Death Stranding Walkthrough Guide: Episode 1 - Bridget
You made it to Episode 1! Congratulations for sticking with the game for this long! Our Death Stranding: Director's Cut walkthrough continues to cover the game's first chapter, titled "Bridget," in this walkthrough so if you haven't made it this far yet and need help doing so for some reason, go back and check out our Prologue walkthrough first. We'll be covering the critical-path missions in this guide so you can make your way to the meat of the game faster!
Our guide was originally based on the PS4 version of Death Stranding, but the story remains the same between that and the new PS5-enhanced version.
This guide will take you through Episode 1, which continues to expand the world and build on what's established in the Prologue. One thing to be aware of once you see this portion of the game through is that you shouldn't linger in Episode 2--the game really opens up after that, so it's best to advance through it relatively quickly. (You're probably wondering: how long is Death Stranding? We have some general estimates for both standard and completionist playthroughs.)
Afraid of spoilers? Don't worry! We'll make sure these walkthroughs are as spoiler-free as possible when it comes to the main story beats. However, at certain points much later in the guide, revealing a few broad snippets of information will likely be necessary.
Of course, the first thing to keep in mind is that a big part of Death Stranding is in the flexibility of the environment, and the creativity of how you want to forge a path forward. There are a whole heap of different ways to tackle each mission, and on top of that, the map you encounter might also be different to the one you see in this guide--that's thanks to the multiplayer aspect of the game, where members of the community will clear different paths and place helpful structures in different ways depending on your personal game.
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That said, this walkthrough will give you a good idea about what you need to do. It can offer one viable path to success if you're at a bit of a loss, or if you just want some inspiration to get you started.
Before you start, definitely check out the broader tips in our Death Stranding guide hub to get your head around some must-have tips to always keep in mind, as well as get your head around what you can expect a little later down the line. Things will definitely get a little less tough over time with the right preparation!
Episode 1 - Morphine Delivery
Good morning, Sam! Looks like *somebody* needs some morphine delivered, and you're the only man that can do it. Well, pick up that little suitcase, throw it on your back (hit Triangle), and let's get going.
Episode 1 - Use Your Map To Mark Waypoints And Draw Routes
Once you're at the top of the ramp, somebody will give you a quick crash course on one of the most valuable parts of the Death Stranding map--and that someone is me. Bring up the map with (Option) and you'll be able to see important things around you including objective markers and things you've pinged while scanning.
If you press (Square), you can lay down a custom marker, but if you press and *hold* (Square) you can use your left analog stick to plot a dotted-line route to places which will *actually show up in the world*
So try drawing a route to your objective destination now.
Episode 1 - Follow The Dotted Line
Wow! Look at that! Now follow that line!
Episode 1 - You Are Not A Ghost
Whoops! Turns out that dotted line is indeed just a straight line and will not guide you through an optimal path in the environment.
When you hit a fork in the highway, you'll need to veer left and take the exit ramp down into a bunch of city ruins.
In the future, if you want to try and map a more specific route forward, you can do so by drawing a route with multiple waypoints in order to help guide you a little more.
Episode 1 - Check Your Compass!
As you head down that ramp, an in-game friend will teach you about the compass. But I'm going to teach it to you too, and I'm a better teacher.
So hit that L1 button and you'll go into a first-person view, where you can see your orientation, your objectives, and get a sense of where you are in the world.
If you focus the centre of your view over an objective marker, the compass will even calculate the distance and show you the kind of topography that's directly between you and that point. Super handy!
Episode 1 - You Are A Navigational Genius
Once you turn a couple of corners, you'll see this monolith in the distance, and your objective is basically in front of you. Go down the ramp ahead and you're done. Well done, in fact!
Get ready to sit back and watch a series of nice relaxing cutscenes where nothing bad at all happens.
Episode 1 - Corpse Party
Oh look, now Sam has a strange, human-shaped bag to dispose of for no reason in particular. Time to pull up your map and see where you need to go!
