America's Army is a video game developed and published by the United States Army as a virtual soldier experience and as a recruitment tool. First released in 2002, the game is financed by the US Government and is available for free. The game received updates post-release, including a 2.0 update.
The gameplay of America's Army simulates warfare realistically, with realistic weapon and damage models. Special training courses for combat life-saving, vehicle operation, missile launcher usage, and specialist airborne and special forces training are needed and passed before these elements can be performed in gameplay.
The gameplay is primarily multiplayer with some co-op missions. A team wins when one team completes the objective or eliminates the entire opposing team. An interesting fact is that players will always see themselves as the US Army faction, and their opponents as the OPFOR faction, who have their own arsenal consisting of counterparts of equipment used by the US Army. Equipment used by the OPFOR faction can be picked up from dead enemies, and some appear as weapons used by the playable indigenous forces (IF) faction, which are allies with the US Army.
A version of the game published by Ubisoft for the Xbox exists, known as America's Army: Rise of a Soldier, which features a singleplayer campaign. Sequels to the game were made, in the form of America's Army 3 and America's Army: Proving Grounds.
The following weapons appear in the computer game America's Army:
Note: This article reflects the latest available version of the original game, America's Army 2.8.5, for the sequel see America's Army 3.
The Beretta 92FS appears in the game as the "M9 Beretta" (the official designation of the 92FS in the U.S. military), and is one of the weapons the player is trained on during U.S. weapons familiarization training. During the "Shoot House" and "ESS McKenna" training missions, the player can select either an M4A1 or an M9 as their weapon, and it is also available as a secondary weapon for snipers and special forces roles in multiplayer mode.
The Makarov PM appears as the OPFOR counterpart to the M9 Beretta pistol. The game does not allow dropping or picking up pistols, so the Makarov is only an unusable third person model seen in the hands of enemies during gameplay, as well as among a collection of foreign weapons seen during Special Forces training.
Heckler & Koch MP5SD
In the "Snakeplain" multiplayer map, some of the OPFOR are armed with Heckler & Koch MP5SD submachine guns, the only instance in the game where the AI OPFOR do not use Soviet-made weaponry.
SA Vz.61 Skorpion
The SA Vz.61 Skorpion appears in the game loaded with a 20-round magazine, only seen as a third person model among a collection of foreign weapons on a table during Special Forces training.
Rifles / Carbines
The regular infantry weapon of this game, the M16A2 Rifle is the most common weapon in the game. First it can be used by a player in Basic Rifle Marksmanship training in Basic Combat Training where the player can score one of three ratings with the weapon; Marksman, Sharpshooter, and Expert. Qualifying Expert makes the player eligible for Advanced Marksmanship training with the sniper weapons discussed below. This is also one of the few games that will depict weapons jamming on the player, which is introduced in Basic Rifle Marksmanship, the player having to perform a 'SPORTS' (Slap Pull Observe Release Tap Squeeze) drill to clear the malfunction and get the weapon back in action.
The M4A1 Carbine appears in the "Shoot House" and "ESS McKenna" training missions and is the main weapon used in multiplayer modes where players are allowed to use custom weapons. The M4A1 in the training missions have no accessories, though in multiplayer can be fitted with various SOPMOD accessories including M68 Aimpoint red dot and ACOG scopes, Trijicon RX01 red dot sight, silencer, Harris bipod (making the M4A1 the only assault rifle in the game to use a bipod), and an M203 grenade launcher as mentioned below. The custom M4A1's also have camouflage paint schemes.
The AK-47 appears in the game as the OPFOR (OPposing FORce) counterpart to the M16A2. An interesting note is that the AK-47's in the game have mounting hardware for a folding bayonet as used on the Norinco Type 56, but have the open front sights of the original AK-47.
The AK-103 appears in the game as a mounting platform for the GP-30 grenade launcher mentioned below.
The AKS-74U appears in the game as the OPFOR counterpart to the M4A1, the IF (indigenous forces) rifleman's primary weapon, and the VIP's starting weapon (with only one 30-rd magazine). The AKS-74UB appears in the game as the counterpart to the SOPMOD-customized M4A1's, fitted with silencer and GSN-19 grenade launcher as mentioned below, and can also be fitted with a PSO-1 scope or Kobra red dot sight.
In some multiplayer games where the player is capable of ESS reporting, one of the items that can be found and reported is crates containing both regular AK-47's and Zastava M92 carbines, though these weapons cannot be used by either the player or OPFOR. These can be distinguished from the AKS-74U carbines mentioned above by having underfolding instead of side-folding stocks and metal 7.62x39mm magazines vs. bakelite 5.45x39mm mags.
