Biggest Boss: Metal Gear Solid V’s Hardcore Mod

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain [official site] is a fine game, but is not a difficult game – at least, not unless you want it to be. Sure, you can roll through everything with big guns and a murderbot or Quiet without breaking a bloodsweat; the challenge comes in following weird whims and trying strange ideas with its arsenal of guns and gadgets. Or I suppose you could install a mod.

If you want everything to be tougher, the Hardcore mod by ‘JRavens’ ups the difficulty by pushing it more towards realism, with enemies more aware and you weaker.

Beating The Phantom Pain does unlock tougher challenges as you go, and you can turn off aids like the slow-mo ‘reflex time’, but you might want to make some more fundamental changes. JRavens explains the mod’s main tweaks:

  • Increases enemy hearing and vision ranges approx 50%
  • Adds additional benefits to utilizing weather and camouflage during stealth.
  • Decreases enemy knockout time by about 50%
  • Increases bullet damage by roughly double default.
  • Decrease the players health and regeneration significantly to make him only slightly better than a standard soldier.
  • Decreases ammo and item capacities by around half default.
  • Changes the empty magazine gadget from unlimited uses to 6 uses (can be restocked by calling in a resupply)

I do like the sound of making weather cover and camouflage more effective to help balance the changes and nudge you into traditional sneaking. I think I’ll stick with vanilla Phantom Pain for now, as I’m nearing the end of my first playthrough, but maybe next time I’ll try this.

JRavens does warn not to use the mod when going anywhere near multiplayer, because who knows what it might do – or what Konami might do if they detect it.

The mod first come out a week or two ago, but comes to our attention now through a new version released yesterday. Head on over Nexus mods to download it.


  1. Spuzzell says:

    Interesting, but I’m waiting for an article about a mod that makes playing this game with Quiet not be excruciatingly embarrassing before I buy in.

    • shaydeeadi says:

      You could just not take her out with you and save yourself the embarrassment. She makes the game too easy anyway.

      • rexx.sabotage says:


        do this instead.

        Ocelot is a pretty kitty, mmmmmmmmmmMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMH!

        • LionsPhil says:

          It is the best model swap.

        • Raoul Duke says:

          Someone should swap her and the pet wolf around, to take Kojima’s supposed “point” to the extreme. Plus then you’d have a sweet wolf assassin ninja with a sniper rifle to help you on missions.

    • islipaway says:

      To their credit one of the first thing modders of this game did was put clothes on quiet. Think about that Elder Scrolls!

      • pepperfez says:

        It worked! Kojima made them ashamed of their words and deeds!

    • Snidesworth says:

      Take your pick. Minor spoilers there, probably, but nothing you won’t figure out in the first 15 minutes.

      • Spuzzell says:

        It’s not just the (lack of) clothing, it’s the behavior back at base that honestly makes my soul cringe.

        Both Quiet rolling around like a cat on heat and the various reactions to her are really unsettling to me on my own, and the idea of my girlfriend or family seeing me play that and thinking that its something I’m fine with is just… no.

        I’m a bit taken aback that RPS don’t seem to be particularly bothered by it, one article aside.

        • stringerdell says:

          You can just kill Quiet the first time you meet her if youd rather she wasnt around for the rest of the game.

          Several RPS writers have mentioned their problems with Quiet in a few articles.

          • Spuzzell says:

            I don’t want to push my opinion on anyone, if you or anyone else doesn’t have a problem with Quiet then that’s fine by me.

            I will say that your solution to my problem of how woman are portrayed in this game being “just kill her” is a little.. hmm.

            And the only article I can think of offhand that even addressed vague concerns about Quiet was the one with “the boob lady”, otherwise the coverage here has only been favourable. I may have missed some.

          • Kitsunin says:

            I seem to recall almost every article which has mentioned Quiet said something along the lines of “although quiet is…hmm…” plus the article explicitly talking about/criticizing her existence.

          • aleander says:

            I think the “just kill her” comment is coming from people who live under the rather mistaken impression that people criticising Quiet’s character design are fundies who hate nudity, sex, and everything. I, in turn, believe that what people who criticise people who criticise Quiet’s character design like isn’t really sex.

            Also, there was an article about Quiet, and some mentions, but if you need a reason why RPS seems to be a bit unusually shy of this subject, just look at what happened recently when a Witcher 3 article mentioned “diversity”.

        • Vesuvius says:

          SO Spuzzell, I don’t know exactly what you expect. They had one article entirely dedicated to it being problematic, and bring it up time and again. Examples:

          “I really didn’t want to end up picking under-dressed, mostly mute ultro-sniper Quiet as my buddy. Her outfit is both distracting and makes me worried someone’s going to walk in while I’m playing” – MGSV: Horrible Boss

          “To get the inevitable out of the way: I absolutely agree with Adam about how skeezy the character’s presentation is (both narratively and visually).”-Big Boss vs. Best Boss

          everything I’d seen of Quiet in marketing and social wittering had me convinced that there was no way I could possibly have her on my team, that it would be too embarrassing and distracting and I did not want my game to be that.”- Big Boss vs Best Boss

          This whole article: link to

          Quiet’s outfit is described as exploitative here link to

          • TheSodaGo says:

            They expect everyone to be as offended as they are about something not worth the time being offended about.

          • Vesuvius says:

            I agree that it’s problematic, but I think it’s ok to say “this is a good game with problematic elements” just like there are many movies I enjoy with a similar caveat.

