SWAT 3: Close Quarters Battle

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SWAT 3: Close Quarters Battle
SWAT 3: Close Quarters Battle cover
Sierra Northwest
Retail Sierra Entertainment
Digital Activision
Release dates
Windows November 23, 1999
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person
Controls Direct control, Menu-based
Genres Action, FPS, Tactical shooter
Themes Contemporary, North America
Series Police Quest
SWAT 3: Close Quarters Battle on HowLongToBeat
SWAT 3: Close Quarters Battle on IGDB
SWAT 3: Close Quarters Battle on MobyGames
SWAT 3: Close Quarters Battle on Wikipedia
Police Quest
Police Quest: In Pursuit of the Death Angel 1987
Police Quest II: The Vengeance 1988
Police Quest III: The Kindred 1991
Police Quest: Open Season 1993
Police Quest: SWAT 1995
Police Quest: SWAT 2 1998
SWAT 3: Close Quarters Battle 1999
SWAT 4 2005

Key points

Game is unlikely to launch or run on modern systems "as is", requires significant tweaking to run.
The official multiplayer servers were shut down in 2008.

General information

GOG.com Community Discussions for game series
GOG.com Support Page
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
CD key
SafeDisc DRM[Note 1].
Tactical Game of the Year Edition
Icon overlay.png
Tactical Game of the Year Edition
SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows Vista and later (see above for affected versions).


A demo is available here. For a demo of the Japanese version, click here.

Essential improvements[edit]

Skip intro videos[edit]

SWAT 3 may crash immediately after launching on Windows 7, 8, 10 because the codecs for the FMV videos are not supported on modern versions of Windows. Skipping the intro video is a good way of testing whether this issue is the cause of a crash on launch issue.
-nointro command line argument[3]
  1. Create a shortcut to the program, located at <path-to-game>\Swat.exe.
  2. Right click on the shortcut and choose "Properties".
  3. Add -nointro to the end of the Target.
  4. Click OK.

Performance improvement[edit]

Performance is very low on modern operating systems.[citation needed]
Use dgVoodoo2[4]
  1. Download dgVoodoo 2.
  2. Extract D3DImm.dll and DDraw.dll to the installation folder, where swat.exe is located.
dgVoodoo 2 may not work well with certain graphics cards. AMD cards in particular may show a snow white texture when displaying certain colors.
(Alternate) Use WineD3D (AMD Graphics Card)
  1. Download WineD3D
  2. Extract all files into your SWAT 3 main directory

Enhance AI[edit]

The amount of time the AI has to determine its actions can be safely increased on modern computers beyond the normal 20ms maximum for much-improved AI.
Note: This fix actually doesn't work because the maximum behaviour of the AI is hardcoded at 20ms. Everytime you open the game, the text files changes back to 20.
Increase AI determination time[citation needed]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\Swat.cfg.
  2. Open Swat.cfg in a text editor.
  3. Find the following lines:
  4. Replace the numbers they contain (i.e. aiofficertime=20) with 200 (i.e. aiofficertime=200).
  5. Save Swat.cfg.


aiofficertime and aisuspecttime are independent of each other - you could set aiofficertime to 200 and aisuspecttime to 20 to decrease difficulty by way of making suspect AI dumber, or vice-versa.
You can try increasing the AI determination time further to, say, 2000, but the improvements may be minimal.
This fix will need to be repeated anytime settings are modified from the in-game options screen.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\Swat.cfg[Note 2]
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/560370/pfx/[Note 3]

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\game\careers[Note 2]
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/560370/pfx/[Note 3]

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud


General settings.
General settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
See Widescreen resolution.
Hor+, use dgVoodoo 2.
4K Ultra HD
Hor+, use dgVoodoo 2.
Field of view (FOV)
80° at 4:3 aspect ratio
See Windowed.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See Windowed.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
force through graphics driver.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
use dgVoodoo 2.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
on by default. force off through graphics driver.
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
no fps cap

Widescreen resolution[edit]

Edit config file[5]
  1. Start a game and go to options screen.
  2. Set the resolution to 1024x768.
    • It's recommended to set the other graphical options before editing config file as well.
  3. Save the settings and quit the game.
  4. Go to <path-to-game>.
  5. Open Swat.cfg with a text editor.
  6. Find a line: res=1024 768 and replace the values with your own resolution.
  7. After that find a line: display_mode=1024 768 2 1 and change the resolution values as well leaving 2 1 at the end (e.g. for 1920x1080, display_mode=1920 1080 2 1.
  8. Save the changes and run a game.


