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How to update Exile & launch mods in Steam



From my own experience I had a lot of trouble in the past connecting to servers and getting kicked because my files weren’t up to date. 
I always used A3 Launcher, if it was offline i didn´t knew how to get on a server or how to verify the files properly to get them updated. 
This really pissed me of, I just wanted to play some Exile when i got back from work and not getting into all the trouble of fixing it.
Since I have my own server, I noticed a lot of people are getting kicked or disconnect straight away 
because their files/mods are not in good order.
So I thought to write a small manual, how to get your files up to date and how to connect to servers with steam and  
without the use of a other programs like A3 Launcher. 
Steam is a nice program that can keep all of our mods up to date but it has some bugs. 
I will do this step by step and show you how I do it and how it works for me. 
If anyone has a better or quicker way to do so, please let me know.



How to update Arma & launch mods in Steam

Step 1 Turn of Arma automatic update

I’m going to confuse a lot of people by saying this, but turn off Arma automatic update and background downloads in steam.

-          Right click Arma  3 -> properties -> Updates    

-          Set Automatic update -> Only update this game when I launch it.

-          Set background downloads -> Never allow background downloads.     

Steam Arma 3 Update.jpg

Now why am I saying this, we want it to be updated right? Steam sometimes updates clients quicker than the servers has the updates. So if we leave it on, you can get a update for a mod like say Community Base Addons v3.3.1 and if  the server side still has CBA v3.3.0. You have to wait till the server will be updated and you won’t be able to join. We are only going to update Arma 3 by verifying the files when we are not able to get on a server! Yes it can install update when you launched the game, we do not have an option to turn it off completely. You can unsubscribe all the mods, but you need the update all the mods manually and we don’t want to do that. More work is less play time.


Step 2  Verifying Arma 3

You keep getting kicked of the server or your mods needs to be updated. We are going update Arma by verifying its files. What Steam does, is it checks if all the files are correct and it will update them if needed. This does comes with a bug!

-          Makes sure Arma and A3 launcher are closed

-          Right click Arma  3 -> properties -> Local Files -> Verify Integrity Of Games Files… 

Steam Verifying.jpgSteam Verifying Finished.jpg

After Steam has finished validating your Arma files, do not start Arma 3 or A3 launcher! This happened to me in the past and where most people still go wrong, they think all is finished and start up the game. But if you can see on the bottom of the screen.   

Steam download not complete.jpg 

-          Click on “DOWNLOADING” at the bottom of the screen

Steam still downloading.jpg

-          This is where Steam is bugged

Steam no show downloading.jpg

The only way you see it’s downloading is by the blue beam under the play button. I also over looked this in the past and thought no disk usage or download so it should be finished? By launching Arma or a program like A3 launcher, it will stop the download and will show as complete.


This is what I think is the main issue why people are getting kicked from servers. I don’t think programs like A3 Launcher will update Arma 3 related files only the mods the server requires (please correct me if I’m wrong) So although the mods should be ok to join the server, the server still can kick you because some Arma files are not up to date and when you are too quick with launching Arma after verifying it, it will never have the change to update those files. Sometimes I have to verify Arma more the once, maybe Steam didn’t download everything or Arma has to be launched before the next update could be installed, I really don’t know. But if i can’t get in the server or keep having trouble after verifying a couple of times and I’m sure all my files are ok. It can always be the server side that needs to be updated. That’s why I only verify when I really have trouble getting in to a server…



Step 3 Launching the correct mods in Steam

For some reason A3 launcher isn´t working but we still want to play. As an example I will use my test server to show how you can find and load the correct mods using Steam.

-          Right click Arma 3 -> Play Game….

-          When Arma is launched  and you’re in DASHBOARD go to MODS.

Arma 3 Mods.jpg

-          1. Load the needed mods for the server you want to connect too, it doesn’t matter if you don’t know all the mod. We will find out what we are missing when we are in game.

After you think you have all the correct mods loaded press “PLAY”.

-          In game go to MULTYPLAYER -> SERVER BROWSER -> SERVERS -> RECENT.

-          Select the server you want to connect to.

-          On the bottom right we see what mods we have loaded and what we are missing.


You can see we are missing two mods, Exile and Chernarus Isles. the red mark can also mean the version of the mod (when loaded) is not the same with the one the servers uses. But in this case I didn’t load the two mods on purpose. Now exit Arma 3 and go back to the mods section.


Let say we can’t find the wanted mods under Available mods (1). we can go to Steam Workshop (2) to search for the mods and add them, but Steam will not have all mods in their Workshop. What you can do is download a mod from a site like Armaholic and install it in the Arma’s main folder. Make sure the map has the mod name and don’t mix the files up with the Arma files, it will break the game! I know i have Exile and Chernarus Isles on my pc because I used it before, so I don’t need to download it. We will add them manually by using Local Mod (3).

Mods Local.jpg

- Click “Local mod” and find Arma’s main folder.

- Find the mod you need and select the map, in my case its @Exile.

Map select.jpg

After selecting you will go back to MODS and will see the next message in the bottom of the screen.

Exile mod loaded.jpg

-          Select “Load mod

To add Chernarus Isles we do the same thing, problem is some mods we can’t find in Arma’s main folder, but are in a hidden folder.

-          Again Click “Local mod” and find the path of Arma 3 main folder.

-          Write behind the file path \!Workshop and press enter.


-          Select the mod and in the mods menu load the mod again.

Chernarus Isles Mod.jpg


We now have all wanted mods loaded (1) and we can preset the mods by giving it a name (2). You can do this with multiple server. So it’s easy to load the mods of the server you want to play on.

Mods loaded.jpg

-          When finished press “Play”

-          In game go to MULTYPLAYER -> SERVER BROWSER -> SERVERS -> RECENT.

-          Select the server.

-          On the bottom right again, we look what mods we have loaded.

Expansions good.jpg

All is green and good to go now, we are ready to do some shooting!!!

I just want to add that the red mark in front of the mods normally means you didn’t load the mod or the right version that the server uses. But in some rare case, there can be a mod with the right version loaded and still give you a red mark. Why I really do not know, maybe it’s bugged? If you sure you have loaded the right version just give it a try and don’t keep messing about to get it green!

For me this way of updating and loading mods work, I can get in every server and have almost 0% trouble, yes we do all get kicked sometimes, it’s Arma, shit happens! I Hope this was any use for you and you will have less trouble getting in to servers…..



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