I'd like to install and play the Day Z mod for Arma 2, but the web page for the mod doesn't give very specific instructions. Simply dropping the .rar files into the specified directories seems to be insufficient.

I'd like a step by step process for installing and launching this mod. I purchased the game through Steam, if distribution method matters.

5 Answers 5


I just got this working myself, although it took some help from the internet to get it working.

  • Install Arma 2 and Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead.
  • Close Steam completely, and then rerun it as an administrator (this is required to launch Arma 2 for the first time. You'll get a bad serial key error otherwise)
  • Create folder called @DayZ in C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\arma 2 operation arrowhead
  • Create a folder inside of that folder called Addons, and then download all the DayZ mod files from the DayZ website into that folder (So they should be located in C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\arma 2 operation arrowhead\@DayZ\Addons)
  • Extract the files into the Addons folder. Make sure they are in the top level of the Addons folder or Arma 2 won't be able to find the files.
  • Launch Arma 2 (you need to run Arma 2 first in order for Arma 2: Combined Operations to work, which is required for DayZ.
  • Launch Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead from the Steam library, and run it as Arma 2: Combined Operation

That's all you'll need to do to get DayZ working. Chances are you'll want to filter out the non-DayZ games, which you can do by opening the Filter menu and setting mission to DayZ.

Sources: this video, this thread, and this thread.

  • 2
    So Operation Arrowhead required for the mod to work? Dang!
    – Sterno
    May 12, 2012 at 3:27
  • @Sterno According to the mods website it is.
    – Wipqozn
    May 12, 2012 at 3:48
  • This didn't work for me until I copied the mod files to the base Arma 2/Addons Folder.
    – Sterno
    May 12, 2012 at 20:02
  • I see. For me they had to be located in the Operation OVerhead folder. I know you bought both games separately, so maybe that's part of the issue?
    – Wipqozn
    May 12, 2012 at 20:49
  • 2
    Also see reddit.com/r/dayz/comments/ttqdm/…
    – badp
    May 19, 2012 at 13:05

This process has gotten a lot simpler since the question was originally asked.

The DayZ site now recommends and links a launcher which installs the mod, updates it, and even lets you launch the game from it. Turns the entire process into a few simple clicks, and has the stamp of approval from the DayZ team so that you don't have to worry about running an unsupported executable.

For DayZ to run, you need both Arma II and its expansion, Operation Arrowhead (which you have if you've purchased Arma 2: Combined Operation).

  • Does this work for the free version of ARMA II as well? Jul 20, 2012 at 20:05
  • I don't know. I'm not in a good position to find out, either, sadly.
    – Sterno
    Jul 20, 2012 at 20:44
  • 1
    I can confirm that this does work with ARMA II free as well. Just make sure you follow these directions (particularly, steps 3 and 4 - you can skip step 5, the launcher does that for you). I also had to verify my game cache after everything was done to get it to work, a problem a lot of people are having apparently. Jul 23, 2012 at 4:56

I made a launcher and updater because I was fed up with these convoluted and hard ways of doing things. Install is just a case of running the launcher, will download the mod and launch Arma2 with all the correct parameters, for retail and Steam versions. If no updates are available, will launch into the game straight away.

The download and description is available here.


Just watch this guide from xlNewbeelx he explains it real good


I used a different method of installing, I followed this guide:

It is pretty simple and everything seems to be working fine.


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