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Effect of night vision devices (NVGs)
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The view distance of infantry-borne NVGs is way too high compared to reality. A quick test reveals that infantry can be spotted at a distance of 1500m+ on a cloudless night with the exact same accuracy as if it was daylight.

One of the current systems being used today is the PVS-14, of which Wikipedia states has a range of detection of 350m. I have included a few examples of the view you get through this system. I know the game takes place in the near future, but the view distance increase seems extreme.

The current implementation also removes the decision on whether to use NVGs during dawn and dusk, as the NVGs will always be the superior alternative. I believe a change of how NVGs work would add an interesting choice between having a perfect sight within the first 200 meters and poor for the next 1000 meters, or having a mediocre view for 1200 meters.

I have tried creating rough mockup of how I would picture it (View Comparison.jpg). Top screenshot show the current NVG with 4 soldiers marked. Try looking at those 4 soldiers on the next screenshot with no NVG. Everyone can agree that it is easier to spot them with NVGs because of their unlimited range.

Now try and compare that with the bottom screenshot where I have added blur to the distant areas. It is now easier to spot the closest soldiers with the NVGs, while the 2 soldiers further away are easier to spot unassisted.

Hope I got my point across!
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stonestriker edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
stonestriker set Category to Gameplay.
stonestriker set Reproducibility to Always.
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stonestriker set Resolution to Open.
stonestriker set Legacy ID to 729558527.May 7 2016, 2:12 PM

agreed. I would think either change the FOV to something bigger, this would make seeing into the distance harder, and also NVG's I dont think renders depth of field, nit sure about the blur. But otherwise just really limit the view distance by fog perhaps?

Changing the FOV might be an idea as well, however the narrow FOV is a problem in reality as well.

I think the poor depth perception with NVGs are due to a lack of strong shadows ,and that many NVGs are single-lens. The NVGs in Arma 3 are all dual lens and shadows seem to be drawn as if it was day.

The blur effect I applied could probably use less blur, and more noise. I tried to model the effect from picture pvs143.jpg

yeah agreed the default FOV is horrific. I use to toggle zoom out, but then discovered since I tend top srint alot, I assigned zoom out to sprint, gives me wider FOV when sprinting, and when I sit put, returns to normal, though I can still press shift to zoom out even though I am not sprinting and sitting still. seems to be a great work around.

Reason why i think change in FOV will work on NVG is it would change the distance visibility so you wont be able to easily see much further.

Judging by the photos, a bit of fullscreen blur could help, but not much. Many people, myself included, feel dizzy because of blur effects. Swimming underwater without diving mask, is fine for a while, but that's the limit of what I can accept. Blur and depth of view effects are the ones that I usually turn off.

But the photos reveal something else and stonestriker is right about that: lack of contrast. This is what makes it hard to see people through night vision and this is the correct way to make more believable and less powerful NVGs.

I've edited OP's non-blurred screenshot with decreased contrast and a different NVG mask, based on the photos. This is the same mask I'm using in Arma2 as a personal mod and it works fine (without contrast change, of course) :)

Also I've copy-pasted one of the guys on the light coloured background. If not for the red stripe, he would be undistinguishable from the terrain, with the lack of contrast and the fact, that the distance turns him into a few pixels.

Both Stalker and Black Hawk Down have limited-contrast NVGs and you can watch them in action here:

In Stalker it's better to have night vision, than not, but flashlight will remain your friend in a role similar to IR illuminator. What's more interesting, is that Stalker's NV doesn't work in complete darkness. In BHD I like the dynamic blur on the lightsources.

VonPink added a subscriber: VonPink.May 7 2016, 2:12 PM

I wonder if it would be possible for the devs to have the NVGs toggle the view distance setting to something low when in use and return to normal settings when not in use. I think that would boost the realism quite a bit, in my own personal experience when things get too far to see they just kind of vanish in a green'ish, blurry fog, anyway. Oh, and make sure to do the same for the AI's detection distance when in use haha!

Drill added a subscriber: Drill.May 7 2016, 2:12 PM
Drill added a comment.May 23 2013, 8:12 AM

Current not realistic enough implementation of NVGs and (especially) thermal vision is a great problem to me. As of me, their current fantastic efficiency much reduces gameplay diversity.

I think, one of possible solutions (maybe not the best one) of the problem is to render the world at lower resolution when look through NVG/Thermal (should be configurable in weapons CFG) or add appropriate blur effect. For example, add first blur filter, then sharpen filter: so the image would still look sharp, but with less information.

LOVE THE STALKER NVG! That would work amazingly!

I was playing a bit more with Gimp and Arma3 screenshots. Here is one, nvg_3.jpg, treated in the following way:

  • contrast: -65,
  • colourise: hue 110, saturation 60, lightness 0,
  • Gaussian blur filter: 2.5,
  • lens distortion filter: both edge and brighten 100, the rest at zero;
  • circular mask on top and completely black layer on the bottom.

The screenshot was taken on a full moon night with NVG on, the moon was behind me and the view was not zoomed in. There are two OPROF ahead, one at 100m and the other at 165m. Try to find them :)

EDcase added a subscriber: EDcase.May 7 2016, 2:12 PM

I like to have a bit of blur at edges too. The same as iron optics with PP on Normal. This has a nice level of blur at edges.

Perhaps a bit more noise and flare/glow for very hot areas (white)

Crierd added a subscriber: Crierd.May 7 2016, 2:12 PM

Don't forget that we're talking the year 2035 should be taken into account. By then, the range would be further than 350m, but in general, they are pretty OP atm.

yes NVG is OP please nerf

Slightly overkill, nontheless containing some information of worth regarding the distances and effectiveness of NV devices. Danger: very Math heavy!

"A working formula for NV Devices quality. Preliminary Information":

"Analytical Calculation of NV Devices working range":

The effects of light sources as well as the effectiveness of laser devices, and the interplay of NV devices and FLIR with the weather is also important. Arma simulates enormously complex weather and terrain situations, and increasing the difficulty through clever use of PP and Vision device simulation may be more beneficial than trying to uber the AI.

i like night vision into this video of demonstrating of cryengine 3
I think it's more realistic than actuel arma NVG

I think the best way to achieve this would be the way most NVGs work in true darkness: IR Illumintion. If there was a way for the engine to create a "flashlight" effect from the head, that was only visible from NV, it would mean that anything past a certain distance would be much darker, and as a result much harder to make out. Especially with reduced contrast, a good grain effect(greatly needed), and more realistic bloom, the NVGs would be more aesthetically and functionally realistic.

good ticket!

besides the night vision the ir-laser should be improved. they look to "rigid". don't know how to describe it better.

@MordeaniisChaos To my knowledge most military NVG work passively because active illumination would reveal your location to the enemy.

And the field manuals I've looked up state for portable passive NVG an effective visual range of <=100m in moonless nights.

Night vivion appears to have been tweaked recently. It has more proper green colour, less contrast and kind of "fog" effect added, to simulate limited effective range. It's way better now!

Looks the same to me.

same here, clear as day only green

It seems that a light fog has been added to nighttime, but otherwise it looks the same to me.

The nv-fog is present only on moonless nights. Nights with moon in the sky look like a green daylight, unless I manually add 35 fog in the editor, which makes it kind of similar to nv-fog.

The colour is now more proper nv-green, it used to be more blue-green, at least on my display.