Ultimate FOV (Field of View) Guide for ArmA 2 and DayZ

Field of view or FOV is a very important aspect (pun intended) of DayZ. I am going to guess that most of you have not customized your FOV, and some may have no idea what it is or why you might want to change it. Did you know that playing with the FOV settings wrong can actually make you sick? Plenty of people get headaches from straining to see a screen that is not set up correctly. There is also a massive tactical advantage to seeing the right amount, and the right parts of the screen.

What is FOV?

Phazon88 has created this animated .gif for Battlefield Bad Company 2 which uses the same system as ArmA 2 to set the FOV:

Pay attention to two things.  One reason why we might want to increase our FOV from the default is because you get more peripheral vision. If you look on the left and right (the outside) of the two trees in the middle you can see that as the FOV increases, you can see more of the hill on the edge of the screen. This can be a life saver because often times a player has already seen you and has the drop on you. As you run by and pass him, he thinks you can’t see him anymore, but you can. Don’t forget that you can get a temporary FOV boost by either holding numpad – or by going into 3rd person view (numpad – works on there too).

Another situation that a wider FOV can help is in very close quarters battle, or CQB. Sometimes during CQB you might actually run past your adversary. Having a wider FOV can let you turn around and re-acquire your target much faster. This lets you spin around and get your shots off while he is still turning and looking for you. As well know the zombie AI is a little bit wild at the moment and a wider FOV can help you when you have multiple zed beating the crap out of you.

Of course there is a tradeoff to having a wider FOV. If you look in the middle of the .gif again you can see that as the FOV increases the center of the screen seems to get further away. There really is not too much I can think of to argue that this is good. Basically you are going to have a harder time seeing someone far away, and let’s face it, far away is deadly in this game. Be very careful when you choose your FOV. You have to decide where the optimal point is. For me it is around 90 in most games, but for DayZ 90 should be your max unless you have a large/wide monitor.


WARNING: Changing your FOV will most likely alter the way mildots and ranging works. I am investigating how  and how much and will report back. It is also going to be much harder or maybe impossible to read things like the compass, maps, GPS, etc. Save your old FOV numbers in case you want to revert.


Go to the next page for a step-by-step guide on how to change your FOV for DayZ and ArmA 2.

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DayZ Weapons Comparison Chart

DayZ has a variety of different weapons. There are many different factors to consider when choosing which weapon to use. The main thing I worry about is how loud the weapon is, in other words what range can the weapon be heard. There are 2 types of audio ranges one for players and one for zombies, sometimes they overlap, sometimes they don’t.

The next thing I think of is how easy it is to find ammo for the weapon. This chart does show the ammo type, but does not show the scarcity or rarity of the ammo. For example, it is not too hard to find an AK-74 or it’s variants (Kobra, AK-74U). These are pretty nice guns because although the damage is not high, they are kind of quiet in comparison to the AKM or M-16. The problem is that the AK ammo (the orange magazines that come in green pouches) can be very hard to find sometimes. AKM ammo (looks like a black AK mag on the ground) is very common.


Use this chart to compare the various audible ranges, ammo types, damage amount, and fire modes. Unfortunately it does not show the weapons firing range. obviously the sniper rifles have a very long range while the shotguns have a very low range. I read somewhere that the revolver has a higher range than the M1911 so keep that kind of thing in mind as well.

As of the 1.62 patch the numbers have been lowered considerably – click here for the new chart


Old, outdated chart below in case Rocket changes it back.



How to integrate ArmA 2 Free and Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead

I used this method to get DayZ running without purchasing the ArmA 2 base game. Be advised that you will have lower resolution graphics, and some other mods or servers (not DayZ) may not work correctly. For playing DayZ this should work just fine.

How to integrate ArmA2 Free with ArmA2: Operation Arrowhead