Metal Gear Solid 5: 30 essential tips, tricks and secrets

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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.

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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.

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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.

Andy Kelly

If it’s set in space, Andy will probably write about it. He loves sci-fi, adventure games, taking screenshots, Twin Peaks, weird sims, Alien: Isolation, and anything with a good story.