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    America's Army: Special Forces

    Game » consists of 2 releases. Released Aug 28, 2002

    America's Army is a free online FPS that simulates realistic combat situations, and was developed by the United States Army.

    Short summary describing this game.

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    America's Army is a modern combat simulator, developed by the US Army, that integrates real life training techniques, accurate physics, and a detailed look at the basics of modern combat. The game purposefully lacks healing mechanics and player assists, in order to encourage tactical play.

    The game was developed both as a recruitment tool for the Army, and a training tool for soldiers. A special versions exists that is tweaked specifically for training purposes, and is accessible only to Army personnel.


    Gameplay is tailored to be as close to a real life combat situation as possible. The player will always be American regardless of the side they are on. To the player the opposite team members are re-skinned to look like the opposing force.


    Honor is a skill ranking system used in America's Army. Players gain and lose Honor points depending on their actions in the field; specifically, killing enemies and capturing objectives while following the Rules of Engagement will increase Honor, but breaking the RoE will decrease Honor. Each player starts at level 10, and this level increases or decreases as the player gains or loses Honor.

    Server admins can set Honor level limits, restricting certain players from joining if their Honor levels are too low or too high, depending on the level of technicality and realism desired.

    Rules of Engagement (ROE)

    America's Army follows the actual military Rules of Engagement. Certain basic laws must be followed in warfare. These laws guard against needless killing; in game, if the player shoots another teammate or a civilian they will lose honor points.

    Heads up Display

    The HUD in America's Army is pretty standard as far as First Person Shooters go. The HUD displays the amount of Ammo and magazines you have available, as well as the type and quantity of Grenades the player has.

    Objectives are displayed at the top right corner of the screen which vary from map to map.

    In earlier versions of the game there was no mini map. Simply a compass and squad commands were used to locate and pinpoint enemy activity. In later versions a Situational Awareness Indicator (SAI), which is a mini map added in order to reduce friendly fire situations as well as help coordinate an often uncoordinated team. There is no way to pinpoint an enemy's exact location on the map however.


    There is no healing possible during a round. If the player gets shot but not killed, they will bleed until either they wait for the bleeding to naturally stop by staying still for some time, or by calling for a medic.

    If a medic is able to tend to you, no health can be regained, although the medic can properly bandage your wound in order to stop the bleeding.

    Green indicates that the player is in perfect health, Red is when the player is dangerously close to death. When a player gets injured, the ability to steady their own aim and to move is impeded.

    Instant Action

    A newer feature in America's Army is Instant Action. As opposed to the past setup, new users are able to play America's Army without completing Basic Training. However users who have not completed basic training may not level up past level 20.

    Special Forces

    On November 6th, 2003 the development team released version 2.0 of America's Army. This new version renamed the game from America's Army: Operations to America's Army: Special Forces. 2.0 still had the features of past versions, but also included Special Forces weapons, maps and missions. Paramilitary operations were introduced, including the use of non-American allies as playable characters. Players who do not complete the Special Forces training are restricted to using Indigenous Forces on these maps.

    Indigenous Forces (IF)

    Indigenous Soldier
    Indigenous Soldier

    The introduction of the Special Forces to America's Army opened up the opportunity to use Indigenous forces in game play. A primary function of the Army Special Forces is force multiplying. Force Multiplying is used in real life situations where covert military operations are needed. Usually a small team of special forces will infiltrate the region in conflict and train the local populace on weapon usage and tactics.

    In the game, the players who play as these soldiers don't wear military uniforms and use soviet made guns. This can be dangerous as the IF players on the map look similarly like the enemy and use the same weapons, making it hard for allied soldiers to discern friend from foe.

    Basic Training

    In order for the player to play the game properly, they must first complete Basic Training.

    Basic Rifle Marksmanship

    Training that is required by all users to play regular server matches. The training teaches basic rifle procedures including properly aiming, reloading and switching firing modes. Advanced Marksmanship training is unlocked if the player is successful in hitting the majority of the targets.

    Weapons Familiarization

    This mission puts you on a firing range letting you test out the guns you can deploy with.

