Splinter Cell Conviction Deniable Ops Guide

Author: Daniel Acaba

1. Introduction
Splinter Cell Conviction features much more than just a single-player mode and
this is likely where people will spend much of their time. There is a pair of 
modes that will likely draw in players time and again: the co-op prologue levels
and the Deniable Ops mode. Much of this guide will focus on helping players 
survive and hopefully excel when playing Deniable Ops. There are four game 
modes and a number of maps to learn so it will require a bit of effort for a 
player to really learn the ins and outs, a process this guide will attempt to aide.

A later update will attempt to help players get through the co-op mode with 
their friend of choice. Although it is worth remembering that the free-form 
nature of the Splinter Cell series will mean that there are numerous ways to 
approach a situation especially thanks to the Mark and Execute mechanic that 
has been introduced in this game. There are very few “right” ways to get through
a section of the game and this guide is more geared towards helping those in need 
of a few tips more than it is meant to hold the players hand.

The tips for this guide have been written with the Normal difficulty in mind 
Unless specified. With that said if it works on Normal it will easily work on 
Recruit and it will likely help on Realistic. The main difference between 
difficulties is that enemies are smarter, more accurate and less likely to obsess 
over your LKP. Unless you’re just terrible at the game you should play on Normal 
for the most part. Playing on Normal will easily allow you to play Recruit if you 
find yourself wanting to get achievements easy and it will prepare you for playing 
on Realistic if you should so choose to eventually try it. Recruit doesn’t prepare 
you for the difficulty jumps that occur going upwards though so don’t bother with
that difficulty.

2. General Tips
One of the things you’ll quickly learn while playing the main game is that the 
new systems are incredibly important. The Last Known Position (LKP) and Mark
and Execute systems are critical to getting through most of these modes. Below are
a number of tips that can help out, but please keep in mind that these are suggestions,
not golden rules, and everyone will have different playing styles so do whatever is 
most comfortable to you.


• If you’re being pursued by the enemies, whether by a slip up or going in 
gung-ho, always make use of the LKP system. It’s very easy to lure enemies into 
positions that are advantageous to you by leaning out of cover, shooting someone 
in the head in plain sight and then retreating through the shadows to another
location.This can be used for any number of purposes ranging from drawing 
enemies into close range for a clear Mark and Execute, luring them into range of
your mines, or to simply move around and outflank them. You’re limited only 
by your equipment and your imagination.

• Speaking of the Mark and Execute system, this ability is almost hilariously 
overpowered when used properly. If you’re using your silenced pistol then you 
will be able to take out up to three people (via upgrade) without alerting anyone
nearby to your actions. Carefully mixing up your hand to hand attacks to 
recharge the skill allows you to wipe out an entire room of enemies by yourself
without alerting a single guard.Even so, learning to do this reliably will take
some practice.

• Another tactic that may take some getting used to: Marking but not executing.
Since you can’t really move with the Sonar goggles on, you will instead want to
use them when you’re hiding behind cover so you can see all of the nearby 
enemies. Now mark all of the enemies you can that are near you. This will allow 
you to track their movements by the marks above their head and removing much 
of the need to constantly use the Sonar Goggles. Just use the Sonar when you’re 
in cover and scouting the level or when you need to see which direction the 
enemy is facing.

• While the maps are generally simple, mastering them is hard. Enemy 
placement will be a huge issue, as well as learning all of the key areas of a map.
Choke points, alternate routes and turret locations are all things that you should 
be keeping your eyes open for. Missing out on these can come back to bite you 
if you find things aren’t going according to plan. For example, alternate routes 
will help you during Infiltration since you want to avoid enemies like the plague.
Turret locations are important in Hunter, as forgetting where one is and bumbling
into it is a death sentence.

• To help with learning the game, turn off the time limit and keep it off. There’s
no reason for you to have to deal with the frustration of the time limit until you 
know what you’re doing. This is a great way to test yourself later on once you 
know the maps, enemy placements and have a better idea of how to handle the 
game. Unless you’re really good at Splinter Cell, you’re going to take at least 
fifteen to twenty minutes per stage and rushing yourself isn’t going to help you
 out with learning the maps and enemy placement. Once you’ve got that 
information down then feel free to start timing yourself.

• Play solo to begin with! If you don’t know the maps then you’re not going to 
have any idea how to proceed through the level. Learn how to handle yourself 
before foisting your “talents” off on other people. Otherwise you’re just
going to encourage them to quit the game before completion and just generally 
leave everyone involved annoyed. Spare everyone the grief and practice solo 
before going online.

