SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs, is a Third-person tactical shooter video game for PlayStation 2 and the sequel for previous games SOCOM: US Navy Seals and SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs. The game was developed by Zipper Interactive in collaboration with the Naval Special Warfare Command and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. SOCOM 3 was released on October 11, 2005, and was added to the list of Sony Greatest Hits games on August 4, 2006.

General gameplay[edit | edit source]

SOCOM 3 is a third person shooter. tactical shooter that combines the elements of strategy, stealth, reflex and hand-eye coordination. There are 14 different single-player Missions: 6 in North Africa, 3 in South Asia, and 5 in Poland, plus an optional training mission stationed in North Africa.

SOCOM 3 is playable on 5 different difficulty levels. At the start, the player can only choose from 3 of these (Ensign, Lieutenant, and Commander). If the player completes the game on Commander, they can unlock the Captain difficulty level (which unlocks the Admiral difficulty level upon successful completion).

One of the main focuses for singleplayer is unlocking new character models, weapons, and weapon attachments for the online multiplayer mode (more detail later). Every mission has primary objectives, secondary objectives, bonus objectives, and crosstalk objectives - which are compatible with the Sony PSP game SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo.

New and changed features[edit | edit source]

  • SOCOM 3's online and single player modes have new interfaces.
  • Accessories, including scopes, grenade launchers and rifle lasers, can be added to weapons.
  • Players can now save their progress during single player missions.
  • Players can swim and operate vehicles, including trucks, M1025s (as suggested on the game's cover art), ALSVs, technicals,tanks and boats.
  • Its single player mode is much larger than those of the previous SOCOM games.
  • Online multiplayer games now support up to 32 players (16 for each of the two competing teams, the SEALs and the Terrorists) in one game. (This allows scenarios with full 16-SEAL "platoons" for the first time in SOCOM series history.)
  • Many character movement features have been added.
  • Maps no longer have set game modes; the various modes (demolition, extraction, suppression, etc.) can now be played on most maps.
  • Clan roster size increased from 16 players to a total of 32.
  • In order to hold the increased amount of players, the map sizes have increased significantly.
  • In order to use the more pernicious weapons for multiplayer, such as the Steyr AUG or L-85, you must first complete the single player on Admiral. The other unlockables (ghillie suits, multiplayer skins, medium scope, and front grip) can be obtained using the same method, albeit on different difficulty levels. Other unlockables require the user to complete crosstalk objectives in SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo, and then sync the PSP and Playstation 2 together.

Single player campaign[edit | edit source]

Fireteam structure and movement[edit | edit source]

Able Element[edit | edit source]

SPECTER (the player) and JESTER are the Able Element.

Bravo Element[edit | edit source]

The SEALs in Bravo operate closely together and execute Specter's orders as a pair. Bravo can be almost anywhere on the "op area" of the map, giving you flexibility in suppression of enemy forces, ambushes and extraction of the personnel.

Like in SOCOM II, the Bravo Element is occupied by different operatives, changing for each Area of Operation.

Area of Operation[edit | edit source]

North Africa[edit | edit source]

General Heydar Mahmood's North African Patriotic Front (NAPF) forces are invading a nation in North Africa, specifically Morocco. General Mahmood vows to rebuild Africa and confront the Coalition for Humanitarian Aid (a UN-style organization which has placed sanctions of Mahmood's nation.) Like in SOCOM 2 , Mahmood has been terrorizing the region with his massive army and the story of his terror continues in this operation. The Bravo team for this area of operation consists of SEALs Killjoy and Simple. The SEALs are also supported against the NAPF forces by local resistance fighters, the U.S. Army and CHA peacekeepers.

South Asia[edit | edit source]

A gang calling iself The Fist And Fire, led by Hari Raman, has been severely looting suspected ships that carry weapons and firearms in the Bay of Bengal. The group sells the pirated weapons to the black market to obtain money for their own use. The Fist and Fire also have links to Al-Shakoosh, an Islamic Extremist terror group conducting a terror campaign against South Asian governments. Bravo consists of British SBS operatives Chopper and Flash and the team receives some help from local villagers.

