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Death Stranding Tips Guide - 16 Things the Game Doesn't Tell You

The first Kojima game outside Konami is tough, but there are ways to make life in the Death Stranding a little easier.

Death Stranding can be a mystifying game. Much of that has to do with the many ways you can interact with its world. You end up learning many crucial things over the course of the story (which tutorializes a lot of its nuances), but there are still lots of things the game doesn’t explain well — or at all — especially early on. So some Death Stranding tips can go a long way.

We’ve managed to round up several tricks that should help make the best of your time in the United Cities of America. This includes which missions and stats to prioritize, where to get some helpful items, and how to do sick wheelies. Let’s get started!

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Drink Lots of Monster Energy™ – Death Stranding Tips

Early on in your journey, you will enter a private room where you can perform various activities before heading back out into the wilderness. One thing you want to do whenever you’re in private is drink some Monster Energy. Seriously! Drinking it will give you a small boost to your stamina, which can help make your first few treks out in the wild. It’s also crucial during some of the more perilous climbs later on. The bonus eventually goes away, as your stamina gets chipped at, but that initial bonus can help you cross some dangerous obstacles you might not be able to cross otherwise.

Answer the Call of Nature – Death Stranding Tips

Another thing you want to do in private rooms is use the bathroom. Your biggest enemy in Death Stranding, aside from the world itself, are BTs. These ghostly apparitions can make your life hell if you don’t know what you’re doing. One of the quickest way to deal with BTs is to fend them off with grenades made up of bodily fluids. The best way to get those is to use the bathroom whenever you enter your private room.

The longer you take between private room sessions, the more grenades you produce when you shower and relieve yourself. That means you don’t have to worry about doing it every time. Just know that if you wait too long, you’ll miss out on ammo. Be sure to use the bathroom as often as you can! And yes, you’ll have to go number-one and number-two separately, since they get you different grenades…

The Best Way to Fend Off a BT  – Death Stranding Tips

There are other ways of deal with BTs, of course. You can usually sneak right past them using your Odradek (the spinning robot arm thing) as radar. However, that won’t always go as planned. But even if you do get caught by a BT, fending them off is actually fairly simple. A black tar pit will spawn under your feet and threaten to suck you in.

Don’t worry! All you have to do is follow the on-screen prompts. This includes mashing the square button to fend off the humanoid enemies that begin to emerge out of the tar, and pressing the trigger buttons to avoid being dragged beneath the surface. Keep in mind, however, that while pressing the square button, you move slower. Only press the square button when there are bodies grabbing onto you; otherwise, simply move out of the circle of the pit.

Death Stranding Tips

Getting your Items and Vehicles Back – Death Stranding Tips

There’s a good chance you’ll lose some gear as you trek through the black tar — especially if you’re knocked down inside the pit. If you’re riding inside a vehicle when you’re caught, it’ll stop moving immediately and start sinking into the pit. You should just get out of any vehicle ASAP.

Your primary goal should be to move out of the pit, but if you want to quickly get your stuff back (including your bike or truck), simply keep running when you’re outside the tar pit. The pit will eventually recede. It will then let you get your stuff back and cough your vehicle back up, hopefully without having damaged anything too much.

How To Quickly Clear An Area – Death Stranding Tips

If there’s an area full of BTs giving you problems (the forest near the wind farm in the game’s first map is a good example), you can get rid of them and bring a little sunshine with one simple trick. It just might cost you.

Simply put, you want to get caught by BTs, then escape. Run into an area full of the ghouls until one of them bumps into you. Then let yourself get pulled beneath the black tar. A cutscene in which you’re dragged across the map (the distance varies) will play, and you’ll be met with an even larger pit of black goo — as well as a more imposing sort of mini-boss to fend off. You can try to fight this enemy with your grenades (especially on easier difficulties), but a faster way is to just run outside the pit. Do that and the pit will disappear, along with most of the BTs in the area.

It’s a risky trick. You can easily get killed during these encounters, but the penalty for dying isn’t all that bad in Death Stranding (as long as you’re not making an important delivery). If you’re successful, the area will be free of BTs for a short while, letting you make one or two delivers in peace.

Cosplayer Death Stranding Tips

Get the Conan O’Brien Otter Suit – Death Stranding Tips

You might have heard that late night talk show host Conan O’Brian is in Death Stranding. Well, he is, and his character offers you the Otter Suit. It’s a wildly useful piece of headgear that makes you swim more nimbly (and more adorably) in the water. Here’s how to get it.

You won’t be able to get the suit until you reach the game’s second major area: the central region of the UCA. To get it, you have to find an outpost that belongs to a character called The Cosplayer. You can find this outpost by getting mission “[Order No. 37] Sewing Kit Delivery: Cosplayer,” which you’ll get from the Distribution Center South of Lake Knot City. That’s assuming you already brought the zone into the Chiral Network, which will likely happen late into Episode 3.

Once you reach the destination in the screenshot above, and bring the outpost into the Chiral Network, you will receive the item. Enjoy!

You Can Repair Items You’re Carrying – Death Stranding Tips

This might sound simple — maybe even obvious — but you probably wouldn’t figure out how to do it immediately. Early on in Death Stranding, it seems like the best way to use repair spray to fix your item containers is to set them all on the floor. Then you use repair spray the traditional way: by equipping it and using the triggers to fire.

There’s a faster way, though. While holding repair spray, you can use the square button to fire it off behind behind you, repairing anything on your back. This won’t work on items on your shoulders, but it’s a much faster way of repairing things than unloading and putting it all back on again. That’s especially true when you’re out in the open.

