All missions that take place after completing the second main mission (Diamond Dogs) offer the chance to prepare for the mission. You shouldn't skip this step, otherwise you might choose the wrong equipment and make the mission much harder than necessary. Most important things you should think about are:
- Selecting the landing zone - If a mission gives you choice, select a landing zone with lower risk of detection by enemy forces ("Danger Low" information after highlighting the landing zone). Otherwise, the mission might start with a battle, it will make it much harder to hide in a further part of the operation.
- Selecting equipment - Try to select equipment based on information you have about the mission. For example, it is a good idea to take a sniper rifle for a mission during which you must kill someone, and a rocket launcher for a mission during which you infiltrate a base filled with enemy tanks. Additionally, you should always switch the currently used weapons and gadgets to better versions developed in the Mother Base.
- Selecting buddy - pros and cons of each allies have been described in the Buddies chapter. Of course, you don't have to always use the same buddy. Similarly to the equipment, you should choose a buddy depending on a mission type.
- Day time selection - Most missions are easier during the night, so you should select 18:00 hour. More information about the day and night circle can be found in the Exploring the game world chapter.