Welcome to my Death Stranding advice and knowledge centre! Beware of spoilers under the red buttons! The general advice is spoiler free aside from names of equipment and the like. Any other questions feel free to shoot me a DM or just post to r/DeathStranding and I will probably be there to answer.This guide is written with experience of the base PS4 game and the Director's Cut for PS5. Knowledge of the PC version is secondhand.Keep an eye out for DS2Tips!Last updated 2023 February 25.
Should I play?
Short answer: Yes, unless you're looking for a fast paced game. Long Answer.
Tips for new Porters
If Episode 2 feels like a slog, proceed to Episode 3 as quickly as possible. Ep2 is something of an extended tutorial and Ep3 gives you tools and a more open region that will become staples of the game.
Nothing in the game is missable and you will rarely be prevented from revisiting areas.
Open all mail to mark as read. Certain things, like Prepper connection levels and memory chips, are unlocked by mail. Mail delivery is triggered when you rest in the private room or complete an order.
Once you unlock Premium Deliveries, do all Standard Orders that way.
Facilities generate materials to their maximum over time. Withdraw materials whenever you can to free more room for the facility to generate more, especially Chiral Crystals, Metals, and Ceramics. Leave just enough for fabrication.
Structures will not degrade if the game is inactive.
Deliver all the pizza.
Pee on ghosts.
Play on Easy or Normal if you don't care about achievements and want a relaxing hiking experience. Choose Hard or Very Hard if you want the achievements, engaging combat, and more inventory management. For more info, see Difficulty.Note that you can change difficulty at any time, and only two achievements have difficulty requirements. You need only switch difficulty temporarily to get these achievements.
types of orders
There are two types of orders in the game: Orders for Sam and Standard Orders.Orders for Sam are story-centric missions. Mandatory missions are marked with a orange highlight, however it's still recommended to do all of them to make sure you unlock all the basic equipment and goods.Standard Orders are optional deliveries that have no bearing on the main story, but give you Likes that lead to other rewards such as new and better equipment, boosts to Sam's abilities, additional materials to build with, in-game interviews and more.
If all you want is a streamlined story experience, stick to Orders for Sam. If you want better versions of equipment, focus on bringing Standard Orders to the preppers who give them to you to unlock the better versions.
Online or Offline
For your first playthrough it is highly recommended that you play online as this is the intended experience and it promotes the themes of connection and cooperation. You will gain the full benefits of the chiral network by having your world populated by online structures, shared equipment, cooperative road building, and more. The game is still functionally single player, but you'll get fun moments like finding another player's stamina sign or generator just when you need one, and warm fuzzies from knowing your contributions are helping other players too.Offline increases the difficulty and loneliness of the game, but it brings the satisfaction of knowing that every mark on the world is your own. You will have to build every structure you need which makes chiral bandwidth a valuable resource, meaning you will need to spend time improving connection levels. Long range vehicles and extended batteries are more important as there are less generators to rely on. Roads become nigh impossible to maintain. This is the biggest consideration to make when choosing to play offline. Building the roads solo is still doable, but you may find that they are all crumbling by the time you head for Mountain Knot City.On PC and the Director's Cut, you can play online and stop sharing of online structures from the options menu. This will get you all the benefits of playing online, including road contributions, but you will not see online structures or signs.tl;dr: Play online for your first playthrough, offline can be an excellent way to change the feel of the game for a second run.
PS4, PS5, or PC?
PS5 > PC > PS4, depending on availability and quality of your PC.The PS4 edition is fully contained and will not make you feel like you're missing anything. However, it has not received any major updates since Photo Mode a few months after launch.The PC version adds QoL updates to menus and options as well as new Half-Life and Cyberpunk related sidequests, accessories, and gear. However, it is prone to significant graphical glitches.The Director's Cut for PS5 has everything of the PC edition plus a slew of new missions, equipment, structures, roads, songs, minigames, and more. You can purchase a cheap upgrade if you own a PS4 edition of the game.
If you have a PS5, this is the best version to play.
Should I play?
So really, you want to know what this game is like after hearing that it's a walking simulator over and over.You play as a postman tasked with bringing high speed internet to post-apocalyptic America that's been ravaged by explosion-causing ghosts. You're also a one man DOT and every day is bring your kid to work day. The story is often batshit insane with over the top characters but the gameplay can be a meditative relaxing experience, with hiking through gorgeous scenery and getting into the themes of connections and helping other players who are sight unseen.Objectives mostly fall along the lines of take package X from location A to location B. This is simple enough, but the vastness of the landscape and amount of tools you're given let you choose any number of ways to complete the objective. You can load up on weapons, ladders, and ropes to plow over any and all obstacles to your destination, you can travel light and take the scenic route to avoid hostile territory, or any sort of mix. The land itself is a giant puzzle, and it has multiple solutions.There is a lot of minutiae to arranging cargo, going through menus over and over, and managing equipment as it degrades. Sam also requires a lot of attention managing his stamina, balance, and bladder. People who enjoy the game tend to find the small details immersive, while others find it tedious to trip over and over. Literally, you have to learn to walk in the game, something that's a given in other games. Likewise, the vehicles also have physics that make them tricky to handle. If you expect travel to be an easy given like most other games, you will find Death Stranding frustrating.Death Stranding offers a lot of "just one more thing" mini objectives that can keep you occupied for hours. One more delivery, one more bridge built, one more road section, one more delivery, one more piece of lost cargo, one more delivery, one more camp neutralised, one more delivery, etc. This can either be a repetitive grind or keep you enthralled for hours.The online component to the game is designed so interactions can only be positive. These interactions are often selfless, with you contributing to a whole or just one other person for no reward beyond a few likes. But it's evident that many players take the selflessness to heart and the community is very positive. If you can't get into the selfless mindset, the online component can sometimes be frustrating when your structures don't get likes.Now with this information, it's up to you to decide.
