MGSV: The Phantom Pain Tips & Tricks

Before you jump into the world of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and start fighting for survival in Story Missions and multiplayer FOB matches, we prepared a comprehensive list of things you should know in advance. Whether you’re a veteran or new to the Metal Gear Solid franchise, these tips will give you general and advanced answers about best weapons, FOBs, Mother Base, collectibles, interpreters, buddies, combat, how to earn GMP and much more.
If you know any additional tips that we’ve missed, please share them with us in the comment section below.

General Tips:

  • You can’t save the game wherever you want — there are automatic checkpoints that do that for you
  • If the best method for previous Metal Gear Solid games was silent avoidance, now it’s silent attack.
  • If you fail a mission several times, the game will offer you the option of using Chicken Hat
  • Controls are pretty much identical to Ground Zero
  • Some environments are destructible. You can blow up watchtowers and kill enemies
  • Use the environment – heavy sandstorms can mask your movement. Use cliffs and peaks to scan a location with your binoculars
  • Use the binoculars to mark enemies and objects
  • Fulton everything from the start – people, equipment, resources, animals
  • During the first mission, we recommend you send all enemy soldiers you knock out to Mother Base. This will increase your R&D level and you need it to be high to gain access to upgraded versions of starting weapons. You’ll have enough money at the start to send all captured soldiers to the base.
  • Standard guards can be gathered easily with the Fulton Recovery device, but for finding commanders (who have the best attributes), you will need an interpreter. Interpreter can also help you interrogate guards for valuable info about rare resources.
  • Don’t relax once you’re in the chopper – keep an eye out for enemies until the door closes
  • A great deal of the plot is told through Cassette Tapes, that replaced the CODEC system. You can do other things while listening to them.
  • There are different uniforms. The following uniforms have been confirmed: Camo (9 versions), Sneaking Suit, Battle Dress, Solid Snake and the Ground Zeroes suit. You can change the suit in the helicopter or have it air dropped in a box.
  • You can shoot and fulton enemies from a cardboard box .
  • You can just free roam through open areas without actually being on any mission.
  • When you’re on a ladder, press X to slide down quickly
  • You get Key Items for performing certain actions, and in return, they unlock various abilities, items and improvements.

Advanced Tips

  • One of the first things you should upgrade are your binoculars. When upgraded, they show you the skills a scanned soldier has. This way, you can pick and choose the best soldiers to Fulton back to Mother Base.
  • Use the phantom cigar to speed up time
  • Use supply drops to stun enemies – navigate and land them on enemies 
  • Ride fultoning objects to escape
  • You can use other Diamond Dogs members on main and side missions instead of Snake – send a botanist if you want more plants, etc.
  • MGSV: The Phantom Pain Blueprints for the best weapons are scattered throughout the map, you’ll need an interpreter to unveil their locations.
  • Foes will rarely pursue you far from the location they’re stationed at
  • Each mission takes place within specific areas on the huge maps, and if you leave a mission’s area, you’ll automatically abort that mission. (Detailed screenshot guides for all missions and their steps)
  • You can get Transportation specialist who can develop a Fulton for vehicles in mission 10.
  • Mission 22 unlocks the FOB system and the security team
  • MGSV: The Phantom Pain PC players can listen to their own music if they put audio files in the game directory, in the CustomSoundtrack folder. From iDroid’s cassette tapes menu you can choose your favorite music.
  • During the Mission 11 drop 2 supply drops on top of Quiet. That will make it a really easy to take her alive
  • Whenever you have to scout some location for mines and detonating them, use airstrike on the marked mission area to destroy them all at once.
  • Whenever a person smokes the phantom cigar in front of the platform it automatically raises morale without having to go around and personally salute your soldiers (thanks col_sanders_recipe)
  • You can fast travel to aerial base if you choose return to ACC from the pause menu.
  • Use yellow-orange triangular sign to fast travel to location with a delivery place attached to the triangle. Equip your box and wait.
  • Use Water Pistol on communications devices with the blue lights
  • Legendary Gunsmith is a specialist soldier who unlocks weapon customization
  • You can get exclusive recruits and several uniforms if you transfer Ground Zeroes Save Data To MGSV: Phantom Pain
  • You can become Demon Snake if you perform tasks that are morally questionable
  • The Wormhole upgrade for the Fulton Device lets you extract people and things using a portal instead of a balloon

