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Metal Gear Online is the online multiplayer iteration of the popular Metal Gear series, packed standard with every numbered title since Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence. Each new release has brought upon a new iteration of the game, each to usurp the last. It was first introduced on the PlayStation 2, when it came packaged with Subsistence. After the initial version closed shop in 2007, its successor, also titled Metal Gear Online, released alongside Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. After a short lifespan plagued with hackers and DDoSes, it too closed shop in 2012 (the patch that removed it replacing it with an option to install all five acts of the singleplayer game to combat the Loads and Loads of Loading between them), and was followed by the third iteration of the game, Metal Gear Online, packaged alongside Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The PSP games Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (disappeared in 2012) and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (and its HD console port - both of which, bizarrely, are still online) also had their own versions.

    Subsistence Metal Gear Online 
Subsistence's version of Metal Gear Online was featured in the second disc of Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence. It allowed up to 8 players to compete in tournament style game modes. Players took control of enemy soldiers from Snake Eater (namely from the KGB, GRU and Ocelot Unit), as they fought with a variety of weapons, including primary weapons (Skorpion, AK-47, M37, Dragunov, or more), secondary weapons (M1911 or Mk 22), and support weapons (grenades, claymores... porno magazines?). Players could even choose their own background music from previous Metal Gear titles. Unique characters could also be used, such as Ocelot, Sokolov, Raikov, and, oddly, Reiko Hinomoto from Rumble Roses (in both regular and "Rowdy Reiko" forms).

This incarnation of MGO did contain a slew of problems (like the MGS3 play mechanics not really being compatible with competitive multiplayer, faulty net-code, etc), but it has earned a cult following, and there is even an online community that preserved it through unofficial servers thanks to emulation long after its shutdown in 2007.

Game Modes:

  • Deathmatch: Exactly as it is. Unlike standard deathmatch rules, there is no established kill cap. Instead, the players simply must score the most kills before the timer runs out. The leading player is painted for the rest of the players, making that leading player an easy target.
  • Team Deathmatch: Instead of a kill cap, both teams have life tickets that count down for every character who dies. Those with the most life tickets when time expires, or who has depleted the opposing team's life tickets, is the winner.
  • Capture Mission: Similar to capture the flag, and perhaps Oddball from the Halo games. Both teams must compete for both the KEROTAN and GA-KO objects. They must take at least one of them back to their capture point, and hold it there until time expires. A stalemate can occur if both teams has the object, AND are at their capture points.
  • Rescue Mission: A mixture of Counter-Strike rules, and Capture Mission. One team must protect the Kerotan object at all costs. The other team must capture the object and return it to one of two capture points. The twist is that no body wiil respawn until the round is over. The host can allow players to return as spirits to haunt the living players, as well as mess around with each other.
  • Sneaking Mission: A 1-on-7 game mode. One player controls Snake (comes with a pre-determined set of equipment), who must capture one of two microfilms, and return it to one of two capture points in order to win. The other players must hunt Snake, or otherwise, hold out until the timer expires. Snake can also determine the BGM for that round.

    Guns of the Patriots Metal Gear Online 
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots' version of Metal Gear Online was included in all releases of Metal Gear Solid 4. It also had a standalone release in Japan. Up to 16 players could compete. It introduced plenty of new features based on the main MGS4 mode, such as the SOP system, which allowed players to link with each other so they can coordinate and cooperate more efficiently, as well as help each other out indirectly, such as spotting enemies to appear on their SOP. They just need to remember to reconnect with every player that isn't yet established in each life.

Instead of controlling a mook, the game has a character customization feature, allowing players to craft their own mercenary, and in a later update, allow them to earn reward points so they can purchase more customization parts for their characters, as well as other features and effects (such as poses). Purchasing downloadable content allowed access to make female characters, as well as being able to earn additional sets of custom parts.

The game also introduces Drebin Points (which can be disabled by the host), allowing players to earn points for certain actions, as well as spend points on a bigger library of weapons and weapon mods. There is also a skill system, which provides the player with four skill slots, and requires the player to continue performing a certain task repeatedly to level them up. Some skills will remain in that one slot, while many others will eventually demand three skill slots to utilize the bonuses. Some skills include efficiency with other weapons, spotting enemies by aiming at them, being faster, inflicting more damage with CQC and rolling, being able to perform more complex CQC maneuvers, etc.

