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Flashlight is too dim, unfocused, never blinds you, especially when you wear NVG and it lights though walls (In short, it SUCKS)
Reviewed, WishlistPublic


In my personal opinion flashlight should be brighter, it's almost impossible to see stuff in the night when you use it. Also, it requires a good lens flare, when looking on it. It should as well be brighter and more focused!

Flashlight won't blind anyone when you flashing it into someone's night vision goggles, which is completely unrealistic!!!

It also lighting though walls, why I mentioned it's ability to light though walls? Because when it lights though walls it just completely kills the major tactical purpose of flashlight, especially when you cleaning the house out (on some sort of a SWAT mission) and you compete with the other team. AI will not react to flashlight, but other players most likely will. As they are going to see where the light is coming from, they will just shoot you through the wall, and kill you with a recently implemented bullet penetration...

Watch this! {F19809} {F19810} {F19811} {F19812}


Legacy ID
Steps To Reproduce
  1. Turn the flashlight on and try to light on objects from distance, you will notice its lighting distance is bad and it's so much unfocused (so much faded edges of the lighted area)
  1. Light through walls, while having someone else standing inside the house to verify it lighting though walls
  1. Light towards someone who is using NVGs, the other guy will never get blinded...
  1. Perform all the previous steps at night when it's completely dark in the game

A quick tutorial on how to make this issue no longer reproducible:
Sit down and fix this up :)

Additional Information

I summed up all the issues with flashlight in this ticket, because I thought it would be useless for me to create one ticket per issue, as I would get a worse chance for devs to look at all the issues (all the separate tickets) regarding flashlights otherwise (by the simple fact that there are many important issues in this feedback tracker never been looked into by devs or staff so they still say "new" or "open").

So I decided, let's fix the flashlight in common, why not?

Also, check that ticket about lens flares

And this ticket about light penetration from light sources in Arma 3

On a later stage it would also be cool to implement IR filters for flash light (or just add another flash light which emits IR light instead), but for now let's just start from fixing flash lights in general.

Event Timeline

T-Bone edited Steps To Reproduce. (Show Details)Jun 8 2013, 12:10 PM
T-Bone edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
T-Bone set Category to Inventory.
T-Bone set Reproducibility to Always.
T-Bone set Severity to None.
T-Bone set Resolution to Open.
T-Bone set Legacy ID to 2797460562.May 7 2016, 2:31 PM
bez added a subscriber: bez.May 7 2016, 2:31 PM
bez added a comment.Jun 8 2013, 5:35 PM


In general the whole flashlight idea is just a gimmick ATM,
I don't see myself using it gameplay wise, yet.

  1. what T-Bone said is right, today you can find some small powerful LED based flashlights that light better than the ingame one, and we are playing at 2035 right? so yes, it's a weak flashlight.
  1. No underwater flashlights, make diving at night kind of pointless unless you have NVG. (yeah, NVG works underwater but not the flashlight)
  1. No filter for flashlights, Soldiers have color filters to their flashlights to mark each other if one does not have infrared and NVG, or to help them see without compromising their location
  1. No head flashlights, especially useful for people who TrackIR or people like me who like to look allot using free look.

I know this might be too much to ask, but I do feel that flashlight are pointless ATM.

Flashlights are dangerous on the battlefield, infact they will get you killed..

Top tip go out onto the Battlefield at night, with Enemy out there. Turn on your Flashlight, see how long you live.

Flashlights became sexy with Police SWAT teams etc, and all that Rail Furniture that "tactical combat-wombat people love", (More weight at the end of the rifle, more movement less accuracy). Lasers and NVG's are used alot, as are IR Strobes and IR Cylumes. There is a reason the Military use NVG's especially Passive ones.

When you run around with a Flashlight all you are doing is sticking a big "Shoot here/ Look at me /here I am sign" for all to see.

No point putting all that Military realism into this game, to then break it with Flashlights. The maximum would be small red filtered torches, but certainly no White Light Flashlights.

Bohemia added a subscriber: Bohemia.May 7 2016, 2:31 PM

"No point putting all that Military realism into this game, to then break it with Flashlights."

No... just google US soldier in Afganistan, almost every picture you'll find a flashlight attached to their gun, it's extremely useful especially when searching through buildings in close quater scenario, not to mention soldiers aren't always in hot zones, the average Surefire flashlight is north of 200 lumen, which is enough to light up to 150m in night situation, and blindingly bright up close, so if this is a military simulation, they should at least match what the real counterparts do.

T-Bone added a subscriber: T-Bone.May 7 2016, 2:31 PM

Ok, what if you want to make night mission without NVGs, lets say, your chief didn't give you night vision, what will you do? Walk around and not see anything at all?

I think if idea with flashlight was started, it must be a good flashlight, why not? Otherwise its useless.
I think you wouldn't like if someone gave you a grip from a pistol instead of a whole pistol, exactly like with useless flashlight here.

bez added a comment.Jun 10 2013, 3:21 PM

sorry mwnciboo, but you should know that a flashlight
is in the kit of every infantry soldier.

If you think an infantry soldier is always on the battlefield well I just LOL.
I have more time washing dishes at base and guarding the front gate than actually being on the "battlefield" in my 3 years of service as an infantryman.

And we all had a flashlight btw, just in case.

Crierd added a subscriber: Crierd.May 7 2016, 2:31 PM

What mwnciboo said is just plain wrong. I don't need to explain why he's wrong, people have already above me.

We really do need much, much stronger flashlights in game. Something that was not mentioned above that should be implemented are IR lenses for the flashlights, not just colored lenses.

I was really excited to finally use flashlights in close quarters due to the new lighting improvements. I bound my light key to a mouse button so I can quickly turn the flashlight on while searching a room, then turn it off to not reveal my location as I was walking around, and was really disappointed to see that it is way too dim and not even usable.

b101uk added a subscriber: b101uk.May 7 2016, 2:31 PM

Yes brighten them up, then include it screwing up your night vision and the ability for commanding AI to order you to turn them off and if you don’t they shoot you, likewise remove the team kill penalty in MP when someone on your side shoots you for blinding them carelessly, and lastly make AI extremely inquisitive of unidentified lights that heightens there alert status one more place than a person without a torch who is unidentified.

coltti added a subscriber: coltti.May 7 2016, 2:31 PM

The flashlight is currently way too dim, even my ordinary flashlights that I own light up way further than the one in the game. The flashlight looks way better than in arma 2 OA, however it only lights up a really short distance. Especially when making missions without NVGS, for example Celery's Chernarus Apocalypse missions, well made flashlights really add to the immersion and atmosphere of the mission. But they should not be over done though, Battlefield 3's flashlight and laser lens flares are ridiculous, but the main thing being that the flashlight should light up a longer distance.

i don't feel that it should be brighter. perhaps you all should turn your gamma up. i've a color calibrated monitor and when there is at least a little bit of moon light i can see decently without flashlight and very good with flashlight on.

so, please try increasing your gamma first. that said, i would not really care if flashlight would be a bit brighter, as long as it is not overdone!!!
did not vote!

fzf added a subscriber: fzf.May 7 2016, 2:31 PM
fzf added a comment.Jun 29 2013, 9:03 PM

Using flashlight on the battlefield is a very bad idea. Otherwise I agree that the flashlight is very dim.
In real life these flashlights have around 100 meters throw and the beam is very focused. You can change between the brightness output levels and even on the lowest setting it's still brighter than the flashlight in arma 3.
Just search for Surefire or similar well known flashlight manufacturers on the internet.

The flashlight needs to be more focused and brighter. Also enemy AI should get an accuracy penalty if a flashlight is pointed at their head.

Alex72 added a subscriber: Alex72.May 7 2016, 2:31 PM

More focused and brighter indeed. It feels like the battery is bad on an old flashlight atm (looking at the flashlight you see yellow light instead of white). Check google for weapon mounted flashlight and you see they are more focused (smaller light area) and brighter.

