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- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
So, you want to be a real Big Boss in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain? It isn't easy, but with time and practice you can become the best soldier in the world. Below are tips and tricks to help you along your path.
Knock is built into your Bionic Arm
If you've played the series before, you might be wondering how you make a knocking noise to attract foes. While previously it was done by tapping a button while against a wall, now you can do it from any position using the Bionic Arm. All you have to do is open the command menu (L1 on PlayStation), select the option at the top using your right analog stick, and then press down the analog stick (R3 on PlayStation). It'll make a noise that captures the attention of enemies, allowing you to setup distractions and ambushes. It has a specific sound radius, allowing you to capture the attention of only one enemy if you use it in a good location.
Follow the yellow brick road
The game denotes mission critical items with a yellow dot via the menu. If you're ever wondering which missions you need to do for the story, or which cassette tapes shouldn't be skipped, look for a yellow icon.
The Sneaking Suit is overpowered
Once you can research the Sneaking Suit, it's advised that you unlock and equip it. It provides far more damage resistance and more dependable cover—especially at night—in most situations than that of the basic camouflage.
Knock out the power
There are generators that power the systems and lighting in enemy camps, usually denoted by a blue light. You can interact with these to turn off the power, crippling an entire installation. Beware that enemies will come looking for you at the generator, so move away quickly.
Knocking out the power at night is particularly helpful. If you don't want to raise too much suspicion, you can alternatively use a silenced non-tranquilizing weapon to bust lights providing new routes to penetrate.
Materials are progression-critical
Once you unlock the ability to add new facilities to Mother Base, you will need a lot of materials to build them. Materials tend to be located on tables, desks, and in shelves. While they are in more abundance indoors, they can also be found outdoors. When you see them, it's worth going out of your way to obtain them. You'll need thousands of materials to erect new facilities, so start collecting.
You don't have to be a hero
This is the first game in the series that won't punish you for killing enemies. While knockouts will allow you to recruit new mercenaries using the Fulton system, sometimes it's more satisfying to off someone. This will only impact your ranking in a mission if you are discovered. So, make sure you're using a silencer on your non-tranquilizing weapons, and tread lightly.
If you want to be a hero, tranquilizer weapons and CQC will be your best tools for survival. Below you will find a comprehensive CQC guide.
Recruit the interpreters ASAP
Most enemies you will encounter don't speak English. So, when you're eavesdropping on their conversations or interrogating them for information, you won't be able to understand what they're saying without an interpreter. Thankfully, your first interpreter is available early on via a Side Ops mission. This should be high priority. Later on you'll need to acquire additional interpreters for other languages.
Upgrade your tranquilizer weapons and int scope
Your tranquilizer weapons are the most important in your arsenal, as they allow you to silently disable enemies and keep your mission scores high. Unfortunately, early on you'll only have around 14 darts to play with per mission, and a short effective range. To increase the power of your tranquilizer weapons and carry more ammunition, you'll need to upgrade them at Mother Base.
Upgrading your int scope will similarly provide great benefit. For example, the first upgrade will allow you to view the attributes of any given enemy. With it, you can decide if someone is worth recruiting using your Fulton.
Spice up your life with music
Your tape player doesn't only serve as a device for listening to recorded conversations, you can listen to music on it, too. There's a menu dedicated to music you've collected during your journey, and you can play whatever you want when you want. You'd be surprised how much more exciting missions can feel while listening to music.
Look for shinies
GMP is a currency that doesn't seem very remarkable early on, but later on is highly sought after. The best way to earn a lot of it quickly is to find a rough diamond. These are easily spotted as they glimmer brightly, even from a distance. They come in small (10,000 GMP) and large (100,000 GMP) variants that will help you afford expensive upgrades and new facilities.
For a more comprehensive guide on how to earn GMP fast, check out our guide.
Prioritize R&D and base development platforms
Once you can build new facilities at Mother Base, it's highly suggested that you erect the research & development building and then the base development platform. These two facilities provide the most tangible benefits.
There is a fast travel system
A few hours into the journey you'll be given the opportunity to ship yourself using cross-region cargo shipment. All you need is a voucher and you'll be able to quickly move from on corner of a map to another without the long loading times of helicopter deployment, or slow travel speed of the horse.
Headshot like a boss
Having precise aim is of huge benefit. Not only will it allow you to incapacitate enemies with tranquilizer darts instantly, but it'll allow you to take out helmet-less enemies in one shot. Practice, practice, practice.
Change up deployment time if you're having trouble
The different between night and day deployment is… night and day. Both times have different guard patterns as well as varying visibility. Some missions are easier in the dark, while others are made more difficult by adequate lighting at night.
The cardboard box is better than ever
Unlike previous Metal Gear games, you can use the cardboard box more freely to safely avoid being spotted. Later on in the game you can attach stickers to the box to attract enemies, setting up easy CQC knock outs.
Radio dishes are a critical component to enemy communication. By disabling radio dishes, you can be spotted by an enemy but prevent reinforcement During more difficult missions it's worth time and energy to knock these out before infiltrating a site, as they will provide an easier situation to deal with in the event that you're seen.
You can replay any mission
If you aren't happy with your performance on a mission, don't fret. You are able to replay any of the game's many missions to earn a higher rank. Speaking of which, you can play them with a higher difficulty for a new experience.
Take a shower
Blood that appears during combat will not disappear without either rain or a shower at Mother Base. Unless you like being bloody, head back to Mother Base often to freshen up, and while there your presence will automatically increase staff morale.
It's better to go up than go down
When given the option to either ascend above an installation, or below it, it's usually better to go up. Being at a higher altitude provides better visibility, and it's easier to drop down quickly into a base than climb upward.
Be bad, become demonic
The game keeps track of your "good" and "bad" decisions using an invisible counter. While doing good things like avoiding combat is visible with the Heroism menu, doing bad things like killing people and researching nuclear weapons results in the black, horn-like shrapnel on Big Boss' head becoming larger and more evil looking.
Never act without a plan B
When making a move, always think about what you'll do if things don't go according to plan. Take into consideration an exit route, a great spot for hiding, and other things you can do in the event that you're spotted.