Game Guides

Death Stranding: How to Play Online and How does Multiplayer Work

You can't play with friends, but you can connect with them.

by Kyle Hanson


Death Stranding is a solitary game…or is it? Yes, the latest release from Hideo Kojima is certainly full of surprises. One of the biggest is how the multiplayer aspect works. The systems in place are somewhat unique, combining elements found in other titles with diverse multiplayer components, such as Dark Souls. But to experience them, you need to be playing online. So here’s an explanation for how to play online and how does multiplayer work in Death Stranding.

How does Multiplayer Work

Let’s get the explanation out of the way first. If you haven’t read or watched our review yet you might wonder how multiplayer even works in Death Stranding. In a sense, it’s not really multiplayer. At all times you will be the only player character in the world, but your actions and the actions of your fellow players will have an impact on it. This is multiplayer light if you will, taking aspects from other players’ worlds and combining them with your own. So you can’t join up with friends and tackle some BT’s, but you will be working together in the shared mission of uniting a fractured America by delivering packages.

How this manifests in the game is through the Chiral Network. As you travel to new locations, many of them will join the United Cities of America and let Sam connect them to the Chiral Network. Behind the scenes this also hooks them into the real world internet. As soon as you finish connecting them your world will be filled with objects, items, buildings, and signs left behind by other players.

Most of these will be helpful, like a ladder or bridge in just the right place. Some won’t, like a notice not to pee near the city. Either way, this is how multiplayer works in Death Stranding. It connects you to other players through the Chiral Network, allowing your own creations and those of other players to merge, making the world a bit easier to bear. Whenever you see something left by another player, like a vehicle, you can give them Likes. These enhance your character, so be sure to give them whenever someone was especially helpful. If you put good things out there then maybe they’ll reward you as well.

And any time you connect with a fellow player you can strengthen this connection or Strand from the game’s menu. Just head to the Bridge Links section of the menu to select players to strengthen the bond. This will make it so more of their items appear in your world, and vice versa. So that’s how multiplayer works in Death Stranding, now how do you play online so it all actually happens?

How to Play Online

This one’s fairly simple. If you want the features mentioned above then you need to log into the Death Stranding servers. The game should ask you at the start if you want to do this, but upon future game sessions you may need to force it to reconnect. To do this hit Options and go to System on the bottom of the menu that appears when you press left. A few choices down you should see Log In. Select this and the game will reach out and try to connect. If this is close to launch or during a maintenance window you may get error 50005 or something similar. Just give it some time and try again later and you should get connected.

And that’s how to play online and how does multiplayer work in Death Stranding.

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