Whether you wanted it or not, Konami has made a new Metal Gear game, but this isn’t a theatrical espionage story experience like your usual Kojima-driven MGS games. Metal Gear Survive is a survival-focused, base building game with zombies, monsters and co-op horde battles. It’s a big departure from Metal Gear Solid V, so if you’re a just stepping in and not sure what to do, we’ve got some pointers to make sure you can live up to the legacy of Big Boss.
Eat Everything, Even That Tree Frog!
One of the biggest changes that Survive makes to the core MGS experience is the addition of survival game hunger and thirst meters – the hint really is in the title. Your hunger and thirst meters both deplete at a constant, but not too rapid rate. The lower your hunger meter, the lower your maximum amount of health. Likewise, the lower your thirst meter goes, the less maximum stamina you have. These will be one of your biggest challenges in the early-game, so it’s important to prioritize taking care of them before anything else.
Scattered around the world of Metal Gear Survive are locations where you can obtain a variety of foods like berries and vegetables, as well as packs of animals you can hunt to get meat from. Pockets of dirty lake water exist that you can fill empty bottles with, but you can also find clean bottles of water in certain locations.
Consuming raw meat or dirty water will refill a little bit of your meters, but it’ll also put you at risk of contracting an illness – don’t worry about this too much if you’re desperate, though. To most effectively maintain your hunger and thirst, you’ll need to bring your nasty goods to a campfire in order to cook and, once you’ve upgraded it, boil them. Having a stockpile of cooked food and purified water will help you stay on top of your survival meters.
Fill Yer Pockets
In Metal Gear Survive, practically everything you use or equip will be the product of crafting. Weapons, defenses, nourishment, funky hats; they all need to be made at their respective crafting benches. Crafting requires resources though, so you need to make sure you’re grabbing anything you can find when you’re out in the world.
Raw resources are mostly generic materials like iron, wood, clay, and more. You’ll see lootable materials strewn all over the world, with a slight white shimmer highlighting them to let you know you can grab them. Sometimes, though, you’ll have to break it before you can grab it. Large tables or oil barrels need to be destroyed in order to claim their base components. The same goes for the strange red crystalline flowers you encounter. Destroying these gives you Kuban crystals, the currency required for almost all the crafting you do in Survive.
Stuff your inventory whenever possible, but be careful. You have a weight limit, and exceeding that will make you unable to sprint until you lighten your load.
Become a Master of Crafting
Once you’ve got the right materials, you’ll need to figure out how to use them. You have to craft any weapons you use, and a lot of weapons require you to discover or earn blueprints for them before you can make them. You’ll be discovering new and interesting weapon schematics constantly when exploring the world, so don’t be afraid to experiment and try new weapon types out.
Don’t forget to strengthen and repair your existing weapons as you progress in the game if you’re attached to it, though. Additionally, once you get access to ranged weapons such, it’s a smart idea to craft yourself a stockpile of extra ammunition. Ammo is pretty scarce out in the wilderness, so better safe than sorry.
Metal Gear Solid V had a huge amount of new systems and mechanics in it that even veteran players might have needed time to understand. Survive is built off the framework of MGSV, so almost all of those mechanics return, but there are plenty of mechanics like melee and crafting that have been greatly expanded on top of that. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a huge amount of new mechanics and systems to wrap your head around with the big genre shift of Survive.
The opening hours of Survive’s campaign introduce you to a lot of the important mechanics one-by-one, and ease you into a lot of what you need to know. If you forget how to do a certain thing or you want to read up on advanced tactics, you can open your iDroid to skim through the database. Hit the pause button on the right side of the touchpad, go to your Personal tab, then navigate to Database, and finally Tutorials. This will give you a massive index of tutorial items on every single mechanic the game has to offer.
Don’t Keep Side Missions on the Side
Throughout the campaign, you’ll see numerous blue circles pop up on your map alongside the larger, yellow circles that indicate main story missions. These blue indicators mark side quests, and while they’re optional, they should not be ignored. Side quests will provide you with new gear, extra resources, and valuable blueprints. When you’re first starting out, you don’t have a lot of stuff, so doing these side quests will beef up your arsenal and help you tackle the rest of what Survive has to offer.
Love Your Base Camp
When you first start Metal Gear Survive, you’ll find yourself situated in a shoddy, run-down base of operations that literally got spat out of a wormhole. While there isn’t a lot going on there in the beginning, it has the potential to be just as big and bustling as your base in MGSV was, as long as you put the work in to make it that way.
As you gather resources, you can use them to create or upgrade the various facilities that make up your Base Camp. New facilities will give you access to advanced items and equipment, even letting you farm crops and keep captured animals. You should also make sure to optimize the layout of the camp and set up some defenses to keep it secure from enemy assaults later in the game.
Watch Your Oxygen
Landing on this world called Dite, you’re initially restricted to a pretty small pocket of the world that’s surrounded by a poisonous fog. You’ll need an oxygen tank to even survive in this smog, and that puts a limit on how long you can spend there exploring and trying to activate the teleporters that will free these areas from the fog and open up fast travel in the world.
Get Harder, Get Faster, Get Better, Get Stronger!
Metal Gear Survive has levels and skill points, but don’t expect any Final Fantasy stat screens when you’re ready to level up. Growing your character requires you to spend Kuban energy at a Skill terminal on your own time. Pump enough Kuban into the terminal and you’ll level up, which on top of expanding your stats, also gives you a skill point. There’s a variety of skills and upgrade paths to explore with your character in Survive, with each path catering to a different style of play. These learnable skills can seriously make or break you, so make sure you level up, and often.
Team up with Other Survivors
Once you’ve got to grips with the game in single player, heading online to play the co-op defence mode is a great way to boost your character and unlock new weapons and resources for your character. Missions you take on and the difficulty of the enemies are tied to character level, so you can either go for something easy or take on a challenge a few levels higher than you. Either way, successfully defending the Wormhole Digger from the waves of creature is well worth the effort, and even a valiant failure can pay up big.
You can catch our beginners tips and tricks for the game’s co-op here.
That’s all the tips I’m going to give you today, you’ll have to pick up and discover the rest for yourself! If you’re just waiting to see if the game is great or a travesty to the series’ legacy, then check back in the next few days for our review.