spoiler alert (endgame)
This timeline assumes that the Stranding occured in 2019 and that the present year in-game is 2050. Reasoning.2000s: Cliff Unger and John McClane serve in the US Army Special Forces in Afganistan and Iraq.2000s-2010s: Bridget Strand undergoes surgery for uterine cancer. Her ha and ka split.Early 2010s: A voidout is triggered when a surgeon conducts a caesarian section on a braindead woman. This begins the BB Experiments.Early 2010s: Cliff leaves the military after conceiving a child with his partner, Lisa Bridges. John McClane becomes special advisor to Bridget Strand and begins a relationship with her.2013: Lisa becomes comatose as the result of an accident and her unborn son is inducted into the BB Experiments under false pretences. Their son remains in the BB program for 6 years.2017: A president who wanted to build a border wall is elected, with Bridget Strand as his VP.2018: A second voidout is triggered as a result of BB Experiments, annihilating Manhattan and killing the president.2018: Vice President Bridget is inaugurated as president and publicly vows to shut down the BB Experiments.2019: With the aid of John McClane, Cliff Unger attempts to flee the facility with his BB. President Strand kills Cliff and the BB in the attempt. Amelie repatriates the BB, which Strand adopts and names Sam.2019: The Death Stranding begins immediately after Sam's repatriation.Late 2020s-2030s: Sam joins Bridges.2037: After "ghost sightings" occurring since maybe a decade prior, Amelie's existence becomes public under the story that she is Bridget's daughter who suffered some form of locked-in syndrome.2030s: President Strand introduces Sam to a therapist, Lucy. After some sessions, Sam and Lucy begin a relationship.2040: Sam and Lucy conceive a child and settle in Satellite Town UCA-01-0C.2040: After being manipulated by President Strand and while Sam is away, Lucy overdoses on medication in her 28th week of pregnancy.2040: Satellite Town UCA-01-0C is wiped out by a voidout immediately after Sam's return.2040: Sam resigns from Bridges.2041: A pair of voidouts kill Heartman's family.2047: Deadman joins Bridges.2047: Bridges Expedition I begins its trek across America. Amelie leads the first group while Heartman, Mama, and Lockne are in the second and settle at various Knots.2048: Middle Knot City is destroyed by a terrorist voidout.2049: The first Chiral Network link is established between Capital and Central Knot Cities.2050: The events of the game begin.
spoiler alert (endgame)
Evidence in game points to that BB28, aka Lou, is likely Sam's biological child that he assumed he lost with his wife. Most of the evidence comes from Lucy's Reports, which can be aquired through completing various Standard Orders to/from Heartman's Lab and Mountain Knot. More are unlocked in Chapter 15.
Bridget insisted to Lucy that the baby would be important and might inherit Sam's special abilities.
Lucy began suffering from DOOMS after coming in contact with Bridget.
In a vision, Lucy saw that she and Lou had a part in Bridget's grand design. Bridget had been orchestrating the Last Stranding already at this time.
Lucy overdosed on medication, which others claim was a suicide attempt.
Lucy's overdose was at 28wks pregnant, the same week BBs are removed from their stillmothers' wombs.
BB-28/Lou is rare for being compatible with DOOMs sufferers.
Lou returns/repatriates after voidouts.
Lou's service record is hidden.
BBs are stated to last only a year, but the memory of Cliff celebrating Sam's "birthday" in the pod implies that Sam survived multiple years as a BB.
Bridget is not above using immoral methods to get her way when it comes to the BB program, as demonstrated by Sam's own induction.
Human suicide bombs are a known weapon of mass desctruction.
From this evidence, we can speculate:
Bridget/Amelie had some insight into the future and saw that Sam would need a BB to journey across and reconnect America, either for its BT-sensing functions or to give him a connection to another being based on how lonesome he would become.
Lucy did not attempt true suicide but aimed to make herself braindead to fit with Bridget's plan. Alternatively, her suicide attempt failed and left her braindead as sometimes happens with medication overdoses.
Bridget swooped in, took Lucy & Lou, and engineered a voidout to cover up her involvement.
Lou's DOOMs compatibility and repatriation are because she has Sam's blood.
Lou's service record is hidden because it's exceptionally long, or because she was not brought into service until shortly before the game began.
Difficulty can be changed at any time from the menu, though it will require reloading the game. Very Hard mode is exclusive to PC and Director's Cut.The difference in difficulty is barely noticeable 80% of the time while traversing terrain. Sam's stamina requires more management on higher difficulties, but it still unlikely to be an inconvenience. Equipment degrades faster on higher difficulties and will require replacement more often, after every few deliveries on Hard.Tool tips are given more often on Very Easy.Generic hostile entities are satisfyingly tougher on higher difficulties and they drop extra cargo when defeated on Very Hard. You will need more planning to get around or defeat them, but even when things go bad you can likely escape alive. On easy, you are unlikely to ever be in real danger from them. BT bosses become giant HP bags on higher difficulty. The intensity of the battle does not seem to change on high difficulty, it just drags on longer.Certain story beats will suddenly change the gameplay into very intense combat in which difficulty mode is very noticeable. They should be doable in a 1-2 tries on Easy, but can be very frustrating on Hard.
The rank you get when achieving S (the highest score) on a Premium Delivery is determined by the difficulty you are playing at. The number you have will be displayed to other users in gold.
Very Easy - Easy: Awesome (none)
Normal: Legend (L)
Hard: Legend of Legends (LL)
Very Hard: Legend of Legends of Legends (LLL)
Normal or greater difficulty is required to earn Birth of a Legend.Hard or greater difficulty is required to earn Growth of a Legend.All other trophies can be earned on any difficulty. You can play the main story on Easy or Normal and switch to Hard in the post game and still earn Growth of a Legend.
Every region will be devoid of online structures until you connect it to the Chiral Network. At this point, it will be populated with a limited amount of online structures and signs. Any road pavers will receive materials as well. You will not be inundated with every online structure ever built. Online structures are chosen semi-randomly based on an algorithm that considers type of structure, location, and likes.It may seem like there is no more room for you to place your own structures, but keep playing and you will find gaps where you want things. Ziplines, especially.You can upgrade and customise online structures same as your own. Any upgrade or repair materials will be shared online.Dismantling an online structure only removes it from your world. A new one will then populate somewhere in the same network region.Dismantling your own structures will remove them from everyone's worlds.Repairing structures likely won't be an issue until the late or post game. It's easiest to repair structures by gathering all the chiralium you can and repairing structures you use frequently. If a structure becomes ruined and you just don't use it, dismantle it.Structures will not degrade while the game is inactive.No one knows why random bridges keep getting hundreds of thousands of likes.
