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Description.ext File Format

The description.ext is a text file located in the root of the mission folder which allows you to define many things in your mission. Each entry must be given a new line in the description.ext. The description.ext in fact uses the same syntax as all config files, therefore each line should be terminated with ;. OFP is most often able to recover from missing semicolons, ArmA though is strict and requires a ;.

When editing a mission in the mission editor description.ext is only read when the mission is loaded, not when you preview the mission.

For edits to description.ext to take effect in Preview you must first save or re-load the mission into the editor.


OnLoadMission et al

This displays a message whilst the mission is loading. Note that a mission that takes very little time to load will only display the message for a short time. Care should be taken to see whether your message is readable in that timeframe.


 OnLoadMission = "YourMissionName";
 OnLoadIntro = "YourMessage";

The OnLoadMission option is used to present the mission name to the user. In MP this is the name you see when selecting a mission and also the name that is presented to the GameSpy browser.

If the option is missing from the description.ext then the filename is presented. *note needs verified

OnLoadIntroTime et al

This allows you to define whether you will see the time and date displayed whilst the mission loads. Variables are True or False.


 OnLoadIntroTime = False;
 OnLoadMissionTime = False;


This feature allows you to set scores for your mission. Score is related to the star display in the debriefing screen. The score can be influenced during a missions progress by using the addRating command.


 MinScore = 0;
 AvgScore = 1800;
 MaxScore = 7500;

Respawn Options

respawn = RespawnType;

respawnDelay = DelayInSeconds;

respawnVehicleDelay = DelayInSeconds;

RespawnType Description
0 or “NONE” No respawn
1 or “BIRD” Respawn as a seagull
2 or “INSTANT” Respawn just where you died.
3 or “BASE” Respawn in base. Requires a marker named:

Vehicle respawn in base requires a marker named:

4 or “GROUP” Respawn in your group (if there's no AI left, you'll become a seagull).
5 or “SIDE” Respawn into an AI unit on your side (if there's no AI left, you'll become a seagull) - implemented in ArmA v1.08: with this respawn type, team switch is also available to any AI controlled playable units


There are three types of sound that can be specified:

  • General sounds that can be used for dialog, voiceovers in the briefing etc. These sounds are actioned in a mission by using the commands: say, playSound
  • Dialog where one unit talks over the radio, for example using the command sideRadio
  • Music using the command playMusic name


General Sounds

 class CfgSounds
      sounds[] = {};   
      class wolf1
           name = "";
           sound[] = {"\sound\wolf1.ogg", 1, 1};
           titles[] = {};
      class wolf2
           name = "";
           sound[] = {"\sound\wolf2.ogg", 1, 1};
           titles[] = {};

playSound wolf2

Radio Sounds

class CfgRadio
	sounds[] = {};
	class RadioMsg1
		name = "";
		sound[] = {"\sound\filename1.ogg", db-100, 1.0};
		title = "Well all the civilians are now safe in the lodge. I am ready for your orders.";
	class RadioMsg2
		name = "";
		sound[] = {"\sound\filename2.ogg", db-100, 1.0};
		title = {$STR_RADIO_2};

unit sideRadio RadioMsg2


class CfgMusic

	class MarsIntro
		name = "";
		sound[] = {"\music\filename.ogg", db+0, 1.0};
	class Ludwig9
		name = "";
		sound[] = {"\music\filename.ogg", db+10, 1.0};

playMusic name MarsIntro


Name can be left blank as in the examples above. Only specify a name if you wish to access these sounds via the environment options of a trigger.

Title is the text string that will be displayed on the screen when the sound file is played. See also Stringtable.csv

Setting volume (db) of music far from zero will disable fadeMusic command. Optimal values are from -10 to 10.


It is here that you can define the identities of individual units, you can specify the face, type of glasses worn, voice, tone of voice and name of an identity. You then give a specific unit this identity by using the command setIdentity in the mission.


class CfgIdentities
	class John_Doe
		name="John Bartholemew Doe";

See setIdentity for valid options for: face, glasses, speaker etc.


