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So often in MGSV I'll crouch walk behind an enemy either with my gun raised or ready to CQC, but he'll turn around and the alert sound will play. I easily knock him out before he raises an alarm or yells, but does this event still cause the perfect stealth / no kills modifier to be lost for the mission? I have reflex mode turned off.

It just seems really stupid to me that the perfect stealth would be lost if an enemy sees me in the split second before I knock his lights out.

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If reflex mode is turned off, then the perfect stealth bonus is not lost upon being spotted by an enemy.

Spotted in this sense means the white marker above their head accompanied by that iconic alert sound fx of the Metal Gear franchise. The bonus will be lost if the enemy in question raises an alert. This was tested on mission 9 - Backup, Back Down. One of the enemies in the 4 wheel drive spotted me after I tranqed his buddy and extracted his vehicle. I CQC'd him before he got a shot off or raised an alarm.

This was tested with reflex mode turned off. Reflex mode in general may not affect the perfect stealth bonus, but I did not test that for this answer.

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    I think the same thing applies with reflex mode on, only it's easier to prevent enemy to actually go into alert mode, since reflex.
    – Kiogara
    Mar 14, 2017 at 18:51

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