America's Army Tweak Guide
[Page 4] Important Basics
This section covers the important basic information every America's Army player needs to know. In particular if you're new to America's Army you should definitely familiarize yourself with this section – don’t skip over it.
Downloading the Game
America's Army can be downloaded completely free of charge from a variety of places. There are usually two types of downloads for the game - patches and the full version. If you have an earlier version of the game, you can often download small patches which will bring it up to the latest version. On the other hand if you don't have the game, or your current version is relatively old, download the latest full version of the game.
As of version 2.8.4 a new Deployment Tool is used to download the game. You can download the Deploy Client from the America's Army Download Page. You can read about the changes the latest version contains here or in the ArmyOpsReadMe.txt file in your \America's Army\System\ directory after installing the new version.
Just remember that America's Army is a completely free game, and there is absolutely no difference between the versions of it available for free on a range of sites, and those sold by some sites or on Ebay for example. You should never have to pay a cent to download and play America's Army.
Installing the Game
To install the new version correctly it is recommended you follow the details on how to do this here. If you've never installed America's Army on your system before, then simply download and run the full version of the game. However if you experience problems with the new version and/or if you had previous versions of the game installed in the past, then it is strongly recommended that you do a clean install of the new version by uninstalling and deleting all traces of the previous version(s). Furthermore do not restore or use any old Armyops.ini or User.ini files - they may not be completely compatible with the latest version and could cause problems. Note that uninstalling the game from your machine will not lose your soldier and all his training and honor - those are recorded against your username and held on the America's Army Master Server.
When installing the game I recommend choosing the Custom installation option, since when installing America's Army the average player does not need to install some of the additional items, such as the America's Army Server Manager (AASM); AASM is totally unnecessary unless you are going to host a server for others to play on. If later you want to install AASM, find the AASM17Installer.exe file under your /America's Army directory, unzip the contents and run the Setup executable to install it.
Creating An Account
If you're new to America's Army you will have to create an account which will hold your player's details, save your training results and keep track of your overall score. There is no charge to have a user account, it is simply a requirement of the game. The quickest way to create a new account is to go directly to the America's Army Account Management Page. This is the same page as the one you are taken to if you click the 'New Account' button on the Login screen in the game.
Next click the 'Register Account' option and enter the Username which you will be using in the game, along with a valid email address. Once you're done entering details a registration email will be sent to the email account you specified, and from there you can verify your registration, and use the details to log into America's Army. Note that the account registration email may take a while to be sent out, so be patient.
Account Login & Record Brief
Once you've created a new account, or if you have an existing account, make sure you're connected to the Internet, then start America's Army. On the Login screen enter your account's Username and Password exactly as they were registered, then click the Login button and after a few moments you should see the News page. If you're not using a public machine, I recommend ticking the 'Remember Login' box so you don't have to manually re-enter your login details each time you start the game. For further convenience you can tick the 'Automatically Login' option as long as you make sure you're connected to the Internet each time you launch the game, and again if you're not on a machine which is widely shared. If you have any problems with account login, see the Troubleshooting Tips section on the previous page.
Once you've Logged in, you can see all the details for your player under the Record Brief section of the main menu. By selecting the Player Stats tab you can see all the detailed statistics on your gameplay, the Badges tab shows any special badges or qualifications you've earned, and under the M4A1 Mods tab you'll be able to select weapons modifications for your M4A1 which is used on certain SF Maps (See Weapons Modifications on next page for details).
America's Army Official Manual Set
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, how to operate the different weapons and equipment, where the objectives are and how to get to them are all common questions players ask when first playing online. Everyone was new to America's Army at some point, so we can all relate to the confusion new players may face, and any common mistakes they make. However this does not excuse new players from making some effort to learn about the game's workings before playing online. The place to start is the Official America's Army Manual.
Links to the full game manual can be found under your \America's Army\Help\ directory. At the very least, read the America's Army Quickstart Guide PDF file found under the same directory. If you want to download the full game manual or any other manuals, such as those for the Mission Editor, you can obtain these in PDF format from here: Official America's Army Manual Set.
It's very important that you read the main America's Army manual from start to finish, whether you're new or experienced. It has a great deal of genuinely useful information and contains numerous tips, tricks and strategies, as well as pictures of the layout of each online map - these are all things which the best players use to their advantage, and often take weeks to learn the hard way. When combined with some offline practice (See Offline Practice section below), reading the manual will save you a lot of ROE, aimless wandering around and constantly asking other players obvious questions - things which may inevitably see you get booted off a server.