Poland[edit | edit source]

Poland has entered a new period of economic prosperity, but this being threatened by a well-armed, ultranationalist terrorist group known as The New Slavic Order (lead by Dr. Basia Mironova and Krzysztof Gryc), who are attempting to use chemical weapons to achieve their aims. Bravo consists of Polish GROM operatives Deadpan and Coldkill. According to the in-game briefing dossier, Miranova "is a former Soviet scientist who has freelanced for various terrorist organizations and rogue regimes since the collapse of the Soviet Union". In a cutscene she is shown testing a nerve agent on a human subject, whom she calls a traitor. In the same cutscene it is shown she enjoys listening to opera music and is hit by New Slavic Order leader Krzystof Gryc. After he leaves she says to herself that she would like to experiment on him. She is also an unlockable character for online play for the Poland region maps. Her character can only be played as a terrorist.

Mission success and failure[edit | edit source]

Several factors determine success of your mission. Perfection for any factor is 100% for completing all objectives. The player receives a grade (A-F) evaluating their performance on the aspects of stealth, accuracy, teamwork, and mission completion.

Mission success[edit | edit source]

Stealth - Each time the player's team is discovered and the enemy communicates your presence to others, you lose points for stealth.

Accuracy - Hitting targets increases player's accuracy ratings, while missed shots lower it. The accuracy of your teammates are also counted.

Teamwork - The player must use his team for cooperative engagements. The more the player uses his teammates during the course of a mission, the higher player's Teamwork rating.

Mission Completion - Primary objectives are the most important Mission Objectives and have the largest impact on mission success. Although the player can fail secondary objectives and still pass the mission, primary objectives require 100% completion.

Mission failure[edit | edit source]

Player's mission is considered a failure under the following conditions:

  • The player character (SPECTER) is incapacitated.
  • A mission critical character, such as a hostage or escortee, is killed.
  • A mission critical target escapes.
  • The player aborts a mission.
  • All three of player's SEAL teammates are incapacitated.
  • Leaving the mission area (going out of bounds).
  • The players kills one of your teammates.

There are also some special mission-select failure conditions, such as being detected (Nightcrawler and Waterlogged), failing to defend an object (one of the North African and one of the Polish missions), and others.

Player reaction[edit | edit source]

When SOCOM 3 was released unto the public, it gathered a mixture of positive and negative reviews. Fans of the previous installments felt that the new camera and aiming system was an unwelcome change from their SOCOM and SOCOM 2 counterparts. They also felt that the intimacy of the SOCOM 2 maps was lost in the transition to large-scale, 32 player combat, faulty squad A.I. during single-player, as well as a short single player campaign. Many complaints were brought up because of the lack of SOCOM and SOCOM 2 maps in SOCOM 3, which many felt were better than the current maps. Zipper has since been releasing Map Packs, but the poor communication and the long delays have not satisfied the community. On the positive side, the customization options were well-received by some people, and many people felt the Single Player was better overall than previous games.

Online gameplay[edit | edit source]

In the past, online play is a huge contributor to the game's success. In SOCOM 3, players can team up with others from around the world and compete as a SEAL unit or Terrorist force.

Cheating Online[edit | edit source]

Players may exploit glitches to give them an edge over the competition and these players are heavily frowned upon by the SOCOM community. Cheating also includes the use lagswitches, which are modified Ethernet cords that allow players to purposefully lag, and the use of "mod disks".

People have created "mod disks" that allow players to jump to extreme heights, shoot single-shot sniper rifles fully automatic, run faster than the normal speed, and never die. The number of people people using a cheating program called 'Code Majic' has increased substantially due to Zipper not scanning for new codes, letting many people use codes unpunished. Problems arise when "glitchers" ruin legitimate games, especially games that are ranked.

Many games carry the label "Glitch No Kill" or "GNK", for short, and are large level rooms where there is no combat, only glitching. This encourages the spread of glitching, as the knowledge is shared between users. In these rooms, no combat is permitted, and anyone who fires upon another character is booted out of the room by vote. Also, there are clans that are made solely for glitching.