Getting More Likes
It's a common for porters to feel frustration over their perfectly placed structures being ignored while that random useless bridge has 100k likes. For the most part, getting more likes takes time, but here are some steps:
Likers get liked! Be liberal when liking structures and be the change you want to see. You'll not only make another porter's day, but it seems giving interaction gets you more interaction back. Contributing materials to online structures helps, too.
Increase your porter grade. Most porters look for porters with high grades when making strand contracts.
Place your ziplines on high peaks so they have the most lines of sight. This will maximise compatibility with other zipline networks.
Replace an existing high-like structure with a structure of your own.
Build a bridge over flat land and see what happens.
Rabid For Roads
If you get really into road building and want to build them on your own while playing online, simply fill the pavers before the regions get on the chiral network. Once connected, online contributions will keep them in good shape.
Common gameplay questions roughly in story order. Always adding more!How long is this game?
30-40 hours if you power through Orders for Sam. 70-100 or more if you take your time with Standard Orders and other areas of the game.How many Standard Orders are there? How do I do Premium Deliveries?
There are 500 unique Standard Orders. You unlock Premium Deliveries once you reach South Distro. The Director's Cut has added 40 new orders, for a total of 540.What are the numbers and the star that appears after completing orders?
Those are your Porter Grades for Cargo Condition, Capacity, Timed, Bridge Link, and Misc. Getting each grade to a multiple of 10 (up to 60) will get Sam a boost to his abilities like being able to carry more, tiring less easy, and giving more likes. A higher overall grade is likely to earn you more attention from other porters.How do I improve my Porter Grades?
Complete orders that correspond to the grade you want to improve. Each order has an icon that matches a porter grade, and all the likes earned through that order will go to increasing it - something like XP. The exception is the Bridge Link grade, which is based on online likes from structures, contributing to roads, etc.How do I improve Sam's bond with BB?
Any Likes from BB add to the connection level, so keep doing things BB likes such as making faces in the private room mirror, sprinting, double jumping, turbo boosting, playing a song while resting, etc.Lost Cargo never ends! What do I do with it?
Lost Cargo provides a solid boost to likes early on, but later you will have to triage whether or not to take them with you. It depends on who you need likes from. If you don't need much, it's okay to entrust or even ignore the lost cargo. However, always be on the lookout for new recipients as you need Lost Cargo to unlock certain preppers.How do I repair vehicles?
Store or repaint them at the garage of any Knot, distro, or safe house.I ruined my trike, will I get another?
Yes.Will MULEs really not attack me if I'm not carrying cargo?
So long as you dump everything except wearables like boots, gloves, and exoskeletons, the MULEs will just try to shoo you away. They will engage combat if you are carrying anything like a PCC or get too close to their camp or postboxes.What do the EX Grenades do?
EX 0 has a weak repel effect against BTs. EX 1 has a strong repel effect, and I believe the red variant is even stronger. EX 2 will attract BTs. It's better to throw the grenades at the ground than directly at BTs. The effects can be replicated by peeing and throwing cargo.Will using an online vehicle "steal" it from the owner?
No. Your use of an online vehicle will not affect how the owner or any other player uses it.A Prepper's connection level won't increase. What do I do?
Read the prepper's mail. That's it. Some require more mail read than others, and some will have a second mail-roadblock before joining the UCA. You can brute force mail delivery by sleeping in a private room repeatedly. Mail delivery is also triggered when completing other orders, so sometimes it's best to just do other things.Peter's connection level won't increase.
Keep doing his deliveries. They will pay off at the end.How do I trade with the freelance porters?
They will readily offer you items. Take it, and place a something on the ground next to them. They will inspect it with their odradek and either take or refuse it. They can be picky, but weaponry seems to be the best bet.I killed someone! How long until the body goes necro? What happens?
It takes a long time for a body to go necro and Die Hardman will give you warnings. Generally, letting a body go necro triggers a game over. If you witness it go necro, it spawns a gold BT that triggers a game over if it grabs anyone - including Sam.How/Where can I dispose of bodies?
Aside from the Incinerator, you can dump bodies in any instance of bottomless tar such as the lake near South Knot. Many of Central's coastlines work as well. You can also leave the body in a distro centre and Bridges Corpse Disposal will take care of it, but you will be deducted likes.Where do I get the Santa Hat?
First Prepper - not the first prepper you meet, but one literally named "First Prepper" - gives it to you as a reward.How do I change the colour of Sam's Suit?
Starting in chapter 15, with the other colour customisation options in the private room.Is there a New Game+?
No. However, you may receive likes for structures built on your previous playthrough(s).How can I keep an old save while starting a new game?
On PS4, you have a few options:
1. Create a new user account on the console
2. Copy your game files to external storage
3. Manually re-save your old game occasionally. Death Stranding keeps a certain number of auto and manual saves, tracking them separately. If you make new saves of the old one that will prevent it from being purged, while you can continue to let the new game autosave and allow yourself a healthy amount of manual saves.
Sneaking around Bts
You are given many ways to dispatch BTs over the course of the game, but learning to effectively sneak past them will serve you well the entire game by allowing you to conserve resources and free up cargo space. Follow these general steps:
Never run in a BT area, but you can walk upright.
Stop moving intermittently to allow the BTs to become visible. You will lose sight soon after moving again.
Crouch when the odradek starts flapping rhymthically.
Hold your breath when the Odradek turns orange and spins. Keep moving. You cannot see BTs while holding your breath, so use the odradek to guide you.
If Sam's Endurance nears 1/4 while holding breath, stop moving and allow him to breath. Resume moving when his Endurance is recharged and he is holding is breath again.
If a BT starts hunting you, don't panic. If you have some distance, keep holding your breath and move slowly in a new direction until the BT loses interest. If the BT is right on you, stop and hold breath - just like in cutscenes, they will sometimes walk right over you.
If you get caught, trudge your way to the edge of the tar pool and follow the commands for Throw Off and Maintain Balance.
You can also unzip and pee on a BT to make it stop hunting you.