Like its predecessor, fans have managed to revive this version of MGO via unofficial servers long after the official servers had been shut down in 2019.

All the game modes from the previous version of MGO made a return, with some changes as noted:

  • Deathmatch: Like the Snake Eater version, except now you can set a universal life ticket count, meaning anyone who is killed subtracts a life ticket. The top leading player is shown on everyone's SOP, making him/her easy to spot. The top three players with the most points by the end of the match are considered winners.
  • Capture Mission: Now both teams have two capture points, meaning it is now possible to speed up the timer by capturing both KEROTAN and GA-KO, and taking them to both capture points. When the time expires, the game can enter into Sudden Death mode, in which whatever time is counted down no longer resets.
  • Sneaking Mission: This one received a huge makeover. It incorporates team deathmatch without life tickets, except one player controls Old Snake. If there are 11 or more players, another player can cooperate with Snake by controlling Metal Gear Mk.II. Snake's goal is to knock out or apprehend soldiers to steal their dog tags. If he collects three, the game ends. If Snake is killed at any time, he loses a dog tag. The soldiers are also tasked with killing Snake a certain number of times, while fighting the other team at the same time. The game will end if Snake collects all three dog tags, one team manages to kill Snake the set number of times, or the time expires where one team has more kills than the opposing team.
  • Team Sneaking: Similar to the first installment's Rescue Mission, but with the added caveat that the attacking team gets stealth camouflage, but only has non-lethal weapons equipped.
  • Stealth Deathmatch: A free-for-all where all players have stealth camouflage and an Enemy-Detecting Radar that beeps faster the closer non-stationary players get. Despite the game mode's name, each player only has one life. To discourage camping, the map slowly gets restricted by a circle that saps the life of anyone standing outside of it.
  • Bomb Mission: A game mode almost certainly inspired by Counter-Strike where the attacking team has to set up a special explosive at one of two key points in enemy territory. Defenders have the coolant spray from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty to use, in order to defuse said explosive before it detonates.
  • Solo Capture: A free-for-all version of Capture Mission where the player who holds KEROTAN the longest wins.
  • Race Mission: Another variant of Capture Mission where each team tries to get their objective item (KEROTAN on one side, GA-KO on the other) through a set of goal points in a sequential order.
  • Interval: A sandbox "game mode" where all players are on one team. Functions as a waiting room of sorts. Player stats are not affected by this game mode, and it's impossible to kill anyone... except by playing Grenade Hot Potato with the explosive that shows up in Bomb Missions.

    The Phantom Pain Metal Gear Online 
In 2015, it was announced that the third iteration of the title would be bundled with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and would go online a month after initial release. The gameplay makes a shift towards the additions from MGSV and revisions to mechanics, such as marking, vehicles such as Walker Gears, and taking selfies.

Game Modes:

  • Bounty Hunter: Highly similar to Team Deathmatch from previous iterations. Two teams duel to deplete the other team's Tickets first. The winner is determined by who depletes all of their opponent's Tickets first, or if time runs out, who has the most Tickets. The key difference is the introduction of Bounty Points, which is essentially a killstreak counter. Each player you kill gives you one Bounty Point. If you are Fulton Extracted as opposed to killed by the enemy, any Bounty Points you are holding onto turn into Tickets for the enemy, allowing players to turn losing fights around in a pinch.
  • Cloak & Dagger: Highly similar to Team Sneaking from the previous iteration. One team must acquire a Data Disk from the enemy team, and transport it back to the Evac Point at their home base to win the match. The infiltrating team comes equipped with Stealth Camo regardless of class, but it's fairly finicky, as it will deactivate temporarily if a member of the infiltrating team is spotted. The attacking team is stripped of any lethal weapons they may have in their loadout, and likewise for the defending team's non-lethal weapons. Finally, all players on both teams only have one life, [[{{Permadeath} and is out of the round if they die.]] The defending team wins if the infiltrating team is unable to transport the Data Disk to the Evac Point within the time limit or all players on the infiltrating team are killed.
  • Comm Control: A mixture between Cloak & Dagger and a typical "hold the point" mode from other games. The attacking team and defending team vie for control of Comm Links scattered throughout the map. The attacking team must capture the Comm Links by standing near the general area of the point when no enemies are present, while the defending team must prevent the attacking team from capturing the Comm Links. The attacking team's progress is marked by a universally-displayed Download Gauge; if it reaches 100%, the attacking team wins the round.
  • Sabotage: The attacking team is in charge of stealing a missile from the defending team's territory. A shield surrounding the missile prevents attackers from attaching a Fulton balloon to it, which can only be temporarily deactivated by hacking one of two computer terminals. The defending team is capable of saving the missile from getting Fulton extracted by shooting the balloon down, similarly to saving teammates, but the balloon attached to the missile has drastically more durability than average, necessitating the need for concentrated fire from the defending side.