Episode 1 - Chart Your Course
The place you need to take this piece of cargo, which is definitely not a dead body, is on the top of a mountain. But fear not! This is a relatively easy climb with a pretty well-defined path up.
Take a look at the map above to get an idea of the route we're about to take, then pop your own map open to plot a similar route. Or don't. You can go your own way, see if I care. I'm just trying to get you used to the tools so you feel confident later.
Episode 1 - Back The Way You Came
You'll be running back out the way you came in when you delivered the morphine, only this time you're going to run right past the distribution centre you were at, veer right, and get into the wild, beautiful, and utterly ruined world.
Episode 1 - All Along The Watchtower
On your way out of the settlement, you'll be introduced to Death Stranding's watchtowers. Use it, and you'll be able to scan the environments ahead and track any points of interest like lost cargo, cryptobiotes to restore your health, player-made structures to help you, and other things that you'll get access to later on.
Now, ask someone who's played further into the game and they might tell you that watchtowers feel kinda useless, since your odradek can basically do the same thing, albeit at a shorter range. But don't forget about them entirely! When more elements are introduced to the game, being able to access a watchtower and spot things mark them on your map early can be super valuable, especially when you're after something in particular.
Episode 1 - Oh, I See
Using this watchtower, I can see all the custom markers I plotted with the map, and get a good sense of the terrain that's just ahead of me.
Later in the game, this kind of view will likely mark a bunch of guaranteed Good Stuff all throughout this entire area. Neat, huh?
Episode 1 - Phwoar, What A View
Make no bones about it, Death Stranding can be a pretty game. The trek across this field is basic, with only a few rocks strewn about to keep you on your toes.
However, the load you're carrying on your back is one that will really throw your balance off if you make too many sudden movements. Make sure to scan the terrain ahead with your odradek if you're unsure, and pay attention to the shoulder buttons to regain your balance if the game prompts you to.
Your goal is to get to the river and head up to the narrow river and find a ladder that's been laid across it.
Episode 1 - The River Is Only Skin Deep
There it is!
Under usual circumstances, you'd probably be fine in wading through this river yourself, but the game is now introducing the concept of ladders and showing you the ways they can be used.
Here, one of the in-game characters has generously wasted one of his ladders so you can easily cross this river without needing to get your boots wet.
Take him up on it and keep following the river once you cross it.
Episode 1 - Going Up?
At a certain point, we're going to have to go up the mountain. See how the dotted line goes up? Follow that thing.
You're doing great so far! Such wonderful balancing by you. Well done.
Episode 1 - Straight Up Straightforward
Yeah, look. This has been pretty easy so far, huh? The path halfway up the mountain is pretty clear as you can see from the screenshot, you just need to keep an eye on the balancing thing and watch your sudden movements.
Further up, you'll be able to see a couple more ladders left behind by an in-game character, giving you a perfect way to climb up the more treacherous parts of the mountain.
Episode 1 - Rope A Dope
Oh, good tip, game! Scanning with your odradek will highlight ladders and other tools, like this climbing rope, for you.
Once you've used the two ladders to get up this steep incline, grab onto the rope with Square, and walk yourself up to the top.
Episode 1 - Great Work!
Wow, look at you! All that hard work paid off. You're almost there. Now all you need to do is cross the rocky field and enter that building to deliver whatever it is you've been carrying all this time. Maybe it's a birthday present?
Episode 1 - Don't Mess Up Now!
Run! Run across the field! Avoid the rocks! Scan the terrain! No sudden movements!
Episode 1 - You're Done!
Go on up to the terminal and turn in the cargo. A great job by you! Time to kick back, relax, watch a cutscene. You've had a good day. Nothing is going to go wrong now.
Episode 1 - I Was Just Kidding
OH GOD, THERE ARE BTs EVERYWHERE YOU GOTTA GET SAM OUT OF THERE.
