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5 Tips for Splinter Cell Blacklist

by Jonny Hercock on August 26, 2013

Splinter Cell Blacklist

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist recently captured my attention, curiosity and eventually free time, so I decided once again to write a ‘5 Tips for’ article on it (something which I will likely turn into a regular occurrence, with one planned for tomorrow’s Black Ops 2: Apocalypse DLC.) If you haven’t yet fallen in love with Splinter Cell Blacklist, here’s Attack of the Fanboy’s review of it.

Tip #1: Avoid Perfectionist…for now

Unless you’re a real stickler for difficulty, or maybe a big Splinter Cell fan, I’d suggest leaving Perfectionist difficulty alone, at least until you’ve already completed approximately half of the campaign.

Why, you might ask? Well, given my experience with the game, Perfectionist Difficulty becomes much easier after you upgrade the Paladin, your suit, and your gadgets. I’d go as far as saying that there’s minimal difference between Normal and Perfectionist difficulties once you have the right stealth gear. I go into greater detail about which gear below.

Tip #2: Buy Essential Upgrades

As soon as possible, there are a few things that you will want to buy that will make life so much easier for you. Here are some of the most important:

Paladin Upgrades

  • Cockpit Level 1: $1,000
  • Cockpit Level 2: $130,000
  • Command & Control Level 1: $90,000
  • Command & Control Level 2: $150,000

These make missions much easier, not only because you will be able to see where enemies are facing on your radar, but also because they make any bonus objectives nearly unmissable. Believe me, you want to be able to see these as they give you lots of money, for example: $30,000 per HVT.


  • Tri-rotor: $72,000
  • Sleeping Gas: $48,000 (+ $27,000 to unlock)
  • Proximity Shocker: $48,000

These make stealth a far more viable option, as you can now take more enemies out using non-lethal methods from a distance. This is perfect if you want to master the Ghost tactical style, but they are also incredibly useful for Perfectionist difficulty.

Ops Suit

  • Torso – Tactical Mesh: $48,000
  • Pants – Nanopolymer Coating: $100,000 (+ $40,000 to unlock)

These purchases help in two ways, first; they make you quieter when you move, making sneaking around a more viable option. Secondly, and possibly more importantly, they increase the number of gadgets and amount of ammo that you can take on missions. This includes spare mags for your special weapon and I suggest buying the Crossbow for $100,000.

Tip #3: Tactical Style Mastery

By now, you should know that Splinter Cell Blacklist has three ‘tactical styles'; Ghost, Panther and Assault. If you’re trying to obtain the Mastery bonus for any of these, achieved by getting the target score for that style on 7 different levels, you’ll want to try and stick solely to one. If you aren’t interested and want to mix and match then that’s also fine, but this tip is for concentrating points in only one tactical style.

Assault is the easiest to obtain mastery for; all you have to do is kill enemies using loud weapons and explosives. This shouldn’t be too difficult, the only advice I have is to kill every enemy you see, and complete levels on Rookie or Normal difficulties.

Panther is slightly harder, but still isn’t too difficult. Just be sure to leave melee attacks on lethal, and kill enemies using silent weapons. As long as you aren’t playing on Perfectionist difficulty, mark and execute will be your best friend and the easiest way to kill opponents.

Ghost is the hardest tactical style to master, mainly because you get more points by leaving enemies than you do by using non-lethal methods to take them down. Often, the mastery for a level can’t be obtained just by incapacitating all of the enemies, and if guards are indirectly alerted to your presence, you will lose the bonus for avoiding them. The best way to get Ghost points is to sneak around undetected for the majority of a mission, using Sticky Noisemakers or the equivalent attachment on the Crossbow to lure enemies away from the path you want to take. If you do have to immobilize enemies, do it in quick succession to stack the points.

Tip #4: Complete Challenges

One of the best ways to earn money is by completing challenges. You’ll complete a lot of challenges without even realizing they were there, but you should look at ones that you’re close to if you want to get even more money. You can view them by entering ShadowNet. Sometimes netting two more headshots with one of your weapons could be worth $50,000 and you didn’t even realize, or you’ll find that there are easy challenges you hadn’t thought to attempt.

Daily and Weekly challenges are worth quite a bit more than standard ones, so these are well worth looking at. For instance, one day’s challenge was for getting 5 kills with Proximity Mines, worth $100,000. Another challenge that is worth a lot of money is getting a streak of headshots without using the execute ability.

Tip #5: Rank Up Privately

Whether you consider this unfair or not is up to you, but as campaign money can be spent on Multiplayer accessories, anyone could have an unfair advantage over you.

A very easy way to level up on the Multiplayer mode of Splinter Cell Blacklist is to play Private games by yourself. First, chose a small map to play, and the standard SvM Blacklist playlist. Then set hacks to complete instantaneously, play on the Spies team, and get 2250 experience in under a minute. You can just end the game when you change teams for the next round and start again.

Even if you aren’t bothered by the Spies vs. Mercs modes, this technique is still a good way to earn money quickly, and an even better way to snag yourself the Multiplayer achievements/trophies, without ever playing anyone. All of them can be unlocked in Private Lobbies, most don’t require any other players and for those that do? Well, they can be unlocked by connecting an extra controller; easy.

Good Luck Lurking

There you go, my 5 tips for Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist. Hopefully you’ll find them helpful, if you have any tips of your own or just want to show your appreciation, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Good luck lurking in the shadows, fellow Splinter Cell fans.

Say Something
  • Jared Peterson

    The Splinter Cell series are the greatest games to ever play in my opinion. I love love love this stuff. I hope they never quit, but I know Sam is getting old (or was getting old). It seems like they clocked back his age a little from Conviction don’t u think? Maybe it’s just me. Double Agent was the best one I think but black list is coming up quick. I’m about 3 levels through the game and I have to go buy new panties now, I can’t keep from getting so wet playing Splinter Cell. I would feel like my life was complete if they made another Double Agent type SC game. SC Double Agent: Double Jeopardy?? Maybe? Anyway, just throwing it out there. Look at me already wanting more SC before I’ve even really started my Blacklist campaign. Have fun lurking y’all!

    • Jonny Hercock

      I like the enthusiasm :)

      I think blacklist is possibly my favourite in terms of gameplay, because I love the visual rewards systems of challenges and tactical styles. Add more challenge and replay ability to it.

      I did really enjoy the story to Double Agent though, and haven’t finished this one yet either

    • HeavyD

      The definitely lowered his age. I miss the days of the OG Splinter Cell and Chaos Theory. Those are the best hands down.

    • Jonathan Barkley

      when I was 14-15 I played the first splinter cell game. now blacklist is totally well done with more up to date technology improvements… I love stealth simulation , always will….. I am a panther ghost so I like all 3 with combat in between.:)

    • Timothy Perona

      I just started and man its hard. How much variety is there in this game?

  • TheDeathStarsKeyFob

    Just finished a play through on normal settings with Panter. Game’s ok. not great.
    It rips off Mass Effect heavily on the Paladine plane, and some of the objectives are so close together you sometimes turn off a light switch when you wan to climb out of a window that type of thing. Graphic’s are not as polished as Conviction but spies v mercs is good.

    Also i have no idea how you start a new campaign from the beginning, once you finish the missions are just on a screen, there doesn’t seem a way to start a new campaign from the beginning, if there is it isn’t very clear.

    • Kodes

      All you do is replay missions. Switch the mission filter to campaign only and previous missions will appear.

    • Zachary Parker

      The option is on the pause menu under settings.

  • Buzz Killington

    I wouldn’t avoid perfectionist. If you non-lethal the first mission without detection you get tons of money – so that solves any money problems right away and you can upgrade and not waste a bunch of time replaying missions. I solo cleared all the co op missions on perfectionist, got all of my stealth upgraded to max and the campaign is a cake walk for me currently…the crossbow takes care of everything (even on perfectionist)

  • Connor

    The inability to save wherever you want (which I think is absolutely vital in stealth games as it encourages experimentation and removes having to do the same thing over and over) is getting me seriously frustrated. I’m not enjoying this game at all, and I loved the previous Splinter Cell games (maybe not so much Conviction, but it was okay).

    And this whole Panther / Ghost / Assault thing is awful. Just a cheap way to triple the life of the game, and the requirements for getting some of the Ghost mastery medals are ridiculous. Urgh, I mad.

  • Walt

    i’ve “mastered” ghost on ten missions – no trophy unlocked. pretty frustrating.

  • Jon

    dont like how its easy to camp on certain missions (the custom guy missions for example) lay a couple of stickies, couple of explosives and sleeping gas and shock charges and there you go lol

  • me

    thanks for th write up on this. I am waiting for the game to install the hd package dieing to play this one! Great tips and have a great new yr

  • Jonathan Barkley

    I love the games upgrade options…I have been playing since day 1 when I had default weapons and the most lowest default beginner armour and weapons etc. now I have upgraded up. I love games with loads of upgrades,it’s fantastic!!!
    I want to really go threw the multiplayer experience on xbox 360!!! with other players to fully experience this game as it is in strategic methods with other players.. if any one on here is interested in joining me on multiplayer:)go ahead;)

  • Torch6576

    I wish you could use a weapon cache more than once. There is no way to tryout weapons & there upgrades to see if a weapon or upgrade is worth using for a mission. I also hate the fact that you can’t actually use attached sights except for the acog. The only thing attaching a sight does is change the stats for the gun. I don’t know about you but when I put a red dot sight on a gun it’s so I can look through it. Not only do I feel cheated out enjoyment of picking out & using a sight but I also feel as though I’m wasting the money I’ve earned in the game. I have no incentive of buying them because they really only change the way a gun looks, no different then changing camo. It’s just visual.

    • Johnny Worthington

      When you stop and think about it, pretty sure using a sniper rifle or assault rifle while dangling one handed off the side of a building is pretty impossible in real life so it would be stupid to have it in the game.

  • brian

    I have a problem on the abandoned city mission.
    I have knocked them out with non non-lethal tactics. Until the end.
    It does tell you not to kill anyone.
    How can I do that. You have to kill at the end
    And it tells you not to be detected again until the end.
    Can somebody help me.

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