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AI knows the enemy position at all times, no matter what
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There are many complaints that AI sees through walls, bushes, hills but this is not the case.

What really happens is that they seem to know target's exact position at all times and this has nothing to do with vision.

This video shows the issue as well as including a short analysis of it: {F19371} {F19372} {F19373} {F19374}


Legacy ID
AI Issues
Steps To Reproduce

The attached mission file is what I used for this. Simply kill one of the enemies inside the base and then go in a whatever direction you please. AI will always know exactly where you are.

To make observation easier you can use Troopmon, as I did:

Event Timeline

There are a very large number of changes, so older changes are hidden. Show Older Changes

+1 Thanks for video proof.

Nice find. Great work.

Spayd added a subscriber: Spayd.May 7 2016, 2:03 PM

I always knew this since when I was making missions in Arma 2, I noticed that they could track my position through walls and stuff. Nice video proof.

What skill / difficulty settings did you use for that? They only seem to do it with higher settings? If you lower the skill / difficulty they seem less sure where you are?

Try lower skill settings with the setSkill array cmd on these one at a time and then compare it with the 4 different difficulty settings to identify what's causing it?


MadDogX added a subscriber: MadDogX.May 7 2016, 2:03 PM

The video is very convincing and showcases the problem well, but the repro steps are far from sufficient. Ideally the repro mission should be self-contained and show the AI's "unnatural" knowledge without requiring extra addons or scripts.

Yeah I will try to come up with a better repro mission over the weekend

@Mattar_Tharkari: such issue shouldn't be present on any difficulty settings. Not even an Elite Tier One Operator should be able to know enemy's position behind so many obstacles at all times

ChrisB added a subscriber: ChrisB.May 7 2016, 2:03 PM

AI, the most Important part of this series, it needs to be great not just good, certainly not bad, as it is at the moment.

Something else I thought of - it's 2035 - all these small UAV's we are warned about may be common place. Is this what is being simulated at the higher difficulty settings? Are the AI getting pictures of your location on those helmet visors? The battle simulation at the level of current technology is off as you say - but is it correct for 2035?

It would be nice if BIS could say exactly what the future vision is as it may have some impact on this debate?

Telkwa added a subscriber: Telkwa.May 7 2016, 2:03 PM

I can certainly reproduce this in every attempt I've made. AI should be challenging and smart but not inhuman. Maybe they are satellite tracking us.

After testing this in Troop Monitor addon, I can see that the game gives an AI a way-point near the players position so as to increase the probability of an engage by practically 100%. Is this by design perhaps so that the player doesn't get bored and is always guaranteed a fire-fight. I'm not so sure the AI "knows" the position of the player, but from the looks of Troopmon3, they are definitely assigned a way-point right beside the player.

Inlesco added a subscriber: Inlesco.May 7 2016, 2:03 PM

@Mattar_Tharkari: Not really. Try using All in Arma for the A2CO inclusion, place some "older" infantry on the Stratis (or any other island) and you'll observe exactly the same unrealistic behaviour.

In A3 future campaign, of course the might be a moment where you have to avoid enemy UAVs capturing your position, but in this situation, this is simply irrelevant.

This game is not player centric, Telkwa. AI doesn't care if you are a player or another AI. It will be the same for an AI enemy. And yeah this is a bug.

In ArmA2 AI will think you are at the position he last saw you or if you were moving - he will try to predict your next position based on your speed. If however AI can no longer detect you he will consider your last known position to be viable and if he doesn't find you there he will forget about you.

In A3 this behavior doesn't happen.

ceeeb added a comment.May 12 2013, 3:29 PM

Hmmmm, dodgy :(

I've had some success reproducing the cheating AI, but certainly not 100%, especially if changing mission circumstances slightly (eg, player starts to south rather than north).
Worth some more testing though!

it was interesting to watch at 2:10 and 2:29 of the video how the next waypoint for the opfor flip-flopped between the point blufor last seen, and the actual player location. especially 2:29, because hes well into the run torwards the player position, then something reminded him he only last saw him on the hill. would be fun to watch the FSM in action

When you are doing tests, check out the following cases: player against single AI, player against multiple linked AI (team, squad) and player against multiple not linked AI (a bunch of single soldiers). I haven't found 100% proof, but some observations lead me to thinking, that AI's behaviour and awareness capabilities are visibly enchanced, if AI's are in a group.