Since Armed Assault it's possible to define keys for every mission. Keys are used for marking mission as completed in mission list (square left to mission name) and for unlocking hidden content.

 keys[] = {"key1","key2","key3"};  // List of keys (needed for keysLimit)
 keysLimit = 2;                    // Number of keys from the list needed for unlock a mission.
 doneKeys[] = {"key4"};            // Name of key(s) needed for mark a mission in SP missions list as completed.

See also: activateKey, isKeyActive.


Removes all playable units which do not have a human player. (MP)

Note: Disabling all the AI units will prevent JIP into playable units in Operation Flashpoint: Elite and ArmA.

 disabledAI = false/true

Enables/Disables the GPS

 ShowGPS = 0;

Note: In ArmA 1.04 toggle this option to disable the mini map attached to the GPS.

Defines if the debriefing is shown or not at the end of the mission.

 debriefing = 0;

Defines if the compass is visible.

 showCompass = 0;

Defines if the map is shown after the mission starts.

 showMap = 0;

Defines if the NotePad is shown after the mission starts.

 showPad = 0;

Defines if the watch is visible.

 showWatch = 0;

Skip briefing screen in the mission. Note: Added in ArmA v1.05

 briefing = 0;


Dialogs are also configured in the description.ext into classes.

See Dialogs for more information.

Weapons and Magazines

The weapons and magazines available to players during the briefing are also defined in description.ext.


class Weapons 
	class AK74 	{count = 8;};
	class RPG7V 	{count = 2;};
	class Binocular {count = 2;};

class Magazines 
	class 30Rnd_545x39_AK 	{count = 32;};
	class PG7V 		{count = 6;};
	class HandGrenade 	{count = 16;};


TitleParam1 and TitleParam2 are multiplayer options. These options are seen in the lobby of a multiplayer game. These options can be useful for setting time limits and score limits in such games as Capture the Flag and Death Matches. Other popular uses include accelerate time, setting the mission difficulty or switching the intro on/off.

In the mission param1 and param2 have the values of the chosen options. Many people will assign a variable in the init.sqs file to param1 for simplicity, an example of this would be to assign variable timelimit = param1.


 titleParam1 = "Time limit:";
 valuesParam1[] = {0, 300, 600, 900};
 defValueParam1 = 900;
 textsParam1[] = {"Unlimited", "5 min", "10 min", "15 min", };
 titleParam2 = "Score to win:";
 valuesParam2[] = {10000, 5, 7, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30};
 defValueParam2 = 5;
 textsParam2[] = {"Unlimited", 5, 7, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30};

Header Class

With the introduction of OFP:Elite, BIS started to include a new class definition in the description.ext. The purpose of this class definition is to signal the engine the gameType which is displayed in the MP game browser. This can assist other players for finding particular missions using the filters.


Here is a basic class example:

 class Header
  gameType = COOP;            //DM, Team, Coop, CTI
  minPlayers = 1;             //min # of players the mission supports
  maxPlayers = 10;            //Max # of players the mission supports
  playerCountMultipleOf = 1;  //OFP:Elite option.


These are basic types to help with filtering in the MP game browser.

 DM         = Death Match
 CTF        = Capture the Flag
 FF         = Flag Fight
 Coop       = Cooperative Mission
 Team       = Team Mission
 Scont      = Sector Control
 Hold       = Hold Location
 Unknown    = Unknown - is used when no class header is defined.


playerCountMultipleOf was introduced in OFP:Elite, the game server would set the maximum amount of players based on bandwidth and eventually this parameter. The default is 2, so it means the mission will try to balance the game to multiples of 2 (2 vs 2, 4 vs 4, etc.) and you did not end up with a team mission with 5 maximum players (2 vs 3 is unfair?). Coop type missions use 1, Team type missions use 2 (default).


In OFP:Elite this file is required for MP missions. If this is not included -1 error is shown when selecting a mission and the mission won't load.

In ArmA if this class is missing the mission will still load with an error in the arma.RPT file and the mission type will be considered Unknown.

ofp/file_formats/description.ext.txt · Last modified: 2007-07-10 09:52 (external edit)