Q: How do I soft reset?

A: Hold L1 + L2 + R1 + R2 + Start + Select on the PlayStation 3.

Q: What is NG+?

A: New Game+. It refers to loading a completed save file for the 2nd round. It enables some benefits such as skipping Stillman's bomb tutorial, but also adds extra randomness. Ames location in the hostage room is the main example. NG+ also resets strut D's bomb locations that are unique to NG+ for Hard and above. (Loading a NG+ save for a Tanker IL will make the Aft Deck codecs and cutscenes load slightly faster)

Q: What is NG++?

A: New Game++. It refers to loading a completed save file for the 3rd round. It enables some benefits such as skipping Stillman's bomb tutorial, but also adds extra randomness. Ames location in the hostage room is the main example. NG++ also resets Strut D's bomb locations for Hard and above. NG and NG++ have the same Strut D bomb locations. (Loading a NG++ save for a Tanker IL will make the Aft Deck codecs and cutscenes load slighly faster)

Q: What is NGOID and GOID?

A: GOID stands for Game Over If Discovered, and NGOID is just not that.

Q: How many missing panels can you cartwheel over going to Shell 1 Core without falling?

A: At maximum, you can clear 4 panels.

Q: How do elevators work?

A: Pressing an elevator button at least twice speeds the pace at which they’ll arrive. The one and only exception to this rule is the FIRST elevator in the Shell 1 Core with the camera cutscene, pressing it once and skipping the cutscene will make it always arrive at the same pace. Pressing it more than that doesn’t do anything.

Q: What are the benefits and drawbacks of using the box?


  • Staying low (useful in strut E and to avoid Harrier's machine gun).
  • If equipped at the right time, guards won't fire at you upon detection saving time and health.
  • Not being detected by enemies when stationary (obvious).
  • Easy to turn around (useful when avoiding Fortune's shots).


  • You have to invest a slight bit of time to get one.
  • Having to spend a second or two to equip it.

Q: Are Raiden's cartwheel flips faster than running?

A: Yes, they're about 0.055 seconds faster if done right. However, a bad cartwheel can lose more than a second of time.

Q: How do I soft reset?

  • PC: Close the game and reopen.
  • PS2/PS3: Hold L1, L2, R1, R2, Select, and Start.
  • Xbox: Hold LB, LT, RB, RT, Select, and Start.
  • XB1/360: Hold LB, LT, RB, RT, Select, and Start.

Q: What is the Tactical Reload?

A: By tapping R2 to unequip and re-equip your weapon, it will reload it. This method is useful to explode Nikita Missiles early, to cancel the M9 gun cock animaton, and to reload quickly.

Q: What are the differences between regions, versions and platforms?

A: Since regions/versions/platforms are complex, go to this page

Q: How long do Alerts, Evasions, and Cautions last?

Alerts = Until the guards and/or assault team unit completly lose sight of the player
Evasion = 20 seconds, not including CLEARINGs
Caution = 60 seconds. The post-ames mandatory Caution is doubled.

Q: How hard is to take out a guard?

A: Refer to the Enemy Strength section.

Q: How long does Pentazemin last?

A: 30 seconds. If you take multiple, the duration will stack upon itself. For example, 3 pills will last 90 seconds.

Q: What are the requirements for Big Boss Rank?

A: Please refer to the MGS2 Difficulty Differences page for a more in-depth explanation on every rank possible. For Big Boss specifically:


  • Difficulty: Extreme or European Extreme
  • Time: Under 3 Hours
  • Continues: 0
  • Alerts: 3 (ALRTNUM)
  • Kills: 0 (NUET)
  • Rations: 0
  • Saves: 0 to 8 (PRUD ENCE)


  • Damage Taken: Under 10 Lifebars on Extreme (499 dmg or less), Under 9.3 Lifebars on European Extreme (279 dmg or less) (DMGA MMOUNT)
  • Shots Fired: Under 700 (AMMOUS ED)
  • Game Over If Discovered: Not Required
  • Radar: Off

Q: When is an alert counted?
A: If you hear the alarm noise, an alert is counted.

Q: What are the required alerts in a full game playthrough?
A: Guard Rush in Tanker, Ileum, and Sigmoid Colon (aka Tengu 1 and 2). The Tanker alert appears at the start of the Strut L Oil Fence.

Q: Why do some runners play the Japanese version?

A: Mostly preference, but for short ILs such as Tanker and Snake Tales it is faster to NOT play an English version of the game if possible.

Q: What is Loading Trick (LT)?