At least give it a bit more power and a little more focused.

gutsnav added a subscriber: gutsnav.May 7 2016, 2:31 PM

The Arma 3 Tactical light is about as useful as a penlight. Good for seeing stuff on the floor or something 7m away.

Penlight is much better than it is in Arma III right now, the kind of flashlight we see in Arma 3 is WWII flashlight, so they should fix this!

T-Bone added a comment.Mar 2 2014, 9:31 AM

coltti, by the way, I stumbled on this issue when I was trying to create Spy vs Mercenary type mission from Splinter Cell :)

I'll have to agree with T-Bone, while flashlights will get spotted in battlefield in seconds, they can be very usefull for other tasks e.g. searching a secured area/building for traps and/or IEDs or other hard to spot objects (papers etc) or, in an emergency, signalling friendlies or blinding enemies wearing NVGs. Also as bez said they should add underwater or dual purpose flashlights as diving without any light is very hard at the best of times.

Tactical flashlight with LED like surefire are much brighter. The lights in game are equivalent to a mag light. I have a surefire fury that outputs 1000 lumens. Anybody who says flashlights have no place on the battlefield have never been to battle.

Ditto. As I mentioned on another duplicate bug, I can easily see greater than 100 feet down my rural dirt road within pitch dark/black night with no moonlight using an LED flashlight. I can easily distinguish objects up to 100 feet, and can eventually see objects between 100-200 feet.

Using an incandescent flashlight, viewing distance is diminished, but not to the extent ARMA 3 currently simulates for flashlight viewing distance! I figure I can easily see up to 100 feet using an incandescent flashlight, but with ARMA 3's simulated viewing distance, viewing distance is simulated up to only 25 feet using ARMA 3's flashlight!

rogerx, change weather to storm and rain (set the forecast bar to the full), make it 1:00 AM and then check how,you see things now!

Flashlights & flares both seem too dim. Perhaps strong light sources at night might be a frame rate killer??? I'm totally guessing here, but the developers might have dimmed down strong light sources to increase game performance. If they did . . . I would prefer some method to optimize performance rather than dim the light sources.

T-Bone: If you're stating flashlights are much brighter after changing the weather, or changing to full overcast or full cloudy skies, then this might be an additional cause of the flashlights being too dim. Remember though, walk off approximately 200 feet sometime, as this 200 feet is the approximate illuminated distance of my LED flashlight.

Also, there was an apparent bug within previous versions with light sources at night only becoming bright during the middle of the night. This later bug seems to have been solved within later versions? (Think the general cause of dim light sources at night was due to dusk & dawn hours finally being shortened. Somebody though dusk or sunsets lasted until midnight, and dawn or sunrise started at 03:00. ;-)

However, if flashlights are still being effected by cloudy versus clear skies, something still isn't right in my opinion.

There's an open (separate) bug for dim flares.
Bug #18397, "Flares are useless (launcher)"
I would still consider these separate bugs, unless the developers can prove after increasing flare illuminated distance, also brings the flight light illuminated distance to realistic levels. From memory, flashlights were always weak within all past versions! In contrar, flares and chem lights worked extremely bright within a few past versions.

if you think for some reason that the flashlight shouldn't be brighter, than watch this video:

and you will immediately see how pathetically weak the flashlights are in comparison to a modern flashlight.

I do not think anybody, or very very few, are disagreeing by stating anything concerning, "Flashlights within the simulation should not be brighter."

Although the video helps, I didn't see any sort of measurements for distance aside using basic visual indicators.

The votes seem to also indicate this. The five votes against are likely only stating flashlights are pointless, as most simply use night vision. And since us consumers are spending $40-80 on the game including additional hardware, we're going to get grumpy if we are not able to use night vision, or all the weapons ARMA 3 has to offer within multi-player games. So likely this bugs as been set on the back burner, in favor of using night vision. As such, we should just dump all the other wonderful night time visual colors in favor of green night vision! ;-)

just thought it provided a good visual.
and a few people were kind of torn (like twistking)

Protip: flashlights are used to be pointed directly at the enemy to disorient him at night, they're not meant to be used as navigation lights.
Best practice is to avoid visible light at all or use filtered low intensity leds (like the ones mounted on the side of the helmet), even if you use NVGs (nobody says the enemy doesn't have them as well).

