Online Play FAQ by Philz20
SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs on SuperCheats.com
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SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs Online Play FAQ
PlayStation 2
Version 1.1 (6/30/06)
By Philip Kirshbaum (Philz20) E-mail: philz20(at)gmail(dot)com

This file is Copyright (c)2005-2006 Philip Kirshbaum. All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

1: Introduction
2: Version History
3: Contact Policy
4: Copyright Notice
5: SOCOM 3 Online Set-Up and Recommendations
   5A: How To Get Online
   5B: SOCOM 3 Requirements, Login Walkthrough, and Recommendations
6: SOCOM 3 Online Menu and Functions
   6A: New Features From SOCOM II
   6B: Verifying Your SOCOM 3 Account
   6C: Ranking System
   6D: How To Make/Join An Online Game and Autoplay
   6E: Clans
   6F: Friend and Ignore Lists, Taunts, and Invitations
   6G: Community
   6H: SOCOM 3 Website
   6I: Various Tips
7: SOCOM 3 Online Game Types, Skins, Guns, and Unlockables
   7A: Game Types
   7B: SOCOM 3 Default Maps
       7BA: North Africa Maps
       7BB: South Asia Maps
       7BC: Poland Maps
   7C: SOCOM 3 Download Maps
       7CA: SOCOM Map Pack #1
   7D: Points System
   7E: Usable Weapons and Vehicles
   7F: Character Skins
   7G: Unlockable Items For Online
   7H: Various Tips
8: SOCOM 3 Patch History
   8A: SOCOM 1.2 Patch
   8B: SOCOM 1.3 Patch
   8C: SOCOM 1.5 Patch
   8D: SOCOM 1.6 Patch
9: Frequently Asked Questions
10: Credits

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1: Introduction

Hi my name is Philip and I'm known on GameFAQs and a million other sites as 
Philz20. This is my first FAQ I have ever written, so please go easy on me. 
After playing all three SOCOM games since 2002, I felt kind of inspired to 
write an online FAQ for this game. Being the big SOCOM fan I am, I figured I 
can make something in my spare time that I will enjoy doing in my spare time. 
Plus it gives me the opportunity to help users that want to know more about 
online mode.

Please note that this FAQ is only about SOCOM 3's online mode. I will not 
discuss anything related to single player, the controls, and the HUD. That is 
stuff you should already know. In the unlockables section, I will only include 
the things that will affect single player and multiplayer. If you don't want to 
know, then I suggest you skip over that section.

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2: Version History

Version 0.45 (10/30/05), 29 KB - First version. Section 6F and below are 
incomplete. They will be done at a later date when I have more time to work on 
this FAQ.

Version 0.65 (11/09/05), 49 KB - I'm posting my update today since I'll be up 
in Northern Minnesota on Friday and Saturday, so I felt like it was time to 
show you a lot of nice changes I made. I made the FAQ a little easier to read 
in some browsers by spacing out a few paragraphs, added some Q&A's in section 
8, and completed sections 7B, 7E and 7F.

Version 0.66 (11/28/05), 50 KB - Updated section 8, added a new feature in 
section 6A, and added a new link for sites that are allowed to use my FAQ. This 
is the only reason why I'm updating it without significant additions.

Version 0.85 (12/04/05), 61 KB - I was able to update this thing pretty well 
because first trimester ended on December 1. I made a minor modification on 
section 6C, and completed sections 6F, 6G, 6H, 6I, and 7A.

Version 0.86 (12/06/05), 62 KB - I added Supercheats.com as a site that can 
host this FAQ and updated the IGN link, even though I've received no e-mail 
from them yet. :( No major updates to content.

Version 1.00 (12/23/05), 68 KB - Submitted on the day my GameFAQs account turns 
three years old! Yes, this is version 1.00! Everything should now be updated 
except the clan war stuff. Otherwise, the FAQ is basically complete and I will 
still welcome reader feedback for future updates. Changed the copyright year to 
2005-2006 because I might not update for a while, changed minimum memory card 
requirement to 3000 KB due to the 1.2 patch, and included a question in the FAQ 
that regards the error message you get after downloading the 1.2 patch.

Version 1.05 (2/04/06), 70 KB - First update in 2006. Added section 8, which 
is about the various patches of SOCOM 3.

Version 1.1 (6/30/06), 79 KB - Updated to include information about the first 
map pack. Also renamed the Clans and Clan Wars section to just Clans since the 
clan war function is rarely used, reorganized and updated a lot in section 7, 
updated the patches section with two new ones, added a question to the FAQ 
section, updated section 6G, and added more stuff about the Commerce and other 
goodies.

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3: Contact Policy

As with every FAQ, there has to be a way to contact the author. Even though 
this is my first FAQ, I will be somewhat strict on what I want and what I 
don't want.

If you feel the need to contact me for questions, suggestions, comments, or 
complaints, please e-mail me at philz20(at)gmail(dot)com. If your suggestion 
or question is used in an updated version of this FAQ, you must let me know if 
you want me to add your name to the credits. If you don't provide me with one, 
I won't even add it at all. To make sure I read your e-mail, please put "SOCOM 
3 Online FAQ" in the subject line. That will let me know that you sent me an e-
mail relating to my FAQ and will be looked at, but be aware that if you don't 
contain that phrase in the subject line, chances are I won't reply because of 
your stupidity. Questions about single player or other extras that I don't 
mention in this FAQ will NOT be replied to. If you have a question about 
anything related to online, chances are it is provided in the FAQ, but I 
will reply based on the question or by saying "Please look in the FAQ since I 
mentioned it." or it will be answered and put in the FAQ section if it's a 
beneficial question. I will not reply to e-mails if it contains an attachment, 
a total rant about my FAQ, or anything unrelated to it. The only way to contact 
me is through e-mail and I only give out my IM info if the situation requires 
it.

If you sent me an e-mail that I replied to about a suggestion and I told you it 
would be added, please don't freak out if you don't see an update. Being a 
Junior in High School, my life is fairly busy with school, friends, family, 
music, other internet habits, my job, and of course, SOCOM 3. I will try to 
update this guide on a weekly or bi-weekly basis depending how many suggestions 
I accept. Also, I'm also looking for various things to be added or modified to 
the guide. You can find that list in the credits section and I will be grateful 
if your information is complete and accurate.

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4: Copyright Notice

This FAQ is Copyright (c)2005-2006 Philip Kirshbaum. This may be not be 
reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not 
be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance 
written permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any 
public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright. This FAQ 
was also written entirely by me, unless you see a note of people in the credits 
that helped me in writing this FAQ. This FAQ has been given permission to post 
at the following sites:

GameFAQs (http://www.gamefaqs.com)
IGN (http://faqs.ign.com)
NeoSeeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
GamerHelp (http://www.gamerhelp.com)
Supercheats (http://www.supercheats.com)

If you find my FAQ useful and want to post it on your website, please e-mail me 
to request it to be posted. If I accept your request, the link to your website 
will be posted in my FAQ at a later date. If your request is denied or you 
never asked for permission, you do not have the right to use this FAQ in 
partial or whole on your site. If I find out you have posted this FAQ on your 
website without MY permission, you will be asked to take it down immediately 
with a very harsh e-mail. I recommend you never have to encounter my harsh e-
mail because it will not be a thing of beauty.

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5: SOCOM 3 Online Set-Up and Recommendations

5A: How To Get Online

So you're showing an interest in PS2 Online, eh? You're in for quite a treat. 
The following lists what is required for playing online for almost any game:

- A PlayStation 2 Memory Card (8MB) to save network information.
- A PS2 Network Adaptor that attaches to the back of your PS2. If you have a 
slimline PS2, the Network Adaptor is already built into the console.
- A Dial-Up or Broadband connection. I recommend a broadband connection because 
it delivers a hell of a lot faster speeds and most PS2 online games are 
broadband-only. If you have dial-up, I seriously recommend you make the switch 
to broadband.
- An Ethernet cable, wireless adaptor, or phone line that can be inserted in 
the internet port(s).
- A valid network configuration file and registration data. You can use the 
online start-up disc that comes with the Network Adaptor or PS2 console. A lot 
of games also allow you to make a network configuration file in the internet 
login menu.

I will not give step-by-step instruction on how to make a network configuration 
as your instruction manual states how to do it. If you have any problems with 
getting online, I recommend you call Sony to deal with it. They helped me get 
online and are very reasonable and helpful people.

