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Make Tracers A Light Source
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With the new engines magnificent lighting to not give tracers the lighting treatment and make them a light source would be a crime.

Please make tracers a light source.


Legacy ID
Feature Request

Event Timeline

bigpickle edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
bigpickle set Category to Feature Request.
bigpickle set Reproducibility to N/A.
bigpickle set Severity to Feature.
bigpickle set Resolution to Open.
bigpickle set Legacy ID to 400510434.May 7 2016, 1:55 PM

it would be nice, but if so, so as not to impact performance, make it only a variable that will be enable if dynamic lights are set to very high or ultra.

Unknown Object (User) added a subscriber: Unknown Object (User).May 7 2016, 1:55 PM
Unknown Object (User) added a comment.May 1 2013, 3:00 AM

tracers are not a light source IRL

laywiin added a subscriber: laywiin.May 7 2016, 1:55 PM

I will believe that burning powder is a light source?

some other hints on this source wiki

There are three types of tracers: bright tracer, subdued tracer and dim tracer. Bright tracers are the standard type, which start burning immediately after exiting the muzzle. A disadvantage of bright tracers is that they give away the shooter's location to the enemy; as a military adage puts it, "tracers work
both ways". Bright tracers can also overwhelm night-vision devices, rendering them useless. Subdued tracers burn at full brightness after a hundred or more yards to avoid giving away the gunner's position. Dim tracers burn very dimly but are clearly visible through night-vision equipment.

some tracer rounds:

Another thing to notice, is that the tracers in Arma III Goes out of view for the player they just dissepear in sight. like something is wrong, they just get deleted after so far distance, this looks very bad.

Look at the video to see how a tracer round slowly fade into nothing " Burning up" As so far in arma 3 they burn and stopp. not slowly fade.

thats something BIS could have fixed easy, and it would make the effect of tracers look much better!

ceeeb added a subscriber: ceeeb.May 7 2016, 1:55 PM
ceeeb added a comment.May 1 2013, 7:44 AM

Related to #6041

tracer are not a light source in real life! seriously?

knister added a subscriber: knister.May 7 2016, 1:55 PM

Tracers also seem not bright enough at night.

I'm with laywiin on this, and tracers light up, which makes them a light source, but as i say, i would much rather it be an option as having hundreds of dynamic light sources flying around, i imagine it to be putting heavy strain on any ones rig.

I very much doubt it would strain anyone's rig. Its a tiny light source not a large one like a fire or such.

Did you ever use BD Tracer mod for Arma2?

I had an awful right back then and there was a virtually no fps drop at all in a full on fire fight with that mod running.

Get away from thinking that light source means fires or that equivalent lighting up the environment for tens of meters, the light source used for the tracer would only be equal to the bullet size.

No I've never used that mod, but still, can only imagine it having to use more resources, other than that, if the tracer gives off such minimal amount of light, then what's the point even doing it if you won't really be seeing the effect, if the tracer glows like it does now, then i see no problem with the current state of it. So tell me exactly how it will make an impact on game play, or even the immersion if it's a light source that wouldn't even light up it's surroundings a meter or so?

gpha5e added a subscriber: gpha5e.May 7 2016, 1:55 PM
gpha5e added a comment.May 1 2013, 2:50 PM

with a better optimized engine it would be awesome

I use tracer light mod and it didn't cause any performance drop, even on my old computer. The light is visible only at night and the ground is being lit even if bullet is travelling few meters above. Tracers also lit up nearby objects, like trees, when shooting into a forest. So yes, it has an impact on game play and immersion, because tracers are more visible and have more dramatic appearance. There was a debate on the forums and it was finally decided, with the support of real tracers firing movies, that they do lit up the ground, while flying low.

Well then pirx, then that would add allot to game play and immersion if the light illuminates surrounding objects and environment, mix that in with what laywiin said about the different tracers and it's affect to NVG as well and this topic can become a much wanted effect.

As i mentioned,.i don't know what the impact is, i only imagine it to be resourceful as having plenty of dynamic lighting requires resources, i have never used the mid myself though, but if you d say it has little to no impact, and the devs justify that, then that would be an awesome feature.