However, because of what i just wrote, i agree with giving flashlights more powerful illumination.

Many online multiplayer co-op missions do have enemy having night vision goggles. (You can verify by going up to their body and checking their inventory.) And I think there was fix within one of the many patches within the past year, enabling enemy to use night vision.

As far as disorientation with the current brightness levels, I suspect it would be quite minimal and only within five feet or so! ;-)

Arma AI is well known not to be easily intimidated anyway, even shooting at them won't work most of the times, i doubt a flashlight could do that. :D
Anyway it's still something more you have if you like to play PvP (i don't) so there's no reason for it not to be powerful enough to disorient another human player.

Within the latest ARMA 3 update, supposedly there are some flashlight adjustments. Can anybody confirm the range of the flashlights being increased?

From my eye, flashlights do look to increase the ambient lighting when shining from atop of a building rooftop and illuminating the ground below. From shining from ground level, I can see my flashlight having a range of about 26 meters before object becomes indistinguishable from darkness.

rogerx added a comment.Nov 7 2014, 4:31 AM

Has this bug been fixed or worked on at all yet?

rogerx, no, it was reviewed since 2013-06-08

Ah! Topic seems a bit noisier & better!

Changed topic from "Flashlight is too dim" to "Flashlight is too dim, unfocused, never blinds you, ..."

With all the night vision goggle lovers and 24/7 realism gamers out there, many more should now take heed!

What happened to the Lens Flare in ArmA 3? They had it in images...

Removed in Alpha, also every light in the game was dimmed down. It used to look sweet. Made a ticket for it here:

rogerx added a comment.Dec 8 2014, 7:31 PM

I'm also noticing within the current release, aircraft collision lights, other aircraft lights and runway lights cannot be seen at all during dusk or cloudy skies! (It might be we're getting close to some of these remaining lighting bugs to be tackled.)

But on the flip, night sky darkness looks really realistic now as well as other ambient light levels.

2014.12.08: Kudos for the description answering who, what, why, and when. Grammar, we'll save that for another day or night! ;-)

proper flashlight: yes please.

battlefield3/4 flashlight: NO PLEASE NO

on a sidenote, I´d like a light-mode-switch if you bring in proper flashlights :D

"modifier-key + L" switches flashlight to full mode (white light, much light, much exposure) and combat-/stealth-/whatever mode (filtered lens, only illuminates very close by; very low exposure... basicly just to see infront of your feet)

Since this bug (and as well as other bugs) have been open for so long, I would even be happy to just settling on exporting the variable setting for the brightness of these light emitting objects from the engine (or compiled code base) and making available to the scripting engine.

With this solution, user end-user custom modifications (or AKA modders) can be made or utilized, as well as further customizations!

This is such an old bug (as well as others), and likely delayed or will never be fixed due to the time required to provide a finished feature, such as key usage or satisfying overall quality assurance!


  1. Provide a brightness variable to the scripting engine for the individual brightness of flashlights, rifle flares, mortar flares. (This would allow bugs to be fixed by server administrators, as well as allow custom flash light mod+L keys as described above.)
  1. Provide a color variable, so flashlights can emit difference color lights.
  1. Optionally, provide a flashing intermittent variable, as well as length and delay. (ie. 1=flash or blink, seconds to flash on, and seconds gap for the designated off time.)
  1. Post the variable availability to the next Change Log, and mark closed.

As far as the flash light blinding other players, it maybe due to the flashlight being overly dim to begin with?

The mounted weapon light is indeed far too weak, and limits scenario flexibility. Night time scenarios is either NVG or go home.

Modern weapon lights far brighter.

Pretty much a Hatchback Sport headlight mounted on the gun.

Is the reason why this is not fixed more related to the 'light goes through walls' issue? If so then that does make sense, but this should be made clear to us.

