How to get easy S-ranks in Metal Gear Solid V
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was just released last week, and I've noticed that some people are struggling with getting good ranks on missions. However, I have found what I think is the perfect way to get S-rank on all of your missions and maintain stealth even early in the game.
*THIS ARTICLE MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS*
1. Start your missions at 1800 hours.
I watched my roommate play The Phantom Pain the other day. His loadout was nearly the same as mine, but he kept failing mission 18, where you must locate and rescue child soldiers that are being held captive in an African mine. I later did the same mission and got an S-rank on my first try. Why? While I'd like to believe that I am just better than him, it was because I set my deployment time to 1800, just before dusk. This provides a short amount of time for the sun to set, allowing you to complete the rest of the mission at night. Now your chances of being seen are significantly lower, other than when you come across a guard with night-vision goggles.
Yes, even the wolves must be extracted
2. Fulton is your friend
Sometimes it is difficult to hide bodies of foes that you knock out or kill. Why waste time and risk getting seen when you can just have a magic balloon take them far away from the mission area? Of course, this can be risky as guards who are too close to you may notice that a giant balloon just kidnapped their friend, so use it wisely.
3. Take advantage of the reflex system
See those two guards around that corner? Wouldn't it be nice if you could take them out at the same time? Here is a solution: let them see you. It's much easier to hit a target in slow motion than real-time, so take advantage of this mechanic and let one of them see you. While the guard is in shock and in slow motion, use your tranqilizer gun, riot smg, or any other side arm to take them out at the same time. You can use this ability an unlimited amount of times, as long as you don't alert the enemies by being seen. In fact, it's possible to pick off every enemy using this system without "alerting" them.
4. More headshots = higher score
I was quite annoyed when I played the mission to acquire Huey Emmerich and got a D-rank. I completed the mission with complete stealth, was relatively quick, and never alerted the enemies, so I was very confused why I got such a low score. I learned why: I was not aggressive enough. I did not interrogate enough enemies. I was used to classic stealth games that rewarded you for not coming into contact with the enemy at all. In The Phantom Pain, you don't necessarily have to be stealthy to get an S-rank. Although alerting enemies and being seen takes a good chunk out of your final score, you can make up for this by popping as many melons as you can before the mission is over. If you want to do this with stealth, however, you can easily do this with the riot smg and tranqilizer rifle.
The most important thing: choose the right tools for the job
5. Moving slow is not always the answer
When you begin your mission at night, you can afford to run a little faster near enemy outposts. The enemy AI is not as hyper-aware as you might think. As long as you are 200 or so feet away from them, you can be sprinting full speed, and they will not see you, this allows you to complete the mission as efficiently as possible.
While The Phantom Pain is a challenging game, there are certainly ways to get a feel for how NPC's will react to your actions. By taking the initiative and engaging them before they engage you, you can easily S-rank any mission.