This is how MGS 5s Mother Base works

With just over three months until Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain arrives, we're going to take a punt and guess you're just as ridiculously excited as we are. The internet is buzzing with anticipation for every aspect of Hideo Kojima's last Metal Gear ride, including one of the game's most unusual features: Mother Base.

So how does it all work? According to some new tidbits of info gleaned from various online sources, your first visit to Mother Base will be somewhat underwhelming: a single Command platform. But by using the Fulton Recovery System to send different materials and people back from Afghanistan you’re able to build and upgrade more platforms. There’s a Research & Development platform, a Support platform, a Base Development platform, an Intel platform, a Medical platform and a Combat Unit platform.

Almost everything you do in the game will apparently feed into Mother Base management. Fultoned vehicles and weapons will become your equipment. Found diamonds will increase your currency. Gathered resources will become the materials needed to build new kit, or further expand Mother Base itself.

But the key element is people. By knocking enemies unconscious and hooking Fulton balloons to their belt loops, your able to send them back to Mother Base. Every NPC in the game is said to be rated according to his skills in R&D, Support, Intel etc – and once they’ve been extracted it’s up to you to give them a job. The higher the rank of a platform’s assigned soldiers, the higher its level. So improving R&D levels means better equipment is available for purchasing, while upgrading the Intel platform’s levels sees your map being constantly updated with notifications when you’re infiltrating a base. And the Combat Unit team kickstarts a menu-based mission thread to send forces around the globe to complete tasks – the exact same premise as Assassin’s Creed’s Brotherhood missions.

Sources: 1, 2 & 3