Welcome to Metal Gear Solid 5 - Footprints of the Phantoms, the 15th main story mission of the game, following on from Lingua Franca.
Footprints of the Phantoms Mission checklist:
- Eliminated all Walker Gears
- Extracted 3 prisoners being held at Ditadi Abandoned Village
- Extracted all Walker Gears
- Picked a digitalis (lutea) at Ditadi Abandoned Village
- Extracted a truck at Ditadi Abandoned Village
Before you begin your next objective, we highly recommend that you take some time to upgrade your Fulton device to Cargo Level 2. This upgrade lets you whisk much heavier items out of the mission area - and proves to be an invaluable tool during future missions.
Footprints of the Phantoms: Acquire the Fulton Cargo upgrade
Unfortunately, you'll need an R&D team level of 19 and a Support Unit team level of 16 before you can perform the Fulton upgrade. However, to sufficiently boost your team levels, you'll also need to increase staff capacity on your Mother Base platforms. Open the Base Facilities menu and order an upgrade on both the R&D and Support platforms. Be warned, however: you'll need to wait around 90 minutes (in real-time) for the work to be completed.
When construction is finished, re-assign your staff members until your R&D and Support Unit teams are at the required level. Next, commence work on the Fulton's Cargo Level 2 upgrade. Note that it will take an additional 18 real-time minutes to develop your upgrade - so hang tight!
Once your preparations are complete, select 15-Footprints of the Phantoms from your mission menu and choose the Landing Zone to the south-west of Ditadi Abandoned Village. Next, enter the Sortie Prep screen, choose Quiet as your buddy, set the drop time to 0600 and commence your mission. Note that you should pack an explosive weapon (such as C4 or the grenade launcher) if you don't have the Fulton Cargo Level 2 upgrade.
Your goal this mission is simple: eliminate all four Walker gears located within the abandoned village to the north-east. Before you get started, however, it's worth taking a moment to familiarise yourself with Quiet's skill set. From the Buddy menu, you can either send Quiet ahead to scout out areas of interest (adding the likes of enemies and prisoners to your HUD) or direct her to a sniping spot to provide cover.
Approach Ditadi Abandoned Village
When you're ready to begin, head north-east toward the abandoned village, moving in the direction of the yellow objective marker. Cross the wilderness and, eventually, you'll spy a small incline leading up to a dirt track running north-south. When the track comes into view, crouch down and proceed cautiously - several enemies patrol the area nearby.
Cross the road and climb the steep bank to the north-east. Come to a halt at the top, activate your binoculars and locate the strangely-shaped rock ahead, taking note of the small flag to its left.
Next, head down the hill (continuing on toward the objective marker) and stop as you near the main road running alongside the village. Stay low in the grass, activate your binoculars and scan the area for patrolling hostiles.
Infiltrate the village
Fortunately, the four Walkers that you seek are all clustered together nearby - situated midway up the hill ahead. To reach them, lie prone and carefully make your way toward the lone truck on the other side of the road, immediately to the left of the green tent. Unsurprisingly, the surrounding area is heavily occupied - and the steep hillside gives hostiles an excellent view of your approach. As such, you'll need to move cautiously, staying prone and remaining vigilant at all times.
Once you reach the truck, peer around the side and scope out the green tent nearby. Deal with any guards in the area then locate the raised watchtower midway up the hill. When it's safe to do so, move away from the truck and begin travelling toward the watchtower. Note that you can extract the truck by the road if your Fulton is sufficiently upgraded - this will complete a secret objective.
Locate and eliminate the first two Walker units
When you arrive at the watchtower, glance east and locate the small comms dish further up the hill. All four Walkers are situated near the dish so wind your way through the rocks and approach it from the right-hand side. Soon, you'll reach a small dirt track; the comms dish (and two tents) should be to your left, while a tent, a water tower and two Walkers lie along the road to the right.
Move carefully along the road to the right and eliminate any hostiles in the area. When it's safe to do so, approach the Walkers and immediately Fulton them out of the area. Alternatively, you can place C4 beneath them - but don't detonate it just yet!
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 remaining Walker units
Next, walk back along the dirt track toward the comms dish. Pass between the tents and swipe Ultravox's Dancing With Tears in My Eyes from the cassette player on the table. Continue forward and you'll immediately spy the remaining Walkers, situated just to the right of the sandbags.
Fulton these final two targets back to Mother Base then set about escaping the Hot Zone. Sprint down the hill to the north-east and continue onward until the mission is complete. Alternatively, if you're using C4 to destroy the Walkers, plant the explosives beneath your targets then descend the hill to the north-east. At the bottom, detonate your explosives then leg it out of the Hot Zone.
Once you've successfully exfiltrated the area, you'll receive the Quiet  cassette tape as a reward for your efforts. With the debrief over, summon a chopper and return to the air.
- Keep reading for our guide to completing Traitor's Caravan, the next mission in the game.
- For the rest of our Metal Gear Solid 5 walkthrough, head back to the index page of this article.