Mark and Execute is a gameplay mechanic first introduced in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction. It allows players to quickly dispatch multiple enemies with the push of a button.
Each weapon has a certain number of maximum "Marks", enemies and certain objects in the environment can be Marked by aiming at the object of interesting and pressing the "Mark" button. Execute tokens are earned by performing Close Quarters Combat (CQC) takedowns on enemies, lethally or non-lethally. Players cannot have more than one Execute token at a time, even if they perform multiple takedowns in a row without Executing. When a player has an execute token, all marked targets that the player has a direct line of sight to and are within range will have their mark icon turn red, meaning that they can be executed. When the player hits the execute button, all targets with red mark icons will be quickly dispatched with a single shot each. It is important to note that because all human targets are executed with headshots, a direct line of sight to their head is necessary, whereas objects can be hit anywhere during an execution. In Splinter Cell Blacklist, to gain the mark and execute you can also do shot kills on enemies as a bar fills up to the point that it will render the Mark and Execute ready.
Dual Execute (or Coop Execute) is when two players have the opportunity to use additional Mark and Execute tokens to eliminate enemies. To trigger, both players must have Marked targets and once one player Executes, time will slow down (the "Execute" name is flash) allowing the player to press their Execute button.
Mark and Execute in Motion (or Kill in Motion) was introduced in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist, evolving the normal Mark and Execute system that was first introduced in Conviction. Mark and Execute in Motion retains the normal Mark and Execute system, but improves it by allowing the player to move and activate actions (such as sliding across the hood of a vehicle) while performing Execute on enemies. To do this, simply hold the left analogue stick while pressing the Execute button. This feature creates a seamless and dynamic aspect to the Mark and Execute feature.
- It is often a good idea to use the Sonar Goggles to scout ahead and Mark enemies purely for the sake of tracking them, without the intent to execute them.
- Players can maintain Execute tokens by getting into a position to do a CQC takedown, executing all other nearby enemies, and then immediately performing the CQC takedown upon completion of the execution. This tactic allows the player kill up to five enemies quickly, ten in Co-op mode, assuming both players are armed with Five-seveN and they both perform CQC takedown before performing Mark & Execute.
- There are many situations in which players can quickly kill more enemies than they have Marks in rapid succession. For example, if there are two enemies nearby and another group slightly further away, the player can get into a position to perform a CQC takedown on one of the two nearby enemies, headshot/knock out the other one, immediately perform the CQC takedown, and then Execute the entire group that is slightly further away.
- In Splinter Cell: Conviction, this ability is extremely effective when facing opponents with helmets, as your sidearm might fail to penetrate it, the Mark and Execute can make sure you kill on your first shot. In Splinter Cell: Blacklist however, this will just blow their helmet away, using powerful weapons like SR-25 and SC-1S Sniper rifle can still get the first shot kill, but on occasion, even these rifle will fail to kill.
- In Splinter Cell: Blacklist, heavily armored enemies may sometimes be immune to the Mark & Execute, you may need other methods to kill them quickly.
- In the original E3 video where Sam Fisher infiltrates Kobin's Mansion, the Mark and Execute system is different than the final version. First, the Marks are represented as circles instead of a chevron. Secondly, the player was able to Mark lights, although this is not possible in the final version.
- If a Marked enemy moves behind cover in the middle of an execution, the game will often allow the player to shoot through solid objects to kill them. It is unknown if this was done to avoid frustration or if it is a glitch.
- In Splinter Cell: Blacklist, most weapons can Mark and Execute 3 targets, but the "4 mark" ability of the Five-seveN was removed. This may have been for weapon balancing.
- In Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Mark & Execute is disabled in Perfectionist difficulty.
- Sam Fisher use Center Axis Relock (CAR) when he executes his enemies.
- In the novel Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist Aftermath, "Marking" enemies is referenced but no explanation is given, despite being a gameplay mechanic of Conviction and Blacklist.