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Flares are useless (launcher)
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Okay, so basically, in the Alpha, flares were amazing. They would light up the whole battlefield, whereas now, it's just a bright ball in the night. They are not bright enough. Got my point?

CONCLUSION (thanks to rogerx) : flares are not providing enough, if any, ambient lighting upon the ground or upon objects within the area.
{F23694} {F23695} {F23696} {F23697} {F23698} {F23699} {F23700}


Legacy ID
Steps To Reproduce

1 - Get in the editor
2 - Set it to 3 a.m
3 - Fire a flare with your grenade launcher.

Additional Information

The flare of the first screenshot was created using Zeus.

Event Timeline

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

Flares are useful with night vision + you shoot into enemy group. Without night vision they are useless.

Yup. Shooting flares into groupings sometimes helps signal to others where the enemy are. But most times the gamers think it's just friendlies lighting up a cigarette! :-/

As of the latest update which included some supposed fixes for flares and flashlights, flares are still useless for ground illumination. Albeit, flares appear a little prettier then when I last recalled using them. (ie. Enhanced smoke trails?)

As of now, the dark landscape or ambient lighting has a very faint hint of increased lighting. This very faint additional lighting appears to get very faintly brighter as the flare approaches the ground. Increased lighting is almost not noticeable, and apparently still pretty much useless unless the flare is fired into the ground.

Thanks for all the comments guys, but this issue is "reviewed", so I guess the devs like the way the flares are. I still remember the showcase "Night", where a flare would be fired when the player was detected... Hard times finding a cover in an open field :D Now it's just a hint for the player that he has been detected... Not helping the AI at all :/

That would sincerely upset me if this is what truly "reviewed" means.

Flares were first initially wonderfully bright within ARMA 3 ALPHA. Now they're only a glimmer of what they should be.

Chem lights are also now significantly less bright then they once were, and all types of lights tend to pop-in and pop-out at seemingly random intervals with viewing distance set at adequate levels.

Also - you can shoot someone in the face with a flare and nothing happens.

Well, unfortunately Rogerx, there's "need more info", "assigned", "resolved", "acknowledged", "feedback" and "reviewed"... Guess the one that interested us was "acknowledged", "assigned" or "resolved"...

Kazanzakis, it is indeed an issue but it would be easier / clearer for everyone if you created a thread about this issue ;-)

Yup. Seems like an internal struggle alongside with night sky brightness issues. (Some people think the sky should be baby blue, some think the night sky should be pink, etc...)

There were just some night flare usage televised by the news, demonstrating the Israeli forces in the past day using flares which vividly showed their high lumen value.

Additional: I just uploaded a demonstration of a flare. Unknown type of flare used within the E52951F2-5795-4995-92BE-D81E96CCD48E_cx0_cy7_cw0_mw1024_s_n.jpg image file. (Looks like a good one to two miles, or two to three kilometers until the brightness or lumes declines.) Also, it shouldn't be too hard for the programmers to link in the flinching reaction when AI (or players) are hit with a flare. And since it is a bright light (similar to flash bangs), should temporarily blind the player along with the night vision?

zealot added a comment.Aug 5 2014, 3:42 PM

Could BIS representatives inform us when they are going to fix this problem? I am sure this bug can be easily fixed, as soon as this functinality was OK just several month ago.

Edqar added a subscriber: Edqar.May 7 2016, 6:24 PM
Edqar added a comment.Aug 18 2014, 9:09 AM

Flares are now almost useless, they lasts only seconds. I remember from military forces that flares have "parachute" to extend the light!!

Real flares are like a new sun in the sky. Blindingly bright. That's why they're called "Star Shells".

insum added a subscriber: insum.May 7 2016, 6:24 PM
insum added a comment.Nov 6 2014, 3:13 AM

Flares still arent working as of 6th Nov 14. Please fix.

rogerx added a comment.Nov 6 2014, 3:24 AM

I completely agree flares are still not working!

I usually do not keep prodding an issue, but this issue or bug is obviously negating game play when the scenario is set to night time!

Chem lights also only last several minutes (ie. at most five minutes), when they should last from 30 minutes up to 12 hours.

Yup, can confirm that flares still don't illuminate anything unless they're fired directly at the ground.