Combat Tips:

  • Enemy soldiers adapt to your tactics. If you kill a lot of enemies during a mission, you will see soldiers carrying heavier armor and even tanks making appearance. The stealth approach has its own consequences. Just keep that in mind as you play (and also that is why missions might be different for different players).
  • There are dispatch missions that send your teams out to destroy the enemy’s supply of helmets or shields. When you complete these missions, there will be less (or none at all) armored enemies in the next few main missions.
  • You can perform a sneak attack from the cardboard box. Slide, grab people and pull them inside the box.
  • There is no difficulty selection in The Phantom Pain. You’ll unlock a harder mode once you beat the game.
  • You can’t equip a knife and use it as your weapon of choice
  • Tranquilizer darts don’t work on heavily armored enemies, but you can throw them off cliffs.
  • The Stealth Camo pp item can make you invisible in short bursts
  • The prosthetic arm can be guided like a projectile to kill enemies, after you’ve upgraded it. You can use it to make a knocking sound. The electric stun of the Prosthetic arm works on everyone.
  • Hand of Jehuty is an upgrade for Prosthetic arm that can be used to grab enemy from a distance.
  • E-stun Decoy item is a mine that stuns enemies
  • Sonar bio-detector can spot living beings outside of your field of view
  • Active Decoy is a balloon with a voice message that lures enemies.
  • Take showers between missions to wash away the blood and grime. Soldiers will react negatively to you if you’re stinky.
  • Guards will still be on high alert if you decide to revisit an area you’ve just escaped from.
  • Boss fights usually require a new set of skills that you’ve not necessarily practiced before. You’re often forced to fight or run around in avoidance, instead of using stealth tactics.
  • Use Noctocyanin item to heightens your senses. This will mark nearby enemies without the need to see them.
  • Between locations, you’ll easily hear enemies coming, since they’re usually driving some sort of vehicle.
  • Open areas force you to learn additional skills, that will help you scout an area before you enter it.

Buddies

  • D-Dog automatically marks living beings in a certain radius – plants, animals and people. D-dog can also distract enemies
  • D-Walker can walk and roll silently on small wheels – you can sneak up to enemies on his back. D-Walker can also pick up enemies and can be outfitted for combat or stealth.
  • Quiet can become invisible and super fast. She can shoot a grenade you throw towards enemies. You can send her to sniper spots, to find and mark enemies and use sniper abilities. You can tell her to shoot people and provide cover. She can shoot off helmets, so you can perform a headshot on an armored enemy.
  • How to use Quiet? When you open the map on your iDroid, use the up button on the D-Pad to find the options “Quiet (Scout)” and “Quiet (Attack)”. When you select the option, you have to choose the specific sniper spot where you want her. She’ll then go there and do her thing.
  • If you use "Do It" command on D-Horse, enemy vehicles can slip on droppings, which knocks the enemies out.
  • You can hang off the horse’s side so enemies can’t see you.

