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This article is about military camouflage in general. You may be looking for a list of camouflage items used in Metal Gear Solid 3, Metal Gear Solid 4 and Metal Gear Online, Peace Walker or Metal Gear Solid V.

Camouflage is a set of methods of concealment that allows otherwise visible animals, military vehicles, or other objects to remain unnoticed by blending with their environment or by resembling something else. Examples include a leopard's spotted coat, the battledress of a modern soldier and a leaf-mimic butterfly.

Camouflage is a form of visual deception and can be achieved in what may seem opposite ways. Mimesis means being seen, but resembling something else, whereas crypsis means being hidden. But in both cases, camouflage is achieved by not being noticed. A third approach, dazzle, means confusing the predator or enemy by moving in a conspicuous pattern. The prey or target is visible but hard to hit.

Besides the camouflage on a soldier's battledress, facepaint is also utilized as a means of camouflage. As the name suggests, it's meant to be worn on the face so as to not give away someone's position when blending in with part of the environment.

Military camouflage usage

Military camouflage refers to any method used to render military forces less detectable to enemy forces. In practice, it is the application of colour and materials to battledress and military equipment to conceal them from visual observation. In some cases, such as during a raid, camouflage can also be used to intimidate the enemy, such as special forces groups wearing all black.

The concept was first used in the 18th century. Although camouflage was growing more popular during the early 20th century, with the Eastern Bloc also discovering new ways to adopt camouflage for its forces. It was only during the 1960s that the United States Department of Defense started to consider adopting camouflage for certain units in its forces, as several members in the military viewed it as being too "passive" of a technique; Naked Snake, when learning of this from The Boss during the Virtuous Mission, viewed this belief as "moronic."


During World War II, agents of the OSS were rumored to have donned realistic cow suits to hide in plain sight among cow herds in order to spy on enemy troop patterns.


During World War II, the German Army at that time utilized uniforms that allowed themselves to blend in with trees. It was in large part because of this that the Treebark camouflage was later developed. In addition, the Wehrmacht also developed the raindrop camouflage during the war. The Germans also implemented the Splitter camo on various aircraft as a means to camouflage them during aerial combat.

German Defense Forces

The German Defense Forces developed a water patterned camouflage. Contrary to the name, however, the camouflage was not intended to actually camouflage its user when in water. Rather, it was named for it resembling water waves.


In the late 1970s, the Bundeswehr developed a brown and green camouflage known as the Flecktarn.

South Vietnamese Marine Corps

During the Vietnam War, the Marine Corps division of the South Vietnamese developed the Tiger Stripe camouflage, which was derived from the French's lizard stripe.

Eastern Bloc

During the Cold War, the Communist bloc implemented various forms of camouflage. After the Soviet bloc gained control of East Germany, they procured and adopted the raindrop camouflage. Sometime after Operation Snake Eater, the Soviets also developed the KLMK camouflage as a means to prevent the West and its proxies from discovering their positions via night vision equipment.

Great Britain

The British military developed the DPM as a means to camouflage themselves during the 1940s as part of parachute jumping, although it didn't see widespread use until the 1960s, and even then, it was limited until the 1970s.


During the 1970s, the Australians developed a type of camouflage called the Disruptive Pattern Combat Uniform, better known as Auscam, and also sometimes referred to as Jellybean or Bunnie Camo due to the distinctive patterns on it that bore resemblance to jelly beans and rabbit heads. A subtype to the Auscam was the Auscam Desert, which was utilized in desert warfare.


At some point, the Singapore military developed a variant of the tigerstripe camo, known as the Desert Tiger, that was primarily utilized within deserts.

United States Armed Forces

After it was decided that the military would have to adopt camouflage during the 1960s. When it became apparent that the United States would end up having more direct involvement in Vietnam, they created a leaf-patterned camouflage, aptly named leaf camouflage, which allowed the wearer to blend in more effectively within the trees. In addition, the Tree Bark camouflage was also adopted by the military in large part due to Germany's usage of the uniform during World War II. The U.S. forces also expressed interest in the Vietnamese tigerstripe camouflage after it saw usage, and eventually based the uniforms of the Green Berets and the current U.S. Air Force uniforms on the camo. Some copies of the XM16E1 assault rifle were also modified by gunsmiths to include camouflage patterns.

Olive Drabs also acted as the official uniform for GIs, and while they didn't possess camouflage properties much, they do blend in with urban environments such as military bases. The Boss wore an Olive Drab uniform immediately prior to her ultimate defection to the Soviet Union in 1964. It was ultimately replaced with camouflage uniforms. The Woodland camouflage also came out around 1967, which was based on camouflage research done in 1948. In addition, it was issued to special forces in Vietnam.

The United States Armed Forces also had the chocolate chip camouflage, which had been named such by Sigint during Operation Snake Eater because they resembled Major Zero's scones (which he erroneously labeled as chocolate chip cookies), resulting in the latter giving him a lecture in response after he justified his error claiming they were the same thing.

