This paper presents the results of an extensive parametric study to investigate various non-linear aspects of the prediction of the large-amplitude motion responses of a semi-submersible, The main objectives of the parametric studies were to investigate the following aspects, which can non-linearly influence the motion responses and which cannot be studied by linear frequency-domain prediction techniques. These aspects are the effects on the motion responses of flooding time and mass; non-linear wave-exciting and rigid-body induced motion (i.e. added mass and damping) forces; non-linear restoring forces; steady wind and current; variation of GM (transverse metacentric height); and the initial position of the semi-submersible. The investigations were carried out for a particular semi-submersible geometry using a numerical simulation technique in the time domain. The simulations were performed for the model during intact, progressive and post-flooding conditions under the combined loading of regular waves, steady wind and current for two different heading angles. This paper is thus intended to provide some insight into the physical effects of the non-linear terms in the equations of motion which are associated with the wave-excitation forces, rigid-body induced motion forces and restoring forces. Since the resulting motion responses could have a steady component as well as the oscillatory one, the force and motion phenomena were also highlighted through the computation of these components. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd.