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Latest VBS3 Update Expands Training Use Cases, Flexibility for Scenario Developers

Mar 02, 2018

BISim is excited to share the new features and capabilities available in the latest version of VBS3. Already used for hundreds of training uses cases, the latest version of VBS3 further extends those training possibilities, provide more flexibility and improves the user experience.

A Brand New Look

With v18.1 BISim is introducing a updated user interface for the VBS3 editors and AAR. The new UI, in its beta version, can be turned on via the VBS3 Launcher in v18.1.

The biggest difference with the new editor is the change in the side panels. The side-panels now elegantly resize without stretching or distorting UI elements. And there are also only two panels now: one on the left and one on the right.

The new UI also reworks the AAR timeline, so you can see a mini-legend of the sides and enlarged bookmarks area for sound. The area to move the timeline has more space and uses a different color to make it more usable.

If you’d like to participate in shaping the future of the VBS3 UI, take our user survey to provide feedback directly to our UI/UX team after you’ve tried out the updated UI.

A New Way to Get BISim Products

With v18.1, BISim is also launching its new VBS License Manager, which is the central hub for customers with WIBU licensing to access VBS products.

The new VBS License Manager provides a single install, no longer requiring separate server/client installs. It also acts as a Download Manager, providing product version support, download resume support, the ability to queue multiple products and enables you to download specific content packs. VBS License Manager also features licensing wizards for online/offline activation, online/office network activation for classrooms, and auto-network discovery for any PC with LM installed.

With VBS License Manager, VBS3 v18.1 and future versions will not be available through BISim’s website. Customers with HASP licensing who wish to obtain VBSLM v18.1 should reach out to customer support to have their licenses transitioned to WIBU. Older versions of VBS are still available via the website with HASP licensing.

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

VBS3 v18.1 includes a collection of new features to enable training programs to teach how to mark routes for military convoys and operations. In operations, dedicated teams carry specific signs that can be deployed and assembled in many combinations to provide critical information such as fighting direction.

Developed for the French, the signs use standard NATO signs that can be deployed and customized according to NATO rules. Soldiers’ avatars can carry poles and signs in their inventory and select where they will be placed in the scenario using a new Road Signs user interface. They can construct signs and edit the text, orientation and facing or place pre-assembled signs from their inventory. Virtual signs can be carried in crates in training scenarios to easily manage bundles of them. Any VBS3 developer can use the technology to develop their own signs. (The VBS3 Developer reference documentation includes a tutorial on how to create new content.)

A Change of Scenery in Real Time

Another new feature included in VBS3 v18.1 is the Biotope Loader feature that enables scenario developers and training administrators to “swap out” biotopes (groups of terrain objects like vegetation) on the fly and see changes implemented during mission creation or even in real time during a live scenario.

For example, you can take trees from one Biotope and mix them with snow from another. The combined biotope can be saved as a file in the mission. Scenario creators can revert back to a Biotope packaged with the map at any time. Users can also import custom Biotope (.sx) files. All of this can be done through the user interface without the need for scripting.

New Observation Training Tools

The latest, high definition vehicle model in VBS3 is the Fennek (Lighted Armored Recon Vehicle), created for the Netherlands MOD. The model designed for the Netherlands MOD features a new system of interactive panels. The system allows for rapid creation of procedural training content. For instance, the Netherlands MOD trainees can use highly detailed panels featuring the look and feel of the real vehicle, which can be manipulated via touch-screen or with the mouse. Trainees can raise and lower the camera mast to observe targets while the vehicle remains behind cover and the After Action Review records details as small as individual switch states, allowing for in-depth review. Some aspects of the panel system are exclusive to the Netherlands and not included in the VBS3 baseline.

Also new to VBS3, trainees can use binoculars from inside the Bushmaster vehicle. Rotation limits prevent clipping, e.g. binoculars looking through seats, etc., and animation configuration gives other users clear and consistent visual feedback to show where the trainee is looking with their binoculars. The technology created for the using binos in the Bushmaster enables users who are familiar with content configuration to make binoculars apply to other vehicles in VBS3.

Access New AI Behaviors

Accompanying the VBS3 v18.1 release, BISim has just officially released VBS Control Behavior Pack 1, a set of pre-programmed artificial intelligence behaviors for the most common training use cases. The behaviors can significantly reduce the need for human roleplayers. The VBS Control Behavior Pack provides convoy, civilian and infantry AI behaviors.

New to the set of behaviors is a feature called “AI on Rails” that allow scenario developers and training administrators to position AI exactly where they are needed for the training scenario and perform the same behaviors during every scenario run.

These AI behaviors can be accessed for free in single player mode in VBS3. To use them for multiplayer and networked settings, users must purchase separate licenses for the VBS Control Behavior Pack 1. Click here to watch a video.


Founded in 2001, Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim) is a global software company at the forefront of simulation and training solutions for defense and civilian organizations. Our mission is to harness the explosive potential of technology to revolutionize training and simulation.

BISim utilizes the latest game-based technology and a large, experienced in-house team of engineers to develop high-fidelity, cost-effective training and simulation software products and components for defense applications. Learn more at