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." Its canonicity within the continuity is disputed, therefore reader discretion is advised.[?]

During the 1970s, the Green Berets sometimes utilized Tiger Stripe camouflage. Roy Campbell, during the San Hieronymo Incident in late 1970, wore pants matching the Tiger Stripe.

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

During the First Gulf War in Iraq in the early 1990s, the United States developed a 3-color desert camouflage for use in desert combat within the country. It was developed to take into account the changing colors of desert terrain depending on the mineral content and the time of day, replacing the 6-color desert.

In 2002, another form of camouflage, known as MARPAT, was developed for the United States Marine Corps, and had three different varieties since its development: the woodland, the desert, and the urban MARPAT.

The Big Shell effectively acted as a giant camouflage net to conceal the development of the next-generation submersible battleship, Arsenal Gear, to which the Tanker Incident was also orchestrated by the Patriots to supply a convenient excuse to secretly develop its construction site.

Marine Corps

The Marines wore olive drab uniforms during the 1970s, with their also wearing green raincoats during stormy weather.

Besides the standard camouflage uniforms of the Marines, the Marines also adopted a form of camouflage during the Tanker Incident, where they, or rather, the skeleton crew charged with patrolling the upper decks of the dummy tanker USS Discovery, wore light-blue raincoats and orange jumpsuits in order to disguise their motives of transporting Metal Gear RAY on-board the Discovery from the general public. The tanker itself also acted as camouflage for the transport of RAY, as it was supposed to appear as a regular oil tanker to the public.


The FOX Unit made extensive use of camouflage uniforms and face paint while carrying out top-secret sneaking missions for the CIA. Camouflage uniforms included olive drab, tiger stripe, leaf, tree bark, squares, and black. Besides the aforementioned camouflage uniforms that they utilized themselves, FOX operatives also had to procure various camouflages within the region they were infiltrating.

In addition to camouflaged battle fatigues and facepaint, FOX agent Naked Snake utilized various forms of disguise to infiltrate urban settings in Tselinoyarsk, during Operation Snake Eater in 1964. He managed to procure a crocodile cap, which he later used to disguise himself as a crocodile to disguise himself from the enemy. He also made use of various cardboard boxes to both hide from the enemy in urban environments and to disguise himself as cargo on Groznyj Grad's premises, which had succeeded largely because the personnel at Groznyj Grad already had enough work on their hands trying to load the large amount of supplies onto the truck and off without doing a thorough inspection of the contents. His teammates congratulated him on coming up with the disguise, although he was disappointed, as he was hoping to shock them. A Soviet scientist uniform was provided to Snake by fellow spy EVA, with which to sneak into Graniny Gorki. He later stole a GRU officer's uniform after incapacitating its wearer, Ivan Raidenovitch Raikov, and used it along with a face mask to gain access to the West Wing of Groznyj Grad. The face mask itself was also originally intended for a cancelled CIA mission with a similar nature of infiltration. In addition, because Raikov was infamous for being physically abusive to the soldiers under his command due to Volgin's influence, the disguise also greatly aided Snake as it allowed him to beat up any GRU soldiers without risk of blowing his cover.[1] However, while the disguise worked well with the other soldiers, it failed to work with Yevgeny Borisovitch Volgin, due to the latter's sexual relationship with Raikov allowing him to deduce certain aspects Snake couldn't disguise.

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." Its canonicity within the continuity is disputed, therefore reader discretion is advised.[?]

FOX later adopted the use of Sneaking Suits for its elite members, after Snake procured a Soviet prototype in Tselinoyarsk. Along with providing additional damage protection, the Sneaking Suit gave its wearer good overall camouflage in various environments. In addition, when stealing the Intercontinental Ballistic Metal Gear and shipping it to the San Hieronymo Peninsula, the FOX Unit also disguised its container to look like it was being shipped off to Vietnam, with it stating "Made in the USA." Naked Snake later deduced it was the container the ICBMG was in because of it looking out of place compared to the other shipping containers.

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

Soviet Union

Various members of GRU created two Sneaking Suit prototypes, colored white and black. The former was utilized by the defecting American agent, The Boss during Operation Snake Eater, and the latter was procured by Naked Snake during his mission into the region, which led to FOX adopting the use of Sneaking Suits for its elite members. Volgin's GRU unit likewise adopted camouflage similar in nature to the later KLMK camouflage, although it did not obscure the user from night vision. The Shagohod also possessed camouflage that ensured it was unable to be detected by either spy planes or spy satellites.

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." Its canonicity within the continuity is disputed, therefore reader discretion is advised.[?]

In addition, when developing the Soviet IRBM missile base on the San Hieronymo Peninsula, the silo itself was designed specifically to prevent any aerial or satellite images from detecting the base. A paper made in 1966 by a Soviet radar engineer and published by the Soviet government explained how to calculate the radar reflecting surfaces of the aircraft, thus indirectly and unintentionally resulting in the creation of stealth-equipped aircraft that couldn't appear on radar.

