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Tracers at the bottom of 30Rnd magazines are a liability
Assigned, LowPublic


As title says, those last tracer rounds at the end of 30-round magazines are much more of an annoyance than of any real use.

In real life, I know the reason for tracers at end of mags is to indicate the shooter his gun is about to run out of ammo, but in ARMA 3, all it does is reveal your position to the enemy and put your life at risk.

With the HUD displaying the ammo count and the inventory giving a visual estimate of how much ammo is left in each mag, there is absolutely no need for those revealing tracer rounds, especially since the MXM now uses the kind of magazines containing those tracers, which puts lone marksmen at great risk unless they take the time to tediously discard every mag having reached the tracer rounds.

Even in the eventuality that clues about ammo count could be disabled at the discretion of server owners, I'd much rather run out of ammo unexpectedly than give away my position.

Please Bohemia, express common sense and remove those tracer rounds at the bottom of magazines. If I had control on every round contained in a magazine, I would actually take the time to empty all of them just to throw the bottom tracers away and refill everything with normal rounds.


Legacy ID
Steps To Reproduce
  1. Get any carbine or rifle other than the EBR
  2. Load it with a matching 30-round magazine
  3. Shoot until you reach the last 4 bullets
  4. Fire remaining ammo to notice inconvenient tracers
  5. Get spotted and shot by the enemy

Event Timeline

AgentRev edited Steps To Reproduce. (Show Details)Apr 20 2013, 1:44 AM
AgentRev edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
AgentRev set Category to Visual-Weapons.
AgentRev set Reproducibility to Always.
AgentRev set Severity to Tweak.
AgentRev set Resolution to Open.
AgentRev set Legacy ID to 1123014611.May 7 2016, 1:45 PM

This is not needed, You can mod what ever you want in relation to tracers. There is no need for this to be a BIS problem. You will find in real life most magazines are full of tracers for the first "contact" as to show the rest of your section where the enemy is.

@pravania: I am talking from a multiplayer perspective, in a situation where you are outnumbered, and want to stay out of sight. The game offers very little flexibility in that regard, as you are either forced to use mags with bottom tracers or find an EBR (the only proper rifle that has no tracers at all).

The specific reason why I reported this issue is because yesterday, I was hiding with a silenced MXM and tried to take down a group of enemy players, but I reached the bottom of the mag and misfired tracer rounds at them. They all saw it, and one of the players just pulled out an NLAW and blew the crap outta me, 600m away.

Nicolii added a subscriber: Nicolii.May 7 2016, 1:45 PM

This is a Alpha, BI have stated time and time again that they are focusing on getting the feel for what they have in the game right and to fix as many bugs as possible, added features like this that they can easily do (and probably already have done) is for the Beta. BI's priority is to get the game working with as little issues as possible first and then bring in all the features in the Beta.

But if you really want that right now you could just get or make a mod that takes those magazines and removes the tracers from them.

@Nicolii: I can't mod a server I don't own, nor force other players to mod their game, that is the whole point. As for features being added later and such, I'm just trying to enjoy the game the most I can before my interest fades off, which for most games is 3 to 6 months on average, so I try to report or upvote every little tweak the devs can do very easily, and which I judge can make my current gaming experience better if included in an upcoming update.

If your interest in games only lasts about 3-6 months then you joined Arma 3 at the worst time possible. The Alpha is just bare bones for BI to be able to work out as many issues with the engine as possible, the Beta might take forever to have a decent amount of assets and features (that aren't broken) in there to create a great and diverse game that your hoping for, not only that but the game doesn't even have a release date yet. It's expected to be Q3 this year but that's set in the most malleable material ever and not in stone.

I'm not patronizing you. I'm just saying that the game that your expecting/hoping to play is still a long ways off. And seriously, the worst time possible to join ;)

But in the mean time you could probably just port over the Arma 2 stuff (if you have it) to create a asset rich game and find the servers that support it. There's tutorials all over the net for the porting.

@Nicolii: Yeah I understand all that. I guess I had too much anticipation when I saw the game constantly being advertised on the Steam store front page as if it was nearly complete, to the point where I couldn't help but buy it and start consuming the fun it right away, since I didn't have any better game to play.

Still, for a barebone alpha, it feels pretty great, and the gameplay currently satisfies me overall. While waiting for more content, it would still be just as great to have those little tweaks done on these minor aspects that can become slightly annoying when trying to enjoy the current build, like bottom tracer rounds, or not being able to store an EBR in the backpack, the whitescreen glitch when alt-tabbing during night, terrain not casting shadows, etc.

Those kind of tweaks only require little time from the developers, I mean it's not like requesting that the full Altis island be implemented in the next update. For instance, I would love to have a bolt-action sniper rifle to currently play with, but I'm not gonna request it because I know that's definitely not on anyone's priority list, and making new content from scratch is not as easy as a config tweak.