5B: SOCOM 3 Requirements, Login Walkthrough, and Recommendations

Congrats for showing interest in SOCOM 3 Online! As being a veteran player of 
the series, I will give you the requirements and recommendations for making 
your gaming experience great. Refer to section 5A if you are wondering what you 
need to play any game online for the PS2.

To play this game online, you will need:

- The SOCOM 3 disc.
- A PS2 Memory Card (8MB) that has at least 3000 KB of free space. It used to 
be 500 KB, but the 1.2 patch that increased its memory needs was released on 
12/22/2005.
- A PS2 Network Adaptor that attaches to the back of your PS2. If you have a 
slimline PS2, the Network Adaptor is already built into the console.
- A Broadband connection. For SOCOM 3, dial-up is NOT allowed. You must have 
broadband no matter what if you want to play this game online.
- An Ethernet Cable or a wireless adaptor.
- A valid network configuration file and registration data.

To get online, press X at the title screen, which will take you to the main 
menu. Go to the tab that says "Online" and press X. If you already have a valid 
network configuration file, all you have to do is select "Login". When you get 
to the universe selection menu, choose the universe you would like to play in, 
even though there should only be one available. At the player login menu, 
choose a name between 5 to 15 characters with no spaces and a password between 
4 to 15 characters with no spaces that you can easily remember. Be aware that 
once your SOCOM 3 player name is registered, you cannot change the name or the 
password to it. If you simply can't tolerate your current online name, make a 
new one. After the player selection menu, choose to accept the user agreement 
and then you will be online. Congrats!

After the first time you login to SOCOM 3 online, the title screen will add 
another option called "Fast Login" by pressing the O button. This feature will 
skip several steps that you would've encountered using the regular login by 
using the account you were last online with and your last network 
configuration. All you really have to do is accept the user agreement and 
you're good to go. This is incredibly helpful if you got disconnected or had to 
reset your PS2.

I have a few recommendations to share to you if you want your online experience 
to be great and have heavy reliability.

- Get a USB headset that can be used to communicate to people vocally. This is 
probably the most vital optional piece of equipment you can have. This game 
revolves around the use of voice communication and you will have a terrible 
time trying to play it without a headset.
- A USB keyboard is highly recommended by a lot of people and not highly 
recommended by other people. To me, a USB keyboard is helpful if you want to 
have the ability to make text messages easily. Pressing buttons on your 
controller to get a letter to appear is a pain, but using a keyboard is 
literally painless. Plus you can chat with someone in the game, your team 
and/or all the players during a game if you have one.
- Use an Ethernet cable to connect to SOCOM 3 Online. I'm not bashing wireless 
connections since I use one for internet browsing, but it has been proven that 
wireless connections tend to disconnect you more from games and cause slower 
speeds. If it works fine for you, that's great, but having a wired connection 
ensures high reliability towards playing online. A lot of online connection 
problems can be caused by a router too. Make sure you have a reliable router 
since that contributes towards how often you get disconnected.
- Make sure you have a PSP, an HDD (40GB PS2 only), or a USB flash drive with 
at least 32MB of storage. If you want to purchase the new map packs, you must 
have one of those storage devices to hold them. The 8MB PS2 memory card will 
not work.

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6: SOCOM 3 Online Menu and Functions

This section will cover everything about the SOCOM 3 menu system and its 
various features. Section 7 will contain content about playing the game.

6A: New Features From SOCOM II

If you haven't played or heard anything about the new content in SOCOM 3, 
you're in for quite a surprise. I will list most of the noticeable features 
that is different from SOCOM II, but if you feel I'm missing something, please 
contact me.

- A revamped menu system. When you go online or even go into the main menu, the 
first thing you probably noticed was a brand new menu style where content is 
organized into various tabs on the top of the screen. They did this to make 
content easier to find and make a menu system that's more convenient.

- 32 players in a game. Yeah, you heard me. Instead of having a maximum 
requirement of 16 players in a game like in SOCOM II, Zipper Interactive made 
new variations to the graphics engine to allow 32 players in a game. You'll 
probably think having 32 people in a room and 16 people on a team is a hassle, 
but it really isn't.

- Map size varies depending how many people are in a room. Have you noticed how 
some maps feel restricted when the room won't allow 32 players? Depending how 
many people you allow in a room will decide how big or small the map will be. 
From what I know, there are three different settings, but allowing 2-16 will 
result in the smallest and 32 with the largest.

- Vehicles are allowed in seven out of the 12 maps. Another noticeable addition 
in the SOCOM series is the use of vehicles. You probably think vehicles add a 
lot of change in the way online is played, but it actually adds minor change. 
Vehicles are mostly used in this game by getting from one place to another. 
They can be used for offensive and defensive purposes, but most of the time 
players won't use them in their strategy since they're so used to the player 
control only style that was in SOCOM I and II. You can choose to take vehicles 
out of a game if you dislike them that much.

- 12 new, very large maps and no returning maps from SOCOM II. This change made 
SOCOM players happy, sad, and mad at the same time. The happy thing is that the 
maps are huge. All of them are at least twice as large as the SOCOM II map 
Foxhunt and the largest one is six times larger than the SOCOM II map Last 
Bastion, which was the largest SOCOM II map. They add a lot of variety like new 
paths, new strategies, and new hiding spots. The sad portion is that Zipper 
chose not to include any of the SOCOM I or II maps in the release of SOCOM 3, 
which made a lot of SOCOM veterans sad, including me. There are rumors and 
speculation that Zipper might include new or classic maps to be downloaded, but 
this information will be announced at a later date. How they will do it is way 
up in the air. Finally, the thing that got a lot of people angry is that these 
12 maps appear in single player. That's right, they are designed exactly like 
the single player maps with almost no modification to the overall design. The 
unique thing about SOCOM I and II maps were the uniqueness since they were 
basically snippets from the single player maps, but these SOCOM 3 maps are 
directly from single player. To me, I don't really care because the maps are 
fun, plus it gives you a big advantage if you actually played single player 
before you started online.

- New guns, new skins, and the attachments system. Another major change in the 
series was the addition of the attachments system. You can now add attachments 
to your gun to fit your style of play. Be aware that your mobility is greatly 
affected if your loadout weighs too much. Almost everyone welcomed this system 
with open arms due to its reality. The different skins also add quite a bit of 
variety too.

- 32 people are now allowed in a clan and SOCOM 3 has a built-in war system. 
Yay, we can now have 32 people in a clan. Not having more than 16 people in a 
clan was a big gripe in SOCOM II and not having an official war system was 
another gripe. Fortunately, they cured some of those complaints.

- More ranks and two ranking ladders. To ensure a break-in period and more 
variety, Zipper created two different ranking ladders and added a lot more 
ranks to the main ladder. I'll get more in-depth with that later in the FAQ.

- You can swim. Swimming is a cool little feature that can help you move across 
bodies of water, but it's more of a nuisance than a helper.

- You now have a mailbox and there's a new and improved messaging system.

- You can choose your spawn points in-game and in the game menu.

- You can send friend and clan invites while you're playing in a game.

- Respawns can be played on any game type and any map. In SOCOM II, it was 
limited to suppression maps only.

- You need a credit card to use a lot of helpful features in this game. More 
info in section 6B.

- Commerce section added for the use of purchasing new content. More info in 
section 7C.

6B: Verifying Your SOCOM 3 Account

You're playing online, but you noticed how you can't start or join ranked 
games, join or create clans, use a friends list, and use stat tracking. Why is 
that? The answer is that you need to be a verified user to use those nifty 
features. To become verified, go to the Community menu, then go to personal, 
and verify. You must accept the user agreement and then put in your credit card 
information. YOUR CREDIT CARD WILL ONLY BE USED FOR VERIFICATION PURPOSES. IT 
WILL NOT BE CHARGED WHATSOEVER. Also only one credit card number is allowed per 
SOCOM 3 account.

6C: Ranking System

Yay, now I get to talk about one of my favorite parts of the game. The ranking 
system has been improved and changed in this game one way or another. There are 
now two ladders instead of one: Enlisted and Officer. The Enlisted ladder is 
the starter ladder and is based purely on number of games played until you get 
to the final rank. All players must start in the Enlisted ladder. After you've 
met the requirements of the final Enlisted ladder rank, you will be transferred 
to the Officer ladder, which uses the same ranking system as SOCOM II, except 
with a few more ranks. Also, the specialized ranked rooms in SOCOM II have 
returned, with modifications. Instead of having a dedicated room to a specific 
rank, it now goes by a specific grade. There are three grades: Junior, Mid, and 
Flag.