Kilian added a comment.Nov 6 2014, 7:03 PM

Could we get at the very least an explanation of why the amount of light provided by flares was reduced (from Alpha to current build)? And why this issue is set as reviewed?

Peter added a subscriber: Peter.May 7 2016, 6:24 PM
Peter added a comment.Nov 6 2014, 7:46 PM

All the ilumination on game suffer a drawback at some point on the Alpha and I still dont know why.

rogerx added a comment.Nov 7 2014, 4:30 AM

See my second post made on this bug for the history of bugs related to this bug.

Bug #8082, "Night time (darkness) visual problem with [DEV] build..."

I personally think everything looks really close to reality now, except for this one bug as well as flashlight being too dim. (ie. Bug #9319 "Flashlight is too dim")

The flares are now completely useless. It's so bad that I would rather use a chemlight than a flare.

rogerx added a comment.Nov 8 2014, 4:00 PM

Why not a flashlight? ;-) By the way, nice video at the beginning - showing how wonderful flares used to work.

I'm wondering at this point if the developers did not create an individual brightness setting for flares (and flashlights), and the flare brightness is merrily a global variable statically linked into ambient night brightness. If so, I would strongly favor keeping the night brightness at it's current setting and coding the additional necessary separate variable for controlling flare brightness. Maybe this is why it is taking so long to fix such a trivial bug!

If I'm not mistaken, flares launched by mortar are exponentially brighter than those by rifle. As already mentioned elsewhere, we should also have handgun flares and flares sticks. Again, they should all have individual brightness level settings as well as colors.

Just tested the 40mm, 82mm and the Zeus GM flares in the current stable branch,
none of them illuminate the area, they're barely noticeable.

Well, again, this issue is considered to be "reviewed", which basically means that BIS does not consider this thread as an issue. Well, that's what I understand when I see "reviewed".

Upvoted. I tried to use the mortar with light-charge. Flare is useless/

Perhaps the players very rarely use flare in the game, because the game has night vision. Probably for this reason, nobody is in a hurry to fix it.

Well, what about FIA fighters? What about people who despise NVGs (me included)? Our only options are to either increase the gamma or to use flashlights. Both of them are workarounds (you can't really do anything with a flashlight, except perhaps CQB = You can't rely on only flashlights for night fights, you need something else : flares).

Totally agree with you. This issue requires the attention of developers.

If I'm not mistaken, even with night vision, flares can provide additional illumination instead of just relying on moon light.

Peter added a comment.Nov 14 2014, 7:11 AM

This need to be fixed or at least a given explanation about this change since early Alpha. Lighting was so nice an useful before and if even today is not bad its worst than before.

Peter: Your question as to why there was a change, was likely answered within one of my most recent past posts within this bug/issue/feature. I also speculated why this bug might be difficult to fix, but since we do not have access to the source code, we cannot be sure or even really begin to speculate.

Sad that BI didn't change this with the heli dlc, hope they are doing it one day

It shouldn't be difficult to fix since this was already working in older Arma 3 versions.

galzohar: How do you get an idea that it is an easy fix, if you read my past explanations of citing Bug 0008082, "Night time (darkness) visual problem with [DEV] build..."?

Because in software it's much easier to make something that used to work work again than to make something that never worked work. You can check the difference between the working and non-working version, rather than have to start blank and implement a totally new solution. It's a big difference in effort required.

I'm not quite sure about that statement galzohar, we've had Arma 3 updates that added totally new features but messed ones not concerned at all about the update. Arma 3 is (well it seems to be at the very least) extremely difficult. (comment (0083889))

I completely agree with Kilian and again cite Bug #8082, "Night time (darkness) visual problem with [DEV] build...". For a long time, there were no dark skies at night, while flares and chem lights were wonderfully lighting up the area.

Now, ambient night time brightness is just starting to look really realistic. But there are still a few remaining minor bugs with light levels during night such as this one with dim flares, dim flashlights and dim headlights on vehicles.