"it was interesting to watch at 2:10 and 2:29 of the video how the next waypoint for the opfor flip-flopped between the point blufor last seen"

Except it never flops back to that point which was on top of the hill hundreds of meters away. The waypoint is probably nothing but flanking maneuver.

EDcase added a subscriber: EDcase.May 7 2016, 2:03 PM

I have also seen several occasions where AI will fire through tree canopy at targets several hundred metres away. Watching tracers come out of tree tops in a valley up to the ridges.

I inspected the repro but it's working just fine for me without the TroopMon3. You can notice it on the video that when you change the observation from west to east the position of planned path of ai changes to approx player's position. That worries me because it seem that TroopMon3 is doing something that is not helping to repro. However I went further and tried different difficulties and I have important conclusion.
The AI is planning path in bigger "circles" in which is looking for the player. Which is correct - AI tries harder to resolve the threat. On lower difficulties they went to the last known position of me(player) and when they didn¨t find anything, leader called them back.

This seems to me as correct behaviour. I'm not sure what happened on the video but the troopmon seems a bit unreliable or maybe a possibility that Ai planned bigger circle and accidentaly saw you. But that seems unlikely since they started shooting before they could actually see you.

I hope this will explain this weirdness. I won't close the bug yet in case you¨d have another repro.

explained above

This absolutely has to be looked at. It's critical to any AI based combat, because it breaks the gameplay completely. Very unsatisfying, and also makes stealth impossible.

Please look at this BI and do something about it, preferably before Gold!

There may be something weird going on, with AI's ability to track the player. I came to that conclusion, after numerous walkthroughs of Scuba Showcase, on regular difficulty level.

My usual strategy is this: defuse two mines, disable the boat, shoot the enemy divers, defuse the last mine (the northern most one), swim 300-400m north, get onshore there (approx. grid 019040) and approach the camp from the hills to the north of it.

I did the sabotage part of the mission, without surfacing, but the boat seemed to be well aware of my whereabouts and fired at me, even from 300-350m away, just after I started crouch-walking uphill.

Also, on almost all walkthroughs, I was being greeted by enemy patrols, running over the northern hills in combat mode, like if they were looking for someone. The grids with the most encounters are: 019039, 019037, 018036. This seek and destroy behaviour was even more visible on walkthroughs, where I killed the crew of the boat, during brief surfacing period (because the boat was too well aware of me and willing to shoot me while I was stalking on the hills). The helicopter attacked me only once, when I got into the boat to use its guns to soften camp defenders.

It seems, like the enemy was either:

  • able to somehow track me underwater,
  • chose very large circle to look for me,
  • never called back the patrols.

This is wrong AI behaviour, even if there aren't any "see through water" cheats at work. It's relatively easy to kill the patrolling units one by one, with trees and rocks providing concealment and cover, with them running (=visible) and at short ranges forced by the terrain. Assault on the camp with only 2-3 defenders is easy, especially after I got scoped rifle from on of the units in the hills. It's even possible with SDAR alone, after I got used to this rifle.

On the other hand, it would be very hard to attack singlehandedly a camp prepared for an attack, with every barrel possible scanning the hills, from covered positions. This is especially true, since AI's improvements in long range detection and shooting. I tried and succeded only once and only because of some lucky events that took place. In such case, the use of mortars would be mandatory - now it's not.

As I mentioned in other AI-related ticket:

  • the AI should be more concerned about it's own survival and less willing to pursue the enemy to death (usually its own, if player is involved),
  • the AI should stick together more and support each other; running in "every man for himself" mode, even if in general vincinity of AI's teammates, doesn't work and decreases AI combat potential.

For example, the fact, that the AI can flank, is very good. But at the same time, another AI should be suppressing my position or otherwise keeping me busy. Without that, it's relatively easy to maitain situational awareness and get rid of single flanking soldier or to move out of the pince.

i've been insta-killed through the walls of a hanger by an infrit before. Yes, it is likely he would have known I was in there. But, not where in it I was. Shot directly at me and dropped me with its first shots. AI can see through walls if they are aware of your presence.

