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by Absolute Steve

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Guide and Walkthrough by Absolute Steve

Version: 1.00 | Updated: 09/30/2015
FAQ of the Month Winner: September 2015

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Donations/Fanpage/Stay Up To Date
  3. Basics
    1. General Basics
    2. Stealth Ops
    3. General Combat Tactics
    4. The iDroid
    5. Mother Base-ics
  4. Walkthrough
    1. Prologue
    2. Mission 1: Phantom Limbs
    3. Mission 2: Diamond Dogs
    4. Mission 3: A Hero's Way
    5. Mission 4: C2W
    6. Mission 5: Over The Fence
    7. Mission 6: Where Do The Bees Sleep?
    8. Between Mission 6 and 7: Side Ops and Upgrades
    9. Mission 7: Red Brass
    10. Mission 8: Occupation Forces
    11. Mission 9: Backup, Back Down
    12. Mission 10: Angel With Broken Wings
    13. Mission 11: Cloaked In Silence
    14. Mission 12: Hellbound
    15. Mission 13: Pitch Dark
    16. Mission 14: Lingua Franca
    17. Mission 15: Footprints of Phantoms
    18. Between Mission 15 and 16: Side Ops and Upgrades
    19. Mission 16: Traitor's Caravan
    20. Mission 17: Rescue The Intel Agents
    21. Mission 18: Blood Runs Deep
    22. Mission 19: On The Trail
    23. Mission 20: Voices
    24. Mission 21: The War Economy
    25. Mission 22: Retake The Platform
    26. Mission 23: The White Mamba
    27. Mission 24: Close Contact
    28. Mission 25: Aim True, Ye Vengeful
    29. Outbreak at Mother Base
    30. Mission 26: Hunting Down
    31. Mission 27: Root Cause
    32. Mission 28: Code Talker
    33. Mission 29: Metallic Archaea
    34. Mission 30: Skull Face
    35. Mission 31: Sahelanthropus
    36. Mission 32: To Know Too Much
    37. Mission 33: [Subsistence] C2W
    38. Mission 34: [Extreme] Backup, Back Down
    39. Mission 35: Cursed Legacy
    40. Mission 36: [Total Stealth] Footprints Of Phantoms
    41. Mission 37: [Extreme] Traitor's Caravan
    42. Mission 38: Extraordinary
    43. Mission 39: [Total Stealth] Over The Fence
    44. Mission 40: [Extreme] Cloaked In Silence
    45. Mission 41: Proxy War Without End
    46. Mission 42: [Extreme] Metallic Archaea
    47. Mission 43: Shining Lights, Even In Death
    48. Mission 44: [Total Stealth] Pitch Dark
    49. Mission 45: A Quiet Exit
    50. Mission 46
    51. Mission 47: [Total Stealth] The War Economy
    52. Mission 48: [Extreme] Code Talker
    53. Mission 49: [Subsistence] Occupation Forces
    54. Mission 50: [Extreme] Sahelanthropus
  5. Version History
  6. Copyright
  7. Credits/Contact Info/About The Author

Full Strategy Guide by Absolute Steve


An enhanced guide with video support can be found at:

Metal Gear Solid 5 is the long awaited finale of the great series you've come to love. The year is 1984 and the game follows Big "Venom Snake" Boss as he travels to Africa and Afghanistan to search to search those who are responsible for almost wiping out his forces as seen in the ending scene of Ground Zeroes. The gameplay elements of Phantom Pain are similar to Ground Zeroes and players will have to sneak into key locations while roaming a vast open world map, and simultaneously build an army and their own advanced military base.

MGS5 is a complex and dynamic game, definitely deserving of a guide. Due to the sheer dynamic gameplay, this guide has an extensive basics section. Even if you plan on playing the game without a walkthrough on your first playthrough, it is highly recommended to take in these general tips, some of which may actually teach you new, lifesaving abilities.

Donations/Fanpage/Stay Up To Date

Writing quality guides takes a lot of time. If you continue to appreciate text guides (in a time and age where quick youtube videos made by 13-year-olds dominate), you can consider making a PayPal donation at faq@shillatime.org. This is not required, but you support my future projects by doing so. You can also purchase anything through my amazon searchbox (which does not cost you anything extra): www.shillatime.org/amazon. Thank you very much for your consideration.

If you'd just like to stay up to date with my work, opinions, and so forth, you can visit facebook.com/absolutesteve.


General Basics

Game Difficulty

Metal Gear Solid 5 features a dynamic difficulty with intelligent AI - enemy movements and patrols are never entirely fixated to preset paths. To make this a little more concrete and comprehensible, it also means the game will adapt depending on your (consequent) actions. If you continuously opt for high-power Rambo-style action strategies, you may face guards and enemies with better protective armor, to name just one example. If you're very good at headshots and utilize the option often, guards could end up wearing protective headgear more often.

Dynamic Walkthrough:

Directly related to the dynamic difficulty of the game, a full step-by-step walkthrough simply isn't feasible. Instead, this guide provides a more dynamic approach to the game, where bullet points, general strategies and directions, and key item highlights are favored. For the first few missions, more prescriptive instructions are given to help you get on your way, but as you advance through the game, it simply isn't necessary (nor possible) any longer to guide you step-by-step through small enemy outposts, as you'll have captured them in the time it took to read those very paragraphs prescribing how to do it. In short; prescriptive details in the early stages of the walkthrough, and much more descriptive and informative approaches going forward.

Don't Stress It!

There are two very important points to be made that might just help you relax more while playing MGS5. First of all, there is no ultimate reward or trophy for completely beating the gaming in full stealth. Yes, mission ratings are affected by Alert or Combat statuses, but it's entirely possible to even beat missions with such negatives, simply by speeding through and making no casualties, to name just the most important beneficial factors here. In short, don't stress out if you do something wrong. Instead try and make the best out of the mission when something goes wrong anyway. Trust your intuitions.

The second point is: you often cannot complete all mission objectives during your first try. Indeed, some mission targets only appear after completing a mission (only mandatory mission objectives appear initially). Furthermore, some objectives require special upgrades that are obtained later in the game, such as an upgraded Fulton device (a parachute device for extracting not only people, but for example also heavier objects such as vehicles). This guide will however provide notes when an initially hidden optional mission objective can be done right away. Nonetheless, many optional objectives are truly hard without the proper gear and equipment. It is sometimes better to wait and progress a little to avoid wasting precious time.

Mission Preparation:

When you depart for a mission (apart from the first two) you can select your loadout. You can hold two Primary Weapons (one on the hip such as Shotguns, Grenade Launchers and Assault Rifles; plus one on the back such as Sniper Rifles, Rocket Launchers and Machine Guns). You can only hold one Secondary Weapon (Gun) plus a Prosthetic Arm. Support Weapons have eight slots, as do Items. The access controls on the D-pad for weapons are Up for Primary, Down for Secondary, Right for Support, and Left for Items. Holding the direction allows you to select a slot, tapping will perform a quick swap.

- It's wise to always have a Tranq. Gun as Secondary Weapon. As Primary Weapon, an Assault Rifle with suppressor is usually a good idea, as is having a Sniper Rifle (a little further on in the game). Switching your Assault Rifle for a Shotgun can be wise if you expect tricky combat situations. As a side note, it's good to know you cannot use your Primary Weapon while holding a body (of an enemy, a prisoner, and so on), but only your Secondary Weapon.

- Later in the game you can also deploy vehicles. Furthermore, your relation with buddies such as D-horse becomes more important, and equipment can be bought for them, gaining them protective advantages.

Mission Ratings:

Although this guide will delve deeper into the exact mechanics of mission ratings, for starters it's very useful to know that the most important factor by far is speed, meaning a fast completion time of the mission. This outranks almost all other factors. Another important factor is how many optional mission objectives you complete; but these aren't always possible during a first playthrough (which is fine). Besides these factors, it definitely helps if you're stealthy too, triggering no enemy alerts. Lastly, an important factor is non-lethality. Stun enemies or put them to sleep with tranquilizer darts instead of brutally wasting them. Besides, aren't you supposed to build your own army in MGS5? Indeed you are, and what good are dead bodies to you in that regard? In any case, don't pay too much attention to mission scores and just try and do your best. You, or the perfectionists among you (and I know you're out there), will come back to master all missions eventually anyway. Won't you?


During but especially outside of missions you're free to explore large portions of the map. Your iDroid marks outposts and other points of interest with numbers. Be sure to explore these areas as you pass them. Usually some loose materials can be found, sometimes even more valuable items. Any enemies you defeat can be extracted with a Fulton device, so it's a good way to build your army too. In fact, as long as you explore outposts you normally come across while travelling between mission objectives, your item supplies should sufficiently be restocked at all times. This is vital for upgrading your equipment and the Mother Base. There's usually an outpost or something else between mission objectives, simply due to there being various placements alongside main roads. Speaking of enemies, keep your eyes open for vehicles or sole wanderers, usually near main roads; they can often be taken out with great ease approaching them from behind.

- Whenever you're riding your horse or vehicle on the vast map in MGS5, keep your eyes open for anything colorfol that shoots by, and let your intuitions do their work. Think you saw a colorful plant? Go inspect it.

Fast Travel:

Like with previous games, again you can board vehicles by using a cardboard box and placing yourself on a so-called delivery point. For this to work you also need an invoice, a special item that you should look for when infiltrating enemy bases. The more you've collected, the easier it becomes to travel around; in fact, truck delivery is the fastest way of transport. The second fastest is calling a chopper, which takes a few minutes, but will still outbeat riding to far off places yourself.


It's almost always essential to try and find a high vantage point overlooking an enemy base allowing you to scan the vicinity and mark enemies (see also Marking People).

Side Ops:

In contrast with at least some optional (initially hidden) main mission objectives, Side Ops are small mini missions (often extraction related ones) that are unlocked as you progress, and can almost always be done fairly easily. In short, try to tackle as many of them as they become available. Why wait when you don't have to? Better yet, keep track of where Side Ops are located on your iDroid Map and complete them when you're already nearby, or alternatively, when you're roughly headed in their direction for your next main mission objective. This can save you precious (real life) time.

Mother Base:

Again, this is a subject that will be covered in much greater detail of this guide. For now it is important to know that the Mother Base Management Game is actually a vital part of the game as a whole. You will need specialised equipment for later missions, so (virtually) attend the Mother Base via your iDroid regularly after you've completed mission 2.

Health System:

The healthy system in MGS5 is different from earlier games in the series. Instead of a health bar, the developers have opted for 'Call of Duty' approach, where the screen is covered with blood around the edges and becomes distorted in general as you take damage. To heal, find some cover so enemies can not longer hit you, and stay still to regain strength. You can always heal back to 100% health.

Swapping Weapons & Items:

In the lower right of the screen, your currently equipped weapon is shown. You can switch weapons by using/tapping the directional pad (D-pad). Up is for primary weapons, down for secondary weapons, left is for items and right is for support weapons such as grenades, throwable magazines, etc.

Marking People:

MGS5 features an entirely new system of marking people, mostly enemies but also friendlies, animals and heavy weaponry or vehicles, allowing you to keep track of all important persons and objects in your surroundings. In order to mark someone or something, simply look at them through your binoculars (you must be properly zoomed in if the enemy or object in question is very far away, since you wouldn't factually 'see' them otherwise).

- Once marked, a red triangle appears over enemies' heads (green for friendlies), or a white square above objects, along with the distance in meters that they are away from you (yes, the Metric System owns, deal with it). You'll also be pleased to hear that marked enemies/objects/etc stay marked even when you restart the game from a checkpoint. Marked enemies can be spotted even through walls, potentially even observing which direction they're facing greatly allowing you to plan your next stealth moves. Whenever a guard spots Snakes' suspicious movements, he'll go investigate. During this time, the red triangle will blink until they are done with their investigation, lost their suspicion and went back to their regular patrol or guardpost.