            My biggest problem with Quiet isn’t that she’s treated as eye-candy, because pulp stories and cheesecake pinups have always had a right to an audience- it’s that Kojima and Co. consistently claimed that Quiet was an empowered woman and her backstory would elevate your appreciation for the depth of what they’d done. My problem is that they are ignorant of what they’ve made in any greater context, not that they made a game with a skewed representation of men, women, and the world.

          • Spuzzell says:

            I haven’t read Big Boss vs Best Boss, that is true.

            My slight surprise was from the constant praise and exposure given to MGS5 in What Are We Playing and other articles here, despite how awful Quiet was. The quotes you provided illustrate this perfectly.

            I just wasn’t expecting such a level of “yeah, well, it’s clearly appalling and unacceptable but who really cares! I can tie a balloon to a jeep, so fuck it.”

          • Phasma Felis says:

            I am not usually the guy who says stuff like this, but it is possible for a work to have one seriously problematic element and have the rest of it still be good. You seem to think that RPS should condemn everything about the game because Quiet is kind of awful, and that’s not entirely reasonable. I’m avoiding Armikrog on account of what a douchebag Doug TenNapel is, but that’s not the same as thinking that Armikrog is a bad game.

        • TheSodaGo says:

          If you want unfettered indignation because there are boobs and over-the-top sexualization in a murder simulator there are plenty of sites willing to provide it. Thankfully RPS hasn’t fallen into spewing that click-bait garbage yet. It doesn’t need to be echoed in every article, especially when the rest of the game is so damn perfect.

          The game is really amazing. Quiet as a character is very interesting, despite her ridiculous design.

          • Spuzzell says:

            As I say, it’s entirely up to you how high or low your shame threshold is.

            Personally, Quiet is central to the game, and how she is presented and the way the player is encouraged to perceive her means I am unable to play this game, both because of the character herself and the fact that I would KNOW I was playing a game where the design team had thought that showing her the way they did was a good idea.

            I’m not on a crusade here. I’m sure the game is fun, if you don’t particularly care about anything except shooty bang times.

            Again, personally I’m unable to overlook certain aspects just because the rest of a game might be fun.

          • stringerdell says:

            Quiet isn’t central to the game at all, you dont have to encounter her or you can kill her off early.

            its a shame youll miss out because most people can put aside their reservations about one badly thought out character to enjoy one of the best games of recent years.

            Im honestly glad the RPS staff just pointed out the problems and moved on to talking about the rest of the game rather than spending thousands of words dwelling on how outraged they are by the whole Quiet situation.

      • Josh W says:

        My favourite quiet mod is probably this one, there’s something wonderfully fitting about it.

    • Aydrian says:

      Are gamers twelve years old or something? I got over Quiet’s lack of clothing and her admittedly way too sexual antics pretty soon.

      It doesn’t bother me because what she’s wearing doesn’t factor into how I’m playing my game. Whatever she’s wearing, you’re still spending the vast majority of your game time not looking at her anyway.

    • Lachlan1 says:

      Isn’t it a good thing? Because she’s naked but has has a gun and therefore destroys the stereotype of ‘asking to be raped’?

    • hamilcarp says:

      I didn’t even use Quiet until I unlocked the option to wear clothes. Still don’t use Quiet that much, makes the game less fun.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Qazinsky says:

    “Decreases ammo and item capacities by around half default.”

    I really, REALLY dislike when games have a really low max ammo count. MGS5 have what I would call the bare minimum of max ammo as it is so I don’t think I would like this part of the mod.

    • Underwhelmed says:

      Challenge mods are very frequently an adjustment of the ingame variables, that will line up with how the mod makers themselves already play the game. This is one of the reasons that such mods are usually not very well balanced. It isn’t a test of skill as much as it is “can you figure out how I play the game?”

    • Kitsunin says:

      Totally agree. And considering how sillily easy it is to just call in a resupply it does little but add a source of frustration/tedium rather than make things more difficult.

    • stringerdell says:

      I feel the same way about the decrease to knockout time. Most of the rest kind of makes sense to me but why should someone stand back up 4 minutes later if Ive just shot 4 tranq darts into them?

    • popej says:

      I believe the mod comes with separate modules so you can customise the changes. I.e. You can play the rest of it without that change. Not certain yet as I’ve only read the readme file.

    • Unruly says:

      I can understand not carrying an extra 7 RPG rounds on your back. Those rounds take up a lot of space and are pretty heavy individually. But the average US soldier has carried between 150-300 rounds of ammo since the introduction of the M16. I figure that most militaries around the world have similar ammo loads, what with almost everyone seeming to use the same handful of rifle designs that use the same magazine designs and the same caliber rounds.

      So the primary weapon ammo loads are actually pretty realistic. Same with the secondary ones, because not many people are going to pack more than a couple extra mags for what’s supposed to be a backup weapon. The only ones that are weird are the launchers, both rocket and grenade.

      The empty magazines, yea, they shouldn’t be infinite. But they shouldn’t require a supply drop to replenish. In MGS2 and 3, and I think 4, you got a new one every time you emptied a magazine. A shame they didn’t do it that way in 5.

      • LionsPhil says:

        If you’re going to make them consumable, at least make them possible to pick back up, though.

        (Ah, memories of hunting for thrown coins in…NOLF2, I think? Agent 47 has whole pockets full of loose change.)

  3. shakyshawn8151 says:

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