Special Forces Roles
There are a variety of roles which can be undertaken within the US Army Special Forces. To learn more about these roles, go to your \America's Army\System\Videos\ directory and run the SF_A-Team_Videos.exe file which will give you access to 7 short videos which take you through the capabilities of these roles, and help you understand their method of operation better when playing these roles within the game. Note that not all of these roles are available in the current version.
America's Army requires the completion of specific types of training before being able to play online. It may seem tedious to undertake at times, especially when attempting for Special Forces qualification, but in keeping with the game's overall theme, it is there to familiarize players with the concepts and methods involved in being in the real US Army.
To start training, click on the Training option on the main menu screen. There are five sections under the Tours drop box:
Note: SF E & E (Escape and Evade) is a very tedious and frustrating test, but it must be passed for you to play as a Special Forces soldier on SF maps. The best advice is to take it very slow - crawl or slow crawl almost the whole way, and stop as often as necessary for as long as necessary if you hear dogs or the enemy shouting out. Be very patient and you will pass this test.
Not completing a particular training course can prevent you from being able to play on certain maps, and undertake certain roles, so make sure you complete all the training to have the fullest experience on AA. There are no cheats or tweaks to pass the training - it's an essential part of the game and prepares you for what the game is like when playing online against experienced opponents.
Honor, the Score System and ROE
America's Army has a player statistic called 'Honor'. Your Honor score represents a combination of experience and playing time, and can also be a reflection of skill. It is based on how many points you have accumulated over time while playing on Official servers and Honor-enabled Leased Servers. Any points you earn while playing on any other type of server does not contribute to your Honor total.
The scoring system in America’s Army can be quite confusing. You will see your score go up and down based on several factors, but you may not know what affects it. There are some simple rules about the scoring:
For the purposes of Honor, your total score at the end of a round is used to add to your running total, however negative points from deaths and leadership do not count for Honor purposes. ROE on the other hand does count in reducing your score, so it is important you understand what causes ROE and how to avoid it.
Note: The scoring system is slightly different for Co-Operative (Co-Op) maps such as Snake Plain and Interdiction. On those maps the Objectives and ROE are far more important than enemy kills, and the points reflect this. Each kill only gains 1 point, and each death is -4 points.
America’s Army takes the Rules of Engagement (ROE) very seriously, and as such the game strives to impress upon players the importance of making sure they don’t hurt teammates or civilians. Whether intentional or accidental, any damage you inflict on a teammate or civilian will give you ROE points. The amount of ROE depends on the nature and severity of the damage, and how soon after the start of the round it is inflicted. If within a match you accrue a certain amount of ROE (usually 400 points), or if you kill or severely injure a teammate within 30 seconds of starting a round you will be automatically booted from the server and wind up in jail. Other players may also at any time start a votekick on you to vote upon whether you should be removed from the server due to high ROE. The bottom line is you should be very careful not to do things which cause ROE, such as firing or grenading blindly - this is not a deathmatch game.
Honor is important in America’s Army because it plays a large part in determining whether you get your weapon of choice in the Weapon Selection phase of online play, as well as the requirement for 15 Honor or more to be able to play as a Special Forces soldier. If you want your Honor to increase, you need to play as though you were in the real Army - be very careful not to violate ROE and try to achieve the team's objectives as often as possible and your Honor will steadily rise. The America's Army Manual has a section which details how to identify friend and foe, and is also useful in familiarizing yourself with weapon details such as the fuse time on grenades, the possibility of misfiring an RPG-7 or killing a teammate with its backblast for example.
Note that if at any time your honor falls below 9 you will not be able to play on some servers. You can still play on non-Honor servers, but it is recommended you visit the special retraining servers so that you can practice and regain enough points to return your honor to 9.
Here are the points (score) needed to gain a point of Honor within each Honor Range:
For example if you have 10 Honor you will need to accumulate 500 points - net of any ROE - to gain another Honor point (taking you to 11).
If you want to check what your current accumulated score is, and how many points you have left before reaching the next Honor level, the easiest way is to go to the Record Brief section of the game, and under the Player Stats tab you will see all your detailed statistics. You can also check this by going to the America's Army Website and then login using your AA username and password.
To keep track of additional statistics, such as your enemy kills and fragrate (enemies killed for each of your deaths) you should register as soon as possible for the ArmyOps-Tracker, and regularly visit the AAOTracker site to check out additional AA game statistics.
The next section wraps up the Important Basics for America's Army.