Unknown Object (User) added a comment.May 1 2013, 4:45 PM

bigpickle, you made me think about it, but still, i dont want people to upvote a feature that makes the tracers as strong as an explosion in the night...

besides, what makes them glow is a chemical, its bright, but emits barely any light.

I dont see why people discuss that tracers is a lightsource or not, if you can see the tracers with your naked eye i believe its a lightsource?

How can we see a tracer if its not a lightsource?

BigPickle mentioned BD tracers here are a video.

Personally i dont think tracers would make a impact on our computers. Tho why shouldnt the people how have spent so much money on theyre rigs get the full feature of stunning immersive night battles if they have used what they have to experienced that?

Make an option for it. Tracers - low - medium - high - very high - ultra.

Dr.death, i don't think any single person here wanted the tracers to look like explosions, why would we want that?....
second, it didnt stay in the feedback that he was asking for it ( I want tracers to look like explosions) Again no need to make people not upvote it.

Also see tracers glow on the ground after beeing fired: we dont see that in arma.

What there are people voting against a realism feature???
Tracers DO ILLUMINATE THE ENVIRONMENT in real life, some more, some less depending on caliber, color and obviously distance to objects/ground.

In ArmA1 (yes ArmA1!!!) this was done by the infamous ACE-Mod without any performance loss. A light source was added to every tracer round fired and did the job quite well.

And remember: ArmA1 had a very old engine state compared to ArmA3 with low to none love for lighting at all. Imagine this with ArmA3s Lighting improvements.

Proof Videos RL:

+1 to Christian K

Yes it actually worked very good in A1 with ACE.

Now that we have this improved light engine this feature should be added. I don't believe it would be any big hassle to implement. Also adding different intensities depending on caliber should be worked out.

+1. Tracers should look better. During day too, they should glow a bit. At the moment it sort of look like a painted object moving fast.

Unknown Object (User) added a comment.May 3 2013, 7:35 PM

tracers dont glow to the ground, they may be bright, but they are not lamps, nor lasers, they dont glow the path they go

Dr Death, why are you in such denial about tracers.

They dont glow the path they go? wtf does that even mean?
Why would you want to discourage something from making this game better, it looks like your thinking "Ive got a shit rig and adding more light sources makes me think it couldn't run it as well, so screw everyone I'm down voting and trying to convince ppl to vote no cos i dont want it.

Here we go with Dr.death's brilliant comments.

videos show youre wrong, and you are wrong.

We know they are bright, we know they arent lamps but tracers, and not laser.

Stop with these stupid comments...!!

Unknown Object (User) added a comment.May 5 2013, 9:25 PM

i watched the same video over and over again, Tracers glow just enough to be seen, nothing more, and Bigpickle, i dont have a shitty PC, but even if i do, i dont think that is a reason to inult somebody else, besides, even if i can run ArmA 3 maxed out at >70 constant FPS i dont see how i want to add better lighting if that is not realistic

Unknown Object (User) added a comment.May 6 2013, 4:46 AM

Christian, i think you got the link wrong.

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

Great ! :-D

I found another very good example of tracers lighting up the environment:
watch 0:37

p00d73 added a subscriber: p00d73.May 7 2016, 1:55 PM

I see this killing all performance...

Unknown Object (User) added a comment.Jun 22 2013, 11:52 PM

not really, p00d, its just a light source, and i understood i was wrong, tracers ARE a light source, but barely noticeable without NVG, it would kill performance if it was a light source, particles, and has AI at the same time, but light source does not kill performance, with the amount of light used in the tracers, even less

I agree that they won't affect performance much, Dr Death. Even with the amount of streetlights at the air base, I still have a frame rate constantly above 60 frames/second.

Heruon added a subscriber: Heruon.May 7 2016, 1:55 PM

Yeah, also considering it's quite a small area that's being lit up by each tracer.

Can't believe there are people who don't agree with this. Tracers as dim as they can be, are a light source nonetheless. When close to a surface, they will shine some degree of light on them. ESPECIALLY visible when using night vision...

