Weapons are a considerable factor in how Snake completes his sneaking missions. Snake starts his missions with very few weapons to use, so he has to search the area around him to find weapons. Unsilenced weapons can attract guards and in a firefight, Snake can easily become outnumbered by enemy reinforcements.
Suppressors are often used to reduce the noise and flash from a rifle or handgun. Suppressors are only effective for a certain number of shots until they need to be replaced. Unlike other weapons, the suppressor on the SOCOM does not wear out.
Certain models of handgun and sniper rifle fire tranquilizer darts rather than bullets. Hitting a vital point such as the head, heart, or groin will instantly put your opponent to sleep. However, if another point is hit, the guard may find you before getting knocked out. As the gun has to be cocked after each shot, it takes a long time before another shot can be fired.
Some rifles have an adjustable firing rate. Single shots allow high accuracy and economical use of rifle rounds. Fully automatic setting uses up a lot of rounds, but you can attack more targets and you don't have to be so accurate. You can just "spray and pray", or go in like Rambo especially with the infinity bandana. The three shot burst feature on a few Assault Rifles such as the FAMAS is a compromise between the two.
- XM16E1 - the prototype of the M16A1, used by Big Boss during Virtuous Mission and Operation Snake Eater. Fires 5.56mmx45mm rounds from a 20-round box magazine. Strangely, the prototype can accept a suppressor.
- M16A1 - the successful rifle from its prototype, the XM16E1. Also used in the San Hieronymo Incident with a 20 round magazine and no suppressor.
- XM177E2 - An early carbine developed from M16, featured in the San Heironymo Takeover. Has a 30 round box magazine and equipped with a suppressor making it a much better alternative overall to the M16A1 later in the game. Standard arm of FOX soldiers.
- The Patriot - The Boss' weapon of choice during Operation Snake Eater. The weapon is also the weapon of choice of Big Boss for every Metal Gear game he made an appearance in. The Patriot was what is called an "Assault Pistol". It was simply an XM16E1 that had undergone heavy customization. It had no buttstock, and a shorter barrel, and had several RIS and Picanny Rails to mount accessories on.
- M4A1 (SOPMOD)
The shotgun is often titled as the king of close-quarter combat weapons. This is because they fire a cluster of pellets instead of a single bullet, which allow shotguns can do a lot of damage in a very short amount of time. Going up against a shotgun in close quarters is a mistake that no soldier makes twice; the lucky ones learn to keep their distance, while the others lie dead. Due to the spread of the pellets and the low velocity of the pellets, the shotgun does not make an effective long-range weapon.
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty - Attack Team (Franchi SPAS-12)
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater - Attack Team, Ocelot Unit & Snake (Ithaca M37)
- Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops - M37 and M870 shotgun, available to enemy forces and the player.
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots - PMC forces, SA Resistance fighters, Old Snake (M870, sawn-off shotgun, SAIGA S12k)
This is for weapons that do not fall into a weapons category and have their own article.
- Blade weapons
- Sniper rifle
- Plastic explosive
- Metal Gear weapons
- Metal Gear 2 weapons
- Metal Gear Solid weapons
- Metal Gear Solid 2 weapons
- Metal Gear Solid 3 weapons
- Portable Ops weapons
- Metal Gear Solid 4 weapons
- Real life personal equipment in Metal Gear Solid 4
- Peace Walker weapons and equipment
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance weapons
- Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes weapons and equipment
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain weapons and equipment