Page MenuHomeFeedback Tracker

Magnetic Declination
Closed, ResolvedPublic


In real life, compasses do not point to geographic north. Instead, they point to magnetic north, and magnetic declination has to be used to correct the result to obtain a bearing for true north.

Currently in ArmA, the declination is +0 no matter where in the world is player (supposedly) is. This is in contrast to the skybox, which is accurate for the terrain's location (at least for Bohemia Interactive official terrains.) Also, magnetic declination lines are already visible on the existing compass model.

Because ArmA 3 will be based on real-world locations, there is an opportunity to implement magnetic declination using the actual declination values. The values could also be adjusted to match the date, just like the current functionality of the skybox. For example, as of March 9th, 2013, the magnetic declination of Lemnos is 4° 21' 37" E and changing by 6.0' E per year.

The magnetic declination value could be stored in the terrain data. To ensure that ArmA 3 remains backwards compatible with existing maps, the declination value can default to +0 (i.e. compass points to geographic north). A magnetic declination calculator can be freely found at

If there is consensus that this feature does not fit the "fun vs. sim" balance, it could be implemented as an optional Difficulty setting.


Legacy ID
Feature Request

Event Timeline

zaidtherion edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
zaidtherion set Category to Feature Request.
zaidtherion set Reproducibility to N/A.
zaidtherion set Severity to Feature.
zaidtherion set Resolution to Suspended.
zaidtherion set Legacy ID to 4212158183.May 7 2016, 12:05 PM

Are you suggesting it purely for the reasons of authenticity? Because, while to realism purists and organized players this feature might actually add to the fun element of gameplay, to everyone else it's just another step of complexity in determining your relative location.

In public non-clan games, it's difficult enough to get players to use azimuth in their communication instead of falling down to subjective positioning cues like "the enemy is to my left/right". Imagine, how much more confusion something like this would add.

Don't know, if only as an option... (You have my vote up)

That's silly. None of the theaters/maps are going to be large enough to have any variance in magnetic declination, therefore it cannot and will not be a factor in any gameplay.

Declination would be set once when you arrive in stratis/Limnos and then forgotten about, and would most likely be done using the simple declination method anyway, that being asking someone "Hey buds, what's the declination here?"

If you're going to impliment magnetic declination, you may as well implement a "set watch to this time zone" feature.

huorn added a subscriber: huorn.May 7 2016, 12:05 PM
huorn added a comment.Mar 15 2013, 4:02 PM

You could simulate sun flares, too, disturbing electronical equipment like GPS.
I think it is too much. Maybe sth for ACE, but not the original game.

This suggestion was processed by our team and will be looked into. We thank you for your feedback.

Chris2525 said it all: Good compasses have an adjustable declination correction.

oukej added a subscriber: oukej.May 7 2016, 12:05 PM
oukej added a comment.Aug 26 2015, 4:19 PM

Thanks for the idea.
It's unnecessarily complex. Also following the downvotes I'm closing the ticket.