The ground and the lowest-lying triplet excited state geometries, electronic structures, and spectroscopic properties of three mixed-ligand Ru(II) complexes [Ru(terpy)(phen)X]+(terpy=2,2',6',20'-terpyridine, phen=1,10-phenanthroline, and X=-C≡CH (1), X=Cl (2), X=CN (3)) were investigated theoretically using the density functional theory method. The ground and excited state geometries have been fully optimized at the B3LYP/LanL2DZ and UB3LYP/LanL2DZ levels, respectively. The absorption and emission spectra of the com-plexes in CH3CN solutions were calculated by time-dependent density functional theory with the PCM solvent model. The calculated bond lengths of Ru-C, Ru-N, and Ru-Cl in the ground state agree well with the corresponding experimental results. The highest occupied molecular orbital were dominantly localized on the Ru atom and monodentate X ligand for 1 and 2, Ru atom and terpy ligand for 3, while the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital were π*(terpy) type orbital. Therefore, the lowest-energy absorptions of 1 and 2 at 688 and 631 nm are attributed to a dyz(Ru)+π/p(X)→π*(terpy) transition with MLCT/XLCT (metal-to-ligand charge transfer/X ligand to terpy ligand charge transfer) character, whereas that of 3 at 529 nm is related to a dyz(Ru)+π(terpy)→π*(terpy) transition with MLCT and ILCT transition character. The calculated phosphorescence of three complexes at 1011 nm (1), 913 nm (2), and 838 nm (3) have similar transition properties to that of the lowest-lying absorption. It is shown that the lowest lying absorptions and emissions transition character of these Ru(II) complexes can be tuned by changing the electron-withdrawing ability of the monodentate ligand.