A: Loading trick is a feature of the HD Collection on the PlayStation 3 whereby you can play to a segment, quit the game via the game over screen, enabling faster loads up to that segment. This includes room transitions, cutscenes and codec calls. For single segment runs you generally play to the sniping section with Emma, however the final point in which you can keep loading trick enabled is the elevator before Arsenal Gear. For multisegment runs you can loading trick to the elevator, then afterwards, play till after credits and loading a save within Arsenal. You CANNOT proceed to Arsenal and retain loading trick. Loading trick will remain active until you either enter the elevator or soft reset the game.

For more information on loading trick, visit the Loading Trick page.

Q: Why do runners not have the digital camera if they loaded a NG+/NG++ save?

A: By having a completed Plant IL save, this acts as the NG+/NG++ save. It means the runner gets the benefits of avoiding New Game while also not having the Digital Camera during Tanker for a cleaner menu. To unlock European Extreme with this method, have a seperate completed Tanker IL run.

Q: What is the fastest version of MGS2?

A: Depending on the release they are in order thereof:

  • Sons Of Liberty: PS2 (NTSC-U) or PS3 (the backward-compatible model).
  • Substance: PC
  • HD Edition: Nvidia Shield TV. However at present the most popular version is HD Collection on the Playstation 3.

Q: Why do runners use Previous instead of Unequip?

A: It cuts down on menuing for items and weapons by a considerable amount.

Q: Why do runners not use pressure-sensitive buttons?

A: It is not useful for the run itself, in fact it sometimes gets in the way. On All Dog Tags runs, it might be useful for certain strategies.

Q: What is a left/right side Olga?

A: Refer to the MGS2 Bosses page for more information. A left/right side Olga is in reference to which side Olga moves when the fight begins.

Q: What is the Dav Drop or the davWILDSTAR?

A: A technique found by terminator-TBM / davWILDSTAR-TBM. If you press the fire button on the right frame, you can skip the animation from dropping off a ledge. This is useful after the Olga fight dropping off the platform. Saves about .8 sec if you get it.

Q: Why do runners kill the last 3 guards in Guard Rush if they're attempting to get a Big Boss Rank?

A: If executed correctly, killing the last 3 guards do NOT count as kills as the game transitions to the next cutscene before it has a chance to count them.

Q: What is ladder glitch?

A: Refer to the MGS2 Glitches page for more information. Basically, it is a glitch that saves time over the ladder normally.

Q: What is a fast-bomb?

A: Diffusing the bomb at certain angles and positions can result in it diffusing 1.25 seconds faster than usual.

Q: What is a Damage-Cancel Mine?

A: It is when a runner blows up a claymore without recieving any damage. There are various methods to do this mostly involving a high level of luck and precise timing.

Q: What is coolant-rising?

A: Equipping the coolant as you rise from prone saves time. While the coolant is equipped, press X then R2.

Q: Why do runners pick up the claymore on the EF Connecting Bridge?

A: Its safer as thats the mine that is most likely going to blow up (causing an alert or game over) and also allows for better lines during later visits here. It also allows for players to use the claymore for Fatman (Easy and Normal) or Hold the Elevator strategies in the Shell 1 Core B2 Computer Room. The mines placed on this bridge are the same across all difficulties:

The most conventional way to pick it up is from the south. To do so, avoid cartwheeling in this room until you get into position then do an aerial into prone to pick up the claymore. After that, do a coolant-rise to stand up faster.

Q: Is cartwheeling twice off of the Strut E Helipad stairs worth it?

A: No, it's about the same. You can lose time running to the door due to the angle, as you roll further to the left with two rolls. Roll just a few steps above the overhang to do the single roll.

Q: What is Conveyor Belt Route?

A: Refers to a specific bomb disposal route initially developed by Stealth_Edge. Believed to save a good chunk of time on versions of the game with slow load times such as PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, etc.

Q: Why do some runners avoid the chaffs after Fortune?

A: After the Fortune fight, the exits on the Strut A Roof have claymores placed on them. Some players opt out of picking up the chaffs here. The benefit to this is consistently avoiding getting blown up by the claymore and also having slightly cleaner menus for the rest of the run, however it means that the perimeter sequence after Harrier is slightly slower. The mines on the roof are placed in the same locations across all difficulties:

Q: How do I get the guard in the Retinal Scanner room of the Shell 1 Coret to walk faster? A: Knock above the wall line and not too south. Avoid continuously knocking.

Q: What is Ames RNG?

A: On NG+ and NG++, Ames can spawn in numerous positions across the room.

Q: What is God Ames?

A: Refers to the best possible position Ames can spawn in, which is the first spot North-East of the room.

Q: Why do some runners pause during the Ames section?

A: The in-game timer pauses when the game is paused (only using start, not by a pause from codecs or menus). This allows players to scan the room while the in-game time is paused.

Q: What is the Caution glitch?

