Page MenuHomeFeedback Tracker

AI don't keep up, and do not respond well to "move" or "get in" commands when in "danger" mode. (New movement command suggested)
Closed, ResolvedPublic


As the title says, the AI do not keep up with a human squad leader, and do not respond well at all to movement commands or "get in" commands when they are in danger mode. This has been a nagging issue at least since the first ARMA, and we really need it addressed. It makes the AI an annoying hindrance rather than an asset to be used and enjoyed by the player.

The AI need to put staying in formation with the squad leader above whatever their own "normal instructions" are telling them to do. If I, as squad leader, run across a valley and up a hill, and I have not given an order to do otherwise, my AI squadmates had better KEEP UP. They need to RUN. I should not get to my destination and then have to wait a minute or two for my squad to catch up. If I thought it was necessary to move slowly and carefully, I would have. The AI need to "trust the squad leader" and follow his lead.

When in combat or danger mode, the AI is much, much worse. When in this mode, nothing a squad leader does will cause the AI to MOVE. There are many times when you just want the AI to stop all else that they might be doing and MOVE. For example, let's say you want the squad to quickly move over the crest of a hill to put the hill in between themselves and incoming fire. Instead of quickly moving as commanded to do, they slowly bounding-overwatch-move their way, or flounder about, and get killed. All of them.

As squad leader we need some other type of move command. One that says "no AI, I don't want you to take all day to get there as you slowly go through a 'bounding overwatch' movement resulting in you all getting killed, I want you to DROP EVERYTHING AND MOVE!"

I suggest adding another type of move command. The squad leader should have two different "move" commands to choose from: "Move" and "Tactical Move". Tactical Move would function as our current move command does now, and the command would be given in the same way. The standard "Move" command would just be renamed to "Tactical Move". The new "Move" command, on the other hand, would break the AI out of whatever they are doing and cause them to MOVE VERY QUICKLY to the given destination. There would be no bounding overwatch, no hindrance to their movement at all, even if they take fire. They will treat the "Move" command as life or death, GET TO THIS LOCATION! Once they reach the destination, the AI can then resume their normal behavior as the situation or squad leader dictates.

Both move commands should be shown on the same menu, without requiring Left CTRL or Left Alt to be held to show it in the command menu. This makes it not only easier to use, but also easier for everyone to see it as an option. Simply choose either "Tactical Move" (the Move command we have now, just renamed) or "Move" and left click to issue the command. {F25430}


Legacy ID
AI Control / Commanding
Steps To Reproduce

Play ARMA with AI subordinates.

Event Timeline

naveenakshatra edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
naveenakshatra set Category to AI Control / Commanding.
naveenakshatra set Reproducibility to Always.
naveenakshatra set Severity to Major.
naveenakshatra set Resolution to Duplicate.
naveenakshatra set Legacy ID to 1715646373.May 7 2016, 8:07 PM

I think the idea that AI should trust the squad leader and follow his lead is more ideal than adding another command to make them move. The AI should follow the player and the players orders not whatever they're doing now.

The reason I suggested the additional move command is because there are times that you do want the AI to move in a careful, coordinated fashion. When moving through a hostile town, moving into unseen and potentially dangerous terrain, etc, the current move order works OK. For all other times, it does not. Having two separate move commands, one slower and careful (the way we have it now), and another to make them HAUL ASS to the destination no matter what else is going on would give a squad leader more flexibility. It would also enhance realism, as more realistic, timely, and fluid maneuvering would be possible.

Oh ok I understand a bit more clear now. That does sound like a good idea also.

fragnki added a subscriber: fragnki.May 7 2016, 8:07 PM
This comment was removed by fragnki.
Spycho added a subscriber: Spycho.May 7 2016, 8:07 PM
Spycho added a comment.Apr 1 2013, 8:49 AM

YES I HATE IT SO BAD!! I want my men to be careful theyre already not careful enough as it is... but sometimes i want them to just be behind me and now i think whats really needed is an extensive overhaul of the AI system to allow them to do both better but also 2 type of follow command is a great idea cus when you want them to be careful theyre always lining up in line behind you and when you want them to be in line behind you theyre off stairing at walls or behind a rock where ever it maybe it ends up leaving you by yourself in the middle of a hot zone

Spycho added a comment.Apr 1 2013, 9:34 AM

AI also dont respond well to Heal That command either ive had to ask twice and sometimes end up having the AI forget although his status will continue to say healing and 5 minutes later he rolls over and patches me up just out of the blue even when just sitting and waiting for him and hes bin next to me and theres times where ill try moving and theyll move with me and then still not heal me... ive dealt with hundreds Arma AI Squads... may 95% of them rest in peace cus they skiped basic.