I think, that AI can't see through the walls, but it can pinpoint your exact location just by hearing you and then it can fire at you.

What is good:

  • orienting towards heard sound,
  • suppressive fire (= not very accurate) at the source of the sound *could* be OK, but only in certain situations.

What is wrong:

  • pinpointing the exact location of the soundmaker,
  • shooting with great accuracy on heard and unseen targets,
  • identifying heard only targets as enemy - footsteps sound the same for everyone, however it *might* be possible to ID a vehicle by a distinctive sound of its engine alone, but only as a probable friend/enemy, not 100% sure to a point, where AI can shoot at it.

The key to invoking this bug 100% is to kill an AI belonging to a group of 3 or more.

I created 3 scenarios. I wanted to see if killing them, leaving a blood trail or just being spotted will invoke this bug.

I hid in the same location, and ran on the same path.

  1. I allowed myself to be seen by AI only, then ran off and hid. They gave up the search and returned to formation.
  1. I allowed AI to injure me only, then ran off and hid. They gave up their search and returned to formation.
  1. I killed an AI, I was not injured, then I ran off and hid. After they searched for a while you can see they spontaneously were assigned a way point right on top of me. They eventually came at me with numbers.

I created videos of all three scenarios but will upload just the Kill scenario for time sake.

Speculation: It seems when the two assigned AI soldiers are sent to hunt the Player down they give up after specified time and report to their leader. In all but the kill scenario the leader tells them to return to formation. In the Kill scenario when they report they can't find target, the leader seems to escalate the Intel provided to the hunting party and either is providing my location outright or assigns a way point right on top of the player. This is clearly seen in the video through Troop Monitor. This should be dubbed the psychic phenomena bug.

Also of note, after I uploaded the video I tested more scenarios. The bug can be reproduced as long as there are a minimum of three AI enemy linked in a formation regardless of rank or designated Squad/Team leader and if one of them is killed. If you spawn 2 AI enemy and kill one, the other never pursues player.

Video for the AI Kill scenario as described above. 5 1/2 minutes into their search they spontaneously knew where I was located.

New vanilla-only version of test mission added.
Also the supporting video is here:

No mods were used, only dev build.
Use the map to know where enemies are at all times.

Main observation:
AI will always know where you are and will follow you to your exact position - this is not Troopmon issue. However you must -kill- an AI for them to react that way. They also seem to get your exact position the exact moment you -kill- one of them.

However if you will kill their leader before he's able to give them an order to engage you and disappear before the enemy squad designates new leader who will be able to give them that order - they will not follow you.

In other words the first dude to go down shouldn't be a leader (he has red marker in test mission)

^ After this last video I'm not sure why they would need more info at this point before investigating the problem. The videos posted thus far make it perfectly clear it is easy to reproduce.

I suspected it had something to do with a designated leader providing this bugged info to AI squad members.

I laughed and almost sprayed my monitor with coffee when Benny Hill theme song came on lol. Nice touch. The Alpha AI theme song!

More evidence with a teleport script.

I managed to reproduce the issue. We are investigating it.

Okay great, thanks GhostOne.

Scoggs added a subscriber: Scoggs.May 7 2016, 2:03 PM

Any updates Ghost?

kats added a subscriber: kats.May 7 2016, 2:03 PM
kats added a comment.Jul 2 2013, 11:53 PM

Had the feeling AI always knew where I was after engagement, now I'm sure.
AI dramatically needs improvement as its behaviour sometimes ruins immersion.
Nothing more annoying in a game than the feeling that AI is cheating.

rogerx added a comment.Jul 3 2013, 5:36 AM

On the latest developer snapshots, the AI now look and dance around sort of wildly after taking shots from a suppressed TRG? with SOS scope from a distant range.

As long as the rounds are spaced apart, but when shooting rapidly or when the last tracers rounds are presented, they then definitely spin in your direction and start shooting back with realistic precision.

Update: It really seems to be related with killing AI. Our programmer is looking into it.

Hello, we have made some fixes in developement version (rev. 07952)and AI now shouldn't know your position. Feel free to try it.

Bohemia added a subscriber: Bohemia.May 7 2016, 2:03 PM

Just done a little testing and it seems much better, i tested with hard cover, foliage and smoke after getting the enemies attention, and although they continue to fire at where they think you are they definitely don't see you.

Good job guys!

well iv done alittle more testing using only the terain as cover switching firing position ect and the enemy didnt follow my movements from behind a hill nor did they instantly know where i was about to pop up again.

also bare in mind there has been another dev update since metlkraze posted that.

Yes, but BIS_Alucard said rev 07952 contained the fix, and that's the version metalkraze tested

I don't think programmers made any additional changes in newer builds. I've been testing this issue today and couldn't find anything wrong. Take note that AIs aren't always going straight to the last position - they're trying to flank you. For example one group can go from one side of the hill and second from the other. So they can discover you, if you're in their way.

Of course, if you could provide me with some neat repro mission showing wrong behaviour, I'll gladly check it because we want to eradicate this problem for good. :)

Iv been trying to recreate the video in the op, its a little hard to tell but it looks like the enemy send a portion of their men forward who then spread out to search your last known location, usually using flanks as u say which makes this a little difficult to test.

I have yet to have one of them come straight for me after loosing sight of me, but im gona keep testing to be sure.

07952 doesn't improve the issue consistently. Sometimes they don't pinpoint your "invisible-to-them" location after you've moved but sometimes they do. About half the time in fact.

That issue isn't fixed is also evidenced by the squad immediately zeroing in on your position the moment you kill any soldier (but commander) in the squad even if said squad is facing away from you.

It's like this - you kill a soldier and all of them almost synchronously turn to your location and start shooting at exactly you.

However same doesn't happen if you just wound but not kill a soldier, they seem to try and look for a shooter then.

I've even tested the above by hiding in bushes and while I wound a soldier or two they remain oblivious to my exact location, just rushing for cover and trying to find a shooter - even when facing in my direction they can't see me due to a bush. But the moment I do a fatal shot - all bullets start coming at exactly my bush (since they now know I am there and can shoot through a bush) which means yes the issue is not fixed.

@BIS_Alucard "Of course, if you could provide me with some neat repro mission showing wrong behaviour, I'll gladly check it because we want to eradicate this problem for good. :) "

The latest repro here still shows the issue. I shot and killed an AI at the base then ran north-east into the mountains making sure AI saw me running there (bullets kept coming my way). Then I went behind a hill and ran into the exact opposite direction and hid in those houses to the north of the base. I then opened the map only to see that no AI has left the base yet. I then accelerated the time 4x and waited. AI flanked around the hill from the west (even though I went east) and then went straight to a house trying to kill me in it. Which is the same behavior as pre-fix.

I think the main issue, the most notable one is with AIs knowing your exact position after you kill one of them since I bet all their superhuman tracking comes as a result of that.

hmm, this is a strange one, hard to test when the ai can be very random (which is a good thing).

However, i reproduced your mission in that base next to agia marina but i gave the enemy 1 inf squad 2 ifrit HMGs and even a Mi-48. After engaging and killing at least one of the inf i legged it north east about 10m then ran west into the long reeds in the bottom of the valley like in your op vid.

The ai usually sent a fire team + 1 ifrit and the chopper, the ifrit would come round the west end of the hill and sit there about 30m from me the inf would follow it then move close to where i shot at them from and the helo would keep passing over head spraying the odd burst of cannon fire into my original fire pos.

They never found me or looked like they knew where i was, I repeated this a few times all with similar results.

I shud point out im not trying to prove you wrong or anything these are simply my findings on the issue.

Confirmed in Beta too, full idiotic...
AI always know here is your position, distance no have sense
Devs, please fix it please

This is very evident when using Kronzky's UPS script. place a bluefor unit at the air field and then an opfor squad on safe in agia marina and watch them as they patrol the town. the second that they spawn they exit safe and go into combat, seeming to sense that there is enemy units on the map.

I would think if the behavior changes when you run a script you can blame the script. Especially when the script claims "improved AI behaviour". Unless I'm missing something?

hladas added a subscriber: hladas.May 7 2016, 2:03 PM

What really happens is that they seem to know target's exact position at all times and this has nothing to do with vision.

Please retest in version 107930 or newer.