Online mission types[edit | edit source]

  • Breach: SEALs attempt to destroy Terrorist strongholds. Terrorists use their fortifications to prevent the SEAL incursion, as SEALs break through barriers and destroy key targets. A team may also win by eliminating the opposition.
  • Demolition: Find the bomb and blow up the opposition headquarters. The bomb, or satchel, is placed on a neutral point in the map, easily accessible from both oppositions. Each team prevents the opposing team's demolition of their base. For example, if the terrorists have the bomb, the SEALs are on the defensive, and must ensure their stronghold remains safe. A team may also win by eliminating the opposition.
  • Suppression: Fight to the death. This team deathmatch ends when one side loses all of their players, or when the timer expires. The team with the most living players wins at the end of the round.
  • Escort: Depending on the map either the SEALs or the Terrorists attempt to move key personnel to a secure location. The Offensive team must get at least 2 out of the 3 VIPs to the extraction zone; while the Defensive team must kill at least two VIPs, or run the clock out (unlike SOCOM II, where the Offensive team would win). A team may also win by eliminating the opposition.
  • Extraction: Depending on the map either the SEALs or the Terrorists attempt to rescue and extract hostages. The Offensive team wins by escorting at least two hostages into the extraction zone, and the Defensive team wins by preventing extraction in the allotted time. If Offense kills a hostage, a minute is deducted from the mission timer. If the Defense kills a hostage, the Offense is credited as if they rescued the hostage. If the Offense kills too many hostages, they will lose. A team may also win by eliminating the opposition.
  • Control: Place beacons at all control points The SEALs/Terrorists must plant 5 beacons on a map. Once a beacon is planted, the enemy can't take it away, but they can plant a beacon at that control point. The team who has all of the control points covered first, wins. If the round ends, the team with the most beacons placed win. Control points consist of Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, and Juliet. A team may also win by eliminating the opposition.
  • Convoy: Terrorists guide a convoy to a loading zone and guide it back to a drop zone The Terrorist team must successfully breach a series of blockades to reach a cargo loading zone. They will have to pick up cargo and continue through another set of blockades to a drop zone. The SEAL's objective is to stop the convoy. If both cargo trucks are destroyed, or if the time runs out, the SEAL team wins. If at least one loaded cargo truck makes it to a drop zone, the terrorists win. A team may also win by eliminating the opposition.

Online maps[edit | edit source]

At release, SOCOM 3 had 12 original maps. As of March 31, 2008, there are a three downloadable map packs, with a total of 11 maps between them, bringing the total number to 23 possible maps. Here's a list of the maps:

SOCOM 3 Maps

Breach Demolition Suppression Escort Extraction Control Convoy
Citadel Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Crucible No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Devil's Road No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Killing Fields No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Antenora Yes No Yes No Yes Yes No
Boneyard Yes No Yes No Yes No No
Storm Front No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
Tidal Fury Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
Blackwoods No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
Fault Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No
Harvester Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Waterworks Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No

Downloadable Maps

Breach Demolition Suppression Escort Extraction Control Convoy
After Hours No Yes Yes No No Yes No
Last Bastion Yes No Yes No Yes Yes No
Liberation No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Blizzard No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
Desert Glory No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
Blood Lake No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
Abandoned No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
Crossroads No Yes Yes No No Yes No
Fishhook Yes No Yes No Yes Yes No
Frostfire No Yes Yes No No Yes No
Guidance No Yes Yes No No Yes No

Online account verification[edit | edit source]

Zipper Interactive decided to require SOCOM 3 players to verify their identities by using a credit card, debit cards, or VISA gift cards. If the players do not verify themselves, they will not be granted ranks, allowed to join friends' lists, ranked games or even clans. It was a controversial decision; many players have responded with ire on the game's official message boards, and several have formed online petitions to protest the change. The PAL version of SOCOM 3 did not need to be verified for online play.

The SOCOM blog, set up by the Sony PlayStation team to give players a look at the making of the game, stated that this was meant to keep SOCOM cheaters away from the game, but it has not stopped cheaters. The cheaters can also use credit cards to log on and freely exploit game glitches, since no one monitors matches. Zipper, however, does encourage using the in-game exploit forums to report cheaters. Zipper announced that it is too late to change credit card verification and it was also implemented in SOCOM: Combined Assault.

As of late new accounts are considered verified.

Ranking system[edit | edit source]

The SOCOM 3 ranking system is currently frozen as of March 19th 2007. The system uses many more naval ranks than the previous versions, including most of the enlisted and officer naval ranks. However, the ranking system has encountered a few problems. The requirements for attaining higher rank when you start as an enlisted Seaman is different from the system used by the officers. Advancement in the enlisted ranks is attained by playing in full games, regardless of the outcome.

