SWAT 4/Getting Started
You command a 5-man team as you clear out rooms, arrest suspects, secure hostages, and bring order to chaos. In the vein of other tactical shooters like Rainbow Six, characters can only sustain a couple of hits before getting incapacitated. Getting hit in certain body parts will affect you differently. Arm injuries will make it harder to aim, and leg injuries slow down your walking speed. Suspects and hostages are scattered throughout the level and their locations are randomized each time the level is loaded, making the game unpredictable and requiring you to be always on guard.
Your objective is to get the highest rating possible at the end of a level and a minimum rating to pass to consider the mission a success. As SWAT is a life-saving organization, you must give suspects a chance to surrender. Points will be taken off for inappopriate use of force (shooting everything that moves), getting hostages killed (by you or by suspects), failing to confiscate all evidence and/or failing to report and account for all people found.
 Team Structure
The entirety of your team is referred to as an Element, which is divided into two two-man teams plus the element leader (you). These sub-teams are named Red and Blue, while the entire element itself is referred to as Gold. You can give commands to the entire element (like if you want to have all 5 of you clear a room), or separately to Red and Blue.
On some levels, you have sniper support. They are positioned outside the building, usually looking through a window. They will give you updates if any person or suspects are visible on their scope. You cannot control them fully, but you can use their scope and shoot suspects on a room that they are overlooking without putting your team at risk.
 Room Entry and Tactical Aids
Doors are your primary way to enter a room. You can slide a tool called the Optiwand under the door to take a peek on how many people are on the other side. Locked doors can be opened loudly with either breaching weapons (C2 explosives or a breaching shotgun), or quietly with a lockpick. How loud can you enter is up to you, but remember that suspects can hear noise from other rooms. And if there are hostages nearby, the suspects might execute them. On the other hand, a loud entry can surprise suspects inside the room and give you valuable time to act.
Aside from opening doors, you or your teammates can throw tactical aids like flashbangs and CS gas. These will help disorient people before entering a room, making them more likely to surrender and end the situation peacefully.
- Flashbangs are quick and stun immediately, but only affect people if they are facing it
- CS gas takes time to build, but covers a large area. It irritates the eyes and nose causing people to cough. Suspects with gas masks won't be affected.
- Stingers release rubber pellets to quickly stun groups of people
 Rules of Engagement
Knowing when or when not to use lethal force will greatly affect your success in missions, as well as the chances of getting a better rating.
- Non-lethal weapons (beanbags, pepper guns) have no ROE, so you can use them freely in any situation.
- If a suspect has a gun but is not pointing at anyone, issue compliance or use aids to get him to surrender.
- If a suspect aims his weapon at you, a hostage, or has fired shots, you are clear to shoot him dead.
 Compliance and Arrest
Once you have a person in sight, you need to yell compliance to get them to surrender. Some people surrender quickly than others, and the game randomizes this behavior each time the level loads. You can use aids like CS gas, pepper spray, tasers, or nonlethal weapons to get stubborn people to surrender.
Once the person is compliant (they will kneel, drop any weapons they have, and put their hands behind their head), you need to handcuff them and report the status to your commander. Everyone including civilians at the location must be handcuffed, as you currently don't know who can be the perpetrator. If not everyone is handcuffed, suspects might run away.
Once everyone is handcuffed and accounted for, as well as any evidence secured, the mission ends and you are rated for your performance.