    Eagle Tower Course Training

    Allows the player to familiarize themselves with the basic movements in game. The Eagle Tower is modeled after the real life obstacle course that soldiers must complete in basic training.

    MOUT (Shoot House)

    A test of your skill with the firearms and the ability to discern friend from foe, you must complete the kill house in as little time as possible hitting only the terrorist targets and avoiding civilian and friendly targets.

    Advanced Training

    The following training courses are not required to play America's Army online; however, completing these training missions allows the player access to more weapons and maps.

    Expert Field Medic Training

    The medic training course puts the player through a classroom environment course in learning how to properly tend to a wounded person. The course is shown in game on a projector using real images and properly showing the player how to treat an injured person in a real life situation. After completing the course the user simply holds the E key down to patch up a bleeding soldier.

    Advanced Marksmanship Training

    Clearing this course will allow the user to operate sniper rifles in game.

    Airborne Training
    Airborne Training

    Airborne Training

    Airborne training puts the player through training similarly seen in real life Airborne exercises. Once the player completes the training they will be able participate in Airborne Maps online.

    Special Forces Training

    After completing Airborne Training and reaching Honor level 15 in the game, the player is allow to try and become a Green Beret by completing the Special Forces Training course. Once completed the player can now play on the Special Forces maps online.

    Javelin Missile Training

    Completing the Javelin Missile training allows the player to operate the Javelin system during game play. It is used on maps that involve computer controlled vehicles.

    HMMWV Driver Qualification

    Soldier, operating a CROWS
    Soldier, operating a CROWS

    The player must successfully navigate a driving course to be qualified to drive a HMMWV in game.

    CROWS Gunnery Training (Common Remotely Operated Weapon System)

    Successfully complete the test range in order to operate a CROWS, in game. The CROWS was added in patch 2.8 along with the HMMWV keeping up to date with Army standards. With the CROWS, the soldier operates the system from relative protection inside the vehicle; the system uses an LCD screen and a control panel to operate the gun.


    America's Army uses authentic fire arms that are used in Combat today. The weapons are modeled to the look and feel of their real life counter parts.

    US Army


    • M16A2 Assault Rifle
    • M4A1 Carbine
    • M4 SOPHMOD (Special Operations Peculiar Modification)
    • M16A2 / M203 Grenade Launcher
    • M249 SAW

    Sniper Rifles

    • M24 SWS
    • M82A1 SAMR
    • MK 12 MOD 0 Special Purpose Rifle (SPR)

    Secondary Weapons

    • M9 Beretta Pistol
    • Javelin Anti Tank Missle
    • M136 AT4 Light Anti-Tank Weapon
    • M141 Bunker Defeat Munition (BDM)


    • M67 Fragmentation Grenade
    • M83 White Smoke Grenade
    • AN-M14 TH3 Incendiary Hand Grenade
    • M84 Stun Grenade
    • AGP-DB14 Door Breaching Charge

    Foreign Weapons


    • AK-47 Assault Rifle
    • AKS-74u
    • AKS-74u (Spetnaz Modification)
    • AK-47/GP30 Grenade Launcher
    • RPK

    Sniper Rifles

    • Mosin-Nagant
    • Dragunov SVD
    • VSS Vintorez

    Secondary Weapons

    • Makarov
    • RPG-7
    • RPG-7VR Tandem Warhead RPG


    • RGD-5 Fragmentation Grenades
    • RGD-2 White Smoke Grenade
    • Zarya Stun Grenade
    • Pipebomb IED

    America's Army Server Manager (AASM)

    Americas Army Server Manager is a standalone application allowing players to set up and run their own servers. The servers will remain unranked however unless they pay a monthly fee allowing Americas Army Honor Points to be rewarded.

    Mission Depot

    America's Army 2.8 introduced the Mission Depot. The Mission Depot is a website that allows users to upload their own maps for judging; maps that turn out to be favorable are added to the game. In order to create maps, the dev team released the Americas Army map editor, which runs on the Unreal Engine. This allows the user to re-purpose the in game assets for new maps.