You can lure BTs away by throwing any container. The BTs will be drawn to the sound where it lands for a moment. Use the time they are distracted to sneak away, or trap them with a Bola.
The above guide will work through to Hard difficulty, and you may still get a feel for the BTs' sensitivity and learn to sneak up on them without holding breath. On Very Hard difficulty, BTs are much more sensitive and you may provoke them even when following this guide. Use extra care and be more liberal with the use of weapons, thrown cargo, and pee.
if you get caught
If the BTs drag you into the tar, they will take you to a large, solid, animalistic BT known as a Catcher. These are effectively minibosses. You can end the encounter by defeating the Catcher or escaping from the area of tar marked on the map. Any cargo you lost that was caught in the area will be damaged. Defeating the Catcher will reward you with a hefty amount of chiral crystals and is one of the most effective ways to farm them.If the Catcher consumes Sam and triggers a Voidout, a crater will appear in the BT zone. BTs there will become gold BTs and will kill Sam instead of taking him to a Catcher battle. The area eventually turns back to normal after some time.
It's a bad idea, but if you must, use extreme caution. The odradek will be visible while riding the trike but in either vehicle, you will be unable to see BTs until they are hunting you. They are able to pull you off/out of vehicles.The quickest way to get a vehicle through a BT zone is to leave it just outside the zone, run in on foot, and engage the Catcher. Defeat or escape the Catcher, and the rain will dissipate just long enough to get your vehicle through. If you don't want to face the Catcher, you can go ahead of your planned route on foot and dispatch BTs before driving the vehicle through.
spoiler alert (ch.5)
There are two variants of gazers that are always found in specific locations in Central. Dispatching either type will reward you with the same amount of chiral crystals as a Catcher.Giant BTs are enormous. They lack umbilical cords so cannot be cord cut and are immune to the Bola Gun. You must use hematic weapons to dispatch them.Red BTs have a fiery, glowing appearance. They can only be killed with the cuff knife and chiral weaponry.Additionally, there are the gold gazers that appear in situational circumstances. If they drag you down, they will cause a game over.
The Director's Cut adds more giant BTs to other BT zones. Additional giant BTs may be added temporarily for the duration of certain orders.
MULE Combat & Stealth
Specifically, combat for people who suck at shooters, especially on console. Scroll down for advice on stealth.
Fight 'em all
The general strategy: Let hostiles come to you and KO everyone in the field before attacking the camp guards.The MULEs and Terrorists milling around their territories come in two groups: field and camp. The field guys will run to you or your sensor hologram while the camp guys tend to stay put. Know that hostiles can revive their buddies if they are knocked out or tied up. I find the best strategy is to let the hostiles in the field come to you and KO them as they come so you can camp over the bodies and prevent them from being revived. Choose a spot with a bit of cover near the edge of the territory so you don't get surrounded. Once things calm down on the field, there will only be a handful left at the camp.If you find yourself overwhelmed, sprint away, eat a bunch of cryptobiotes, and start again from a better spot.
The Director's Cut introduces machine gun turrets at every MULE and Terrorist camp beginning with Episode 5. There will be at 3 at every camp in central. It is imperative to clear hostiles in the field before approaching the camp, or taking out turrets becomes even more of a struggle. There are a few strategies for dealing with turrets:
If you're sneaky enough, you can use a turret before anyone else and wreak havoc. Use it to destroy the other turrets.
A grenade will destroy a turret. Make sure the turret is unmanned or you will have an impromptu trip to the incinerator.
Find cover and lob Stun Bombs to KO anyone manning a turret.
Ram the turrets with a truck. You will not damage the turret or the gunner, but you will spook the gunner into leaving the turret and leaving himself open to be rammed for real.
Use Cargo Catapults to disable turrets from afar. Use the cufflink map to help aim.
Keep in mind that MULE turrets are non-lethal, but Terrorist turrets will kill. Also, don't take too long sneaking your way from one turret to another, as they will sometimes leave the turrets to revive their buddies. Conversely, a fallen comrade makes great bait.
If you plan on fighting, stash your cargo in a postbox or somewhere safe. A full load will make it harder for Sam to fight and the cargo can be easily damaged in a brawl or shootout.At first, you only have the Strand. Practice with it in Chapter 2. You can sneak up behind hostiles for a takedown, or you can use the Strand to parry their melee attacks. Parrying will become very situational later in the game, but learning stealth & takedowns will last you through to the end.In Chapter 3, you acquire the Bola Gun and it will be your best friend. It has a wide range it can hit, and any hit automatically incapacitates a foe. Even if you still need to run up and stomp the target, he still stopped shooting back at you. If you get a lucky headshot, that's an instant KO. Bola Gun Lvl 2 does double duty as an anti-BT weapon, meaning you can get by with this as your only weapon.The Speed Exoskeleton will allow you to out manoeuvre hostiles and get those Bola stomps in quick. Until you get the backpack battery accessory in Chapter 5, be conservative about preserving your battery so you can sprint away and escape if you need to.Armour Plates will protect Sam against gunfire. Generally, use the highest level you can, but be aware that levels 2 to 4 consume battery, which may limit how much you can use the speed skeleton sprint.High Capacity Blood Bags in an extra backpack Utility Pouch help give Sam extra durability. A fistful of Cryptobiotes will restore Sam's blood levels and consciousness meter. Remember to keep grabbing those on the field!The extra backpack Ammo Pouch will get you more use out of a single Bola Gun, but combining it with the battery means sacrificing space for a utility pouch with extra blood bags. The choice amounts to more offense vs more staying ability. Grenade Pouches will make it easier to bring along Stun Bombs and other grenades.Lastly, a Truck can provide cover, a getaway, and even be used as a ramming vehicle. The Defensive truck will have the most staying power but you will get much more turbo charges out of a Long Range, and the stuns to vehicles are only temporary. The choice is up to you.TL;DR:
Stash your cargo
Armour Plates x2
Sneaking Past MULES
Stay low, use tall grass and rocks for cover, and don't let cargo stack vertically on your backpack. Floating Carriers don't seem to impact stealth but you may lose them if things go sour and you have to run.When you cross the perimetre fence and get scanned, it will ping your cargo, not Sam. Field MULEs will be drawn to the holo image created. You can use this to your advantage either by keeping on the move, or leaving a decoy cargo near the holo image. They will likely scan for you again without much warning, but so long as you keep moving you'll be fine. If you leave a decoy, don't wait for them to open it... unless you really just want to see their faces.If a MULE does a "what's that" kind of thing at you, keep moving or stay still if you have grass cover. If a MULE has Very Definitely Spotted you, you have a few seconds to hit him with a Bola and stomp him before he alerts the rest of the camp. Pay attention to the flashes on the screen, if a MULE flashes yellow that means be cautious but you're probably not seen. Red means it's time to fight or flee.
