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XOF was Cipher's military division formed before or around the 1970s, acting as the main antagonist of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.


XOF was first created by Major Zero as an unconventional support unit to its CIA-counterpart, FOX, where members would secretly provide tactical support and field Intel to FOX Operatives during missions as well as cleaning up after them, making sure that the operatives left no traces that they were ever there. Its overall purpose was to ensure the survival and success of FOX operatives during missions in order for the unit to become a success by any means necessary.

While the Major saw FOX as his silver bullet in the world of espionage, he created XOF to act as the recoil for that bullet to make sure that the mission would succeed at all costs. Zero appointed his XO, Skull Face, to be the commander of the elite black ops group. The existence of the unit was highly classified to the point where even the CIA and The Boss herself were unaware of its existence. The unit was first deployed in secret during the Virtuous Mission in 1964, where members of the unit were ordered to provide covert support to FOX operative Naked Snake. After the Virtuous Mission, Major Zero XOF deployed in secret again during Operation Snake Eater to covertly follow, assist, and clean up after Naked Snake during the operation.

In 1970, FOX was disbanded, although Major Zero offered Skull Face and his unit to become a part of his new organization Cipher. While officially they remained with the CIA as a counter-terrorism unit, they truly became Cipher's elite covert strike force who took orders directly from Zero.


XOF was involved with the capture of Chico as well as the imprisonment, torture, and likely rape Paz Ortega Andrade, a former Cipher agent. Skull Face, XOF's commander, planned it so Big Boss would stray from Motherbase, his military's headquarters, to save his aforementioned friends. After doing so, Big Boss was informed that during his rescue, XOF infantry attacked and destroyed Motherbase, killing several MSF members in the progress.

XOF also implanted two bombs in Paz, one in her chest and the other seemingly in her uterus, ultimately leading to her death and the wounding of several MSF operatives, including Big Boss, Chico (eventually succumbs to his wounds), and Kaz Miller.

XOF continued to operate as Skull Face's personal strike force, furthering his grand scheme of "ethnic liberation" through various covert operations. It was during this time that Skull Face deployed the Parasite Unit for various missions of high priority. Eventually, XOF was tasked with taking over and guarding the secret Soviet research station OKB Zero, while Skull Face began his final preparations for unleashing the English strain of the vocal cord parasite. However, Venom Snake managed to evade the extensive XOF presence at the facility and make contact with Skull Face. XOF's mission was almost complete until Tretij Rebenok, acting under a new affinity, activated Metal Gear Sahelanthropus against Skull Face and his forces. In the ensuing chaos, with two XOF troops having to drag Skull Face to safety due to his being too shocked at the existence of someone with a higher lust for revenge against Snake than even himself or the Man on Fire to even attempt to evacuate the premises by himself, XOF received heavy causalties and lost their commander Skull Face.

Despite the death of Skull Face, XOF continued to operate, possibly taking orders from the AIs.


  • XOF is FOX spelled backwards which also fits its inverted image of a fox.
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