Metal Gear Survive Open Beta – The Missing Tutorial

As I wrote earlier this week, Metal Gear Survive deserves to be given a chance, and the currently running open beta is the perfect opportunity for the game to show what it brings to the table, even if it’s not a traditional Metal Gear game. It’s an odd spin-off, but it can be fun once you get into the swing of things.

Problem is that the beta doesn’t really do much of anything to help introduce people to the game. It simply drops you right into the co-op mode without having had the single player story mode to introduce you to the survivalist concepts and let you prepare your character. Not only that, but it’s pretty light on the tutorials, letting you fend for yourselves.

It’s alright though, because we’ve got your back with this missing tutorial, if you will.


Ready up in the staging area

You want to jump straight into a mission, right? Get some zombie killing done, yeah? Think again, kiddo. If you hop into Metal Gear Survive for the first time without preparing yourself, you’ll just be running around with no gear and no idea what you’re doing.

The grey expanse of the staging area has a number of stations that you’ll likely want to use between matches. First things first, make sure you’ve actually got the best equipment you can have by visiting the Repository. Here you can change equipment, manage possessions, edit your loadout, and more.

It’s a deceptive menu system because each equipment slot is then filtered into tabs. Under Primary Weapons and your Primary: Back slot you have a spear, sledgehammer, and bow & arrow under separate tabs that you shift between using the shoulder buttons. This is especially true under Gadgets, where you have four empty slots that you want to fill with fences, spiked barricades, molotov cocktails, landmines, and machine gun emplacements among others.

This is all so, so easy to miss, so spend time trying to find every nook and cranny of the Repository so that you’ve got everything.

How to use your equipment in battle

Metal Gear Solid V had an odd control scheme in places. This remains the case in Metal Gear Survive. The HUD next to your character’s butt features a three segmented active inventory. The left square is triggered by holding the left shoulder button, the right square with the right and your equipped weapon is in the middle, which you use by holding left trigger to aim and right trigger to attack. That’s true of both melee and ranged weapons, as right trigger simple does a CQC attack.

You can cycle through your inventory with the D-Pad, tapping right to switch through the right hand group of gadgets, but hold that button and you’ll have an item wheel pop up, letting you pick what you want to use directly with the right stick.

Keep yourself fed and watered

You have various personal stats to worry about in Metal Gear Survive, with your character having a hunger and thirst level. These are important because they affect your maximum health and stamina respectively, so filling up on grub and gulping down water is a pretty good idea. If you don’t and let your thirst get too much, your vision will slowly close in and darken, and you’ll stagger around slowly.

Health and stamina recharge over time when drained, but beware that you certain damage and ailments will stop your health regenerating. Those wounds will heal slowly by themselves, or have a particular medical item that can remove the issue.

Pick a mission and team up with others

What we have in the beta is the co-op multiplayer side of the game. There’s a whole single player story mode in the full game, and this is meant to be played with others as opposed to going it alone. The Accept Mission menu lets you pick from three Salvage missions – one Easy and two Medium difficulty – but if you’re on you lonesome, do yourself a favour and pick the Quick Match option.

Each mission in the beta has you seeing off three waves of creatures while trying to defend the Wormhole Digger. The better you do at this, the more Iris Energy you earn, and the better ranking you’ll get, resulting in greater rewards.

Set up your digger’s defences

First things first, you need to get to the Wormhole Digger and set up defences. You can take your time during this stage, because you’ve got five minutes before the digger automatically starts and the first wave of zombie-like creatures come at you. Spend that time wisely.

New players can scout out the area, find the crafting benches tucked in corners so that you can turn wood into fences on site, and so on. You can also place various defences, such as fences, sandbag barricades, and mines. There’s obvious choke-points and entrances to block, while you scope out the high ground.

Spot incoming attacks on the minimap

Blocking all the entrances is a good plan, as enemies can come from all directions, but each wave focusses them down particular paths. The minimap shows every possible route they can take, but once a wave has started, it will narrow it down to just those that enemies will follow. Use this to place the more specific defences like machine guns and mines in the right place for the upcoming onslaught.

Pop a Revival Pill if you’re downed

Nobody wants to be revived and then be almost as useless as they were when they were dead. You can get Revival Pills that will restore you to full health and stamina, filling your tummy and quenching your thirst.

Revival Pills are awarded as a log in bonus during the beta, and can be found in the suppository Repository.

Conserve your resources (if you can)

You’ve only got so many bullets, arrows, mines, fences, and your weapons very gradually degrade over time. You don’t want to overdo it, in other words, and you’ve generally got time to plan your defences effectively so you don’t waste what you’ve got. Thankfully, these co-op missions are pretty generous with the raw materials with which to craft gear when you get back to the staging area.

Hold out until the end of the wave!

You don’t need to kill all the creatures, you just need to survive until the end of the wave, at which point a blast of energy will come from the digger and wipe them all out. The overall goal is to prevent the digger from taking damage and being destroyed, so if you run out of bullets, building a bunch of barricades to keep the creatures away might help you reach the end of the wave and get a little time to recuperate.

Boost your Iris Energy with Side Missions and explore the map

While most of you will need to defend the main digger, side missions can pop up in the rest of the map. These can be as simple as heading out to grab a box, while avoiding a particularly nasty Detonator creature – I’ll leave it to your imagination as to what they do.

It’s also worth exploring the map as a whole, because you can find Walker Gears tucked away near some heavily armoured creatures to the south west of the Wrecked Base map. Let me tell you that having a mobile machine gun makes life so much easier!

Level up with Kuban Energy

Complete a mission, whether a rousing success or a dismal failure, and the Iris Energy earned will be turned into Treasure Boxes that drop out of wormholes. Grabbing these will stock you up with tons of raw materials, gear, weapon blueprints and more.

You’ll also earn a bunch of Kuban Energy, which is what you need in order to use the character upgrade section in the staging area and level up your soldier. For each level you go up you get a point that can be used to unlock various skills, whether it’s a kerb stomp for downed enemies, a charging melee attack, or simply boosting health, stamina and other stats. You’ll also want to try and level up in order to be a better match for the harder missions; you start at level 10, but the toughest in the beta is recommended for level 20.

That’s all for this guide and hopefully that’s enough info to give you a leg up in the Metal Gear Survive open beta. If you’re playing it, let us know in the comments below how you’re finding things.

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I'm probably wearing toe shoes, and there's nothing you can do to stop me!


  1. Hey wait a minute .. “you need to get to the Wormhole Digger and set up defences”..

    Oh dear, now i can’t get it out of my mind that it’s essentially a tower defence game. I’ve already downloaded it so i might still try it over the wknd.

    • Weeeeeeell… that’s not far off what the co-op missions are.

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