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SWAT 3: Close Quarters Battle

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
SWAT 3: Close Quarters Battle
SWAT 3: Close Quarters Battle cover
Sierra Northwest
Retail Sierra Entertainment
Digital Activision
Re-release Sold Out Software
Release dates
Windows November 23, 1999
Monetization One-time game purchase
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person
Controls Direct control, Menu-based
Genres Action, FPS, Tactical shooter
Art styles Realistic
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

SWAT 3: Close Quarters Battle is a singleplayer and multiplayer first-person action, FPS and tactical shooter game in the Police Quest series.

General information Community Discussions for game series 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).

Version differences

The Elite Edition (v1.6) introduced new missions, multiplayer capabilities and a mission editor.
The Tactical Game of the Year Edition (v2.0 and v2.1) introduced additional missions. The retail version also included an additional disc with training footage of real-life SWAT officers.
Retail releases of any version can be upgraded for free up to TGOTY v2.1.


A demo is available from SierraHelp and GameWatcher. The Japanese version is available from 4gamer.


Type Notes
One-time game purchase The game requires an upfront purchase to access.

Essential improvements


Official patches are available from SierraHelp.

Skip intro videos

The game may crash immediately after launching on Windows 7 and newer 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.
Run the game with the -nointro command line argument[3]

Last Resort

Adds support for most of the modern resolutions.
Allows menu and chat lobby scaling up to 1080p.
Doubles the draw distance of the game.
Fixes crashes caused by game's use of an old video codec.
Changes many textures on the maps with a high quality (more or less) faithful replacements.
  1. Download the latest version of a mod.
  2. Unpack an installer from the archive and follow the on-screen instructions.
  3. Run the Last_Resort.exe (located in <path-to-game>) and configure settings in the 3D Game Settings and 2D Menu Settings tabs.

Performance improvement

Method 1: Use dgVoodoo2[5]
  1. Download dgVoodoo 2.
  2. Extract dgVoodooCpl.exe and the contents of the MS\x86 subfolder into <path-to-game>.
Method 2: Use WineD3D
  1. Download WineD3D.
  2. Extract all files into <path-to-game>.


Recommended for AMD graphics cards.
Method 3: Use DXWind
It may help if WineD3D doesn't work and dgVoodoo2 has texture errors with AMD, while the game mostly works fine, for the current version of DxWind as of writing, the game may have heavy visual errors effecting the entire screen in the following events: Player Death, pressing space to bring up the HUD that tallies all the player's equipment (That part works fine but the rest of the screen will have visual errors) and Helmet Cameras, these errors don't always happen but effect the entire screen aside from the added 2D elements for these events, it is advised to avoid this if the player is at risk of seizures.
  1. Download DxWnd.
  2. Follow the included instructions inside DxWind to set the game up.

Enhance AI

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.
Edit configuration file[citation needed]
  1. Open <path-to-game>\Swat.cfg in a text editor.
  2. Find the following lines:
  3. Replace the numbers they contain (i.e. aiofficertime=20) with 200 (i.e. aiofficertime=200).
  4. Save Swat.cfg and set it as read only.


aiofficertime and aisuspecttime are independent of each other - aiofficertime can be set to 200 and aisuspecttime to 20 to decrease difficulty by way of making suspect AI dumber, or vice versa.
Increasing the determination time further may not have noticeable improvement.

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

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

Save game data location

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

Save game cloud syncing

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.
Hor+, use dgVoodoo 2.
4K Ultra HD
Hor+, use dgVoodoo 2.
Field of view (FOV)
80° by default. To change it, use the FOV Changer.
See Windowed.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See Windowed.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
High-fidelity upscaling
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
No FPS cap.
High dynamic range display (HDR)

Widescreen resolution

Edit config file[6]
  1. Start a game and go to options screen.
  2. Set the resolution to 1024x768.
    • It is recommended to set the other graphical options before editing config file as well.
  3. Save the settings and quit the game.
  4. Open <path-to-game>\Swat.cfg with a text editor.
  5. Find the line res=1024 768 and replace the values with the preferred resolution.
  6. 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.
  7. Save the changes and run the game.


Menu is always rendered at 800x600 since the bitmap graphics are at that resolution.
Due to Direct3D 6's resolution limit, resolutions higher than 2048 pixels make the game crash at startup. For higher resolutions, use a DirectX wrapper like dgVoodoo 2.


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.
Run the game with the -window command line argument[citation needed]
Use DxWnd and Windowed Borderless Gaming for borderless window mode[citation needed]
  1. Point DxWnd to the game executable. Make sure to set the "DirectX Version to Hook" to "automatic".
  2. Run WBG. Right-click its system tray icon and select "Settings", "Global Settings".
  3. Under "Add Window", choose a keybind to use to "add" SWAT 3 to WBG. Then, enter the desired resolution. Finally, under "Force Key", pick another keybind 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. In the main menu, press the "Add Window" keybind.
  6. Alt+Tab out of the game, and right-click on the WBG tray icon. Select "Settings", "Game Settings".
  7. Select SWAT from the drop-down menu. Enter the 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 are applied.


When running through DxWnd, the WBG borderless window keybind can be used to force the game into a borderless window.
(Optional) Use Dxwnd for 16-bit color mode[citation needed]
  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 <path-to-game>. Choose Swat.exe and press "Open".
  4. Go to the "Color" tab and check the "Force 16BPP desktop" option.
  5. Click OK and minimize the DxWnd window.
  6. Launch the game with the -window command line argument.
  7. After exiting the game, DxWnd. Upon closing, DxWnd is going to ask whatever to restore previous Desktop settings - answer yes, to switch back to 32-bit color mode.


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



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


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Retail only.
Retail only.
Retail only, download for digital versions here.
Retail only.
Retail only.[7]
Retail only.


Multiplayer types

Type Native Notes
LAN play
Versus, Co-op
Online play
Versus, Co-op
The official WON service has been shut down.

Issues fixed

Game crashes immediately after launching

On Windows 7 and newer, the game will crash if display scaling on high DPI settings is enabled.
On Windows 7 and newer, 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[8]
Manually download and install the FMV codecs][8]

Low performance on Windows 8 and newer

Low performance on Windows 8 and newer is commonly reported.
See Performance improvement[citation needed]

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 6 [9]
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


Middleware Notes
Multiplayer World Opponent Network Shut down in 2008.

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 95, 98, 2000, ME
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium II 233 MHz (original, Elite Editions)
Intel Pentium II 266 MHz (Tactical GOTY Edition)
System memory (RAM) 32 MB (original, Elite Editions)
64 MB (Tactical GOTY Edition)
Hard disk drive (HDD) 600 MB
Video card (GPU) 800x600 SVGA high color (16 bit)
8 MB of VRAM
DirectX 6.1 compatible


  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 Notes regarding Steam Play (Linux) data:


  1. Not Loading in Windows 10; this will break thousands of - Microsoft Community - last accessed on 2017-01-16
  2. Microsoft - MS15-097: Description of the security update for the graphics component in Windows: September 8, 2015 - last accessed on 2018-02-16
  3. Verified by User:Expack3 on 2021-11-05
    Tested using release.
  4. Verified by User:Patrxgt on 2024-06-11
  5. Verified by User:Hhtv on 2016-05-16
  6. WSGF article - last accessed on May 2023
  7. SWAT 3: Close Quarters Battle - Dubbingpedia - last accessed on 2023-07-18
  8. 8.0 8.1 SWAT 3 is not working with Windows 7 PRO SP 1 :: SWAT Series Community Discussions - last accessed on May 2023
  9. Verified by User:Eddmanx on 2022-09-19
    Checked with dgvoodoo