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How to get D-Dog as a buddy in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

D-Dog proves to be an essential ally in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain (opens in new tab), marking enemies and weapons before you can see them, as well as providing a distraction or even attacking foes once you research the right equipment.

To get started, you first need to locate the puppy in the field. It will appear after you complete Mission 2, and can be found near the starting point of Missions 3, 4 and 5. Once you exit the helicopter, listen out for its barks then follow them to the pup, before tranquillising and Fulton recovering it back to Mother Base.

When you next return to Mother Base, you'll trigger a heart-warming cutscene between Big Boss and the puppy. You now need to complete six further missions, and although replays count towards this you must also have finished at least three from Missions 7, 8, 9, and 10.

With those requirements met, return to Mother Base once more then leave to view another cutscene, where the pup has now grown into the fully-formed D-Dog.

Congratulations - you can now deploy D-Dog on missions as your buddy!

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Iain originally joined Future in 2012 to write guides for CVG, PSM3, and Xbox World, before moving on to join GamesRadar in 2013 as Guides Editor. His words have also appeared in OPM, OXM, PC Gamer, GamesMaster, and SFX. He is better known to many as ‘Mr Trophy’, due to his slightly unhealthy obsession with amassing intangible PlayStation silverware, and he now has over 400 Platinum pots weighing down the shelves of his virtual award cabinet. He does not care for Xbox Achievements.