The first hit is free
Having obtained a retail copy of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, I’ve had a chance to test out the online functionality a bit, as the servers have been switched on in preparation for the game’s midnight launch. You may have heard a bit about the microtransaction scheme that’s been implemented — here’s a few details to explain the situation.
Upon logging in after reaching a certain point in the story, you’re greeted with the chance to expand Mother Base with “FOBs,” (forward operating bases) which are basically extensions that grant you more staff members and materials. It was rumored before launch that this mode would be entirely closed off and sold as a paid microtransaction, but that’s only partially true.
After booting up the live FOB menu, I saw that the first forward operating base (either North Pacific, South Pacific, or North Atlantic) was free, with a cost of 0 Mother Base (MB) Coins. After that, the menu opened up with more options ranging from 1000 MB to 1200 MB in different locations. Coin packs range from 100 to 6000 MB for real money.
What this basically means is that you can access the online features for free by virtue of having one FOB. I should also note that I have a 100% campaign completion rate, with most of the sidequests completed and most gear researched and purchased, having played the game completely offline for the past few weeks or so.
I can say with certainty that it is possible to enjoy Metal Gear Solid V to the fullest without even connecting to the internet. As more FOB information becomes available we’ll provide you with updates, but for now, it doesn’t seem like the sky is falling, and Kojima’s vision is still very much intact. I don’t like that they are in there at all (screw Konami), but I’m glad that you don’t need to purchase anything to at least unlock it.