Civilians (sometimes also referred to as non-combatants) are a neutral faction that have appeared in every main ArmA game in the series to date.
Civilians are almost always unarmed and do not take a direct part in any of the hostilities between BLUFOR, OPFOR and Independent factions. Law enforcement officers, paramedics, firefighters and non-military intelligence personnel are also considered as civilians to correctly reflect current international law.
In particular, the Remnants of War campaign (added with the release of the Laws of War DLC for ArmA 3) explores the theme of civilians caught in the crossfire between armies. It delves into the role of Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) like the IDAP, and also demonstrates the purpose of the Laws Of Armed Conflict (LOAC) in practice.
Civilians are always coloured purple on maps and are either white or green when targeted. Throughout the series, several in-game mechanics are used to ensure that players adhere to the rules of war and are punished if they try to go against them.
Players are never "rewarded" for attacking civilians and are always penalised for attempting to do so. For instance, campaigns will automatically fail the current mission with a game over should the player attempt to kill or wound even a single civilian. In other situations, the player will not fail the mission instantly but will instead be unable to complete important objectives that will result in negative outcomes. In the case of campaigns with one or more endings, this may culminate in the worst outcomes to the story.
In regular gameplay (and the editor itself), a point score system is used to track the player's "status" and is used to discourage them from causing collateral damage. Killing civilians or deliberately destroying non-military vehicles/structures, for example, will heavily penalise players by giving them a negative score.
In almost every situation, this will automatically mark them as a "renegade" and turns them into a hostile target that will be fired upon by all sides; the player's own faction and squad members included.
- Victor Troska (Former civilian-turned-guerilla, ArmA: CWA)
- Anita Baker (HiN aid worker, ArmA 2: OA)
- Vojtech Hladik (LMN aid worker, ArmA 2: BAF)
- Mark Cole (AAN journalist, ArmA 3)
- Nathan MacDade (IDAP aid worker/field consultant, ArmA 3: Laws of War)
- Markos Kouris (Altian civilian, ArmA 3: Laws of War)
- "Santiago" (Former French Foreign Legionnaire-turned-civilian, ArmA 3: Old Man)
- Drábek (Retired bacteriologist/IDAP medical researcher, ArmA 3: Old Man)