Delta Force: Black Hawk Down

Delta Force: Black Hawk Down is a first-person shooter set in Somalia during Operation Restore Hope in 1992 and Operation Gothic Serpent in 1993, with missions taking place primarily in Jubba Valley and the capital Mogadishu.

The game was developed by NovaLogic and was released on PC on March 24th, 2003, on Mac on June 21st, 2004, on PS2 on July 27th, 2005 and on the Xbox on September 8th, 2006. It is the 6th game of the Delta Force series.

Although the game shares the name "Black Hawk Down", it is not a tie-in with either the book Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden or the film Black Hawk Down directed by Ridley Scott.


The player starts out as a 10th Mountain Division soldier taking part in Operation Restore Hope as part of the United Nations-backed humanitarian effort to end the famine which had killed 300,000 civilians. After the third mission, the player takes the role of a member of Task Force Ranger taking part in Operation Gothic Serpent, which fought in the Battle of Mogadishu on October 3, 1993. This section of the game is divided, with the first few missions having the player take the role of a Ranger of the 3rd Ranger Battalion, while the latter half has the player assuming the role of an operator of the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, more commonly known as Delta Force.


The game is completely based on the 1992-93 UN peace missions in war torn Somalia. The first few missions in the game are designed to make the player accustomed with the different types of weapons, their usage, enemy AI, terrain types and combat techniques. The majority of the missions involve convoy protection, providing security for food distributions, destroying weapon stockpiles, taking prisoners, etc. The game ultimately takes the player all the way through to the Battle of Mogadishu, which of course is the centerpiece of the game. A Player may use a voice enabled microphone to command your soldiers. As the player goes on completing missions they become harder and require much more skill. In the final mission, "Aidid Takedown", the player will have to play almost on his or her own, trying to hunt down Aidid in his bunker.

Humvees, MH-60 Black Hawks, and MH-6 Little Bird helicopters play very important roles in the game. There are also a few missions where locally-made motorboats and trucks are used. Several times the player is dropped in the field by helicopters in a nice cinematic environment and similar sound effects to create a nice action situation. The mission design aims at realism and the game is to be played along with three fellow soldiers who are steered by AI.

One characteristic of the game is that while on a humvee or helicopter the player will have to think, aim and shoot extremely fast to protect himself and the convoy. However, on foot the player must approach extremely slowly, with patience and taking cover when necessary. The player will have to act according to the command of the operative. The AI of the accompanying soldiers react well when fighting attacks from the enemies but they can't follow the player's instructions and the player will always have to take the lead and show them the way in the missions. As the game proceeds the fellow soldiers becomes more dependent on the player and in several times the player will have to protect them from opponent assaults. There is no way to command them directly, which is problematic. However, throughout the game the accompanying soldiers provide assistance or take the lead in certain critical situations to aid the player.

The most dangerous in-game enemy assault comes with the rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) which the enemy patrols may fire on helicopters, Humvees, and soldiers. In several missions, the most important duty of the player is to protect his convoy and team from oncoming assaults from the enemies armed with RPGs.

The PC and PS2 versions of the game have an expansion set called "Team Sabre", which features two additional campaigns. One involves missions to shut down a drug cartel in Colombia, and the other involves missions against a paramilitary rebel group in Iran.


Unusually for a first-person shooter, the game is built on a modified version of the engine used in the flight simulator Comanche 4 and not a dedicated fps engine. This enables the game to make use of large levels that the player must traverse via helicopter rides that can last several minutes.


Various weapons can be used in the game. The player can choose assault rifles (with optional grenade launcher), sniper rifles, machine guns, submachine guns or shotguns as a primary weapon. Several side arms are available as back-up. Explosives are available in the form of mines, satchel charges, rocket launches and grenades. The player can also mount weapons mounted in helicopters or vehicles.


Servers are hosted either on NovaWorld or through LAN connections. To play on NovaWorld servers, you must have a NovaWorld account first. Statistics can only be recorded by playing in NovaWorld-hosted servers with enough people in the server. In multiplayer mode.

