Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Complete Mother Base Guide

This detailed guide explains all the functions of Mother Base!

Mother Base is a huge part of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. You start with just the Command platform, but unlock several others as you progress through the game. Once you unlock everything and have several people, it can be hard to keep track of what everything is for.

This guide is here to help you understand what each platform/unit does and things to help you build up your Mother Base. Be sure to check out my beginner tips and tricks for overall help and getting started with the game.

This guide will cover the functions of Mother Base in Metal Gear Solid V including:

  • Basic Info - The purpose of Mother Base and resources needed for it.
  • Base Facilities - The different units/platforms you can have at Mother Base.
  • Staff - How to increase your Mother Base staff and where to put them.

Basic info

Mother Base provides support in many ways. It lets you develop new items, weapons, gear, and more. It can provide intel in the field to show you where enemies are, or where to find hiding spots. It can also upgrade several things. I'll go over each unit later, so just know that there is a lot Mother Base can do for you.


metal gear solid v resources

Of course, you can't get this all for free. GMP is the main resource, basically your money.

  • Fuel - You need this to improve and expand the base, as well as some items and upgrades.
  • Biological Material - This is used for support weapons and consumable items. Also, used for expanding the base.
  • Metals - These are used for developing vehicles, weapons, and more. They come in 3 categories.
    • Common Metal - Widely used in large amounts.
    • Minor Metal - Lower production volume and circulation compared to common metal
    • Precious Metal - Converts to GMP at a high rate.
  • Medicinal Plants - These are used for a variety of things from making medicines to improving tranquilizers.

Besides the medicinal plants, the other resources come in processed and unprocessed forms. Processed resources can be used and unprocessed resources must be processed by the Base Development unit.

Base Facilities

There are a total of 7 platforms, 6 of these are units. You automatically unlock each unit by playing through the missions. Building platforms increases the number of decks and the total number of people in each unit.

  • Command Platform - Increases maximum staff capacity of all units. 
  • R & D Platform - Increases maximum staff capacity of this unit. 
  • Base Development Platform - Increases maximum staff capacity of this unit. 
  • Support Platform - Increases maximum staff capacity of this unit. 
  • Intel Platform - Increases maximum staff capacity of this unit. 
  • Medicine Platform - Increases maximum staff capacity of this unit. 
  • Combat Platform - Increases maximum staff capacity of this unit.

The Research and Development unit is very important. This is how you create and upgrade all weapons, gear, items, and so on. As you add more staff and level this unit, you unlock more equipment and upgrades.

Even though this is a very important unit, many of the upgrades and higher level equipment require other units to be a certain level as well. For example, to add tranquilizer rounds to one of my sniper rifles, I need both the R & D unit and the Medical Unit at level 15.

metal gear solid v upgrades

Base Development Unit

This unit obtains resources for your base as well as processes resources. Adding more staff and leveling this unit increases how many resources they get, and lowers the time it takes to process resources.

Support Unit

This unit helps you in the field in various ways. They send equipment and supply drops, extract you with the helicopter, and use support fire or airstrikes. They also add interpreters so you can get info from enemy soldiers.

Increasing staff and level of this unit gives more types of strikes from the helicopter, decreases time to execute those strikes, increases success rate of Fulton recovery in bad conditions, and helps upgrade Fulton recovery to take larger things.

Intel Unit

This is the other unit that actively helps in the field. They can scout the area to update your map with enemy activity and other helpful information like locations of hiding spots. It is also helps upgrade your int-scope and iDroid. As you add more staff and level this unit, the accuracy and frequency of their scouting increases.

Medical Unit

This unit treats staff illness and injuries. It is important to have this at a high level later in the game so you can keep all your units safe, especially the combat unit. Adding staff and leveling up this unit decreases staff recovery time, and increases Fulton extraction success rate of injured people.

Combat Unit

This is the last unit you unlock, but it is very helpful. You can deploy Combat unit members on their own missions to bring in GMP, resources, items, blueprints, etc. You can make a lot money by doing this, just make sure you remember to send people out.

metal gear solid v combat deployment

You can also play as anyone in the Combat unit when doing missions instead of playing as Snake. Some units have special skills that can help out in certain missions. For example, one person in my Combat unit has faster crawling and climbing.

Adding more staff and leveling the Combat Unit increases how much GMP you get. If you want a more detailed look at the Combat unit and Combat Deployment, please visit by Combat Unit/Combat Deployment guide.


The most important part of building a good Mother Base is having a good staff. This also means knowing where to put them.

First, the easiest way to increase staff is to just Fulton them while out on missions.

  • Once you have the analyzer on the int-scope, you can see the level and skills of people in the field.

You can also get staff as volunteers after completing missions, and recruiting them with the combat unit.

Each staff member has rank of each unit ranging from E to S++. All staff members are automatically assigned to whichever unit they have the highest skill in.

You can also automatically assign all current staff members to their strongest unit by going to the staff management screen. This helps when you unlock new units because they won't initially have people in them.

metal gear solid v staff management

Finally, you can manually assign members to a unit. This is helpful in several ways.

  • Some people may be even in multiple units, so you can add them to another unit that needs more staff.
  • You can increase levels on each unit by assigning most of your staff to them.
    • If you are trying to unlock something that requires high-level R & D and Intel units, for example, repurpose your staff to those units until you develop what you want to change them back.
  • Some skills may be more helpful in another unit.
    • Some people have a trouble maker skill that adds problems to a unit, but adding someone with the diplomat skill, even if they aren't good in that unit, will reduce those problems.

It gets more difficult to look through every person once you start getting hundreds, but it is a good idea to watch for certain skills now and then to make sure all your units are as efficient as they can be.

That's it for my Mother Base guide for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Let me know if you have any questions or tips of your for Mother Base!

Guide Editor

After gaming for 25 years, Synzer leveraged his vast knowledge of RPGs and MMOs into a job as a games journalist, covering the games he loves. Five years later, he's still writing about Kingdom Hearts, Pokemon, and Knights of the Old Republic. Synzer has a bachelor's degree in English and creative writing. You can see him in action on his YouTube channel ( and Twitch (

Published Sep. 4th 2015
  • TP_7723
    There are 6 attributes (i think you mistakenly called them skills) ranked from E to S++ which from left to right are: Combat, R&D, Base development, Support, Intel, Medicine
    The actual skills are self explanatory, staff management gives descriptions.
  • Nick_7535
    If you go into staff management screen and click the right stick you can auto-assign staff to whatever suits their skills the best
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Featured Correspondent
    Having all the platforms and 40+ people in each there are just too many people to sort through, you have any tips on what the skills symbols mean? Because the only thing I can fault the game on is no showing recruit information very clearly. What do each of the symbols actually mean?
  • Synzer
    Guide Editor
    Are you talking about the ranks?
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Featured Correspondent
    Not exactly, the skills each soldier has have a symbol, like crossed swords. The game doesn't really tell you what each of these mean, or what scanning soldiers what they are good at. Basically the symbols of each platform (so what the solider is best at, like R&D or Intel), and then the specific skills for each soldier (like being faster when sprinting, it has a symbol I think, but dunno which).
  • Synzer
    Guide Editor
    Well the symbols aren't all different. Crossed swords is a combat skill, but all combat skills have the same symbol. So the symbols only point out the type of skill, not the what the actual skill is. Like troublemaker and diplomat have the same symbol.
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Featured Correspondent
    God damn it... ok cheers!! So how do you find what the skill actually is? Yer sorry I'm being stupid haha!
  • Synzer
    Guide Editor
    As far as I know, you have to look at the staff management screen. You can change the display so it tells you what the skills do.

    It should be sorted best to worst so unless most of your people have these skills, it shouldn't be too hard.

    You can also go through each category so you don't need to look at your list of every staff member.
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Featured Correspondent
    Ok cheers, I'll have a look or all this stuff!

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