But anyway, in short: Bohemia shouldn't wait too long to make those quick fixes on minor gameplay aspects, to allow players who wanna play the game as-is to enjoy it the most.

If you are assaulting or suppressing, it is beneficial to not have to count rounds and to not be surprised that you are almost out of ammo.

You need to realize those weapons you are using as sniper rifles are not necessarily intended as such. When the game is released, I imagine there will be a host of weapons at your disposal intended to be marksman rifles which won't have tracers - there is no need to convert/cripple every firearm into a sniper rifle.

Egosa-U added a subscriber: Egosa-U.May 7 2016, 1:45 PM

As you say: [...]With the HUD displaying the ammo count and the inventory giving a visual estimate of how much ammo is left in each mag, [...]

Then do so - count or watch the rounds left - if reaching the last 4, RELOAD!


@Egosa-U: My whole report obviously implies I already do that, but it's far too easy to make a mistake, especially when firing in full auto mode. On top of that, discarding those are a waste of ammo, so it'd better if they were just standard rounds in the first place.

This links into my Breaking down, recharging Magazine argument. On the Battlefield Officers and NCO's have dozens of tricks for things like this, whether it is target indication "WATCH MY TRACER!!!" or a Visual indication/Que to change Magazines whilst there is still a round in the chamber and this saves time on releasing the bolt assembly forward.

The key to this is allowing players the ability to customise their Ammunition loads, and breakdown Belts into Magazines and recharge magazines, mix up Ball & Tracer in whatever sequence you want. Even the ability to do 7.62mm Belts in 4B1T or 1B1T.

Please BIS consider giving use Magazine Charging functionality. I cannot think of many games that allow you to do this properly.

<i>...which puts <b>lone marksmen</b> at great risk...</i>

Well, there is your problem.

@Deadfast: What do you mean?

I'm assuming Deadfast is referring to that a marksman is always part of a squad more or less to provide spotting and cover for said squad. A sniper on the other hand can be lone or, much more likely, have a spotter with them. As a soldier in the modern military, you just about never do anything on your own.

The role of a marksman is to extend the effective range of a squad, not sneak around on his own.

" in a situation where you are outnumbered, and want to stay out of sight"

My advise would be not to fire at all, tracers or not.

@Nicolii and Deadfast: In the current state of the game, "marksmen" and "snipers" are the same thing to me, since there is no proper sniper rifle in the game yet, only "marksmen" rifles, but I use them for sniping anyway.

All of what I say is mostly based from a Wasteland perspective, in which you can choose to act solo or group/make alliances with anyone, regardless of the team you're on. I often prefer to go on solo, because of greater adrenaline rushes, and the harder difficulty when it comes to engaging enemy groups.

@armapirx: Let me refine my statement: "in a situation where you are outnumbered, and want to stay out of sight <i><b>but want to destroy the crap outta them for the sake of winning (and steal their money).</b></i>" I thought it was obvious enough not to mention it.

Then secure a tank or some other heavy equipment, or count your ammo and reload before tracers. Arma isn't a typical shooter, where hordes of enemys happily run into your crosshair, just for your pleasure and adrenaline rushes, no matter what certain mods let you believe. Arma is for smart people.

I play ARMA for the realism of its physical aspects, not for simulating military social structures. I am not into scripted missions against fake AI players, I am rather here to play a competitive game of natural selection in a realistic environment that no other game provides, and adrenaline is an essential part of it.

At this very moment, according to Play withSIX, about half of all people currently playing ARMA 3 in multiplayer are in Wasteland servers, which proves that freedom of action is an aspect that is definitely sought after by many.

Now back to actual tracers; the whole point I am trying to establish is that the reason tracers were put at the end of mags is to indicate the shooter is gun is almost empty. However, the HUD ammo counter already fulfills this role, therefore those tracers are much more of a liability to the life of the shooter rather than of any actual use, no matter the kind of scenario or mission.

Since manual ammo management is very tedious, that discarding good ammo is wasteful, and that those tracers are useless in the first place, why so many downvotes?

Vote for full ball magazines today!

Arma is a military sim first and foremost, which means, simulating the military structure and that's the way Arma will always be, BI have no intention at all to make Arma the next CoD, although they would love to sell a billions copies they won't compromise the game that their fan base has been playing for over a decade, because it is this dedicated fan base that has kept the Arma series alive for so long and are the one's who mod it to create the experiences they want out of their game. If you really want a game that panders to the your play style then there are other games out there and if you not satisfied with how BI have done their game then mod the crap out of it or wait for a mod to do the same.