My guess is, flare brightness levels are statically linked into night time darkness level which is a big no no in computer programming! ;-) (And likely flash light brightness and vehicle head light brightness as well!) But I could be completely wrong.

ugggh why hasn't this been fixed yet. this triviality is single-handedly ruining one of the most atmospheric aspects of the game

Yes, I completely agree with you Naizarak.
Actually, t shouldn't be difficult to fix, because Blastcore flares work fine. I even suspect them of using the Alpha flares. If they managed to fix it, it shouldn't be a problem for BIS. Again, as the status of this ticket is "reviewed", I doubt that BIS will ever fix it.

Hello. We're still here wanting to make use of our flare guns!

Night time ambient lighting was fixed long ago, and now just waiting for this one little issue which completely prevents making any use of flares.

Has this seriously been written off?

Mortar flares still do nothing and need fixing.

rogerx added a comment.Mar 2 2015, 7:42 PM

Look at the bright side, the mortar flares sure make pretty colors in the night sky! Fireworks for effect anybody? ;-)

Shields added a subscriber: Shields.May 7 2016, 6:24 PM

Agreed, flares are very rarely used due to their inefficiency at the moment.

This definitely needs to be looked at. Many times the use of flares could add great atmosphere and interest to missions but their total lack of practical value ends up keeping me from using them.

Recently I began playing with blastcore, which has excellent flares, and it is so nice to be able to use a gameplay element as you would expect to be able to. Opens up so many great possibilities and helps get away from the obligatory use of night vision in low light situations.

Please Bohemia, take a second look at this.

The only reason why I can see them using dim flares is for night vision use. They should really have IR flares for that an then brighten up regular flares.

rogerx added a comment.Apr 2 2015, 4:03 AM

Funny. The following notes within the Change Log seem to dictate that the following issue is more important than this bug here as well as Bug #9319: Flashlight is too dim.

2015.04.01 Development Log entry:
"Tweaked: Further adjustment of the sounds for Balloons"

As I follow the log, seems this is either the second or possibly the third time the balloon sounds has been adjusted. I'm sure a lot of people can more easily and quickly submit their own balloon sounds!

pops added a subscriber: pops.May 7 2016, 6:24 PM
pops added a comment.Apr 2 2015, 5:27 PM

Different developers work on different things.

zealot added a comment.Apr 2 2015, 9:47 PM

Our gaming community plays with following settings in our mod for flares.
This allows much more brighter flares which look as good as arma2 flares.

class FlareCore;
class FlareBase: FlareCore

		intensity = 500000;

class Flare_82mm_AMOS_White: FlareCore

		intensity = 1000000;


rogerx added a comment.Apr 3 2015, 6:07 AM

pops: I'm aware of that, but I just could not resist pouncing on the idea of having the community create their own balloon sounds!

zealot: I was recently playing with flare settings, but failed at scripting something similar. I'll give that a try within my own map scenarios!

I tried the above, but I saw no difference when using GL flares.

zealot added a comment.Apr 3 2015, 6:59 AM

rogerx: These code should be used in separate addon. Classes cann't be changed in description.ext

rogerx added a comment.Apr 4 2015, 3:36 AM

Let me guess, an "addon" is somewhat a misnomer.

What needs to be done for implementing the above, is to define the above class within a *.hpp file (similar to a header file, but only redefining a type), and then it is later "#included" (within a script) and essentially is used for redefining a type of ammunition or replacing a type of ammunition.

I like how there's a lot of information on scripting, but dislike the fact that writing scripts (etc) still requires an internal developer to pull all the pieces together as the documentation either lacks clear examples at times, or doesn't clearly define the technique or clearly provide instructions. Anyways, enough of my ranting and I'm thankful for what documentation there is, and far better than other software projects.

So, any URLS pointing to quick examples (or any quick example) for implementing the above classes within my Editor? (I'd like to verify the intensity.)

zealot added a comment.Apr 5 2015, 4:15 PM

rogerx, look at the example config.cpp:
It contains some other additional changes, just delete all unneeded.
You need PBOManager or like tool to pack WMT_ATFIxes directory to addon.

rogerx added a comment.Apr 6 2015, 3:24 PM

Thanks. Looking it over.

Terox added a subscriber: Terox.May 7 2016, 6:24 PM
Terox added a comment.Jul 8 2015, 2:22 PM

God is this still not fixed, this should be a really easy config value rewrite. Come on B.I

rogerx added a comment.Jul 9 2015, 5:11 AM

Ditto what Terox stated.

