Guns like the Bola Gun and the Anti-BT Handgun are the best you've got early on.
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You spend a lot of time walking and hiking up cliffs in the first few hours of Death Stranding. Along the way, you'll encounter dangerous enemies like MULEs and BTs for the first time, and for the most part, you'll be rather defenseless against them. During these stressful opening encounters, you might start to wonder when you'll be armed with your first projectile-based weapon--or, well, a gun.
Below we detail when you get your first firearms in Death Stranding. 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.
When Do You Get Your First Guns?
The world of Death Stranding is fascinating in that there's not much wanton violence. In fact, its scientific lore discourages senseless killing due to a phenomenon that causes a person's spirit to return to the world as a BT if their body isn't cremated soon after death. Worse yet, their body may trigger a Voidout, which is a devastating explosion that can leave a crater-sized hole in its wake. As a result, traditional firearms are discouraged, and the only people in the world who seem to use them are the Homo Demens separatist group.
So when do you get your first non-lethal projectile weapon, then? Well, it takes a while, but you'll eventually unlock one not too long after starting Episode 3. Progress the story to the point where your objective is to get the local preppers connected to the Chiral Network, and you'll eventually meet the Craftsman. He'll put you through the wringer and ask you to grab a toolbox in a BT-infested shopping mall.
Succeed in the Craftsman's request, and he'll reward you with your first weapon: the Bola Gun. Keep pushing the story forward, and you'll eventually unlock the Sticky Gun and the Anti-BT Gun. For more details on each weapon and tips on how to use them, refer to the descriptions below.
The Bola Gun
The Bola Gun is an invaluable firearm as it can instantly tie up unsuspecting human enemies from a distance. However, keep in mind that doing so will quickly alert their comrades around the area. Still, once you've managed to take down an enemy with a bola shot, follow up by kicking them while they're down to knock them out, as they'll get up much quicker if you don't.
If you increase your rank enough with Craftsman, you'll eventually unlock another version of the Bola Gun that can temporarily tie up BTs. It's a lifesaver when you're surrounded by BTs or encounter a large group that you can't sneak past.
The Sticky Gun
Unlike the Bola Gun, the Sticky Gun isn't built to harm human enemies physically. Instead, you use it to snatch cargo off them right under their noses--though it can also be used to grab any cargo from a distance. Essentially, the Sticky Gun fires adhesive rounds connected to a wire that can stick to cargo and reel it in. It's a handy tool for avoiding confrontation while grabbing far-off supplies you may need in the field. Be mindful that after using the Sticky Gun to grab cargo, make sure to lower your aim, and then hold either shoulder buttons to ensure you catch it before it hits the ground. If the Sticky Gun is shot at an enemy, it will turn them around, perfect for you to do a nice takedown.
The Sticky Gun is unlocked not long after syncing up the Distribution Center South of Lake Knot City to the Chiral Network. You'll get the ability to fabricate one during a main story delivery.
The Anti-BT Handgun
You get your third firearm--the Anti-BT Handgun--while helping out the Junk Dealer and the Chiral Artist during the latter end of Chapter 3. It's not the best, since it takes several rounds to defeat a standard BT, but it's the first gun you have to defend yourself against them. Given its damage output, the Anti-BT Handgun is recommended for use alongside Hematic Grenades.
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Given all the dangers inhabiting Death Stranding's world, its people have had to be resourceful. As stated above, they've had to rely on more imaginative weapons than traditional firearms to combat a myriad of otherworldly threats. Above you can see when you get your first assault rifle. Keep playing, and you'll see just how much human ingenuity has advanced weapon design in Death Stranding's world.