During the Special Forces training mission, a short-barreled pistol-gripped Remington 870 Shotgun can be seen on a table with other U.S. weapons. Additionally there is a mod to use this weapon on certain usermade maps or other modded servers as it is in the game as a useable weapon
The M249 Squad Automatic Weapon appears in the game, first seen in the U.S. weapons familiarization mission of Basic Combat Training, and then available in multiplayer mode as the automatic rifleman's primary weapon. The M249's bipod can be deployed when using the weapon while prone to increase accuracy.
The RPK light machine gun appears as the OPFOR and Indigenous Forces counter to the M249 SAW, loaded with a 75-round drum magazine. Like the M249, it too can utilize the bipod for increased accuracy during prone firing.
The Barrett M82 sniper rifle appears in the game as the "M82A1 Barrett", and is the second weapon the player is trained on in Advanced Marksmanship training. It is available on longer ranged maps as the primary weapon of the advanced marksman. While officially designated as an anti-materiel weapon, this powerful weapon can easily kill an OPFOR in one shot. The Barrett is also prone to jamming with heavy usage, possibly moreso than any other weapon in the game. It can also use the integral bipod to increase accuracy while firing from the prone position.
M24 Sniper Weapon System
The M24 Sniper Weapon System appears in the game as the "M24 Sniper Weapon System" (the actual U.S. Army designation for the weapon), and is one of two weapons the player is trained on during Advanced Marksmanship training. The M24 comes equipped with a Harris bipod which can be deployed to increase accuracy while firing from the prone position.
Mk 12 Mod 0 SPR
The Mk 12 Mod 0 Special Purpose Rifle appears as one of the weapons available to U.S. snipers in the game, and can be fitted with a silencer. The rate of fire of the rifle is somewhat slower than the actual SPR for reasons of fairness in multiplayer gameplay. The SPR also features a Parker & Hale bipod which can be used to increase accuracy from a prone firing position as well as a Leupold Mark 4 scope.
Mosin Nagant M91/30
The sniper version of the Mosin Nagant M91/30 rifle appears as the OPFOR counter to the M24 Sniper Weapon System, equipped with a PU scope. Despite its age, it is still a formidable weapon in the hands of a skilled player. A modelling error is seen on the third person model - the bolt handle is on the left side of the weapon.
FPK / PSL Sniper Rifle
The FPK / PSL Sniper Rifle appears in the game as the OPFOR equivalent of the Barrett M82A1, equipped with the standard PSO-1 scope. This is the most mismatched US-OPFOR weapon pairing in the game regarding the caliber.
The VSS Vintorez sniper rifle appears in the game, as the OPFOR equivalent to the Mk 12 Mod 0 and as the Indigenous Forces advanced marksman's primary weapon. Operates in semi and full-auto and comes equipped with a PSO-1 scope, though in a display of foreign weapons in one of the Special Forces training missions it appears with the scope removed.
The M203 grenade launcher appears mounted on both the M16A2 rifle and the M4A1 carbine. The M203 mounted on an M16A2 is another weapon the player is trained on in the U.S. weapons familiarization training, the player being tasked with putting grenades through a simulated window and hitting the pop-up silhouette target. When mounted on the M4A1, it can fire either HEDP (High-Explosive Dual-Purpose) grenades or flare rounds, and the SOPMOD-equipped M4A1 has it sporting a camo paint scheme like the rest of the weapon.
The GP-30 grenade launcher appears in the game mounted on the AK-103 rifle, and serves as the OPFOR counterpart to the M203 grenade launcher mounted on the M16A2 as mentioned above.
The silenced GSN-19 grenade launcher appears mounted on the AKS-74UB as the OPFOR counter to the M203 on the SOPMOD M4A1.
In the "Real Heroes" section of the game, the player can visit a simulated Army recruiting station where the Virtual Army Experience (a travelling, interactive version of the America's Army game) is in progress, one of the weapons seen inside the VAE being a tripod-mounted BGM-71 TOW missile launcher. This appears to be a TGT (TOW Gunnery Trainer), a computerised training simulator which uses components of the M220 launcher.
The FGM-148 Javelin appears as the only playable guided anti-armor weapon in the game, and like the real weapon can be operated in two modes; direct-attack and top-attack, the latter being the default mode, wherein the missile flies above the target and hits it from directly above, while direct attack has it flying straight at the target to hit it head-on. The FGM-148's Command Launch Unit (CLU) can also be used without a missile as makeshift binoculars or a night-vision device.
