MGSV: Phantom Pain Enemies Response System, Defense, Vehicles Guide

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Understanding Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain enemies response system, combat, defense and vehicles. In order to plan your infiltrations and mission carefully, you’ll need to educate yourself of how enemies will respond and how defense works in the game.

For more help on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, read our Max Bonding Guide, Specialists Locations, Heroism Guide and Interpreters Locations Guide.

MGSV: Phantom Pain Enemies Response System, Defense, and Vehicles

Enemies in MGSV are complex, because there are various features and systems tied directly to them. Be it your average guard or an enemy gunship, each type of enemy can go through alterations to counter your tactics, which is why tackling different enemies in different ways is usually advised.

This guide will help you do exactly that, covering just about everything you need to know about the various types of enemies you’ll face in the game, and what to expect from them.

Response System

In Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, enemies are not static; they are tied to a special feature called the “Response System”. This is a very gradual process that makes enemies adapt to specific tactics that you are using in a plausible and natural manner.

System not only makes the game more challenging as your progress, but forces (and encourages) players to change their tactics and tackle enemies in a new way.

Thankfully, this highly intriguing system is measurable, and in fact visible to you on your iDroid. You can view it as a small set of six icons on the map. One icon is of the Fulton Balloon, followed by a Helmet, Camera, Pistol, Crescent Moon, and Target Reticule.

Fulton Response
Shows the enemy’s awareness of your frequent use of Fulton Device for extraction.

Helmet (Headshot Response)
Shows enemy’s awareness of your frequent ability to take headshots.

Camera (Covert Actions)
Shows enemy’s awareness of your ability to neutralize enemies and/or capture outposts without being detected.

Pistol (Combat Response)
Shows enemy’s awareness of your ability to capture/eradicate outposts during Alert or Combat Statuses.

Crescent Moon (Nighttime Response)
Shows enemy’s awareness of your frequent use of nighttime for missions.

Target Reticule (Sniper Response)
Shows enemy’s awareness of your frequent use of long-ranged weaponry for neutralization.

When the response system isn’t in function (only really happens very early in the game), all six of these icons will be greyed out. However, as you progress further into the game and complete additional missions, certain icons will turn white, followed by light red, and finally dark red.

These change in colors indicate how highly aware an enemy is of the respective tactics.

For example, when the Nighttime Response is at Grey, enemies will take minimum measurements during darkness as they will not be aware of your night operations.

However, frequent night missions will result in this penultimately turning light red, which indicates enemies are aware of your nighttime operations and are taking evasive maneuvers.

These evasive maneuvers become more severe when the icon becomes dark red, which will result in enemies taking highest measures possible to prevent a specific tactic.

The evasive actions taken by enemies varies for every response.

Fulton Response
Low Level Response: Enemies will pop balloons of your Fulton extractions after a brief delay.
High Level Response: Enemies will pop balloons of your Fulton extractions immediately when they see them happening.

Headshot Response
Low Level Response: Some soldiers will be equipped with helmets
High Level Response: Almost all soldiers will be equipped with helmets.

Covert Actions
Low Level Response: Soldiers will start to use mines, decoys, and cameras in outposts
High Level Response: Soldiers wake up more quickly from Stun/Sleep and use mines, decoys, cameras more efficiently.

Combat Response
Low Level Response: Soldiers are equipped with better weapons and armor to counter your assaults
High Level Response: Number of soldiers greatly increases, and they get heavy-damaging weapons which they use with aggression. Additionally, reinforcements are quicker and more substantial.

Nighttime Response
Low Level Response: Some soldiers start using flashlights and night-vision goggles.
High Level Response: Almost all soldiers begin using flashlights and night-vision goggles.

Sniper Response
Low Level Response: Snipers with bolt-action rifles are diploid to counter your long-ranged weaponry
High Level Response: Snipers with semi-automatic rifles are diploid to counter your long-ranged weaponry.

In addition to this, two additional Responses are observed for excessive use of Vehicles and Smoke/Sleeping Gas. As you begin to use more vehicles and are spotted, enemies will start to use rockets, and in severe cases even guided missiles. For Sleeping Gas, enemies will equip themselves with Gas masks.

Enemy Detection

Enemies in MGSV are able to detect you either visually or from hearing. Each type of enemy has a specific visual range, but hearing is primarily affected by your stance and actions.

Visual Range
Enemy visual ranges vary according to their equipment, environment, and what they’re doing. Enemy visual range is shaped in a wide 120 degrees cone, so you can safely approach them from the back so long as you are not making much noise.

Generally, in clear sight and plain ground snipers have the largest range, and can detect you from 200 meters away.

Standard guards on the other hand only grow suspicious if you are standing while 70 meters away from them. Crouching and moving decreases this to 45 meters, and crawling limits it to 20 meters.

The threshold for all stances for standard guards is 10 meters, which results in instant detection if you are in their visual cone.

When guards are busy having conversations, their visual range is immediately decreased to 10 meters. However, this does not mean you can run in a full sprint 11 meters away from them without causing suspicion, as their audio range remains unaffected.

Your best friend to greatly reducing audio/visual ranges are natural weather changes such as sandstorms and mist clouds. These reduce visual range of all kinds of enemies to 10 meters.

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