• When you finally do have the capabilities to play co-op with someone, it’s 
time to learn how to handle marking and executing with them. Since all 
marked enemies show up to both players be sure to mark lots of people so that 
you can track them all through the walls without use of Sonar Goggles. Also
when one person is executing marked targets the other player can jump in on 
it, taking a free shot at one of the marked targets for free. This works well 
when you’ve got people marked that are out of reach for one person but not 
the other. Doing this efficiently will enable you to track and then 
systematically remove enemies in very short order.

• As a final thought, depending on what game mode you’re playing, shooting
lights may not actually be the best of ideas. For example, it’s always helpful
during Hunter or Infiltration mode but it might not be quite so useful during 
Face Off for example. While it makes it easier for you to move around in that
area, it also shows your opponent that you were in there and alerts the guards
which may leave you sitting still just long enough to get a bullet in the brain.

3. Guide Body
Of the four game modes, Hunter is one of the better Deniable Ops modes 
simply because of how utterly ruthless it is. You will play through a number of 
maps, each with ten enemies in it and it’s your job to clear all of them. Dying 
sends you right back to the beginning and there’s no way to just “reset” to a 
checkpoint if you make a big mistake. Any of those mistakes you happen to 
make will cause the enemies to radio for reinforcements, dropping ten more 
enemies onto the map and they come from all sides, including previously 
cleared areas. 

There are other things that can cause them to radio for help and that’s any sort 
of overly loud or revealing action on your part: 

•	Exploding a Sticky Cam (but not using it as a distraction)
•	Being clearly seen by an enemy for too long.
•	Firing a weapon that is lacking a silencer.
•	Using a frag grenade, remote mine or otherwise setting off something 
highly explosive.
•	Using a flashbang or EMP grenade and still being seen by the enemies.
•	Being seen performing a melee kill.
•	Enemy soldiers seeing his ally get killed.
•	Shooting at an enemy but missing. You can often shoot twice before 
he sets off an alarm.

Reinforcements are a pain but they shouldn’t be a common sight either. So 
long as you’re careful to kill anyone who sees you fast enough that they 
can’t radio for backup and nobody actually sees you kill their friends, they 
will never call for backup. They can find the bodies all they like, but they 
only ever call for help when they physically see the kill occur. 

So while Mark and Execute is made of pure awesome, never use it if someone 
is going to survive your barrage of bullets. All it takes is one survivor that sees
you kill their friends, and they’ll call down those lovely reinforcements to ruin
your day. As a rule you never want to try to kill someone if his friends can see
what you’re doing., just wait for another opening when it’s safer.

The enemies, like most people, don’t often look up. Use this to your advantage
by staying on pipes, ledges, railings and window sills as long as you can. They
will only start looking up when they’re really paranoid (i.e. you’ve killed too 
many) or if they see you up there due to some error on your part. This lets you
stay there, dropping down on enemies and then using Mark and Execute to kill
groups. It works surprisingly often, even when the enemies should realistically
notice that bullets from up above just murdered all of their friends.

When choosing your load-out for missions keep it simple. The best stuff to
bring into Hunter missions are also the basic things. A silenced pistol, preferably
one with high accuracy, EMP Grenades and a Sticky Cam will serve you very 
well. You can use the camera to take out enemies directly but it can lure them
out of rooms, setting up a Mark and Execute or just a melee takedown. As your
backup weapon bring along a silenced automatic weapon if you have it or pick 
an assault rifle just in case.

It’s very important that you pay attention to the stage here since you’re going to 
need to use the environment to your advantage. Many enemies are in positions 
where it’s nearly impossible to sneak up on them… unless you see that pipe on 
the wall you can use to get behind them. Sometimes it’s possible to put out a light 
when the enemy walks away and use the darkness to get close and take him out. 
Don’t just shoot the soldiers as you may miss and don’t just rush them, keep your 
eyes open and take advantage of everything.
•	Your gun is good, but it’s not 100% reliable, only your melee attacks are,
so try to sneak up on enemies when possible and knock them out instead 
of shooting.

