Desert refers to two playable terrains in ArmA: Cold War Assault and ArmA 2.

ArmA: Cold War Assault


Desert Island is a sandy island that is devoid of any objects, buildings, or even foliage.


Essentially a blank version of Malden's military training island (on its south-eastern region), the Desert Island features nothing but flat sand dunes surrounded by water.


There are no inhabited settlements or towns/villages located on the map.

ArmA 2


Added with the Operation Arrowhead expansion pack for ArmA 2, the Desert is a mostly empty stretch of terrain that is set in the nondescript, remote regions of Takistan.



Desert is only populated by scattered shrubbery

Desert consists of a mostly flat surface with the occasional sand dune. The only exception is the southern section of the terrain, which has a rolling hill that gradually slopes back down to normal elevation.

Most of the terrain is empty save for a few rocks and shrubs that serve as foliage for the area.

The terrain itself will stretch infinitely in all directions, though there will be no noticeable landmarks or structures that crop up outside of the pre-defined "region".


There are no inhabited settlements or towns/villages located on the map.

Points of interest

An abandoned oil refinery is situated close to the centre of the desert. Rusted oil pipelines extending from multiple directions reroute directly to the rig's location.

It is possible to climb up the nearby tower which has a short flight of stairs and a ladder fixed right next to it. The lamp post at the rig is the only source of illumination at nighttime.


  • Desert Island in Cold War Assault was the first playable island in the series that simply consisted of nothing but empty terrain. Similar islands like ArmA 2's Desert (as described in this article) and ArmA 3's Virtual Reality terrain would continue the trend in subsequent titles.
  • Cold War Assault will always load Desert Island as part of the main menu screen on start up. As for ArmA 2 owners of the Operation Arrowhead expansion pack, Desert will be randomly selected as their menu background instead.

See also

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