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I've just recently started finding S+ soldiers on the battlefield, which I've eagerly extracted so I can get them to work for Mother Base.

However, aside from the S+ and S++ soldiers I've received for finishing missions 31 and 46, I have not a single soldier above S rank, not even in the Brig. Also, when I complete my mission after extracting S+ enemies, the highest ranking soldiers I see in my new staff report are all S ranked.

I get the feeling the game is artificially demoting the soldiers I extract when they're above S rank. What am I doing wrong and how can I finally get some fresh S+ blood?

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    If they report as S+ but only show up as S, perhaps you've been dealing with Boastsers. That aside, my heroism crossed 800k last night, and I've also yet to see S+ or S++ soldiers as anything other than the Mission 31 and 46 rewards. – Sable Dreamer Oct 7 '15 at 19:36
  • Anyone S+ and up you see in the field is a Boaster who doesn't actually have stats that good. There used to be something preventing Boasters from showing up as that good, but the recent patch seems to have changed it. (Also, if you can see S+ ranks, you have to have the best INT-SCOPE, which tells you these people are Boasters.) – user2357112 supports Monica Oct 9 '15 at 4:30
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Soldier quality is influenced by a few factors (see my question here), some of which you can directly influence. As you progress in the game, enemy soldiers will tend to have higher skill rankings. You can quickly spot skilled soldiers by scanning everyone you meet - you can even interrogate enemies and they might reveal the location of a specialist. Finally, you can get higher rated volunteers by having a high amount of heroism, but I haven't seen any S+/S++ recruited this way.

Now, how can you specifically get the best of the best? Well, S and S+ soldiers can be bought with PF grade points. These can be definitely earned through the PF virtual league (you do simulated battles against other PFs - success is based on your combat, security, and research ratings), and probably through other means (but I can't confirm any). You can also kidnap S/S+/S++ soldiers from a rival's FOB, but this may prompt retaliation from them.

Finally, on the question of the game "demoting" soldiers: This is possible. One of the abilities soldiers can have is "boaster" - your goggles will overstate their abilities. It's usually only by a level or two in my experience, but I've heard some reports of it being by more than 2 levels. Be cautious about any "boasters" you extract - they won't be as good as they said they were.

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    It's not just stealing legendary soldiers from other players' FOBs; FOB invasions can also give you up to S++ rank volunteers. As far as I can tell, FOB invasions are the only way to generate more S++ rank soldiers beyond the 6 scripted ones you get at the end of the main plot. – user2357112 supports Monica Oct 8 '15 at 1:42
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    The S+ and S++ soldiers that @Nolonar is seeing in the field are definitely Boasters. A recent update to the game seems to have added a high probability for Boasters to appear at random outposts. The highest level int-scope is handy to detect this before extracting them. So far, all the S/S+/S++ Boasters I've extracted had actual ranks of A+ or A++ – recognizer Oct 8 '15 at 15:12
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There are four ways to get S++ staff

  1. Events: every maintenance period (every two weeks or so), you can play the quick event FOB missions and exchange the points for S++ staff. You're limited to a single exchange of 3 S++ staff for each skill (you can also get a shit ton S+ guys this way)

  2. PF Points: Similar to the Event FOB missions, you can earn points through your automatic PF battles and exchange for S++ staff

  3. FOB Missions: When you successfully infiltrate any rival's FOB, you automatically capture 10 staff members whose skill is based on the platform you're on. Pay attention to the grid that shows the rival staff's rank just before spawning in. Remember that the maximum number is 500 staff members on any given department. Therefore, if a certain platform shows that they have 432 S+ and 68 S++ assigned, that means the 10 guys that you automatically capture from the successful infiltration will be AT LEAST S+. I once infiltrated an FOB that had MOSTLY S++ assigned inside. 8/10 of the guys automatically captured were S++. Remember also that these 10-captured guys go into your FOB brig until your rival's wormhole dissipates. There's some FOB's that have S+/S++ staff patrolling the decks, themselves, which is really handy if you're looking for combat staff. These guys go in the same FOB brig. Successful infiltrations will also earn you 10 volunteers, whose rank can sometimes be up to S++ if the FOB level was high enough. These guys will go straight into your staff (and not the brig) since they're volunteers

  4. Hack.

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