On the other hand, doing things loud and dirty can sometimes be both fun and 
therapeutic. If you can unlock the Scar Assault Rifle you can really mop up an area 
full of enemies in very short order. This works especially well if you can lure a 
bunch of them to a single location and then just cut them down one by one. Just 
remember that while it is possible to do this, your character still has the endurance 
of wet tissue paper. If you’re going to go all G.I. Joe on them then make sure 
you’ve got good cover to hide behind. Performing this on Realistic takes balls of 
steel and great accuracy but is totally worth it.
•	If you’re going to go this route make sure to improve your armor in the 
P.E.C. screen so you can survive more shots. Also be sure to increase the 
ammo capacity and accuracy of your weapons. This will make your squishy
self more enduring during gunfights.

When you’re working with another player it’s a really good idea to coordinate in
Hunter mode. This mode can be played mostly solo, using the other player to help 
you kill enemies faster, but you don’t want your paths to overlap. Otherwise you 
might run towards your partner when running from an enemy or you might take a 
shot at someone only for your partner to kill him, accidentally alerting enemies to 
your presence.

Try to designate certain approaches through the level for each player and stick to it.
If one person takes the second floor while another clears the first floor, don’t 
“help”each other unless asked to do so. You will find that so long as you’re both 
doing the jobs assigned to you, the stages will pass incredibly fast and efficiently.

One complication to a two player game is reinforcements. If the two of you should 
happen to be caught, you will want to try to hunker down somewhere, possibly 
together. Watch both your front and back so that soldiers don’t sneak up on you. 
Give it some time so that the reinforcements will spread out throughout the level 
before splitting up again. One person should head backwards, going for the 
reinforcements in the previously cleared areas, while the other continues killing 
forward. This will get you back on track in very short order.

That’s really all there is to Hunter mode, the rest of it is learning how you’re 
going to handle each stage by yourself and with a partner.

Hunter Mode Map Tips

St. Petersburg Banya

First stage
•	When on the outside you have two means of entry, a pipe along the wall
and a door that leads into the first floor. The pipe will almost always
allow you to kill an enemy with a melee attack, an important start since it
will net you the ability to Mark and Execute. From there it’s basically up
to you as to which method of entry to use.
•	As tempting as it may be do not, under any circumstances, drop the giant
chandelier on the enemies that are standing beneath it. It will kill the two 
that are talking but then ten more will be called in as reinforcements. The
trade off just isn’t worth it unless the ones you kill are the final enemies in
the first part of the level.
•	Most of the enemies walking around on the upper level have very set 
routes that they will follow and are very predictable. If you learn them well
enough you can climb along the railings inside of the building and clamber
over to get some melee kills, allowing more Mark and Executes. Even if
their pattern is disturbed by finding a dead body or seeing you destroy a
 light they will eventually get on a slightly modified pattern.
•	The last enemies will usually retreat to a set position near the far door. 
You can very easily look down from over them, mark them and then take
them out with no fear of them seeing you. If you’re having a hard time
getting them both in frame for a kill, jump over the railing and hang on 
to it for a good view.

Second Stage
•	It is very important to start this one off properly. Try to move forward as
quickly as possible, shoot out the light if you must, and then open the door
into the next room. If you don’t do this fast enough the guard will sometimes
hear the lights being shot out through the closed door and go on alert. If he
goes on alert then there’s a chance that the two up ahead go on alert. It just
makes the area more complicated than it needs to be.
•	The only other hard point is the large room with only one door that comes
at the end of the hallways. Here there are a number of enemies patrolling the
room, a few in another room at the far side, and all the bright lights you
probably don’t want to deal with. For this room it’s best to have the ability
Mark and Execute, set off an EMP and then run into the room. From here
you can try to use the Mark and Execute to take out the two patrollers and
then move on to the others.

Third Stage
•	This level starts off very much in your favor. There is a guard in the very
 next room who is easily caught with a melee attack from behind. Once he’s 
out of the way slip forward and watch the next room. There’s a guard on the
ground and one on the upper level that should be marked ASAP. Every so
often they will meet up at the back of the first floor for a quick chat – this is
your opening. Quickly move forward and execute them to clear the area.
•	Going outside can be a bit on the tricky side. It’s very easy to get noticed
here and have reinforcements flood the area. One of the guards will often put
his back near the wall, sneak over him and kill him before climbing the
nearby pipe again. From here you should be able to Mark and Execute two
of the guards leaving just one last one to deal with. The rest of them are in
the building across from you and are easy kills.

