A Mission Set is a term referring to a sequence of three Missions that succeed each other directly. All three missions belonging to the same "set" are played out in the same Theatre of Operations, and featuring the same Mastermind at the head of each Criminal Plot. They represent an unfolding attempt by that Mastermind to perpetrate some wide-scoped crime or criminal campaign.

A Mission Set ends when Max foils any Plot in the sequence, or captures the Mastermind, or as soon as the enemy's over-all objective has been achieved (three Plots successfully accomplished in a row). The exception is any set that calls for an Ultimate Plot as the last mission - that last plot will happen over and over until the Mastermind is captured.

List of Mission Sets Edit

The following list contains all Mission Sets in the game, and the Plots that will run during that set.

Name Plots Notes
Setup #1 Setup #2 Ultimate
Bioweapon Crisis Kidnapping Theft Ultimate Plot
Broken Arrow Forgery Data Crime Theft
Drug Campaign Bombing Assassination Drug Trafficking
Election Campaign Blackmail Bombing Armed Assault
Federal Prison Break Forgery Blackmail Prison Break
Financial Strike Prison Break Theft Ultimate Plot
Freedom Games Strike Data Crime Assassination Bombing
Nuclear Crisis Theft Kidnapping Ultimate Plot
Political Assassination Forgery Prison Break Assassination
Satellite Control Kidnapping Bombing Theft
Stealth Fighter Heist Data Crime Blackmail Theft
Super Cannon Theft Theft Ultimate Plot This is the only set where the same mission repeats twice.
Super Drug Theft Kidnapping Drug Trafficking
Terror Campaign Bombing Armed Assault Assassination The order of any of these missions may or may not be fixed. More data required.
Trade Show Strike Data Crime Burglary Bombing
ULTRA-Codes -- -- Simple Theft Will only occur on the Local Disturbance difficulty.


Each Criminal Plot in Covert Action involves a group of individuals from various Organizations, headed by a Mastermind who attempt to commit one specific crime. This takes place in an area of the world called a Theatre of Operations.

However, the enemy is thinking "bigger" than just one Plot. They have some overall objective that each plot is supposed to facilitate. They might be trying to get control of a Keyhole satellite, win a national election in some third-world country, or possibly even construct a Doomsday Device. Each Plot they perpetrate serves to further that goal in some way.

Therefore, as long as their Plots are not successfully thwarted, the enemy will inch closer and closer to fulfilling their main objective. A sequence of three Plots geared towards the same objective, and headed by the same Mastermind, are collectively referred to as a Mission Set.

Mission Sets are pre-made, so that each set can be defined as a sequence of three specific Criminal Plots. For example, to steal a Spy Satellite the enemy will perform a Bombing of the uplink ground station controlling that satellite, Kidnap a scientist who knows how to set up a new uplink, and then Steal a suitable transmitter. If the enemy succeeds in perpetrating the first plot, they will perform the second, and then the third. If the third plot is successful, the Mission Set is deemed a success for the enemy and a new Mission Set is chosen randomly from the various sets available in the game.

The order of the plots in a Mission Set is semi-randomal. The first two plots are interchangeable: each might be randomly chosen to occur first. The last plot in the sequence, however, will always occur last.

Thwarting any Plot in the Mission Set will end it immediately. If the Mastermind has not been captured, the same Mastermind (belonging to the same Criminal Organization and located in the same City) will lead the next Mission Set as well.

Since the Mastermind doesn't change locations or affiliation during a Mission Set, each Plot in the same set will occur in the same Theatre of Operations. Also, until he is captured, each successive Mission Set will also feature the same Mastermind and will also take place in the same Theatre of Operations.

Ending a Mission SetEdit

A mission set continues until any of the following conditions is met:

  1. Any Plot is thwarted by Max.
  2. The involved Mastermind is Arrested.
  3. The enemy manage to successfully complete all 3 Plots in the set.

Thwarting a PlotEdit

Foiling a Plot ends the current Mission Set, as the enemy cannot continue their operations.

If the Mastermind has also been captured during the Plot, the next plot will be headed by a new Mastermind belonging to a new Criminal Organization - specifically one of the organizations whose Mastermind has not yet been arrested.

Otherwise, the same Mastermind will feature in the next Mission Set, which will take place in the same Theatre of Operations.

Capturing a MastermindEdit

If the Mastermind of a Plot is Arrested, the Mission Set will end - regardless of whether Max successfully thwarted that Plot. The next plot will be headed by a new Mastermind belonging to a new Criminal Organization - specifically one of the organizations whose Mastermind has not yet been arrested.

Enemy VictoryEdit

If the enemy manages to successfully complete all three Plots of the current Mission Set, this will end that set and begin a new one.

Again, if the Mastermind has been captured during the last Plot, the next plot will be headed by a new Mastermind belonging to a new Criminal Organization - specifically one of the organizations whose Mastermind has not yet been arrested.

Otherwise, the same Mastermind will feature in the next Mission Set, which will take place in the same Theatre of Operations.


There is no actual benefit for completing a Mission Set, whether through success or failure. You'll be berated by the CIA Chief, but your rank will not be altered and you will not be penalized in any way.

However, Max's permanent record does continue to show all the failed missions - to remind you to do better in the future, no doubt.

Next Mission SetEdit

Once a Mission Set has ended, the next one is chosen randomly from the List of Mission Sets.

Again, if the Mastermind is still at large, the next set will be headed by that same Mastermind, belonging to the same Criminal Organization, and featuring the same Theatre of Operations.

Otherwise, a new Mastermind is chosen from the ones that have not yet been captured - I.E. a Mastermind belonging to an organization whose Mastermind has not yet been Arrested in any previous missions.

Ultimate Plot GlitchEdit

Several of the available mission sets will have an Ultimate Plot (referred to as a "Manufacture" plot in-game). It will always be the last plot in its Mission Set.

A Glitch in the scripting code for this Plot causes all Mission Sets in which it is featured to behave abnormally:

The Glitch itself causes the game to believe that the Product Item generated during the Primary Crime of the Ultimate Plot hasn't made its way to the Mastermind as the plot dictates - regardless of whether or not it actually has. Instead of being penalized for letting the final Handoff occur, Max receives a bonus of 100 points to his score.

This means that the game believes that the Plot has been partially thwarted. However, the game fails to signal to itself that the Mission Set should end at this point.

The result is that the next mission will involve the same Ultimate Plot over and over again. This basically stretches the Mission Set beyond 3 missions. You'll simply play the same Ultimate Plot again and again, potentially infinitely.

There are two ways to break the loop: Either foil the plot entirely (by preventing the Primary Crime of the plot), or arrest the Mastermind of the plot. Neither should be too difficult, assuming you are not aiming to get a perfect score, in which case it's naturally more difficult as with any other plot.

Extra Mastermind InfoEdit

If the current Mission Set ends successfully (by thwarting one of the plots) without arresting the Mastermind, the CIA Chief will provide you with one piece of Solid Evidence about the Mastermind at the briefing for the next mission (the start of a new Mission Set). This will usually help you locate that Mastermind this mission more easily.

If you already have all available data about the Mastermind, none will be added.