How to deal with Death Stranding's terrifying apparitions.
One of the deadliest threats in Death Stranding's world are BTs, which stands for Beached Things. These ghostly apparitions will try to cling tightly to any living thing that approaches them, which means bad news if they successfully pull you down into their tar and consume you. BTs don't fill the entire landscape, but they typically accompany Timefall. You'll specifically know they're around when the game shifts into slow-motion briefly to focus on your Odradek shrieking at their presence.
BTs are a frequent danger in Death Stranding, so you're going to need to get used to dealing with them. Below you can find tips detailing how to sneak past and fight BTs and what to consider before you cross into their territory. For more Death Stranding features, check out our in-depth beginner's guide and our gallery highlighting all the most significant celebrity cameos we've found so far.
How To Sneak Past BT Territory
As you travel across the world, a key piece of wisdom you can lean on is to observe the sky above when plotting your course. There are various, multicolored stands jutting downward, and they all signify different objects and areas of note. Black strands, in particular, clue you in on the presence of BTs. When you reach BT territory, it's best to sneak past BTs and use your BB's senses to approximate their location. To keep an eye on nearby BTs, pay attention to which direction your Odradek is pointing when it starts to flap and flash. When you stand still and use the Odradek scanner, you'll be able to use echolocation to ping nearby BTs for a short time. Once you've tagged them, stand still at any time to see where they're floating. As you push further, make sure to keep sending a scan with your Odradek to ping BTs ahead of you.
By crouching and holding your breath with R1, you should be able to avoid them stealthily but get too close, and they'll quickly pick up your trail. Early on, EX Grenades are a handy tool to distract BTs, as each has unusual effects on them. By using the bathroom in Sam's private room--whether it's taking a shower to wash off chiral fragments, urinating, or defecating--the lavatory will churn out three different grenade types made from different substances from his body. These various EX Grenades work as irritants on the BTs, which can be used to force them away without them noticing you. It can come in handy when Sam encounters a cluster of BTs blockings his path. With the EX Grenade No. 2, for instance, a sizeable brownish cloud will send the apparitions running.
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If a BT manages to see you, things start to get crazy. Tar will cover the ground's surface, and a group of BTs will try to pull you under. To avoid getting caught in their clutches, mash the square button to resist and hold the shoulder buttons to stabilize your balance when prompted. If the BTs successfully pull you under, you'll be dragged across the ground and left to fight a much larger and more dangerous BT. All the while, a sea of tar will flood the vicinity while buildings and debris emerge from the ground.
The best option upon being detected is to escape the tar-covered area as soon as possible. Should you fail either by getting pulled under or your health is depleted, you'll lose all your cargo and will have to respawn. And in the process, you might trigger a Voidout, which leaves behind a massive crater.
In Episode 5, you’ll get a new cufflink from Mama, which allows you to cut the umbilical cord of BTs if you’re able to sneak towards them. To do this right, pinpoint the presence of the BT you're looking to eliminate, then sneak up while holding your breath and wait for the prompt to cut their cord. With this tool, BTs become even more manageable to sneak past and kill without being detected.
It's worth noting that if you see a baby BT, it's best to avoid them. Their presence often attracts more BTs, which is the last thing you want to be around. Regardless, take your time when navigating past BTs. Assess their placement in the area, find openings to sneak through, hold your breath when you get too close, and use EX Grenades to distract them when there's no way forward.
How To Fight BTs
During the opening hours, there's not much you can do to defend yourself against BTs aside from EX Grenades. Though you'll often have to sneak past them, you'll eventually acquire some weapons, like Hematic Grenades and the Anti-BT Handgun, that'll help you fight BTs.
Hematic Grenades are explosives that spurt clouds of Sam's blood and are lethal to BTs. When several BTs are bunched together, a well-aimed toss of this blood grenade can potentially take out an entire group. On the other hand, the Anti-BT Handgun can dispatch BTs through slightly less volatile means. Keep in mind that it takes several shots to defeat a standard BT, so be sure you've got a steady aim and an itchy trigger finger. Given its damage output, the Anti-BT Handgun is recommended for use alongside Hematic Grenades. To unlock the Anti-BT Handgun for fabrication, complete the delivery to the Chiral Artist's Mother in Chapter 3.
Aside from the Hematic Grenades and the Anti-BT Handgun, the most useful weapon you can use against BTs is the Bola Gun (LV. 2), which unlocks for fabrication after ranking five stars with The Craftsman. It takes a while to max your rank, but as long as you keep making deliveries, he'll eventually hand it over. Regardless, the Bola Gun (LV. 2) can temporarily tie up BTs, which can be a lifesaver in a pinch.
Starting in Episode 4, you’ll start acquiring real guns, which can be coated with Sam's blood to also combat BTs. You can also combine Hematic Grenades and regular bullets to attack BT’s, as bullets that pass through Hematic Grenade explosions will coat in Sam’s blood and damage BTs.
Directly fighting BTs should be a last resort during the opening three chapters. If you want to truly be prepared for the moment you inevitably ignite a BT's rage, we recommend going into BT territory with no essential cargo and getting caught to get a feel for how encounters with them play out.