See few posts above. The issue wasn't fixed in 107952.

maybe in 2035 they invented super brain powers for iranians??? :P

Unable to reproduce in 0.73.107978

Attached another repro mission AITrackIssue3.Stratis based on the originals

  • AI units position and expectedDestination (where they are currently moving to) marked on map with coloured tag and cross markers
  • AI knowsAbout value for player displayed via hints
  • AI getHideFrom position (where they think the player is) for player marked with pink map marker and 3d arrow


  • while searching for player (once they reach initial search point), the AI's destination changes very frequently (they almost never reach a destination before it changes to somewhere else). This suggests more path finding (CPU load) might be occurring than is required

If the AI is guilty of anything, it sure as hell is not super brain powers...

I played the repro only once since it takes a while (though I added a second BLUFOR unit hiding in the house with me so I could use tactical view). The AI came up near the houses after they flanked around the other side of the hill, but just looked around, gave up, and went home.

I tried my own repro mission a few times before the posted one, and did not get the impression that the AI 'knew' where I was. In those missions I simply hid behind some H-barriers.

I also sniped a few guys to test the claim that one you kill somebody they all shoot you at once... I shot 5 max-skilled guys who seemed oblivious to my position. This was at 900m, no cover.

I'm not saying there aren't any bugs in this area of the AI, I only did a few quick tests. I'm just reporting SOME evidence that it is working OK at the very least.


That sounds like a good find with the AI glitch. I hope a ticket comes out of it, if necessary.

Of course they won't shoot at you from 900m with their 300-400m effective distance Katibas

@hladas: OK did some more testing with friday's beta
The issue seems to be improved overall however their pathfinding in tracking your last known position isn't too optimal but that's unrelated to the issue at hand (just to explain what I mean: instead of following my last known position AI took a 300m detour around the hill to it - seems they are afraid of skylining themselves too much).

BUT! That's only half of the issue more or less fixed. The other, first half is still there. AIs will turn to your position and will fire at you (of course within their weapon's config range) the moment any one of them dies. Even from 1 bullet hit.

To fully get rid of this issue this needs to be fixed too.

When attacking enemy with a team It always disengages from friendly AI team members and then attacks Player. Has any one noticed that?

Im not sure about them prioritizing players over ai as targets.

Theres definitely a connection with them instantly spotting or at least starting to fire at you after you kill one of them, but if you miss them they go prone and start scanning for you until hey find you or they give up.

What they should do is fire a few rounds in your general direction if they have any idea, then find cover before attempting to locate you and engage you.

Yeah I've been having the suspicion that the AI prefers to target me over AI whenever I'm an available target. Not sure if had anything to do with the fact I was a squad leader though. Hasn't been enough of an issue that I looked into it, yet...

"Of course they won't shoot at you from 900m with their 300-400m effective distance Katibas" - Good Point!

Anyway, regardless of any dumb comments I may have made, I missed the point at first about enemy knowing your position after 1 shot JUST BECAUSE it killed an AI. So hopefully it gets fixed if it's still there.

I'd test it myself but the AI is so bad it's painful to watch anymore, which is why a ticket saying they were cheating piqued my interest in the first place.

I know this is fact cause i tested it. I sent my team (4 inf) to flank left and then crawled to the ridge while they engaged the target. As soon as i had visable line of sight I watched the AI enemy do the cool floating turn and start shooting at me while my team on my left continued to engage. Good point about squad leader. Is there a preference on rank that AI engages?

I have no idea if they have a preference in rank - I would think it would be waste of time to implement so my UNEDUCATED GUESS would be no. But I'm so tired of watching that 'cool floating turn' that I'm not motivated to test anything at the moment :/

From what you describe it sounds like you're well on your way to another ticket!

Player is not prioritized target.
Not sure about rank.

BUT! That's only half of the issue more or less fixed. The other, first half is still there. AIs will turn to your position and will fire at you (of course within their weapon's config range) the moment any one of them dies.

Different issue, should not be in a post about AI tracking.
Anyway, our config master will try to reevaluate how much is shooting revealing your position.

just tried this in latest dev build.

me as a sniper in bushes 500m away
first i shot at a group of 4 units.
result - 3 of them turned and killed me straight away...

second i shot at 4 units ungrouped.
result - they didnt kill me straight away but just stood next to eachother like dummies. then noticed me and shot me. so more of a delay.

something isnt right here.