The following contains all of the Enlisted ladder ranks:

Seaman Recruit: 0-4 games
Seaman Apprentice: 5-14 games
Seaman: 15-24 games
Petty Officer Third Class: 25-39 games
Petty Officer Second Class: 40-54 games
Petty Officer First Class: 55-74 games
Chief Petty Officer: 75 games and 50 wins (For example, if you have 75 games 
played and 50 wins, you'll progress to the Officer ladder. Lets also say you 
have 105 games played and 45 wins, you won't progress to the Officer ladder 
yet.)

The following contains all of the Officer ladder ranks:
(The system goes *rank* - *grade* - *percentage on Officer ladder*)

Ensign - Junior Grade - Top 81-100%
Lieutenant Junior Grade - Junior Grade - Top 66-80%
Lieutenant - Junior Grade - Top 51-65%
Lieutenant Commander - Mid Grade - Top 41-50%
Commander - Mid Grade - Top 31-40%
Captain - Mid Grade - Top 21-30%
Rear Admiral Lower Half - Flag Grade - Top 11-20%
Rear Admiral Upper Half - Flag Grade - Top 6-10%
Vice Admiral - Flag Grade - Top 2-5%
Admiral - Flag Grade - Top 0-1%
Fleet Admiral - Flag Grade - Top 10 Players

6D: How To Make/Join An Online Game and Autoplay

Creating and joining an online game has been made more simple compared to SOCOM 
II. Joining a game is incredibly simple. First go to the briefing tab and 
select a briefing room to play in. Once you're in a briefing room, you should 
see 5 tabs that say: Briefing, Join Game, Create Game, Spectate, Filters. 
Choose Join Game and select a room you want to play in. Once you're in a game 
room, your options expand a little. If you want to voice chat with your USB 
headset, press L2 to talk and press O if you want to text message the room 
you're in. You should notice four boxes at the top of a game menu. They are 
Team View, Spawn Points, Armory, and Game Details. Team View is basically the 
main game menu. It shows you how many people are in that room and what teams 
they're on. If the game hasn't begun yet, you can press the Select button on 
your controller to switch teams and once you're ready, press the Start button 
to tell the room you're ready to go. Spawn Points is pretty self-explanatory 
since you can choose where you want to spawn in. 

The armory in SOCOM 3 is pretty cool compared to SOCOM II. The first tab is 
called "Character", which allows you to choose what player skin you want to 
play in, save a custom loadout, and reset defaults. It's basically an overview 
of your loadout.  The "Weapons" tab is where you select your weapons. You can 
choose a main rifle with two attachments, a pistol with one attachment, and two 
other items. Notice at the bottom of weapon selection that it shows how good 
your gun is and how much weight you'll be carrying. Be careful not to carry too 
much weight or else you'll move very slow compared to other players. The final 
box, Game Details, just shows you the details of the game and that's it.

Creating a game is very interesting this time, since it gives you almost total 
customization of a room. You must provide a room name, decide if you want it to 
have a password, determine the amount of players, score type, spectators, play 
list, and then you can create the room. You can choose to make the maximum 
number of players in a room from 2-32 in intervals of 2. There are three score 
types you can choose from. Most people will choose ranked, which means only 
verified users can play and your scores will count towards your rank. Open is 
an unranked room that's open to anyone that wants to play. Finally, respawn is 
a 20 minute match where if you die, you can respawn and the game just keeps 
going on. Then you can choose if you want you allow spectators, allow 
spectators with a password, or not even allow them at all.

The Play List is where things get fun. You can choose your maps, your game 
mode, round counts, round time, friendly fire, vehicles, time of day, and 
weapon modes. Each map can be made unique, which means you don't have to have 
the same weapon selection for all the maps. The round count ranges from 3-11 
rounds, each go up by intervals of 2. You can choose to put friendly fire on, 
which means you can injure a player on your team if you shoot them, or just 
turn it off if you don't want you team to have the ability to hurt each other. 
Then you can decide if you want to have vehicles on the map or off the map. YOU 
CANNOT DECIDE WHICH SPECIFIC VEHICLES YOU WANT. IT'S EITHER ON OR OFF. You can 
choose if you want the map to be day or night, then you can select which 
weapons you want to put in. Your options range with sniper rifles, pistols, 
shotguns, SMGs, assault rifles, machine guns, mines, ranged explosives, and 
grenades. Once you're happy with your playlist, hit done, then hit the start 
game button to create the room. Pretty nice, eh?

A nifty feature in deciding which rooms you want to play in is the filter 
system. You can choose the map name, game type, score type, number of players, 
and advanced options. Be aware that if you apply these filters, it will hide 
the rooms that you applied the filter to. If you want to see all the rooms, 
don't even mess with the filters. The advanced options include friendly fire, 
weapon modes, vehicles, time of day, and connection speed. If you just want to 
play a game without any searching, autoplay is where you want to be. In the 
online menu, go to the second box from the left that is titled "Autoplay". At 
this menu, you can choose what specific games you want to play. You should also 
notice that the autoplay options are the exact same as the options on the 
filter. Once you're satisfied with your settings, you can start the search for 
a game and there you have it!

6E: Clans

Ah yes, now we're getting into the great stuff. Ever since SOCOM I, clans have 
played a major role in the game. SOCOM 3 expands greatly on the topic of clans. 
Instead of having only 16 people in a clan, you can now have 32 because of the 
increased room size. For joining a clan, you will have a 1-3 letter tag that 
goes next to your name in the game menu or the in-game scoreboard. Another 
benefit of being in a clan is that you have the ability to message your entire 
clan from the mailbox menu. In every clan, there is only one leader. Zipper 
decided not to add any internal clan ranking system this time around, which was 
one thing a lot of people wanted. The leader has the ability to invite players 
by selecting "Invite A Player" in the clan roster or invite a player during a 
game, appoint a new leader, mail clan, leave clan, remove player, change clan 
tag, make war challenges and accept challenges, and disband clan. Please note 
that a clan name is permanent until you disband the clan, and if you decide to 
disband your clan, there's no way it can come back unless you make a new one. 
Members of the clan can only message the clan or leave it.

The clan war system can be complicated. Note that only the leader of a clan can 
make a clan war happen, register your clan on a ladder, and deny matches. There 
are three ladders you can join, which are Daily, Evening, and Weekend. All the 
ladder times go by Pacific Standard Time, unless otherwise stated in a clan 
challenge. The Daily ladder can be played everyday from 8 A.M. to 11 P.M. The 
Evening ladder can be played everyday from 6 P.M. to 11 P.M. Finally, the 
Weekend ladder can be played on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 8 A.M. to 
11 P.M. You can only be registered on two ladders and must login daily to view 
challenges. I mentioned the challenges phrase because the system for it is kind 
of awkward. First, you can only challenge clans that are approximately 100 
ranks above you. You can accept challenges by a clan that has a lower rank than 
you. If you decide not to do anything about a challenge, you will lose a war 
and drop to whatever position the challenging clan was at. The ranking system 
for clan ladders is the swap system. If you win, you take the clan's old rank 
and go to it if you challenged a clan, or you maintain your rank if you won 
against a lower ranked clan. If you lose, you drop down or stay the same.

6F: Friend and Ignore Lists, Taunts, and Invitations

This section is found in the last tab from the left called "My Settings". All 
that I'll do in this section is talk about what each tab means and how to use 
it.

The Friends tab is your friend list. You can view which friends are currently 
online and what games they're in. You can add a friend by doing it in a game, 
highlighting their profile, or going to the add friend option under the friends 
tab. If you want to remove one, highlight their name, press the square button, 
and go to remove friend. Ignore is very unused. There's almost no point in 
using an ignore list unless someone is really bothering you. Just add the name 
under the tab. The taunts tab lets you edit and save your taunts, so you can 
use them during a game. You can only have three and be aware that you must save 
them to your memory card, or else they will not be there the next time you log 
in. The invitations tab is where you can accept or deny clan and friend 
invites. You'll know if you have an invite if the parcel icon in the lower-left 
corner of the screen is lighting up.

6G: Community

A new feature that was added in SOCOM 3 is the Community. At the main online 
menu, the Community option is the third tab from the left. In this section, I 
will explain various features in the Community menu that might help you out. 
It's organized into six sections: SOCOM 3 Daily, Leaderboards, Clan Ladders, 
Message Board, Personal, and Help.

SOCOM 3 Daily consists of the daily news and polls. There should be one more 
sub-tab called Survey, since the SOCOM 3 stat website has a survey tab. There's 
nothing really special about the news and poll, so just check it often in case 
they update it.

