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Unreal Explosions In ARMA 3
Assigned, HighPublic


Again, like Arma 2 we encounter high high unrealistic explosions. I did everything i could before alpha release half year back to provide a topic that explained this. MANY was voting this up!

These looks like " Pokemonballs" Coming out of the explosion round balls from the vehicles.
I love the fires at night and overall fire, this have been really much better.

But the explosions is highly unrealistic, and when a chopper big as an KA-60 goes in the ground 80 m and down, there should be better explosions.

LOOK AT videos provided in this Issue.

On Arma 2 we had these great modders that made the game " playable" For me, making the night combat insane and explosions beautifull!
ACEmod, War fx and so on!


When i play i want to get sceard of a big explosion not laugh at it... {F18221} {F18222}


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Blaf added a subscriber: Blaf.May 7 2016, 12:51 PM
Blaf added a comment.Apr 3 2013, 12:20 PM

+1 new explosion effects would be really nice...

Sadly - even operation Flashpoint 2 had better effects than Arma 3 at the moment.

I know you guys can do good effects - you just need the time for it.

Look at the village attack in this video:

The unguided rockets looked way better back then.

<b>Also the impacts of the minigun are waaaaaaaaaaaay more satisfying in OFP2. Pls consider using something similar for Arma3s minigun. While the current tracers look nice - the impacts feel not very powerfull.

I agree with everything, but still think firenitself needs some major improvements!

Can the moderators inform if this is going anywhere?

The smoke/dust should also stay way longer (I understand it is demanding for the GPU/CPU, but it could be included in the ultra settings for visual effects).
example with a jdam bomb:

bump? fluxliner

I agree with the fact that ArmA3 needs to have more realistic explosions.

vbr74 added a subscriber: vbr74.May 7 2016, 12:51 PM
vbr74 added a comment.Apr 20 2013, 2:49 PM

I agree too with these feedback.

DDSSTT added a subscriber: DDSSTT.May 7 2016, 12:51 PM

I would like to know, why does everything in the game have to "Blow Up" when its health reaches 0%? Stuff in real life just does not blow up. I witnessed an M1A2 Abrams get hit with an Anti-Tank Mine IED, it ruptured the fuel tank started on fire and all the crew survived. The Abrams started out burning slowly then went into a raging fire and then smoldered and burned for 12 hours and the cooking off of its ordinance did not cause the tank to explode, because the explosive HE and Sabot rounds are inert until fired, what did cook off for several hours was the propellant and 7.62 & .50 cal munitions. If anyone wants to learn more look up 1-506th Ramadi, Iraq 9 April 2006.

But I am all for the more realistic explosions...

DDSSTT yes there u go, exactly!

Really liked the effects of the explosions, hope they could make it viable without hurting performance

Here's another thought, make it random, maybe it violently explode, partially explode, raging fire then explode, raging fire and smolders, small fire turning to raging and explode... there are a ton of possibilities.

Instead of the now, rocket - boom - explosion...

Yes DDSSTT, i agree that not everything should explode, but i don't know if it could be done, the vehicle can be disabled already, but without visual effects and its the best i think it could be done, because how could the game detect if it should explode, it should just fire and etc? Because if its on fire the crew should be able to flee and it would be game changing so it couldn't be just random, and the explosion means everything has been fully destroyed, if you manage to destroy and vehicle engine then it is useless, would like to see more local damages, like gun and other things. But yeah i really enjoyed the idea, just need to know how to make it work.

Vote vote vote :) ! spread the word on forums everywhere

its as simple as an "If - Then" statement.

If Health is 0
Then A or B or C...

A=Big Boom
B=Fire and Boom
C=No Boom

I am no programmer but it shouldn't be that hard.

I understand your idea, but the C already is implemented, it is like when you manage to disable the vehicle he is left there useless unless someone could fix it.

only when tiers are broken lucas

Or engines, IMO the car should always be able to get in, i do understand the issue i just don't like it being random. But that is my opnion, and just that.

I hope it will not be a copy of Warfxparticles in Arma 3.

Yeah well, whatever is better.

Iv seen some particles now at night :D or flying pieces of fire :)

You guys are wishing for more Holywood-like explosions. Real-life (eg. grenade) explosions aren't that firey. It's mostly just dirt and perhaps a short pop of fire. A gasoline explosion (as most Holywood explosions are) is more firey.

