Virtual Pool 3

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Virtual Pool 3
North America PC Box Art
Developer(s) Celeris
Publisher(s) Interplay Entertainment
Global Star Software
Series Virtual Pool
Engine Virtual Pool
Platform(s) PC
Release PC
  • NA: November 14, 2000
  • NA: August 11, 2003
PlayStation Network
  • NA: November 02, 2010
Genre(s) Sports simulationcue sports
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Virtual Pool 3, often referred to as VP3, is a 3D, first-person sports simulation video game, developed and released for the PC and PlayStation by Celeris. It is the second most recent game for the PC in the franchise of "Virtual Pool" games (the most recent being Virtual Pool 4) and it is widely respected by fans as the most accurate available computer simulation of cue sports.

"You can't find a pool sim that looks and plays as much like the real thing as Virtual Pool 3 does. If your real-life play doesn't show any advances after you spend some time with this outstanding pool simulation, you're left with only two possibilities – you're so good that there's no way you can get better, or you don't have any arms." — GameSpot[1]


The Virtual Pool series made its debut in 1995 with the release of Virtual Pool. From there, Interplay went on to release Virtual Pool 2 in November 1997, adding a wealth of improvements including enhanced physics modelling and a handful of new game types. Virtual Pool Hall soon followed in December 1999, bringing with it the introduction of snooker to the series. It wasn't a perfect break though, as Virtual Pool Hall suffered from poor opponent AI and a lack of a pool hall atmosphere, ironic considering its name.

Initially, Virtual Pool 3 was released as a retail boxed version endorsed by Jeanette Lee, the successful Korean-American professional pool player. Currently the latest version is available on the Celeris site as a download and is still supported via downloadable patches.[2]

The game is an active Internet pastime for many amateur billiards enthusiasts all over the world (most notably from the USA and Europe), with a small but dedicated following, many of whom have been playing the game for years.


Nine-ball in Virtual Pool 3 single-player mode

The game can be played in single-player mode against the computer (Career Mode, Tournament or Quick Play), or against other human opponents on the Internet or locally through a LAN.

The game features eight billiard venues the player can choose from, which include six pool tables, a snooker table, and a carom table for cushion caroms or three-cushion billiards. There are three preset table configurations available for all games (Championship, Professional or Amateur), but any table can be customized for roll speed and pocket dimensions.

Twenty-one variations are featured in the game, and while most players stick to pool favorites such as nine-ball, eight-ball and straight pool, as well as snooker, the inclusion of less common variations such as cowboy pool, honolulu and bowliards may be of interest to some, especially since finding real-life players of them can be difficult.

The games featured in Virtual Pool 3 are as it follows:

Online play[edit]

Beginning a frame of snooker online

Players use the GameSpy Arcade client to access the game's main lobby and then create or join virtual rooms where they can participate in online play.

  • Challenge Mode creates a winner-stays-on style of play where the creator of the room selects the game and table.
  • Normal Mode allows the player to create a room where he, or the previous match winner can set the game type, table and players who play.

The Virtual International Players Ladder (VIPLadder) is a perpetual league for virtual pool players around the world.[3] Players compete in matches to earn points from other VIP Ladder players. As players earn points, they move up the ladder.

Besides other normal leagues ending with playoffs[4] (like the Eight-ball Pub League[5]), there are several regular weekly online tournaments that every player can attend. Each tournament usually takes a few hours, but some more prestigious tournaments such as the Virtual 9 Ball World Championships and the Virtual Snooker World Championships can take several days or weeks to complete.[6]

List of Virtual Pool 3 World championships:

Year Event Winner Country Runner Up Country
2004 Snooker World Championship[7] GLEN-147 England Freeball England
2004 Nine-ball World Championship[8] GLEN-147 England NuggetUK England
2005 Snooker World Championship[9] B11TME Northern Ireland Media Slave England
2005 Eight-ball Pub World Championship[10] B11TME Northern Ireland Concentrator Sweden
2006 Nine-ball World Championship[11] Lobster Guy United States Tonysam1 England
2006 Eight-ball Midwest World Championship[12] Albinario Sweden Lobster Guy United States
2007 Snooker World Championship[13] Sharkey9 Germany Tonysam1 England
2007 Cowboy World Championship[14] Albinario Sweden Nam-BE Belgium
2007 Nine-ball World Championship[15] AlinVille Romania ReelPolandPower Poland
2008 Snooker World Championship[16] Albinario Sweden Polo Poland
2008 Nine-ball World Championship[17] AlinVille Romania Albinario Sweden
2009 Snooker World Championship[18] MozUK08 England Daombre84 Germany
2009 Nine-ball World Championship[19] ReelPolandPower Poland AlinVille Romania
2009 Eight-ball Midwest World Championship[20] B11TME Northern Ireland Poolminator Serbia
2009 One-cushion World Championship[21] Kere Germany JTrouty1 United States
2010 Ten-ball World Championship[22] mal255 England Albinario Sweden
2010 Snooker World Championship[23] Albinario Sweden 9balldotcom Scotland
2012 Nine-ball World Championship[24][25] Albinario Sweden LarryL United States

Critical response[edit]

Virtual Pool 3 was mostly very well received by critics, with an average score of 85% at GameRankings, which makes it the highest rated billiards game on the PC platform, as of 2007.[26]

  • GameSpot: 8.7/10
  • 9.8/10
  • Gamer's Hell: 9.0/10
  • IGN: 8.5/10
  • Game Raiders: 9.0/10
  • Game Over Online: 8.9/10
  • PC Zone: 8.5/10
  • Adrenaline Vault: 9.0/10
  • Multi-Player Online Gaming: 9.0/10
  • PC Gamer: 8.5/10

System requirements[edit]


Virtual Pool 4 is projected to be the long-expected next generation of the Virtual Pool series, which is now officially under development.[27] As stated on the game's official Facebook page, the offline version is up for release in late summer 2012,[28] after which all focus will be on the online version.


External links[edit]