Game Guides

Death Stranding Beginner’s Guide: Tips for How to Get Started

What to do, what to avoid, and how to get the best start.

by Kyle Hanson


Starting out in any game can be a jarring and daunting task. There’s so many systems to learn and things to figure out, you can get pretty lost. For Death Stranding this is even more intense though. The game represents something truly unique, with its mixture of various genre norms and changes to the way we approach games. But we’ve played dozens of hours so far already, so now it’s our job to impart that gained wisdom upon you. Here’s our Beginner’s Guide explaining how to get started in Death Stranding.

How to Get Started

Let’s start with some basic tips and tricks that we feel will help you get started in Death Stranding, and be sure to click through to any linked guides which should break down the topic in greater detail. First of all, the game sort of implies that you want to take it slow. This is true of your movement, which requires you to constantly try to maintain your balance. However, you actually will want to move quickly in terms of tackling missions and accomplishing objectives.

Death Stranding is a really long game, and it starts quite slowly. Things are introduced to you at a fairly brisk pace though, including vehicles and ways to carry more cargo around the world. Basically everything up to the middle of Episode 3 ends up feeling like a prologue to the adventure that follows. You unlock so many things that would have helped so much in the early game that if you spend too much time there you’ll feel quite upset. Once you make it into Episode 3 or 4 you’ll have unlocked most of the items you’ll need to really make the game work well for you, including the PCC structures that will be spread to other players.

Should you Play Online?

And yes, you should play online, so make sure you have that enabled by reading the previously linked guide. And this plays into that other tip of moving quickly. Areas that aren’t connected to the Chiral Network, which is typically the first objective you’re tasked with in each location, are much harder to get across. They won’t have other player’s buildings or items, and you won’t have access to all of the resources you would otherwise. So get connected both to PSN and the real world internet, and the Chiral Network as quickly as possible.


How to Manage Your Inventory

Along with maintaining your balance, managing your inventory is pretty much the biggest part of Death Stranding. Whenever possible try to rearrange the pack so that things balance better. To do this just hit Options, then tap X to enter the inventory screen. Triangle will auto balance the entire pack. Any time you pick up some cargo or drop items you’ll want to do this to make sure the pack is weight balanced properly.

What to do About Enemies

Even if you can’t see them, there’s enemies all over the place in Death Stranding. Two main foes will trouble you as you try to put America back together through the power of package delivery: BT’s and MULEs. The former are “Beached Things”, basically ghosts that linger in the Timefall that rains down and rapidly ages anything it can touch. These ghostly black figures are tough to see, but you can avoid them if you know what to do. Later in the game you can even take them head on, which is another reason to play the opening chapters pretty quickly.

That guide should walk you through the rest, so be sure to check it out. You’ll also see what to do about MULEs, which are rogue humans obsessed with stealing your packages. Which is an important thing to keep in mind, if you aren’t carrying cargo the MULEs will mostly ignore you until they spot you in their territory. You have a few options to deal with them, and you’ll want to use all of them because they are a great place to get extra stuff (see the guide linked above).

Which Missions to Take

Sticking to the earlier tip of moving quick and staying focused on the main campaign, there are some side missions you should be sure to look out for. The only one I want to call out is the Cosplayer mission, which give you a very useful piece of equipment. There are some others though, so always scroll through the options to see if any take you to new locations or introduce new characters. If they do, it might be worth the extra time, though still try to focus on main missions if you have them available. They’ll be highlighted in the menu with a golden strand to show that they are necessary.

Follow all of these tips from our Beginner’s Guide and you’ll know how to get started in Death Stranding. We’ll update this from time to time, so check back for more as the game develops.

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