Welcome to Metal Gear Solid 5 - On The Trail, the 19th main story mission of the game, following on from Blood Runs Deep.

On The Trail Mission checklist:

  • Identified subordinate of the PF commander, the Major
  • Identified the PF commander, the Major
  • Eliminated the PF commander, the Major
  • Extracted the PF commander, the Major
  • Extracted the subordinate of the PF commander, the Major
  • Extracted prisoner being held at Munoko ya Nioka Station, NE Guard Post
  • Listened to the conversation between the PF commander (the Major) and his subordinate

Once you've waved goodbye to Mother Base and returned to the air, pull up your mission list and select 19-On The Trail. Set your Landing Zone to the south-east of Ditadi Abandoned Village, choose D-Horse as your buddy and pack a sniper rifle if you don't have one on you already. Finally, set the Drop Time to 0600 and commence the mission.

It seems that your Intel Team has learned of a local PF commander, known as the Major, attempting to sell nuclear weapons in the area. To put a stop to the Major's plans, you'll need to locate and tail a subordinate, eliminating your target once the two convene.

On The Trail: Locate the subordinate and tail them to the guard post

As soon as you land, head south-west toward the yellow objective marker. Once you arrive at your destination, seek out higher ground (there's a steep slope nearby on the left, overlooking the guard post to the south-west), activate your binoculars and scan the area for hostiles.

Immediately locate the jeep in the centre of guard post and wait as four men climb inside. One of these men wears a light brown shirt (and doesn't have a helmet) - zoom in close and scan him. This soldier, as you might have guessed, is the subordinate you need to tail.

Once the vehicle begins to move, mount D-Horse and begin heading south-east, riding along the hillside as it follows the main road below. Continue south-east, tracking the vehicle from your higher vantage point. When you spot the first guard post ahead, pull away from the road (to avoid detection) and continue onward, keeping an eye on your target.

A little while later, after the road bends sharply to the north-east and the hillside sinks down to ground level, you'll reach a second outpost. Your target comes to a halt here so move away from the road and dismount to the west of the vehicle's stopping point.

Follow the subordinate to the rendezvous point

Move in on your target (keeping watch for hostiles in the area) and head east toward the main road. By this point, the subordinate will likely have left his vehicle and started moving on-foot. Duck behind the long row of buildings to the south of the road and stay close to your target. Soon, he'll board a second vehicle in the area and continue his journey north-east. Immediately mount D-Horse again and tail the new vehicle.

Once you've left the guard post, follow the road along as turns right and begins climbing a steep hill. Slow to a trot as the road bends gently to the north-west - up ahead, the target's vehicle will stop once more and its passengers will disembark, walking east into the undergrowth.

Locate the Major

As soon as the vehicle stops, locate the huge hill immediately south-east of its position on the right-hand side of the road. Quickly make your way to the top then drop to a crawl. Approach the highest point of the hill to the north and you'll find yourself overlooking the rendezvous point below. Just to the east of the two stationary jeeps, you'll see the subordinate approach a second man wearing sunglasses. Zoom in on his face with your binoculars and scan him in - this man is the 'Major' that you seek.

Your next task, then, is to eliminate the Major without being spotted. If you want to kill him, you can easily do so with your sniper rifle. However, for the purposes of this walkthrough (and to complete a hidden objective), we'll attempt to infiltrate the area and extract the Major and his subordinate. You'll be making judicious use of your tranquilliser gun in the next section - so, if your suppressor is nearly spent, airlift a new one in before continuing.

Need help with The Phantom Pain? Our Metal Gear Solid 5 guide and walkthrough explains how to complete every main story mission, and explains their many optional objectives. We also have lists of Blueprint locations, Tape locations, Key Item locations, how to unlock S Ranks and a Metal Gear Solid 5 Achievement and Trophy list.

Eliminate the Major and his subordinate

When your preparations are complete, carefully make your way down the hill to the north-east and locate the two soldiers keeping watch a short distance from the rendezvous point - bring them down before continuing. Next, approach your two main targets (keeping low and sticking to the undergrowth) and quickly take them out with a tranquilliser to the head. Note that you'll complete another hidden mission objective if you sit tight and listen to their entire conversation first.

Once your targets are down, the remaining guards in the area will come to investigate. Remain stationary and pick them off one-by-one with your tranquilliser gun as they approach and attempt to resuscitate their fallen comrades. When the final hostile goes down, run around and Fulton everyone - including your targets, of course - out of the area.

Escape the Hot Zone

All that's left to do now is escape the Hot Zone - simply run south-east until you leave the area. Once the mission debrief is over, you'll automatically return to Mother Base where Huey will reveal his new Battle Gear. This machine, designed to counter the enemy Walkers out in the field, will begin development shortly after the cutscene ends. Summon your chopper and leave Mother Base, ready for your next mission.

- For the rest of our Metal Gear Solid 5 walkthrough, head back to the index page of this article.

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Matt Wales

Matt Wales


Matt Wales is a freelance writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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