Metal Gear Online: How To Pick The Best Skills in MGO

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Skill list

If you are new to MGO, first read the introduction to playing Metal Gear Online.

Metal Gear Online gives each character four skill slots to customize extra abilities that enhance certain skills. Choosing what skills to use is mostly a matter of play style, but there are a few that are more universally useful than others.

Here’s the list of skills in MGO.

  • Handgun
  • SMG
  • Assault Rifle
  • Shotgun
  • Sniper Rifle
  • Hawkeye
  • Surveyor
  • Quarterback
  • Trickster
  • CQC+
  • Blades+
  • Runner
  • Box Move
  • Quick Recovery
  • Monomania
  • Sixth Sense
  • NARC
  • Scanner

Choosing Your Skills

All of the weapon skills – Handgun, SMG, Assult Rifle, Shotgun, and Sniper Rifle – decrease recoil and reload time for the appropriate weapon, but will cost three of the four available slots to use weapon mastery. There is a slight advantage in having weapon mastery, but it’s not useful enough for most players, unless you plan on sticking to a single weapon type.

Choosing a level one weapon skill would be sufficient, with the remaining three slots better used for support skills.

Hawkeye is pretty much useless, since first-person mode is a handicap in a way, and extra zoom wouldn’t improve the weapon’s range anyway. Skip it.

Surveyor is only useful if you rely on lock-on, which isn’t recommended, since you can’t get head shots. Those who do use lock-on find it most helpful in close quarters since it’s harder to track enemies, which makes extended range pointless. Not a good choice.

Quarterback lets you throw farther, which can be useful in a grenade throwing match, but not a needed skill. It’s more useful if you plan on using Electronic Locators. As a plus, it only takes up one slot even at the highest level.

Trickster lowers the time it takes to set up traps. Again, useful if you plan on playing trap-heavy, but not as versatile as other support skills. Also only takes one skill slot.

The CQC skill lets you grab enemies and perform more hand-to-hand skills, including throat slitting when paired with the Blades skills. Both skills are slot intensive, and require a commitment to a close-quarters play style.

Runner is a useful skill to have leveled-up and at the ready, as it can be very helpful in Base and Capture modes, but less so in other game modes. After leveling to full, keeping a skill slot filled with level one runner will keep you a bit more mobile than without it.

Box move let’s you move faster while inside hiding inside a cardboard box. At level three it also has the ability to ram opponents with the box. If it didn’t take up to three skill slots it might be fun to have, but as it is – it’s just not worth it if you want to play seriously.

Quick Recovery decreases the time it takes for you to wake up stunned teammates. Since opponents usually don’t use non-lethal weapons, and you might be far away from that teammate even if they did, it’s not a very useful skill.

Monomania is a universally helpful skill, displaying tactical data on enemies you hit, allowing you to see them for a few seconds after they duck behind cover, and letting your teammates see them too. At level three, the display time is increased and it still only takes up one slot.

Sixth Sense puts glowing markers around traps, allowing you to avoid getting caught, and higher levels increase the detection distance without taking up any extra skill slots.

NARC is another useful skill, showing enemies that have you locked-on. Only at its highest level is it really useful, showing enemies that are merely targeting you. Before that, the enemy has to be using lock-on, and at level one you actually have to take damage. In any case, you have to be in the enemy’s sights before the skill kicks in, so it’s usually too late to do anything about it unless you already saw them anyway. And because leveling up a skill requires using it heavily, the only way to get Narc to level three is to spend hours in a “training” game, a match set up by a host with the specific intention of everyone mutually using certain skills and not actually fighting.

Scanner is another useless skill, as it requires you to grab an enemy, inject a scanning plug into him, and then let him go. If he happens to stay alive long enough for the scanner to give you any useful information it might be useful, but you’re really just better off fragging the guy when you have him in the first place.

For attackers:

  • Runner 1
  • Quarterback 3
  • Preferred weapon skill 2

For snipers:

  • Trickster 3
  • Sniper Rifle 3

For sneaking:

  • Sixth Sense 3
  • Monomania 3
  • Narc 3
  • CQC 1


  • Runner 1
  • Weapon skill 1
  • Sixth Sense 3
  • Monomania 3