This guide will help you earn an S Rank for the mission On the Trail in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. One of the best ways to earn an S Rank for most of the missions is to get the time bonus, as this can help you earn the 130,000 points necessary for an S Rank score. We have also composed a list of the mandatory and optional objectives for the mission, but keep in mind that you don’t need to complete the optional objectives to achieve an S Rank, as it is more beneficial to focus on your the time bonus.
- Identify the subordinate of the PF commander (Optional).
- Identify the PF commander (Optional).
- Eliminated the Major (Mandatory).
- Extract the Major (Mandatory).
- Extract the Major’s subordinate (Optional).
- Extract the prisoner at Munoko ya Nioka Station (Optional).
- Listen to the conversation between the major and his subordinate (Optional).
Begin the mission by deploying at 18:00 hours to use the cover of darkness to your advantage. Drop in at the east landing zone. Make sure you equip D-Horse for faster travelling, as this will assist your time bonus.
Mount your horse and travel southeast, following the dotted line on your map to an outpost near the edge of the mission zone. Locate the building farthest southeast to find a prisoner inside. Infiltrate the building through its back window and extract the prisoner by tossing him out the window. Once outside, use your Fulton Recovery Device to ship him safely back to Mother Base. He will be a valuable asset to your crew later on, as he is a Mission Guidance Specialist. If extracting this prisoner ends up hindering your S Rank, then extract him first and attempt the S Rank on a separate playthrough where you skip this part.
If you wish to bypass extracting the prisoner, then simply head east from the landing zone to a road that snakes along the mountains. Locate a road that somewhat curves to the right, and this is where you can find the Major.
As you approach the area, you will discover a group of enemies gathered near a car. We suggest you call in a Bombardment to knock out the group with sleeping gas. Prepare to take down any remaining enemies with your tranquilizer gun. Once you have put down the whole group, proceed to quickly send each of them back to Mother Base using the Fulton Recovery Device. You can also extract the vehicles if you wish, but keep in mind that this can negatively impact your time bonus.
Once you have dealt with the Major, exfiltrate the hot zone on horseback to conclude the mission. If you finished quickly enough, you should have a time bonus that gets you very close to an S Rank, and the other modifiers such as No Retires, No Kills, and No Enemy Combat Alerts should help get you the rest of the way.