Collecting Resources:

MGS5 values the economic sphere so much, that everything natural has become a 'resource' - pretty much as in real life, then. Even people, animals and plants (for example Golden Crescent, to turn into tranquilizer rounds) have economical value and you can 'extract' them whenever you want, using a Fulton device in the case of larger animals and people. With an upgrade later in the game you can even extract vehicles and large containers with raw materials. In the field you'll also often find processed materials (metal, fuel, biological material), which are also found by your troops when they're sent on virtual Combat Deployment missions, so you should always have recruits do two missions - the maximum allowed - at all times.. Sometimes you'll also find Casette Tapes in the field, which are usually music tapes. It's a smart idea to play storyline tapes when you're making a long journey or fiddling with iDroid's endless menu options, because you're never going to get through the heap otherwise.

- The currency in MGS5 is GMP (Gross Military Product). You get more of it by completing missions, finding Rough Diamonds, or sending recruits on Combat Employment missions. GMP is used in Mother Base operations, and you need it for expansions, equipment upgrades, field deliveries and so on.

Time in MGS5:

One minute in-game takes three seconds in real life. You do the math; that's 36 minutes real life time for 12 hours (or a full switch to day/night). Daytime starts at 06:00 and ends at 18:00 when the night kicks in. You can manipulate time and speed it up with the Phantom Cigar - what's in that thing!?

'Cheating' is Allowed:

If you can't seem to get past that annoying sentry, or really want to burn a place down after being killed for the n-th time, you can use the Chicken Hat or call for air fire support respectively. The Chicken Hat is available after restarting from a checkpoint three times. It gives you invisibility for up to three times, meaning you can walk into an enemy's line of vision three times during a mission and you won't be seen. This automatically reduces your mission's rank to a maximum of A, but hey, you'll max it to S later, right? The same applies for fire support. You can change the weather, bomb an area, use sleeping gas or smoke, but again, the max score will be an A.

Field Objects and Miscellaneous:

There are various objects and interesting field cues that are worth going over briefly. For example, many objects can be destroyed such as Radio Transmitters (inside buildings, various devices with blue lights - shoot them with a regular weapon to interfere radio signals), Communication Equipment (sattelite dishes, destroy with explosives to again interfere with radio contact), Anti-Air Radars (unlocks new landing zones for your chopper), Power Generators (either turn off or destroy to cut electricity to lights and security camera's - destroying it will trigger an alert), or Lights (most of them can be shot, but not with tranq. darts).

- Be on the lookout for red explosive barrels. You'll want to stay away from these in heavy combat situations, but you can use them to your advantage if all hell has broken loose already.

- Rough Diamonds come in two versions, 10000 GMP and 100000 GMP. They can be found on various locations and can be spotted by their glimmer. If you're lucky, guards tell you where they can be found during interrogation.

- Be on the lookout for cracks in rocky places; you can climb these, often allow you to reach a place faster, or at least giving you a nice vantage point.

- Items you can find are Casette Tapes (collectibles), Blueprints (for specific development projects), Posters (collectibles), Invoices (for fast travel), Intel Files (mission objectives), Medicinal Plants, Weapons and Ammunition, Processed Materials, Raw Materials (in huge containers) and the aforementioned Rough Diamonds.

Fulton Extraction:

As mentioned at various other points, the Fulton extraction device is your primary means of building an army, but also for extracting large wild animals and even vehicles and heavy weaponry (after an essential Fulton extraction device upgrade). Small animals can be captured with cages.

Stealth Ops

Sneaking around:

Your basic stance and way of movement whenever there's a possibility that enemies are nearby - such as during missions or near or in enemy villages or outposts - should be crouched/crouch-walking. Take as an indicative radius 85 - 115 meters. If enemies are below that, definitely adopt a crouched stance, especially at daylight (the night is somewhat more forgiving). This significantly reduces the risk of enemies immediately spotting you. If they notice your presence at all, it'll be a minor or major suspicion (see below, under white suspicion icon). Obviously you can improve stealth even further if you crawl, especially when you're in shadows or grass. Especially during daytime it is an important way of getting around enemy territory. The ultimate stealth move is playing dead while laying in a grassy area.

- Needless to say, sprinting is the most visible and loudest way of getting around. Only do so when you know you're alone with no one around, or if you're in Reflex Mode (see below) to try and reach a guard in a swift movement. Regular running is best when you are approaching an enemy base, but are still sufficiently far away. Do be careful; snipers or enemies on high vantage points might be able to spot you running.

- Enemies you knock out or put to sleep can and will wake up after a while, but as long as you've moved on to the next area, this shouldn't be much of a problem, provided the awoken enemies don't spot any bodies of their friends.

- Don't place knocked-out/sleeping enemies' bodies next to each other. One of them will likely wake up sooner than the other(s) and notice their ally/allies' bodies, immediately prompting an alert status. To prevent this, hide bodies separate and relatively far away from each other, at dark places behind rocks or other things; as long as they're out of sight. The best way to hide bodies is inside portable toilets or dumpsters. Enemies hidden there will not wake up unless you get them out.

Stun/Sleep Duration:

Despite being somewhat counter-intuitive, and somewhat in contrast with earlier installments of the Metal Gear Solid series, tranquilized enemies don't stay down the longest. In fact, there's a hierarchy for the duration of how long enemies stay out. A throw on the ground, followed by a throw against a wall will leave an enemy out for a fairly short time. After this comes the tranquilized/sleeping enemy. Guards that are choked stay out a little longer than that, but the longest incapacitation period comes from a full five-hit close quarters combo, knocking out your opponent for quite some time.

- A tranquilizer hit to an unprotected head guarantees an immediate takedown. If you hit an enemy's body, it takes several rounds. Firing your darts in rapid succession speeds up the takedown process and does not involve any risk in raising the alert status (unless you are literally seen, but not by the darts themselves). Do be careful with regards to your suppressor (indicated by the bar under your weapon), which early on will break quite fast.