I reckon by the full release of arma 3 if not a few months down the line of release the Ai should be on its way of being fixed, they cannot change major major things due to the campaign.

but none the less, ASR AI addons will most likely be released like arma 2 which did help a lot.

Sorry, just a small question not related to the issue itself: What does "reviewed" mean here in the bugtracker?

gotmikl added a subscriber: gotmikl.May 7 2016, 8:07 PM

There should be a 'move fast' option in addition to simply 'more there'. The command Regroup should definitely to have the AI keep up with the lead to the best of their abilities (machine gunners, the wounded will be slower). AI should automatically seek out the best cover available when they arrive at the designated destination, including trees or rocks, boulders etc. or going prone or taking a knee if that's the best available option. If they are given a move order and they start taking fire, they should take the best available cover right away. A "fall back" option would also help, where they would pop smoke and retreat and/or regroup. this will make anyone playing in SP, or even coop with AI, 10x more realistic and survivable. Huge thumbs up.

I was thinking about it and there is no need for two separate movement commands. AI has similar problem with executing any order, when in combat mode.

I propose to make player's orders surpass any current AI behaviour and force it to execute immediately. Only after the order was executed, the AI should return to its routines.

Also due to this AI slowness and delayed responses ordering the AI units to make various formations like Delta (ie: Diamond) is not working well. The AI units should keep up and continuously run together with their human leader who is issuing them orders. The current AI logic and behavior just totally defeats the purpose when you order the AI units to be in one of these formations and next thing you know when you crossed a small bridge for example all of them are still crawling on the far side of the bridge and didn't even make a move to cross the bridge yet while you are now stranded all by yourself on the other side of the bridge. As mentioned above in some posts for this issue it does take a long time for the AI units to get back to your location when you then issue a "regroup" command. Instead the AI must take immediate action once issued an order by the squad leader. Currently the AI units simply appear to ignore your formation commands. Also the AI should always regroup and make formations at the closest possible distance to the human squad leader and not spread out too far as they see fit. I have also seen AI make very crazy decisions like to run around a huge fence that stretches for "miles" in order to regroup with me. That alone could be a huge time-waster during a mission or even get us all killed. The behavior of the AI would be much more tactical and efficient if they only use shortest path logic to regroup with their human squad leader.

Or how about a "Follow My Lead" command? That combines a "copy my stance" with a "Don't use cover/bounding" setting? That way, in theory, if the player is rushing forward but is suddenly fired on and dives to the ground, the AI would copy the stance change and not be mowed down.

I think AI performance issues like this are really important to sort out, even though it might seem like minor issues. This is a simulation, so the difference between failure and success can be a single enemy bullet. But the downside to that is that there is much less tolerance in the game for the AI to do stupid things. You *need* the blufor AI to work with you, because the game is so realistic, which means these little AI mistakes cause big problems in missions. Basically, the realism can't be higher than the AI's capabilities to deal with it and that's pretty much what many of these AI issues are about.

I also tried the following to remedy this situation with the AI movement around the grid but again they are exhibiting the wrong delayed response. I tried to select all AI units and switch the "danger", "stealth", "aware", "safe" modes. I thought maybe they are stuck in the "danger" mode somehow. So when I forced them into "aware" and even "safe" modes which is supposed to make them more relaxed they are still following me very slowly or not at all once I enter any area that contains enemy units.

I believe this clearly shows that by default the non-human-triggered automated AI logic sets all the friendly AI units into danger mode once they "see" that there are enemies in the area and this behavior overrides custom commands issued by the human squad leader. This is clearly a severe bug in AI behavior logic that needs to be addressed. Human squad leader commands must take precedence over any default AI logic.

I agree they need 2 separate Move commands.

Edit: Another reason you don't want AI running wildly all the time, is if you've got squad members doing things halfway across the map. If you give them a move command, it's better they move slower so you have time to react and issue orders when they spot enemies.

latest dev build AI seem crawly

agreed...latest dev build they are crawly. We were in the clear, as in it was announced "all clear" and my team wouldn't leave a prone position to follow me.

added a repro mission for the crawling.

place in documents - arma 3 - missions folder - then load in editor

AI should move the same on stealth and combat when no enemies are present
maybe the stealth should be a TAD slower but not much more than combat mode.

when engaging then you can make them crawl and kneel and run and dance but not when you need to move 800m or something like that behind enemy lines lol

If they're refusing to follow a stance order in any mode it sounds like new bug. Your other ticket should sort that out if that's the case.