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

The KGB agent Vladimir Aleksandrovich Zadornov, to cover for his Soviet activities in Latin America, had adopted the identity of the Costa Rican professor Ramón Gálvez Mena, who lectured on the virtues of "peace" for at least 20 years and had pushed for the creation of the United Nations University for Peace.

Cobra Unit

The Fear utilized a form of stealth camouflage that ran on his bioelectricity. As a direct result, he could cloak himself at will, but it also came at the cost of draining his stamina, thus often requiring him to break his cover to hunt for food.

The End, likewise, wore a Ghillie Suit that allowed for him to blend in with nature. In addition, because of his photosynthetic nature and his becoming one with his environment, he can also block out heat, thus rendering him nearly completely invisible to thermal detection devices.

During the Virtuous Mission, The Boss wore olive-drab fatigues and a bandana, the latter of which ended up taken by her protégé Naked Snake when she flung the latter into the Dolinovodno River. The Boss later wore a white Sneaking Suit prototype shortly after defecting to the Soviet Union. She frequently used its white color during her final battle with Naked Snake at Rokovoj Bereg to blend in with the Easter Lilies prevalent in the area.

People's Liberation Army

During Operation Snake Eater, a female spy for the Chinese faction of the Philosophers disguised herself as a KGB officer by the name of Tatyana as part of an elaborate method to infiltrate Volgin's inner circle to retrieve the Philosophers' Legacy.


See FOXHOUND equipment
Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." Its canonicity within the continuity is disputed, therefore reader discretion is advised.[?]

The rebel force that would eventually form the basis for FOXHOUND, was comprised of former Red Army and FOX personnel. Led by Naked Snake during the San Hieronymo Incident, these personnel used their former uniforms as camouflage to help sneak by enemy forces, in their mission to stop the then-renegade FOX Unit.

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

Stealth camoufage technology, which could render the user invisible through light refraction.

After FOXHOUND was established as a U.S. Army Special Forces unit, field uniforms of various camouflage patterns were used for operations in different terrain and climates. In the 1990s, camouflage uniforms included field drab, forest green, dark green, sand, white, urban gray, dark gray, and black. A special type of camouflage known as the "Chameleon Suit" was also developed, which allowed the user to blend into the environment by changing colors, utilizing internal temperature and optical sensors, and reducing radar reflection.

During the Outer Heaven Uprising in 1995, agent Solid Snake disguised himself as an enemy officer, after following the advice of his commander Big Boss. Snake used the uniform to bypass a checkpoint into Building 2 of Outer Heaven, due to enemy personnel anticipating FOXHOUND's attempts to infiltrate the fortress. Snake also adopted the unorthodox tactic of hiding within a cardboard box to evade detection, which he again used during the Zanzibar Land Disturbance in 1999.[2] Other than the cardboard box, he also disguised himself as a washbucket in order to stake out the lavatories of the Zanzibar Building's fourth floor, in order to seek out Gustava Heffner, who was disguised as a Zanzibar Land soldier at that time.

Raiden, wearing the camouflaged Battle Dress Uniform of the Gurlukovich Mercenaries.

In 2005, FOXHOUND utilized a new type of Sneaking Suit, which ex-member Solid Snake would use in the urban environments of Shadow Moses Island. During said incident, FOXHOUND's master of disguise, Decoy Octopus, physically impersonated the DARPA Chief, Donald Anderson, even going so far as to take Anderson's blood into his own body. Octopus was able to fool Snake entirely, and succeeded in imparting disinformation to him. In addition, new recruit Meryl Silverburgh disguised herself in the uniform of a Genome Soldier, which she stole from Johnny Sasaki upon escaping imprisonment, though she later discarded it, claiming that it "smelled of blood." Snake also managed to track her down in the aforementioned uniform due to her female sway when walking, which had been apparent even while in uniform.

The Shadow Moses Incident saw the debut of ArmsTech's stealth camouflage, which was used by several Genome Soldiers to ambush Snake in an elevator. Designed by Hal Emmerich, a.k.a. Otacon, stealth camo rendered the wearer invisible by bending light around them. Otacon himself used the camouflage to remain hidden on the Shadow Moses base, while assisting Snake in his mission. He also intended to supply Snake with one of the prototypes, but the remaining prototypes were stolen by the aforementioned Genome Soldiers before he got a chance for the above-mentioned ambush attempt. In addition, the Arctic Warfare division for the Next-Generation Special Forces, because of their being stationed as outdoor guards during the incident, effectively used camouflage during this time, as their uniforms blended in with the snow on Shadow Moses, and was enhanced even more from the blizzard that occurred at the time of the takeover. 

Although FOXHOUND was officially disbanded following the unit's revolt on Shadow Moses, Raiden operated as a member in some capacity during the Big Shell Incident in 2009. In addition to utilizing the newly-developed Skull Suit, Raiden also ended up wearing the Battle Dress Uniform of the Gurlukovich Mercenaries, complete with balaclava and AKS-74u. He used the disguise to infiltrate the Shell 1 Core of the Big Shell, in order to locate Richard Ames of the Secret Service, although the uniform was very tight fitting.

