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My Support Unit's staff can be divided into two categories: ultra-competent endgame soldiers of rank A++ and up, and a handful of early-game interpreters with ranks as low as C. Those interpreters are dragging down my Support Unit's level, but aside from the Afrikaans guy, I've never been offered an opportunity to replace them.

What options do I have to get better interpreters? If I fire them (can I fire them?), will the "Extract Interpreter" side ops come back? Is there any way to get replacements without losing my existing interpreters, so if the new ones suck worse than the originals, I can keep the originals? I'd imagine that FOB invasions might also be an option, but everyone else's interpreters probably suck too.

(This also applies to the Legendary Gunsmith and anyone else with an important skill you only get one of that I might be forgetting, but my Legendary Gunsmith is A+ rank, so he's not dragging down the R&D Unit as hard.)

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Interpreters

You can fire your interpreters and any extra interpreter you may have after a successful FOB mission.

From a handful of FOB invasions of my own, I haven't once found a better interpreter than the ones I already have. In fact, the interpreters were all exactly identical to mine, from name to stats. I therefore assume that there isn't any way to improve your interpreter staff.

However, you do not need to keep your interpreters in Mother Base. As long as they've been assigned to your Support team at least once, you can make use of their interpreter skill even if they're no longer in your base (Thanks @user2357112 for this). Once fired, there is no way to get them back, other than extracting one during an FOB invasion. The only exception being Afrikaans interpreter, one of which can be extracted as many times as necessary by replaying mission 16: Lingua Franca.


Specialists

Specialists are easy to replace. They are found during main missions, and are usually special elimination targets or prisoners. Which specialist you get during which mission, is specified at the top of your iDroid map as you select the mission.

Before you start replaying any of your early missions to get better specialists, however, I'd recommend you take a good look at the repeat missions. Those are exact duplicates of earlier missions, but have restrictions placed on top. These missions usually award you with significantly better staff than their original.

For instance, the mission Over the Fence awards you with a Bionics specialist (your main extraction target), who is an R&D specialist ranked somewhere between C and A. However, the [Total Stealth] Over the Fence mission can easily award you the same specialist with an A++ or S rank instead.

Keep in mind that the specialists aren't always found at the same location, or found at all. Special extraction targets, like the Bionics specialist in Over the Fence or the arms dealer specialized in Missile Guidance in The War Economy, are guaranteed to always be the same target, however random prisoners aren't guaranteed to always be the specialist you're looking for.

For instance, during the Backup, Back Down mission, I found my Drugs specialist in the Wakh Sind Barracks. While playing the [Extreme] Backup, Back Down mission, I expected the Drugs specialist to be where I found her the last time. And although I did find her exactly where I expected her to be, she wasn't a Drugs specialist this time around. In fact, none of the 6 prisoners I extracted were Drugs specialists. So you may need to replay the same mission several times before you can find the specialist you're looking for.


Legendary Gunsmith

As for the Legendary Gunsmith (Master Gunsmith), you can give him the same treatment as your interpreters. You can still customize your weapons even if he's no longer at Mother Base.

  • Huh. They don't actually need to be in the units the descriptions say they need to be in? Weird, but convenient. It's also good to know that you can indeed lose interpreters to FOB invasions. – user2357112 supports Monica Oct 6 '15 at 1:33
  • Okay. On one hand, I can definitely take the interpreters out of the Support Unit and replace them with higher-rank troops without losing interpretation support. Unfortunately, Miller will take the first opportunity he can to give them their jobs back. This is slightly delayed by giving their slots to other soldiers, but it seems like as soon as Mother Base gets new people, the interpreters get their jobs back. I'm going to try something drastic; I'm firing one. If it has horrible consequences, at least everyone else will know to direct contract them and never do what I'm about to do. – user2357112 supports Monica Oct 6 '15 at 3:13
  • Fired the Russian guy. Still interrogating Russians just fine, and the Support Unit still says I have Comms Support: Russian. Another soldier got his slot, and the side op to get him hasn't come back. So far, no negative consequences! – user2357112 supports Monica Oct 6 '15 at 3:26
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    Looks like everyone on reddit who tried it experienced the same thing: interpreters only need to be on your roster once to gain their effects permanently. – user2357112 supports Monica Oct 6 '15 at 3:37
  • @user2357112. Nice find, I'll update my answer. – Nolonar Oct 6 '15 at 7:58
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For every "_ Specialist" or Interpreter you get in Main Ops, you can redo the main ops and re extract them, they usually have better skills than the first time you did the mission.

For the Legendary Gunsmith, I don t know how you can redo his side ops.

  • But you only get one interpreter in a main op, the Afrikaans interpreter. I specifically mentioned him in the question. The others only come from side ops, and I've never seen those side ops offered for replay. – user2357112 supports Monica Oct 5 '15 at 14:19
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You can assign them to a different team or the "waiting room".

While you can replay main missions, I do not think you can replay side-ops in general. However, if your Legendary Gunsmith were to be either killed or extracted then you might be allowed to re-do that mission.

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