Fourth Stage
•	Luckily this one is super easy. When you open the door into the first room
with enemies you can easily grab the nearest soldier, taking him out and 
getting your Mark and Execute back if needed. Often, after he falls, two
soldiers will come to investigate him and put themselves right in range
for you to kill them from the safety of the doorway.
•	With those two dead grab the soldier that patrols to the left side of the 
area, taking him out and getting another Mark and Execute. Sneak towards 
the bright area in the middle and try to get two more of the enemies here 
with your ability. That leaves only four enemies. They will usually leave 
their heads wide open to sniping so feel free to just pop ‘em in the head to
clear the stage while hanging around on the upper level.

Fifth Stage
•	Of the first three enemies in this stage, one is easily grabbed for a melee 
kill and the other two can be easily sniped off with a headshot if you’re 
careful and have bought some weapon upgrades. As such you should 
be more than prepared for the later enemies.
•	There is a long hallway with a soldier in it, you can use the pipe to get 
up on top of him and use a death from above to take him out.
The only real hard part of this level is the next room since there are 
usually four or five enemies still in there as well as a turret. If you’d 
like to make your life easier you can use a Sticky Cam to draw an 
enemy or two out of the room and take them out before dealing with 
the rest of them as you see fit. You can also mark the enemies using 
Sonar, use an EMP to disable everything and then rush the room, 
executing all of the enemies.

•	Unless you purchased the Collector’s Edition of the game you will 
have to unlock this via Ubisofts UPlay service. It’s easy enough to do 
by simply playing the storyline a bit or if you still happen to have points 
left over from Assassin’s Creed II.

This game mode is more suited towards those hardcore players who think that 
sneaking your way 100% through a stage is what it really takes to be a Splinter 
Cell. Whereas Hunter is about killing the enemies while remaining undetected as
much as possible, Infiltration is totally about evading the enemy soldiers. You’re 
going to have to eliminate them but you cannot afford to be seen. Rather than 
calling in reinforcements like Hunter mode does you will simply lose the match 
if you’re spotted. This makes this mode incredibly hard and strictly for those 
who are looking for a challenge. 

Now most of the strategies that work for Hunter mode will also work for 
Infiltration mode. The main difference is that you cannot bring in any of the 
noise makers. Don’t even bother with bringing any weapons that don’t have 
silencers, just in case you accidentally fire them. It’s heavily suggested that 
you avoid using Flashbangs or EMP grenades as well since that can cause 
the enemies to go on high alert and cause them to immediately radio for 
support at the first sight of you which is a game over.

There isn’t really all that much to be said about this mode since it’s 
basically just a revamped version of Hunter. The last thing to really be said 
is to make sure you only take action if you’re 100% sure you won’t be 
caught for it. Don’t shoot at enemies if you might miss, don’t rush an 
enemy for melee attacks if you think he might move and don’t slack off. 
A game over can happen very suddenly in this mode. 

Last Stand
While not actually a very hard game mode, Last Stand can be very, very 
annoying to play solo. Many of the levels have the EMP device you’re 
guarding in a position where it can be shot at from multiple levels meaning 
you will have to constantly be trying to deal with various locations at the 
same time. There are a few ways to mitigate the frustration that this causes 
although the easiest way to do so is to play this mode two-player. It’s 
actually quite the game changer and strategizing between the two of you 
will make the mode much more fun.

Since you can revive each other, you will want to have one person be the 
noise maker and the other one the shooter. Make sure that your load-outs 
compliment each other, for example the two of you don’t need remote 
mines at the same time unless the level has multiple floors. One person 
should have two silenced weapons while the other has a shotgun or 
machine gun / assault rifle. Flashbang grenades and / or EMP grenades 
will help out as well.

This setup will cover all your bases, and let you adapt to the situation. 
Have the noisemaker set up somewhere off to the side, or on a higher level, 
while the stealthy guy stays near the EMP. When the round starts the 
stealth user will be running around the room and taking out enemies in 
melee, as well as using Mark and Execute on further away enemies to take 
them out faster. The second person should act as a sniper, taking out far 
away targets with his pistol and knocking out people in melee if they get 
close enough for him to do so.
•	In between rounds it will help if you destroy every available light 
source so that you can move without danger of being spotted. This
goes for both players even the one who wants to be noticed. You 
only want the enemies to notice him when it’s convenient for you.

Early on there will be no reason to waste your mines or grenades but for 
later levels it will behoove the stealth user to place a few and use them to 
knock out enemies who get too close to the device. If the location has multiple
floors then the noisemaker can place a few as well during later waves. 
The main trick is that enemies will start coming out in large numbers, four 
or five at a time, and they will need to be taken out quickly before they 
deal too much damage to the EMP.