Tropes present in Metal Gear Online:

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    Tropes Present in Multiple Versions 
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Nothing is stopping you from purchasing that RPG-7. Except that it's mighty expensive, has only a couple spare rockets, and you could die before you can line up a really good shot with it. Most of the time, it won't kill anyone instantly. You'd be better off with a mounted grenade launcher.
    • Liquid Ocelot's GOP. You have to be quick to use it, and when you do, you are standing for about five seconds, just enough time for anyone to pop a bullet in your head.
    • Mei-Ling's SS Missouri. It takes a second to prep, and it takes a few more for the shots to land, provided you are alive by the time they land.
    • And the special CQC moves from certain characters in Snake Eater MGO. Specifically: Raikov, Reiko, and Rowdy Reiko, who all have an animation that can last as long as five seconds. Averted with Ocelot and Snake, who just tosses someone down so hard it knocks them out.
    • Metal Gear Mk. II has a variety of features that makes it handy for Snake during Sneaking Mission. Displaying, umm, porn, is not one of them. Same goes for when it comes to stairs.
    • The disruptor. The enemy team will be warned the moment you purchase one, and it replaces your primary weapon. It also takes a long enough time to activate it. But once you do, you have the entire enemy team on their knees.
    • For Snake Eater MGO: No real fault of the game due to the native game mechanics, but using a sniper rifle or RPG-7 forces the player to hold still.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The heavy machine gun can be this. It's expensive, but it's quite heavy on damage and, if used right, it can easily win firefights for you, as well as having great range on it.
    • The compact assault rifle Johnny can purchase. It's not that much better than the regular assault rifles you can get, but it's cheaper than those when you consider the slightly better specifications.
    • Any regular soldier in Snake Eater MGO, and anyone with little to no CQC skills. You won't be able to knock anyone out instantly, but you'll be using this to give yourself a chance to escape, or try to cap an easy kill.
    • Both standard assault rifles in V MGO. Sure, it's the first weapon you get, but that doesn't mean it isn't fairly effective at killing. If you're going loud, sometimes the starter assault rifle can be a better choice than other, fancier options like a sniper rifle or a shotgun.
  • Boot Camp Episode: There is an option for one player to take the role as Drill Sergeant Nasty and host their own boot camp to train other players and even graduate them as they please.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Magazines make a return, and falling for them enough gives you the skill to induce the same effect on enemies by saluting. This affects even female opponents. Reiko, Rowdy Reiko, and Mei Ling can also preform it.
    • Reiko and Rowdy Reiko can fall victim of this too, though more out of embarrassment or jealousy instead of lust.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: A game mechanic in Sneaking Mission. One of the opposing teams is required to kill Snake an X amount of times, where as Snake himself must recover three dog tags from either team to win. If nobody succeeds when time expires, Snake is considered the loser (regardless of his score), and the one team that has the most kills is considered the winner. Basically, it's a lose lose scenario for Snake, unless he can work for those dog tags.
  • Hero Unit: With certain settings enabled, a game can be played with a variety of so-called "Unique Characters". Each character has a set of abilities that set them apart from the generic troops and each have their own unique salute.
    • In Subsistence, a unique character is playable only in team-based matches or in Sneaking Mission and is given to the MVP (or LVP in the KGB's case).
      • Raikov: Fast and has an instant knock out move, his signature Groin Attack.
      • Ocelot: Can survive a head shot and has double the CQC strength, allowing him to knock out characters quicker. He can also unlock the SAA revolver.
      • Sokolov: The weakest Unique Character but is equipped with Stealth Camo allowing him to ambush unsuspecting players.
      • Naked Snake: Only playable in Sneaking Mission. Controls identically to his main game counterpart from Snake Eater. Notably, he can endure double the damage (about a couple headshots even), runs a bit faster, and comes fully equipped with items designed to impair the enemy's progress. Also wields three different camo outfits and is armed with Stealth Camo device for players who want to approach the mission with stealth.
      • Reiko and Rowdy Reiko: Overrides other Unique Characters if they are enabled. When enabled, the Red Team gets regular Reiko, and blue gets Rowdy Reiko. They both have different salute animations, the former doing a Sexy Dance, and the other squatting, both of which can distract their opponents. They also have an instant knock out move, being a wrestler and all.
