Death Stranding isn't flooded with combat, with the challenge stemming more from trying to carry heavy load after heavy load without damaging anything. You will occasionally face enemies though, and while you can bypass most of them using Kojima's trademark stealth, it's also possible to get stuck in and take them out of the equation.
In this guide, we're going to detail the numerous different ways you can deal with the enemies in Death Stranding. This guide will provide minor spoilers, as it's impossible to cover anything in this game without spoiling something, so be careful if you read on.
What Are BTs in Death Stranding?
BTs stand for Beached Things and they're one of three primary antagonists in Death Stranding. In lore terms, they're basically the negative side of what's left of a human being when they've passed away, and they shouldn't really be in the world of the living but that's just the position in which humanity finds itself in this post apocalyptic nightmare.
The worst part is that they're invisible to the naked eye, so you'll have to rely on a combination of your Bridge Baby and radar to point to their nearest location. They don't seem to be able to see you but they can hear you, so it's definitely worth sneaking in their presence, using your radar to avoid them.
What Are MULES in Death Stranding?
MULES are one of three primary antagonists in Death Stranding, and they're best described as scavengers because that's what they do best. They specialize in making life difficult for Porters like Sam, by tracking them down using their radars and stealing their cargo. You'll encounter them quite often in Death Stranding and they'll try and take your stuff if they manage to find you.
MULES use scanners much like you do, and if they manage to scan you they'll chase you down. They're pretty easy to avoid using stealth though, and you can take them out by punching them or sneaking up on them from behind and using your Strand to suffocate them.
Should I Fight or Hide in Death Stranding?
That entirely depends on your current situation, though in most cases we'd recommend that you use stealth to avoid your enemies. The benefits of avoiding combat far outweigh that of getting stuck in. Here are a few reasons why:
- Your BB gets stressed during combat encounters, which can lead to autotoxemia, meaning you'll be completely blind if you run into BTs
- Your cargo may get damaged in a combat scenario, reducing the likes you'll get when you deliver it
- You could actually die, causing a voidout. These are incredibly damaging to the nearby environment
- It takes up more time, which can result in you failing an urgent order or your cargo taking damage to Timefall
- When battling BTs, you have to bring special weapons with you, which takes up space and, more importantly, weight on your journey
However, there are instances where combat is the only option, so let's take a look at a few ways in which you can take out MULES and BTs.
How to Defeat BTs in Death Stranding
Without touching on too much spoiler territory, you'll receive a weapon around episode 3 in Death Stranding that allows you to destroy BTs. It uses Sam's blood though, which is basically his health bar, so it's risky business unless you bring a blood bag or two to supply the necessary blood.
While we generally recommend trying to avoid BTs in Death Stranding, if you absolutely must fight then you should equip your Hematic Grenade by pressing and holding the right button on your dpad and using the right joystick to select it. Press X to equip it.
Once equipped, you're going to want to get close enough to a BT that it becomes temporarily visible. Simply follow the direction that your radar is pointing and wait until it stops flashing and spins instead. This means a BT is dangerously close and if you wait a second or two they will become visible.
To defeat it, press and hold L2 to aim your grenade then press and hold R2 to select the power at which you throw your grenade. Ensure that your crosshair is over the BT and release R2 to throw your grenade at it. If your aim is true, the grenade will explode, taking out the BT and any others in the close vicinity.
Each Hematic Grenade you bring with you into the world has an ammo count of five, and will use Sam's blood if you don't have a blood bag on you. Keep an eye on your ammo and blood bag count to ensure you don't run dry (literally) when you encounter BTs. If you run low on blood, you can suffer from anaemia.
How to Defeat MULES in Death Stranding
Again, we recommend you avoid contact wherever possible but if you absolutely must get stuck in, here are a few tips for you. First of all, get low and crouch to lower your profile whenever you spot a MULE. Then, scan the nearby surroundings and look for tall grass to sneak through, as this will render you invisible to MULES.
If there is no tall grass, simply scan and get eyes on a nearby MULE and try and get behind them. Either way, sneak slowly towards them from the rear and, when you get close, equip your Strand. To do so, press and hold the right button on the dpad, move your joystick over the Strand, and press X to equip it.
Now, simply move towards the MULE and use the Strand to suffocate them. This is the safest method of dealing with MULES as it's relatively silent and they will be completely unable to react. If you've already been spotted though, your Strand will be useless. In this instance you can either run away or run towards the MULE and hammer square to punch them into submission. Most MULES should go down in a few hits, though you leave yourself open to retaliation. We also don't recommend trying to fight multiple MULES at once this way unless you can take out at least one with your Strand first.