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Sam Bridges from Death Stranding
Sam Bridges from Death Stranding

Death Stranding – Survival Guide

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The World of Death Stranding is dark, depressing, and full of ghosts. Sam’s mission is to connect the cities from the East to the Pacific Coast on the West. There are a lot of details and mechanics players need to know in order to get the best use out of deliveries, technology, and getting likes throughout their adventure. 

Private Room Prep

Before heading out, let’s talk about how Sam can prep himself in his private room. While it seems like a place to waste players’ time, the room serves as a location for Sam to look at his equipment and weapons. There really isn’t  a lot of “guns” as of early game, but there are some weapons when using the private restroom/shower. 

If Sam ever takes a shower or relieves himself, he can make a variety of grenades from his urine, feces, and his own bathwater. These grenades mostly work against the BTs that are encountered throughout the world with the blood Hermatic grenades doing the best job. 

Also, to really help out, Sam can look at the table of Monster Energy Drinks and consume a whole can. Every can players drink in this room will give 10% more stamina with the max being 25%. So, drink up and increase Sam’s stamina, as moving outside will generally drain it. Then, when players are all done doing deliveries for the day, they can come back to the private room, take a rest, and Sam’s blood and stamina will be filled up along with BB’s stress levels.

Cargo and Gear

Sam can hold a ton of cargo, at least around 130 kilograms at the beginning of the game. The weight can be increased through high-volume deliveries seen through the delivery stat screen, but it can be a hassle if Sam finds himself putting too many things on his back, causing an imbalance during his travels. 

To maximize cargo space, which includes Sam’s own equipment, generally bring at least three Hermatic grenades, one container repair spray, one ladder, climbing anchor, fill up Sam’s pouch with at least two blood bags, and at least one pair of fresh boots. 

Players should be able to put at least most of the equipment on their suit as armor and equipment should be placed on the equipment rack rather than the main cargo space, if it can be helped.

Moreover, players will get a skeleton, which uses up power after a while, and make Sam overall stable while carrying 100kg more of cargo andtaking up Sam’s leg space. Make sure to recycle any heavily damaged or depleted equipment, as players might as well get some resources out of them. Additionally, there will be more practical ways to move around as the game goes on, so make sure to be on the lookout.


Vehicles will be a mainstay for Sam, if he utilizes them correctly. In the first area, after Sam gets the ability to build a generator for himself and other players, he gets his first bike. The Reverse Trike is both fast and fun to use. What players don’t know about some vehicles is that they’re also able to carry cargo. The Reverse Trike will be able to carry around 4 medium packs and will affect the bike’s weight. So, don’t put too much cargo on Sam if he’s going to ride on a bike, as that job is for the bigger trucks that MULES use. 

Players are able to put quite a bit on these bigger cars (MULES), though, the battery life on these automobiles tends to be a bit low regardless. Players should also note that vehicles and stored cargo will take damage from the Timefall when it’s raining. So, either leave it in a cave, or plan to get to the garage sometime soon.

Additionally, players won’t be able to take vehicles everywhere since the terrain usually won’t allow it. So, either put the bike in a cave for safekeeping, or just leave it out if it’s expected that Sam will come back to it. If it can’t be bothered to be used again, just leave it out, put a sign next to it, and maybe another player will make use of it.

Odradek Terrain Scanner

Sam’s Odradeck Terrain Scanner is one of the more important pieces of equipment. Generally, the Odradek Terrain Scanner will scan the area around Sam with a press of the button. It will be able to find materials, buildings, lost cargo, and more importantly, BTs. 

When using the scanner, it will highlight the terrain around Sam, showing the dots of the safe areas he can traverse, with blue being stable, yellow being unstable, and red being difficult. Keep these indicators in mind when walking over a rocky mountain or moving through a river, because this information factors into Sam’s stability with his cargo as he tries to balance himself.

Dealing with MULES

MULES are porters who have become obsessed with delivering packages up to the point where they became bandits. MULES are usually found in orange areas of the Map, where their main MULE postboxes and camps are located. It’s recommended that players just ignore them, or if they want a lot of materials, fight them. While these bandits are fairly dangerous with their EMP javelins that stop vehicles and long spears that knock cargo off, there’s nothing wrong with fighting them by hand. 

Since enemies who die must be incinerated to prevent Voidouts, knocking them out works the best. It’s recommended to beat up a lone MULE, pick up his cargo, and just beat the rest up since cargo is a 1-hit KO. Just be careful as MULES tend to roll together, so don’t get surrounded and fight carefully.

After all is said and done, players will be able to gather lost cargo from the MULE postbox, steal a MULE vehicle, fill it up with as much cargo as possible, and continue on with deliveries.

Encountering BTs

BTs are the dead who are stranded in this world and are trying to pull others into theirs for unknown reasons. They appear only in certain areas, but can promptly put Sam’s mission on hold until he decides to go through them or deal with the main BT. In order to see these creatures, Sam needs BB.

BB is the bridge between the living world and the Other Side, where the BTs originate. With the scanner, if BTs are nearby, BB can allow Sam to sense them without seeing them. If it’s flashing blue, that means the BTs are fairly close, but far enough to just keep note. If the scanner is rotating orange, that means either a BT is floating toward Sam or near him. If invisible footsteps take shape, that means a BT saw Sam and is trying to take him.

Hold R1 to hold Sam’s breath, if this occurs. If players get caught, BTs will attempt to grab Sam and take him to the boss. Sam can struggle and get out, but will have to wait for the black goo to go away. He can make it go away immediately, if using a No. 1 grenade, or additionally, just peeing on the BTs coming out of the goo in order to get the packages that were more than likely dropped.

If Sam gets caught, however, and taken to the boss, it’s not the end of the world. BTs happen to be one of the easier fights in the game, as long as Sam has a bunch of Hermatic grenades ready. Just keep throwing grenades at the BT while gaining higher ground. Eventually, the creature will die and create a bunch of Chiral Crystals, making the area safe. If players want to safely move, even for a bit, just fight the BTs and collect what’s needed.

Build a better World

Death Stranding is a world with a ton of player interaction, even if players never physically see each other. As Sam connects people to the Chiral Network, the once-barren landscape will be filled with the buildings other players made to help themselves and others. Structures such as bridges over harsh terrain and roads can be built with the help of resources from the players themselves along with good Samaritans out there. 

If an area looks like it can use a watchtower, use a PCC to have one built. If a player needs to unload lost cargo they can’t be bothered to deliver, leave it in a postbox so someone else will deliver it for them. It’s an interesting feature and players should try to help each other as much as possible,whether it’s building a bridge, or just having a place to rest and listen to music.


Death Stranding is full of different hazards that are out to destroy innocent porters who want to simply deliver packages. Hopefully, this guide helps those who want to survive in the post-apocalyptic America.

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