Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

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Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory cover
Ubisoft Montreal
Unreal Engine 2.5
Release dates
Windows March 21, 2005
Metacritic 92
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives Third-person, First-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Action, Stealth
Art styles Realistic
Themes Contemporary, Asia, North America
Series Splinter Cell
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory on HowLongToBeat
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory on IGDB
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory guide on StrategyWiki
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory on MobyGames
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory on Wikipedia
Splinter Cell
Subseries of Tom Clancy
Splinter Cell 2003
Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow 2004
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory 2005
Splinter Cell: Double Agent 2006
Splinter Cell: Conviction 2010
Splinter Cell: Blacklist 2013

Key points

Based on the Xbox version which had superior graphics compared to the PlayStation 2 and GameCube versions.
Retail copies often come bundled with StarForce 3.0 DRM which is incompatible with Windows Vista or higher.
The official multiplayer service is no longer available.[1]
Multiplayer's versus mode is capped at 32 frames per second, while co-op is capped at 34.4 frames per second.
A small number of players still roam the multiplayer community on a daily basis.

General information

Ubisoft game page
Official Forum
Splinter Cell Wiki
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
CD key
StarForce DRM[Note 1].
Epic Games Store
DRM details are not known
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Gamesplanet logo.svg
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Green Man Gaming
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Humble Store
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Ubisoft Store
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Included with Ubisoft+.
Windows (unavailable)
StarForce DRM for this game does not work on modern versions of Windows (see above for affected versions).

Essential improvements


Latest patch 1.05 is here. All patches are available from ubisoft here (if you get a "403 Forbidden" message, simply try again).
The Steam version is already patched.

Glitched levels of the retail version

Some retail versions of the game have some glitches (ex. the zipline at the Penthouse). A patch can be applied to fix these issues here. Official patch 1.05 is required, the Steam version is already patched.

Community Map Pack

The unofficial map pack adds 41 new maps to the game. MR.MIC's Map Pack is also included, bringing the total map count to 56. Some of the maps included in MR.MIC's Map Pack are from Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow's versus mode.

Skip intro videos

Use the -nointro command line argument[4]
Delete/rename video files[4]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\Data\Videos\.
  2. Delete or rename ESRB.bik, introteaser_PC.bik, and logos_PC.bik.

Game data

In-game general settings (for Versus Mode).
In-game general settings (for Versus Mode).

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows %PROGRAMDATA%\Ubisoft\Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory\[Note 2]
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/13570/pfx/[Note 3]

Save game data location

System Location
Windows %PROGRAMDATA%\Ubisoft\Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory\Profiles\[Note 2]
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/13570/pfx/[Note 3]

Save game cloud syncing


In-game general video settings.
In-game general video settings.
In-game advanced video settings.
In-game advanced video settings.
In-game shader settings (Shader Model 2 and 3 only).
In-game shader settings (Shader Model 2 and 3 only).
In-game video settings (for Versus Mode).
In-game video settings (for Versus Mode).

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
See Widescreen resolution.
See Widescreen resolution.
See Widescreen resolution.[6]
4K Ultra HD
See Widescreen resolution.
Field of view (FOV)
See Field of view (FOV)
See Widescreen resolution.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Requires widescreen fix, see Widescreen resolution.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Up to 16 samples.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Shader Model 3.0 with HDR rendering and antialiasing cannot be used together. To use both, force AA through Nvidia Profile Inspector with this AA compatibility flag: 0x080100C5 (example AA settings: Behavior-None, Mode-Override, Setting-4x), or use injectSMAA (if not using widescreen fix as this is also based on d3d9.dll).
Vertical sync (Vsync)
60 FPS
Multiplayer modes are capped at 32 FPS.
120+ FPS
Single-player frame rate is capped at 100 FPS.

Widescreen resolution

See also Shadows become more broken the wider the screen resolution.
Use Splinter Cell Chaos Theory Widescreen Fix[7]
  1. Download widescreen fix and extract it.
  2. Move its files to <path-to-game>\System.
  3. To enable windowed mode d3d9.ini and set ForceWindowedMode to 1.