Mother Base

  • You can use Mother Base to develop weapons and items, get Intel, supply drops and first aid on the field.
  • You can travel across Mother Base on foot, by car, chopper or using the postal service – go to the designated pick-up spot, and hide in a cardboard box.
  • Personnel is acquired by fultoning enemies from the field and hiring volunteers. They are automatically assigned (auto-assign option) to units that would use them best, but you can reassign them by hand.
  • If you are missing a few levels in a department and want to quickly upgrade it for just one research project you are longing for, move all the staff from other departments into it. After you are done, you can auto-assign the staff back to their old posts.
  • When you reach the staff limit, you’ll have to expand the base.
  • You can customize the color of your platforms, and make a custom emblem for your diamond dogs crew
  • Building a platform for the first time takes around 30 minutes. Upgrading (building additional platforms) takes longer with every step up.
  • Expand Command platform to make more room for staff
  • R&D platform is used to develop weapons and items
  • Combat unit platform is where your fireteams are located. You can send them on dispatch missions – if they succeed, they’ll bring home rewards.
  • Support platform is where the support team is. They’re the ones delivering supply drops, vehicle drops, airstrikes, cover fire and diversions
  • Expand Intel platform if you need more help spotting enemies when in the field.
  • Medical Platform is used to treat staff from injuries after dispatch missions
  • When you approach staff members, they will salute you. This raises their morale.
  • You can find resources lying on the ground – raw diamonds are scattered around the base
  • Side missions are entirely optional, but the rewards are in the form of resources or new recruits for Mother Base. Those resources can be various metals, minerals or herbs.
  • Some advanced weapons take 18 minutes or longer to build.

FOB

  • According to Konami, the only thing you’ll need the PS+ subscription for PS4 and Xbox Live Gold for Xbox One/Xbox 360 are the PVP multiplayer battles. All other online features will not require it.
  • FOBs (Forward Operating Base) are outposts, like mini-mother bases. They’re optional, and you can make more money if you create them, but they are open to attacks by other players who want to steal your equipment and staff.
  • The first FOB is free, but others are built by using MB Coins to buy plots of land (sea).  
  • MB coins can be bought with real money, but they can also be earned through daily logins (in miniscule amounts)
  • You can build up to 4 FOBs.
  • You can invite other players to your FOB while you’re not being invaded, to explore and hang out.
  • You can build up security to protect your FOBs, and you can fend off attacks yourself – if you’re online during an attack, you’ll get a notification and you’ll be able to respond.
  • While building up your defenses, you’ll have the chance to see how previous attacks unfolded, so you can tailor your defense to that.
  • If you decide to defend your FOB manually, you’ll be transported to the FOB so you can start tracking down the intruder.
  • When you or your soldiers spot him, he’ll be marked
  • Guards can fulton the intruder, that leads to your victory.
  • The defender has 25 minutes to capture/kill the infiltrator
  • If you manage to defend your FOB, you’ll learn the identity of your attacker, allowing you to launch a counterattack.
  • Your friends can help defend your FOB, if you are offline, but they can’t co-op with you.
  • When you invade, you can disable security devices like cameras and sensor by shooting them
  • Infiltrating undetected is your best bet
  • Rewards scale according to how heavily fortified the base is.
  • You get punished for failing, including a ransom fee. Ransom is paid using GMP, and the sum is equal to deployment costs

How To Earn GMP

  • Go on Side OPs. These are short, non-essential missions which will reward you with GMP, among other things.
  • Send staff on Dispatch Missions. They do the work, you take the prize. You’ll need a Combat Unit Platform at Mother Base, though.
  • Look for rough diamonds. There’s hundreds of them scattered across the maps. Most of them are worth a paltry 10,000 GMP, but there are some that go for a 100,000 GMP. They’ll even appear on Mother Base platforms at times.
  • Sell what you don’t need. Every piece of equipment you Fulton out of the field can be sold. Raw materials can be sold. Medicinal plants can be sold. Sell the stuff you’re not using if you’re short on cash.
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41 COMMENTS

  1. A
    Andrew

    I’m playing on PC, and whenever i approach a vehicle, I get the option to either press “E” to fulton it or “E” to drive/get in… there is a slightly opaque circle and completely opaque square around the “E” for fultoning it, so my assumption is that that action is default selected. I have been unsuccesful in finding a way to actually getting in the car. Any help is much appreciated, thanks!

    1. M
      Mic

      Tap E, rather than hold E.

  2. J
    John

    Great stuff. Quick question: Do you know of a mission/free roam area where Armored vehicles/APCs spawn consistently? I need a few for dispatch missions but I can’t seem to find any.