The Leaderboards tab is separated into seven sub-tabs. The individual 
leaderboard is basically the overall leaderboard and the most used. Weekly and 
monthly can be used for some interesting statistics, but they aren't terribly 
important. An interesting feature concerning those leaderboards is the fact 
that you can search up people by typing their online name in to view their 
stats. Be aware that you must manually search for them in the overall 
leaderboard if you want to see their profile. An easy way to do that will be 
listed in section 6I. One that I use a lot is the friend leaderboard to compare 
my rank and stats to the people on my friends list. It's just handy to have 
around.

Clan ladders is important for organizing clan wars. I listed the processes of 
finding one in section 6E. All you have to do is go to the community menu and 
select the clan ladder tab. That's all.

The next tab is Message Boards. They're handy if you want to discuss certain 
features of the game and send feedback to the developers. It's also a great 
place to go to rant, but most people don't like it. Only post there if you have 
an issue or want to suggest and idea to the developers.

SOCOM Store was added on 6/27/2006 for the release of the first and future 
SOCOM map packs. Here you can purchase and download the latest maps. More 
information in section 7.

Personal is probably one of the most important tabs. Here, you can check your 
profile, edit your profile, send or read mail in your mailbox, and verify your 
account if you haven't already done so. I suggest you check your mailbox daily 
to make sure you aren't missing out on important news that your clan mates send 
or a personal message. That's basically it.

Help provides a few FAQs on some really basic gameplay help and other SOCOM 3 
features. If you need help, look at the FAQs.

6H: SOCOM 3 Website

At E3 2005 and from interviews at various sites, Zipper told the SOCOM 3 fans 
that there would be a website that was similar to bungie.net, but better. You 
could check the leaderboards, mail your friends and clan, post on the message 
boards, and check the latest news. However, this feature was not present when 
the game first came out. People were upset by saying Zipper blew it again. The 
unthinkable soon came on November 22, 2005 in their first weekly update by 
saying the SOCOM 3 community website was up. All you have to do is go to 
http://socom3.scea.com and login using your SOCOM 3 account name and password. 
The site is basically the community features, so I'm not going to go into 
detail about it. The link is the important part, however. :)

6I: Various Tips

- As listed in section 6G in the leaderboard part, I mentioned that there is an 
easier way to search up people if you want to view their profile. This requires 
access to the SOCOM 3 website that I wrote about in section 6H. Go to the 
website and click on the leaderboards tab, and then click on the overall 
leaderboard link. Now you should be able to see the top players. Scroll to the 
bottom of the page and click the "next" link. From there, look at the URL bar 
and you should see the following:

http://socom3html-
prod.svo.pdonline.scea.com:10070/SOCOM3_HTML/stats/Stats_CareerLeaderboard.jsp?
start=50&end=99&statsStart=0&statsEnd=2&sortCol=0&sortOrder=1&gameMode=0

Notice the start=xxxxxx&end=xxxxxx part of the link. From there you can search 
up a player and look at their current rank. Once you found it, paste that link 
into the URL bar and edit the part where I put the six x's. Now you can put in 
a range to find an area of players and be able to view the profiles of anyone. 
One helpful hint is to put no more than a value of 300 for the range. Doing a 
higher number can cause the server to time out and force you to try again. It's 
really easy to perform once you've successfully tried it.

- Verify your SOCOM 3 account. You will not regret doing so and it WILL NOT 
charge your credit card. Ask your parents to use it or buy a prepaid one.

- Don't cheat to boost your rank up. Right now the entire SOCOM community knows 
how messed up the ranking system is. All I can tell you is to just deal with 
it. It will be fixed eventually, but playing legit is a lot better than 
cheating. 

- Save your characters if you don't want to waste time picking your character 
every single game you go into. I don't use it, but I know it's handy for the 
people that like to use different characters for special situations. 

- Be active in your clan and be a role model. Your clan will respect you if you 
show good sportsmanship and make an effort to play with your clan. A lot of 
clans won't care how good you do, but just as long as they see you benefiting 
the clan, you'll stay in. 

- Gamebattles.com is a good site and the most popular one for setting up clan 
wars for various games. Even though it requires a lot of effort, it's better 
than trying the official war system.

- Check your mailboxes daily. Clan leaders love to send announcements daily, so 
check your boxes if you want to stay on top of everything.

- Use the SOCOM 3 website. It's terribly handy if you are out of town or can't 
access your SOCOM 3 disc. It's almost more useful than the community feature in 
the game in a lot of ways!

******************************************************************************
##############################################################################
******************************************************************************

7: SOCOM 3 Online Game Types, Skins, Guns, and Unlockables

This section focuses primarily on the actual gameplay of online mode itself. 
Throughout this section, I will be making references to a game known as SOCOM 
Fireteam Bravo. Be aware that this is a Playstation Portable (PSP) game and it 
will not be released in North America until November 8, 2005.

7A: Game Types

SOCOM 3 offers almost more game types than any other online game today. 
Returning from SOCOM II are Suppression, Extraction, Demolition, Escort, and 
Breach. Two more have been added, which are Control and Convoy. I will explain 
how each game works in this section.

IMPORTANT NOTE: All game modes can be won by eliminating every member of the 
opposing team. Completing the objective is important, but a lot of times you 
will be able to win by just trying to kill the other team.

Suppression
-----------
Introduced in SOCOM I, Suppression is your standard deathmatch. To win, you 
must eliminate the opposing team. However, SOCOM 3 has included another way how 
to win. If you have more players alive than the other team when the round ends, 
you will win the game. This made sure that there weren't as many draws, plus it 
adds more strategy. You can still draw a game if both teams have the same 
amount of people alive at the end of the round. All fifteen maps offer 
Suppression mode.

Extraction
----------
Introduced in SOCOM I, Extraction is where one team must prevent the opposing 
team from taking the hostages out of their control, and bringing them to 
safety. Unlike Escort, killing the hostages is not a good thing. For the team 
trying to rescue them, the mission timer will reduce by one minute for every 
one hostage you kill. For the team that is trying to prevent their rescue, 
killing one will result in one hostage rescued for the rescue team. One big 
change in SOCOM 3 is that both teams are able to extract and prevent rescue on 
certain maps. In SOCOM I and II, the SEAL team was always responsible for 
rescuing them. Extraction is offered in nine of the fifteen maps.

Demolition
----------
Next to Suppression, Demolition is another mode that is found in almost every 
online game. Introduced in SOCOM I, Demolition involves picking up a satchel 
and blowing up the opposing team's base, or preventing the destruction of your 
own base. The satchel is neutral, so both teams can pick it up and try to 
demolish the enemies' base. This means that there are two strategies in this 
mode, which I already mentioned. If neither team demolishes a base, the round 
will end in a draw. Demolition is offered in eleven out of the fifteen maps.

Escort
------
Introduced in SOCOM II, Escort involves one team starting out with the hostages 
and are in charge of rescuing them. The opposing team is in charge of killing 
each hostage. There is a major change in the way this mode is played, however. 
In SOCOM 3, the team with the hostages must rescue at least two hostages before 
time runs out or else they lose. In SOCOM II, the team that was in charge of 
killing the hostages would lose if they failed to eliminate them. Another 
change is that both teams can escort hostages on certain maps. In SOCOM II, the 
SEAL team was always in charge of the rescue and the Terrorists had to 
eliminate them. Escort is offered in six of the fifteen maps.

Breach
------
Introduced in SOCOM II, Breach involves the SEALs demolishing the Terrorist 
base, while the Terrorists must prevent the destruction at all costs. Along the 
way, there are a series of gates that prevents the SEAL team from moving closer 
to the bomb site, so they must blow them up with C4 charges. If the SEAL team 
fails to demolish the Terrorists base before time runs out, they lose. Breach 
is offered in eight of the fifteen maps.

Control
-------
Introduced in SOCOM 3, Control is very similar to the plot games in Halo 2. 
Both teams must try to capture all five nav points on the map before the other 
team does so first. Note that both teams are able to capture the nav points. If 
a SEAL has already captured it, the Terrorists can capture it too. It's a race 
against time and numbers, so capturing all the nav points are important. This 
mode is also like Suppression in the sense that one team can win if they have 
captured more points than the opposing team. Control is offered in fourteen out 
of the fifteen maps.