If too many of them are hitting the EMP, then the noisemaker should pull 
out his big gun and get the enemies’ attention. When they turn their attention 
to him, the other player can keep on taking out the enemies on the ground. 
This will confuse the enemies and allow you to cut through them rather 
mercilessly. Just be careful to hide if you’re getting too hurt since the 
distance between you and your partner will almost guarantee that one of 
you going down is fatal.

The EMP will recover health in between waves, recovering either to 100% 
or 50% depending on how damaged it is. If it has more than 50% health 
left then it will refill back to full health in between rounds. But once that 
health bar has dipped into the red you will be left trying to get through 
the rest of the waves with that gimped health. Do your damndest to make 
sure that doesn’t happen even if that means one of you gets shot up.

Much of your ability to succeed in this mode is figuring out where the 
enemies are coming from and responding quickly to it so there isn’t a lot 
that can be said for this. Get used to how the enemies come and know when 
it’s time to interfere and when it’s time to stay hidden. It’s a fairly simple 
game mode but it can be pretty hellish on the higher difficulties and the 
later waves are rage inducing if you’re trying them solo. 

Face off is the most simplistic of the four Deniable Ops game modes but it 
can also be the most exciting out of the four. You and another Splinter Cell 
will actually be in competition against each other. The winner is the person 
with the most points at the end of the match. However this isn’t just a Spy 
vs. Spy scenario, there are going to be the regular enemies on the map as 
well. Killing them will net you a small amount of points while taking out 
other spies will net you a much larger score bonus.

However the other spy will always be better prepared for you as well as 
having all of those fun little gadgets and badass special abilities you get 
to play around with. While it’s possible to just run them down and shoot 
them to pieces it won’t work out in your favor. You’re going to have to 
play this a bit more unconventionally than you would in other games for a 
number of reasons.

If you’ve played the game then you know that when you’re spotted 
enemies will converge on your position. Every enemy in the area. So you 
will find yourself being shot at by a number of enemies and while you 
desperately try to take them down there’s very likely a spy creeping up 
on your back to wish you good night. Helping the other player out is the 
fact that when the soldiers know your location then your LKP will pop up 
for them as well. It’s easy for a player to wait back, watching and move 
when he sees the LKP appear. 

The scoring system is heavily balanced against run and gunners: Killing 
the AI will net you one point, killing a player will net you five points 
and dying will cost you three points. This means that even if you’re 
taking the AI out in droves if the other play keeps on killing you and you 
alone then he’s very likely going to win. Now it may sound like it’s 
impossible for someone to win just by killing guards but that’s not 
strictly true.

If the player heads straight for large groups of guards and just goes nuts on 
them with an assault rifle, SCAR or shotgun, then it’s possible for them to 
outpace you quite fast. Even worse, there is a way to break the game a bit 
and that’s by using silenced automatic weapons and then running and 
gunning from the shadows. You will slaughter the guards left and right, 
leaving nothing for your enemies to kill and they won’t have a very easy 
time finding you either. This can be solved by doing one of three things:
o	Turn on Pistols only. This evens the playing field 
and forces the players to fight strategically rather than
running and gunning.
o	Set the AI density to lower. This should remove enough of 
the guards to make it nearly impossible to win solely by going 
after them.
o	Kill the guards yourself. You don’t have to go after them like 
crazy but it helps if you try to pick them off while going after
him. It’ll make your life a bit easier, deprive him of points
and get you some. Just don’t alert the guards to your 
presence and wait for him to reveal himself so you can snap
his neck and get your points. Using this method it’s fairly 
easy to win matches against the more gung-ho gamers 
out there who play this like its Halo.

You can shut off gadgets to even the playing field if you find yourself
 annoyed by the other players using the Sticky Cams or Remote Mines. 
It may be a good idea to do this anyway since the Sonar goggles unbalance 
things a bit by revealing where everyone is, even the other spy. However it 
does present a nice challenge and it’s incredibly newbie unfriendly to turn 
this off so it depends on what you’re expecting out of your game.

Quitting is pretty rampant in this mode so it may be best to find some 
friends you can play with. This way you can actually finish a game
properly instead of having the numerous aborted attempts that occurred 
during the writing of this guide.

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Written by Daniel Acaba ©2010