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Metal Gear Solid 5: 30 essential tips and tricks that you need to know

metal gear solid 5

How To

Metal Gear Solid 5: 30 essential tips and tricks that you need to know

Metal Gear Solid 5 has an insane amount of systems, gadgets, and weapons to play with. But the tutorials don’t tell you everything, and there’s a lot to discover in this vast, rich stealth sandbox. Here are some of the tricks, tips, and secrets we’ve discovered so far. Share your own in the comments.

Recruit Hideo Kojima

After completing the ‘Intel Operative Rescue’ mission in Ground Zeroes, import your save and a soldier named Hideo will volunteer for Mother Base. This will happen randomly after completing a mission. He has an S rating for intel and an A+ rating for R&D. Any other POWs or special soldiers you extracted will volunteer too.


Bring up the iDroid map, then press the action button (Y on an Xbox controller) and it’ll shrink to the bottom-right corner of the screen. You can then move, either on foot, on D-Horse, or in a vehicle, and the mini-map will stay on the screen. This is ideal for exploring, quickly planning an escape route, or gathering plants.

Custom music

You can import your own tunes into The Phantom Pain on PC. In the game directory, look for the ‘CustomSoundtrack’ folder. Any audio files you drop in here will appear in your iDroid’s cassette tapes menu, and can even be set as your chopper music.

Jp59FKCEB_5q.878x0.Z-Z96KYqCardboard box slide

Equip any cardboard box, then press the stance button to stand up. Sprint towards a downwards slope—the steeper the better—and if you hit the dive button you’ll slide down it. This works especially well on the sand dunes in Afghanistan.

Recruit an interpreter

One of the first side ops that unlocks is ‘Extract Interpreter (Russian)’ and you should make it a top priority. Recruiting this soldier will allow you to interrogate captured Soviet guards and listen in on their conversations. Grabbing enemies and squeezing them for information is vital: they’ll mark nearby comrades with high stats on your map, the locations of R&D blueprints, and reveal other useful intel.

Easy mine-clearing

There are a few mine-clearing side ops, which involve scouring a location for mines and detonating them. But if you want to save yourself the hassle, simply call in an airstrike in the centre of the marked mission area to destroy them all instantly.

d0JzbTZsRZ0h.878x0.Z-Z96KYqInstantly return to the ACC

Don’t bother calling in Pequod when you finish a mission and want to return to your aerial base. This takes time and costs GMP. Instead, bring up the pause menu and select ‘return to ACC’ and you’ll be transported there immediately.

Secret cutscene

When you’ve unlocked the medical platform for Mother Base and completed a side op that asks you to recover a wandering MSF soldier, head there and look for a door that automatically opens when you get close to it—on one of the top floors. We’ll say no more, but it’s something you should definitely see if you played Ground Zeroes.

Cassette tapes

You’ll collect a LOT of cassette tapes as you play The Phantom Pain, which can be listened to using the iDroid—and you really should. The bulk of the game’s story is found on them, and they give important context to your actions, settings, and characters. They’re the equivalent of the codec conversations from previous games in the series, but are entirely optional.

Rough diamonds

You’ll often see the telltale sparkle of a rough diamond as you explore. Always take the time to grab them, because while some are only worth around 10,000 GMP, some can net you a cool 100,000. There are dozens of rough diamonds scattered around Mother Base too, often in hidden or hard-to-reach areas. Sometimes your staff will reveal the locations of diamonds if you grab and interrogate them.

Save ammo

Sneak up behind a guard with your weapon drawn and you’ll hold them up. Bring up the interaction menu (left bumper on an Xbox controller) and some options will appear. Select ‘get down’ and he’ll lie on his belly and stay there permanently—unless another guard sees him or you trigger an alert phase. This is a good way to quietly incapacitate an enemy without wasting any of your precious tranquilizer rounds.

Fast travel

In most bases, camps, villages, etc. you’ll see a yellow triangular sign with a delivery manifest attached to it that you can pick up. Equip your box and wait in the space next to the sign and you’ll be ‘delivered’ to any other point on the map whose manifest you’ve collected. It’s one of the quickest ways to get around the game’s huge maps.Wh6T5dmvSIMQ.878x0.Z-Z96KYq

Tactical turds

Use D-Horse in missions and your bond with him will grow over time. When it reaches a certain level you’ll unlock the ‘Do it (defecate)’ command, which is self explanatory. It’s not just for a cheap laugh, though: if an enemy vehicle drives over the stinky mess, they’ll spin out and be knocked unconscious. Perfect for ambushes.

Marking enemies

Any enemies you mark with the binoculars will stay marked if you die or restart from a checkpoint. Upgrade them and you’ll be able to scan enemy soldiers and see their stats before you decide if it’s worth recruiting them for your Mother Base.

