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“Death Stranding” Essential Tips and Tricks

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Poppy is the author of "A Bard's Lament" and the Black Diamond series. She lives in Enoshima with her husband and young son.

Read on for some spoiler-free tips to make the most of your "Death Stranding" playthrough!

Read on for some spoiler-free tips to make the most of your "Death Stranding" playthrough!

Death Stranding is the latest game developed by Kojima Productions. This action open-world has received mixed reviews from critics, but due to its beautiful graphics, classically Kojima-esque "strangeness," and unique gameplay, it has quickly developed a loyal fanbase.

Since Death Stranding is so different from most games, there are a lot of things you might not know when starting out. Here are some spoiler-free tips on how to make your life easier playing this challenging game.

1. Use Your Scanner Constantly

Press R1 for your Odradek Scanner to scour the area. It can:

  • Locate helpful equipment such as ladders and ropes.
  • Locate items dropped by other players, such as PCCs, grenades, and guns.
  • Find your vehicle, or others left behind by players.
  • Find crystals.
  • Pick up lost or dropped cargo.
  • Reveal BTs (in a BT area).

The Odradek Scanner is essential to this game. Always look over a new area with a quick scan to make sure you're not missing anything.

Use your scanner to get a sense of the terrain.

Use your scanner to get a sense of the terrain.

2. Hoard Your Materials

Materials can be used to build items with your PCC, rebuild roads, and much more. Always pick up any materials you see, steal them from MULEs, and hoard them. These can include:

  • Metals
  • Ceramics
  • Special Alloys
  • Resins
  • Chemicals

You can't move cargo or materials between lockers in the game, so make sure you remember where you've put them! It's a good idea to deposit materials in a Private Locker in a larger city that has easy access.

3. Build and Leave Behind Useful Gear

At the beginning, Sam Porter Bridges can use ropes and ladders to navigate the tricky landscape. When you've set a ladder over a river or planted a useful rope to get down a cliff, don't dismantle it afterward. Leave it where it is, and other players can see and use it, too. This is an excellent way to start collecting Likes; if you help a player, they will greatly appreciate it.

Players working together to make Sam's life easier is an essential part of Death Stranding. Leave ladders, lockers, ropes, Timefall shelters, and other helpful items as the game goes on and you'll be raking in the Likes in no time.

Leave that ladder for other players to use and you'll get a ton of Likes!

Leave that ladder for other players to use and you'll get a ton of Likes!

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4. Balance Your Cargo

When accepting orders, Sam's cargo can go on his back, or on his suit if it's a small size. Be sure to balance this cargo properly to ensure he doesn't overbalance or fall over. Here are some tips:

  • If a small package is on his left side, balance it out with another on his right.
  • Auto-sort cargo if you're having trouble.
  • Hold R2 and L2 to maintain Sam's balance. You don't only have to do this while he's overbalancing, but hold it while going over rocky terrain to prevent tripping.

5. Prioritize Road Building

When the opportunity presents itself, you can start building roads. These are incredibly useful for getting in between cities, as it skips laboring over rocks and rivers and provides a tarmac road getting from A to B.

Prioritize building these. Metals, crystals, and Ceramics are needed. Deposit all you have in any Auto-Pavers you see (they are visible on the map). Successfully rebuilding a road means you can travel around much more easily, and get you a ton of Likes in the process!

Road building makes traveling across the US much easier.

Road building makes traveling across the US much easier.

6. Find Ways Around BT Areas

Many areas that are filled with BTs have ways to get around them so you don't have to go anywhere near them at all. Experiment with different paths and you might be able to avoid these terrifying monsters altogether.

Often, a way that requires a ladder or two and can be difficult to maneuver is worth pursuing, if it saves you having to crawl and hold your breath in these dangerous areas.

7. Use Power Skeletons to Carry More Cargo

Power Skeletons are incredibly useful items that you can Fabricate at a Waystation. This equipment allows Sam to be able to carry much more cargo, move faster, and be less likely to trip. They are an essential addition to a large order.

8. Recycle

If you have an empty gun, ruined footwear, or a piece of destroyed cargo, there's no need to drop it. You can recycle these items at any Waystation to add a small amount of relevant materials to that location, which can later be claimed when you need them. Never waste an item!

Reconnect the world via the Chiral Network.

Reconnect the world via the Chiral Network.

9. Pack Extra Boots

Footwear will deteriorate as Sam runs around, and if they are completely ruined, his bloodied feet animation is painful to watch. Avoid this disaster by always carrying a spare pair of boots on his Boot Clip.

Boots can be fabricated at a Waystation, and Sam can also steal MULE boots from MULE camps.


Death Stranding is a fun yet challenging game with a great story and beautiful graphics that really make you feel like you're in the world with Sam. With these tips and tricks, you'll be unlocking the strange secrets to this enthralling game in no time. Godspeed!

© 2019 Poppy

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