I agree brainz80, but neither the OP nor the vast majority of the comments ask for hollywoodish explosions. Arma's explosions are on the right track compared to the other games (more dirt/dust than fire), but the explosions are not that good looking...

@brainz80 we ain't wishing for more hollywood explosions. Right know at night it looks rather like tank-fuel explosion rather grenade one.

Lighting is beautiful though. Blasts from rocket artilery looks amazing.

In my opinion ArmA 1/2/3 HE explosions looks like they take too long. There should just be a blast of light and dust. Blastcore approach is good in this matter, blast and a huge chimney of dust.

boid added a comment.Jun 3 2013, 11:17 AM

Just to add my 2 cent:
Remember the way an explosion looks, sounds and feels like have many dependencies.
How intense the shockwave, fire, dirt, particles etc. are produced depents for example on distance to ground and trigger, weight and kind of the explotion, weight and kind of the hit material, weight and kind of the other surrounding material etc. etc. etc. .

Think about the comparison of FRAG Grenades in the woods, HE Grenades in the desert, APFADS on Building and HEAT on bricks, IEDs on Roads and Bombs on Airstrips.
There are thousends of different factors and kinds.

But one thing is for certain, current explosion visual effects are too slow, there is no feeling of an intense explosion at all to me. Also most of the time there is too much fire effects involved that last too long.

BIS take note from the great examples showed by community on this page. You need more smaller particles but do not throw away big ones. Also there is need in more black, dark brown and white/gray mixed together - so the explosions will look more natural.
Typical tank round will be more roundish like it is now in A3 but artillery strike impacts should look more conical-like but upside-down with more disperse.

Smoke could have more grey/white in it so it wouldn't look so plain being just black.

Particles and smoke should be also affected by lighting.

+1000 Cook Off is missing so bad, it also must count as a possible shrapnel.
Particle miss so much, mainly with a particle settings in graphic options :

And explosion itself can be way better.

Yes it was defenetly somthing i missed trough out the arma series. Realistic fire explosions and smoke. Mods did make it better but yhea not as good as it could have been. For instance A plane filled with fuel hitting the ground at 300+ KMH will create A HUGE fireball breaking into dozen of flaming parts that all have fire paths on them. Less explosions more fire.

Sweet effects on those videos man, love it... Arma 3 needs to get on it.

I'll upvote this. The game could definitely use some particle lovin'

Simply amazing - I always disliked the explosions - if they would look like this how stunning would this be...

Something like 09:10

Would be enought, I could live with it :) not to mention the awesome sound engine.
gameplay though is the weakest part of BF compared to ArmA, if we only could get best of both worlds :) Too bad that we have to choose - big a** maps vs sugar.

Yhea frag that fire thingy already is in when the fire rizes due to an explosion. Only the problem with arma they wanted to make smoke dynamic so they made smoke particles GIANT ROUND smoke things that can be moveed around by air. Using smaller and more particles would allow bf3 features ofcourse but yhea. we will see.

i would be only afraid of FPS impact on effects like in BF4. Problem is what you describe - cow-size particles in A3 let breath the engine but i have bad feeling that explosions won't look as dynamic as in BF3, 4 - without significant frame lost. Unless BIS will do wonders to the engine. To add dynamics like these explosions have would nicely merge between slow-paced tactical and instant run for your life feel - the immersion. Even first Crysis, game from 2007 had very believable explosions with shockwaves (not sure if these are in A3 since i cant spot any, and do not affect the environment, bushes, trees, grass)

I just looked into Battlefield Bad Company Vietnam. A game from 2010. 3 Years ago.

Even then it had wayyyy better effects than Arma 3.

I will add some more videos of examples how Armas effects should look.

Here are at least some examples of BF3. I doubt we will get effects as good as BF3 but they are a damn good reference.

Yes BF3 has bad too arcadic gameplay - thats the reason why I anticipate Arma 3 so much. BUt the effects are really close to the real thing.

This is some real footage

Look at the first 20 seconds. The gameplay may not be realistic thats true. But if you compare these effects with real life footage of Syrian patrolling tanks or exploding HE rounds youll see that its impressively close to real life examples.

(I cant poste it here since its explicit material I think - just search for tank patrol syria youll find stuff)

Shock waves are there, but they only affect players at the moment.