These game types fall into five individual categories. They include Base War Games (AD and SD), King of the Hill Games (TKOTH), Deathmatch Games (DM, TDM), Flag Games (FB, CTF), and Cooperative. Players can visit game servers that have game modes:

Deathmatch (DM)

  • Players begin by spawning in random areas around a map. There are no teams. Players must find each other in the map and must obtain score by eliminating each other, where they will respawn again. This cycle continues until the time limit expires, or, if the server has set a maximum kill number, the player to first reach that limit wins. Points are awarded for kills (headshots, double kills, knife kills, sniper kills, etc.) and are deducted if you are killed (suicide or killed by another player).

Team Deathmatch (TDM)

  • Similar to Deathmatch, except there are now two teams fighting to gain the most kills. The two team's main spawn point are usually on the opposite sides of the map. The team that ends up with the most kills when the time limit ends wins, or if the team reaches the maximum kill limit first wins. Points are awarded for kills (headshots, double kills, knife kills, sniper kills, etc.) and are deducted if you are killed (suicide, fratricide if permitted by the server, or killed by another player).

Team King of the Hill (TKOTH)

  • The layout is similar to that of TDM, but a yellow circle is centered in the map. The circle is usually the position of a building, or some kind of strategic location. Players on both teams must fight to gain territory of that circle. A player gains points by staying in the Zone, and a longer duration in the Zone results in more points being awarded to that player. Players on both teams can be inside the Zone simultaneously. A timer for the team begins if there is just one person inside the Zone, and if that timer reaches a certain limit first than the other team, that team wins. Another win condition is if the game's time expires and one team has a leading timer than the other. Players can gain points by killing someone in the Zone, killing someone from the Zone, or if both of them are in the Zone and one manages to kill another. More points are awarded if headshots, double kills, knife kills, and sniper kills occur inside or from the outside of the Zone (if a sniper shoots from the Zone, or if the sniper kills someone inside the Zone, for example). A tie game occurs if the game's timer expires with neither team having a player in the Zone, or if a player from both team enters the Zone simultaneously (this condition is quite rare) and ends the game by reaching the target time or wait until the game's time expires while still in the zone.

Capture the Flag (CTF)

  • CTF is similar to FB, but now there are more than one flag on the map. Both teams will 'own' a certain number of flags, usually closer to their main spawn point, and the other team must cross over into that team's territory, grab one of their flags, and run back to score on their flag bay with the flag in hand. Both teams will have the same number of flags. Points are awarded for kills (headshots, double kills, knife kills, sniper kills, etc.) and deducted for deaths (killed by another player, suicide, or fratricide). Extra points are awarded for defending the flag (either killing someone while you have the flag, or if you cover a nearby flag carrier), killing the flag carrier, or saving a flag (recovering a flag of your team that has been moved by the opponent; this can only happen if the enemy flag carrier was killed). Points are also awarded for scoring flags. A team must take a flag that has the opposite color (players on Blue Team must take a red flag).

Flagball (FB)

  • Two teams fight to take one flag, usually in the center of the map. A player from one team must take that flag (green color) to score into their team's flag bay. Points are awarded for killing a flag carrier, defending the flag while the player has it, or if a player helps to cover the flag carrier, and for scoring the flag. Normal kill points are also awarded and points are deducted for being killed by another player, suicide or fratricide. Each flag score counts one point for the team, and if one team reaches a target score first, then the game will end, or if the game's timer expires when one team has the majority of points. Ties can only occur if both teams have the same number of scored flags. Teams can have more than one flag bay.
  • A variant of flagball is known as razorball, in which each team is only equipped with knives. The rules are generally the same.
  • Another variant is called paintball. Both teams rely on an mp5 and a knife for fighting. The rules are also the same.

Attack and Defend (AD)

  • Two teams start on opposite sides of the map. One team has to defend a number of objects (usually colored boxes or other items). The other team must sneak into their base and destroy these marked targets using satchel charges. The Defenders win if the game's timer expires and they still have one target undestroyed. The Attackers will win if all of the Defenders' targets have been destroyed. Points are awarded for kills (headshots, double kills, knife kills, sniper kills, etc.) and deducted for deaths (killed by another player, suicide, or fratricide). Extra points are awarded for defending a target or destroying one.

Search and Destroy (SD)

  • SD is similar to AD, but now both teams have targets and both teams must race to destroy each other's targets before their own are destroyed. Both teams are playing the role of Defenders and Attackers. Points are awarded for kills (headshots, double kills, knife kills, sniper kills, etc.) and deducted for deaths (killed by another player, suicide, or fratricide). Extra points are awarded for defending a target or destroying one.Kill each other before time runs out.