Sneaking Past Terrorists
The same rules for sneaking past MULEs apply to Terrorists, except for Terrorist scanners ping Sam, they are not interested in cargo. Hopefully by the time you encounter Terrorists, you've had lost of practice using terrain to stay out of sight.
run for it!
Don't want to deal with combat, stealth, or taking the long way around? Just run right through! You can get away with turbo boosting or sprinting through most camps. A trike or truck's turbo will outpace MULE javelins and most Terrorist fire even if you're going in a straight line. The Speed Skeleton will allow Sam to get through, but you might want to use a serpentine pattern.Sprinting unaided by an exo skeleton will be harder, as MULEs can keep up and Terrorists often have Power Skeletons. But it's doable with a light load and a lot of serpentine.
Story & Theory FAQ
spoiler alert (endgame)
What year does the game take place?
Likely around 2050. Explanation.What was the original purpose of the BBs if there were no BTs to detect?
The BBs were originally intended to be cornerstones of the Chiral Network. The BB experiments began as research into the nature of the Beach and were developed as a vehicle to use the Beach for humanity's purposes. Detecting BTs was a bonus likely discovered after the Stranding.What caused the Stranding?
When Amelie repatriated Sam, she went against her nature as the Extinction Entity by reversing the direction of life and death. This upheaval allowed BTs to use her beach to enter the real world en masse.How did voidouts occur before the stranding?
Evidence is clear: a BT manifested and triggered a voidout before the Stranding occurred. A second voidout, the one that killed the president, followed some time later. There are a couple theories how this occurred:
• BTs may have been a natural, but extremely rare phenomena that the conditions to see were only met at that moment.
• Amelie's Beach was open just a bit when she was split from Bridget, allowing this one BT into the real world. Her Beach was then fully opened for the stranding proper.Why does the Timefall stop / Why is the rain normal at the end?
Amelie seals her beach and stops beach-related phenomena, such as chiralium, from entering the real world. Without chiralium there is no timefall.Why are there still BTs and timefall in chapter 15?
Chapter 15 takes place before 14, and thus before Amelie's beach is sealed away. Amelie may have delayed in sealing her beach completely so that she could repatriate Lou as a final gift to Sam.
Why is Sam phobic of touch? How did he get like this?
Sam's phobia most likely originated as a complication of DOOMs, as he's had it since a young age and Lucy remarks he would not be the first sufferer with a complication like this. At minimum, Sam has had his phobia for 10 years, when Bridget sent him to Lucy for therapy. In her reports, Lucy speculates that Sam will only tolerate touch from people he has an emotional connection with. He struggles because he devotes far too much of his emotional energy to Amelie to have any left to build other connections. Adding to it, his mother figure, Bridget, was emotionally and physically withdrawn. Sam's phobia would then be reinforced by the dangers of the post-stranding world, given that BTs are eager to get their hands all over him.Why did Sam hug Deadman?
Sam was able to build an emotional connection to Deadman over the course of the story and could tolerate touch from him.Is Sam BB-28?
No, Sam and Lou are entirely different beings. Sam sees his own memories as a BB when he plugs into Lou because the sensations subconsciously remind him of his own time in the BB program.How long was Sam a BB for?
Up to 6 years, evidenced by the number of candles on the birthday cake Cliff arranges for him. it's probably lower, but not by much based on Cliff's uniform when you fight him. The equipment Cliff wears in death, on the war beaches, would have fallen out of use by the mid 2010s. That may have been the last uniform he wore when Sam was conceived and he retired from the military.
How does Lou have the Ludens figure Cliff gave to Sam?
She doesn't - Lou's Ludens keychain was attached to her pod by Igor. It's coincidence that Cliff and Igor both attached the same keychain to their BBs.Why does Lou die at the inauguration if she was okay the two weeks before?
The strain of bringing Sam back from the Beach caused her to decline. Most likely, Lou is okay during Chapter 15 for the sake of gameplay - it might get depressing or unfun to play with a dying Lou indefinitely. For an in game justification, Lou's bond with Sam may have given her the strength to cling to life even as she slowly declined. When she was taken away from Sam for the inauguration, she lost that strength and rapidly declined in health.
How does Cliff know that Sam is his son?
At the end of the Vietnam Beach, Cliff starts BB's Theme and Sam finishes the tune. Cliff realises Sam must have learned the song from him. Also, Cliff would have realised Lou is not the BB he is looking for.How did Cliff's Beach create the supercell storms?
The chiral network may have allowed Cliff's search for his BB to intersect with the real world.
Why did Higgs work for Amelie?
Higgs had renown as a porter, thanks to his DOOMs ability giving him an edge, however minor. He wanted to connect people in a similar way to Sam does over the course of the game. His motivations for Amelie were likely twofold: First, Amelie gave him visions of the last stranding. The thought that humanity would end soon and he would never be the big damn hero he wanted to be broke Higgs and sent him over the edge of "fuck it, might as well have some fun." Second: Amelie was able to increase Higg's DOOMs powers beyond his wildest dreams. Given that Higgs had to keep in proximity of deaths to keep the modicum of DOOMs he had, he no doubt would have been tempted by this incredible power.
What year is it?
Anywhere from 2046 to ~2060, but most likely close to 2050. Evidence:
After 2045 since it's stated WW2 was over 100 years prior.
One of the Elder's Mails ("Countries are bullshit, but...") reference a president who wanted to build a border wall. The Elder's interview also references this, saying this president was elected "right before the stranding." So the stranding likely occured 2016-20. Given that the game was released in 2019, that's the most probable year the stranding occurred.