    1. V
      Varenvel

      i did 1 mission where i had to eliminate mechanized unit , it was APC with autocannon and 4 soldiers

      1. V
        Varenvel

        forgot to add it was side ops

        1. S
          suwi

          That would the be the first “Eliminate the Mechanized Unit” side op. I don’t know if it’s repeatable, though. I just got it.

    2. R
      Riskbreaker64

      You can farm vehicles on both mission 8 and 9, side ops are quite bad in that matter.

      If you completely skip the enemy base in mission 8 you can get two tanks and a truck in 3 minutes. The tanks sell for 100k as well, good GMP.

  3. J
    Jack

    Here’s a few tips I saw missing.
    You can find a certain character to visit in the main medical platform, door has a blue light.

    Before you get the child upgrade for fulton (on a personal note, I can fulton a bird but a child is much too small and fragile? right) Request a jeep drop to your location, load up 3 seats with children, fulton the car and repeat, you can only have 1 vehicle dropped at a time.

    Red freight containers will always have maximum resources. White one’s don’t.

    When you want to fulton something, but a soldier is close, use ammo clip to make them look the other way while you do your thing keeping them 25M away, that’s the range where they can hear a fulton.

  4. B
    Brenda Jorgensen

    On PS4 and Snake no longer to shower off blood ? Is anyone experiencing this glitch ?

    1. R
      Riskbreaker64

      No, it’s not a glitch. John, you are the demons.

    2. O
      OwT

      Hey,
      Not being able to shower off blood means you’ve done some nasty things in your game (like killing everyone on missions or building nuclear weapons on your motherbase), therefore reaching “Demon Boss” status. The horn on your face should’ve grown longer, too!

    3. Мария Задо́рнов

      “You enjoy all the killing! That’s why.”

  5. R
    Ryan

    If u interrogate ur soldiers at mother base. They will reveal where the rough diamonds are located

    1. M
      Matthew batey

      They can also reveal some tips such as what the enemies within the Afghanistan and Africa maps are now equipping themselves with.

  6. J
    Jack

    Does anyone know how to fulton things from inside a building … I see 3 red Precious Metal Containers at Nova Braga Airport in Africa … but it is underneath a roof. I tried blowing up the place with tanks and bombardments … NOTHING … is it possible to move the containers or something?

    1. O
      Obscur4ns

      You have to upgrade to the wormhole Fulton

      1. J
        Jack

        I see … I am at cargo 2 and fulton grade 4 and currently available to do mission 20 … how close am I to getting this wormhole fulton exactly?

        1. J
          john

          After 31, you do a side ops mission to unlock your wormhole fulton. 🙂

    2. T
      Tuulos

      From what I’ve read the final fulton upgrade gives you the ability to fulton stuff that are under roofs etc.

  7. P
    Phillip

    Is anyone experiencin a glitch or whatever at mother base where none of the staff is there and I can’t call in a chopper to pick me up

  8. D
    dean

    hello, i just have one question how can i block people from entering my ONLINE base ????

    1. N
      nocando

      you cant stop people from raiding your online base. and people cant stop you from raiding theirs. but you dont need to worry about that until konami gets their servers running halfway decently, since nobody will be able to sign into mgo long enough to do an infiltration mission until its fixed

      1. J
        Jason

        I’ve done a few FOB missions but I agree. Until Konami patch their servers correctly, it’s not a big deal.

  9. A
    Alex

    Great guide! One question: Does anyone know what happens if you for instance extract a A+ R&D specialist, and the R&D Platform is full?
    Does he get assigned to another unit, or does he knock out one of the less skilled members?

    Also, any other way to see new members easy, rather than looking for the blinking dot next to them?

    1. B
      Bacon

      1) If one of your platforms is full and you fulton an enemy soldier that would normally go to that platform they get sent to the waiting room instead (far left list in Staff Management)

      2) I’m unaware of any better way to check new members easier than looking for the blinking dot. If you’re looking for new members with certain skills like Troublemaker/Boaster you can go to the All Staff list in Staff Management and click the sort button, then you go down to Skills and set it to descending. Now all your troops with skills will be at the top and you can just scroll through them (makes it much easier to dismiss boasters and troublemakers).

