, as this is not affected by the screen resolution as much.

Gews added a comment.Fri, Jun 17, 9:36 PM

What about if the focus is lower or you couldn't do it at all except when you walk or stand still. That way you could better focus when you go slowly. Focusing should be hard when you move especially sprinting.

This way you can engage better from further away but it's easier to miss stuff from further away when you're moving fast.

I mentioned in the ARMA Discord but since "focus" is considered as the normal eyesight, then any restriction to "focus" should only apply when your vision would be impaired. So sprinting across a field while looking over my shoulder at a distant hillside, it's not realistic. You can make a case to lower or time-restrict it because in real life you would have some serious issues if you spend your time looking behind yourself while sprinting over various terrain. But on the other hand you could instead restrict or time-limit the head movement itself. The faster you move the harder it would be. Either solution makes sense but both solutions could be annoying to the player. But if I'm looking straight ahead, where I'm going, while running or sprinting, then there is not much case to restrict the focus.