Achieving the Foxhound Rank in Metal Gear Solid: 3 Snake Eater

In the Metal Gear Solid series, one of the biggest honors you can receive is your rank at the end of your playthrough. The highest achievement attainable in most games in the Konami stealth franchise is the Big Boss rank. However, a new scoring system was created for the third mainline title in the franchise since you play as Big Boss in the prequel. Here’s how to reach the Foxhound rank in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.

Screenshot of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater title menu
Image via Konami

To reach Foxhound rank, you must beat Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater on Extreme difficulty. The good news is that the challenge mode is notably less punishing than the one featured in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. This isn’t to say it’s a cakewalk, either. You will still face the usual challenges of heightened enemy AI while also encountering additional guards in nearly every area. The game also has significantly fewer resources and reduced carrying capacity for any supplies you do manage to find.

A no-kill playthrough shouldn’t be a problem, given the numerous non-lethal methods at your disposal to handle enemies. However, it’s important to remember that bosses, too, must be dealt with non-lethally. Just be careful with your aim and make sure every shot counts, as you will spend most of your run with a small reserve of ammo. Animal kills, with the exception of dogs, do not contribute to your kill count.

Here are the full requirements to reaching Foxhound rank in MGS3:

  • Beat the game on Extreme difficulty mode.
  • Complete the game in under five hours.
  • Use 0 continues.
  • No killing anyone.
  • Trigger no alerts.
  • Use no life medicine.
  • Take less than 10 life bars worth of damage.
  • Save 25 or fewer times.
  • No special items.
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Screenshot of Snake eating in Metal Gear Solid 3
Screenshot by Siliconera

The only items classified as “special” for this run are the EZ Gun, stealth camo, and the infinity facepaint. Everything else, including the camouflage awarded for defeating bosses non-lethally, is fair game. Before taking on the Foxhound rank, I recommend completing a full non-lethal run. The camouflage acquired from defeating bosses can be incredibly useful. For example, The Fear’s camo can help you sneak through challenging areas, while The End’s regenerates your stamina in sunlight.

Completing Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater in five hours may not be a leisurely pace, but it’s notably less stressful than the three-hour time limit imposed by previous games. To meet this time requirement, remember to skip all cutscenes and radio calls, as they’ll be counted against you. Honestly, if you can handle the other challenges of Extreme mode, the time constraint isn’t a significant hurdle.

Screenshot of Snake and the Boss in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Screenshot by Siliconera

Even with the luxury of 25 saves, having a well-thought-out plan is still important. Specifically, it’s best to map out where you intend to make your saves and identify the sections where you anticipate trouble. Keeping a few saves in reserve for the final act is also a good idea. The difficulty level really spikes in the final section, especially in Extreme mode, making those saves valuable toward the end.

Although reaching the highest rank may be easiest in Metal Gear Solid: 3 Snake Eaterit kind of makes sense from a lore perspective. In the other games, Snake and Raiden were rated based on Big Boss’s legacy. Whereas in this game, you are living his legacy. Regardless, it’s still a significant challenge that shouldn’t be taken too lightly. But with a good plan, you’ll reach Foxhound rank in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater in no time. For an extra challenge, you can do it again when the Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater remake eventually drops on PlayStation 5.

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The Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol. 1 will launch on October 24, 2023, across various platforms, including the PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X, PC, and Nintendo Switch.