In the "Weapons Cache" multiplayer map, the objective is to find and photograph two weapons caches hidden in a warehouse building, the crates containing FIM-92A Stinger launchers. The "Snakeplain" multiplayer map has destroying Stinger launchers with incendiary grenades as one of the main objectives. In the "ESS McKenna" training mission and multiplayer maps where the player is capable of ESS reporting, crated Stingers can sometimes be seen and reported as a suspicious object.
The M136 AT4 appears in the game and is one of two shoulder-fired rocket weapons the player is trained on in the U.S. weapons familiarization training, the player being given a derelict tank on the range to fire at. Notably, the weapon can be safely fired indoors, possibly indicating the use of the AT4-CS (confined space) variant.
M141 SMAW-D "Bunker Defeat Munition"
The M141 SMAW-D appears as the "Bunker Defeat Munition" ("BDM" for short), and is the second of two shoulder-launched rocket weapons the player is trained on during U.S. weapons familiarization, being tasked with hitting a bunker several hundred meters downrange in order to qualify.
The RPG-7 appears as the OPFOR equivalent to both the M136 AT4 and the Bunker Defeat Munition, being loaded with a standard PG-7VM HEAT (High-Explosive Anti-Tank) and a PG-7VR tandem warhead rocket for each role, respectively. While using one of these weapons, the player is unable to sprint and must either discard the RPG or switch to another weapon in order to sprint again.
AN/M14 Incendiary Grenade
The AN/M14 incendiary grenade is another grenade available in multiplayer mode and is one of two lethal grenades available to the player, capable of inflicting lethal burns and acting as a temporary area denial device, preventing access to the area where it's burning.
RDG-2 Smoke Grenade
The RDG-2 smoke grenade appears as the OPFOR equivalent to the M83 smoke grenade mentioned below, though is most commonly seen in maps where the player can conduct ESS reporting, seen in weapon caches and collections of IED construction materials.
RGD-5 Hand Grenade
The RGD-5 hand grenade appears as the OPFOR counter to the M67 hand grenade, having the same degree of lethality. Like the Makarov PM mentioned above, the RGD-5 is only a third-person model seen in the hands of the enemy and is not usable by the player.
M18 Smoke Grenade
The M18 smoke grenade appears during Airborne training; a green M18 is used to mark the landing area the player must land their parachute in during the live jump in order to successfully qualify.
M67 Hand Grenade
The M67 hand grenade is one of the weapons available in multiplayer mode, and is one of two lethal grenades available. Standard practice in multiplayer mode is to send the message "Frag out!", informing members of the player's squad that one of these grenades has been thrown, giving them time to clear the blast area to avoid friendly fire, which can have heavy penalties in multiplayer mode (though the latest version makes sending this message automatic upon throwing a frag grenade). On some maps (such as co-op maps with AI-controlled OPFOR), the M67 is used by the OPFOR as well as the player's team.
M83 Smoke Grenade
The M83 smoke grenade appears in the game as one of two playable non-lethal grenades, and is useful for obscuring the enemy's vision and providing temporary concealment.
M84 Stun Grenade
The M84 stun grenade appears as the second non-lethal grenade in the game, first seen in the "Shoot House" training mission, as well as in multiplayer mode. A direct hit from one of these grenades leaves the player blind and deaf for several moments and unable to defend themselves. In the "Shoot House" mission, using these grenades delays the timer in that room, allowing the player more time to distinguish valid targets from friendlies and non-combatants.
The Browning M2HB heavy machine gun appears mounted on M1114 Humvees in one of the training missions, mounted in powered CROWS (Common Remotely Operated Weapon System) mountings operated from inside the vehicle. In the training mission, the player is tasked with engaging several silhouette targets made to resemble Russian-made trucks and armored personnel carriers such as the BTR-80 and BMP-2.
General Dynamics GAU-17/A
The General Dynamics GAU-17/A Minigun appears door-mounted on UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters in one of the Special Forces training missions, dropping the player off for escape and evasion training.
In the "Steamroller" multiplayer map, a derelict BTR-80 armored personnel carrier can be seen, armed with a KPVT heavy machine gun, the barrel of which is bent, rendering it useless. The "Interdiction" co-op map features several roving enemy APC's which will attempt to engage the player, including a BTR-80 with a functional KPVT as its' main armament.