Death Stranding Multiplayer Guide: How The PS4 Game's Social Systems And Likes Work
A Social Strand Game
Death Stranding doesn't have a traditional multiplayer mode; you won't be exploring its version of the United States with a friend by your side. However, it is a social game that features subtle cooperative elements similar to something like From Software's Bloodborne and Dark Souls. In Death Stranding, your actions and presence can aid other players despite never having the opportunity to interact with them directly--it's also a core component of the story.
With the various structures you build, the signs you place, and even the paths you walk, you supply others the tools to better survive within their instance of the world. You can also deliver their dropped cargo and tools back to them, as well as show your support by "Liking" the structures, signs, or vehicles they've left behind.
Below we detail all the ways you can interact with and affect the experiences of other players, as well as tips to help you better help them and an explanation of how Likes work. 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.
Death Stranding Guides
You can also check out our full review, where reviews editor Kallie Plagge gave the game a 9/10 and said, "Death Stranding is a hard game to absorb. There are many intertwining threads to its plot, and silly names, corny moments, and heavy exposition belie an otherwise very simple message. That comes through much more clearly in the game's more mundane moments, when you find a desperately-needed ladder left behind by another player or receive a letter from an NPC thanking you for your efforts. It's positive without ignoring pain; in fact, it argues in both its story and its gameplay that adversity itself is what makes things worth doing and life worth living. It's a game that requires patience, compassion, and love, and it's also one we really need right now."
All About Getting Likes
Death Stranding's social systems revolve around getting "Likes." You can give kudos to things created and left behind by other players that show up in the world by pressing the touchpad. While the game doesn't allow you to interact with players physically, liking their stuff is a way of connecting with them more indirectly.
As the enigmatic Die-Hardman states in one of the game's many interviews, getting a quick like can give a person a feeling of acceptance and acknowledgment--players are notified about how many likes they’ve received, by whom, and for what whenever they re-enter the chiral network. While this may seem like a super on-the-nose commentary on the influence of social media, amassing and giving out likes in Death Stranding is a worthwhile pursuit. It's the lifeblood of the game's social mechanics, ultimately feeding into your overall progression.
Getting likes adds to your total pool of social cache, which increases your reputation as a Porter. Moving up the ranks earns Sam bonuses to his attributes, such as boosting his carry capacity and posture when under stress. Every once in a while, you can also come across roaming NPCs. Being friendly with them will earn you some praise and even some free gear.
Building Structures And Leaving Behind Tools
If you feel that sending a "Like" isn't enough, and you want to be more proactive about making a difference for other players in the game's world, then Death Stranding gives you the tools to do just that. You can start by building structures or helping others by returning their dropped cargo (more on that later). These actions can go a long way in getting other players situated in the world and assisting them in general. Even though you're alone traversing through the landscape of ruined America, your choices and actions can leave a lasting impact. While setting up gadgets like ladders and ropes can be helpful to you, they can also be valuable for those who encounter them in their instance of the game--sometimes they can be a lifesaver.
Building larger structures, such as bridges or watchtowers, can be a great help for other players too. But it also goes both ways, as other players can construct objects to help you in your journey. You can even contribute resources and supplies to their structure, such as bridges or roads. It not only helps the player that started the creation, but it will also score you a considerable amount of likes by investing in their structures. It's worth noting that anything you build is susceptible to degradation from Timefall, so if you want something to stick around for other players to use, you'll need to revisit your structure and load it up with some raw materials.
It's not just what you build or leave behind that other players can see. The game even documents your footsteps, leaving it behind not only for your reference but occasionally for other players to follow as well. Everything you do has the potential to impact another's experience, so let that knowledge imbue your actions with careful consideration for others. You never know how you can make someone else's day with the things you leave behind in the world.
Laying Down Signs
Aside from building structures and placing gadgets, Death Stranding lets you help others through more subtle displays of wisdom and encouragement. You have access to a wealth of signs that you can place to guide other players in specific directions, warn them against upcoming dangers, or refill their stamina by cheering them on. If you ever want to personalize a structure, you should always leave behind a sign. Even if it's just a happy face, anything helps to bring life and joy into Death Stranding's often perilous landscapes.
Delivering Dropped And Lost Cargo
As you explore the world, you'll often encounter cargo dropped by other players. While you can use these resources for yourself, you should try to get them back to whoever lost them. Dropped cargo belonging to players can be taken to any UCA or prepper facility and sent back to their original owner for a handful of likes. The same goes for any lost cargo, which are containers belonging to any of the UCA members or preppers in the area. But any lost cargo you deliver that isn't its intended destination will get entrusted and placed in a Shared Locker for others to deliver.
Entrusting cargo for delivery in general earns you some residual likes, but you get a lot more if you deliver it yourself. You can entrust any lost and dropped cargo you find at any facility or shelter connected to the Chiral Network. However, any lost or dropped cargo you've entrusted that isn't delivered by others will be rescinded after a certain amount of time has passed. An interesting detail to note about entrusting dropped cargo is that the more players who've acquired and entrusted it, the more likes that are rewarded to whoever eventually ends up delivering it.
Resting For Others
Resting to recuperate your stamina can also impact another player's experience. You can sit down at any time to take a breather by holding the circle button. In this position, Sam can massage his shoulders and even take a nap. Doing so leaves behind a holographic cairn, which looks like a small stack of rocks. While these rocks don't do anything for you, they can help out others. When a player rests near the holographic cairn you left behind, it'll double the speed of their recovery process.
Bridge Links And Strand Contracts
A Bridge Link is the basic level of connection you get from interacting with someone's structures. As you start to assist other players and use their structures, you may begin to grow an affinity towards specific people. While not available until further into the game, you can enter what's called Strand Contract Bridge Link with particular players, which allows you to see their structures more often. You can establish a Strand Contract by entering the Bridge Links menu after you've unlocked it and selecting from the list of players containing all the people you've interacted with.
When the going gets tough and you run out of gadgets, you can rely on the help of other players by sending out supply requests--a handy feature that's unlocked relatively early on. The way it works is that you can send out an order for any of the items in the fabrication menu and have it delivered to a facility or postbox of your choosing. It takes some time, but if another player accepts your request, you'll be informed of your order's arrival the moment the delivery is successful. You can also fulfill player supply requests yourself via the delivery terminal of any UCA facility or prepper shelter.