Cooperative (COOP)

  • This is a special game type, as NovaWorld does not officially host these maps, but can be hosted by servers of fans. The gameplay follows that of single player, where online players must kill opposing AI's. Objectives are often to kill all enemies, destroy certain items, or reach a certain spot. The objectives are usually not obvious.

An example is one server where players play through a level, and are required to complete it the fastest, kill the most enemies, be the most accurate shooter, etc. If you die, you are out of play for that round.

Another server experiments with having a player play the entire game in the fastest amount of time, sot kills etc. But this took too long and put lag on the server, it only lasted 1 day.

Game Elements

  • PSPs

Progressive Spawn Points. These structures are shaped with a pyramid in the bottom with two triangles above, all held together by one single post. These items allow players to respawn at them if they are killed in a multiplayer game. To capture a PSP, a player must run up and touch it. After a period of time (set by the host of the server) the PSP will turn to the color of the player's team (Blue or Red). After the player touches the PSP, it will flash green and then turn to their team's color. A player from the opposing team can run up and touch the PSP any time, including during the period where the PSP is turning colors. After a team captures a PSP, they are allowed to use it. To use it, a player must be killed first (suicide, fratricide, or killed by an opposing player). A screen will pop up after being killed and it will show the player all the PSPs in the map. The player can then choose, by pressing a letter on the keyboard which corresponds to the PSP they want to spawn at, any PSP as long as it's their team's color. To do this, however, the player must wait a certain time before they can respawn at the PSP. Usually, they have to wait for about 8 seconds, but sometimes, especially if you've been killed multiple times, the time to be able to spawn at a PSP can be as long as 18 seconds. PSPs allow players to gain territory quicker and by capturing certain PSPs, one team may be able to gain strategic advantage over the other team. Not all maps have PSPs.

  • Vehicles

During multiplayer, there may be multiple vehicles, or none at all. The most common vehicles are Hummers and Black Hawk helicopters. Players are able to hop on to these vehicles and use their weapons to kill opposing players. They cannot, however, drive the vehicles like you can in later Novalogic games.

  • Flags

Flags come in three colors - Blue, Red, or Green. Blue and Red flags are used during CTF games, while Green flags are used in FB games. During CTF games, A player from Blue Team must grab a red flag and return it to the blue flagbay. A player from Red Team must grab a blue flag and run it back to the red flagbay. Flags can be 'saved' if someoneo on Blue kills a Red flag carrier, and the Blue player runs over to 'save' the dropped flag. By saving flags, the player returns the touched flag to its original position. Green flags are used during FB games and there is only one per map.

  • Flagbay

A large colored flag post supported by sandbags. These bays are placed in FB and CTF maps to allow players to score points by scoring flags. Flags scored at the team's flagbay cannot be recovered.

  • Hot Zone

Used in TKOTH games. Players must fight to occupy this Hot Zone to gain points and possibly victory. Read the TKOTH game type above for more details.

  • Targets

These targets are glowing items, and can represent boxes or emplaced weapons. They are used in AD and SD games for players to gain points and possibly victory for their team. Read AD and SD game type headings above.

  • Armory

Available for players to change weapons or to replenish their ammunition. Any player in a map can use the armory. Armories are usually placed near a team's main spawn point for easy access (even though a player from the opposing side and sneak in to use it).

  • Emplaced Weapons

These weapons include emplaced cannons, .50 cal machine guns, MK19 Grenade Launchers, or miniguns. These weapons cannot be removed (running around with a .50 cal in a map is impossible unless using a cheat). They can move only if they're mounted on vehicles. These weapons have unlimited ammo and do not require reloads. Players can be killed easily if they are spotted, as the noise can attract much attention. Firepower of these weapons usually exceed the usual weapons a player carries.

  • Waypoints

They are used extensively in single player, but can also appear in multiplayer maps. These waypoints, in multiplayer, usually identify the center of the map. Sometimes, they can target flags or targets on a map depending on the game type. Players can ignore these waypoints in multiplayer, but can be of great help in single player. They simply help guide the players. During COOP maps, however, they can help guide players through the proper path of the map. Players must press F7 (cycle waypoints) to use this in multiplayer.