The Stranding occurred within memory of older characters, but long ago that there are many adults who never experienced pre-stranding life.
spoiler alert (endgame)
Sam's birth coincided with the start of the death stranding.
Sam grew up, conceived his own child 10 years before the game.
It's hard to judge Sam's age given Timefall exposure, but I'd say he's at least in his 30s.
The game's current year is most likely 2019 + [Sam's Age], so assuming Sam is around 30, the game year is around 2049. I pin it at
2050, for convenience's sake.
Where and when to trigger those precious song moments in Death Stranding. Minor spoilers due to the image-based nature and directions.If you wish to go blind, most songs trigger on a straight line route between departure and destination. Be aware that songs end early if you enter a hostile zone or facility perimetre. Some songs may trigger in other areas not mentioned in this guide. You will get the song data regardless of whether or not you trigger it, however sometimes you are not given the data until a later mission.
Director's Cut exclusive songs are in yellow
Order 1: Smart Drug
Song: Low Roar - Don't Be So SeriousWhere: As soon as you gain control of Sam after the scene in the cave.
Order 3: cremation
Song: Low Roar - BonesWhere: On leaving Capital Knot City.
Song: Low Roar - PoznanWhere: Leave the incinerator via the northern route.
Order 11: Resins
Song: Low Roar - Anything You NeedWhere: After you crest the hill between Wind Farm and West Distro and approach Benjamin Hancock's Postbox.
Order 77: Ruined factory
Song: Woodkid - Pale YellowWhere: Near the riverbank when returning from the mission.
Order 78: Ruined factory
Song: Woodkid - GoliathWhere: Soon after leaving the departure facility.
Order 13: Cryptobiote
Song: Low Roar - Easy Way OutWhere: After the MULE camp and as you pass the Waystation.
Order 14: Aid package
Song: Silent Poets - Asylums for the FeelingWhere: After the BT zone as Port Knot City comes into view.
Order 18: Aid Package
Song: Low Roar - PatienceWhere: As you walk up the stairs that exit the dock.Note: You are given the song data after completing Order 59.
Order 24: prototype bot
Song: Low Roar - Breath InWhere: From Engineer, head southwest in the direction of Elder. Take care to avoid the MULE camp if you haven't dispersed it recently.Note: You are given the song data after completing Order 41.
Order 28: Wheat Seed
Song: Low Roar - I'm LeavingWhere: Down the grassy slope south of Weather Station. You may want to go a bit west of where the Safe House is built for Order 29. The song doesn't begin until a good way's down.
Head to South Distro
Song: Low Roar - GosiaWhere: After completing order 28, on the right bank of the river that feeds the waterfall, approximately 500m south of the Distro Centre.Note: You are given the song data after completing Order 38.
Order 34: Chiral Artist
Song: Low Roar - Give UpWhere: Proceed north. Stick to the shore of the tar lake to avoid the BT zone ending the song.
Order 36: Sticky Gun
Song: Low Roar - Waiting (10 Years)Where: On passing by the Craftsman's shelter.
Order 38: Emergency Provisions
Song: Low Roar - Without YouWhere: When dropping off the special parcel at the lake, be sure to do so on the eastern shore as marked on the map. Then walk counterclockwise along to shore to trigger the song. If you dropped the package off too far west, the song will not trigger.Note: In the Director's Cut, the song triggers much closer to South Knot.
Order 83: Rescue: porter
Song: Biting Elbows - ControlWhere: Soon after picking up the porter. Head towards Chiral Artist's Studio and walk along the shore of the tar lake to avoid the BT zone.
Order 41: Building Materials
Song: Low Roar - Breathe InWhere: Sneak around or go through the MULE camp northwest of South Distro. Climb the low mountain ridge northwest of the camp and the song will begin as you crest it. Stay up on the slopes to avoid the BT zone in the lowlands.
Order 44: Antimatter Bomb
Song: Low Roar - Because We Have ToWhere: Follow the river closest to the Terrorist camp east into the mountains. When the song starts, head south to avoid a BT zone at the river's source.
Find a Way to Change Lockne’s Mind
Song: Low Roar - Once In A Long, Long While...Where: Head east from Mountain Knot, up over the mountains. The song will begin during the descent, as you near the end of the snow line.
Order 46: Mama
Song: Low Roar - The MachineWhere: Ascend the mountains near Weather Station and the song should begin as you reach the snow line. In this case, I climbed the mountains a bit south of Weather Station.
Order 85: Rescue: Rookie
Song: Biting Elbows - Other MeWhere: Approx 200m north of where you pick up the rookie porter.
Order 51: Photograph
Song: Low Roar - Rolling OverWhere: Head southwest and take a roughly direct route to the destination. The song will begin approx 320m away from Mountaineer. Continue south-southwest to the river and follow it west. Cross the river it feeds to and take the long route around the small mountain range to avoid the BT zone cancelling the song.
Order 52: Camera Retrieval
Song: Low Roar - St. EriksplanWhere: After retrieving the camera and returning to Photographer via the back/west route. The song should begin as you enter Photographer's network region.
Order 55: Corpse Delivery
Song: Low Roar - Without YouWhere: As you crest the mountain peaks south of Mountain Knot City.
Order 59: Antimatter Bomb
Song: Low Roar - PatienceWhere: Take a direct route between departure and destination. The song will begin shortly after leaving a BT zone. Or, if you are doing Order 58 concurrently, take a direct route from where you deliver Order 58. You may want to trend a bit west depending on your supplies. The song will trigger a little while after passing an NPC sign.
Head back to Heartman's Lab
Song: Low Roar - Rolling OverWhere: Approx 350m west or WSW of Heartman's Lab. After Completing Order 61, leave Evo-Devo Biologist's bunker via the narrow pass behind it. Follow the series of valleys heading westward to Heartman's Lab.
Order 62: Chiral Relay
Song: Silent Poets - Almost Nothing feat. Okay KayaWhere: From Evo-Devo, go south through the Terrorist Camp or skirt the edge of the camp to go down a valley to the west of it. The song will begin as you approach the coast of the tar belt.
