Sonic 3 & Knuckles

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This page is for the emulated re-release. For the Windows 95 compilation, see Sonic & Knuckles Collection.

Sonic 3 & Knuckles
Sonic 3 & Knuckles cover
Sonic Team
Sega Technical Institute
Release dates
Windows (emulator) January 26, 2011
macOS (OS X) (emulator) May 29, 2018[1]
Linux (emulator) May 29, 2018[1]
Series Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic 3 & Knuckles on HowLongToBeat
Sonic 3 & Knuckles on IGDB
Sonic 3 & Knuckles guide on StrategyWiki
Sonic 3 & Knuckles on MobyGames
Sonic 3 & Knuckles on Wikipedia
Sonic CD (1996) 1996
Sonic's Schoolhouse 1996
Sonic 3D Blast 1997
Sonic & Knuckles Collection 1997
Sonic R (1998) 1998
Sonic R (2004) 2004
Sonic Adventure (series)
Sonic Heroes 2004
Sonic Mega Collection Plus 2006
Sonic Riders 2006
Sonic Racing (series)
Sonic 3D Blast (2010) 2010
Sonic the Hedgehog 2010
Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine 2010
Sonic Spinball 2010
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 2011
Sonic 3 & Knuckles 2011
Sonic Generations 2011
Sonic CD (2012) 2012
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I 2012
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II 2012
Sonic Dash 2014
Sonic Lost World 2015
Sonic Mania 2017
Sonic Forces 2017
Sonic the Hedgehog (Mobile Decompilation) 2021
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Mobile Decompilation) 2021
Sonic Colors: Ultimate 2021
Sonic Origins 2022
Sonic Frontiers 2022

General information

Official publisher site
Sonic Retro - A huge fan site for everything Sonic the Hedgehog. Mods for all the games can be found here.


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
GamersGate (unavailable)
DRM-free after installation (requires an internet connection during installation)
Steam (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
Can be played without DRM with Sonic 3 A.I.R
macOS (OS X)
All digital downloads have Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles bundled as one game called "Sonic 3 & Knuckles".
The Steam version includes both the "Hub" launcher with the "Simple" launcher as a fallback. All non-Steam versions only includes the "Simple" launcher.
Only includes Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Does not include the standalone versions of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles or the extra lock-on games available for Sonic & Knuckles (Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Blue Sphere). These can, however, be found on the Steam Workshop.

Essential improvements[edit]

Sonic 3: Angel Island Revisited[edit]

Sonic 3 A.I.R. is a fan project aimed at making an accurate, reverse-engineered PC port of Sonic 3 & Knuckles. It includes a number of graphical improvements such as 16:9 widescreen, 60 fps in special stages, smooth sprite rotation, and easier mod support. It requires a Sonic 3 & Knuckles ROM identical to the Steam release[Note 1]; ROM hacks are incompatible.

To play in a 4:3 aspect ratio similar to the original game, or to play in a ultrawide aspect ratio up to a maximum of 31:14 (496x224), follow these steps (requires Sonic 3 AIR v21.09.12.0 -- Late Summer Update 2021 or later):
  1. In <path-to-game>\config.json turn dev mode on by setting "DevMode": "1",.
  2. In game, use the / and * keys on the numpad to decrease and increase the horizontal rendering resolution respectively.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\SEGA Mega Drive Classics\setup.dat
%USERPROFILE%\Documents\SEGA Genesis Classics\setup.dat
macOS (OS X)
It's unknown whether this game follows the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux. Please fill in this information.
Folder name varies by region.
These locations are for the "Simple" launcher interface only and are shared between all Sega Mega Drive and Genesis Classics games played through it.
Sonic 3 A.I.R. location: %APPDATA%\Sonic3AIR\

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\SEGA Mega Drive Classics\0042
%USERPROFILE%\Documents\SEGA Genesis Classics\0042
macOS (OS X) $HOME/SEGA Mega Drive Classics/user_<user-id>/Sonic 3 & Knuckles
Linux $HOME/SEGA Mega Drive Classics/user_<user-id>/Sonic 3 & Knuckles
The "Simple" launcher uses either folder depending on region; the "hub" launcher only uses the "Mega Drive" path.
Sonic 3 A.I.R. location: %APPDATA%\Sonic3AIR\

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Requires enabling backup of the Documents folder in OneDrive on all computers.
Steam Cloud


Launcher options menu.
Launcher options menu.


Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
The mouse can only be used in the launcher.
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
Full controller support
Only for "hub" launcher. Mouse needed to use "simple" launcher.
Controller remapping
Controller sensitivity
Controller Y-axis inversion
Additional information
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
Simultaneous controller+KB/M


Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Only on auto-pause.


Language UI Audio Sub Notes


Multiplayer types

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

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
Sonic 3 A.I.R. supported.
Executable 32-bit 64-bitARM Notes
macOS (OS X)
ARM64 is supported by the Flatpak version of Angel Island Revisited.[3] ARM32 support is unconfirmed.


Listed mods require Sonic 3 A.I.R
How to install mods for Sonic 3 A.I.R.
  1. Download a mod for Sonic 3: Angel Island Revisited from the sites or links listed below.
  2. Extract the folder containing the mod to %APPDATA%\Sonic3AIR\mods.
  3. Launch Sonic 3: Angel Island Revisited, then from the main menu go to Mods.
  4. To activate a mod, select the mod that you wish to activate from the Inactive Mods window by holding the A button/A key and press Left to move it to the Active Mods window and vice-versa to deactivate the mod.

Featured website[edit]

  • GameBanana - Hosts a large number of user-created mods for Sonic 3: Angel Island Revisited.

Featured mods[edit]

The following mods listed below are in suggested priorities.

Restoring the original zone order and features:

  • Original Zone Order - Places Flying Battery in-between Carnival Night and IceCap, as intended prior to the game being split in two in the original release
  • flying battery night palette - Improves continuity with the original level order by making Flying Battery Zone play during nighttime
  • FBZ Doorboarding - Replaces the snowboard in Icecap Zone with the door from Flying Battery Zone to create better continuity between Zones.
  • Knuckles Fights the Carnival Night 2 Boss - This mod forces Knuckles to fight the boss in Carnival Night Zone Act 2 instead of skipping it as he normally does.


System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP
Processor (CPU) 1 GHz
System memory (RAM) 512 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 50 MB
Video card (GPU) 32 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9 compatible


  1. MD5: cfcc692427348e58682230a27d9e365d
    SHA1: b711a909cce238ca4af3e517a2edca306228efa5


  1. 1.0 1.1 SEGA Mega Drive & Genesis Classics :: Free update with new features! - Steam Community - last accessed on 2018-05-30
  2. Verified by User:AmethystViper on April 29, 2016
  3. Verified by User:Dandelion Sprout on 2021-09-16