Enlisted Ranks
Rank Number of games played
Seaman Recruit 0-4
Seaman Apprentice 5-14
Seaman 15-24
Petty Officer Third Class 25-39
Petty Officer Second Class 40-54
Petty Officer First Class 55-74
Chief Petty Officer 75-100

After completing 75 games and having 50 wins, the player is moved to the officer rankings, where rank is determined by the player's place in the game ladder. For example, the lowest rank of Ensign is assigned to the lowest 19%.

Officer Ranks
Grades Rank Distance from top of Officer Ladder
Junior Grades Ensign 81-100%
Lieutenant Junior Grade 66-80%
Lieutenant 51-65%
Mid Grades Lieutenant Commander 41-50%
Commander 31-40%
Captain 21-30%
Flag Grades Rear Admiral Lower Half 11-20%
Rear Admiral Upper Half 6-10%
Vice Admiral 2-5%
Admiral 0-1%
Fleet Admiral Top 10 players

Patch 2.0 ( 11/06/06 1:34PM )

The SOCOM 3 2.0 Update (Patch) has been released. This SOCOM 3 update addresses a lot of the major issues that have been discovered since the release of the 1.7 Update, issues identified after the Map Pack 1 release, as well as compatibility issues between SOCOM 3 and SOCOM: Combined Assault. General:

  • Addressed an issue when loading data from MEMORY CARD slot 2
  • Addressed an issue where it was possible for a game to be created without a session master
  • Addressed multiple joining game issues
  • Addressed an issue where incorrect text would appear when a user attempts to join a full Briefing Room


  • Addressed the issue of the players being able to lay prone underwater indefinitely.
  • Addressed an issue of smoke not properly dissipating while in scope mode
  • Addressed the issue of being able to move around and fire weapons while arming / disarming bombs as well capturing control points
  • Addressed several issues where the players were able to pass through solid objects
  • Addressed instances of characters spawning beneath the map
  • Addressed an issue of falling through the map after a re-spawn
  • Addressed an issue where the character would teleport when jumping on or against a boat
  • Addressed an issue where player appears with the wrong weapon equipped
  • Addressed a TacMap abnormality caused by moving the camera away from the chase view while in a vehicle
  • Addressed an issue of hostages not exiting vehicles
  • Addressed issues being able to run with the AT-4 or RPG-7 equipped
  • Addressed issues where the player was able to float above ground
  • Addressed the issue of round not ending after at least two hostages have been extracted
  • Addressed an issue of hostages being able to get into the driver's seat of vehicles
  • Addressed character name issues while in game. Also added a green diamond symbol to denote teammates.
  • Addressed an issue where the player cannot fire weapon in waist high water
  • Addressed an issue of defeating teammates with vehicles when friendly fire is not enabled
  • Addressed issue of day / night time not appearing consistent from all players point of view
  • Addressed an issue with the ladders becoming unusable
  • Addressed a character teleportation issue around climbable ledges
  • Addressed an issue where AMMO appears as a primary weapon
  • Addressed an issue where the player could throw grenades through walls
  • Addressed an issue where items would become locked within the Armory
  • Fixed issue so that C4 is always locked (equipped) for the SEAL team in a Breach Game Type
  • Addressed an issue of incorrect weapon animations being displayed
  • Addressed an issue of using CLAYMORES /PMN MINES to walk in mid-air
  • Addressed an issue of where characters were unable to blow breach points when all CLAYMORES/PMN MINES are planted

Chat / Rank / Clan:

  • Addressed the MUTE PLAYER option not being selectable
  • Addressed issues with the chat functionality locking
  • Implemented a new voice chat system
  • Addressed an issue preventing the player from whispering using the text chat on the Team View Screen
  • Addressed an issue where the player's stat numbers do not appear on the Game Complete Screen
  • Addressed an issue that credited one user with a headshot for every bullet that hits a disconnecting players head
  • Addressed an issue where the player's Clan Tag and name text do not appear
  • Addressed several chat and character related issues
  • Addressed an issue of ranking graphic does not appear in the Game Details menu
  • Addressed an issue rank icon appears in the Clan Tag
  • Addressed an issue where Incorrect Game Details for Respawn Game Types are shown on the Join Game Screen