Compared to my very conservative clothing, even my clothing has more flare than this game!

It will be a massive immersion and gameplay boost and lovely eye candy with Arma 3's amazing lighting system. It's a shame they can serve only as signal flares.

Terox added a comment.Aug 5 2015, 4:33 PM

A member of our community created a clientside addon which rewrites the config values for the flares.
So you can get some use of the flares until B.I sort their act out, I have uploaded a zip file containing
The signed addon and the server bikey.
(It's listed at the bottom of the attachment window)
Or you can download it directly from our website

Enjoy !!!

Kilian added a comment.Aug 6 2015, 2:46 PM

Thanks a lot Terox, trying that right now !

R3vo added a subscriber: R3vo.May 7 2016, 6:24 PM
R3vo added a comment.Aug 9 2015, 8:50 PM

Definitely time BIS works on that. Flares are pretty much useless.


It works. But i think the "timeToLive" option is a little to long.

class CfgAmmo
class FlareCore;
class FlareBase;
class Flare_82mm_AMOS_White: FlareCore

		timeToLive = 60;
		brightness = 200;
		intensity  = 1000000;


That "timeToLive = 60" should be enough.

There is also another issue:
The first player is the artillery observer or an infantry troup nearly close to the target. The second one is the mortar gunner. The distance between the mortar gunner and the artillery observer or an infantry troup is for example 1400 meters. The artillery observer or the infantry troup aren't able to see any flares or illumination bullets on target. If the artillery obeserver or the infanrty troup is closer to the mortar for example 300 meters, then they are able to see the flares or illumination bullets on target.

If we do tests with a virtual artillery support (without human mortar gunner), then it works...

Halifax, that sounds like a completey different bug that warrants its own ticket.

rogerx added a comment.EditedJul 23 2016, 7:08 AM

I think we can close this bug now. This appears fixed within 1.62 version of Apex/Tonoa.

(And now I mildly state, WOW this is @#$@#$ AWESOME nighttime flare lighting! Just like in the photos attached to this bug!)

UPDATED 2016.07.23: This comment appears to be a mistake or apparently contains errors. Other subsequent testers commented they are still experiencing this bug, while I also made the above comments with Blast Core and other modifications enabled with version 1.62. I need to go back and retest without modifications enabled. (ie. vanilla build)

I just noticed the IR flares will launch as yellow flares, and as such a new bug?

Mind sharing your game version (Dev or main branch)? Because as of today, flares are still useless, just checked in the editor with grenade launched flares, mortars, Zeus ones. You might be talking about the flares in the coop mission 04 Heart of Darkness, if that's the case, I suspect that the config of the flares were modified for that very specific mission.

mickeymen added a comment.EditedJul 23 2016, 3:59 PM

I Agree with @Kilian. I think that Flares are still useless. My version of ARMA - Stable -1.62

No idea what rogerx is talking about, in 1.62 Tanoa release build, vanilla arma 3 flares are not illuminating anything.
It has 0 effect on illumination if there's a flare up or not.

See here:

rogerx added a comment.EditedJul 23 2016, 5:38 PM

Using the latest stable, 1.62.

I used the (Apex/Tanoa) AK with attached GL launcher, which uses single rounds of HE, flare and smoke grenades.

Using this recipe, the flares launched during 00:00 provided an excellent amount of illumination. However I just realized I do have some modifications enabled, such as BlastCore (Phoenix).

I guess I'll go return to vanilla and retest.

UPDATED 2016.07.23 02:11 UTC - Just checked without using modifications except for using official game content that this bug still exists. The modification apparently fixing this bug is called BlastCore Phoenix, "When stuff explodes ..." Funny thing is I've been using this modification for almost a year now and I never noticed the increased lighting levels of the flares until just after the release of APEX. Could be, I've been testing APEX RC/DEV for the past month and just forgot about the effects of my modifications due to the modifications likely not being used during RC/DEV testing.

Can you please edit your comments, otherwise this might get confusing with you stating you get an excellent amount of illumination with 1.62 while mentioning the usage of mods only at the very end of your comment.

Please check for loaded mods and ensure you have none loaded before testing and commenting any issues regarding A3.