Convoy
------
Introduced in SOCOM 3, Convoy involves the Terrorists to load up at least one 
or two cargo trucks with cargo, and drive them to the drop zone. The SEALs must 
blow up both cargo trucks or prevent the Terrorists from making it to the drop 
zone before the round is over. Be aware that the Terrorists can win if they get 
at least one truck to the drop zone with cargo. To load your truck with cargo, 
go to a load zone, get out of the truck, and press the X button next to the 
boxes. This will load the cargo onto the truck in a range of 15-30 seconds. 
Convoy is offered in four of the fifteen maps.

7B: SOCOM 3 Default Maps

You want to know what the maps are and a brief description of them? This is the 
place. I will name each map by area of operation, playable game types, 
available spawn points, and give a brief description about them. I will not be 
giving you in-depth strategies about any of these maps.

7BA: North Africa Maps

The North Africa maps are primarily desert or urban environments. That means in 
desert surroundings it's very wide open and offers little to no cover. It also 
serves to snipers greatly. The urban maps are usually complex with a lot of 
structures and a lot of hiding places. These maps also provide the greatest 
variety of vehicles compared to any other area of operation.

Crucible
--------
Available game types/spawn points: Suppression (2 for both teams), Escort (3 
for SEALs, 2 for Terrorists), Demolition (1 for both teams), Convoy (2 for both 
teams), Control (2 for both teams)

Crucible is one of the most played North Africa maps and with good reason. This 
map has an abandoned mine that runs from the far west end of the map to the far 
east end of it. I'm not real fond of going through it due to the lack of people 
that go in there and it's real easy to get lost. However, the mine entrances 
are perfect for sniping. Why? This map's strength is at its outdoor combat and 
the high elevations it offers. It's basically a sniper haven and you can rack 
up a massive amount of kills if you're proficient at sniping. There's a main 
road that wraps around north of the mine and offers a lot of vehicle combat. If 
you love sniping and taking full advantage of vehicles, Crucible is for you.

Killing Fields
--------------
Available game types/spawn points: Suppression (3 for both teams), Demolition 
(3 for both teams), Escort (2 for SEALs, 3 for Terrorists), Convoy (3 for 
SEALs, 2 for Terrorists), Control (3 for both teams)

Killing Fields is another popular North Africa map that has made a huge impact. 
This was the second map announced before the game came out, and is the size of 
six SOCOM II maps with extra space leftover. The huge strength of this map is 
vehicle combat. It has a lot of extra space and is a pain if you're trying to 
get from one side to another without a vehicle. As far as urban combat goes, 
the center ruins area is the prime area for it. With a lot of places to hide 
and to sneak up on snipers, fighting in the ruins is very fun, but not the 
strongpoint of this map. The other two structures in the map at the northwest 
and southeast corner are bases for either team and they don't offer any urban 
combat at all. Avoid those two spots if you can. You might think with this much 
open room that this would be a sniper map, but it isn't. A cool feature is a 
sandstorm is currently going on as you are playing, so this condition offers 
poor visibility for open sniping. However, the best areas where you can snipe 
are at the base entrances and in the ruins area. If you love vehicle combat and 
a huge, wide open map, Killing Fields will offer a ton of fun.

Citadel
-------
Available game types/spawn points: Suppression (2 for both teams), Demolition 
(2 for both teams), Escort (2 for both teams), Extraction (2 for both teams), 
Breach (2 for both teams), Control (2 for both teams)

Citadel is my favorite map and it's very popular for fans of maps such as 
Crossroads or Fish Hook in SOCOM II. This map is purely urban combat and has no 
vehicles at all. It has two main areas which is a village and the terrorist 
operation base within the walls of the city. A very unique trait is the 
complexity of the structures. Many buildings and areas offer multiple floors 
and walls around you, so it's perfect for shooting people at a higher elevation 
and for making traps to surprise the opposing team. Unlike most maps, sniping 
does not work very well due to the lack of space between structures and the 
lack of cover when you're trying to snipe. Overall, Citadel serves to the fans 
of the SOCOM II urban maps like Crossroads and Fish Hook, and should not be 
missed by anyone that wants a unique war-zone feeling.

Devils Road
-----------
Available game types/spawn points: Suppression (2 for both teams), Extraction 
(2 for SEALs, 3 for Terrorists), Convoy (2 for both teams), Control (2 for both 
teams)

Devils Road is a map where you either love it or hate it. If you don't have 
vehicles enabled on this map, it is a pain to get around. It offers a few roads 
with many twists and turns, large cliffs with multiple footpaths, and two 
village areas. Like most of the North Africa maps, vehicles and sniping is its 
strength. Running on foot with an assault rifle isn't hard or a bad thing, but 
it's almost too easy to get killed by a vehicle or a sniper. The two village 
areas are not good for urban combat due to their small sizes, but they serve 
well for snipers that are hiding and shooting from building windows. Overall, 
if you are a fan of sniping and vehicles, you'll probably like Devils Road.  

7BB: South Asia Maps

The South Asia maps have the best variety of locations in my opinion. The 
environments include forests, ancient ruins, camps, a boatyard, grasslands, and 
huge amounts of water. It also has a steamy climate and some fog. The only 
usable vehicles for these maps are boats only. I'm not saying that's a bad 
thing, but these maps aren't big on vehicle combat. These maps are also the 
least popular out of the other map sets.

Boneyard
--------
Available game types/spawn points: Suppression (2 for both teams), Extraction 
(2 for both teams), Breach (2 for both teams)

Boneyard is probably one of of the most unique and smallest maps in the game. 
It's basically a shipyard that has many pathways through ships, a back tunnel, 
and the weapons base. I say this map is unique because there is a good amount 
of urban combat and a good amount of open combat. The close-quarter firefights 
are usually quite intense with grenades exploding everywhere and a ton of gun 
action. The only downside is that this map is quite laggy when there are 
massive firefights near your position. If you are a sniper, you will probably 
have a difficult time trying to get kills. If you hate being killed by grenade 
launchers, this is the map where people get killed by them a lot. Overall, 
Boneyard is a very unique map that can serve to players of urban and open 
combat.

Tidal Fury
----------
Available game types/spawn points: Suppression (3 for both teams), Demolition 
(1 for both teams), Extraction (2 for both teams), Breach (2 for both teams), 
Control (1 for both teams)

Tidal Fury is a very interesting map for a few reasons. First, it's massive. 
This map is not easy to get around from place to place unless you are familiar 
with it. Second, you can only get around on foot pathways through the jungle. 
The closeness of the paths make it prime to get kills and be killed. Finally, 
it is fricken hard to see people. The player skins blend in so well with this 
map that it's hard to find people to shoot. This is not a map for snipers due 
to the poor visibility, but it serves very well to the players that love to run 
and gun or camp. If you want to snipe, the best place to do it is in the center 
ruins, but you might not get many kills or you might shoot one of your own 
teammates. Tidal Fury is a map for the players that love to blend into the 
environment and use stealth to get kills.

Antenora
--------
Available game types/spawn points: Suppression (2 for both teams), Extraction 
(2 for SEALs, 3 for Terrorists), Breach (2 for SEALs, 3 for Terrorists), 
Control (2 for both teams)

Antenora is a very annoying map. I consider it to be far more annoying than 
Tidal Fury. Not only do you have the close footpaths like you did in Tidal 
Fury, but there is an underground mine and a wide-open coastline. The two main 
chokepoints in this map is the coastline and mine. The mine is very close-
quarter and is not easy to get around unseen or unheard. It has some good 
hiding spots, but there is always a way to get hit from behind. The coastline 
is a sniper haven. Due to how open the coastline is, it's easy to snipe and 
stay hidden at the same time. I should also mention the main terrorist camp 
that has the stairway to the mine, but there wasn't much action in the area 
when I played the map several times. If you're a very skilled player that loves 
to scope in on enemies, Antenora will be one of your favorite maps.

Storm Front
-----------
Available game types/spawn points: Suppression (3 for both teams), Demolition 
(3 for both teams), Extraction (2 for both teams), Control (2 for both teams)

I can summarize this map by saying four words. Snipe, or be sniped. If you're a 
sniper, this map is your lost boyfriend/girlfriend. With a good suit and a 
great amount of cover, you will rack up massive kills by sniping and having a 
quick trigger finger. Using an assault rifle is only useful if you're spawning 
near an enemy spawn point, but chances are you will get sniped anyways. Running 
around to find people will definitely get you sniped, plus spawning at a bad 
point will get you sniped if the opposing team spawns nearby and has a great 
line of sight. There are a few assault boats, but they aren't very useful due 
to the amount of sniping. To end this description, you have to love sniping if 
you want to love Storm Front. End of story.

