Arma 3 for Mac is no longer in development…

by | Mar 24, 2019 | Shooter

Arma 3 fans, we have bad news…

After months of developing an experimental Arma 3 Mac version, Bohemia Interactive has decided to stop working on it. This means no more updates moving forward, at least from the time being:

Each of these Experimental Port updates are quite demanding in terms of preparation and testing. […] So as our time and other resources are limited, we do need to consider the business side of things. With that in mind, we’re currently not yet planning a new port update.

Bohemia Interactive has always been transparent about their experimental ports, warning that development could indeed stop at any moment. Still, this is disappointing, especially after months of active development (including the addition of 64-bit support).

Bohemian insists they might consider supporting their experimental ports again in the future “when fewer updates for Arma 3 are to be expected”.

In the meantime, I suggest you direct your attention to one of the many excellent shooters that fully support macOS.

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Arma 3 on Mac: Everything you need to know

Set in authentic and vast settings, Arma 3 is the leading military simulator out there. This isn’t a Battlefield 2042 or Far Cry clone where taking down dozens of enemies is business as usual. This is a realistic military sandbox where every bullet counts and tactics and cover matter. That alone would put it among the best FPS games for Mac (if it’s ever officially released).

Arma 3 features a wide variety of single and multiplayer content, over 20 vehicles, 40 weapons, and limitless opportunities for content creation.

The game has received so far good reviews, especially from gamers, since its 2013 release:

Arma 3 Mac Metacritic

Mac support

Arma’s 3 Mac experimental port has been updated to version 1.82, which means you won’t be able to play with friends running the official Windows version of the game (version 1.90).

If you still want to play Arma 3 with your Windows friends, there is one workaround: download the legacy branch of Arma 3 version 1.82 to ensure that everyone is running the same version of the game.

Other than that, the Mac version does have several other limitations, such as limited mod support, no launcher, and more. You can find all there is to know on Bohemia’s Experimental Ports page.

Can you play Arma 3 on Mac

The macOS experimental port uses Virtual Programming’s wrapping technology. And according to Bohemia’s own internal tests:

You may experience up to 30% degraded performance in comparison to the Windows version.
I tested the game on my high-end 27-inch iMac a few weeks ago and was honestly disappointed by the game’s choppy performance:

  • iMac (5K, 27-inch, Late 2014): 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, AMD Radeon R9 M290X (2GB)

Using our FPS counter Count It, we tested the game using a 1280×800 resolution and Medium settings and the game ran at an average 46.3 FPS (frames per second).

That may not sound too bad on paper but the experience was extremely choppy, so much so there’s a chance our FPS counter wasn’t reading the real FPS. It felt more like 20 FPS (read: unplayable).

These are Arma 3’s Mac system requirements:

  • OS: Sierra 10.12.5
  • Processor: Quad-core processor (Intel Core i5 4570S, Intel Core i5 4570R)
  • Graphics: Metal 2.0 compliant GPU (NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M or better)
  • Video Memory: 1 GB
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Hard Drive: 21 GB

Arma games are infamous for being extremely demanding but this was decidedly too low.

Arma 3 Mac download

You can purchase Arma 3 for Mac on Steam. But unless you plan to play this game primarily on Windows, I would stay away from this game. Performance is too low and the future of the Mac version is in the air. Spending $39.99 to mainly play Arma 3 on Mac is too risky.

And if you’re desperately looking for a military shooter that officially supports macOS, you still have Call of Duty and Insurgency.

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  1. MichalM.Mac

    I worry. External team could also be Virtual Programming :-/

    • Mac Gamer Ric

      That Virtual Programming is behind it is VERY likely. Now, they did take care of Spec Ops and it wasn’t bad. Maybe they’re getting better… (I hope!)

      • Rakden

        Spec Ops played ok, and the old X3 ports by them were fine but TW2 and Dead Island on the exact same Mac Pro hardware will run near maximum settings under Windows while TW2 is unplayable even on low and Dead Island is nearly as bad.

        • Mac Gamer Ric

          Yep, I played Dead Island and didn’t like the performance much. That said, it wasn’t as bad as you say on a Mac Pro…. Strange.

    • ironhorse40

      Dont bash Virtual Programming they have have brought us some great games. Stronghold 3, Patrician, Victoria series. The games they release don’t don’t come out with demanding system requirements. every company is 100% perfect at porting games over to mac.

      • MichalM.Mac

        I don’t bash them for porting games like that.
        I have problem with:
        – badly performing GPU-demanding ports (Witcher 2, Dead Island)
        – their support (closing support ticket twice without response.)
        – lot of minor things (bugs, controller support, etc.)

        • Mac Gamer Ric

          Good reasons to bash them…. But I do think they are improving. Problem is, when you compare them with Aspyr or Feral, they can’t really look good…

  2. mikelyons

    This one is likely to be too hardcore for me as it is a simulation. Still, I am always happy to see well regarded high profile games come to the Mac. I don’t really mind how it gets there even though obviously I prefer native ports for best performance and compatibility over time. If what they come up with works well though it sure beats not having the title on Mac is how I feel about these.

    • Mac Gamer Ric

      Same here, but if Metal Gear Rising thought us anything, it’s that non native ports can be good enough for most of us!

      • mikelyons

        Yeah, that is a game I am happy to have heard good reports about. I want to play that at some point. It looks very fun.

  3. Nosferatu

    I tried Arma 3 just this weekend, since it was a free weekend.
    It ran in bootcamp with my new GTX 980, it ran pretty decent but still couldn’t max out everything. I didn’t buy it yet because it was still a bit much and there’s too many controls for an Apple wireless keyboard (really need to get the wired), but if it get’s cross-platform buy on Steam I probably would.

    Can someone explain me what native and non-native refers to in this context?

    • Mac Gamer Ric

      Hey there, it basically means that a native port is reworked from the ground up to create an OS X app.
      On the other hand, a non-native port means that the Windows app was simply put in a specific “package” to be recognized on Mac. It works too, but as the game itself remains a Windows app, it’s never as optimized as a native port.

      Hope I was clear, it’s not that easy to explain this!

      • Nosferatu

        It is clear, thanks!

  4. Josh Hatchett

    Never played Arma III…I’m down!

    • Mac Gamer Ric

      Just be careful because if it ever comes out (the developer insists that it isn’t a done deal), you will need one hell of a Mac to run it, apparently… BTW, what is your main gaming Mac?

  5. Lucas Olaerts

    I have a problem,

    when i go to setting I can not adjust them ingame.
    How can i change them out of the game? caise i can not use my mouse for a reason ingame.

    • Mac Gamer Ric

      Sorry man, I won’t be able to help, as I don’t have that game. Have you tried asking VP, the company behind the Mac version of the game?

  6. ikir

    Virtual programming = bad

    • Ric

      Come on man, don’t be too hard on them, they’re trying 😉

  7. J

    Where would I be able to buy the Mac version of the game?

  8. Thandros

    Darnit. I hate COD and Insurgency.
    The weapon physics and movement are complete insanity on insurgency. The gun will actually DE AIM if you go near a wall, you cant look round feasibly nor roll in prone and the game will just stand you up or move you into fire if you go near certain objects.
    Develop Arma guys, we need a real PFS with tactics and strategy.

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