Militaires Sans Frontières

The Militaires Sans Frontières primarily utilized jungle fatigues as camouflage. However, the fatigues also had variants that allowed for proper camouflage in a specific environment. During their operations in Costa Rica, during the Peace Walker Incident in 1974, the MSF procured various new uniforms such as Sneaking Suits, as well as camouflage technology like the stealth mat. Their specific camouflage fatigues included the Leaf, Tigerstripe, Choco-Chip, Desert Auscam, Squares, Splitter, Snake, Water, DPM, Treebark, as well as fatigues that came in red, navy blue, green, khaki, white, black, pink, and yellow as well as fatigues that carried a specialized purpose such as Neo Moss Camo, derived from The End's ghillie suit. Their commander, Big Boss, also disguised himself as cargo on a truck so he could easily infiltrate the American-owned Missile and Supply Base in Nicaragua. MSF was also implied to use face paint.

Peace Sentinel

Some of the snipers in the CIA mercenary group Peace Sentinel utilized ghillie suits as a means to ensure that they aren't found. Regular snipers, belonging to the scout units, had themselves adopted light-green clothing and, depending on the time of day, either a boonie cap or a veil, as a means to camouflage themselves in Costa Rica's cloud rain forests. Peace Walker itself was also designed to be undetectable via satellite imagery.


The XOF wore Olive Drab uniforms. When departing from Camp Omega, they also used a device to "erase" the XOF logo on their Blackhawk choppers, and also removed their XOF badges and released them mid-flight.

Diamond Dogs

The Diamond Dogs utilized some camouflage, with their fatigues including olive drab, tiger stripe, desert fox, water, black, and desert stripe variants, an all-purpose dry variant, black and blue urban variants, and a specialized variant known as black ocelot, as well as a new Sneaking Suit and battle dress. Their cardboard boxes also had at least desert camo, all-purpose dry, rocky terrain, urban, rocky/sandy, woodland, and wetlands as a camouflage setting. Combat buddy animals such as Diamond Horse and D.D. could also wear uniforms as well, or at least a battle dress and a sneaking suit, respectively. In addition, the weapons and equipment, and to some extent Mother Base itself, could also be given various camouflage colors and patterns.

Zanzibar Land

The armed forces of Zanzibar Land utilized camouflaged fatigues during normal duties, such as guarding. The uniform was of a brown woodland pattern, suited for the highlands, marshes, deserts, and jungle areas of Zanzibar Land. During combat operation, they also wore camouflaged aramid helmets. In addition, soldiers made use of the man-sized Phantom 07 camouflage mat, which could be made compatible with any type of terrain.

During the Zanzibar Land Disturbance, the mercenary Black Ninja disguised himself as the kidnapped Dr. Kio Marv, in order to ambush Solid Snake. Fellow mercenary Jungle Evil made extensive use of jungle camouflage as an expert in guerrilla combat, while Night Fright utilized a form of stealth camouflage, making him invisible to radar and the naked eye.

Both Holly White and Gustava Heffner, of the CIA and Czech Security Service, respectively, disguised themselves as Zanzibar Land soldiers during the 1999 Disturbance. Gustava stole a uniform in order to elude capture after Marv's plane was hijacked, while Holly procured one after previously being captured and then rescued by Snake.

Gurlukovich Mercenaries

The Gurlukovich Mercenaries wore during the takeover of the USS Discovery tanker in the Tanker Incident in 2007 and while guarding the Shell 1 core in the Big Shell Incident in 2009 an orange-brown version of the Soviet TTSKo camouflage B.D.U. The regular guards on the Big Shell during the Big Shell Incident likewise wore the Urban Kamysh Russian camouflage B.D.U.


Solid Snake, disguised as a militia operator.

As a member of Philanthropy, Solid Snake utilized the FOXHOUND Sneaking Suit during the Tanker Incident, and the Big Shell Incident two years later. Snake initially used Otacon's Stealth Camo to board the tanker USS Discovery, though it ended up damaged during a landing impact. In addition, prior to boarding the Discovery, Snake also adopted a blue raincoat to disguise himself from the busy traffic on the Washington Bridge, removing it only to activate his Stealth Camo a second later. While on board the Big Shell, Snake also disguised himself as a member of SEAL Team 10, Iroquois Pliskin, Lieutenant Junior Grade. He continued to maintain his disguise, even after revealing to Raiden his true identity, until after boarding Arsenal Gear beneath the Big Shell.