    • In Guns of the Patriots, these characters are determined by the host and what team they are assigned to. Random is also an option, and DLC is required to play these characters.
      • Old Snakenote : Similar to Naked Snake from Snake Eater MGO equipment-wise (except for regular matches), but does not have the endurance as Naked Snake did. Wields Octo-Camo that can blend into anything (as long as you are not in direct sunlight), and is the master at CQC. He also has the vision cam, allowing him to track his enemies and surroundings via GOP. If he attacks Liquid Ocelot during any other game mode, he will call out to him.
      • Metal Gear Mk. II: Only playable in Sneaking Mission if there are 11 players in the game. It has active camo ready to go, can zap enemies for an instant knock out, can collect supplies for Snake and, after some updates, it can transport dog tags, making it easier for Snake to grab them and it can deploy, umm, porn on its LCD display, distracting surrounding enemies. It can never be truly killed, but it can be incapacitated, forcing the player to constantly flick the control sticks to wake back up and it is a long process. It also cannot ascend and descend stairs properly.
      • Meryl: Can recover her partners' PSYCHE by saluting to them and can purchase a scoped Desert Eagle, which is cheaper than a sniper rifle. She's decent at CQC. She tearfully cries out to Johnny if she kills him.
      • Johnny: Because he doesn't have nanomachines, he cannot sync with his team at all. He also has a nasty habit of his bowels getting the best of him after killing about a few enemies and he tends to break down in fear if he ever commits friendly fire. He is also bad at CQC. On the flip side, his... accident emits a scent that can stun his enemies for a moment, he is unaffected by any disruptions to the GOP system and he can purchase an assault rifle for cheap and an Anti Tank Rifle that kills with a single bullet. He cries out to Meryl if he kills her.
      • Mei-Ling: Does not have access to the normal variety of weapons and is not any more competent in combat than Johnny. However, she does carry a handgun around, has the ability to summon an air-strike at any location (including the sewers!), and also carries a device that allows her and her teammates to see enemies through walls if they're close enough. Like Meryl, she can recover her teammates' PSYCHE by saluting to them.
      • Liquid Ocelot: Very different from his young self. He can manipulate the enemy GOP by using his hand as a gun, and fake a shot to his head to disrupt their nanomachines, making for an easy kill. He's also just as good at CQC as Snake is. He also has access to a handful of other fire arms, such as the Thor 45, which can kill in one to two hits. If time runs out and his team is on the losing side AND if he dies before the match ends, he will get back up and reset the timer to five minutes! He also calls out to Snake if he attacks him.
      • Raiden: Can block bullets and certain projectiles with his sword, as well as deal (near) lethal damage with it. He can also use a knife, as well as throwing knives and a SOCOM pistol. He's also quite fast.
      • Vamp: Can throw three knives at once, is just as fast as Raiden, and while he can be counted dead, he never has to return to the respawn point, meaning trouble for whoever happens to be near him with his temporary invincibility when he gets up. He's also really proficient with CQC.
    • The Phantom Pain also has its own set of Uniques by default. If the option is activated, one player on each team is given a Unique Character, each with heightened traits compared to standard soldiers, as well as special abilities and weapons.
      • Venom Snake: His special ability is Phantom Legend, which grants him access to his Prosthetic Arm as a subweapon. He can punch the ground for Sonar Detection, which reveals the FOM of nearby enemies, or use a Rocket Punch which can either stun an enemy or explode upon contact with a surface depending on the loadout. Confidently pumps his prosthetic fist as a salute.
      • Ocelot: The middle-aged version of Ocelot. Comes packed with dual Tornado-6s, giving him a fast rate of fire. His special ability is Shalashaska, which makes it so that his Tornado-6 shots bounce off of surfaces to hit marked enemies behind cover. Performs his signature hand gesture as a salute.
      • Quiet: Exclusive to the "Cloaked in Silence" expansion pack, she brings her sniping skills and mobility from the single player campaign, including her trademark Flash Step (albeit with a shorter range). Her melee attacks are also different from the other characters, changing the normal dive into a Slide Attack and having a kick combo in place of the normal haymaker, both of which are quick to execute and recover from.
  • Knockback:
    • Performing the CQC kick or rolling at your opponent knocks them to the ground.
    • Using a shotgun in short to close range is sure to get anyone angry due to this. Not to mention, it leaves them wide open to an easy kill.
    • Regular grenades or grenade shots will knock you on your back, or send you flying a bit at worse, should you be unfortunate enough to be within the explosion range.
    • The powerful bolt action sniper rifle is capable of this.