- Even through tranquilizer darts don't provide the longest incapacitation period, they have one distinct advantage over stunning enemies: when they come by, they won't report in (if they haven't seen you prior to the takedown). This makes sense. A stunned enemy, no matter how you put it, has noticed your presence. A tranquilized guard hasn't necessarily seen you, although if he has (as in, triggering Reflex Mode, not a mere suspicion), they too will of course call in an alert status when they come by. Nonetheless, it's something to keep in mind.

- If you need to wake an enemy (for interrogation, or to repeat the process of stunning him anew), press R2 (PS4) or RT (Xbox) (or R1 on PS3) when standing near their body. For interrogation, aim your weapon at them.


It matters a great deal whether it's day or night. For starters, more guards are asleep during the night, so enemy patrols are lighter. Of course, initially enemies will see you less well in the night, but due to the adaptive difficulty, they will often wear nightvision later in the game if you mostly operate at night (so it's a good idea to do the first few missions, which are relatively easy, at day). In general, don't wait for the night to fall for a mission, unless this guide explicitly tells you to or if you think you have reasons to do so (if you keep failing a certain tactic you want to get right).

Field Movements:

There are various ways to get around in MGS5, some of which are very obvious, such as taking cover (simply hug walls or flat surfaces), stepping over small obstacles, hanging from ledges, unlocking doors and so on. More advanced moves are the quick dive (Square on PS, X on Xbox; it's good for quick stealth when you're about to be noticed), sliding down ladders (X on PS, A on Xbox), using cardboard boxes, or luring enemies through locked doors (rarely useful). You should also learn to use the directional microphone on your binoculars to your advantage. It allows you not only to overhead conversations every now and then, but can also pinpoint sounds (and thus enemies) behind walls or buildings.

White Suspicion Icon:

Whenever Big Boss raises an enemy's suspicion (whether by visual contact or noise), a white halo-like shade or icon appears onscreen, indicating from which direction your opponent is looking at or hearing you. If the icon is at the top of the screen, your opponent will be somewhere in front of the screen, if it's to the sides or bottom the enemy will probably not be visible onscreen but to the (far) side or behind you.

- There are two types of suspicion, small ones and big ones. Small suspicions arouse an enemy's attention, but they will not investigate your location. The white suspicion icon only appears momentarily. Big suspicions are far more serious, as enemies will actively search for something (you), using their flashlight in the dark, and so on. The red marker indicating them will blink during this investigation period. Don't take out guards if they've had radio contact, unless they've called in that everything is in order.

- You can actually exploit enemy suspicions, or even intentionally arouse them. For example, showing yourself and quickly ducking back into cover allows you to frustrate and manipulate enemy patrol routes that would normally not allow you to pass. You can usually circle around the suspicous guard to take them out from behind, but be careful when doing so. Especially be wary of situations in which the suspicious guard has used his radio to call in a suspicious movement, and only take him out when he's called in that everything is alright - not sooner!

- There are various other ways to divert attention or raise (wanted) suspicions. Leaving a sleeping/tranquilized (ZZZ) body will attract the attention of bystanders, but you'll want to avoid using stunned enemies for this tactic; when they notice a knocked-out friend, guards will radio in, causing an alert status. A sleeping friend, on the other hand, could also - perhaps - mean a drowsiness-inducing sting from an insect? Perhaps not; let your own interpretations run loose on the matter. But in any case, this is how the game's mechanics work.

- Shooting at a wall where guards are standing near will arouse suspicion, but don't shoot too close to thei position, or they'll radio in an alert (which will more often than not happen). You can, of course, also use magazines or decoys to draw the attention of guards. Even strategically placed buddies (such as D-horse on the middle of a road) can help you in certain situations. You'll want to avoid using explosives as a distraction in general, but in rare situations it can be helpful to lure a great amount of guards toward an outer perimeter, to name one example.

Alert and Combat Status:

If an enemy notices something completely out of the ordinary, such as destroyed gear, stunned guards, missing prisoners, switched-off power, loud gunfire, or a bullet hitting a wall nearby them just a little too close for comfort. The alert status lasts over a minute, but is actually comparable with the 'caution' status in previous installments. The enemy doesn't necessarily know where you are, but they're on the lookout. This changes with full combat mode, in which you won't last long. Combat status appears when an enemy spots Snake (failing and losing Reflex Mode, see below). All enemies will engage you with gunfire, so quickly dash to a safer location. When you're out of the clear, enemies will fall back to alert mode, and after that, search mode, again similar to 'caution' modes of earlier installments, where enemies will have heightened awareness and mainly search at your last known location.

- Note that triggering an alert status in one base may have an effect on other bases and outposts in the vicinity, who might be put into alert status as well.

Reflex Mode:

Whenever you're spotted by an enemy - as indicated by a white shade glowing over the screen (also see above), pointing in the direction you're being seen - you're given the opportunity to take your opponent(s) out before they can fire at you or even trigger an alert status. Gameplay will slow down during this phase – a few seconds - which is called Reflex Mode. If you're carrying a regular gun, taking out your opponent isn't that hard. If you're equipped with a tranquilizer gun, however, you'll have to aim at your opponent's head in order to take them out (a hit at their body will not stun them in time, causing an alert status). If you're standing close by your opponent, taking them out with close quarters combar (CQC) is also an option. If you fail Reflex Mode and let your opponent call for help, full combat mode is triggered, in which Reflex Mode is not available.


You can interrogate an enemy (once you've extracted a Russian language specialist, despite Ocelot speaking Russian and "wanting to help you with whatever necessary") by choking them or by aiming a gun at their backs while approaching them from behind. If an enemy is on the ground (when you've awoken them), you can tell them to stay down, which leaves them there until an alert status cancels this out, making it an effective strategy for missions with longer durations (just be sure the enemy's position is out of the way for his friends). Interrogation allows you to gather intel on various themes, such as collectibles, optional objectives, prisoners or other points of interest. It's also intrinsically worthwhile to interrogate, since it increases your heroism.