7BC: Poland Maps

Yay! Now I get to talk about my favorite maps in the entire game. Each of the 
four maps offers a different setting and a different style. Two of these maps 
are heavily used for vehicle combat and the other two are mainly run and gun. 
You should give these maps a try due to the uniqueness.

Harvester
---------
Available game types/spawn points: Suppression (2 for both teams), Demolition 
(3 for both teams), Extraction (2 for both teams), Escort (2 for SEALs, 3 for 
Terrorists), Breach (2 for both teams), Control (3 for SEALs, 2 for 
Terrorists), Convoy (3 for SEALs, 2 for Terrorists)

Harvester is definitely one of the most played and most well-known maps in this 
game. It was the only map on the SOCOM 3 Beta Test and it is the only map that 
has all seven game types available. The great thing about this map is that it 
serves well to both snipers and assaulters. Snipers will have great advantage 
points due to the high elevations at certain points and the assaulters will 
have a field day taking people down from various paths. Oh yeah, I can't forget 
about the vehicles too! There are many terrorist technicals and SEAL humvees to 
use and believe me, people will use them. This map is so fun that you actually 
have to experience it to get a real solid opinion. Harvester is a map that 
serves to both types of players and should not be missed by anyone. Period.

Fault
-----
Available game types/spawn points: Suppression (1 for both teams), Demolition 
(1 for both teams), Breach (1 for SEALs, 2 for Terrorists), Control (1 for both 
teams)

Fault is one of those maps where you love it or hate it. To make this 
description short and sweet, if you loved Frostfire in SOCOM I and II, chances 
are you will like Fault. It's a very claustrophobic and close-quarter map that 
it involves a lot of strategy to get from one place to another. It's also very 
good for campers because many spots allow you not to get killed or shot from 
behind your spot. If you try to snipe on this map, you might be able to get one 
or two kills a round, but there's no cover and not enough open space to snipe 
well. With the claustrophobic setting and close-quarter combat, Fault is a map 
where you either love it or hate it.

Waterworks
----------
Available game types/spawn points: Suppression (2 for both teams), Demolition 
(2 for both teams), Escort (1 for SEALs, 2 for Terrorists), Breach (2 for 
SEALs, 3 for Terrorists), Control (2 for both teams)

Waterworks is by far one of the most creative SOCOM maps ever made. You get to 
battle foes in a flooded city and go through alleyways, into large courtyards, 
and near a brewery. You can actually run in the water and hide underneath it 
for extra cover. Since the city is flooded, this map features a lot of sea 
combat, which makes the whole experience thrilling. The best part of all is 
that this map serves to all the player types you can imagine. It is seriously 
that good. If you love sniping, assaulting, using stealth, owning people in 
boats, and delivering havoc, Waterworks should not be missed.

Blackwoods
----------
Available game types/spawn points: Suppression (2 for both teams), Demolition 
(2 for both teams), Extraction (2 for both teams), Control (2 for both teams)

Blackwoods is probably one of the most underrated maps in SOCOM 3. This map can 
be very fun if you take full advantage of its surroundings. There are four 
different land masses that are connected by bridges that cross over rivers. If 
you remembered the long grasses of Foxhunt in SOCOM II, this map has very 
similar features from it. The most noticeable thing is the long grasses, which 
are great. If you have a ghillie suit or anything, you can hide in the grasses 
and take out foes without them ever noticing you. Surprisingly, the riverbanks 
provide some decent cover for the Terrorist team since their player skins are 
mostly dark. There are no vehicles and it serves primarily to players that love 
to run and gun. If you're a sniper, all hope is not lost. There are a few good 
positions that are great for sniping, but your locations for carrying that out 
will be limited. All in all, give Blackwoods a try if you love the stealth 
gameplay SOCOM has to offer.

7C: SOCOM 3 Download Maps

In addition to the default maps that shipped with the game, SOCOM 3 now has the 
ability to download new maps to play online with. Under the Community tab and 
in the SOCOM Store bar, there is a list of current map packs that can be 
downloaded. In order to download them, you must make sure you have the 
following:

- A PS2 HDD, a PSP, or a USB storage drive with at least 32 MB of storage. Mp3 
players do work, but I will not get into further detail about that.
- A verified SOCOM 3 account. Your account must be verified!
- An accurate credit card.

You can download the map pack first, but you must purchase the map pack in 
order to play online. Once a map pack is purchased, it can be downloaded again 
at any time and you won't have to purchase it again since it's tied into your 
account.

7CA: SOCOM Map Pack #1

"It's about time!" That was the phrase that all the SOCOM fans had to say when 
Zipper decided to release the first map pack on 6/27/2006. Announced in 
February, these maps have been long overdue for a release. These three new 
maps, After Hours, Liberation, and Last Bastion were the extra maps in SOCOM 
II. They proved to be somewhat successful, but were plagued with a great amount 
of lag. They are already popular in SOCOM 3 due to a urban feeling that all 
SOCOM II maps had, which many people enjoy greatly. Unlike the rest of the 
SOCOM 3 maps, these can only support up to 16 players, but that shouldn't 
matter considering how many people play up to 16 players these days. Be aware 
that this map pack is in the two week trial phase from 6/27/2006 to 7/11/2006. 
After the last date, the pack will no longer be free and you will have to re-
purchase it for $5.99.

In terms of characters, After Hours and Last Bastion uses the Polish characters 
while Liberation uses the North African characters. All four characters in each 
set are unlocked, which raises questions if it's a glitch or intentionally 
done.

After Hours
-----------
Available game types/spawn points: Suppression (2 for both teams), Demolition 
(2 for both teams), Control (2 for both teams)

Inspired by the city of Seoul, South Korea, After Hours brings combat into a 
flashy non-devastated city. This was the first SOCOM II HDD map and was a night 
suppression map. After making changes this map is a great urban warfare map in 
SOCOM 3. This definitely suits the style of a run and gun player with camping 
flavor. With the amount of walls, obstacles, and long streets, there are many 
places to camp. The fun part about this map is that you can fight on three 
levels: raised, street, or underground. What I mean by raised is that you can 
fight from the second floor of numerous buildings and take out foes with 
relative ease, which flavors the stealth gamers a lot. Street is the main 
street-level fighting, and underground is the subway. Even though there's a 
city on top, there's definitely a city on the bottom with the subway tunnels. 
There are five entrances to the subway each with great chokepoints that vary 
across the map. It's a very clever way to get from one place to another, but 
enemies will be down there not matter what. What also makes this map so neat is 
that it can favor snipers really well. The streets and allies are so long that 
a sniper could take out numerous people without being seen. However, it won't 
take long without being spotted since cover is pretty light if you're laying 
prone. The rain effect is still present during the night, but they included 
very nice scenery for the day part using a dawn sky. After Hours is a map that 
favors every type of player and is the best the SOCOM series has to offer. If 
you had to pay $5.99 for this map only, it would be worth it.

Liberation
----------
Available game types/spawn points: Suppression (2 for both teams), Demolition 
(2 for both teams), Escort (2 for both teams), Control (2 for both teams)

Liberation was an escort daytime map and the second one to be released in the 
series of SOCOM II HDD maps. It was inspired by the Algeria campaign in SOCOM 
II, which featured a city laying next to the Mediterranean Sea. This map can 
easily be divided into two sections: port and allies. The port section covers 
the docks and the street that acts as the outer shell. This area is good for 
some camping, but most of the time it'll be infested with snipers trying to 
pick each other off from high-level buildings. Do not run through there if 
possible because it is very easy to be sniped from. The inner part of the map, 
known as the allies is what gives the map its urban taste. With many buildings 
to hide and passages to walk, it's easy to get lost through there. The majority 
of players will fight in the allies because of the camping corners and the 
marketplace which does provide a lot of cover and entrances to high-level 
buildings. Night play for this map isn't the greatest, but better than most of 
the other maps. The allies are very dark and hard to see, while the street is 
well-lit. It's better to play this map during the day, which is the case for 
the majority of SOCOM 3 maps. Liberation is a fun map that caters to all 
players, but is not the easiest map to learn due to the heavy one-sided spawn 
points which allows access to the best spots.