Guns of the Patriots Incident

In 2014, Solid Snake made use of OctoCamo, a special Sneaking Suit developed by Otacon from DARPA designs. The suit could mimic patterns and textures, providing excellent camouflage. The suit's effectiveness was improved further, with the use of FaceCamo, which utilized the same technology. Besides the OctoCamo's capability of mimicking patterns and textures, Snake's OctoCamo suit also was capable of saving camouflage patterns for future use, with five different camouflage patterns/textures: the Olive Drab; the Woodland; the MARPAT Urban; the Tigerstripe; and the 3-color Desert being pre-programmed into the suit, not counting the suit's default blue form. While infiltrating the Middle East, prior to the Guns of the Patriots Incident, Snake disguised himself as a militia instructor. In addition, he also decided to adopt an oil drum as a disguise, which also had the added benefit as a means for a quick getaway should he be discovered. In Eastern Europe, he adopted a civilian disguise to bypass a checkpoint at a train station, using a trench coat and FaceCamo to make himself look younger, though his cover was eventually compromised.

The Beauty and the Beast Unit

Laughing Octopus, a member of the four-woman squad known as the Beauty and the Beast Unit, utilized OctoCamo, as well as FaceCamo, in order to successfully ambush the enemy.

Liquid Ocelot's Outer Heaven

In 2014, the Outer Heaven PMC mother company, led by Liquid Ocelot, possessed a warship, Outer Haven, which utilized OctoCamo on its hull.

The Dwarf Gekkos were also capable of adopting disguises using a trenchcoat and fedora, as evidenced by their mission in Eastern Europe.

Drebin 893

The gun launderer and Patriot agent Drebin 893 utilized OctoCamo on his Stryker, which allowed him to hide from potential enemies.

Rat Patrol Team 01

Meryl Silverburgh's CID squad, Rat Patrol Team 01, utilized uniforms derived from the Sneaking Suits of FOXHOUND. In addition, they also wore the FOXHOUND logo as a means to disguise their identities.

Johnny Sasaki, also known as Akiba, utilized a drum can as a means to carry out reconnaissance in a downtown area, during Rat Patrol's mission in the Middle East. However, he ended blowing his cover to a local militiaman on patrol after he was hit with a bout of diarrhea.


Aside from the aforementioned usage of the BDU during the Big Shell Incident, Raiden utilized a disguise composed of simply a black coat to disguise somewhat the fact that he was currently a cyborg ninja in 2014.

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." Its canonicity within the continuity is disputed, therefore reader discretion is advised.[?]

In 2018, during a mission in Mexico for the PMC Maverick, in order to blend in with the locals, he temporarily adopted a Mariachi disguise under the misguided impression that it would blend in with the locals, although he ditched the sombrero after entering a sewer grate.

Desperado Enforcement LLC.

Desperado's Gekko utilized Green camo colors during their mission in Abkhazia. Likewise, they also utilized red and black coloration for their own cyborgs and/or the Gekko, Mastiff, and Grad UGs to indicate they were aligned to them when working with Desperado. Their custom cyborgs, likewise, utilized the urban camouflage when inside the Russian coastal refinery plant. Besides camo patterns, the Desperado cyborgs and UGs also utilized stealth camouflage to ambush an enemy and/or retreat a battle where they were otherwise unable to fight back.

The Desperado research lab's main entrance was also camouflaged to look like part of the sewer wall, although Raiden managed to see through it due to a hint from an escaped homeless child and some reconnaissance from Blade Wolf, destroying the camouflage and entering the premises.

World Marshal

World Marshal utilized urban coloring for their Armored Cyborgs and their Gekko. In addition, World Marshal also painted their camouflage colors to resemble that of Desperado while in Pakistan to cover up their involvement and frame Desperado. Like Desperado, both their cyborgs and their UGs were equipped with stealth camouflage to either ambush an enemy or otherwise retreat.

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

Behind the scenes

Enemy Uniform item in Metal Gear.

The use of camouflage appears throughout the Metal Gear series, where the player often has to disguise themselves as an enemy soldier in order to bypass a particular checkpoint. In the original version of Metal Gear, Big Boss jokingly refers to the Outer Heaven uniform as being a girl's high school uniform. In the Nintendo Entertainment System version, he refers to it as being "cute little sailor suits." Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake has a camouflage mat that changes color to match the texture of whatever it is laid against, concealing Snake beneath. As a story element, various characters have also disguised themselves, in order to aid or trick the game's protagonist. In Metal Gear Solid, Liquid Snake disguises his physical appearance as that of Master Miller in the Codec screen, though the lack of an in-universe video device, as well as occasional elements of fourth wall breaking via the same Codec function, have left it ambiguous as to whether Liquid had indeed done so or if it was also a fourth wall breach. Dummied content in the original game also indicated that Solid Snake was to wear the Arctic Warfare Genome uniform (sans balaclava), although it wasn't clear if it was intended to be the case in the main story or if it was meant to be for one of the VR missions. In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, the player at one point has to disguise themselves as the enemy to bypass security measures at the Shell 1 Core.

Naked Snake, using the Tree Bark uniform and Woodland face paint, granting a 90% camo index (top right).