      1. R
        Rex

        1) Incorrect – if you fulton a A class R&D soldier into a full R&D platform – your worst ranked soldier in R&D will be moved to the waiting room and your new A rank R&D soldier will automatically be moved into R&D.

        2) what I do to view new staff is scroll across to the “all staff” tab of staff management and sort by “Recruitment / Descending”
        Your newest staff should be at the top of the list making it easy to see.

  10. G
    Gary

    Only can get small items lifted how do I increase my pick up power?

    1. S
      squatcher

      Upgrade your fulton extraction device, the higher the level, the bigger the stuff you can extract.

    2. M
      Matthew batey

      You can upgrade what your fulton device can lift off with, but you’ll need a transportation specialist. There are plenty of missions where they are available. The costs will vary based on what it is being extracted. People and animals are 300, placed machine guns and mortars are 5,000, vehicles, cargo containers, and anti-air guns are 10,000. Everything you extract can then be sold for a profit, but the materials from the containers you steal need to be first be processed.

  11. M
    Michael Smith

    As a disclaimer: this is very cheap and takes no skill. That being said; I have a tip. Find a generator on whatever mission you’re on. Turn it off and go hide (laying prone in tall grass works well since generators are typically only on at night. Unless they are wearing NV goggles then, just do your best to remain unseen). The CP will send someone to investigate. Wait for them to radio back and once they put their radio away, snag’em. Make sure you interogate them before doing whatever you will with them. Once you have hidden/disposed of the body return back to the generator and turn it back on. Wait at least 5 seconds and turn it back off and they will send another guard to investigate. You can do this repeatedly until all guards are disposed of. Notice, if communication with CP has been disrupted this will only work on guards who notice the lights/machinery going on and off. Like I said at the beginning, it’s pretty cheap and sort of takes the fun out of sneaking and “tactical espionage”. But, it works great for pesky missions with lots of guards.

  12. R
    Roneyclan

    Hello and I’m experiencing a glitch where my FOB Security team is not spawning in at all. So basically it leaves my FOB defenseless. The UAVs and Camera’s are there but no soldiers for miles. Can anyone please help me with this glitch? Cause I’m a sitting duck to anyone who steals my resources. 🙁

    1. S
      squatcher

      Are you making sure after an attack that you replace the solders that were killed?? Go to your iDroid, then security settings, then he FOB in question, then select the platform that was attacked, then advanced settings, then go through each level/floor and make sure all your solders are replaced. Hope this helps!!

  13. B
    Bryce

    How do you get out of evil mode?

    1. B
      Bryce

      When do you unlock the hand of jehuty?

    2. S
      squatcher

      Stop killing solders and just extract them, you can also extract every animal you come across, eventually doing these two things, doesn’t take very long, you will notice your horn shrinking and you will be able to shower off the blood. Hope that helps

  14. S
    squatcher

    I have finished the game, and I am now going back and doing some of the main missions over again to get all specialists I might of missed the first time around. I am not sure if this is a glitch, but when doing a mission over again, and I extract a specialist that I don’t have and need. I find that at the end of the mission going over my weapons to see if I can now develop them due to the specialist that I extracted during the mission that’s needed to develop the weapon, that specialist is NOT listed anywhere. I have done missions multiple of times to get that specialist with the same result. Am I missing something, or is this a glitch in the game?? Cheers!!!

    1. B
      bossman

      Hi Squatcher,

      I was also confused by this at first.
      What you need to do is go to Staff Management and check through All Staff to make sure that the person was not assigned to another unit. For example, if you extracted a Transport Specialist, but the soldier has a rank A in Support and a rank E/D/C/B in R&D then he will be Auto-Assigned to Support (the system will Auto-Assign a soldier based on his rank first, so whichever rank is the highest, he will be auto assigned to that unit). Once you find the person with the skill in All Staff (check the Waiting Room first as it may have sent that soldier there IF ALL of your Units are at Maximum Capacity for personnel), simply select them and assign them to the Unit works with their skill (the wrench symbol next to the skill means that this skill will only work if the soldier is in R&D). The skill will only work according to the symbol next to it for so the Shield will be for Support Unit, the Hexagon Unit will be for Base Development Unit, the X (OR two swords/guns crossing) will be for Combat Unit, and the Radio Waves (Looks like a WiFi symbol) will be for Intel Unit.
      Hope this has helped you ^_^.