A: On the HD Edition versions of the game, cautions can sometimes be stuck infinitlly and never deplete. Ironically, this can be an advantage for runners on higher difficulties.

Q: Why do runners continue to use the B.D.U. after meeting Ames?

A: B.D.U. continues to provide camouflage after the mask is removed by Revolver Ocelot. This is particularly useful when cartwheeling.

Q: Why do runners remove the B.D.U. before entering the Shell 1 Core B1 and the Shell 2 Core?

A: The game takes longer to render in cutscenes if Raiden has the B.D.U equipped.

Q: What is a 5 shot?

A: Refer to the MGS2 Bosses page for more information on the Harrier fight. A “5 shot” means a runner landed five shots at the start of Harrier fight, which is the ideal scenario.

Q: What is the Leap Of Faith?

A: Refers to the cartwheel runners do on the Shell 1-2 Connecting Bridge after the Harrier fight.

Q: How do you the avoid the mini-cutscene that plays from the falling platforms on the Shell 1-2 Connecting Bridge?

A: Do an aerial when you reach the end of the second platform to avoid the cutscene.

Q: What is Swim Glitch?

A: Refer to the MGS2 Glitches page for more information. Swim Glitch is a glitch done after the segment with the President where the runners swims out of bounds to skip a cutscene and codec call. Estimated to save approximately 10-20 second based on platform and execution.

Q: What is Tylerportation?

A: It is a technique that teleports Emma by leaving her behind in Shell 2 Core 1F, exiting to the bridge, and re-entering. On PC, Hard and above, this technique saves time. On all other difficulties and versions, you lose out on time due to the extra loads.

Q: What is Emma Bump?

A: Refers to a strat where the player bumps Emma into the loadzone of the KL Connecting Bridge. Can save 2-3 seconds, but highly discouraged on the HD Edition version of the game since Emma can fall beneath the level and cause a softlock.

Q: How to do I stop Emma from falling?

A: There are a couple of things you can do. First, avoid zooming as much as possible. Second, only equip the sniper rifle(s) when standing on where the Thermal Goggles spawns.

Q: How can I get MGS2 to run on my PC?

A: You need a copy of the game first, this can be bought from GOG. Recommended to install the fan-made patch called V's Fix as well.

Q: How can I install V's fix?

A: V's Fix made by VFansss.

Q: How can I fix the deadzones on PC?

A: A common fix for this is to use a DS4 with DS4Windows running. Refer to the MGS2 Resources page for a DS4Windows profile made by the community.

Q: How can I setup turbo?

A: On console, you'll need either external hardware like a GIMX adapter or a turbo controller itself. On PC, V's fix has turbo controls built into it. Check out this guide by JMC

Q: My game froze during credits, what do I do?

A: On the HD Edition, specifically the PlayStation 3, the game can crash for no apparent reason during the Credits. Runners refer to this as “Credit Freeze.” You will have to restart your console if this happens.

Q: What are the optimal settings for V's fix?

  • Be careful of setting Effect Quantity to Low, as this can cause the bleed bug slowing down the game if the player character is bleeding.
  • Setting Effect Quantity to Medium can help if you find the water effects distracting.
  • If you prefer the classic red look of the Thermal goggles, set the Model Quality to Low.
  • Playing the game with high Internal Resolution (8k) can cause graphical glitches, at least at Tengu 2.
  • Rest of the settings really depend on your hardware and preference.

Q: My controls are all mixed up on PC (i.e: X is to pause, L3 is for codec, etc.), how do I fix this?

A: This usually means DS4Windows is having trouble “Using Exclusive Mode.” Here are some common fixes:

  • Either uninstall or completly exit out of programs such as Steam, Nvidia Geforce Experience, or any other program that might try to use the DS4.
  • Make sure you have the correct and newer version of DS4Windows installed (by ryochan7). If the icon on DS4Windows is black, you probably have the older version.
  • Use the community-made XML profile and import it into DS4Windows then select that profile on the controller you're using. This can be found in the resources page.
  • In DS4Windows, go to Settings and check “Hide DS4 Controller”.
  • In V's Fix, select Controls > Gamepad > Xbox. Then for Buttons Layout, choose PS2 Type.
  • Band-Aid Solution: Click on the DS4Windows window while playing MGS2. This can sometimes fix the issue.
  • Have a look at the page dedicated to setting up controllers on the V's fix github page here.

Q: The GOG version keeps deleting / resetting my saves, what do I do?

A: GOG might be overwriting your saves from a cloud. Try disabling sync from GOG's settings.

Return to Metal Gear Solid 2

  • mgs2_faq.txt
  • Last modified: 2021/08/31 11:32
  • by PlatonicGuy