What Scripting Language Does Arma Use?


Scott Campbell

Scripting is an integral part of creating immersive and interactive experiences in video games. In the case of Arma, a popular military simulation game, scripting plays a crucial role in bringing the game world to life.

But what scripting language does Arma use? In this article, we will explore the scripting language behind Arma and delve into its capabilities.

Arma uses a scripting language called SQF (Scripting Language for Game Engine – Armed Assault). Developed specifically for the game engine used in Arma, SQF allows modders and mission creators to add their own custom functionality to the game. It is a high-level programming language that is easy to learn and use.

SQF is heavily influenced by C-style languages such as C++ and Java. This means that if you have experience with these languages, you will find many familiar concepts in SQF. However, even if you are new to programming, SQF provides a gentle learning curve that allows you to quickly start creating your own scripts.

Features of SQF:

SQF offers a wide range of features that enable modders to create complex gameplay mechanics and systems. Here are some notable features:

  • Variables: Like any programming language, SQF allows you to define and manipulate variables. Variables can store different types of data such as numbers, strings, arrays, and more.
  • Flow Control: SQF supports various flow control statements such as if-else statements, loops (for, while), switch statements, and more. These allow you to make decisions based on certain conditions or repeat certain actions.
  • Functions: Functions in SQF allow you to group blocks of code together for reusability.

    You can define your own functions or use predefined functions provided by the game.

  • Arrays: Arrays are a fundamental data structure in SQF. They allow you to store multiple values in a single variable. You can access individual elements of an array or perform operations on the entire array.
  • Event Handling: SQF provides event handlers that allow your scripts to react to specific events occurring in the game, such as when a player enters a certain area or when a vehicle is destroyed.

Scripting in Arma:

In Arma, you can create scripts for various purposes, including mission design, AI behavior, custom user interfaces, and more. These scripts can be executed locally on individual clients or globally on the server.

When creating scripts for Arma, it is essential to follow best practices and consider performance optimizations. Since Arma is a complex simulation game with large-scale battles and multiple entities interacting simultaneously, inefficient scripts can impact the game’s performance.

To help modders and mission creators, Arma provides extensive documentation and resources for scripting with SQF. The official Arma website offers a comprehensive scripting library that covers all aspects of scripting in detail. Additionally, there are active communities and forums where modders share their knowledge and provide support to fellow scripters.


In conclusion, Arma utilizes the SQF scripting language to empower modders and mission creators with the ability to extend and customize the game’s functionality. Whether you are a seasoned programmer or new to scripting, SQF offers a user-friendly environment for creating immersive experiences within the Arma game world. With its powerful features and extensive documentation, the possibilities of what you can achieve with SQF are virtually limitless.

So if you have ever dreamt of creating your own military scenarios or adding unique gameplay mechanics to Arma, start exploring the world of SQF scripting today!

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