      Separate Note: Does anyone know how to NOT kick DD when he’s standing over someone you want to wake up and interrogate >__>.
      Separate Note 3: Anyone know of another way to disable (not destroy) a Chopper besides using the following: Anti Air Cannon, RPG or any DMG weapon, DMG Grenade with Quiet “Using Snipe Grenade” ?
      Side Note: Can Sleep Grenades be sniped by Quiet into a Chopper/Armoured Vehicle and put them pilot/driver to sleep?

      1. J
        Jason

        Separate Note: Does anyone know how to NOT kick DD when he’s standing over someone you want to wake up and interrogate >__>.
        **Just walk away from the enemy until DD moves.

        Separate Note 3: Anyone know of another way to disable (not destroy) a Chopper besides using the following: Anti Air Cannon, RPG or any DMG weapon, DMG Grenade with Quiet “Using Snipe Grenade” ?
        ** No, not that I’ve found.

        Side Note: Can Sleep Grenades be sniped by Quiet into a Chopper/Armoured Vehicle and put them pilot/driver to sleep?
        ** No.

        This talk of putting the pilot to sleep or whatever… The chopper would still crash, killing them. Its a null point with flying enemies – either avoid them or shoot them down.

  15. M
    Matthew

    Raw materials cannot be sold, the time one has to infiltrate the FOB varies based on the security level of the base being invaded.

    In order to unlock development of the Hand of Jehuty and Wormhole extraction devices, one needs to complete the side-ops Extract the Legendary Iblis/Jackal respectively. The concept behind Jehuty is nice, but the range is not that great, 10 meters for the first level, 20 for the second. Unless there is a cliff face between you, I would much rather stick with the Rocket or Stun Arm.

    Heroism is easily gained either through the completion of missions or side-ops, but there is a bonus for extracting soldiers near death, disposing of mines, effective interrogations, and capturing outposts (30 for the smaller ones, guarded by no more than 6, and 300 for bases, typically marked by the presence of a delivery point, or a name that does not end with “guard-post”. There are more ways to gain heroism then there are to lose it. If you are losing a significant amount, then you either suck, or are playing the mission “Shining Lights, Even in Death”. There are more ways to increase heroism bonuses, but I don’t have the time nor ability to list them all.

    And for the fans of Quiet out there, get the butterfly codename and integrate it into your unit emblem ASAP if you don’t want to lose her.

    FOB’s: While expanding them will grant you more staff, you need to expand certain units first. Get the Command area to at least 3 platforms before moving on to another. As soon as you can build your first FOB, you will have sideops available that require you to get blueprints for various security devices, it’s in your best interest to get these ASAP. Just having a bunch of guards is not going to cut it, you also need things like mines, decoys, IR sensors, UAV’s, antitheft sensors, and cameras. (these last four are the ones that need the blueprints, and the UAV is armed). And it’s a good idea to collect all blueprints you can in the field. Some are only available from combat deployment missions though.

    I know this may seem like a lot, but this is coming from a person who has spent just shy of 200 hours with the game since it was released, I’m not the best, but I certainly know my stuff, but I also know that not everyone will play the game like me.. I will concede that the Hand of Jehuty has it’s uses, it’s just extremely situational, and IMO, the rocket arm (and the blast-arm augmentation available for it) are fairly difficult to control, at least on Mouse and keyboard. Because of this, I just stick with the level 3 stun arm.

  16. K
    Kevin V. Nguyen

    Another great way of getting GMP is by completing the training ops back at Motherbase.

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