The third SOCOM game on PSP takes a different approach to the squad-based action than in previous titles. Players in Tactical Strike issue real-time commands to their four-man squad and lead missions as active observers rather than direct participants. Designed similarly to Full Spectrum Warrior, players can issue movement, attack, and cover orders to individual units, two-man teams, or the full squad. The single-player campaign follows the team on a mission to rescue the ambassador of Panama from insurgents. Players must evaluate the situation, create a plan of action, and then execute the plan using authentic Special Forces tactics.

The campaign includes nine story-driven missions and 18 instant action missions, allowing players to earn various skill, gear, and weapons upgrades. Featured locales include a mix of urban, industrial, and jungle environments. Multiplayer support is available for up to four players in both Ad-hoc and Infrastructure modes. Players can choose from the following nine international Special Forces teams, whose members speak in their native languages: British SAS, German KSK, French GIGN, Australian SARS, Spanish UOE, Netherlands KCT, Italian Col Moschin, Korean 707th, and U.S. Navy SEALs. Headset support is also included to improve communication among online players. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide