Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain beginner tips and tricks

Need help getting started in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain? This guide has what you need.

Need help getting started in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain? This guide has what you need.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has a ton of stuff to do and a lot to take in, even if you are familiar with the series. The prologue mission does help with basic controls, though it is pretty spread out, but there are several things you may not be aware of even after playing for a while.

I’ll explain some helpful tips you might have missed and give pointers on what you should do after the first couple of missions.

This guide will cover the basics and tips for starting The Phantom Pain including:

  • Controls – Explanation of controls.
  • Mother Base – What it is and why it is important.
  • Things to do early – What you should focus on when you can freely pick your missions. 
  • Best tips and advice – Things to keep in mind while going through the game.

MGS V Controls

For anyone unfamiliar with the Metal Gear series, CQC (Close Quarters Combat), is just melee combat. You can use this to knock people out, throw them, grab them for interrogation, and more.

  • You have to hold the Ready Weapon button to use a weapon. You can swap weapons by pressing the quick dive button while you are readying a weapon.
    • You can also press the binoculars button to go into first-person mode if you have a weapon out.
    • This will zoom in if you are using a weapon with a scope.
  • While crouched and readying a weapon, move in a direction and press down on the movement button to roll in that direction.
  • You can zoom in multiple times with the binoculars.

Mother Base Basics

metal gear solid 5 mother base

Mother Base is your base of operations where you can research and develop several things. There is a lot to it, so check out my Complete Mother Base guide for a detailed explanation. I will tell you the basics here, though.

This base allows you to unlock more weapons and gear, upgrade weapons and gear, give intel on missions, and upgrade your support chopper, among other things. This is optional, but Mother Base will make life easier if you take the time to develop it.

  • After the intro missions, you’ll be able to send people back to Mother Base. When you send more people to base, you upgrade the level of your base. 
  • Upgrading the different facilities on the base unlocks better gear and upgrades.
  • Eventually, you’ll be able to add more platforms and expand your base.
Mother Base Resources

GMP is the currency you use to develop things in Mother Base. You get this by doing missions and finding items, such as diamonds.

Some items require more materials, such as fuel, biological materials, and metal, to make them. You can collect these in the field, either during a mission, or just free roam.

There are also several plants that you use for things like, Phantom Cigars and strengthening tranquilizer rounds.

Things to do early in MGS V

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain lets you take your time and choose how you want to play. Here are some things you should do/get early to make things easier.

  • Fulton (send people to Mother Base) as often as you can.
    • This gives your base more people to research things for you. At the beginning, getting a lot of people is most important.
    • When you start filling up the base, you can start focusing exclusively on specialists.
  • Develop items that you don’t have. Below is a list of priorities:
    • Sniper Rifle
    • C4 and/or Rocket Launcher
    • Cardboard box
    • Smoke Grenade
      • These items help greatly early on.
  • Upgrade the tranq gun and int scope.
    • Tranq gun upgrades the range, making it easier to take people down.
    • The first upgrade for the into scope adds an analyzer. This lets you scan people to see their ranks and any special skills so you can send the best back to base.
  • Do side ops.
    • You’ll be tempted to complete several main missions to see more story and unlock more features, but building up your base helps out a ton in the long run.

metal gear solid 5 side ops

  • Interrogate the enemy.
    • It is good to take enemies out, but interrogation helps more at times.
    • This can give you more info on enemies, give locations to blueprints or items, and clear out areas by having your hostage call for backup.


  • Don’t underestimate the power of the cardboard box.
    • This gives you more sneak freedom. If you’re careful, you can sneak around out in the open. 
    • It is also good for luring patrols away to take them down out of sight.
  • Use supply drops.
    • If you ever run out of ammo or use up your suppressor, you can just call in a new one. This makes sure you can stay stealthy, or keep ammo, the whole mission.
  • Lure the enemy.
    • Sometimes places are too heavily guarded. Lure 1 or 2 people away by using the knock command, throwing your infinite supply of empty magazines, or getting otherwise creative.
  • Destroy communication equipment.
    • This prevents the enemy from calling backup and makes nearby landing zones safe.
  • Try to mix things up.
    • The A.I. in this game adapts to everything you do. If you do missions at night, expect more lights. If you get a bunch of head shots, the enemy will start wearing helmets
    • You’ll make your life easier if you diversify tactics to make adapting harder for the enemy.

That’s all for my Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Beginner’s Tips and Tricks. Let me know if you have any questions, or helpful tips of your own.

About the author


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 (