Security Cameras:

These should be avoided by walking underneath them or out of their direct line of vision. You can shut them off altogether by turning off or destroying power generators, but that's tricky business. Shooting a single camera (with regular bullets is also possible, but not often advisable as it will lead to an alert status.

General Combat Tactics

Shooting & Escaping:

As a rule of thumb, and similar to other action games, it is advisable only to shoot with short, controlled bursts of fire. This not only improves your accuracry (and thus your mission rank), it also helps you save ammunition. If you need improved accuracy, use the first person view. Your movement is much slower during first person view, however.

- In general, always reload your gun so your clip is fully maxed. This can save you precious time during crucial moments.

- Never shoot from out of the open. Always take cover behind a wall, sandbags, or a building. If all hell breaks loose, you'll ideally want to position yourself (temporarily) behind a low wall or sandbags, and behind you a building preventing easy ambushes.

- If you've escaped combat succesfully, your last known location will be shown on your iDroid as an orange circle. Enemies will be focusing their search activities around this area, allowing you to circle around a base and find the other side mostly unmanned.

Close Quarters Combat (CQC):

We've already touched down on interrogation procedures, which follow the choke technique, an essential CQC maneuver that saves tranq. rounds and suppressor health. You can, however, also throw enemies (tilt the left stick in the direction you want to throw), or simply tap the CQC button when near an enemy to perform up to five hits. Alternatively you can use guards as human shields, but this is only useful in direct combat situations, and not for long. If lethal takedowns are your thing, it's possible to slit throats, but it isn't really necessary and destroys any possibility for you extracting said guard with a Fulton device at some point.

Heavy Field Equipment:

You'll often encounter turrets, mortars or anti-air artillery in the field. Although these can come in handy in a full combat situation that has gotten ouf of hand *anyway*, they're not the best choice when you're aiming for a higher mission score, considering deaths have a negative impact on this. You can and should extract them later in the game when you've upgraded your Fulton extraction equipment, because heavy equipment can be used to better defend the Mother Base.

Armored Enemies:

As mentioned before, depending on how you play, enemies will start wearing more protective gear. Unprotected faces can be hit with a well-landed tranquilizer dart all the same, but this is considerably more difficult. Regular handguns and submachine guns have the lowest penetration, followed by assault rifles and machine guns with somewhat better penetration (not through thick armor, but they can remove a helmet). A sniper rifle blasts right through everything but walls.

The iDroid

General Features:

The iDroid is, especially for 1984, a versatile device that allows you to manage Mother Base, view maps, look at statistics and so on. Here we'll only go over the most obvious things that could be useful for navigation. One important thing to take note of right away is that time does not stop in-game when you pull out the iDroid; the game is not paused and mission time will continue to flow away, or worse, enemies can spot you and trigger alert or combat statuses. Keep this in mind.

The iDroid Map:

You can place markers at any place of the map. These will appear in-game with a distance counter, which can be very useful to navigate both larger and smaller areas. When you arrive at the marker, it's automatically removed. The map also shows you geographical details such as elevation, allowin you to plan routes through rocky areas without having to go back due to bumping into dead ends.

- The map icons are quite straightforward, but an additional description could be useful. The player is depicted by a white triangle, followed by white dots indicating where you've just walked. Green and red upside down triangles depict friends and enemies respectively. Blue and yellow circles mark regular or important side ops missions, while a small orange circle depicts your last known position to enemies. A chopper icon speaks for itself, being a heli landing zone. A small flame depicts resources, usually added to your map thanks to interrogation intel. Marked objects are white squares, and mission objectives are yellow squares.

Extraction by Chopper:

You can use the iDroid to call in a chopper to pick you up. Select a landing zone close by and make your way over. Since it takes at least a minute for the chopper to arrive, anticipate the future and call in extractions on time. The same goes for supplies (see below).

Ordering Supplies:

You can order supplies from Mother Base at any time while in the field, and you should definitely use the option whenever you feel it's required; that's what the whole infastructure is essentially for! It does cost some GMP and impacts your mission score, but the benefits are so high that it's silly to sit around with empty guns, which will impact your mission score all the same. The package will arrive in about one minute after you order it.

Mother Base-ics


The Mother Base becomes available in and after 'mission' 2. You can manage your staff, send troops on missions, develop near essential gear and weapons, or expand the base itself. It's not necessary to be on the physical Mother Base to manage everything, which can be done on your iDroid in the field. In this section we'll go over some basics.

- Besides completing mission, side ops, and collecting items in the field yourself, Mother Base will in fact allow you to gather many more resources once you expand the base. Most important are of course the Combat Deployment assignments, from where the rewards really do add up. This allows you to re-invest in the Mother Base, spiralling everything up. Use the reaped rewards to unlock new possibilities (fundamental research deserves priority).


Most staff will be people you've extracted from the field with Fulton devices, but sometimes volunteers also apply, especially if The Boss' heroism grows. Early on, most recruits have quite poor stats. You'll want to upgrade your Int-Scope binoculars at some point, allowing you to read recruit stats and be a little bit more selective and filter the worst from the not-so-bad ones. Early on in the game you'll want to be less picky, however. Simply extract everyone you possibly can and go for quantity. Later on, be a little more selective. Once your staff arrives on Mother Base, it generally suffices to automatically assign them to one of the various facilities.

Combat Employment:

As mentioned elsewhere in this guide, Combat Employment allows you to reap benefits while virtually doing nothing, or alternatively put, by virtually sending your men on missions. You should always have two active missions to maximize profits (and more once the max has been increased with Forward Operation Bases). Needless to say, aim for 95% chance of success whenever possible.