One month before release. Still effects from the last century...Wow...=(

Yes, things blow up in a war. A game that approaches realism should have awesome explosions as a high priority.

look at 1:33.

Even Arma 2 with mods had better effects than Arma 3...

StPain added a subscriber: StPain.May 7 2016, 12:51 PM

No, they didn't... "In my opinion ArmA 1/2/3 HE explosions looks like they take too long. There should just be a blast of light and dust. Blastcore approach is good in this matter, blast and a huge chimney of dust." - absolutely!

Did you guys see the new "sabot effect" for the panther in the DEv build?

I hate to say this but I hope that is a joke...

It looks like someone lets some smoke out of his chimney.


couldn't agree more... latest DEV updates - better surface/water impact and roll

but... after the thrill of rolling over a few times in a helicopter crash you are presented with the same old

                                     this [create "crispy_VEH"]

which just kills the thrills and makes you wonder if the vehicle was something ported and retextured from OFP_2001 (as implied above)


  • Id be pleased with them simply using the actual VEH texture itself on that crushed soda can they call a wreck and let the DX11 lighting do the rest
  • simply put, metal and paint don't look like that under extreme heat
  • ACTUAL PHYSICS/PhysX = at LEAST a tail, blade, wing, skid break off

@JSNFARRELL wow such an offtop we see in here. Sure, I am agreeing with you but that doesn't change the fact you're postin in wrong ticket.

To be funny - OFP had much more varied destruction model than any ArmA game. It had vector deformations. Yea, every vehicle that been destroyed looked like origami but every wreck was unique at least.

Physx is not soft body physics engine - it is better to expect it in ArmA 4 than 3 because changes into engine it would require would be too deep.


I partially agree it is off-topic however others believe this is related to the following ticket

so in case Moderators (or whomever) decides to close that ticket thinking it is a duplicate which just happen to one of my tickets I am voicing my opinion here (same note)

That's why I stated Physics/PhysX...

  • BIS advertised "new ragdoll simulation and PhysX™-supported vehicles."

... where is PhysX applied???
... A1,A2,and prob all the other vehicles react the same in A3
... their "PhysX" is on the level that could have been patched into A1/A2

therefore its not PhysX... its Physics...

  • a good example is BF,OFPDR,CrYsis,and everyone else... their DX11 engine also included TRUE PhysX

and per this topic and many others IF PhysX was actually part of this engine

  • explosions, crashes, wrecks, object destruction, ragdoll, etc


this topic probably wouldn't exist... as effects, particles, amongst other things would be improved and not compared to older OFP/ArmA titles

you give BIS too much credit... they have been MORE THAN CAPABLE of ACTUALLY upgrading their "new" DX11 engine as many others have done over the years.

  • especially when we all had to pay for the alpha/beta (demo) long before release
Qox added a subscriber: Qox.May 7 2016, 12:51 PM
Qox added a comment.Sep 1 2013, 1:24 AM

I am no BI dev but here is it from a dev perspective:

Explosions and especially fire are very hard to realize in realtime games because it are in reality volumetric effects and the claculation power of modern GPU's is no were you would need it to be to calculate such effects.

More so explosions don't have anything to do with PhysX, PhysX is only for Rigid Body dynamics, which explosions and fire are not.

So you are telling me explosions are to recource consuming? .........

There are real time strategie games out there with better explosion effects. The current explosions are just bad. Thats it.

Listen guys... whomever else wants to comment about my note

someone pointed this ticket out as related to another ticket.

  • therefore I copy/paste my note from that ticket here in case a Moderator decides to close it [duplicate]

... as has been done with tickets Ive submitted that were only partially related to the "duplicate"

and as far as PhysX goes Unreal Tournament patched in FULL PhysX years ago

  • that's like patching it into OFP_2001... and it changed EVERYTHING about the game to include explosions

END OF CONVERSATION... lets agree to disagree (we are both right/wrong)

@NordKitchen Fact is - to generate a good looking explosion is IMO same resource consuming for PC as a terrible looking one. In fact - if one (of devs) would like to - could do some optimisation so amazing effects could run ever better than the terrible one.

Using same quantity of particles but in proper way - how that could be more resource-consuming?

All explosions in ArmA looks terrible mostly because of one thing:
Explosion blast continues for HOURS (not literally of course).

Like in this video posted by NordKitchen, at first attempt I didn't even noticed a blast - but I knew that something bad happened ;)

It doesn't even stay a second. This blast stays in miliseconds, the same time stays for lighting to disperse. In the meanwhile we have meaty slappy BOOM - not the earthquake - fitted with alot of grass and ground flying from the epicenter of the explosion to the outside forming an irregular conical shape.

The smoke/dust start to takeoff RAPIDLY and is slowing down it's expansion rapidly either. Then wind starts to play it's role and blows the particles.
(smoke/dust expansion doesn't exist in A3 - it looks really choppy and at the beggining of the explosion point of dust kicked up should be much smaller, increasing rapidly it's expansion - the higher it goes the more it starts to slow down and wind takes full control over it)

I think that's enought of explanation :)

The game testers will laugh their asses off when they see the current effects.

I didnt think it would come this far but here we are.

Arma 3 is getting released with effects not even worth for real time strategie games.

Big disappointment

leepee added a subscriber: leepee.May 7 2016, 12:51 PM
leepee added a comment.Nov 3 2013, 1:21 PM

Providing an example of a "Bad" explosion might help this ticket get more exposure compared to the "good" ones.

For assigning someone to do this i really respect bohemia and for everything they do for the community

Its assigned since 2013-03-18 and the only real thing they changed was the sabot effect.

I was really eager to see that change and was looking forwad to it but it was a big disappointment.

It could not have been made worse. A simple smoke fontaine fitting for an exhaust pipe is all they managed to implement.

Test fire a tank shell and you will see that its nothing to look forward too....

Only hope is blast core at the moment.

as part of this vehicles should not explode if they do not have any ammo or fuel

I wonder if the 4 million they made with DayZ early Access is enough to fix Arma 3.

This is assigned but what did they actually changed?

As NordKindchen said they only tweaked the KE penetrators effects, which still looks awful.


penetrator effects are not the only thing we demanded.any kind of explosion should be improved

Indeed, just what I said.
I finally understood why ArmA III still looks like it is in alpha stage:

Bohemia Interactive think: Hey, we've got the modding support in our game, which is a major feature, so every bug we leave in the game for lazyness will be fixed by some modder. For example, see Blastcore A3 or JSRS.

So they shift the hard work to somebody else, the modders.

There a just a few simple things that need to change-

  1. The flash of an explosion should be much brighter and larger in size. It must appear very quickly, and fade very quickly again. (Notice I say fade. The current flashes kind of appear, hang around, then disappear, making them appear weak).
  2. Smoke and debris should be ejected much faster. The initial cloud of smoke from an explosion grows quite violently, almost instantly- to about 80% of its eventual size very very quickly.
  3. Instead of the light source staying at the point of the blast, it should move upwards with the rising plume of smoke that comes off of the initial cloud, as the remaining burning gasses are lifted upwards.

4a. the shockwave from the explosion must be made clear. This is what will give the most effective feeling of power from the explosion. The initial concussion and subsequent shockwave conveys the power of the explosive, and this needs to be illustrated with debris and smoke being propelled outwards at high speeds.
4b. The final part of the shockwave appears right after the explosion and remains there for several seconds. This is the dust that rises up from the ground after being shaken by the shock.

The dust should rise out of the ground. Just watch some videos of a tank firing or an artillery shell impact.

Like this:

Personally i really love the effects seen on this video that advertises for an amazing sounding Soundpack.


Apart from the explosions in the video, imagining sounds like that added in arma will add so much more excitement and realism!

Something new on this?

Why does BI only care about launcher fixes and things like these and doesn't consider worthy cosmetic things like these? The game has the graphics of a 2000-2005 game! What a JOKE.

Just look up game called Squad. Guy behind FX and explosions did in my opinion amazing job.
It is not just explosions but also dust/water particles picked up from walls when firing a gun or when grenade explodes.

Also varied muzzle flashes. Not every shot produce muzzle flash.

Vehicles catching on fire is also looking great. Again explosions picking up dust from nearby buildings, leaves and grass from the foresty ground or pieces of wood when it hits wood storage.

For future Enfusion engine:
Organize your data that way so not only materials you have coded are handling textures but also organize it that way so you can call those materials to spawn particles ie when explosion occurs.

Chubbs added a subscriber: Chubbs.Dec 15 2017, 12:29 AM