Beginning in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, a camouflage system was introduced in which the player must switch between different camouflage uniforms and face paints to blend in with the environment; for example, wearing a bark-patterned uniform while leaning against a tree, or wearing striped face paint while hiding in tall grass. The effectiveness of the camouflage that Snake is wearing is shown by the camo index, shown as a percentage in the top right corner of the screen. The higher it is, the less likely it is that an enemy will see Snake. The distance that an enemy can see, and the degree of camouflage needed to stay hidden from them, increases on higher difficulties. Its usage in Metal Gear Solid 3 was briefly hinted at during a dinner interview with Hideo Kojima by PSM during the game's development, where, after being asked if the player would change into different outfits similar to how Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 2 had disguised himself as a Gurlukovich mercenary, Kojima simply smiled at the interviewer. In the same interview, Kojima also admitted he considered having Snake hide in mud to avoid heat detection, but was cut from the final version.

During Metal Gear Solid 3's development, as part of a promotion for the game, the development staff requested that fans across the world submit designs for camouflages that would be implemented into the final version. Called the "MGS3 CAMOUFLAGE CAMPAIGN", it ran from May 12 to July 1, 2004. The winning entries were the Animals camouflage, the Banana camouflage, the Fly camouflage, and the Mummy camouflage.[3] In addition, although Metal Gear Solid 3 was released before the advent of DLC, the game included a method to download special camouflage patterns through various methods: the first was via a specialized memory card with direct access to the Internet. This one included various camouflage uniforms that were based on seasonal events in Japan and/or internationally (e.g., Santa, St. Valentines, Japanese New Year), grants some abilities to the player (e.g., Mummy, Grenade, and to some extent Rainbow), animal based prints, promotional purposes (e.g., Yodobashi), a reference to previous games (e.g., Anubis) or were based on actual camouflage patterns utilized during the Cold War. In addition to the Internet-based downloads, there were also bonus uniforms and facepaints that were unlocked by pre-ordering/purchasing certain products promoting Metal Gear Solid 3 (e.g., the DPM/Green face paint, Desert Tiger/Brown face paint, Desert Auscam, and WonderGOO uniforms were unlocked by pre-ordering/purchasing Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater - The First Bite, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Maxi Single CD, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Original Soundtrack, and WonderGOO products, respectively). There was also a means to unlock Flecktarn, although its method of unlocking was unknown. These downloads were later implemented into the Subsistence version, by completing the game once and then starting over; or by accomplishing certain objectives in the game (e.g., ranking 1st place in all levels in Special Duel Mode will unlock the DPM). In addition to the previously downloadable bonus camouflages, there were also nine facepaints created exclusively to Subsistence that were based on various nations (USA, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Soviet Union, Sweden, and Japan).

Aside from this, the title screen for all versions of Snake Eater except for the 3DS version utilize camo patterns and colors in the background.

The camouflage system itself did not return in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. However, it did utilize a similar system where the recruited soldier can blend in with other soldiers so long as they were wearing the same uniform as them (i.e., a Soviet Soldier-based soldier on your team will not be able to fool an enemy Scientist, and vice versa), and they don't commit any suspicious actions such as crawling, rolling, or attacking a soldier or otherwise making physical contact with them. There are some bonus soldiers, however, that have some camo patterns, such as the Japanese province soldiers, the United States soldiers, the EU soldiers, and some bonus soldiers representing Japanese magazines and products, in addition to the GA-KO soldiers.

In Super Smash Bros Brawl, the tiger stripe, auscam, animal, water, and fire camouflages from Metal Gear Solid 3 appear as alternate costumes for Solid Snake. In addition, the players can also activate Clear Mode to render the characters invisible similar to the stealth camouflage. The camouflage system itself, however, is entirely absent, mainly due to Smash not being a part of the Metal Gear series.

The camouflage system made a return in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Unlike in Metal Gear Solid 3, however, the player doesn't have to seek out camouflage items, since the in-game OctoCamo allows the player to simply press against a surface and obtain the necessary camouflage instantly. In addition, besides the Militia instructor and civilian disguises, the player can also acquire a South American guerrilla uniform. However, because of its acquirement being completely optional, it is ambiguous as to whether Snake acquired it canonically. Similarly, the player can also gain a recolor of the Militia instructor uniform called "Altaïr", which is based on the eponymous character from the Assassin's Creed franchise. Camouflage uniforms and facepaint appear in Metal Gear Online as part of a customizable color scheme for equipment, which encompasses various military camouflage patterns, solid colors, and even animal prints.

Camo select menu in Peace Walker.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker returned to the roots of Metal Gear Solid 3 regarding camouflage, as the player has to procure uniforms located throughout the mission. Unlike Metal Gear Solid 3, however, the camouflage has a grading system for its camo index, largely to allow the player to choose the right camouflage for the specific mission, as they can't change camos once in a mission. In addition, it does not contain facepaint or a similar device. Although various recruits for Peace Walker cannot wear the uniforms they were recruited in during missions, their uniforms can be unlocked at various instances. These are only usable during Peace Walker's online mode.

