The Essentials - Continued
If you've passed the Special Forces Tour (See Training above) then you will have a section called Weapons Mods available under the Personnel Jacket screen. Here you can choose the personal modifications your SOPMOD M4A1 carries when playing on Special Forces maps. Even if this screen is available to you, unless you've passed all Special Forces training and have 15 or more Honor you won't have access to your modified M4 online.
There are six sections on the gun where you can attach a modification - 5 rails and the barrel. Each rail has a Heatshield by default, but you can add options like the M203A1 grenade launcher or M68 Aimpoint sight. Note that some mod slots only have a Heatshield available at present. Once you've customized your weapon, those will be the options your gun will be equipped with every time you join a Special Forces map online (and use an SF slot).
Some quick tips about weapons mods:
- when you join a Special Forces game, your weapon's camoflage will automatically be set according to the map.
- If you have the Suppressor installed as a mod, you must press a key (default is L) to use it at the start of the round. It is not on by default.
- Use of the grenade launcher mod requires pressing the Supported Fire key (default is H) to bring up/put down - the same as the standard M203 rifle. The same key applies for using the Bipod mod if that is installed instead of the M203A1.
America's Army Official Manual
Unlike most other games, America's Army can be very difficult to comprehend the first time you play online. Which buttons to press, who's friendly and who's foe, where the objectives are and how to get to them are all common questions new players ask when first playing online. While everyone is new at some stage, and we should all try to help each other out, if you're new you should try and make some effort to learn about the game's workings before playing online. To do this, you must first read the manual.
The full game manual is installed along with the game on your hard drive. It can be found typically under C:\Program Files\America's Army\Help. If you can't find the manual on your drive, the latest version can be downloaded as a PDF file from here. There is also a Quickstart Guide which is very handy for new players.
I cannot stress how important it is to read the manual from start to finish, whether you're new or experienced. It is genuinely useful and contains numerous tips, tricks and strategies, as well as pictures of the layout of each online map and a glossary of commonly used terms - these are all things which the best players use to their advantage.
Combined with some offline practice (See below), you will save yourself a lot of ROE, aimless wandering around and constantly asking other players questions - and inevitably being booted off a server. Even if you're familiar with an earlier version of AA, the intricacies of the new features in 2.0 are explained in full in the manual.
Even though America's Army is an online game, it is highly recommended that you practice offline to gain familiarity with the maps, weapons, and general dynamics of the game, not to mention allowing you the opportunity to thoroughly tweak control, graphics and audio settings. Even after Basic Training you'll need to get a good feel of the layout of each of the maps if you want to play successfully online. Some maps, especially the new nighttime Special Forces maps can be highly confusing and you could wind up killing teammates and racking up a lot of ROE.
To begin offline practice mode:
1. Start America's Army and open the Console (press the TAB or ~ key).
2. Type "Start Mapname" (without quotes) to open a map, where Mapname is the name of a particular map (e.g. Pipeline or Sfcsar). All the mapnames can be found in your \America's Army\Maps directory.
3. To be able to move around and fire weapons, you will have to choose a character class. Type "Class Code" (without quotes), where Code is one of the following:
G - Grenadier (M203)
R - Rifleman (M16A2)
S - Sniper (M82)
S24 - Sniper (M24)
AR - Automatic Rifleman (M249)
M - Rifleman (M4A1)
M4M - Rifleman (Modified M4A1)
M4A1AUTO - Rifleman (M4A1 Automatic)
AT4 - AT4 Rocket Launcher
SPR - Special Purpose Rifle
AK - Opfor (AK47)
AKS - Opfor/Indigenous Forces (AKS74U)
GP - Opfor (AK74 w/GP-30 launcher)
RPK - Opfor (RPK Light Machine Gun)
SVD - Opfor (Dragunov sniper rifle)
MOS - Opfor (Mosin-Nagant sniper rifle)
RPG - Opfor/Indigenous Forces (RPG-7 Grenade Launcher)
V - Opfor/Indigenous Forces (Vss Vintorez)
SF - Special Forces
SL - Squad Leader
FT - Fireteam Leader
RCT - Recruit (no weapons)
Now, if you want to create some basic dummies for target practice, type the following command in the console:
That creates an inanimate opfor soldier who stands with his arms outstretched. You can shoot him and he won't move or fight back. If you want a bit more of a challenge, open the console and type "Walk" (without quotes). This will animate the dummy - he will start to move and shoot back. Be careful as although the dummy has only basic artifical intelligence he can be fairly accurate! You can also summon other NPCs (Non-player characters), but most will not shoot at you when you type "walk"...they have no weapons:
If you want to summon up other weapons to use for yourself (they appear on the ground in front of you), try these commands in the console:
For more information on the commands that can be used in offline mode see the Official America's Army Manual.
Again there's nothing wrong with being new online and your teammates should take this into account and cut you a break. You'll usually find other players are willing to help you out if you show you're eager to learn. But at the same time you also have to put in some effort to learn the maps and gameplay as much as possible beforehand to maximise your (and others) enjoyment.