Fennecus removed a subscriber: Fennecus.Jul 25 2016, 4:03 PM

Still no change with 1.82. I'm adding this post just to show the developers that this bug is still a significant pain for MILSIM practicioners.

mickeymen added a comment.EditedApr 25 2018, 8:53 PM

@GRIDEFORT I support you. In general, lighting in the game - all flashlights and headlights is are useless. It will not light beyond 5-8 meters

R3vo removed a subscriber: R3vo.May 2 2021, 1:30 PM

This ticket needs a revival, flares sucked for almost 10 years now!


Arma 3 Alpha:

Arma 3 current:

TRAGER added a subscriber: TRAGER.May 10 2023, 5:55 AM

hmm, wasn't there made a mistake in the intensity value while Arma 3 development?
current 2.13 dev branch, take a look at:
CfgLights → FlareLight → intensity=10000000
and compare with walue in
CfgAmmo → FlareBase → intensity=10000
CfgAmmo → Flare_82mm_AMOS_White → intensity=10000

The light with the 10000000 intensity value is more similar to the one that was on Arma 3 Alpha (if do not take into account the changes in lights after Arma 3 Apex)

I'm pretty sure that the intensity values in FlareLight, FlareBase and Flare_82mm_AMOS_White should be same
so if Iam correct we need do 2 changes in configuration
CfgAmmo → FlareBase → intensity=10000000
CfgAmmo → Flare_82mm_AMOS_White → intensity=10000000

honger added a subscriber: honger.May 10 2023, 9:04 AM

Flares are useless (launcher)

Not only Flares!

Any lighting in Arma3 is useless.

Look at street lighting at night. Look at the illumination of the full moon! Look at the lighting of chemical fires! You will see nothing but darkness! Any light will not illuminate anything, it will only look like a decoration.
It does not illuminate further than 1-2 meters! And the most amazing thing is that it worked better in Alpha/Betta stages than it works 10 years later!

Lighting in Arma3 needs a major overhaul! For this reason, many mods are being created that try to somehow improve the situation. Unfortunately, most mods work just as crookedly.

This still needs attention. Make flares bright again!

Here is what RHS does it:

class rhs_ammo_flare_m485: F_40mm_White
    intensity = 100000;

and vanilla config only has intensity defined in 2 classes, checked with

"'intensity' in (configProperties [_x, 'true', false] apply {toLower configName _x})" configClasses (configFile >> "CfgAmmo") apply {[configName _x, getNumber(_x >> "intensity")]}

So its a matter of adding another 0 to intensity value.

Further more, I tried deleting intensity to replicate alpha config and it actually worked:

class CfgAmmo {
    class FlareCore;
    class FlareBase:FlareCore {
        delete intensity;
    class Flare_82mm_AMOS_White:FlareCore {
        delete intensity;

this patch produced flares with same brightness as Alpha

Arty 82mm flares barely gave any light though because they still have brightness = 2 from OA times where this was bright enough while A3 40mm flares has brightness = 12; which is enough for current A3 lighting, it seems to be ignored in favor of intensity

Okay, after lots of testing, here is a patch that fixes all vanilla flare issues:

class CfgAmmo {
	class FlareCore;
	class FlareBase:FlareCore {
		intensity = 500000;
	class Flare_82mm_AMOS_White:FlareCore {
		intensity = 1000000;
		effectFlare = "FlareShell";

40mm flares inherit from FlareBase. From my tests 100k intensity (that RHS has) is nowhere close to OA or early A3 GL flare brightness, I tested 500k and it seems to be too bright it seems to be close to whatever original A3 had:
original A3:

500k intensity for 40mm flare (what I suggest to have):

250k intensity for 40mm flare (not enough, 100k is even less):

Flare_82mm_AMOS_White look good with 1 million intensity and closer to real mortar flares:

Reason why I added effectFlare = "FlareShell"; is because current effectFlare = "CounterMeasureFlare"; feels like a bad fit, flare appears like a cloud at first for a bit and then effect ends and its just a circle (visible on screenshot above). It looks much better with same effect as 40mm flare.

mrzorn added a subscriber: mrzorn.Fri, Apr 12, 9:18 AM