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.

BEWARE: Changing your FOV will most likely alter the way mildots and ranging works. I am investigating how  and how much and will report back. RadikulRAM reports that if you mess up your file you can delete it and ArmA will make a fresh one.

 

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

Changing Your FOV

Although I have enjoyed many XBox360 or Playstation games in the past, one of the reasons that I almost always play on the PC is because of the ability (usually) to change your FOV. Some games have quick sliders of settings, but ArmA 2 does not. Matter of fact it is not easy at all for the average user to adjust their FOV so I am going to help you out.

 

  • Step 1. Navigate to My Documents/ArmA 2. Find the (your Username here).ArmA2OAProfile file. Make a copy of it somewhere to back it up.  Open the file with Notepad or another text editor. Dayzrab mentions that XP users might find it in “Arma 2 Other Profiles”.
  • Step 2. Scroll towards the bottom of the file and look for the entries for fovTop and fovLeft. These are the values we will be changing, but please write the originals down if you didn’t backup the file in case you need to revert.
  • Step 3. Use this calculator to figure out your FOV values. Do not just put the number you want into the .ArmA2Profile file or it will not work. Pay attention to your Resolution (screen width and height).
  • Step 4. Input the following into a Google search bar – “x degrees in radians” without quotation marks, where x is the number you calculated in the previous step.
  • Step 5. Change the fovTop to the number you have now, which is your calculated FOV in radians. You should round off to 2 decimal places to the right.
  • Step 6. Grab a calculator (or type into a Google search bar) and DIVIDE your new fovTop number by the SECOND number in your monitors Aspect Ratio. Click here for a guide on how to figure out your Aspect Ratio. Find the box with your monitors Resolution and that color is the same as an Aspect Ratio circle in the lower right corner if you don’t know it.
  • Step 7. Now take the result of Step 6 and MULTIPLY that by the FIRST number of your Aspect Ratio. Again, round off the number to 2 decimal places. Enter this number as your new fovLeft value.
  • Step 8. Save the new file. You should have a new FOV when you restart the game.

If you encounter any problems go back to your back up .ArmA2OAProfile file and either email me at Paleface@DayZPvP.com or use the form here.

18 thoughts on “Ultimate FOV (Field of View) Guide for ArmA 2 and DayZ

  1. hi,

    I am wondering what is the best FOV in ArmA2 for a 22″ monitor (1680×1050)?

    I would like a good compromise between peripheral vision and center objects.

    my default values are:
    fovTop=0.75;
    fovLeft=1.2;

    After calculation for a FOV of 80°:
    fovTop=0.98;
    fovLeft=1.56;

    Your opinion?

    cya.

    Nikiller.

    • 80 would be pretty good for DayZ, but you have a little wider screen so you could possibly go higher. Just don’t go past 90 (for other games I start at 90 for example Skyrim I usually play at 100-110). For DayZ going much past 90 is going to hurt you because someone could be right in front of you and you will lose them in the clutter.

      Try 80 and see how it feels. Default is around 65 or 70 so 80 should be a nice jump.

  2. Can’t get the second one to work.

    I wan’t a FOV of 80, and I’ve got a resolution of 1366*768.

    Website calculates it to 51, which amounts to 0.89 radians, which i inputted as “fovTop=0.89;”

    Now to calculate the second number, you tell my to divide with the 2nd number of my aspect ratio and then the first number. 1366*768 = 16:9.

    That leaves me with: 0.89/9/16 = 0,00618, which seems really far off.

    What did I do wrong?

  3. FYI (using XP) the ArmA2OAProfile may be under “Arma 2 Other Profiles” but I’m not seeing much difference in FOV.

  4. I’m confused. On Step 3 you advise to use a calculator [website] to get your FOV values.

    I’ve done that and the website states, Desired Horizontal FOV = 90 degrees, then below it shows Calculated Vertical FOV Settings = 65.

    On step 4 you state, “where x is the number you calculated in the previous step.”. Well, which number are you talking about, the 90 [degrees] number or the 65?

    Please advise,
    -Thanks

    • The calculated FOV is what you have in the last part. Once you pick 90 you won’t see the number 90 again, but you will end up with a 90 degree FOV if everything is done right.

      I hope that answers the question.

      • Alright thank you, so if I am doing this correctly then here are my steps.

        Took my calculated Vertical FOV settings of 65.

        My aspect ratio is 1440×900.

        Googled 65 degrees in radians and the result after rounded was 1.13.

        I then took my aspect ratio numbers 8:5 and divided 1.13/5=0.226.
        I then multiplied 0.226*8=1.808, after rounding this comes to 1.81.

        Results:
        fovTop=1.13;
        fovLeft=1.81;

        Look right to you?

        • Your number looks pretty damn close. You are on 1440×900 which makes you 8:5. So make sure you use the numbers 8 and 5, not 1440 and 900.

          My numbers ended up being fovTop=.975; fovLeft=1.55999999; I am on a 1280×1024 which is 5:4, and I think I had it at 90 and went back to 80 or 85 I did it a long time ago and now I can’t remember.

          How does it look? It is hard for me to predict, but if you increased your FOV to 90 you should see quite a different view now.

  5. (Step 3.) Calculated vertical FOV setting: 59
    (Step 4.) 59 degrees in radians = 1.03
    (Step 5.) fovTop = 1.03
    (Step 6.) 1.03/9 = 0.114…
    (Step 7.) 0.114… * 16 = 1.83 = fovLeft

    fovLeft=1.83;
    fovTop=1.03;

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  7. My monitors resolution is: 1360×768 (16:9) and I have managed to set my FOV to 95 Degrees.

    Although I am happy with the change, the PSO scope on the SVD Camo is completely off now, it says targets that are 600m off are 900m off, rendering the rangefinder on the PSO useless :(

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