    America's Army 3.0

    The America's Army development team is currently working on a completely new version of the game. Taking advantage of the Unreal 3 Engine, the game will be built from the ground up.

    Version History

    • v1.0.0 07/04/02 America's Army: Recon
    • v1.0.1b 07/05/02 America's Army: Operations
    • v1.1.1 08/01/02 America's Army: Operations (Marksmanship Pack)
    • v1.2.0 08/22/02 America's Army: Operations (Airborne Pack)
    • v1.2.1 10/03/02 America's Army: Operations (Map Pack)
    • v1.3.0 10/10/02 America's Army: Operations (Mountain Pass)
    • v1.4.0 11/25/02 America's Army: Operations (River Basin)
    • v1.5.0 12/23/02 America's Army: Operations (Weapons Cache SE)
    • v1.6.0 03/16/03 America's Army: Operations (Radio Tower)
    • v1.7.0 04/21/03 America's Army: Operations (Bridge SE)
    • v1.9.0 08/08/03 America's Army: Operations (Medics)
    • v2.0.0 11/06/03 America's Army: Special Forces (SFAS)
    • v2.0.0a 12/21/03 America's Army: Special Forces (Sandstorm)
    • v2.1.0 05/25/04 America's Army: Special Forces (Downrange)
    • v2.2.0 10/19/04 America's Army: Special Forces (Vanguard)
    • v2.2.1 11/18/04 America's Army: Special Forces (Vanguard)
    • v2.3.0 02/18/05 America's Army: Special Forces (Firefight)
    • v2.4.0 05/05/05 America's Army: Special Forces (Q-Course)
    • v2.5.0 10/13/05 America's Army: Special Forces (Direct Action)
    • v2.6.0 02/09/06 America's Army: Special Forces (Link-Up)
    • v2.7.0 09/14/06 America's Army: Special Forces (Overmatch)
    • v2.8.0 12/21/06 America's Army: Special Forces (Coalition)
    • v2.8.1 03/22/07 America's Army: Special Forces (Overmatch) (SMU GH Map Pack)
    • v2.8.2 09/06/07 America's Army: Special Forces (Overmatch)
    • v2.8.3 01/31/08 America's Army: Special Forces (Overmatch)
    • v2.8.3.1 03/25/08 America's Army: Special Forces (Overmatch)
    • v2.8.4 10/09/08 America's Army: Special Forces (Overmatch)
    • v.2.8.5 04/30/09 America's Army: Special Forces (Overmatch)

    System Requirements

    Minimum System Requirements

    • 3-D graphics card with 128 MB memory and support for hardware transformation and lighting
    • 2.4 GHz processor or equivalent
    • English version of Windows ® 2000/XP Operating System with latest updates
    • 512 MB RAM
    • 3.5GB of uncompressed hard disk space for game files
    • 4X DVD-ROM (not required for downloaded installations)
    • Windows ® 2000/XP compatible system (including compatible 32-bit drivers for CD-ROM drive, video card, sound card, mouse and keyboard)
    • DirectX ® 9.0
    • 100% Compatible DirectX 9.0 soundcard
    • 56kbps Modem or other network connection
    • NVIDIA ® nForce ™ or other motherboards/soundcards containing the Dolby ® Digital Interactive Content Encoder required for Dolby Digital audio

    Recommended System Requirements

    • 3-D graphics card with 256 MB memory and support for hardware transformation and lighting
    • 3.0 GHz processor or equivalent
    • English version of Windows ® 2000/XP Operating System with all updates
    • 1 GB RAM
    • 3.5GB of uncompressed hard disk space for game files
    • 4X DVD-ROM (not required for downloaded installation)
    • Windows ® 2000/XP compatible system (including compatible 32-bit drivers for CD-ROM drive, video card, sound card, mouse and keyboard)
    • DirectX ® 9.0
    • 100% Compatible DirectX 9.0 sound card
    • Broadband Network Connection
    • Nvidia® nForce™ or other motherboard/sound cards containing Dolby Digital® Content Encoder required for Dolby Digital® audio.
    • Broadband Network Connection

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