Resident Evil 3: All Playable Characters and Abilities

Resident Evil 3: All Playable Characters and Abilities

We explain what characters there are to play as Resident Evil 3, how to swap between them, and how they differ.

Resident Evil 3 allows players to control more than one character over the course of the game, with differences to each one that'll change how you control them. In this guide,we'll tell you how many characters there are, and their different weapons and abilities.

On this page:

Resident Evil 3 Playable Characters

As in the previous game, there are two separate and distinct characters you can play as over the course of the game. In this case they're S.T.A.R.S. operative Jill Valentine, returning from the first game, and Umbrella-hired muscle Carlos Oliveira. We'll go into what makes them distinct in a moment, but first we have to talk about swapping between them.

Carlos and Jill interact regularly, but usually through cutscenes, not gameplay. | Joel Franey/USgamer, Capcom Co., LTD

How to Change Characters

Where the similarities differ to its predecessor is that neither character has their own campaign. Instead, there's now only a single campaign in which control changes from Jill to Carlos and vice versa at fixed moments - i.e., you beat this boss fight with Jill, but then she's knocked out and Carlos has to rescue her and look for help, which means you're playing as him now. You don't get to control when these moments are, making Resident Evil 3 more of a set, linear experience.

What's the Difference Between Jill and Carlos?

There are a few distinct nuances between the two characters, which we've outlined below.

  1. The two characters have separate guns. Jill begins the game with only a pistol, whereas Carlos has both a pistol and assault rifle equipped.
  2. For Jill, pressing R1/Right Bumper performs an evasive dodge. For Carlos, it triggers a shoulder charge, both of which we'll explain more below.
  3. The two characters do not share equipment or storage space. There's no way to trade items from one to the other, and upgrades received by one don't apply to both.
  4. Jill is much more of a main character, controlled for about 60-70% of the game.
  5. Character-specific items like the ID Card means that certain characters are needed to open certain areas.
  6. In certain very contextual areas, Jill can use her smaller frame to access areas Carlos cannot.
  7. Carlos appears to be wearing a mop on his head. Seriously, don't even mercenary forces have regulations about this sort of thing?
Carlos comes equipped with a large assault rifle. | Joel Franey/USgamer, Capcom Co., LTD

How Does Jill's Dodge Work?

If you're playing as Jill, her R1/RB dodge appears pretty straightforward, a ducking-quickstep in whatever direction you're moving. However, if performed at just the right moment, you can perform a "perfect dodge", in which Jill will combat-roll out of the way and gain a couple of seconds of slow-motion in which to aim at the enemy. To perfect dodge, you have to press the button at the very last moment before an enemy attack hits you and make sure you're moving out of the danger zone when you do. Also, remember to hold down the aim button as you come out of it to make the most of the bullet time.

How Does Carlos' Charge Work?

Carlos' charge is a more offensive ability, a short-range shoulder charge designed to briefly stun enemies and knock them back a couple of steps. However, it's pretty unreliable - the enemy has to be right up in your face and if you don't time it perfectly, it'll barely buy you a couple of seconds.

But if you do time it perfectly - right as an enemy attack is about to land - Carlos will perform a powerful cross-punch that knocks the enemy flying onto their back, as well as giving a few seconds of bullet time to unload into their head. This even works on more powerful enemies like Hunter Betas, and has the benefit that any enemies the punched-opponent falls into will go staggering back from the impact.

All manner of evil resides here at USG. Why not check out Caty's review of Resident Evil 3 itself, or see our list of little details that fans will love about the game?

Joel Franey

Guides Writer

Joel loves books, games, comics and drinks that make a person feel like they just got kicked in the head by a mule. He has a Masters in writing from Sussex, which he somehow got by writing about Superman. He is absolutely NOT three children in a long coat, so please stop asking.

In other news

Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Its Follow-Up Are Now Open Source

Ahead of Frictional's return to the series, the older Amnesias are going the way of Doom.

The Last of Us Part 2 Goes Retro With New Filters in This Week's Update

Like if you turned the Graphics dial to the Genesis era.

You may also like

Cyberpunk 2077 Review: Death by a Thousand Cyber-Cuts

Even if you get beyond the bugs, it's just not worth it.

Stardew Valley Just Got Beaches, Fish Tanks, Swimming Ducks, and a Whole Lot More

Nearly five years on, Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone just pushed what he says is Stardew's "biggest update yet."

Alien: Isolation Is Free on Epic and Just As Good as It Was in 2014

Get the motion tracker and don't go in the vents.