As you probably know by now, BTs are basically invisible ghosts that you need to do your best to avoid and sneak past, at least during this early stage of the game.
Some tips on how to avoid BTs:
Your odradek will pop up when you're in an area with BTs, and it will point to the nearest BT. It's safe to say that you should move away from the direction your odradek is pointing.
Standing still and scanning an area with your odradek (R1) with let you see faint outlines of where the BTs are in the environment.
The safest way to move through a BT area is to sneak. Hit the Circle button to crouch and make less noise as you move.
A bit later on, you'll be able to pick up Sandalwood plants in the environment to wear as, well, sandals. Wearing these instead of your standard hiking boots will also help to reduce the noise you make. Holding Up on the D-Pad will let you change items of clothing.
When your odradek turns orange and starts opening and closing rapidly, it means a BT is *super* close. At this point, you definitely want to move the hell away from wherever your odradek is pointing and...
...press and hold R1 to hold your breath. How long you can do this is restricted by your current level of stamina, and will be shown as a draining meter. Be sure to let go of your breath before this meter depletes, however, otherwise Sam will take a huge breath and make a bunch of noise.
Episode 1 - Be Quiet, Idiot
If you were dumb like me and decided to sprint near these BTs (it was my second time through and I wanted to hurry up), they will absolutely take note and chase directly after you.
You'll know that this has happened because you'll be able to see their footprints (like the screenshot above) and your stamina meter will be maxed out, thanks to a burst of adrenaline.
Thankfully, that adrenaline can help get you out of a pinch easily. All you need to do is stay calm, keep moving slowly, and hold your breath for as long as you can so they don't hear you.
It's important to note that this adrenaline boost won't last forever though, and your stamina will return to what it was shortly after.
I won't show you what happens when you actually get caught by a BT because, well, it's better left as a surprise. Just know that it's not the best outcome, but by continuing to follow this walkthrough and my excellent, perfect examples you won't need to worry about it anyway!
Episode 1 - Push Past The BTs
So! Using all that information you've learned over the past two slides, you can slowly make your way through the cluster of BTs and try and navigate your way back to where you first entered this area with the climbing ropes and ladders. The timefall (rain) will make surfaces a little more slippery, but that's okay because you should still be crouch walking at this time and taking things very carefully.
OR, you can do what I ended up doing and make your way to the ladder slightly south of where you came in, because the BTs were chasing me. I do not recommend this.
Episode 1 - Stumbling Out Of There
At the very least, this gives you a taste of what Death Stranding can be all about--getting yourself in a bad situation and doing your best to survive it by trying to improve. Look how dicey this cliff face is! I should not be walking down it!
Later on in the game, you'll at least be able to carry tools into a mission which will help you deal with these situations a little more elegantly. As it stands, there's not too much at stake here but I'm still taking it very slowly, gripping for balance at all times so I don't embarrass myself in front of the BTs.
Episode 1 - Oh, They Planned For This
By the time you get to this conveniently-placed ladder, the odradek will have given you a little golf clap and then put itself away, indicating that you are no longer in the BT zone. You are now in the ~chill~ zone.
Episode 1 - Oh, I Know Where We Are
When you make it a little further down the river, you should be able to see the ladder you used to cross said river in the distance. Head for it! Run! But not too fast!
Cross the ladder and you should basically be fine to make it back on your own from there. There'll be maybe a couple of small hills you have to climb, but you'll be fine, you're a smart person. Just remember the basics of not slipping over and all that.
Episode 1 - Poznan
Ah look, I'll just post another screenshot for us to admire since I love these bits. Another Low Roar song will play once you see your destination in the distance and everything will feel really nice.
Episode 1 - Home, Sweet Temporary Home
Head to the distribution centre building (the thing that looks like a big ship sticking out of the ground) to complete your mission. Congratulations! You're a very impressive individual. So much you have impressed me, I want to direct you to our Episode 2 walkthrough as a reward.