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Metal Gear is a fairly linear game; while you are free to make your own decisions about where to go, you will not be able to access many parts of the game without taking care of prior steps first. While you may not be sure about where to go next in a given moment of the game, there is usually only one course of action that is the correct choice. The challenge of the game is to figure that out.

This walkthrough has been laid out in such a way as to make it easy for you to find the section of the game that you are curious about. The pages are arranged by building and floor in most cases, along with a few outdoor sections. You are not meant to following this walkthrough in the order it is presented in the Table of Contents, or according to the order dictated by the navigation suggestions at the bottom of each page.

Rather, the game begins with the first part of the first floor of building one. When the first part concludes, the walkthrough will provide a link to the next section of the walkthrough (in this case, it would be the third floor of building one) and so on. Because you will end up visiting certain floors multiple times, those floors are broken into parts. Each part after the first contains a header indicating what steps needed to take place prior to the part in question.

While the steps required to complete the game are obligatory and may not be skipped, the order of a select few of them are optional. The walkthrough the follows is one solution to the game, designed to balance difficulty and completion time. There are faster methods of completing the game, which often require taking on more challenging sections of the game earlier, and are not recommended for beginner players.

Understanding enemy detection[edit]

Throughout the game, you will attempt to avoid enemy detection. Several actions will alert an enemy to Snake's presence, including:

  • Standing or walking directly in front of an enemy's or a camera's line of sight.
  • Moving while using a cardboard box when passing in front of an enemy's or a camera's line of sight.
  • Shooting or using a weapon which is not enhanced by the possession of the silencer option.

When any of these actions occurs, one of two modes of alert are activated. When a guard sees you, they will either show a single red exclamation point against white ( ! ) or double red exclamation points against yellow ( !! ).

Low alert[edit]

A single ! means the guards are on a low alert. All of the guards present in the room will attack you, but they will not summon backup to help them. A low alert will end when all of the guards in the room have been eliminated, or when you run to any other screen in the building, including trucks, elevators, or adjoining rooms.

High alert[edit]

Double !! means that the guards are on high alert. This will also occur whenever you are detected by a motion camera. The entire facility will be made aware of your presence, and backup security will be summoned to your location. The only way to end high alert is to stay in one place long enough to eliminate all of the security that appears and attacks you, if you enter an elevator, exit a building, or if you enter a screen where a boss fight takes place. Entering a truck, visiting a different screen, or entering an adjoining room will not end the alert, and security will follow you into your new location and attack you.