A loadout (or load out) is a preset or customized set of saved features and gadgets that players can access before campaign levels or multiplayer modes (such as Spies vs Mercs) in certain titles in the Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell series. Loadouts first appeared in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory with Splinter Cell titles afterwards having loadouts, or similar forms to loadouts.
The loadout feature first appears in Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, giving players up to three choices regarding what type of equipment they start off with at the start of campaign missions. The three options to choose from are: Redding's Recommendation, Stealth and Assault. Redding's Recommendation (from William Redding) are often balanced, containing both non-lethal gadgets and typically an adequate amount of ammunition and other gadgets/equipment for the player to use. The Stealth loadout, as named, provides more non-lethal and stealth-based gadgets such as Sticky Shockers, Ring Airfoil Projectiles, Sticky Cameras and more for the player. The Assault loadout provides an exceptional amount of ammunition, frag grenades, wall mines and other lethal items, although the total amount of type is based on the level itself.
In Splinter Cell: Conviction, players are able to customize some form of loadout (although it's named simply 'equipment' for the Deniable Ops mode). The list of options players can adjust range from pistol and alternate weapon to gadgets and even uniform type. Uniforms could be customized to hold more ammunition and gadgets, similar to the weapon upgrade system in the game. In Splinter Cell: Blacklist, the loadout feature works similar to both Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory and Splinter Cell: Conviction, but with much more features for the player to customize. Features range from customizing the Ops Suit and weaponry to even the lights displayed on the uniform. There are three total slots available after upgrading the Paladin (with one slot being the only available one at the start). This works the same for the Spies vs Mercs multiplayer mode, but both sides (Spies and Mercs) have both three preset loadouts and three custom loadouts (with the custom loadout required in-game currency to unlock).
- The loadouts from Chaos Theory work similar to that of the playstyles introduced later in Blacklist, with three distinct equipment-sets to start the mission from.