In both Metal Gear Solid 4 and Peace Walker, there was also a means to gain DLC camouflage via the PlayStation Network. In the latter case, the camouflage can also be acquired by gaining specialized products and inputting their passcodes via the PSN. Most of the latter DLC was removed in the international releases due to their being product placement items, with the items they represented also being changed for the same reason outside Japan. The exception being the HORI products, the Walkman, the UT shirts (all 14 specific shirts plus a UT logo shirt) and the FOX logo. After it was announced that the DLC was to be discontinued after September 30, 2013, the DLC content, including uniforms, was also stated to be retained in-game for the HD collection/HD edition after that date, due to the latter games pre-including the content. The cost for the camo DLC are 130 KB for Khaki, Navy Blue, Pink, White, Black, Red, Green, Yellow, Water, DPM, Treebark, Comrade, Guns&Jungle, and the Naked uniforms for all except the Comrade and Guns&Jungle (which lacked naked equivalents), as well as 74 KB for the six UB t-shirts for Arakawa Under the Bridge and the Monster Hunter T-shirts and 16 KB for each of the three magazine data (even though the latter are not true Camo DLC). Of these, only the standard camouflage suits are available outside Japan. In total, they cost either 3380 KB (international versions) or 4168 KB (Japanese versions).

If the player obtains every type of camouflage and face paint in the HD version of Metal Gear Solid 3, they'll be awarded with the trophies/achievements "Fashionista" and "Only Skin Deep," respectively. Likewise, if the player manages to maintain a 100% Camo Index in the same version, the achievement/trophy "A Good Man is Hard to Find" is unlocked. In addition, achieving a Camo Index of greater than 90% will result in the achievement/trophy "I Can Totally See You" being unlocked.

Although the Camouflage gameplay method itself does not return in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, unlockable skins for Raiden's Cyborg Ninja form in that game was revealed to have several alternate skins, including a skin that resembles Gray Fox's Cyborg Ninja outfit, the White armor, which focuses on the medical aspects of Raiden's mission, Inferno, a red armor that emphasizes special attacks such as grenades, and Command, an armor that focuses on traditional attacks. The White, Inferno, and Command armors likewise can be downloaded from specific stores such as KonamiStyle, Tsutaya, and Geo, respectively.[4] In addition, Raiden's MGS4 armor, called White Armor by Kojima (no relation to the above mentioned White Armor unlockable) was stated to be playable during the prologue, and Kojima also implies that Raiden's MGS2 self, referred to as "Old Raiden" or "Blue Raiden" by Kojima in his Twitter account, was unlockable/playable.

Besides the canonical games, there was also at least two accounts of camouflage use in non-canonical games. In Metal Gear Acid, the player has to retrieve three color-coded uniforms (red, green, and blue, each represented by the balaclava of the respective color) to bypass the main floors on Ebro Tower, as the guards don't attack anyone with the same color as themselves. In addition, the ACUA troops managed to outsmart the Leone Unit by temporarily disguising themselves in the Leone Unit's uniforms later into the game. In Metal Gear Solid Mobile, the player uses a camouflage sampler called "Chameleon Camouflage System" which changes color of Snake's sneaking suit.

The Camouflage system does not make a reappearance in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, although the Body-Snatchers were implied to use camouflage to disguise their full numbers in the climax of the Jamais Vu extra op. The closest to a camouflage system is in the Déjà Vu and Jamais Vu extra op, where the player can either play as Big Boss, or otherwise wear a skin of Solid Snake (identified as Classic Snake) or the Cyborg Ninja, with the latter skins having the characters appear as they would in Metal Gear Solid, as well as playing as either Raiden's basic body or his White and Commando body. The latter skins are unlockable only after acing the post-mission quizzes in the on Normal and Hard mode, respectively (or in the case of Jamais Vu, simply beating Normal and Hard mode). Some posters during the announcement of a Ground Zeroes collaboration with designer outfit company Puma also implied that DLC relating to Puma would be released for Ground Zeroes, although this never came about. Although not actually usable in Ground Zeroes itself, pre-ordering the game from Amazon Japan as well as completing Ground Zeroes will result in DLC passcodes being issues that will unlock the Wetland Cardboard Box and the MSF Sneaking Suit used in Ground Zeroes, respectively, for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain after the latter's release. These same DLC were later released publicly as paid DLC on October 2015.