    • The even more powerful anti tank rifle. Since it kills in one hit anyway your opponent won't need to worry about getting back up.
  • Master of None: It's generally ideal to specialize as soon as you can with skills. This is because higher level skills grant bonus skills, while lower levels one grant smaller, less dramatic boosts. Skills like CQC and Waker are more in line with this, the former granting you an inability to be grabbed from the front by somebody less skilled and the latter allowing you to wake up a friend in one pat and you yourself to wake up much faster on your own. Weapon skills are less of this, although it's still better to have a high level and pick the weapon that you took the skill in.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: Possible to do this with non-lethal firearms, either for a more elaborate tactic, or just to screw your opponent. Also done with CQC, especially in pinch situations. V MGO introduces Fulton Recovery as another way to remove players, and can be done after knocking out opponents or if you use a particular trap.
    • As noted in Pacifist Run below, practical uses of this trope are few and far between in most situations, but they still have their uses:
      • Knockouts don't activate the kill cam, as the target obviously hasn't been killed. This is more useful to snipers using non-lethal weapons, as their position doesn't get revealed.
      • In a similar vein, knockouts don't send the target back to their team's spawn point, which is useful for denying enemies the chance to flank, or to prevent them from regrouping at the spawn point to defend against spawn camping.
      • Specifically in MGO3, getting a knockout is the easiest way to set up a Fulton extraction on them, which converts the target's bounty into tickets for the extracting player's team. In all game modes, this also restricts the extracted player to spawning only at their home base (players normally have a choice of spawning at one of two to four spawn points).
  • One-Hit Kill: Head shots are generally this, aside from a short range weapon hitting a head further away, but even then it will still deal heavy damage.
  • Pacifist Run: Very, very much averted compared to the main series. Whereas the main series encourages letting your enemies live and pulling off as few kills as possible, Online practically necessitates killing, as attempting to eliminate targets via any other method is a surefire way to get yourself killed. V lessens this factor slightly by introducing Fulton Recovery as a method of elimination, which has a variety of benefits over simply killing your target depending on the game mode.
    • The Team Sneaking game mode in MGO2 and Cloak & Dagger game mode in MGO3 force this type of play style on the attacking team by restricting them to non-lethal weapons only. The only way around this is to steal the defending team's lethal weapons - a risky but rewarding endeavor, as this is only possible with high level CQC perks (or spending a lot of time shaking down a knocked out player, which is decidedly not stealthy).
  • Player Character: Barring the unique characters (should they be present at all), every player in the game is either a generic enemy soldier from the campaign (MGO1) or a character of their own creation.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Every incarnation of MGO allows players to choose their soundtrack, giving a choice between original music and tracks from other games in the series.
  • The Shadow Knows: Any character wielding Stealth Camo, or in Guns of the Patriots, Old Snake with the Octo-Camo, casts a shadow when standing in direct sunlight despite being camouflaged. Since both render the user effectively invisible, this is the only way for characters not equipped with Night Vision Goggles to find camouflaged enemies.
  • Shouting Shooter: Both Snake Eater and GOP MGO allows anyone using a machine gun to give a battle cry while shooting for an extended period of time. This can also stop the moment you release the trigger.
  • Simple, yet Awesome:
    • The anti tank rifle that Johnny can purchase. One shot kills anyone!
    • The M14. It is a semi-automatic sniper rifle, that can also behave like a regular assault rifle, making it really useful for both long range, AND close range combat. It was also not too expensive to purchase one, at least until it got patched to be more expensive.
  • Slashed Throat: In Guns of the Patriots, if your character has the highest CQC rank, you can slit the throat of a player you're chokeholding for a silent, instant kill. In V, any character can do this.
  • Updated Re-release
    • "Metal Gear Online" was first introduced in Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence as its key selling point. However, the disc containing it was not included in "The Essential Collection" box set released in 2007 due to Konami discontinuing the servers by that point. This also meant that a slew of other extras, including Snake vs. Monkey and the MSX Metal Gear games, were also left out from this release.
    • Inverted with Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Any releases since the 2012 Trophy patch removes it from the main menu.