Return to Capital Knot City
Note: This trio of songs assume a route of going to Heartman's Lab to Mountain Knot City then taking the road around Distro North to Lake Knot City. However, Order 66 will take you off this route unless you backtrack. Order 66 is optional but highly recommended before you approach Lake Knot City.The data for these songs and those in Episode 12 are gained after completing Episode 14.
Song: Low Roar - Not AroundWhere: Head north into the mountains.
Song: Silent Poets - Almost Nothing feat. Okay KayaWhere: From Evo-Devo, take the route into the avalache-ridden valley to Heartman's Lab. Or, go northeast from Paleontologist. It may be possible to go directly to Heartman's Lab, but the BT zone will likely cancel it.
Song: Low Roar - Please Don't Stop (Chapter 1)Where: Near Auto-Paver UC Route 45-5, north of North Waystation. It will not be cancelled by the BT zone at the Ruined Roadside Factory.Note: If you are doing Order 66, you must trigger this song before arriving at your destination. It is possible to hike from the pick up to North Waystation and get on the road, but the safest option is to backtrack to Mountain Knot and get on the road there. The song will not play if you approach the paver from the east.
Order 68: Cryptobiotes
Song: Low Roar - Tonight, Tonight, TonightWhere: After departing.
Song: Low Roar - Please Don't Stop (Chapter 2)Where: Entering Capital Knot City.
Song: Ludvig Forssell - BB's ThemeWhere: On departure.
Order 79: Ruined Factory
Song: Midge Ure - FragileWhere: After completing the delivery, proceed to the door that opens.
Song: Silent Poets - Asylums for the FeelingWhere: Near Memory Chip #51Note: You can collect the memory chip before Episode 15, but the song will not play. You can return to the same spot in Episode 15 to trigger the song.
Most preppers will be met through Orders for Sam, but some require you to go out of your way to find them. If you have a dead zone on your network map, time to start hunting for a prepper.Starting with optional preppers happens one of two ways: you must find their lost cargo and bring it to them, or they will have a retrieval order waiting at their terminal. After you've met them, they will have standard orders going in and out of their bunkers.Optional preppers will all get "stuck" at just below 1 and/or 2 stars of their connection level. Once they are stuck, read their mail to convince them to join the chiral network and UCA. You may need to read multiple mails, especially for the later preppers. Mail can be triggered by sleeping in the private room or completing other orders.
Preppers Requiring Lost Cargo
Preppers with Retrieval Orders
Notable gifts and equipment that preppers give you outside of Orders for Sam. Orders for Sam will give you all the essential unlocks, but these require you to meet optional preppers or raise connection levels.
Personnel Scanner from Timefall Farm
Holographic Generator from Film Director
Backpack Cover from Collector
Santa Hat from First Prepper
Multi-Rocket Launcher from Evo-Devo
Peter also gives a handful of great rewards once you complete all his orders.
Some preppers give unique gifts or materials for each S-Rank Standard Order you bring to them. They may not start giving you rewards until you raise their connection level.Be aware that triggering a connection level based reward, such as the 5/5 star, will forfeit your regular SO rewards. So don't deliver 5 orders in one go if the prepper is close to 5/5 stars.
1000 Metals (Lightweight) from Weather Station
Timefall Porter will appear in private rooms after completeing orders of it originating from the Timefall Farm
Custom Chiral Ladder from Junk Dealer
Custom Chiral Boots from Chiral Artist's Studio
D-Cryptobiotes from Novelist's Son
High Capacity Blood Bag from Doctor
Custom Chiral Climbing Anchor from Mountaineer
Director's Cut Rewards:
1000 Metals or 800 Ceramics from Timefall Farm. You get one or the other randomly.
400 Metals (High Density) from Film Director
320 Ceramics (High Density) from Veteran Porter
u/KanikaD's Map - Static map of Central Region for DC, marks with roads, pavers, memory chips, pavers, useful offroad routes, and more.
Interactive Maps - Scaleable and searchable map showing shapes of most MULE territories but is missing BT zones. Shows locations of memory chips, hot springs, and a few points of interest.Standard Order Lists
u/frivolous_chicken's spreadsheet list of Standard Orders - Orders indexed by number, type, likes, etc, includes hints for memory chip locations. Updated for new Director's Cut orders.
u/spenjer1's FULL Standard Order List part 1 and part 2 - listed by order #, includes details of orders.
Death Stranding Porteria - a web app by u/datvm for tracking Standard Order completition. Includes filters.
IGN's Incomplete List of Standard Orders - sorted by origin and destinationMisc Game Info
u/DistFunc's Death Stranding Database - A wiki containing a substantial amount of data from the game.Merch
KojiPro Store - most official DS merch
Mondo - vinyls are restocked a few times a year
AmiAmi - Preorder merch directly from Japan, often sooner than items are on the american KojiPro shop.
