Learn how to get every key item and what they unlock in Metal Gear Solid 5 with this complete list. Many can earned throughout the course of the story, but the rest aren’t so easy.
The Phantom Pain is overloaded with secret gear, extra costumes and special items unlocked through the R&D menu back at Mother Base. Assigning more researchers and upgrading platforms isn’t enough to get certain special projects; that takes Key Items. There are twenty Key Items in total, twelve are earned by completing story missions as you progress to the ‘True’ ending, with the remaining eight unlocked by extracting soldiers, collecting invoices, or getting high S-Rank scores on main or enhanced difficulty missions. We’ve got the complete list below, so see what it takes to get cool gear like unlimited ammo bandanas, Fulton upgrades, and old-school Cyborg Ninja skins.
Check out some secret endings and cutscenes with a little help from The Escapist — learn how to watch hidden Paz cutscenes, then follow our guide to unlock the true ending to Metal Gear Solid 5.
Key Items Guide
To unlock Key Items, complete the required tasks listed below. Key Items often unlock unique R&D projects or costumes for Snake or his buddies.
Children’s Reward: Complete Mission 18 (Unlocks Water Pistol)
First Aid Manual: Collect item in Masa Village (Unlocks DD Fulton Gear)
Master Certificate (Marking): Mark 500 soldiers, vehicles, cargo or stationary weapons (Makes enemy Decoys easier to spot)
Master Certificate (Fulton): Extract 500 soldiers (Unlocks Lvl. 3 Fulton R&D)
Grand Master Certificate (Fulton): Extract 1,000 soldiers (Unlocks F-Ballista for D-Walker)
Master Certificate Box: Collect all Cargo Invoices in Afghanistan or Africa (Unlocks C-Box WR)
Grand Master Certificate Box: Collect all Cargo Invoices in both Afghanistan and Africa (Unlocks C-Box SMK)
Conch Shell: Complete Side Op 113 – Eli Boss (Unlocks Fulton – Children R&D)
Skulls Machete: Complete Mission 29 (Unlocks Task-Arm SM for D-Walker)
Strangelove’s Memento: Complete Side-Op 143 – Extracting AI Pod (Unlocks Bandana)
Man on Fire (Corpse): Complete Side-Op 144 – Extracting Man on Fire Corpse (Unlocks Furicorn Costume for D-Horse)
Quiet’s Examination Report: Complete missions until Quiet’s Interrogation Cutscene (Unlocks Gray XOF costume for Quiet)
Handkerchief: Complete Mission 40 (Unlocks Sniper Wolf costume for Quiet)
Emmerich’s Research Notes: Complete missions until Huey’s Exile Cutscene (Unlocks Stealth Camo)
Master Certificate (Standard): Complete all Story Missions (Unlocks Cyborg Ninja costume)
Grand Master Certificate (Standard): Complete all Story Missions with S-Rank (Unlocks Raiden costume)
Grand Master Certificate (Elite): Complete all Subsistence, Total Stealth and Extreme Missions (Unlocks Naked Silver costume & Silver Bionic Arm)
Master Certificate (Elite): Complete all Subsistence, Total Stealth and Extreme Missions with S-Rank (Unlocks Naked Gold costume)
Star of Bethlehem: Complete Mission 46 (Unlocks Infinite Bandana)
The Codename: Big Boss: Complete Mission 46 (Unlocks Leather Jacket Costume)
Achievements / Trophies Unlocked
Obtained all blueprints and key items.
Kevin Thielenhaus is a freelance writer for The Escapist. Find him on Twitter here.