    Tropes Present in Subsistence MGO 
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Played with in Subsistence MGO. The Scorpion SMG is a decent weapon in it's own right, but not as good as any of the assault rifles. It's only advantage is having a laser sight, making aiming easy. However, the game will happily keep track of how many times you utilize this weapon, and other players CAN look at that profile.
  • Guest Fighter: Reiko and Rowdy Reiko of Rumble Roses.
  • Spiritual Successor: The online multiplayer component of Portable Ops was very similar to the Subsistence incarnation of Metal Gear Online, to the point that the Portable Ops Plus expansion even brought back some of its online maps .

    Tropes Present in Guns of the Patriots MGO 
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: All the maps in the MGS4 version have names consisting of two words, both beginning with the same letter (e.g. Alley Ambush, Blood Bath, Coppertown Conflict, Forest Firefight). Metal Gear Arcade added the previously unreleased "Desert Duel" and "Lethal Leviathan" stages.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Raiden, being mainly a close range fighter with his sword, and Vamp with an over reliance on knives.
    • Performing CQC moves in advanced levels, in a game where head-shots are relatively easy to score. Nothing is more satisfying than grabbing your opponent and slitting their throats.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Other than the dirty magazines present in just about every Metal Gear game, there's also a skill called Charm. When equipped, it changes the standard salute animation into muscle flexing or pelvic thrusting for the men, and a variety of sexy gestures for the women, and in both cases it has the same effects as a magazine. It's about as dumb as it sounds. There's nothing more humiliating than getting knifed or CQC'd by a player who catches you witnessing their hot bod.
  • Downloadable Content: Three expansion packs were released for this version of MGO, each adding their own set of maps and at least two additional unique characters each. The Gene expansion in particular introduced the ability to play as female characters.
  • Global Currency: GOP MGO has the option to enable Drebin Points, earned by completing certain actions, such as defeating other players. This allows players to access a bigger library of weapons, as well as weapon mods. If you're doing poorly, those points will go away pretty fast.
  • Gun Accessories: In GOP MGO, if Drebin Points are enabled, players has access to more weapons, as well as the weapon mods for applicable weapons, including red dot sights, scopes, laser sights, grenade launchers, etc.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Liquid Snake's ability to cheat death and buy more time for his team can actually work against him. Savvy players on the opposing team can use the time normally spent staring at the fake match results screen continuing to interact with objectives and quite possibly securing them (such as continuing to capture bases in the BASE game mode, or continuing to run flags to the home base). If Liquid's enemies were already close to winning via completing objectives before the match timer runs out, there's a very good chance that team will have won in that manner anyway by the time he finishes getting up.
  • Interface Screw: Plenty of factors into this for Guns of the Patriots MGO.
    • Snake's octo-camo. Depending on the percentage determines how transparent he'll appear to everyone else in the game. If his stealth index is above 90%, he will literally become invisible to everyone else!
    • Chaff grenades disrupt your communications and radar. This also extends to the GOP system.
    • Inflicting friendly fire (when possible for the match), will flash the friendly fire warning message, as well as temporarily removing your ability to fight back. In Johnny's case, he'll cower to the ground for about five seconds while apologizing to the teammate he antagonized.
    • Exaggerated when a disruptor is introduced. When one team deploys it, the other team falls victim to a variety of unhelpful symptoms, including screwing with the interface, making disturbing noises, and especially the inability to control your character for a long period. In a game full of 16 players, one team can earn eight free kills when successful! Liquid Ocelot can also inflict this, if able to perform it properly.
  • Nostalgia Level: The ruins of Grozny Grad, Volgin's fortress from MGS3, was one of the starter maps, while the "Silo Sunset" map from the Meme expansion is actually missile silo stage from Portable Ops. The Coppertown Conflict and Urban Ultimatum maps are also remakes of legacy maps from the Subsistence version.
  • Say My Name: If Meryl or Johnny kill one another, they will cry out their name in regret.
    • Similarly, if Snake or Liquid attack each other, they will call out their names. This was also quite exploitable.
    Liquid Ocelot "SNAKEEEEEEEEEE!"
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • Metal Gear Arcade, a Japan-exclusive arcade machine that connected four cabinets together, and played more like a typical third person shooter.
    • Peace Walker's "Versus Ops" mode is very similar to this incarnation of Metal Gear Online.
  • Theme Naming: The expansion packs (Gene, Meme and Scene) were named after Kojima's story themes for the previous games in the series.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Want to kill the katana wielding, cyborg nutcase or the vampire knife nut? Pick close range skills such as CQC or knife. They can't be blocked like bullets by the close range characters so choosing those skills and knowing how to use them can give you a good kill rate against them.