Bugs[edit | edit source]

Boundary Exploitation

  • Through a glitch, players are able to walk in the sky above other players. These "skywalkers" are very tough to hit from the ground. Sky walking is only possible in maps that allow ranged explosives. Most people who are seen skywalking are often in GNK (glitch no kill) rooms.
  • Single shots are played sounding like multiple shots and move as if you are firing multiple shots. (This doesn't occur when using the single-shot mode.)
  • A door can be heard opening/closing at random times, even if not in the presence of one. (Though this has thought to have been put in by the developers themselves to add to the ambiance of the game; e.g.: a terrified citizen shutting the door hurriedly)
  • When an Automatic weapon that is equipped with a suppressor is fired, the sound will only occur for a few shots, then all will be silent except for if the bullet splashes in water (this bug only happens in Full-Auto firing mode).
  • At certain times, automatic weapons will fire automatic in scoped mode. This can happen to several weapons randomly, and besides the AG-94 and certain machine guns, none of this is supposed to. (Reportedly fixed in newest patch).

All of these glitches have been fixed in the new 'SOCOM: Combined Assault' game. All except for the "360" glitch used to gain entrance to the single player map on the multi-player game of Anchorage. Also, in Anchorage, "skywalking" is still not fixed. It is only attainable through several other small glitches. Single shots are still sounding like multiple shots.

Downloadable Content[edit | edit source]

  • The first map pack was released for a free two week trial on June 27, 2006. After the two week trial (July 11, 2006), players had the opportunity to purchase the map pack through the SOCOM Store in the SOCOM community section. The first map pack features three remakes of the SOCOM 2 expansion maps: After Hours, Last Bastion and Liberation. All three maps are playable in night or day as match type. The price for the first map pack is $5.99 (USD) and must be purchased through the SOCOM Store in the SOCOM community.
  • On November 19, 2007, a second map pack was released. The pack included Blizzard, Desert Glory, Blood Lake, and Abandon, which were all in SOCOM I.
  • On April 1, 2008, map pack 3 was released. Maps include FrostFire, Crossroads, FishHook, and Guidance. The same day an update was availble for the PS3 which alows you to save the maps directly to the PS3 hard drive. Map pack 3 was free to download, as was map packs 1 and 2 which previously were $5.99 each.
  • Compatible Storage Devices For SOCOM 3 Downloadable Content: USB Flash Drive, Sony Playstation 2 Internal Hard Disk Drive, Sony PlayStation Portable, and MP3 players that support USB Transfer mode.

Official SOCOM 3 Player's Guide[edit | edit source]

Concurrent with the game's release, Piggyback Interactive published "SOCOM 3: Piggyback's Authorized Collection," the official player's guide to SOCOM 3 U.S. NAVY SEALs.

The guide covers all aspects of the game, and includes maps and walkthroughs. Piggyback's guide was developed in conjunction with Zipper Interactive and Sony Computer Entertainment America, with the multiplayer section being written by a well-known SOCOM gaming clan, the Sea Snipers (clan tag [SS]). The multiplayer section has renderings of all multiplayer maps, discussions of the various online modes, and suggestions about teamwork and tactics.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The South Asia area of operation was originally specified as Bangladesh, but was changed after a complaint from the Bangladeshi government.
  • The South Asia missions contain a running gag in the form of a series of outhouse whose occupants refer to an unseen character named Dirty Ahmed. They are located in the first village, second village, and raider garrison in "Friend or Foe," and near the outdoor cargo crate in "Heart of the Fist." When the player goes up to the door of the outhouse, the occupant will complain about eating or drinking something made by Dirty Ahmed. You can hear what they say after you kill all enemies in the area, and complete the nearby objective.
  • The last mission of the Morocco campaign was likely inspired by the capture of Saddam Hussein in late 2003 and the Highway of Death in the Gulf War.
  • The downloadable map After Hours was released as a standard online map in the Korean version of SOCOM: II.
  • In Stargate SG-1, episode Uninvited has Colonel Mitchell saying to Major General Hank Landry after losing at a game of chess; "If you have a Playstation, I would be happy to kick your ass at SOCOM 3."
  • There is an extra cover art on the reverse side of the game cover.

References[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Official sites
Community & Multiplayer Competition

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