Here you can spend your hard earned GMP and resources to build new things, so it's essentially a shop. Many developments can be started as long as you have the required means, though sometimes they require a blueprint as well, which are key items found at specific locations on the map, often - naturally - in guarded areas. There are too many developments to describe here for an introductory section, but things like Stealth Camouflage are among the more interesting things. Most important is however an upgrade to your Fulton device, allowing for wider extraction possibilities (vehicles and such). As mentioned elsewhere, an upgrade to your Int-Scope is also vital, since it allows you to scan enemies' statistics, allowing you to be a little more selective, in turn leading to better development due to higher staff stats. Another good upgrade would be a solid suppressor on your favorite weapons. Naturally you'll want to be good to your buddies, or alternatively, if you're someone who only thinks in terms of self-benefit, protecting buddies is a good way to prevent them from getting killed and thus granting you the corresponding mission bonus.

- The above developments aside, expanding Mother Base is extremely important as it literally drives your progress. Building new facilities unlocks other research possibilities, and early on it's advisable to split at least half of your GMP towards building and expanding Mother Base, if not more. Of course, you'll still want to focus on key upgrades for Snake, but don't go purchasing nonsensical or marginal upgrades just because you can, because you'll only stall your own progress.



1OptionalComplete the mission without triggering Reflex ModeExit the entrance hall without being seen
2OptionalComplete the mission without allowing Man on Fire to attack even once after meeting up with OcelotDuring the chase, prevent Man on Fire from using his regular attack

First you'll have to enter your ‘name', then after a few more moments, alter your appearance. When you finally gain control of Snake after various events, crawl to the hall and make your way to the end. Follow your mysterious friend around the corner to trigger a scene. After this, continue down the hall and approach the windows. After a short scene, follow your friend through the nearby door and crawl over the floor to the other side of the room where some more scenes occur. In the next hall, make your way to the end, but watch the windows; you can't be spotted by the helicopter's searchlight or it'll be instant game over. Besides, especially if you're aiming for an S Rank, it is important to have as few enemy combat alerts. (Zero alerts isn't strictly required for an S-rank, since you can compensate with other factors, mainly a fast mission time, but an alert does cut down your score by 5000 points, which is quite a lot.)

Head down one floor and check the iron-bar door in the corner, then wait for your friend to open it up. Make your way to the front to trigger a scene. In the next room, hide underneath one of the beds directly to your left and wait for the guys to pass, then exit the room by the door on the other side. Lay on the ground and lay still next to the bodies until a scene plays. Heal your injured leg after this and follow your friend downstairs, where he'll open a door for you. Immediately move to the right and stay out of sight. When you have the fun, shoot the fire extinguisher, then follow your friend. If you don't want to kill the next two enemies, you don't have to; simply wait for your friend to take them out.

Once you're in the main hall, shoot the enemy in front of you (located on the stairs) a couple of times. If you don't want to kill him, shoot him three times in his torso and he'll stay alive; the same basically applies to the others as well. Quickly move to the left side of the area (which you are facing initially) and shoot some enemies downstairs. You can also take out the ones that come searching for you. When you've taken them all out, approach the exit and dive out of the way. After the scene, ignore Major Blaze and approach the exit once again.

After the scenes, a chase ensues. Shoot at your foe whenever he gets close and be sure to reload only when he's further away from you. If you find the chase hard due to your aiming settings (perhaps you switched to manual), you might want to put them back to auto-aim for this part of the game.

Mission 1: Phantom Limbs

1OptionalPinpoint Kazuhira Miller's whereaboutsIntel file is at Da Wialo Village and at Eastern Communications Outpost (only one is required; this guide aims for the one at Da Wialo)
2RequiredExtract Kazuhira MillerObligatory extraction within 4 in-game days (4 x 36 mins)
3OptionalExtract the commander from Wakh Sind BarracksThe commander wears a red beret
4OptionalComplete the mission without being discovered by the SkullsFollow the walkthrough instructions, or replay the mission and choose a different landing zone
5OptionalSecure the rough diamonds hidden in Spugmay KeepFollow walkthrough instructions
6OptionalExtract the transport truck driverRequires Fulton device (obtained after Mission #2)

Video Support
: http://www.supercheats.com/metal-gear-solid-v-the-phantom-pain/walkthrough/mission-1-phantom-limbs

Once you've watched all scenes, head down the trail. After hundred meters or so you can spot a yellow plant (Wormwood) that you can pick up. This guide won't cover all these items (at least not right now), but you should as a general rule of thumb be on the lookout for any colorfol plants. If you think something has a little bit too much color for the desert, it probably can be picked up.

The first outpost

- Continue down the trail galloping (Square on Playstation, X on Xbox) until you come across a small outpost (#23 on your map). Indeed this is a good time to practice your sneaking skills, so dismount your horse and grab out your binoculars.

- There's one guy standing near the path, somewhat on the left side of the outpost. Then there's a guy at the far end, looking away from you. You can sneak behind the first hostile (just be sure to sneak very slowly the last few meters, or you'll be heard) and as the hand icon appears, grab him and knock him out. Look around you to spot a portable toilet. You can drag his body inside (toilets can also be useful to hide in, if necessary).

- If it's night by now, you should easily be able to spot a glittering glimmer below the small table nearby. This is a Rough Diamond you'll want to collect. If it's day, you can still collect it, but it might be a little more difficult to spot. The table is around the right corner of the building when you're facing the portable toilet.

- Check the other building across the road to find some generic materials, then be on your way. You'll have conquered the outpost, as it's called, since you've defeated all (key) enemies.

Da Wialo Village

- Continue down the trail until you reach the village of Da Wialo. Ocelot recommends that you first find a place to look out on the site. Lucky for you, on the left/west side is a rocky outcrop that grants you a good overview of the area.

- Grab out your binoculars and spot two hostiles standing guard down below on the west side. There are also (static) guards posted at firm positions on the north and south side of the main road passing through the village, and they are behind heavy turrets.