I just realized this.

This is the Number One reason why people are finding nighttime increasingly boring! Or, boring because nighttime is increasingly difficult because there's still no weakness with the enemy.

Nighttime should make the enemy more vulnerable to attacks, and because of this people are finding nighttime dull and boring!

(I'm unsure if this has been fixed recently, but figured I should speak-up in case people have not realized this yet.)

I just tried this as a BLUFOR sniper at 500m:

  1. against 3 OPFOR default Riflemen in a group (skill 0.5)
  2. against a default OPFOR Riflesquad (group placement, different skills)

in case of

  1. they didn't find me when I was prone, when I got up and kept on shooting the one I left alive was just looking at me (beyond engagement range without scope)
  1. after one kill in their lines and after a couple more shots just around them to get their attention only, eventually those units with a scope would open fire on me and were very inaccurate, as their skill suggested

So I consider this fixed. Anything else is probably still caused by #12669.

Alex72 added a subscriber: Alex72.May 7 2016, 2:03 PM
Alex72 added a comment.Sep 8 2013, 1:06 PM

Maybe also tied into the problem with enemy AI that when they see you even though you "fool" them by running left and then behind something so they cant see you, and then take right and run. They still come right even though you fooled them. It happens very often at least. Like they know where you are all the time.

In ArmA1 I remember we could fool the AI and see them looking for you where you were and then go back to patrolling. I don't see that often here.

I dont know how this is resolved. They still know exactly where you are as alex says once you engage them and then move to another spot out of sight they will move toward you at your new location. They dont move to the original location and then search.

Are you sure, that they don't see you moving in that direction, before they lose line of sight?

Unless they have Xray vision from 200m out to look through a hill side, Im pretty sure.

I was creating a mission, but the mighty AI killed me all the time, because they knew allways where I am. So i have made an other little test-mission to demostrate the issue. Just play it an you will see the bug. I haved also used TROOPMONA3 to observe the enemy.
Sorry for my english ^^

PS: I am on actual DEV-build
PPS: And to make sure that TROOPMON isn't causing the error, I've tried it without it and the AI still finds me.

Ok I have now made some more tests with my mission. I tried to hide in different positions and observeing the enemy with the inbuild spectator mode.
Sometimes the AI doesnt find me, depending on the hiding position. But it seems, that the AI is always more or less walking in the direction where I am hiding. And if you try to teamswitch to an enemy soldier you can see, that they are targeting in your direction, after the tank got hit by your mine.

This is really important, upvoted +1

Notice when the AI do detect movement or sound, they focus all their attention (110%) on your specific position for very long periods of time?

Think a more natural form of scanning for direction of sounds or detection, humans tend to scan the horizon or general direction, and typically start scanning else where after a short period of time of no further detection.

In the current beta release while hiding in the bushes 0.25 clicks from a concentration of enemy, fart and watch all 100+ AI turn in your general direction (including the nose or guns of all vehicles with guns or turrets) and not waver for greater than minutes!

PacMan added a subscriber: PacMan.May 7 2016, 2:03 PM

Yes this really sucks. We can't make any worth while "bush" missions without some really complex AI scripting & addons. AI knows where the player is at all times and therefore using tall brush as cover is pointless & shouldn't even be in the game. All's tall brush does is give the player a false sense of security.

So made some more tests with my testmission. Instead of placeing an AT Mine by the player i placed some mines with the Minefield-Module. And now if the enemy tank gets hit, the soldiers don't start searching for enemies. Even if you are hiding near the exploded mine, the AI wont search for you.
This doesn't make sense.
Why they should searching for enemies if the player sets the mine and the tank gets hit. But when the tank gets hit by a mine from the Minefield-Module they dont search for you.
The AI knows if a mine is set by a player or not. How should they know it?

It actually makes sense. Some (if not all) AI threats have additional meta information associated (ie. position, entity causing the threat, etc...). In the case you tested the Minefield-Module is "neutral" as if the causedBy meta information was the "editor" (and not the player). This is the logic i see in it, it is still speculation though.

Please do not mix different issues. Mines revealing you as a player is very different from the original issue.

If there are any remaining issues, please open a new ticket for each. Closing down.