Sam Fisher uses thermal vision to detect hostiles in the foggy environment.

Thermal vision (also called heat vision or infrared thermal vision) describes the ability to detect radiation (heat) in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum, producing images of that radition. In the Splinter Cell series, thermal vision refers to the vision mode featured in an optical headset designed to display infrared thermal imaging, such as the Third Echelon developed Multi-Vision Goggles.

Overview Edit

Thermal/Infrared vision grants the user the ability to detect heat signatures from anything that emits a higher temperature than the environment. Lower temperature objects in the environment will be a dark, purplish color while higher temperatures will be displayed as a brighter color from green, to yellow and then red (indicating the highest temperature). Thermal vision is not affected by things in the environment that may obstruct to blind the naked eye, such as fog or even thin material. Indeed, it is possible for thermal vision to detect heat signatures through thin objects such as doors or curtains/cloth material.

Advantages Edit

Thermal vision has a great amount of advantages for the user to utilize; as mentioned before, it's typically easier to discern objects in the environment by the differences in color. Thermal vision can also dominate the area if the environment is covered in fog. Unlike night vision, thermal vision is not affected by lighting or sudden flashes; this means thermal vision can be used safely in thunderstorms. Thermal vision can detect land mines, revealing them as they 'flash' in the display.

Disadvantages Edit

The biggest disadvantage of thermal vision is that it can be difficult to decipher the environment in areas of high temperatures, and areas with anything that gives off heat, such as furnaces, generators, or any open fires burning in the area . Additionally, thermal vision is great for short- to mid-range visuals, but any further and targets become increasingly difficult to detect.

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist2016-5-9-0-7-4

A Spy with Thermal imaging goggles



  • Although night vision and thermal vision work on similar principle, they function very differently.
  • In the first Splinter Cell game, Thermal vision is not available until the mission CIA HQ. Before then, pressing the Thermal vision button would have Sam simply either not equip thermal mode, or deactivate night vision. However, in all later games, Thermal vision is always regularly available.
  • Thermal vision was used by Sam Fisher to detect the heat on the keypad locks left from personnel in the first Splinter Cell game during the return to the Chinese Embassy.
  • Thermal vision was also used to detect land mines during the Abattoir mission, and again in Pandora Tomorrow to detect land mines. It was also used in Pandora Tomorrow to identify terrorists at an airport in Los Angeles, California.
  • Thermal vision appears as an upgrade in Splinter Cell: Blacklist for the sonar vision, making this the first time that both thermal and sonar visions can be used at the same time.

See alsoEdit

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