Automatically adjusts resolution and FOV, fixes HUD position and stretching.
Works with downsampling or Nvidia DSR - manually change the resolution in the supplied configuration file.
Widescreen fix contains an additional fix for Alt+Tabbing, which helps with restoring game's window after it's minimised.
You have to disable widescreen HUD if your version of the game isn't in English, otherwise the text is misaligned. [8]
Widescreen - Singleplayer[citation needed]
You must have run the game at least once before these files appear.
Further graphic settings adjustment will revert resolution back to 4:3.
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open SplinterCell3.ini.
  3. Adjust the following fields:
FullscreenViewportX= (line 98)
FullscreenViewportY= (line 99)
Widescreen - Versus[9]
  1. Open %PROGRAMDATA%\Ubisoft\Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory\Saved Games\Versus\<user-id>_prf.ini.
  2. Look for ScreenRes= entry and give it -1 value.
  3. Save the file.
  4. Open <path-to-game>\Versus\System\Default.ini.
  5. Scroll down to the [WinDrv.WindowsClient] class.
  6. Adjust the following fields:


When changing the resolution values to a resolution different than one of the preset resolutions, Versus will only run using low visual settings.

Field of view (FOV)

Edit SplinterCell3User.ini[4]
  1. Go to the configuration files location.
  2. Open SplinterCell3User.ini.
  3. Adjust the following values (91.31 is advised for 16:9 displays, and 85.28 for 16:10 ones):
  4. Save the changes.


Apply this fix before creating a profile. If your profile was created before the fix, you'll need to zoom in/out with your weapon every time you load a previous made save in order for the custom FOV to be used.


In-game keyboard/mouse settings.
In-game keyboard/mouse settings.
In-game joystick settings.
In-game joystick settings.
In-game key map settings (for Versus Mode).
In-game key map settings (for Versus Mode).

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Unable to rebind Mouse Wheel Up and Mouse Wheel Down.
Mouse acceleration
See Mouse acceleration.
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
Full controller support
Some menus can not be navigated with a controller.
Controller remapping
Controller sensitivity
Camera sensitivity can be adjusted via the m_yawSpeed and m_pitchSpeed options in SplinterCell3Settings.ini located in the system folder. Mouse sensitivity set in game also affects the speed of the camera, but only for when a weapon is equipped.
Controller Y-axis inversion
Possible with XInput controllers using SCFix.
Controller types
XInput-compatible controllers
See SCFix, below.
Xbox button prompts
Impulse Trigger vibration
DualShock 4 controllers
Generic/other controllers
Additional information
Button prompts
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
Simultaneous controller+KB/M

Mouse acceleration

Mouse acceleration is enabled when aiming with guns.
Apply the following fix before creating a profile.
Disable acceleration[4]
  1. Open <path-to-game>\System\SplinterCell3Settings.ini.
  2. Change all biasCut values to v=0.0.

Xbox controllers

Xbox 360/One controllers do not work well by default- in particular, the triggers cannot be used.
  1. Use SCFix to add XInput support.
  2. Make sure to reset all joystick settings using Settings->Controls->Joystick->Default (even if you have not previously changed them).
  3. Note: default config uses inverted y-axis. Set invert_camera_vertical=no in scfix.ini for non-inverted camera.


In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings (for Versus Mode).
In-game audio settings (for Versus Mode).

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Up to 7.0 with DirectSound3D restoration software.
Only in-game subtitles, not available in cutscenes.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
EAX support
EAX 2, EAX 3.[10]
DSOAL requires boost=-6 set in alsoft.ini to match hardware reverb levels.[11]


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Only in-game subtitles, not available in cutscenes.
Fan translation.
Retail only. Patch for digital release here.
Retail only. Patch for digital release here.


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
Local play
LAN play
2 Versus, Co-op
Online play
2 Versus, Co-op

Connection types


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP 6668, 9102, 40000-43000
UDP 7776, 8888-8891, 8878, 9011, 9102-9103, 9106-9107, 41006, 44000, 45000-45001
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.

VR support

3D modes Native Notes
Officially supported game, see official vorpx game list.

Issues unresolved


There are issues using Alt+Tab in fullscreen mode. If used too many times, it will disconnect players connected to your server and can even crash the game.

30 FPS lock/limit

Netcode only supports a maximum of 30 frames per second for proper sync between players in multiplayer. Bypassing this limit results in things such as co-op actions not executing properly.
A fan made program can be used to unlock the framerate in multiplayer:

Disconnect at random intervals during co-op campaign

There is an issue for some users happening at random after a couple of minutes where the game disconnects both players while playing the co-op campaign. The issue can be encountered 100% during the training mission while hacking the first laptop the players come across. In subsequent missions it seems to happen randomly after some time. No real fixes have been reported that work for everyone. For some completely uninstalling NOD32 solved the problem.[12][citation needed]

Issues fixed

Game crashes when trying to start new mission / change settings

Disable any software that hooks into graphic's API (most notably OBS and Dxtory)[7]
To capture the game with OBS, force Windowed mode and capture the game using Window Capture instead of Game Capture.