Due to the trailer showing Big Boss wearing tiger stripes fatigues and in two concept images from Kojima Station showing him again, this time wearing olive drab fatigues, it was assumed that camouflage system might make a comeback in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. This was later confirmed with the various demos, in particular the TGS 2014 Africa Quiet demo which unveiled the naked, Tiger Stripe, and Sneaking Suit options. In addition, the E3 2015 demo revealed that the player can also apply camouflage settings of various sorts to the weapons in the game, and that various buddy characters can wear camouflage uniforms of various sorts. The latter was also hinted at earlier with the prototype Play Arts KAI figure for D.D. depicting him as wearing a Sneaking Suit. Kojima's Twitter account also implied that Mother Base can be given various colors and prints, which was later confirmed in the Gamescom 2015 Mother Base/FOB demo. In addition, getting the day one, collector's, special, and premium editions for The Phantom Pain will also result in the player getting three Cardboard box camouflage variants (Wetland, All-Purpose Dryland, and Rocky Terrain) and four camouflage combat fatigue (Blue Urban, Gray Urban, Black Ocelot, and All-Purpose Dryland) variants. In addition, besides the Wetland's status as a DLC passcode pre-order for Ground Zeroes, the Rocky Terrain Cardboard Box can also be made available via pre-order via DLC passcode by pre-ordering The Phantom Pain itself via GAME Tsutaya, and the Blue Urban, All-Purpose Dryland, and Gray Urban fatigues are also made available via pre-order via DLC passcode by pre-ordering The Phantom Pain via Famina, PlayStation Store, and various other stores, respectively. Aside from uniforms, the player can also apply customizable colors to their main Mother Base/Forward Operating Bases and to their weapons (although the latter requires the recruitment of the Legendary Gunsmith beforehand). In addition, the player can also optionally wear scarves on the battlefield provided that they are wearing one of the various camouflage fatigues, with their color depending on what specific camouflage fatigues they were currently wearing.

Starting with the December 17, 2015 update, there was going to be exclusive online-only uniforms that could be purchased via Event Points. They cost 7200 Event Points each, as well as 1000 GMP each, and have absolutely no other costs beyond that, and it takes 5 minutes to develop (and a single MB Coin to skip the development process). Datamining the game revealed there would at be at least twelve uniforms total, with half being solid colors (Old Rose, Parasite White, Steel Gray, Brick Red, Iron Blue, and Tselinoyarsk) and half being camouflage patterns (Woodland Fleck, Stone, Dead Leaf, Ambush, Lichen, and Solum).[5] Originally, they were released in sets of two (one for solid colors, the other for camouflage patterns), although after the re-release of Bound Dragons, it was instead reduced to just one set of uniforms, largely because of the reveal of the wormhole generator weapon around the second half of the same event. Aside from this, the player can also purchase weapons colors and base colors (the former of which came in three per event). Datamining the game confirmed that there were thirty weapons colors in total, each divided into six groups of five, and each group relating to a specific camouflage pattern in order of black/white, blue, yellow, red/pink/purple, and green (waves, clouds, stripes, animal prints, squares, and 3D cubes), as well as six camouflage pattern-related colors (being sandstone, US Navy blue waves pattern, colored stripes pattern, Solum, rust pattern, and Lichen pattern).[6][7] On May 10, 2016, the FOB Prize list was further updated to include over 30 new uniforms (which also included a new two-tone set), plus 20 new weapons camos and 6 new base colors. When entering development, the uniforms only need five minutes of development (or one MB coin to speed through it). It also brought back releasing two uniforms at the same time as part of the Event Point exchange, although only one of the two uniforms was actually new. The uniforms rendering was also slightly modified. On August 2, although technically not actual camouflage, they also released a set of 12 swimwear based on the Megalodon swimwear from Metal Gear Online as acquirable Event FOB rewards. With the exception of Olive Drab (which had the same development time as standard uniforms), the swimwear takes 6 days to develop (or 700 MB coins to skip the process). Starting with that day, the uniforms were also increased by one and gradually increased to include more than three. Nearly a year later, it was announced that additional sets based on the Goblin and Great White (although the latter is referred to as the Megalodon Suit) will be released via update, though it is unclear whether they will be distributed as FOB rewards.

Although the base camouflage was never identified in the game itself (beyond the number assigned to it via Event Point distribution prizes), the Japanese complete guide to The Phantom Pain identified at least some of the camouflage patterns, and also identified some easter eggs among them.[8][9][10]

The Metal Gear Online third iteration will also include various camouflage, with a Metal Gear REX head also being included as part of the Day One, Special, Collector's and Premium Editions of The Phantom Pain for use in Online.

Originally, the GRU soldiers were going to come with a variant of their fatigues that resembled a rainbow in the pachislot version of Snake Eater, but this ended up cut due to the developers not liking the concept.[11]


Metal Gear Survive was revealed to have camouflage in regards to both scarves and, for the first time since the Metal Gear Online component for Metal Gear Solid 4, face paint via the pre-order DLC, the latter via the Kabuki facepaint. In addition, for the 1964 Event, the Black, Green, Splitter, and Woodland facepaints are unlockable. Oyama and Zombie facepaints were originally intended to be distributed for the event, but they ultimately were not distributed, with an apology being issued on the event announcement. Unlike in Snake Eater, the player cannot actually adopt facepaint during standard gameplay. It instead requires going to the menu to alter the set conditions of the Captain's player-chosen design to have the player wear it.



  • Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake - User's Manual

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ This is heavily implied in a radio conversation with EVA, shortly after acquiring Raikov's uniform and sealing him within a locker.
  2. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan, (1998).
    Master Miller: A cardboard box, huh. Just like Zanzibar. // Solid Snake: It saved my skin more than a few times in Outer Heaven too.
  3. ^ METAL GEAR SOLID 3: SNAKE EATER. Konami Digital Entertainment. Retrieved on 2011-04-05.
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