Last Bastion
------------
Available game types/spawn points: Suppression (2 for both teams), Extraction 
(2 for both teams), Breach (2 for both teams), Control (2 for both teams)

Last Bastion was the third and final SOCOM II HDD map, and it was a night 
breach map. This map is set in Albania on the grounds of a ruined castle. If 
you remember Foxhunt from SOCOM II, Harvester from SOCOM 3, and Blackwoods from 
SOCOM 3, this map is very similar to them. The majority of the map contains 
large amounts of tall grasses, which gives you an excellent advantage with 
cover. Believe it or not, I actually recommend the ghillie suit for this map 
because of the great cover! The main chokepoint of the map will be within the 
ruins of the castle which is dense, but not huge. The grasses all around can 
make you very hidden from enemies but be aware that some people will use a 
thermal scope to spot you. Sniping is also decent on this map since the bridge 
between the castle and a small ruin is very unsafe to cross due to the 
crossfire between snipers. The riverbanks are also a big spot for snipers and 
rushers alike, so be aware of your surroundings. Because of the cover and size 
of the map, it suits snipers and stealthy players more than the rushers. Also 
if you remember how dark the map was in SOCOM II, don't worry about it because 
the night setting is very bright. It reminds me of a very cloudy day more than 
anything, so there's not a lot of difference between day and night. If you like 
maps like Foxhunt, Harvester, and Blackwoods, you'll find something to like 
about Last Bastion. 

7D: Points System

The scoring for SOCOM 3 is very similar to SOCOM 2. Not much has changed, but 
new modes and some minor differences make it important for me to list how to 
get points and lose points in a game. ALL OF THESE POINTS BENEFIT THE 
INDIVIDUAL ONLY UNLESS I STATE OTHERWISE.

Regular Game (this point system is the same for every game)
-----------------------------------------------------------
Kill an opponent: +2 points
Kill one of your teammates: -2 points
Commit suicide: -2 points
Stay alive for the entire round: +1 point
Team wins round (affects the entire team whether they are dead or alive): +5 
points

Breach and Demolition
---------------------
Plant bomb: +1 point
Defuse bomb: +1 point
Successful demolition: +2 points

Control
-------
Capture a nav point: +1 point

Convoy
------ 
Load all cargo onto the truck: +1 point
Successfully bring the cargo to the drop zone: +2 points

Escort
------
Protection team kills a VIP: -2 points
Hunting team kills a VIP: +3 points
Protection team successfully extracts a VIP: +3 points

Extraction
----------
Either team kills a hostage: -2 points
Rescue team successfully extracts a hostage: +3 points

7E: Usable Weapons and Vehicles

Time for the fun stuff! In this section, I will list the available weapons and 
vehicles that can be used in SOCOM 3. Be aware that this is in online mode only 
and that you can drive and use each others arsenal if you pick it up. This 
section will be separated in three categories: SEALs, Terrorists, and 
Universal.

(*) means that the weapon must be unlocked in single player mode before it's 
available.

SEALs
-----
IW-80 A2 (*)
M14
M4A1
M8
MK .48
M87ELR
L96AW
SR-25
HK5
HK7
HK36
M4-90
226
9mm
Mark 23
Claymore
Armored Assault Vehicle (Includes one turret, one turret w/ 3-mini turrets, or 
a TOW missile turret)
ALSV
SOC-R

Terrorists
----------
AG-94
AK-47
STG 77 (*)
RA-14
M82A1A
SASR
552
9mm Sub
F90
RTK-74
TA 12 Gauge
DE .50
F57
Model 18
PMN Mine
Technical Pickup
SUV
Cargo Truck
Tank

Universal
---------
M16A2
M40A1
M60E3
12 Gauge Pump
Smoke
Red Smoke
C4
HE
M67
Flashbang
M2 Mine
CRRC (Rubber Dinghy boat)
Speedboat
Slug Ammo
Double Ammo
Red Dot
4x Scope
12x Scope
Low Scope
Medium Scope (*)
High Scope
Thermal Scope
Binoculars
Bipod 1
Bipod 2
Bipod 3
Suppressor 1
Suppressor 2
Rifle Grip (*)
Rifle Laser

7F: Character Skins

Like in SOCOM I and II, SOCOM 3 offers you a good variety of character skins. 
Just like the last game, this game has four skins per team, per map area.

(*) means that the skin must be unlocked enable to use it for online play.
(**) means that the skin must be unlocked enable to use it for online play and 
is a ghillie suit.

North Africa - SEAL skins:
--------------------------
- Specter
- Simple
- Killjoy (*)
- Jester (**)

North Africa - Terrorist skins:
-------------------------------
- Fahim
- Imam
- Sarwat (*)
- Fouad (**)

South Asia - SEAL skins:
------------------------
- Specter
- Flash
- Chopper (*)
- Jester (**)

South Asia - Terrorist skins:
-----------------------------
- Ghassan
- Abbas
- Raman (*)
- Salahuddin (**)

Poland - SEAL skins:
--------------------
- Specter
- Deadpan
- Coldkill (*)
- Jester (**)

Poland - Terrorist skins:
-------------------------
- Banach
- Gryc
- Mironova (*)
- Kopernik (**)
 
7G: Unlockable Items For Online

Ah, now we're getting into the curious stuff. As you probably know, there are 
quite a bit of locked items within SOCOM 3 and this section is to provide you 
with the information of what stuff you can unlock for online mode. Note that a 
few of these items are also unlocked for single player too. Also be aware that 
a few of these unlockables can be unlocked only in SOCOM Fireteam Bravo or both 
games by using the Crosstalk feature.

Unlockable Weapons/Attachments for Online:

- IW-80 A2 (SEAL Weapon) - Unlocked by completing Admiral mode in the campaign 
or by completing the Poland campaign on any difficulty in SOCOM Fireteam Bravo.
- STG-77 (Terrorist Weapon) - Unlocked by completing Admiral mode in the 
campaign or by completing the Poland campaign on any difficulty in SOCOM 
Fireteam Bravo.
- Medium Scope - Unlocked by completing Captain mode in the 
campaign or by completing the South Asia campaign on any difficulty in SOCOM 
Fireteam Bravo.
- Front Grip - Unlocked by completing Captain mode in the campaign or by 
completing the South Asia campaign on any difficulty in SOCOM Fireteam Bravo.

Unlockable Character Skins for Online:

- Killjoy (SEAL skin, used on North Africa maps) - Unlocked by completing the 
training mission.
- SEAL Ghillie Suit (Desert) (SEAL skin, used on North Africa maps) - Unlocked 
by completing the North Africa campaign on Commander mode or above.
- Al-Kamil Sarwat (Terrorist skin, used on North Africa maps) - Unlocked by 
completing the North Africa campaign in SOCOM Fireteam Bravo on Ensign mode or 
above.
- Terrorist Ghille Suit (Desert) (Terrorist skin, used on North Africa maps) - 
Unlocked by completing the North Africa campaign on Commander mode or above.
- Chopper (SEAL skin, used on South Asia maps) - Unlocked by completing the 
South Asia campaign in SOCOM Fireteam Bravo on Ensign mode or above.
- SEAL Ghille suit (Forest) (SEAL skin, used on South Asia maps) - Unlocked by 
completing the South Asia campaign on Commander mode or above.
- Hari Raman (Terrorist skin, used on South Asia maps) - Unlocked by completing 
the South Asia campaign on Captain mode or above.
- Terrorist Ghillie Suit (Forest) (Terrorist skin, used on South Asia maps) - 
Unlocked by completing the South Asia campaign on Commander mode or above.
- Coldkill (SEAL skin, used on Poland maps) - Unlocked by completing the Poland 
campaign on Ensign mode or above.
- SEAL Ghille Suit (Winter) (SEAL skin, used on Poland maps) - Unlocked by 
completing the Poland campaign on Commander mode or above.
- Dr. Basia Mironova (Terrorist skin, used on Poland maps) - Unlocked by 
completing the Poland campaign in SOCOM Fireteam Bravo on Ensign mode or above.
- Terrorist Ghille Suit (Winter) (Terrorist skin, used on Poland maps) - 
Unlocked by completing the Poland campaign on Commander mode or above.

7H: Various Tips

- Be aware of your load weight. Having the bar a little red is fine, but too 
much red will slow you down greatly. Decide what is more important: The ability 
to move easily and quickly or have a powerful loadout that will decrease 
mobility.

- Certain guns are good for various situations. If you are big on 80+ meter 
shooting, assault rifles are near-ineffective. You'll need a sniper rifle for 
that situation. For close quarters, SMGs, assault rifles, machine guns, and 
pistols work in some way, shape, or form.

- Don't always go full auto. Tapping the fire weapon will give you more 
accurate shots that will have a better chance hitting an enemy than spraying 
them.

- Silenced or non-silenced? It really depends on how you're going to play the 
round. If you're part of an offensive team that will use vehicles and turrets 
and make a lot of noise, having a silencer is basically useless. If you want to 
use stealth techniques and/or kill people silently, a silencer is good.