- Check your map on the iDroid (select the 'Map Mode (North Top)' option for easier reference) and spot the largest building in the middle of the village, just west of the main road. Intel on Miller is being held here, and the goal is to collect it. The building is illuminated (at night), and there's a red (Russian) flag and a radio antenna on top.

- There are various ways to sneak into the village, but starting from the west side you'll want to start taking out one of the guards here when the other is walking away. Always hide bodies out of sight, so for example in a grassy area behind sandbags or low walls (or inside dark rooms/buildings).

- A good way to tackle the area is to start in the northwest part of the village, which is free from patrolling guards. There's an illuminated building here, and south from here are several rooms with minor items and metals.

- From here you take out the guard stationed near the main road, close to a burning barrel.

- You should now be able to move towards the main building, although there's still a guard circling it. If you can take him out and hide his body elsewhere, it does help.

- There are usually two to three guards near or even inside the main building. You can point your binoculars at the building to check if you can hear snippets of conversation. In any case, the ground floor contains a Casette Tape, the first floor contains the intel on Miller you were looking for.

- If you want to capture the village, you'll have to take out the remaining guards. When you've collected the intel, usually one or two guards will close in on your position. Drop down the roof by the northeast (if possible) and approach these guards from the back or simply take them out with tranquilizers.

The next outpost (#18)

- Wait for the guards to stop conversing, then take out the guard on the east side with a tranquilizer round. You can also shoot the guard to the far west, but this will most likely be noticed by the third guard, who you'll then need to quickly take out with another round. The last guard on the far north can be taken out with a stealthy strangle. Collect the Casette Tape (She Blinded Me With Science) and regular materials from the middle of the tent, then be on your way.

Ghwandai Town (Rescuing Miller)

- Depending on whether you come from the southwest or southeast path (the latter is preferrable), you should move towards the cliffs to the east regardless. If you come at night, a Rough Diamond can be spotted more easily near a rocky edge of one of the hills here (see screenshot).

- Mark the three guards behind the searchlights and try to spot any other guards near the main road. Also open up your iDroid and mark the main building in the center of the larger market (which only roughly marks Miller's location).

- Enter the village from the east side. In fact, check the corners of the small building on the far east to find another Rough Diamond.

- From here, take out the closest guard behind the searchlight, but beware of any guards down below who might be able to spot you.

- You should already be close to the main building by now. There's a guard out on the road, and another around the corner. They don't need to be taken out right now. Enter the door (slowly and quietly!) of the building, head upstairs and carefully enter the other room; there's likely a guard inside, so quickly put him to sleep. If any other guards are alarmed by this, be sure to take measures.

- Be sure to collect the Secondary Weapon Ammo and Supressor from the table, along with the Casette Tape [Koi no Yokushiryoku (Love Deterrence)] and some minor materials.

- Free Miller from one of the adjacent rooms; he's chained to the wall with handcuffs. Carry him and quickly make your way out of the village unseen, the way you came.

Avoid or escape from Skull Squad

- Make your way to the extraction point with D-horse. Unfortunately some vague, ethereal mist-like gas appears, along with Skull Squad. Despite not being properly introduced into this game, Kojima just assumes you know who they are. In any case, they are four lame *** undefeatable zombies that just avoided you taking off with the chopper.

- Avoiding the Skull Squad is easy, but you need to know how to do it. First scan all four of them with your binoculars. After doing so, calmly ride down underneath the bridge, and stand on the right side of it. The two Skulls on top of the bridge will automatically be lured towards your position. Stand underneath the bridge so you can't be seen by either of them. When both are roughly 13 - 15 meters away from you, move back to your original position and cross the bridge. Stay as far away from the Skulls on either side and you should be fine.

- If avoiding the Skulls fails, either try again or try to outrun and avoid them. Be sure to continuously dash with your horse (Square on Playstation, X on Xbox) and zigzag. This will make the Skulls dash in one direction while you're already going into another. The second they get in front of you, gallop in another direction. When the chopper is only roughly 375 meters away, the gas-mist disappears and it's finally - sort of - explained who these guys were in the first place.

- At the end of the mission you get the Afghanistan Today and Ocelot's Briefing Casette Tapes.

Mission 2: Diamond Dogs

1RequiredComplete the Fulton extraction training---
2RequiredExtract staff, raise your R&D Team's level---
3RequiredDevelop the cardboard box and complete basic training---
4OptionalComplete restrain training---
5OptionalComplete strike training---

Video Support
: http://www.supercheats.com/metal-gear-solid-v-the-phantom-pain/walkthrough/mission-2-diamond-dogs

- This 'mission' is kind of an oddball. You're basically following some instructions so your learning curve goes up. Talk to Ocelot and follow his instructions.

- Instead of taking out the first guard with a tranquilizer round, knock him out by strangling him and save a round. Whenever you 'extract' personnel they'll be assigned to a team that fits their skills and abilities best. Under Staff Management on your iDroid you can find where the guy went.

- Go do Weapons/Items under Development on your iDroid. Development on a Cardboard Box can only be started when you've extracted enough personnel to R&D.

- Extract two more people and develop the Cardboard Box. After this, practice Close Quarters Combat (CQC) by approaching Ocelot again. Grab the frst guard, and repeatedly punch a second to knock him out in alternative fashion. Enemies thrown on the ground don't stay stunned very long, so it's not the preferred way for take-outs. Extract both guys.

- You can optionally take a shower to clean off any blood, sweat and dirt (or tears) from the previous mission. Simply enter the blue box on the floor you're already on (check your map). You can also scan your personnel after calling the chopper to the helipad.

- When you're all set - and you are, at this point - enter the helicopter and prepare for the next few missions.

- TIP: You can select a rather useful HELP screen when you're accessing your iDroid, by simply pressing the pause button when already inside the iDroid. (Select for Playstation, Back Button for Xbox).

- You can select any mission you want. We'll start doing them in order for this guide.