Wheelies Help You Cross Rivers – Death Stranding Tips

As part of your early on-boarding, the game tells you vehicles and water don’t mix. That’s mostly true; bikes and trucks are much slower when riding through rivers and their batteries drain much more quickly. One technique that helps, though, is pulling off a sick wheelie. I mean it. For whatever reason, pulling back on the analog stick while moving forward and riding on one wheel will let you move more quickly in water. That makes it the best way to ride through rivers when you don’t have a bridge or something similar.

Honestly, Wheelies (And Hops) Are God-Tier – Death Stranding Tips

In practice, you really should find a bridge, or build one yourself, rather than pop a wheelie through water. Wheelies are useful for more than crossing rivers, though. Riding your bike on one wheel makes it easier to get over all kinds of tough terrain: rocks, slopes, snow, you name it. You can even press the X button to hop, which, combined with a good wheelie, can help you reach places motorcycles usually don’t belong.

Death Stranding Tips

Use Manual Saves – Death Stranding Tips

Death Stranding does autosave, but usually only at important story moments, or when you arrive at an outpost. I found the game doesn’t save much outside of that, however, which makes recovering from a bad hike time-consuming. You might have to do entire deliveries again if your cargo happens to break right before you reach an autosave.

Luckily, you can make use of manual saves. You can’t save when in the midst of a BT encounter, but if you keep track of the monsters on your map (once you get the ability to track the weather), or know they’re coming, you can save just before entering BT territory. That’s when you save. This also helps if you plan to pull off a risky maneuver — like crossing a deep river or sliding down a mountain. If you botch your plan, simply reload.

In order to manually save, pause the game and head down to the “System” menu. Then just select save. You can’t save while riding inside a vehicle or during BT and MULE encounters, however. Keep that in mind!

Focus On The Delivery Time Stat – Death Stranding Tips

As you complete both main and side missions, as well as explore the UCA, you’ll gain experience in various areas depending on the tasks you complete. Most missions will reward you depending on the amount of cargo you deliver, how many items you bring in, the condition they’re in, and/or how quickly you carry the cargo. You can tell which kind of quest you’re taking one depending on the icon next to the mission’s name.

If you just take every mission you see, or stick to story quests, you’ll probably find your Delivery Time stat fairly low compared to others. Delivery Time affects your stamina (among a couple of other things). This is crucial for exploring the world more quickly! As such, you want to raise it as much as possible. If do doing every possible task you’ll eventually get experience for quests based on speed, but if you want to min-max things, focus on quests that focus on Delivery Time (the ones with icon of clock next to a box) above all else. The other stats will come naturally. Which brings me to our next Death Stranding tips…

Don’t Take Timed Deliveries Until You’re Ready – Death Stranding Tips

One of the best ways to optimize your time in Death Stranding is to take on multiple jobs at once. Then you can plot a course on the map that will let you complete all of them in one go. The exceptions to keep in mind, however, are timed quests. Don’t take these on until you’re able to deliver them as quickly as possible! Their clocks start ticking the moment you accept the missions. The longer it takes you to deliver an item, the lower your rating, and the less experience you’ll get for it. Every other kind of quest benefits from finding a slightly more elaborate path that lets you complete multiple missions in one trip, however.

Death Stranding Tips

The Clock Is Almost Always Ticking – Death Stranding Tips

Another thing to keep in mind with timed quests is that it’s hard to stop the timer completely. Saving and reloading doesn’t do much to help with timers. Pausing to look at your map, as far as we’ve tested it, also adds to the timer. So once you start a timed quest, make sure to keep all that stuff to a minimum and make a beeline to your destination.

You Can Replay Missions For Better Ratings – Death Stranding Tips

Completionists will most likely want to go for every S-rank in the game. That’s pretty easy in Death Stranding. With the exception of timed deliveries and a few boss battles, most missions shouldn’t give you a hard time. For those missions you do end up botching, however, you can always replay them.

How you go about it varies, though. For most side missions, just complete enough missions at the same outpost o have the one you messed up appear on the list again. For those boss battles, you will have to revisit them in your private room.

You Can Throw Cargo – Death Stranding Tips

Death Stranding does eventually tell you how to do this, but it’s much later than you might like. It can come in handy very early on, especially during encounters with MULEs. You can pick up any piece of cargo with your hands by pressing R2 and L2 (which correspond to your right and left arms, respectively). While holding those triggers, if you press Square, you’ll swing the case around. This can deal major damage to any enemy in range. If you let go of the trigger after pressing Square, however, Sam will toss that particular piece of cargo altogether.

This comes in handy if you’re trying to attack MULEs from afar. You can also use it to chuck an item that’s fallen off your back out of the black goo, toward safety, when you’re caught by BTs.

Clear Out MULE Camps – Death Stranding Tips

You spend most of your time avoiding or sneaking through MULE camps, since encounters with them can quickly turn into a cavalcade of errors you want to avoid if you’re trying to deliver cargo on-time and in good condition. If you ever happen to find yourself without cargo, though, it’s a good idea to clear out camps.

Getting rid of a few MULEs is easy. While you usually want to sneak your way into a camp so you can strand-tie one or two enemies before they catch you, there are a couple of other ways to deal with MULEs. For one, you can counter their attacks with your strand, letting you tie them up (this works especially well against the armored enemies that show up later. Smoke grenades are another good way to break line of sight. After which you can sneak around and tie someone up again.

Similar to clearing out a BT-infested area, getting rid of a MULE camp means not having to deal with them for a good, long while. That will make it easier to deliver to outposts. MULE presence might otherwise make it tricky.

These Death Stranding tips shouldn’t ruin most of the surprises you’re likely to find on your journey through the UCA. However, they’ll hopefully offer you some guidance that should make your journey to give everyone in the country the new-age Wi-Fi they deserve.

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