Bohemia's loyalty works both ways, the fans of the Arma series are incredibly loyal as they have helped shape the Arma series over the years with all the feedback, just as BI are incredibly loyal to their fans because as I said, it's their feedback that keeps Arma alive and improving every day. Players like you have come and gone with each Arma game but it's the people who love the military sim part of the military simulator game that have stayed and made what Arma is today.

Look, all I am saying is that the majority does not care about military structures, and are only in for fun, so there's no need to make a fuss about terminology and ram all the drawbacks of real world militaries down the throat of absolutely every player.

I think this whole "what is ARMA" debate is getting too far, all because I wrote "marksmen" instead of "snipers". Asking people to mod it themselves or port stuff is pointless (as is for many suggestions on the bug tracker) as the problem mostly affects multiplayer. It's just a minor issue affecting the current state of the game. This tweak has to be done at the source in order to work, and it would only take 30 seconds for a BIS developer to do it, and make the current experience of many players better.

The bottom tracers issue doesn't have anything to do with playstyle, and I don't see how anyone does actually benefit from having them. They were not placed there so your mates can see where you are shooting, only to notify you of low ammo, and this is pointless compared to the fact it's giving away your position and the HUD already fulfills the purpose of informing you of your ammo level. Removing them will not "cripple every firearm into a sniper rifle".

Just because a bunch of people play Arma like if it was GTA, doesn't mean we all should do the same. Play withSIX servers aren't the whole of the world. You can't tell how many private servers are out there or single player guys, who actually play without HUD and enjoy proper ammunition management, tracers at the end of a mag included. Having a more lifelike gun is still far from simulating a "military structure".

Please, enough with the fanboy ranting, it's getting absolutely nowhere. I'll go with a direct question: in the event that those bottom tracers were removed, would you find it greatly unacceptable to look at the ammo counter to check if your mag is near empty, instead of waiting to see bright lights in the sky?

ARMA is not a pickup and play item. It just isn't...You need to invest time and effort in getting to grips with it, it is tremendously rewarding and the Sandbox nature of it means you can pretty much do what you want.

Personally I hate the HUD counter telling me how many rounds you have, you don't get one in real-life. So this is really about "Unrealism" being considered "Realism", if you want an ammo counter grab yourself a Pulse-Rifle and go play AVP or Colonial Marines. Having HUDS cheeses me right off, as a Soldier you don't have one, and I think the same with the Stance indicator, you've got to learn to keep track of things.

The constant pining for "Snipers" pisses me off too, In the real world Military Snipers are very, very Rare. A Squad Marksman is a man with a Rifle that can reach out maybe 500m - 1000m operating in a Fireteam, whereas Snipers Operate as a Pair and can make much longer range shots. Snipers make calculated considered shots, they do not mix it up in large firefights. If they do, then something has gone wrong. Snipers are a Tactical Weapons system, they can deny enemy freedom of movement and can disrupt Command and Control and general lower morale and pin large formations reducing their freedom of action.

Alot of the stuff on this Tracker is "Balls" because it went on Steam and now everyman and his dog thinks "I can contribute to ARMA ALPHA" but they just bring suggestions from other games and don't appreciate the Heritage and the concept of a Realistic, Military Sandbox Sim, not some Run and Gun Linear FPS or some Multiplayer Centric "Battlefield type Game".

ON TOPIC - I would like to see the ability to Breakdown, Magazines then Players can choose their own custom Ammunition Loadouts, so Ball or Tracer or any kind of mixture. This would keep everyone happy.

@mwnciboo: I guess that, like me, many are playing only for fun, and some aspects of realism can be annoying to cope with. The ammo counter is mostly for convenience. Although, the game takes place in 2038, and I know that an electronic ammo counter was proposed for the defunct XM8 system, so it wouldn't be surprising to see a gun with that in the future. A little transparent window on the sides of the mag could also be relevant, or maybe translucent H&K-style polymer magazines.

But regarding your breakdown idea, I fully agree. If you already made a ticket about this, you can give me the ID and I'll gladly upvote it.

@AgentRev: I'd adapt to conditions and revert to the old method of counting the ammo used by myself, with a help from the inventory view. No HUD please.

dsi24 added a subscriber: dsi24.May 7 2016, 1:45 PM

TBH ammo count should be replaced with ACE-style "Mag is heavy/medium/light" when you load, with a Red Orchestra-style mag check.

Or maybe an ammo count system on the weapon itself.

Simply dont shoot the last rounds if they annoy you! Its realistic, its arma...

@pleasereboot : lol you revived a 1-year old ticket

Arkhir added a subscriber: Arkhir.May 7 2016, 1:45 PM

While I don't think the tracers should be removed as they are useful, I do think we should have alternate magazines with no tracers at all.

Some modders sure can add them, but I don't see one reason why shouldn't these magazines be part of native content.