Birthday surprise

Early in the game you’re asked to enter your name and date of birth. If you play The Phantom Pain on the date you entered, something special will happen. It’s too good to spoil, but if your birthday’s ages away and you can’t wait, here’s a video.VuFB7huy9kEu.878x0.Z-Z96KYq

Photo gallery

When you’re in the helicopter you’ll notice photos pinned to the walls. These are mementos of important events, and more will appear as time goes on. To get a closer look, press the binoculars button to switch to first-person.

Supply drops

If you’re low on ammo or Fulton balloons, or your suppressor has worn out, use the iDroid to call in a supply drop. It’s at the top of the Missions menu. Choose a drop point and a few seconds later a box will arrive with ammo for all your guns, fresh suppressors, and extra Fultons. This costs GMP, but not enough that it’s ever a problem. If you drop a supply box directly onto an enemy’s head, it’ll knock them out.

Chicken hat

In the Game Settings menu you’ll see an on/off toggle for a chicken hat. Enabling this lets you equip said poultry-themed headgear on the sortie prep screen, which makes you much harder to see, and in turn makes the game laughably easy. The catch—besides looking daft and stripping all the fun away—is never being able to get a mission rating higher than an A. But, hey, the option’s there if you want it.

Disrupt communications

Look for blue lights in enemy bases. These are almost always attached to something you can destroy or deactivate to make your life easier. Disable power generators to turn off lights and security cameras; destroy anti-air radar dishes to create a safe landing zone for your chopper; or destroy a radio to stop the enemy calling for backup.

Phantom cigar

Before you use the phantom cigar to advance time, make sure you’re hidden away somewhere safe. If you’re on a road or near an outpost you’ll probably emerge from your cigar-induced trance with soldiers pointing their guns at you.

Diamond Dog

At some point during your time in Afghanistan you’ll hear a puppy whining. For me it was at the beginning of the ‘Extract Interpreter (Russian)’ side op, but it might be a different one for you. There seems to be a random element to it. Find him and Fulton him immediately. He’ll grow up to become one of the game’s best buddy characters. Extract him as soon as you hear him, because you won’t get another chance.FjJFtxRS7zjV.878x0.Z-Z96KYq

Take a shower

As you complete missions consecutively, Snake will get covered in blood and dirt. Eventually flies will start buzzing around his head. This reduces his mental well-being and shortens the length of your reflex ability. To wash the grime away, look for a portable shower on Mother Base. Every platform has one.

Sell your resources

If you’re short on GMP you can sell stuff to make a bit of extra money. This includes medicinal plants gathered in the field, resources you’ve collected (fuel, metal, etc.), and any enemy hardware you’ve extracted with the Fulton.

Free roam

On the Missions menu in the iDroid, flip along to the next tab and you’ll be given the option to enter one of the game’s mission areas, or Mother Base, without needing to start a mission. This is free roam mode, which gives you a chance to explore, gather resources, capture outposts, and complete side ops.

VYATPMi9Jl8U.878x0.Z-Z96KYqCombat unit

When you unlock the combat unit, which will happen at some point as you play through story missions, you can take staff assigned there on side ops instead of Snake. On the sortie prep screen, look for the Select Character option. Click on Character and a list of all the soldiers in your combat unit will appear. Taking staff on missions increases their stats, so it’s worth doing to beef up your Mother Base.

Water pistol

One of the weapons your Mother Base can develop is a water pistol. As in, a toy gun that shoots water. Sounds pretty useless, right? Well, try squirting it on those communications devices with the blue lights we talked about earlier and get back to us. It has some other uses too, but we’ll let you discover those for yourself.

Catch a bear

It’ll take a while, but it’s entirely possible to take out a bear with the Wu pistol. Wait for the beast to rush you, then dive out of the way at the last minute and get a few shots into its head. Repeat this and it’ll eventually keel over and fall asleep, letting you attach a Fulton and extract it—providing you have the Cargo +1 upgrade.


Retro Snake

To play The Phantom Pain with the blocky Solid Snake character model from the original MGS, import a Ground Zeroes save in which you’ve finished the Déjà Vu mission with every moment recreated and every quiz question answered correctly. It costs 100,000 GMP to develop and silences your footsteps when you move.

Magazine KO

In reflex mode, equip an empty magazine and throw it at the alerted enemy’s head. If your throw is accurate you’ll hear a satisfying TING sound and he’ll be instantly knocked out. Another good use for magazines is if a guard is closing in on you, throw one behind him to make him turn around.


You’ll find posters occasionally that can be picked up. These will earn you a small amount of GMP, but they have another use. While holding the inventory open with a cardboard box selected, press the indicated button (X on an Xbox controller) to cycle between the posters you’ve collected and attach them to it. For example, stick a poster of a saluting guard to your box and stand up, and from a distance a confused enemy will salute back, thinking it’s one of his comrades.

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