Death Stranding, Kojima Productions' first game as an independent studio, is a unique and polarising game, so it's understandable that you might find it difficult to get into the first few hours. That's why we've decided to share some starter tips we hope will be helpful to those struggling through the early parts of the game.
Avoiding BTs: The very first enemies you'll come across are the ghostly BTs, and the game throws them at you without giving you many hints as to what they can do and how to avoid them. That being the case, it's a good thing that they're basically blind. We played on Hard difficulty and still found it very easy to avoid provoking these scary creatures. They can only be found in rainy areas, and your second warning is that the screen changes colour a tiny second while Sam shivers. That doesn't mean you have to slow down yet, as you can do everything you need to until the camera zooms in on Sam's left shoulder as the odradek scanner appears. Then it's a good idea to crouch down and move more carefully. Don't worry about sight-lines or anything like that, just pay attention to how intense the beeping and movement of the scanner gets. Keep crouch-walking and avoid making loud noises by jumping down from obstacles or anything like that when the light is yellow. Having the light turn red and the odradek spin furiously demands a different approach, as that means you're mere yards away from a BT. Hold your breath by holding the R1 button and start moving away from where the scanner is pointing. Don't start stressing out if you hear the roar of a BT and its footsteps splashing down in the ground; it won't find or catch up to you as long you hold your breath and sneak away. Take a breath of relief and enjoy that gasp of fresh air when the scanner returns to normal again, and continue your journey with the BTs none the wiser.
Help out The Engineer: Most preppers will have special rewards for you as you reach a new star-rating, and the best early on is without a doubt The Engineer. Just completing the first order for Sam will reward you with the Power Skeleton Level 1, but you shouldn't forget about the kind soul after that. Working your way up to four and five stars with him will reward you with Level 2 and Level 3 versions of the exoskeleton that allow you to carry a lot more weight and be more energy-efficient, which will make you progress faster by doing more deliveries at once.
Don't forget to customise your backpack: Speaking of carrying a lot, you shouldn't put all of the load on your back. Doing that will make it far more difficult to keep your balance. Your tower of packages and equipment can only get so high as well, and using the Power Level Skeleton won't allow you to position stuff on your hips. Thus it's a good thing that you get the option to upgrade and customise your backpack fairly early on. Progressing through the game will reward you with extra batteries, grenade pouches, stabilisers and more that can be placed on your back. These can be equipped by selecting your backpack in private rooms. This is also the menu where you can hang trinkets from certain preppers next to your dreamcatcher, and each of these will have different perks suited for different playstyles and situations.
Recycle everything: Your equipment will break sooner or later, but we recommend not polluting the beautiful world by discarding things unless you absolutely have to. A better option is to take your broken or empty items to the nearest centre or shelter for recycling. This won't just give you extra resources, it will also increase the maximum capacity at the designated place. Sure, you might think it's not worth it in the beginning when there doesn't seem to be much use for them, but you'll come to thank us when you get to the late-game areas where some very helpful structures require quite a lot in order to be built.
Build helpful structures right away: And you should definitely start building stuff as soon as you leave the prologue, even if your world is already filled with other players' structures. Building helpful stuff is sure to make you progress a lot faster as we found our fellow players to be very generous with their "likes" (otherwise known as experience points). Bridges are especially helpful in the first area, while pavement for roads is sure to make you very popular with your peers when you step out of Lake Knot City and into the second one. We're still not sure exactly how different structures are shared with others, but it seems like people see different structures depending on which server they're connected to so it's well-worth building something helpful even if something similar is nearby. Doing this will also help you out of course, so it's a win-win as long as you have the spare resources.
These are just five of our tips for the early parts of Death Stranding, so please let us know if you want some more or are struggling with specific things. Spending more than 100 hours with the game has taught us quite a few lessons, so please let us know if we can help in any way.
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