Mission 3: A Hero's Way

1RequiredEliminate the Spetsnaz CommanderNon-lethal fulton extraction is allowed
2OptionalNeutralize the Spetsnaz Commander from a long distance (100+ meters)Use a sniper rifle
3OptionalExtract the Spetsnaz CommanderPreferably neutralize guards within close range
4OptionalPick a Haoma in the desert between Shago Village and Spugmay KeepFound in the middle of the desert, southeast of the base, near a big rock
5OptionalSecure the processed materials hidden in Shago VIllageUnder the viaduct to the west of the village, near the southeast portion of where the viaduct starts

Video Support
: http://www.supercheats.com/metal-gear-solid-v-the-phantom-pain/walkthrough/mission-3-a-heros-way

D-Dog (Potential New Buddy): It may be a while before you actually encounter this, but it's good to know up front. During the starting deployment areas of mission 3, 4 or 5 (or during free roaming at the same places, being Shago Kallai, Eastern Communication Post, Wakh Sind Barracks) you may hear a puppy bark at some point. You'll also get a comment about this, along the lines of: "This is no time to be playing with animals." If you search for the puppy (at nighttime, night vision goggles helps, otherwise go by the strength of the sound), extract him. Once you get back to Mother Base, a cutscene will play. After this, you'll need to play six missions of which three are from missions 7-10. When you return to Mother Base after this, D-Dog becomes an ally.

- Choose the northern landing zone (this walkthrough will use this as starting point). You'll also get to see the mission preparation menu for the first time. Right now, you've got everything equipped you need (and essentially have), so just continue. Select drop time 0600.

- You'll come across a small outpost as you ride towards your destination. You can take out the guards if you wish, and collect some materials from the crates in the center of the outpost camp.

- When you reach Shago Village, you should first secure the surroundings. This means the following. Take out your map (with north facing top) and check out the village. There are three smaller buildings (to the north, northeast, and southeast) and one larger building with an large watchtower next to it. You'll want to take out the guards on top of these buildings, then take out one or two guards in the field, allowing you to move towards the main building much more easily. Although you can extract various soldiers, most of them are fairly poorly skilled.

- Approach the main building from the south and snear around the east side; a guard is watching the north side (facing north). You can take him out quite easily; hide his body around the corner between some grass.

- Enter the courtyard and ignore the power generator. Mark the guard at the other side of the gate and approach that wall; another soldier will converse with the guy. Now's a good time to hop through the window of the main building and loot the place, but be sure to sneak very quietly around here, as there are more guards on the floor above you that might hear your footsteps. There are various materials and most importanty the Kids in America Casette Tape in the living room.

- Go back outside and take out the guard near/outside the gate, provided he's done conversing, and hide him. Now climb the wooden stairs., sneak towards the ladder and take out the guard at the watchtower. Also tranquilize the guard down below that was conversing a minute ago.

- Head down the ladder and open the door; the target is inside, so immediately tranq him, drag him outside, and extract him. The only thing left to do now is to get out ASAP, preferably unseen. Call D-horse when you're far enough away from the guards, or alternatively look for a jeep to the northeast. In any case, race out of the area and keep going for a while until the mission will automatically be over.

Side Ops 1: Extract Interpreter (Russian):
If you haven't done this Side Ops yet, now is a good time to do so. Select it from your iDroid and head towards the guard post east of Spugmay Keep. Neutralize all guards and Fulton extract the interpreter (with the beret). You can now understand Russian.

Mission 4: C2W

1OptionalIdentify the comms equipment at the Eastern Communications PostThere are 3 satellite dishes
2Required (Optional if you do #4)Destroy the comms equipment at the Eastern Communications PostThere are 3 satellite dishes; use (for example) C4
3OptionalSecure the rough diamonds hidden near the Eastern Communications PostLocated at the near-end of the mountain trail accessible southeast from the base
4Required (Optional if you do #2)Destroy the transmitter at the Eastern Communications PostCan be done with a regular gun
5OptionalExtract two prisoners held at Wialo VillageThey're held in the small buildings on southwest edge of the village
6OptionalExtract the materials container from the Eastern Communications PostObligatory Fulton upgrade required (later in game)

- If you've been keeping up with collecting materials, you should now be able to develop some C4. This isn't required to complete the mission, but for one objective it is mandatory. Go to your iDroid and head to the Mother Base tab, then to Development.

- Note: If you want to complete an optional objective (initially hidden), initiate the mission, then travel to Da Wialo Village to extract two prisoners. Interrogate guards or simply search the smaller buildings on the southwest of the Village (one next to the main road, the other to the west from there) to find the two prisoners; drag them outside to Fulton extract them. Head back to the Eastern Communications Post via the south road.

- Your goal is to destroy equipment at the Eastern Communications Post, which can either be three satellite dishes or the radio transmitter (inside one of the buildings), or both, if you want to complete all mission objectives.

- Approach the post from the east and look for a mountain trail to the west side of the road (before the main road curves off to the west/to the base). Be careful of loose patrols and wolves. This trail leads you to the hidden rough diamonds from one of the (initially hidden) optional mission objectives. The Rough Diamonds are found in a rock wall.

- At the end of the trail, recon the enemy outpost entirely, and mark the three satellite dishes (an objective). After this, place C4 at them while carefully making your way through the base, neutralizing any enemies you deem necessary.

- If you also want to destroy the radio transmitter, head inside the building in the center of the base and shoot it with a regular weapon. This will most likely attract the attention of guards, unless you've dispatched them.

- S-Rank Tips: Speed and stealth are as usual most vital for securing the highest mission rank. An easy way to achieve this is to plant some C4 on the radio transmitter; sneak in, plant it, sneak out, detonate the explosive and exfiltrate the hot zone.

- General Tip: From now on forward, you should focus on developing Mother Base platforms whenever they become available. Inbetween missions, always reassign your staff by going to the Staff Management menu and pressing the right analog stick, so they're on their best possible positions. Under the Base Management menu, focus on developing the R&D Platform, Base Development Platform, Support Platform and Intel Platform.