  • During game development, the Novalogic developers asked Mark Bowden if they could use his description of the Battle of Mogadishu from his book, Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, for the game. Bowden however declined the offer, wanting to honor the people that fought during that particular battle. Instead, the developers worked closely with both Rangers and former Delta members who had actually been involved in that particular battle to recreate missions more authentically than the book or movie portrayed.
  • Although it is true that the 10th Mountain Division was stationed in Mogadishu prior to the arrival of Task Force Ranger, it is unknown if the missions detailed in Delta Force: Black Hawk Down were Force operatives and Rangers. No soldiers were lost or unaccounted for except for Chalk 4 which had returned to base. It is also true that these same APCs could not hold all the Task Force Ranger troops and they were forced to follow the convoy on foot. Reluctant to expose themselves to enemy fire, they went to the stadium.
  • The last mission "Aidid Takedown", is questionable. Mohammed Farah Aidid did die in 1996, with media reports that he had died during inter-clan fighting. The conspiracy theory surrounding his death is largely due to Major General William F Garrison, the commanding officer in Mogadishu at the time, resigning from the United States Army the day after Aidid's death.

Character Types

Below are a list of character types. Every character is unique and has different abilities. A player in multiplayer must choose between the four player types, with weapons restrictions for each character. Someone playing in single player, however, can have any combination of weapons, does not have to select a class, and can have the maximum number of grenades.

Close Quarter Combat (CQB)

These players can only choose assault rifles and submachine guns for a primary weapon, with all three side arms available. These players carry the maximum amount of grenades, as well. CQB's can carry claymores or satchel charges as explosives. CQB's often engage in areas of battle where there is very little space (in buildings, for example). They are trained to use the knives from a long distance. In the game, CQB's can knife longer distances than other player types. As a bonus, CQB's can run faster with flags (same speed as snipers with flags). CQB's are important in Base War games (AD and SD) because they are the only ones capable of carrying satchel charges, the only weapon able to destroy AD and SD targets.


Gunners can choose assault rifles or machine guns as a primary, with all side arms available. Grenades include three fragmentation grenades, two flashbangs and no smoke grenades as a maximum. Gunners are the only player types to be able to carry an Anti-Tank Rocket as an explosive. Gunners can carry machine guns which fire heavier rounds than assault rifles, lay down good cover for teammates, and they don't have to reload as often. When they do have to reload, reloads are longer. Gunners are the slowest runners as they carry the heaviest weapons. Therefore, they run slowest with flags.


Snipers can only carry rifles and pistols as sidearms, and only claymores. They carry the fewest grenades (two fragmentation grenades, one flashbang, and no smoke). They can run as fast as CQBs with flags. Snipers' advantages are accuracy and long-range, and concealment. These elements make them difficult to spot. Players who pay close attention to a sniper's fire can learn their positions quickly and eliminate them. Players who have a sense of humor often kill them with claymores, satchel charges, or with the knife. A team can be weak or strong, depending on the snipers' skills. There are many tricks to learn to play well as a sniper that are not essential to other player types.


Medics can only carry an assault rifle (no grenade launcher permitted), a pistol, no explosives, and two fragmentation grenades, two flashbangs, and three smoke grenades. These players are essential to winning, in that they are able to revive players who have been shot. A player can only be revived by a medic within two minutes of being subdued. A player shot in the head, knifed, killed by friendly fire, or suicide cannot be revived. The fallen player, once has been revived, can resume playing from where he fell. Players can wait for several minutes before standing back up again, fooling enemy players into thinking they are dead, and standing back up and shooting an enemy in the back once they run past. Medics run the fastest with the knife or medic pack in hand, but cannot run any faster than a gunner if they carry a flag.

Players can make maps in DFBHDMED to play in mutiplayer.


Delta Force: Black Hawk Down has never had an anti-cheat engine included by the games developers (Novalogic) instead relying on three community made anti-cheating systems:

   * Argus
   * Sigurd Project (Screenshots, Cheat Detection, Anti-Trainer Code)
   * XRay Anti Cheat (Screenshots only)

Argus was abandoned, after it was bypassed successfully and no longer provided cheat protection.

The Sigurd Project was then founded, with many of its staff members being from the old Argus project. This is still in development.


When you have bought the DF: BHD game for the PC, it includes a Mission Editor that gives you the Ability to Create your own Singleplayer Maps or Multiplayer Maps for other to play on. You can also download other maps by players for free at

External links

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