Throughout its storied history, the Metal Gear Solid franchise has always involved elements of strategy. Though the games are action-packed and come with engrossing narratives and memorable characters, a large portion of the gameplay is dependent on stealth, secrecy, bold moves, and forward-thinking plans. The most recent game in the series, Metal Gear Solid V, turns that necessary strategic element up to 11 and requires players to form plans and execute clever strategies in order to complete various missions. You’ll be sneaking into enemy bases, targeting from distant vistas to take out important marks, and planning hasty retreats from otherwise certain demise.
When it comes to Metal Gear Solid V, we have a plethora of tips and tricks that will help you to carry out the game’s missions to astounding success. Whether you’re just trying to conquer it to complete the story, or if you’re achievement hunting on your PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, we’ve got you covered!
Though you might not guess it, considering how graphically impressive Metal Gear Solid V is, the franchise actually began way back on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). It was the brainchild of legendary video game developer Hideo Kojima, who has remained the father of the series right up until the most recent, fifth entry. Even on that old console, way back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Metal Gear series was about tactics and military maneuvers. It’s a story and a gameplay style that has both remained consistent, as well as evolved over the course of more than twenty years.
Metal Gear Solid—the most familiar progenitor of Metal Gear Solid V—was released to astounding success on the original PlayStation. Viewed as far ahead of its time, the game told an epic story of political and military espionage, as well as love and companionship on strange battlefields. It blew people away and cemented the Metal Gear series as the franchise to beat when it came to realistic, stealth-based action.
Now, several consoles and games later, Metal Gear Solid V has capped off the narrative arcs that began all of those years ago. The tales of Big Boss, Naked Snaked, Solid Snake, Revolver Ocelot, and all of the various characters that came into the scene across the franchise have largely been ended. All were resolved in satisfactory ways for the fans that have been following them. However, if you’re still working your way through the most recent Metal Gear game, you may still be striving for that satisfaction!
Below, we’re going to address some of the most frequent obstacles in Metal Gear Solid V; those gameplay elements that players struggle to overcome. We’ll also point out some of the interesting ways in which the game differs from previous entries in the franchise—mostly for the better.
At the end, you’ll come away with some fresh perspective on how to conquer the game’s most challenging missions.
Metal Gear Solid V
The vast majority of games in the Metal Gear franchise have revolved around the story they’re telling. Though gameplay elements have always changed, the progress at which you move through the game and the various landscapes you explore has been dictated by your progress through the story.
This might be one of the most significant ways in which Metal Gear Solid V departs from the games that came before it. Though there’s still a story being told and it’s still relatively linear, the gameplay is not. Most of the missions that you’ll undertake are technically optional, though your success at the primary, story-based missions will hinge on your becoming stronger through the side missions.
How is this all tied together? By embracing a new gameplay concept that’s becoming increasingly popular, as gaming hardware becomes more powerful—the open world.
Open-World Metal Gear
Most of Metal Gear Solid V takes place in the open wilderness of Afghanistan. Because it’s an open-world game, you’re free to explore that wilderness at any time, in any way that you see fit. There are very few walls or barriers in your way at all, and for the most part, you can carry out your missions however you see fit. In this way, the “open world” concept is perfect for the Metal Gear franchise, since it’s always been about formulating tactics and strategy.
It’s still largely a stealth-based game. Even though you can go anywhere and do anything, the numbers of enemies that you’ll find across the Afghan wilderness are far too many to take on, head-on. Because of this, you’ll usually have to formulate specific plans for conquering particular obstacles.
In previous Metal Gear games, the strategy was a simpler thing. You knew the objective, you had a limited amount of time in which to accomplish it, and “forward” was generally the only direction that you could go.
All of this changed in Metal Gear Solid V. Almost all of the missions that you encounter and objectives you complete can be tackled from different directions. If you have to take out a particular target, you can target them from afar with a sniper rifle, or run into the compound, guns blazing. You can strap a bomb to a passing truck, wait until your mark gets in, and then detonate it further down the road. That’s only the tip of the iceberg, too.
The true beauty of Metal Gear Solid V is the way that it embraces this core element of the franchise’s history.
Tips and Tricks
Most of our tips and tricks for you revolve around that single thing—good strategy. From the actions that you take when you’re out on a mission to the steps made in improving, building up, and strengthening Mother Base, you’re going to have to think ahead and do some solid planning.
However, it’s best not to think of Metal Gear Solid V’s necessary strategic elements as an obstacle to be overcome. Instead, have some fun with it! Even our tips and tricks below are designed to be completely malleable; single pointers that you can use in the middle of whatever you choose to do, in the game’s open world.
One of the common objective priorities in Metal Gear Solid V’s missions is “targeting from afar.” Now, this might seem relatively straightforward, but more complex missions can sometimes turn a relatively simple task into a complicated feat to pull off.
For starters, you’ll eventually have quite a few different tools with which to do this. Most of the time, however, you’ll be using your binoculars. They’re equipped with a lot of cool technology, that helps you to identify people, objectives, elements of the landscape, and dangers from afar. When you need to target a specific mark or person as part of a mission, they’re your best bet for getting the job done (though, scoped rifles are going to take a close second!)
To do this, all that you need to do is find a clear line-of-sight between you and the target that you’re taking a sight of. When they’re in the middle of a small base, this is easy; creep into the surrounding hills, target the mark from outside of the base, and you’re golden. When they’re entrenched in a large base, however, you might have to find high ground within the base itself to complete your objective.
Seeing from Afar
Binoculars aren’t your only tool for seeing long distances, but they’re almost certainly your best. Though we made brief mention of it above, it’s worth repeating that you can identify almost anything from a great distance by using your binoculars.
If you’re trying to scope out people to kidnap for your growing army, go for the binoculars first. If you’re trying to get a sense of imminent danger in a base you’re about to assault…you guess it: binoculars.
Upgrade Your Tools, Always
It might be common knowledge that your “tools of the trade” are a big key to success, but they’re actually more important than most realize. Yes, I know that we keep coming back to the binoculars, but because they’re so damned important, you should make sure to utilize tool upgrades to make sure that they’re always tip-top. On top of that, prioritize your Fulton emergency retrieval system, too.
If you want to remove unconscious enemies and mission targets from combat zones, the Fulton is the way to do it. And if you really want to have fun, try using your upgraded Fulton on the local wildlife. Trust me.
Prioritize Building Your Army
You’ve probably noticed that a lot of our tips and tricks come full-circle—your binoculars are great for scoping out future members of your private army, your Fulton is perfect for removing them, and the army itself is incredibly important to your success, later in the game. Because you can nab people at any point in time, during almost any mission, you should always have that priority in the front of your mind.
Pay close attention to enemies skills, when you check them out with the binoculars. Some assignments at Mother Base can only be fulfilled by recruits with specific skills, and the binoculars’ upgraded features allow you to recruit a bit more “selectively.”
Whether you’re having trouble targeting from afar or figuring out a good strategy for a particular mission, the struggles in Metal Gear Solid V are part of the story that the game is trying to tell. If you have any questions about our little tips and tricks, or even want to provide some of your own, hit us up in the comments below!