There's something about the thrill of the kill with military simulators that makes them so appealing. That's probably because, in contrast to other FPS games, mil-sims demand a lot of work just to get a player lined up in your crosshairs. You have to covertly move into a position, set up your angle, and even hold it for minutes on end before someone comes running into your line of sight. Even once you pull the trigger you're typically dealing with more recoil than your standard FPS titles. However, that's exactly the fun we're looking for with the five best military simulators on PC.
So let's hope you've got plenty of patience because you'll definitely need it. As all of these games will undoubtedly test your adversity since they're not your typical run-and-gun FPS. So, don't expect to be running around racking up the leaderboards. Instead, you can anticipate feeling the weight of these games' lifelike depictions of war as your adrenaline will undoubtedly be pumping. Just know that even the most minor of decisions can be the difference between life and death in our picks for the five best military simulators on PC.
If you're looking for a mil-sim set in the time of World War II, Enlisted is a surefire pick. The squad-based FPS has all of its wars based around major WWII battles. Such as the Battle of Stalingrad, Invasion of Normandy, Battle of Berlin, and notable others. In those battles you choose if you want to be an Infantry Squad Leader, Tank Crew, or Aircraft Pilot. Then you play as one member of your squad, with the other AI-controlled members listening to your orders.
This makes decision-making and squad-based movement vital, as you don't want to run your squad into a trap. And don't forget to look into the skies above at all times, because you never know when a bombing run is heading right you're way. Everything in Enlisted from the weaponry, appearance, and even vehicles is in line with historical accounts. As a result, the gameplay is an adrenaline rush and action-packed experience, constantly.
4. Insurgency: Sandstorm
More modern and focused around close-quarters-combat, is Insurgency: Sandstorm. The tactical FPS focuses on teamwork to complete objective-based gameplay. You can play various 14 vs. 14 or eight-player cooperative game modes against AI-simulated missions. But as we've already mentioned, this is a military simulation, and Insurgency: Sandstorm is among the best at simulating the intensity of gunfights.
Insurgency: Sandstorm has been claimed as one of the best atmospheric shooters, with a very strong level of realism. It's evident you work together, as team-based movement is highly rewarded in the heat of battle. Just focus on keeping your wits because the combat in Insurgency has a different level of intensity than it does in other games. You can practically feel the power and pressure of a high-caliber bullet coming your way. So, tread carefully.
3. Escape From Tarkov
Escape from Tarkov is a mil-sim game that you've never really experienced before. The game has been in production for over six years and still isn't fully released yet, due to the sheer size of content they still want to add to the game. In Escape from Tarkov, players first select a side—Bear or USEC—and then, armed with their initial equipment or whatever they manage to acquire, they enter a raid. Essentially a raid has roughly 10-14 player main characters (PMC) enter an area, and you are left to fight you're way out to an extraction point.
Don't expect this to be a walk in the park, however, as Tarkov is one of the most hardcore and realistic mil-sims on this list. If you die in a raid, you essentially lose all of the gear that you went in with. Making progress in this game is very hard but highly rewarding. It's just the unforgiving reality of Tarkov that you could be walking along and then, out of the blue, get one tapped from across the map. However, we must admit that there aren't many PC military simulators that can match the rush and adrenaline Tarkov gives you.
2. Arma III
Arma III is a massive military sandbox game, solely dedicated to recreating war on PC. It even has a single-player story mode, that takes place across three game-play-driven episodes, which really is a great way to introduce you to the game's tactical combat. Then once you've got a feeling you can head into the many different multiplayer game modes for the game. There is King of the Hill, Defend and Seize, and even full-blown scale military operations.
In those, you can travel by foot, air, or even sea with over 20 vehicles to use. On top of that, there are tons of weapons and loadout options to adequately prepare you for any situation. Whether that be night-vision, a grenade launcher, or a ghillie suit. Arma III is known for being one of the best military simulators on PC also due to its community. There are constantly large-scale mil-sim ops taking place, with many players taking on the role-playing aspect for added immersion.
Squad is a military simulator on PC that is highly realistic and centered around team-based gameplay. On large-scale maps, 50-player teams are comprised of nine-person squads, to face off against the opposing 50 players, in an intense real-world environment. Typically you have a squad leader that is calling the shots and attempting to safely move your squad through the enemy team while securing the objective. Just be sure to double-check your surroundings because players will usually hide just about anywhere they, for as long as they have to, just to get a shot on you.
Because of this, moving as a squad and using effective teamwork and communication are essential. Firefights have a realistic feel to them, making them highly intense, and you most definitely don't want to catch yourself separated from the group. Squad really fuses realistic gunfights with realistic gameplay and missions, making for one of the best mil-sims experiences on PC. If you want the best all-around experience of a mil-sim, Squad is our number one pick.