As far as movement speed. The AI shouldn't cheat, but only 'know' an enemy is near if they 'see' them. Given that's the case I would hope they would move more carefully, and slowly, in stealth mode. There's nothing stopping you from setting them to "aware" if you want them to move normally, or set more waypoints in the editor.

With combat mode I don't care what they do, as everything is so random that it usually doesn't matter how hard the AI tries to be careful in a firefight. In fact it seems to me like combat mode does more harm than good a lot (if not most) of the time. Which is what this ticket is trying to solve.

AI doesn't even respond to "Watch direction" properly, they may even look south if you ask them to look north...

Vichard added a subscriber: Vichard.May 7 2016, 8:07 PM

+1 AI squad mates have always been a pain in the arse, sick of running across the map only to wait and use time compression until they catch up

There is huge difference when you tell single AI to move somewhere and when you simultaneously order it group of two or more soldiers, because they will actually form group and try to move in formation or bounding fashion. Also "hold fire" command helps them to make it quick. They will abort "hold fire" command when immediate threat pops up so it is also quite safe to do so. I don't say it's easy to master them, but hey, practice and you will get better :)

No offence, but I am always able to make AI do what I want guys or at least I don't have any of problem you are reffering here. It's discutable whether the interface is perfect but as I say, good control over behaviour of AI is achievable.

@Spycho: For example order medic to hold fire, order only him to come to you, and then tell him to heal you. He will do it pretty quick. The reason why it takes him so long is because he is trying to get to you while keeping formation with others and while engaging targets that are threat for him.

Mode (combat, aware, stealth, safe) itself doesn't tell them stance they should be in, you can force their stance althougth.

@tyl3r99: According what wiki says, they should not move the same in STEALTH and DANGER, not even when contacts are not known. When stealth, they behave more paranoid and it greatly works against snipers.

And yes they are stuck in danger mode unless you clear all spotted contacts or unless you get out of range. That's documented feature.

giova added a subscriber: giova.May 7 2016, 8:07 PM
giova added a comment.Oct 21 2013, 2:43 AM

in fact, it looks like the problem is not due to DANGER mode. I think it is due to 2 factors :

  1. CPU cycling : more AI there is, more time they'll make to respond to orders.
  2. Hold Fire : they are supposed to fire only if they are enguaged, but it simply DO NOT WORKS, they fire on ennemies that didn't saw them.

I mean Danger mode + hold fire should do the trick : then run if nobody shoot them.

I tried to build a mission where all AI were supposed to rush to a position. ( i tried all COMBAT and BEHAVIOR modes, tried to force them with DoMove + CommandMove + allowfleeing 0 , i also tried to help them with smokes. Result is : they stay prone and fire during ages.

Indeed AI units get stuck and unresponsive. It may be related to some animation bug, or pathfinding or something else. We definetely need some solution here.


  1. CPU cycling is not a key factor. It's possible to get AI units unresponsive even with a few AI units and high FPS;
  1. I've never seen a single case in which a single AI unit opened fire without being seen, care to repro? Also units are not supposed to open fire when *engaged*, but rather when *detected*.

Finally, you may get units to rush to some position while in danger mode, but that requires some scripting which ends up making them more vulnerable.

As far as i have noticed it is while in the cover/overwatch drill which makes AI unresponsive (which only triggers under danger). I had some *satisfactory* results by disabling it via formationFSM (allowing me to more arbitrarily give move orders to AI)**. In any case this could only be seen as a workaround, the engine should definitely provide both a scripting and a player accessible command menu order to bypass current self assigned AI moves and orders (see currentCommand) even when its in danger.

**(this is a hint a for you to explore fabrizioT and your bCombat mod)

Edit: Please take a look at
0015297: Ability to dynamicaly set searchPath parameter values (via scripting or command menu) (

Roach added a subscriber: Roach.May 7 2016, 8:07 PM
Roach added a comment.Jan 17 2015, 5:57 AM

2 years and the problem is still gamebreaking in many situations because of this.

Bohemia added a subscriber: Bohemia.May 7 2016, 8:07 PM

I think BIS are ignoring this issues, or need more man to fix it