So, you’ve read my preview and decided to give DayZ a try. I can’t blame you. It’s not every day that a mod for an under appreciated first person shooter goes viral and achieves a Minecraft level of acclaim within the gaming community. In this guide I’ll show you how to download and install the ARMA II mod that’s spreading like wildfire.
DayZ is a mod for ARMA II: Combined Operations. The mod itself is free, but you will need to own both ARMA II and ARMA II: Operation Arrowhead to play it. Both games are bundled together under the name ARMA II: Combined Operations, but there’s also the option to download each game individually in case you bought one during a Steam sale in the past.
Once bought and installed, the next thing you will need is the DayZ installer. It can be downloaded here. Once extracted, launch and click “Update.” It will update ARMA II and Operation Arrowhead with all the necessary files required to run DayZ. For good measure, click “Check for Update” after the updating is complete. There’s a chance the initial update may have missed a few files.
Now locate ARMA II: Operation Arrowhead in your Steam Library. Right-click it and select Properties. Now select “Set Launch Options” and paste in the following string of text without the quotations: “-mod=@dayz -nosplash”
After you press “OK” and close out of the Properties window, you are now ready to launch ARMA II: Combined Operations. Can’t find Combined Operations in your Steam Library? That’s because the two ARMA games don’t technically form a new game. You have to right-click ARMA II: Operation Arrowhead and then select Launch ARMA II: Combined Operations from the pop-up menu. This launches Operation Arrowhead with the necessary files from ARMA II that are required to run DayZ.
Now all you have to do is find a server running DayZ, join the game and curse a lot when bandits loot your corpse within seconds of spawning. Stick with it. It’s brutal at first, but once you get the hang of the unforgiving world of DayZ, you just might fall in love.