Death Stranding Walkthrough Guide: Prologue Tips
Death Stranding Walkthrough: Prologue
Playing Death Stranding and feeling a little lost? Not sure what the best way to get your cargo from point A to B without falling over your feet like an absolute klutz? Well, you're in the right place, because I'm here to give you a blow-by-blow walkthrough of Death Stranding's critical missions, so you can make a bee-line to the meat of the game where things really get interesting. In this one, we'll be taking you through the game's opening prologue, where you're first introduced to the art of balancing while carrying a bunch of heavy stuff on your back.
Afraid of spoilers? Don't worry! We'll make sure these walkthroughs and tips 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 unique ways depending on your personal game.
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 want some inspiration to get you started.
Before you begin, 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 what you can expect a little later down the line. Things will definitely get a little less tough over time with the right preparation!
Prologue - Once There Was An Explosion...
After the introductory cutscenes and a Metroidvania-style loss, we join Sam (Norman Reedus) on top of a rainy mountain. Your goal? Pick up your crap and get down the mountain.
Here, you'll be introduced to the pickup mechanics that will form the backbone of the rest of your say, 60+ hours with the game. Throw that first box on your back and power forward!
Prologue - Climb And Scan
Here are two other things that are super important--scanning the environment immediately in front of you with your odradek (R1) and climbing things with (X).
Once you scan the environment, you'll be able to see cargo (which will be highlighted with a blue circle), as well as the treachery of the environment. This is super important to keep in mind throughout the entire game, so scan often, adjust your path if necessary, and be prepared for the kinds of surfaces you're about to traverse!
- Blue dots - This surface is more or less safe to traverse
- Yellow triangle - This surface will be slippery, and has a greater chance of causing you to slip and lose balance if you don't approach it with some caution
- Red cross - This surface is treacherous, and will cause you to trip and fall if you don't approach it with caution
Prologue - Rain, Rain, Go Away
Keep moving and climbing in a straight line for a little while, picking up any cargo you come across, and you'll quickly hit a cave that will trigger the next cutscene. Congratulations! You've completed the prologue to the prologue of Death Stranding!
Prologue - Fill My Meters
Once the cutscene is over, you'll get your meters back. Your sweet, precious meters. As you probably worked out, the red one is your blood, which basically constitutes your health, and the blue one constitutes your stamina, which drains gradually as you run and perform strenuous actions over a period of time.
You can regain your blood by eating cryptobiotes, which you'll come across a little later.
You can regain your stamina by drinking from your canteen, though your maximum stamina will also drain over a period of time, and you'll need to rest in a Private Room (more on that later) to bring it back up.
Both of these can be accessed from the health menu (Left on the D-Pad)
Prologue - Don't Be So Serious
Alright, now for your first challenge: get the hell off this mountain. Take in the view, and then look immediately to the right of the cave entrance.
You'll find a clear path down, so take it, while also being wary of your footing. Smack that R1 button to scan the terrain with your odradek if you're unsure of the ground ahead.
Prologue - Grip For Balance, GRIP FOR BALANCE!
Whoops! Did you get really cocky like me, and start sprinting (Hit L3) down that hill? You probably lost your balance and starting slipping!
Remember--the type of terrain is important to keep a note of in Death Stranding, but so are the incline of surfaces. The game also takes Sam's weight into account, so things like running down the side of a mountain and losing control of your momentum can absolutely happen.
So! Take it slow, and if you're losing your grip, you can press and hold (L2 + R2) to grip your shoulder straps and regain your balance.
These also work individually to make Sam shift his weight left (L2) and right (R2)--you'll definitely need to use those very soon.
Prologue - Wading Through Water
Oh no! You're at the bottom of the mountain and there's cargo on the other side of the river! Don't worry--Sam can walk through it like the champion he is.
The odradek's scanning functionality and its icons apply to the surface underneath the water too, as well as taking the flow of water into account. So if you see an area populated by red crosses, don't even try to walk over it. Instead, grip for balance (L2 + R2) and wade through to the other side.
You'll notice the Endurance gauge when you do this--it's a lighter shade of blue over your stamina bar. This will drain rapidly as you trudge through, but don't get too worried. If you stand still while in water, this endurance gauge will quickly recharge.
Now go get that cargo!
Prologue - There It Is, The Big Apple
Once you've crossed the river (and you should, because the terrain is much more forgiving), it's pretty much a straight shot for a while--just be wary of any outcrops. Either veer to avoid it if you can, or clamber over it carefully. Keep scanning if you're unsure.
You can veer off to the left to grab an extra piece of cargo if you really want, but let me tell you, there is going to be a lot of cargo in this game you won't be able to pick up so you might as well get used to leaving things behind now. ESCAPE TO THE CITY.
Prologue - Dam, Son
Eventually, you'll reach a dam on the outskirts of the city. If you crossed the river like I told you to, you'll now have to cross back. But trust me, it was worth it!
Head down the staircase and cross the river using the techniques I mentioned earlier (scan it with the odradek, always hold L2 + R2, stop and rest if your endurance is low) in order to reach the staircase in the top-right of this image.
Prologue - Almost There
HOLY COW I CAN SEE THE END. Run! Run for it, you beautiful cargo-hauling person! Pick up another box if you want! But it doesn't matter, you're here!!
Prologue - Welcome Home?
Once you enter the safe area, follow the marker to this little structure. This is where you'll drop off your cargo.
Prologue - Strand And Deliver
Interact with the terminal inside the building, and turn that cargo in. Quick tip--press and hold the X button from anywhere in the menu in order to move on to the next screen.
Once you're done, grab the popcorn and get ready for some long, spooky cutscenes.
Prologue - You Died
Whoops! That totally wasn't your fault. This is the game's way of showing you its revival mechanic. You see, Sam is *special* so from this point on if you find yourself in a situation where you have died, this is what you'll need to do.
Step one: Float towards your body using the left analog stick. You can see a little Sam at the bottom of the screen. Get towards it, then press and hold the Square button.
Prologue - You Lived!
You did it! You actually did it! You managed to complete the Death Stranding Prologue, and it's all because of this super helpful guide and not at all because it was a pretty straightforward tutorial.
If you're moving straight to Episode 1 after this, you can follow along with our Episode 1 walkthrough.