Home Gaming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – S-Rank guide

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – S-Rank guide

3 min read


By now, you’re more than familiar with Afghanistan in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Your Mother Base is expanding nicely, Diamond Dog is all grown up and you all owe me 50 cents whenever you mention something “D” in the game, because I have a copyright on that consonant.

But if you really want to establish yourself as the biggest of bosses in Metal Gear Solid V, you need to be able to finish a mission with the highest score possible, the S-Rank. And that ain’t easy. Getting an S-Rank involves patience, skill and understanding your environment. As well as several other factors. Let’s hit the list.

Mission Completion Time


Pretty much self-explanatory and the most obvious points-earner here. Completing a mission is just one thing, but doing so fluidly and as quickly as possible? That’s how you earn points baby. Ignore side objectives if you can, and just power on through like a stealthy snake in the night.

Additional Mission Objectives


On the other hand Darryn, you can also pick up points towards your S-rank, by deviating from the path and tackling an optional mission or two. You don’t have to engage in these objectives, but completing them with time to spare can yield bonus points.

First time’s the charm


If you can get into a groove, flow through a mission and finish it without any restarts or checkpoints, that S-Rank is yours. Of course to do so will require a ton of practice, skill and luck. Lots and lots of luck, I cannot stress this enough. And possibly alcohol to get you through that perfect run.

Reflex Mode


Reflex Mode is essentially Spider-sense for Snake. It’s a last-second ability that’ll slow the world down and allow you to quickly get rid of any enemy who has spotted you. But it’s also a crutch, and an optional one at that. Entering Reflex Mode may save your skin, but it’ll also cost you the bonus points needed for your S-Rank score. It’s easily rectified however. Just turn it off in the options screen. If you’re brave enough that is.



Big Boss may be the greatest soldier who ever lived, but that’s because he knew when to fight and when to hide. Metal Gear Solid games have always prioritised stealth over brute force, and The Phantom Pain is no different. While you’ll lose points ever time you are spotted, you’ll also lose rank every time you take damage.

Simply put, the easiest way to earn big points towards your S-Rank is not to be seen at all and by not killing any enemies if possible. Stealth is easily the biggest factor in determining that, so stick to the shadows.



They aren’t just a part of your mission, but another method of gauging rank. Each hostage saved in the game earns you big rank points. Go get ‘em.



Always, always interrogate an enemy before you stun them. Points!



Like I mentioned above, try not to kill anyone. You’ll earn more points by simply stunning an opponent, than you would by shouting YOLO and bum-rushing them with bullets. Accuracy also plays a key role, so make every shot count as the game factors in your marksmanship as well.

Every enemy you mark, also tallies up more points in your favour. Whip your binoculars out, and start marking your territory like a Diamond Dog with a full bladder.

Last Updated: September 10, 2015


  1. It saddens me that the AI falls for that box with the lady stuck on it trick.


    • Nick de Bruyne

      September 10, 2015 at 19:23

      Metal Gear has never forgotten that its a video game, and thats why I think it has so much charm!


    • WitWolfy

      September 11, 2015 at 08:09

      We’re talking the Metal Gear universe here… Where supernatural is the norm and every girl is a tease. What did you expect?


      • VampyreSquirrel

        September 11, 2015 at 08:26

        I wouldn’t know what to expect to be honest, I think I’ve played 5 minutes of a Metal Gear game on a PS1. 🙂


        • WitWolfy

          September 11, 2015 at 08:57

          Well to be fair that was the best Metal Gear in the series IMO… That and MGS 3.


          • kcufoturan

            October 21, 2015 at 19:56

            all of them are amazing in their own aspect…for me this how i would highlight the games

            mgs 1 – storyline
            mgs 2 – design/mgs elements
            mgs 3 – mechanics
            mgs 4 – graphics
            mgs 5 – gameplay

    • Will

      September 17, 2015 at 00:17

      Thank God they nailed the realism with your sniper buddy’s ‘tactical uniform’.


  2. HairyEwok

    September 10, 2015 at 16:18

    I can proudly say after finishing episode 25 that I have the total amount of 2 S ranks. The intro and where you get quiet XD


    • oVg NOT SURE IF...

      September 10, 2015 at 16:23

      I think that heavy box explains Quiets vacant look 😛


    • WitWolfy

      September 11, 2015 at 08:08

      Like wise… Thank you supply drops!


  3. oVg NOT SURE IF...

    September 10, 2015 at 16:21

    lol Everybody in Angola is an evil Afrikaner. I love interrogating them only to have Ocelot keep telling me that I need to find an Afrikaans interpreter.

    lol I nearly got spotted but D-Dog distracted the merc, he shouted “VOETSAK!!!” I laughed my balls off 🙂


    • WitWolfy

      September 11, 2015 at 08:11

      Yea I just wanted to call up Ocelot and be like.. “Chill bra, I got DIS… Sker!”


    • HairyEwok

      September 11, 2015 at 11:36

      The afrikaans in the game is golden. You should take your binocs out and listen to a conversation between 2 afrikaners. Classic stuff, swearing words and all.


      • oVg NOT SURE IF...

        September 11, 2015 at 11:51

        I love their shorts. I thought the hunter in Jurassic park was the only one able to make them look cool lol


  4. GooseZA

    September 10, 2015 at 16:23

    This game is awesome. I just want DDog to grow up now so I can use him in missions! (only done 4)


    • oVg NOT SURE IF...

      September 10, 2015 at 16:25

      D-Dog is cool. He spots enemies and plants 100 meters away for you, no need for the camera. As for D-Dogs knife 🙂


      • WitWolfy

        September 11, 2015 at 08:07

        I like D-Dog much better than Quiet. Sometimes she helps and other times she doesnt. WTF?


        • oVg NOT SURE IF...

          September 11, 2015 at 08:43

          Im not sure if she has a certain ammo count or if it is just part of the relationship. She just goes missing for like 5 minutes. But if you get her level up and give her a powerful gun with the cover me option she kicks ass.

          She saved my 6 last night, the screen was covered in red, I turned around to face the concealed Afrikaner to watch his head explode 🙂


          • WitWolfy

            September 11, 2015 at 08:56

            For all we know he would’ve voted for DA… What a loss….

        • HairyEwok

          September 11, 2015 at 11:34

          Quiet is amazing when you need to put out threats that you cant otherwise kill (I’m looking at you little african kids with deadly AK’s)


          • WitWolfy

            September 11, 2015 at 11:51

            I would’ve guessed that would lead to a mission failed screen. Cool I’ll use her to kill those little glue sniffing bastards.

  5. Kabal

    September 14, 2015 at 23:52

    I got my first S rank today. Admittedly I retried by choice 2 or 3 times, but I was still happy 😀


    • Geoffrey Tim

      September 15, 2015 at 08:13

      Congrats! 🙂


      • Kabal

        September 15, 2015 at 14:46

        Thanks! Although like I said I retried a few times, so by the last time I knew exactly where to go.


  6. Hitchslapped

    October 4, 2015 at 21:33

    Is there any point in getting an s rank for a mission other than seeing a big yellow S for like 1 second in the briefing screen??


  7. mimi

    October 8, 2015 at 19:05

    Haven’t got my s rank yet. Will try to redo episode 8. I got an E btw. I don’t quite get how the rating system goes. Maybe because I take up too much time. I always stun the enemies and attach some parachutes on them. I seldom kill, I go all out when worse comes to worse tho.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Stealthy assassin game Aragami 2 launches in September

You don’t get many of these true stealth games anymore, so if you’re the fan of an underap…