MDCCLXXVI, thanks for a good video, added it to the ticket :)

In my experience, night vision is not always used obviously due to cost.

I more so enjoy using the flashlights and chem lights, so as to provide a more realistic experience. I tend to also prefer flying not using night vision on moonlit nights. The only time I use night vision while flying is on new moon or cloudy/foggy nights, and when manually scouting targets.

But with that stated, flashlights (and flares) are basically useless within this game. (Bug #18397 Flares are useless) I think these two bugs should have been a top priority for the upcoming Marksmen release. I have a gut feeling though, these major bugs will never be fixed and will be put on the back burner with priority given to DLC content. (ie. If they were fixed, they would have been logged and closed via the change log of the developer snapshots.)

Remember, we also have all vehicles using what looks like low-beams, so driving at night at high speeds using only the low-beam headlights is not possible, or possible if don't care. Also, aircraft collision lights (and possibly) aircraft main lights, are very faint during daytime or cannot be seen at all during daytime!

I also have a gut feeling if they fix these, they'll then screw-up the now wonderful night time ambient brightness into being too bright again. (sigh...)

rogerx, They shouldn't screw with brightness of the game at all, only flash lights, as it's a ticket with the problem related to flash lights.

  1. What we are asking them to begin with is to implement a light source for flash lights (and basically everything what does emit a light: flares, car lights, helicopter/plane lights, street lights etc.) so they will not light though any objects / obstacles.
  1. Increase brightness and distance of a light source for flash lights (and fine tune it's focus)
  1. Make NVGs being sensitive to a direct light or any light source!

I think they probably made DLC's first to get your cash, otherwise paying for employees wouldn't be profitable for BIS. And the quality of work on the programming side in this game is ridiculous. However, the design work is done very good, I would like to give a credit to designers, modellers!
The only problem everyone is suffering from is a poor engine which is so poorly programmed, or maybe it used to work well before, only it needs a proper overwork.

BIS here is the tip for you: Hire some Russian, Korean, Indian, Chinese or Japanese programmers who should also have a good experience with developing games :D

Orcinus added a subscriber: Orcinus.May 7 2016, 2:31 PM

There still seems to be a bug from A2/CO in that any AI unit with a flashlight turns it on by default. They should only be used in confined spaces even if the unit has no NVGs; as pointed out above, it's like waving a "shoot me" banner over one's head. Making the flashlights brighter without changing this idiotic default only worsens the problem.

And your point is?

Stilton added a subscriber: Stilton.May 7 2016, 2:31 PM

His point was very succinctly stated in the 3 sentences he wrote.

"If flashlight brightness is fixed/increased, AI behaviour should not be defaulted to using them in open fields."

Not hard to mis-understand/miss his point, unless you're trying.

Sadly 2/3 are the real 'game breakers' for me anyway.

  1. Light through walls
  2. Light not blinding NVGs.

Dynamic Lights should never 'clip through stuff' and i don't see how it's still happening in the third iteration of this game/engine. But it seems to go back to operation flashpoint, so ill just move on because that seems like its never going away... and if it was fixable, i assume they'd have done it.
It ruins any sort of night missions where you aren't reliant on NVGs, breaks immersion and just looks awful.

People are slagging Battlefield, but at least there the combination of flashlights / NVG's added a sort of 'meta' gameplay involving getting blinded and using the appropriate countermeasure...

Arma: use NVGs or thermals. Countered by.. nothing.


  • Use smoke and Thermals.. (see people through the smoke with your thermals)

Countered by: Lasers would blind / counter the thermals

  • Use nvgs / ir lasers.

Countered by: Flashlights could blind/counter the nvgs.

Please just say 'dont make it hollywood' and people will understand, but to say 'dont make it Battlefield', when Battlefield currently does it better, is stupid. I'm trying not to insult any individuals, i understand people are quick to jump on a 'hate bandwagon' -- But, If Battlefield actually has working features that provide an extra layer of gameplay, why would you try to crap on it for that?