Menu is always rendered at 800x600 since the bitmap graphics are at that resolution.
Resolutions higher than 1920 x 1080 may fail to load when using this solution. For higher resolutions, DgVoodoo2 may have to be used.


Windowed mode requires 16-bit color mode.
Available only in 800x600.
DxWnd and Windowed Borderless Gaming can be used together to force borderless window mode.
-window command line argument[citation needed]
  1. Create a shortcut to the program, located at <path-to-game>\Swat.exe.
  2. Right click on the shortcut and choose "Properties".
  3. Add -window to the end of the Target.
  4. Click OK.


For more information, see our article on command line arguments.
Use DxWnd and Windowed Borderless Gaming for borderless window mode[citation needed]
  1. Point DxWnd at your SWAT 3 executable. Make sure to set the "DirectX Version to Hook" to "automatic".
  2. Run WBG. You will see the WBG icon in your System Tray. Right click on that icon and select "Settings", "Global Settings".
  3. Under "Add Window", choose a keybind that you will use to "add" SWAT 3 to WBG (we'll be doing this later). Then, enter the resolution you want to play the game at. Finally, under "Force Key", pick another key you will use to actually set the game to run in a borderless window. Go ahead and close the settings window.
  4. Execute swat.exe through DxWnd.
  5. The game should start up in a tiny window in the top-left corner of the screen. When you get to the main menu, hit whatever Add Window keybind you set up.
  6. Alt-tab out of the game, and right-click on the WBG tray icon. Select "Settings", "Game Settings".
  7. Select SWAT from the dropdown menu. Enter your resolution one more time and make sure that "Manage Mouse" and "Lock to game window" are selected. Apply, and close the window. Close SWAT as well, just to make sure the WBG settings take.


When run through DxWnd, you can now use your WBG borderless window keybind to force SWAT 3 into a borderless window.
(Optional) Use dxwnd for 16-bit color mode[citation needed]

DxWnd can be used to simplify transition between 16-bit and 32-bit color mode.

  1. Launch DXWnd. Click on Edit and Add.
  2. In a name field type in: SWAT 3.
  3. In a path field click on a button ... and navigate to a folder where you've installed SWAT. Choose Swat.exe and press Open button.
  4. Go to a Color tab.
  5. And check a field Force 16BPP desktop.
  6. Click OK and minimize DXWnd window.
  7. Launch a game using a shortcut with -window command line argument.
  8. Once you end up playing, close a game and DXWnd. Upon closing, DXWnd is going to ask whatever you want to restore previous Desktop settings - answer yes, to switch back to 32bit color mode.


Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.


Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Retail only.
Retail only; download for digital versions.
Retail only.
Retail only.
Retail only.


Multiplayer types

Type Native Notes
LAN play
Versus, Co-op
Online play
Versus, Co-op

Issues fixed[edit]

Game crashes immediately after launching[edit]

For Windows 7, 8, and 10, the game will crash if display scaling on high DPI settings is enabled.
For Windows 7, 8, and 10, the FMV movies will cause the game to crash due to the codec no longer being supported. This usually gives a "DDERR_Generic" error message but sometimes the game just shuts down without warning.
Disable display scaling on high DPI settings[6]
  1. Go to the game's compatibility options.
  2. Check "disable displaying scaling on high DPI settings".
Manually download the FMV codecs[7]
  1. Manually download the required codecs from http://www.swat3lastresort.info/index.php/swat-3-video-directx-fix.

Issues unresolved[edit]

Low performance on Windows 8/10[edit]

Low performance on Windows 8/10 systems is commonly reported. This partially caused by the fact that 16-bit color mode is emulated in 32-bits. Launching the game in windowed mode may solve the problem, at the cost of the game running in 800x600 window. A better way to deal with this is to use DgVooodoo2
See the Windowed section in this article for information specific to this game.

Other information[edit]


Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


Middleware Notes
Multiplayer WON (World Opponent Network) Was shut down in 2008

System requirements[edit]

Operating system (OS) 95, 98, 2000, ME
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium II 266 MHz
System memory (RAM) 64 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 600 MB
Video card (GPU) 800x600 SVGA high color (16 bit)
8 MB of VRAM


  1. SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows 10[1] or Windows 11 and is disabled by default on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 when the KB3086255 update is installed.[2]
  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>/560370/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (560370) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.