Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – Things to Know Before Play

A small asortment of random things I found out during my playtime, but you all already know these so what the hell.

Gameplay Tips

An Average of all platform levels combined determines the quality of soldiers found. The math is basically “all platform levels / number of platforms = average level”. The average level can go up to a bit over 1000, and determines what Rank soldiers you will find, if you want to find S ranks, upgrade all platforms to max level and hunt for staff.

Powerlines and cables from masts and other contraptions are buggy. They have a radial hitbox that is about 2 feet around them in radius / 4 feet in diameter. This can easily be observed in a lot of situations when sniping with Tranq weaponry, the tranq darts (unless AP) do not penetrate the powerlines and get stopped. If you try to shoot someone who is obscured by powerlines / telephone cables with a lethal weapon, the first bullet destroys the powerline, and is wasted. Using lethal weapons will trigger the same alert state as “I am being sniped!” or destroying comms/anti air radar equipment.

Stun weapons (especially S1000 NL) take out Heavy Troops. So do all the Decoys. A decoy to the feet of a Heavy Troop and then deployed using “E” (Interact) will knock the HT over (STN).

Using Gas, Headshots, too many fultons, too many fultons that alert someone, too many Missions in S-Rank / perfect stealth, causes the “Revenge System” to kick in, the enemy will start deploying Decoys and body armor and helmets against Tranq weapons and headshots, Cameras against Stealth, shoot Fulton Balloons much faster, and eventually get Gas Masks and Mines and such against sneaking tactics. To lower the Revenge Rank, one can start “A HERO’S WAY” with explosives, and kill themselves (falling damage and such does not count). Make sure “Chicken Hat” Option is enabled. After activating the chicken hat when prompted to use it, use any weapon (prefered Sniper) to kill the Commander and finish the mission as planned. The Chicken hat slightly lowers the Revenge Rating when finishing a Mission. Will have to do this a few times.

If you don’t use Phantom Cigars, Gas grenades and keep a baseline Loadout (WU-Pistol, Renov NL, S1000/AMS/Other LETHAL weapon), you only keep Purple Digitalis and Golden Crescent, the rest of the plants can be sold for super fast money, right from the start.

Stun Weapons shoot rubber bullets. They therefore count as bullets, not as “darts” like the tranquilizer. Shooting someone with them will alert the enemies nearby, and missing a person with a shot counts the same as shooting them with a LETHAL bullet, it makes a “sniper / bullet attack” alert.

“Bullet Attack alerts” happen when shooting people with projectiles of a bullet nature from a suppressed weapon, not tranquilizer darts. In this combat state, prolonged shooting from the same spot causes all the soldiers to go to that spot despite you using suppressed weaponry. Shooting again, causes the AI to turn around and head to your new location, again ignoring the fact that your weapon is suppressed. Make sure that after getting such an alert state, you change position after a few shots, as the enemies will start to relentlessly come to your position, even if you switch to using tranquilizer darts, in this state the AI is buggy and sets to trace and detect any sort of gunfire, suppressed or not.

Getting Reflex with Quiet in your Party will cause her to fire onto the enemy detecting you if she has a line of sight, even if you are in the process of taking the enemy out. This can, early on when no Suppressors are available for her weapons, easily cause a full “combat alert” due to her shooting lethal or tranquilizer weapons unsuppressed.

Quiet will drop suppressors and ammo for you around the place if you tell her to “scout” an area. Once you got the message that she has “Infiltraded an Outpost”, she will deploy those pickups around the outside of the site, but no Fulton resupplies or heavy weapon ammo. She prefers rifle and handgun ammo and suppressors.

Flare Resupply is handy, doesn’t require you to go to the i-Droid to resupply, and is thus superior to the latter method. The downside is that the smoke causes a “smoke alert” state, and adds “Smoke” revenge points, prompting the enemies to use Gas Masks when they spot the smoke too often.

The Legend of a Gunsmith needs to be extracted 3 times. 2 “apprentices” and then the Master himself. Keep this in mind. The missions unlock gradually throughout after the first “discovery” of Africa (Pitch Dark and onward).

Surveilance Cameras are posted at key spots when they start spawning, and can be taken out with LETHAL weaponry. This will create a “camera is dead” alert, which is the same rank in severity as “power outage” or “installation was damaged” – nothing too much to worry about, but the enemy will start moving about instead of standing still.

Only some Missions have a time limit. This can be an actual timer that is visible on screen, or a silent timer. The silent timer is often seen as a path that vehicles take, so intercepting the vehicles is often key, or because the enemy is scripted to do something, like KILL a prisoner. Play the mission a few times to memorize what triggers the silent timer, or what happens during that timer. Mission 10 has a silent timer, that at stage 1 causes Malak to be removed to a new location, and at stage 2, will cause the Soviets to kill the remaining prisoners inside the Palace. Another silent timer is on TRAITORS CARAVAN, the truck moving to the Airport and then onwards if you are too slow. Another silent timer is on BLOOD RUNS DEEP, while the Kids run to the evac, there is a relentless silent timer running down at which end enemy Troops will arrive from their travel to the area and search for the Kids.

Some if not most or all Missions can be “cleaned out” aka wiped of enemies, before actually getting to the key objective, BLOOD RUNS DEEP for example, one can clean out the path ahead for the Kids, BEFORE even triggering the Mission cutscene. Some of them will respawn enemies, SIDEOP 82/Mission 12 is a good example at which enemies cleaned out will spawn anew, and Mission CODE TALKER also has new enemies spawn AFTER clearing out the whole mansion, leaving dead or unconscious bodies out in the open will even cause alert states really rapidly due to the spawning of new enemies.

For the Mission/Semi Sideops “Retake the Platforms!!!!” it is best to take full STN/Tranq weaponry, your staff will thank you for it via a lot of decent soldiers and their Commander. Generally, using non lethal to clean out missions that are supposed to be “Wet Work” (Assassinations) nets better results and Staff than killing the targets as planned.

Combat Deployments to block supplies (Snipers/Helmets/Decoys/Cameras/Machineguns/Bulletproof Vests/etc.) block the supplies for the NEXT 3 missions. This includes Side-ops, “Free-Roam” deployments, so be mindful. Generally these missions take too long to complete to waste the 3 supply blocks on random missions or replays.

Getting the Antimaterial Rifle is key to some missions, as it makes them childishly easy. The last mission for one, can easily be cleared with just the Brennan, even first Tier unlock version. Just make sure to get resupplies and dont get hit. Oh yeah, and don’t let your Companion get hit, either.

The Antimaterial Rifle is able to knock down Powerpole Lights and destroys Watchtowers. It even takes down Helicopters in absolutely no time and APC’s like the STOUT APC/IFV get absolutely demolished in a few hits. The downside is that this type of weapon has it’s unique “alert state”, a missed shot attracts a whole lot of attention, even when suppressed.

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