Missing torchlight/flashlight in Versus mode

Versus mode has problems rendering certain lighting effects on modern machines. This problem makes it very difficult to play properly. Certain shadows may not render and mercenarie's flashlights don't work, severely impairing gameplay. Follow one of the solutions below to fix these issues.
Hack compatible pixel shaders[9]
  1. Download and install 3D-Analyze.
  2. Launch 3D-Analyze.
  3. In 3D-Analyze, click the SELECT button and choose <path-to-game>\Versus\System\SCCT_Versus.exe
  4. Checkmark all the boxes under Game/Demo Fixes as well as the "Force Max Pixel Shader 1.4" and "Force High Precison Shader" boxes. When you're done, your 3D-Analyze window should look like this.
  5. Press the Save batch file! at the bottom of the 3D-Analyze window.
  6. Close 3D-Analyze.
  7. Right-click your newly created batch file and click Edit to edit the batch file in Notepad.
  8. Find SCCT_Versus.exe in Notepad and rename it to SCCT_Versus.ex (yes, .ex). If this is not done, the game will not launch through 3D-Analyze. After you've done that, your batch file in Notepad should read something like this:
    C:\Program Files (x86)\3D-Analyze\3DAnalyze.exe" /EXE=C:\Program Files (x86)\Ubisoft\Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory\Versus\System\SCCT_Versus.ex
  9. Save the file. Close Notepad.
  10. Double-click the batch file to launch the game. If you want the lights to work properly, you will need to launch the game using this batch file every time. Make a shortcut on your desktop to the batch file for easy access.
Use dgVoodoo 2[4]
  1. Download the latest version of dgVoodoo 2 and extract it (verified working on version 2.55.4).
  2. Copy all the files from the MS folder and paste the files to <path-to-game>\Versus\System.

Slow motion gameplay on multi-core CPUs in Versus mode

Use alternate timer[9]
  1. Open <path-to-game>\Versus\System\Default.ini
  2. Set UseAlternateTimer=false to UseAlternateTimer=true.
  3. Save the file.

Night vision/thermal vision/EMF not displaying correctly

If everything turns white when you activate your night vision and/or turns black when you activate your thermal vision/EMF, follow one of the instructions below.
Enable Windows Compatibility Mode
  1. Enable Windows XP (Service Pack 3) Compatibility Mode.
Use Alt+Tab
  1. First minimize and then restore the game back by using Alt+Tab.[13]
Use different shader model
  1. Select another shader model by using the in-game display settings menu.[13][14]
Disable High dynamic range (HDR)
  1. Disable High dynamic range (HDR) rendering in shader options when using shader model 3. Disabling it also allows antialiasing

Shadows become more broken the wider the screen resolution

Fix shadow rendering; increase shadow map size[15]
  1. Open SPLINTERCELL3.EXE with a hex editor such as HxD.
  2. Search and replace the following bytes in HxD.
    • 68 00 08 00 00 68 00 08 00 0068 00 20 00 00 68 00 20 00 00
    • 89 8C 24 E0 00 00 00 B9 00 01 00 0089 8C 24 E0 00 00 00 B9 00 00 01 00
    • BB 9A 99 99 3FBB 00 00 80 3E
    • C7 86 C8 07 00 00 9A 99 99 BEC7 86 C8 07 00 00 9A 99 19 BE
  3. Save the changes.

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 8, 9 Single Player/Co-op uses Direct3D 9. Versus mode uses Direct3D 8.
Shader Model support 1.1, 2, 3
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


Middleware Notes
Physics Havok
Audio DirectSound3D Dolby Digital
Cutscenes Bink Video
Multiplayer Quazal

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 2000
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium III 1.4 GHz
AMD Athlon
System memory (RAM) 256 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 4 GB
Video card (GPU) 64 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible
Shader model 1.1 support
Supported ATI chipsets: Radeon 8500/9000/X series.
Supported Nvidia chipsets: GeForce 3/4/FX/6 series.
Mobile chipsets and the Nvidia GeForce4 MX are not supported.


  1. This version of StarForce DRM does not work on Windows 8.1, Windows 10, or Windows 11.[2][3] For supported versions of Windows the StarForce driver may need to be updated manually using SFUPDATE.
  2. 2.0 2.1 When running this game without elevated privileges (Run as administrator option), write operations against a location below %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMDATA%, or %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore on Windows Vista and later (more details).
  3. 3.0 3.1 File/folder structure within this directory reflects the path(s) listed for Windows and/or Steam game data (use Wine regedit to access Windows registry paths). Games with Steam Cloud support may store data in ~/.steam/steam/userdata/<user-id>/13570/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (13570) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.