Getting DayZ to run with Arma 2: Reinforcements

I truly don’t see what all the fuss is about DayZ after having played it for a while, but I’m determined to give it at least a week of regular playtime. Especially after all the trouble I had to get it running in the first place. Let me start off by saying that you can save yourself quite a bit of problems by simply buying Arma 2: Combined Operations from the developer, but this post is dedicated to those of us that already had Arma 2: Reinforcements and want to get DayZ running with it.

There’s a very specific reason why you don’t need to buy CO when you already have Reinforcements, namely that PMC is included in it and thus you get the high quality models and textures not available in the basic version of Operation Arrowhead.

  1. Install reinforcements.

  2. Download the appropriate patch from, I picked the Install it.

  3. Download Arma II Lite/Free and install it (in a separate directory!). The site was by far the fastest for me. Do note that the arma 2 free registration site didn’t work for me, I couldn’t log in with any of the openid sites. Instead I began downloading the demo on steam, immediately cancelled, then right clicked the game in my steam library and copied the code from there. I suspect you can download it entirely from steam and use that installation for the below, but I didn’t so I’m not 100% about it.

  4. Launch both the reinforcements and Arma 2 free installations once each.

  5. Get from Rename arma2rft.exe in your reinforcements directory to a backup name (arma2rft.exeold), copy Expansion/Beta/arma2rft.exe to the main directory.

  6. Create a new directory called “@DayZ” in your reinforcements directory. Then create another directory called “Addons” in that directory. Download all the files at and unrar them into the newly created Addons directory. There’s a handy installer available but for whatever reason it refused to function for me stating that the rar files were missing on all download servers.

  7. Download The Arma II launcher. When configuring the launch options choose the locations for arma 2 (lite) but choose arma2rft.exe in the reinforcements directory when configuring OA.

  8. Add “-beta=Expansion\beta;Expansion\beta\Expansion -nosplash -mod=@dayz” to additional parameters in the launcher, choose game version Arma II – CO.

  9. Pray.

  10. Start the game.

This was a somewhat nostalgic experience, I haven’t had to jump through quite so many hoops since the early 90s. There’s multiple points where this entire endeavor can fail, make sure you copy both the reinforcements installation and the arma 2 lite installation before you apply any of the patches and such. It’ll save you time if you screw up and have to reinstall.