Bridget vs Amelie
spoiler alert (endgame)
Bridget knew that Sam was the only person who could stop Amelie from enacting total extinction and used him as an unwitting pawn to stop her while rebuilding America. Though Bridget was still an EE like her other self, she had the benefit of experiencing time and human connection, and worked against Amelie to achieve only partial extinction - an opportunity.It's unknown how much Bridget and Amelie, Ha and Ka, shared after splitting from each other during Bridget's uterine cancer surgery, but they were clearly autonomous from the other and had their own experiences. Both experienced EE instincts, had nightmares of destruction, and a sort of precognizance of the future. Bridget remained in the living world and lived much as a human would. Amelie, however, existed entirely on the Beach. She was divorced from physical human interaction and even time itself, such a keystone of the human experience. Bridget could relate to people on a personal level but Amelie was completely alienated. Amelie could see that people suffered, but in the way that a person might see a pet suffering from disease: it's better to end the animal's life humanely than let it suffer on.I believe it's Heartman who talks about past extinctions and that past EEs' connections to the living, such as one having a child, prevented them from following through with total extinction. They still succumbed to their EE instincts but left enough life for it to grow, flourish, and evolve. Amelie may have been the first EE to lack any true connection to humanity and so went ahead with total, quick extinction. A humane and easy death for everything. But even Amelie had one strand tying her to the living - Sam.Bridget must have realised the differences between herself and Amelie at some point and started plotting to prevent total extinction over a decade ago. Bridget knew Amelie had a connection with Sam, who would often be comforted by her on the Beach. In the same way that Amelie was the sole person Sam could emotionally connect with, Sam was the only one Amelie connected to. This was a weakness in Amelie that could be exploited, but Sam had to overcome some of his own problems to prepare for it. Bridget sent him to a therapist, Lucy, to equip Sam with the skills he would need to build new connections to people beyond Amelie.We know from Lucy's Reports that Lucy fell in love and conceived a child, Lou, with Sam. Everything comes together - and falls apart - for Lucy when she meets Bridget while pregnant. Lucy begins getting stuck on the beach like Sam used to, and Bridget explains why, and how Sam is important for the future. "Sam might be the one to make [the world] whole again, like I'd made him whole. Without him, our fate was sealed, but with him, there was still hope for a future." Lucy is further tormented by visions showing her and Lou's exact roles in Bridget's plans. "I saw how all the pieces fit into a terrible truth I didn't want to believe but couldn't deny. I Saw my part in it, too, and little Lou's." It's enough to drive Lucy to overdose on medication at 28 weeks pregnant.Lucy's doesn't explicitly write that she's attempting to kill herself, though she states she feels like she doesn't belong in the post-stranding world. I speculate that brain death was her intention. From Bridget, Lucy knew that Sam would need Lou not now, but in the future. Not only as a BB that was compatible with DOOMs users and a repatriate, thanks to inheriting the blood from one, but as a connection to the living that would give Sam reason to save huamnity. Bridget manipulated Lucy into becoming a stillmother so she could swoop in, take Lou, and cover it all up with an engineered voidout. 10 years later, Lou ends up in Sam's hands as BB28.Lou surviving 10 years as a BB may be a stretch, but Sam spent up to 6 years as one judging by the "birthday" cake Cliff makes for him in a flashback. Still not quite 10 years, but certainly more than the 1 day lifespan given by Deadman. It may also be another exceptional genetic happenstance inherited by Lou.To compare and contrast, Amelie sought Higgs to further her plans and corrupted him in a similar way, showing him visions of extinction. Amelie convinced Higgs that extinction was unavoidable and drove an upstanding, if power hungry porter into a lunatic bent on destruction. In a way, Amelie and Bridget each chose their own agents - Higgs vs Sam - and left it to them to decide what form the extinction will take.Bridget's gambits won in the end. Lou gave Sam a reason to live, and Sam gave Amelie a reason to let people live.tl;dr Bridget knew the only one that could stop Amelie going through with total extinction was Sam, because Amelie's alienation from time prevented her from making a connection to anyone else. To make sure that Sam would be able to build the chiral network, connect to people that aren't Amelie, and stop the last stranding, Bridget manipulated his wife into becoming a stillmother and took his unborn child to become a BB.
Racing (Director's Cut)
The race track offers four races for each vehicle, the trike, truck, and the new roadster. You must S-rank any roadster race to unlock fabricating the roadster, and all four to unlock the long range roadster. These are necessary for the DC Homo Faber trophy.These tips are adapted from u/ClassyMcMoogle's Basic Tips from a Basic Racer.
In race options, turn off the ghost car so you'll have less distraction. Leave camera assist on and bump the camera up to a higher angle when beginning a race.
When cornering, start on the outside, hug the inside in the middle, then exit on the outside. For some curves, slow down when entering and speed up again when exiting.
Boost as much as you can. Even on long tracks, you're unlikely to drain the vehicle's battery.
Drift sparingly. You may find it preferable to ease off R2 to control speed in curves.
Bumping the walls isn't an instant failure, you can often squeak by with 1-2 bumps per lap.
Even if you have a bad lap, keep racing! The Likes you get from the races go to your Timed porter grade.
You can see the time you need to S-rank on the race select screen. This time does not change based on game difficulty.
Once you S-rank one race, the rest should come easier to you. Happy racing!
Director's Cut FAQ
What is new to the Director's Cut?
• All the Half-Life and Cyberpunk content from the PC game
• QoL updates from the PC game
• Very Hard difficulty
• New structures
• New vehicle & vehicle variants
• New weapons
• Buddy Bot
• Firing Range
• Racing circuit
• Competitive ranked orders, drills, nightmares, and races
• New road pavers
• New Orders for Sam
• 40 new Standard Orders
• New types of cargo
• New signs
• New songs
• Easily make Strand Contracts with PSN Friends
• BB's pod can be customised.
• Backpack can be customised with decorative patches.
• New Private Room hallucinations
• All MULE and Terrorist camps have gun turrets beginning with Episode 5
• The Strand can be used to tie down cargo to floating carriers.
• Trikes will resurface on the banks of rivers after being sunk.
• Floating carriers can be used on ziplines
• More types of structures automatically gain online likes from use.
• Exoskeletons and Armour Plates can be obtained in Gold and Silver colours at all levels.Can I continue my PS4 game?
Yes. Update the game on your PS4 and you will gain the ability to import your save to the DC. Read the warnings.I imported my save and my ziplines are gone!
You didn't read the warnings. Structures will not be ported where terrain has changed. Additionally, you need to walk up to the structures to get them to spawn.I imported my save, can I do all the new stuff? What if I start fresh?
You'll be able to jump right into all the new content if you import a save from Episode 15. If you start fresh, the new content is introduced gradually.I started a new game. When do I get the new suit colours?
Same as the base game - in Episode 15.Is there new story content?
The base game's story is unchanged, but there are a few additional missions that add backstory interviews.Will my trophies be imported?
You will unlock them all on importing a save except for three: Master Builder, Trail-Blazer, and Homo Faber, plus the platinum. You will need to build and fabricate the new structures and items to receive these again. Most are unlocked via new Orders for Sam.How do I use Friend Play?
Once you unlock Strand Contracts, open the Bridge Link menu. You will find a new Friends tab that lists your friends and you can easily make a contract there.How do I unlock the Roadster?
S-Rank any Roadster race at the Fragile Circuit to unlock the base Roadster. S-Rank all four to unlock Roadster: Long Range. Both are needed for the Homo Faber trophy.When can I complete the Ruined Factory missions?
The first two can be completed starting in Episode 2. The third and final mission cannot be completed until the post game, Episode 15.