42 secrets to mastering Metal Gear Solid 4 (spoiler free)

Sid Shuman has finished Metal Gear Solid 4 twice. Here are his top strategies for mastering the game...and he won't blow any secrets!

Here are some tips and strategies to help master Metal Gear Solid 4.

Food is Life

You'll find three main healing items in Metal Gear Solid 4: Rations, Ramen Noodles, and the Regain energy drink. They all have their advantages.

1. Equip Rations during intense combat. Snake will automatically heal himself, even if he takes fatal damage, as long as you keep a health item equipped. There's a tradeoff, though: you can't equip other items when you're holding food.

2. Noodles are a godsend. Ramen noodles aren't just tasty, they're one of the best healing items in the game. The hot, delicious broth boosts Snake's Psyche meter as well as his health.

The Solid Eye

This inventory item packs in a lot of features, including motion sensors, plus optional nightvision and binocular modes.

1. The Solid Eye will locate hidden items for you. In its default vision mode, equipping the Solid Eye will highlight and identify enemies and allies, as well as nearby hidden items. If you need to scavenge for supplies, the Solid Eye is your best friend.

2. The Solid Eye makes you more vulnerable. When you equip the Solid Eye, you won't be able to automatically heal by holding Rations or food. If you're in a tough battle, drop the Solid Eye and grab a fistful of Noodles instead.

3. Nightvision will show recent footprints. Because it can see in the infrared spectrum, you'll often be able to spot enemy footprints when using the nightvision mode (highlight the Solid Eyeby holding L2, then tap Triangle).

CQC Basics

Close-quarters combat, or CQC, is effective against many human enemies in Metal Gear Solid 4. You've got to be quick, though, or you'll get a knife in the ribs.

1. You can't use CQC while holding a gun. Small one-handed weapon (pistols, grenades, knives) are fine, but hold anything bigger and you'll just shove your enemy.

2. The best CQC move is the hip toss. It's fast, silent, and reliable. Run up next to an enemy while pressing and holding R1. Snake will quickly slam the enemy to the ground, knocking him out instantly.

Stealth Basics

Though shooting will get you through most of the game, you'll encounter a few brief scenarios where stealth isn't an option but a requirement.

1. Watch your Camouflage rating. This is located in the upper-right hand corner of the screen. The higher that number is, the better; the maximum Camo rating is 100.

2. Crawl, crawl, crawl your way to stealth. Crawling on your belly (press and hold X) is the single best sneaking move in the game, and will get you through most stealth scenarios unfazed.

3. Keep an eye on your environment. Avoid light sources, sneak past threats while concealed behind objects (cars, fences, even grass), and lie perfectly still if you detect that the guards are getting suspicious.

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Sid Shuman

GamePro (online)
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