    Tropes Present in The Phantom Pain MGO 
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: You can have this going if you set any of the Metal Gear Rising track sets before a round.
  • Bash Brothers: Following the "SOP" system utilized in Guns of the Patriots, V introduces the Buddy Link. With the Buddy Link, you can designate another player as your "buddy" by saluting them. Being buddies allows you to share information (for example, a laser will be visible to you showing where your buddy is aiming). After enough time in a match, buddies will be able to warp to each other.
  • Big Dam Plot: The map Gray Rampart, taking place in Afghanistan, contains a large dam as the most notable feature, and battles take place on it and a nearby bridge.
  • Colorful Theme Naming: The naming pattern of the maps in this incarnation of MGO.
  • Competitive Balance: A variety of player abilities were revised between The Phantom Pain and V MGO.
    • Finite sprint stamina. You can't run forever, and running causes a colored haze to appear on everyone's map that gives away your general location.
    • Lowered durability. You're not Snake, which means you can't take twenty bullets to the body and walk it off... as easily, anyway. And even when you are Snake, you still can't take twenty bullets to the body and walk it off.
    • Equipment weight. Like in Snake Eater and Peace Walker, anything you can bring with you has a certain weight in kilograms. The heavier your loadout, the slower your overall movement speed.
    • Marking only lasts a certain amount of time. After a period of time, a mark on an enemy player expires. You can make marks on you wear off faster with certain skills.
    • Chain throwing is nonexistent. This prevents you from knocking out three enemy players in three seconds by just mashing the button, although this also means knocking out one enemy will usually result getting knocked out by another if one is nearby.
  • Cuteness Proximity: This version of the game replaces Magazines/Books with adorable plushies of D-Dog or an ocelot, depending on team. Players who lay eyes on it will become immobilized by cuteness.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • Attempting CQC is a much more arduous task than simply shooting the opposition in the face. However, one throw is a free stun, and if no one else is nearby, you can Fulton the target for lots of points, and in Bounty Hunter, extra Life Tickets. On the other hand, you could also pop lead in their head for a free kill.
    • The Fulton Punch. If you miss with it, you're as good as dead, since it requires you to be sprinting towards the enemy to execute. However, if you nail it, it's a One-Hit KO, and you get a free Fulton Extraction to boot.
    • Headshotting players with throwing weapons. This happens so rarely that the game acknowledges this with a unique sound effect and extra points for an "Amazing Throw" on top of the points for a knockout (and possibly the points for a kill, too, if the throwing weapon happens to be lethal).
  • Emote Animation: MGO3 expands upon the salute used in previous installments with Appeal Actions. A good number of these are taunts. Players can assign four of these to the cardinal directions on the joystick, and then tilt the joystick while saluting to perform them. Players can even "combine" two emotes by tilting halfway, or tilting in diagonal directions (some groups of emotes take advantage of this by being quite obviously designed as parts of a single animation). Lastly, holding down the fire button in addition to tilting the joystick plays musical tones (for whatever reason).
  • Enhanced Interrogation Techniques: As in The Phantom Pain, you can interrogate people again by holding a knife to their throat, although now it's just a matter of holding down the "Interrogate" button for a second, instead of using a dynamic menu. Interrogating enemies allows you to mark targets on the enemy team. Of course, you're probably not gonna want to let the poor guy/gal live after you're done.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The three classes respectively: Enforcer, Scout, and Infiltrator.
    • Enforcers are the tanks of the game. Alongside having increased health and stamina compared to the other classes, they also wear heavy armor and can equip themselves with powerful lethal guns such as assault rifles and rocket launchers. They prefer to wield the Riot Shield, which greatly protects them from frontal assaults by enemy Enforcers and Scouts.
    • Scouts excel at reconnaissance and long-range assassination. They can mark enemies at a farther range than other classes, allowing closer-ranged classes to easily pick out their targets. They can also engage the enemy from long range with sniper rifles. Their signature item is the Night Vision Goggles, allowing them to scope out camouflaged Infiltrators.