This is a major thing I am dieing for personally, it is spectacular to see tracers illuminate the ground (mainly concrete sidewalks, roads or walls) as they travel!

Even the old game Americas Army version 2 had this lol

If they can pull it off, I'll be pretty stoked, but I foresee them overdoing it (it's not a terribly dramatic effect in reality and only noticeable when rounds are quite close to objects). I also wonder how well the engine will handle this sort of thing, both in terms of performance and the limit of dynamic light sources in the distance.
It would look pretty awesome, I just don't want to see 5.56 tracer to behave the same way a .50 and I'm a little concerned as most people here are posting videos of MGs firing tracers. Remember that MGs generally fire larger rounds with more potential to put out light.
Hope it gets in, but I don't want it to be a priority honestly. I don't see it being a huge deal in the long run. It just looks awesome :D

If not overdone then it would look much more realistic. +

bez added a comment.Jun 28 2013, 1:28 PM

Tracers are indeed a light source.
but small caliber tracers are not bright enough to illuminate their surroundings.
They would have to be very very close to the ground to actually illuminate it
(and even then not much) which in most cases they are not.

High caliber like 50 cal or minigun, could light up the environment
but I think the discussion here is about small arms fire.

Regarding rendering NVG useless, that does not mean anything,
NVG are essentially amplifying the light sources, so even the dimmest
light would be bright, that does not mean tracers are little lamps
flying in the night sky.

Personal experience, and also watch this:

Christian_k, your videos are nice but
your first one of a LMG, is barely lighting the ground,
it does light up very very little only when in very close proximity (few Centimeters)
Which in my opinion dose not justify BI to make small arms tracers light up the ground.
unless they do it very very dim, which then again, why bother with it?

Your second and third video are of very high caliber rounds,
which is not saying much about 5.56 or 7.62 tracers really.

If we talk about small arm fire the effect is negligible to unnoticeable at most.
I will upvote only for high caliber tracer rounds, not small arms fire.

And to have real colors of different types of tracers, I think red (in fact orange for US) is quite good, but I really doubt of the green one for OPFOR like in others Arma serie who looks like really unrealistic.

In the select menu need to cheack for right tracers colors from fraction for more realism.

nato have RED, non nato use GREEN

It's more the visual color

yeah of course, but being a small light source is crucial.

really want this feature. It is awesome to see tracers light up the environment, like when passing low to the ground on roads rocks etc!

Arma 2 OA, Had a user made mod called "BD Tracer Lights". This mod functioned great. Upon the A3 Alpha, I ported my own copy and had it running fully. With the Switch to Beta, My copy just stops as it's finding the Tracer color, I have not found a solution to the problem yet. I will happily forward my Alpha code To ease in implementing?

Definitively the green color of tracers seems not natural, I don't know if it's like in real life but I find it not good. The others it's ok. But yes if it was a light source can be awesome. Another thing, in real life tracers ( maybe depending on type ) start to trace not just out of the muzzle, but further.

Maybe the prob for me of green tracers is that it's not a light source, minigun feel good ( red ) but same prob.


Dude...everything that shines emits light...everything that emits light is a light source.

Chemicals that emit light are a light source.

It seems you think that if chemicals are bright they dont emit light but...they emit chemicals??? If you think so you need to build up some more basic physic knowledge^^

Fact is: Tracers are a light source and shine the way they fly.

But I am against adding tracers as a lights source since the effect is so neglectable small for small arms fire that its an unnecessary task.

However at the end of the day when everything else is fixed and the Devs need stuff to do: Jeah of course then its nice to have^^ But this small effect is not important enough to drive manpower to at the moment.

Sry mate - look at the midrange or the explosion effects and then tell me tracers are more important^^

I completely agree, Nord. Tracers travel so quickly anyway, and how often are you going to be close enough to see it illuminating other objects?

Anyone of the naysayers have any real experience with tracers

Can be good at night without NVG!

Unknown Object (User) added a comment.Aug 9 2013, 7:36 PM

watch videos about live fire tracers with NVG, they DO make a lot of light

Look at this video for green tracers, it's with a pistol but with less speed we can see clearly the color and the lightning of the tracers rounds. Watch at 3mn 50s