PiepMGI added a subscriber: PiepMGI.May 7 2016, 2:31 PM

Consider Adam is always right. Topic is closed, closed, closed, resolved, and reviewed.
Adam got a whole lot of nerve to duplicate this topic with the little improvement in brightness.
But I guess, it's good for BI stats to stick "resolved" each time you can find a tiny link with another subject. How many fake solutions?

"Not hard to mis-understand/miss his point, unless you're trying."

Completely missed me again!

Bug #0023715 was a duplicate, while only having eight votes. Per their policy, Bug #0023715 was closed and all subscribers were likely notified to repost their votes here and/or monitor this bug instead.

It says reviewed not resolved, as far as i understand, that means the problem has been looked at, reviewed and taken into considertion. Not fixed, not abandoned?

@ RogerX:
That was the first time i've replied to you i believe... Ever. So i dont know where 'again' comes from.

If i misinterpreted you, its because what you wrote isn't what you were trying to say?
Unless you specify you are talking to someone 6 posts back about duplicates, how is anyone supposed to 'read between the lines' on a 4 word reply.

If you were trying to say something different... Maybe you should have wrote that instead / been more clear :) Perhaps its a language barrier thing.

Stilton: It's meant to be a joke Stilton.

..oh? Are you sure? :)

Well good luck with that.
Must be a language barrier thing then..

@ Stilton,
Ah, language barrier make us so dumb!
For example "reviewed" means for a French guy like me: "examined". But it's past!
And, as far as there is no more person assigned on a reviewed topic, we can have some doubts on what it will occur... or not!
Sure, it's not closed, but a good sign could be "assigned" for this problem, or at least, reviewed (a guy) as for some topics.

As you could see, there is absolutely no answer from BI developers!
You know something like "see that in further version" or "changed for a feature request"... NOTHING!

I beg your pardon, Sir, if a write in a poor English.

Hence, "Reviewed and forgotten."

(I need a hug.)

Looking at the other ambient lighting issues:

Bug #0018397 "Flares are useless (launcher)"; Assigned to DarkDruid
Bug #0012717 "Night Sky is too boring'; Assigned to Gugla
Bug #0008082 "Night time (darkness) visual problem with [DEV] build..."; Assigned to Gugla

I would guess reassigning this bug to Gugla might be a good idea. Gugla looks to have done a fabulous job of pulling differing opinions concerning the "Night time Darkness visual problem" bug, and mediating toward realism. However, I would presume the reason this bug hasn't been assigned to him, the flashlight and flare ambient light bugs are within source code functions/modules Gugla isn't normally assigned to. On the flip, I think Gugla likely has a better idea how the lighting should look when you look at the results of the bug he fixed. Shrugs.

Another idea when a bug occurs withing bug processing, open another bug concerning the explicit fact that this bug is now unassigned. Do not open a duplicate bug as it will likely only be merrily closed again, but address the issue directly. (ie. Bug #9319 is now Unassigned) Doing so will likely cause somebody to take notice of the actual issue.

I guess part of the problem with this bug/ticket is the fact that it's not a singular issue being reported...

It's several issues reported as one bug.

I see the reason behind 'rolling all the issues' into one ticket, but at the same time, people may not agree with all the points.. Or certain issues being raised may require different developers.

Some issues being raised may be harder to fix/implement than others. [f.e, simply editing the radius of flare illumination would be easier than fixing the issue of dynamic light sources clipping 'around' buildings, since that issue goes back to the first version of the game [ofp] ]

Stilton, this ticket initially was submitted 2013-06-08 12:10, and was related to flashlight brightness / light distance issue only (rogerx can back me up on that), however developers set this as reviewed and forgot, I only added up other problems half a year ago, as issue will get partially fixed somewhere, I will update this ticket and notify about progress of overall issue being fixed somewhere.
It's better to create one reviewed ticket than many reviewed tickets which are stuck with this status for the lifetime. I see no reason for creating a mess of many tickets...

Shrugs, the issue seems as clear as daylight to me.

About the only thing a flashlight will do for you within ARMA, is find your way about a dark room.