After playing the other MGS games you may be surprised to know that MGSV does not feature difficulty settings when you first start the game. Do not panic! Once you progress further then you will unlock harder missions with different mission requirements such as Total Stealth which will end as soon as you are discovered. These missions are hard and even a die-hard MGS fan will feel challenged. There is also a way to make the game easier if you prefer to just enjoy the story.

How to make MGSV easier

If you find the game too hard then you can equip the chicken hat. This hat makes it harder for enemies to see you. As a trade off, you cannot earn a higher mission rating than A. You can equip the chicken hat by going into Game Settings from the Main Menu. You will also be offered this hat if you fail a mission several times in a row.

How to make MGSV harder

You can choose not to play with Reflex Mode (which gives you a few seconds to react after being discovered). This makes the game much more like the originals and a lot less forgiving to mistakes! You will earn a mission bonus for completing it without Reflex Mode.

You can also choose to turn off markers. This prevents you from marking an enemy and then always knowing where that enemy is patrolling to. Having markers is like having a wall-hack in that you can always see the location of your target once you have marked him. To disable markers go to Options>display settings and turn markers from on to off. Here you can also choose to remove the aiming reticule and other HUD options to make your game harder and more immersive.

What different mission difficulty modes are there?

Total Stealth: Mission ends upon being discovered.

Extreme: Difficulty increased, enemies are harder to take down and deal more damage. No reflex mode or chicken hat allowed.

Subsistence: Dropped in with no items. Must procure everything onsite.