- Choose what a comfortable preference for your loadout. Do I want it to be 
more accurate? What kind of scope do I need? What should I use in my equipment 
slots? It's your choice. Experiment to find a comfortable loadout.

- How important is a ghille suit? To tell you the truth, it's not very 
important, and to me it has more cons than pros. Since people love to hear the 
good stuff first, I'll tell you the good stuff. In certain environments, a 
ghille suit will make you practically invisible. This is key for campers or for 
people that want to take the enemy by surprise. It's also good for snipers if 
they want the feeling of extra cover. However, the cons plague the usefulness 
of this suit. The most noticeable one is that it takes up one equipment slot. 
You'll have to decide if it'll be that useful. Another con is that people will 
mistake you for an opposing team. When I used to use the ghille suit, I got 
killed by my team more often than when I wasn't wearing a ghille suit. Both 
teams have similar ghille suits and you can only notice a difference if you are 
able to see the fine details. Finally, you can accomplish everything they can 
in a regular suit. You can snipe in a regular suit, hide in a regular suit, and 
get sweet kills in a regular suit. In the end, it's your choice if you feel the 
pros outweigh the cons.

- To drive a vehicle or not to drive a vehicle? Vehicles obviously give you 
greater firepower than an assault rifle would, but it makes you more prone to 
gunfire and rockets. Vehicles are great for distractions and heavy assaults, 
but not something for continuing to be in.

- Don't be picky about certain maps and game modes. Playing all of them will 
make you a better player. Guaranteed.

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8: SOCOM 3 Patch History

Due to a few patches already released and more that are on the way, I decided I 
should make a section relating to the patches and what their purposes were.

IMPORTANT: The SOCOM 3 patches are a requirement. You will not be able to play 
online if you refuse to download a patch. You must have 3000 KB on your memory 
card for the updates. Also, the list of updates came from the SOCOM stat site 
written by the people that work at Sony/Zipper.

8A: SOCOM 1.2 Patch (Released on 12/22/2005)

- Resolved a hardware compatibility issue that was causing disconnects.
- Resolved an issue with "slow" DHCP servers that prevented some players from 
obtaining an IP Address before timing out.
- Resolved several issues where the player would be stuck with default weapons 
and equipment in game instead of the weapons and equipment they selected.
- Resolved the Clan Challenge issue where the wrong team would receive a 
forfeit when the other team does not show for the match.
- Updated libraries to resolve some of the voice chat issues. Some voice chat 
issues still remain and will be addressed in a future update.
- Resolved several stability issues with ranked and clan games.
- You now get credit for kills when you blow up a vehicle and the explosion 
kills other players.
- Resolved an issues with ladder ownership that was causing ladders to not be 
climbable.
- Resolved an issue where a late joining player would be seen as alive by some 
players.
- Resolved an issue where the round timer was incorrect in extraction games.
- Resolved an issue where the M1025 would be damaged by its own turrets.
- Resolved an issue where the secondary DNS server would not be used when 
accessing the SOCOM Community pages.
- Resolved an issue where players were able to walk in mid-air.
- Resolved an issue where players were able to run and shoot while equipped 
with the RPG or LAW (though the RPG/LAW does not appear to be equipped to other 
players).
- Resolved an issue where players were able to fire their primary weapon while 
the RPG/LAW was equipped.
- Resolved an issue where players are able to create a 1 round ranked game.

8B: SOCOM 1.3 Patch (Released on 1/4/2006)

- Resolved an issue where your rank would not appear and you could not join 
ranked games.
- Resolved an issue where the incorrect team would receive a forfeit if the 
other team did not show up in the Clan Challenges.

8C: SOCOM 1.5 Patch (Released on 3/22/2006)

The fix list was not released by Zipper this time around, but the most notable 
difference was the inclusion of ranked-dedicated servers, which mean that all 
the default server games are now ranked.

8D: SOCOM 1.6 Patch (Released on 6/27/2006)

No fix list yet, but according to the SOCOM blog, this patch involves numerous 
fixes and adds the Commerce section for the new maps. SOCOM Map Pack #1 was 
released on this date.

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9: Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the FAQ part of this guide! This section will feature various 
questions that people e-mail to me that I find to be appropriate and acceptable 
for this guide. Be aware that this section depends on how many e-mails I get. 
If I get a lot of good questions, this section will be large. I don't think I 
need to explain what will happen if I don't get many. I will also add some 
things from my own knowledge that can benefit people.

Q: When I select a character skin to use on online mode, sometimes I notice 
that I unlocked that character skin, but it says it's locked. What can I do to 
play online with that skin? - Author, Philz20
A: The only cause that I can think of is if you're using Fast Login to log 
online. If it's bothering so much that you can't play with that skin, I suggest 
you login using the traditional method, which would require you to go to the 
main menu. This will cause your entire profile to load and will get every skin 
you unlocked to be used in your online session. The same also goes for locked 
content. You might notice you can use some skins even though you haven't 
unlocked them yet. This is also a result of the Fast Login bug.

Q: Why do the ghillie suits use one of my item slots? - Author, Philz20
A: My theory is that the leaves and grass take up weight on the suit, so it 
would be appropriate to have it take up extra weight if you want to use it. I 
might not be right, so e-mail me if you have an official answer.

Q: Hi. Hopefully I can find the answer from you. Under the menu during the 
game. I find there is an option called radio button (radio 1, radio 2), what is 
that for? Is there any option so I can just talk to my friend during the game 
and other people can't hear our voices? Thank you. - Anonymous
A: There should be three different radios to choose from, which are: All, 
Channel 1, and Channel 2. The only use for Channel 1 and 2 is for communicating 
with people only on that channel. If you ever played SOCOM I or II, they used 
to be known as Offense and Defense. The channels don't get used much, so I 
recommend just staying on the All channel. Choose one of those two channels if 
you would like to chat with your friend privately. Make sure your friend is on 
that channel too. There will be something added to the FAQ about this within 
the next few updates.

Q: I have noticed while playing SOCOM 3 online that maps are sometimes closed 
in or open. For example, Harvester. Sometimes while playing Suppression, the 
map is closed in, or restricted. Certain paths have been blocked in etc. Other 
times, you get the ENTIRE map like you would in single player. Is there an 
option to turn this on/off or is it random or what influences this change in 
map size. Thanks philz. - flamesniper
A: Depending how many people you allow in a room will decide how big or small 
the map will be. From what I know, there are three different settings, but 
allowing 2-16 will result in the smallest and 32 with the largest. This 
response has been added to section 6A.

Q: When I downloaded the patch for online, it told me the update was 
corrupted! What the hell? - Philz20, author
A: Do not worry. Before you downloaded the patch, it told you that the system 
would recognize it as corrupted, but there's nothing wrong with it. Log in like 
you usually would and it will download again. After it's done downloading a 
second time, that notice will not appear again.

Q: I downloaded a SOCOM map pack, but I can't play any games online with it! 
How can I play the new maps? - Philz20, author
A: You must fill out the purchase info that is located next to the download 
button. For the SOCOM Map Pack #1 Trial Version, fill out everything except the 
credit card number, security code, and expiration date. After the trial is 
finished, all areas must be filled in.
IMPORTANT: The Trial version runs from 6/27/2006 to 7/11/2006. After that, you 
must purchase the map pack again, but this time you have to pay for it using 
exact information.

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10: Credits

The following contains a list of who I would like to thank for helping me 
compose this guide and other various stuff:

CJayC for making GameFAQs a great place to look up FAQs, cheats, reviews, and 
making the message boards an addicting place to be.

My parents for getting me this game while I was in school. They rule.

My SOCOM 3 clan, Kill on Sight, for making the game enjoyable to me and having 
fun being involved with them.

Zipper Interactive for making another great SOCOM game and adding a ton of new 
content for SOCOM 3.

The official SOCOM 3 strategy guide for info on the ranking and points system. 
I did not copy anything word-from-word from that guide.

The awesome community of over 100,000 players that play this game. Without the 
support of you, the SOCOM series would not be known as one of the best and 
active PS2 online games around. Thank you for your dedication.

Finally, the people that view this FAQ and use it for help. Thank you for 
sticking with me in my process of completing this FAQ and finding it useful.

For future updates, this is what I'm currently looking for:
- Errors that I made or other goofy stuff
- Questions submitted via e-mail
- Details concerning various features of the game
- Details on the clan war system

Thank you for reading and I hope this FAQ will give you a better understanding 
of SOCOM 3 online. Hoorah!