    • Infiltrators specialize in stealth and close-range combat. Their loadout usually consists of close range gear such as knives and pistols. Their item of choice is the Steath Camo, which turns them nearly invisible to the human eye. This allows them to sneak behind enemy lines and assassinate or neutralize enemy Enforcers where Scouts would fail.
  • Guns Akimbo: Players can do this for the first time in a Metal Gear game. Ocelot's primary weapons consist of two revolvers.
  • Jungle Japes: Jade Forest is a massive map taking place in an African forest. It consists of a forested area, an abandoned village, a waterfall, and a few connecting bridges. It's also the hub world when first loading into the game.
  • Kaizo Trap: A rare multiplayer version of this. Usually, the defending team in a Cloak & Dagger match wins instantly if everyone in the attacking team is either dead or knocked out. If the last attacker had a data disc and managed to die on the capture point, the capture still proceeds as if there are still players on the attacking side. Considering the capture time is a measly five seconds, defenders are likely too far away to interrupt the capture and only have just enough time to realize they've lost anyway.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Petrol Bomb, a thrown weapon that spreads flames around the surface it lands at. Exploding Walker Gears and emplacements also spread fire when they explode. Unfortunately for everyone, fire kills terrifyingly fast, to the point there just walking into it is enough to kill you. And to add insult to injury, dying in a fire not caused by a Petrol Bomb counts as a Suicide, the only action in the game that counts against your score.
  • Mercy Rewarded: You can capture opposing players instead of killing them by stunning them (using either CQC or a nonlethal weapon) and attaching them to a Fulton balloon. Doing this gives you more points than killing, but it's also more difficult and more dangerous.
  • More Dakka: This game introduces the Walker Gear, a bipedal weapons system equipped with a gatling gun. A few seconds of fire will tear apart any soldier.
  • Nostalgia Level: Camp Omega from Ground Zeroes returns as the "Black Site" map.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • Infiltrators are pretty easy to spot even when using their stealth camo, especially if it's daytime.
    • The Cardboard Box is such a staple of the series that seasoned Metal Gear players will usually attack one on sight. You can use this to your advantage by leaving the box behind, then counterattacking the enemy when they're firing at the box.
  • Pinball Projectile: Just like his boss fight in Metal Gear Solid, Ocelot's revolver rounds ricochet.
  • The Power of Friendship: Word-for-word, what the E-RB WORMHOLE GEN claims to be powered by.
  • One-Hit KO: Just like in the main game, one CQC throw KOs any player. If you're on the receiving end of this, you're pretty much as good as dead unless a teammate bails you out.
    • With the release of the 1.01 patch, CQC no longer KOs in one throw (barring a certain Infiltrator ability), much like CQC in previous iterations of MGO.
  • Our Wormholes Are Different: The E-RB WORMHOLE GEN, a special device that's only usable when your Buddy Link with another player has reached 100%. This tool allows you to teleport instantly to your Buddy's position. Alternatively, the wormhole can be used to guarantee the Fulton extraction of an enemy, much like in the single player campaign.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Scouts, with their Night Vision Goggles, can scope out Infiltrators that are using Stealth Camo. Infiltrators can use their Stealth Camo to easily sneak behind enemy lines and assassinate Enforcers. Enforcers use their high health pools and shields to defend themselves from Scouts.
  • Useless Useful Stealth: The stealth camouflage item can feel like this at times. While it hides the user's weapons, unlike in past installments, a black outline of the player is rendered at any movement speed other than "standing completely still", which makes it less than useful for hiding in plain sight while moving and relegated more to messing with players' peripheral vision while making quick dashes from cover to cover. To add insult to injury, this black outline is even more obvious in the middle of sandstorms.
  • Violation of Common Sense: How does one put out the flames on their burning Player Character? Rain? Laying in a shallow pool of water? Stop, drop and roll? Nope, you'd have to put on your cardboard box. Because apparently, something that's made of paper and very flammable is good at stopping fires.