Death Stranding Walkthrough: Episode 3 – Fragile
Getting to Episode 3 in Death Stranding means a brand new map to explore, a whole lot of side content, and a whole heap of new tools for doing just about everything–delivery cargo, taking out enemies, and dealing with BTs. There’s a lot in this chapter, and much of its is optional. We encourage you to follow you heart and go at your own pace, but if you’re more interested in punching through to the other side and seeing what kind of weirdness lurks beyond, this walkthrough should help you find the shortest route there. If you haven’t arrived at Episode 3 yet, then you can follow our Prologue Walkthrough, Episode 1 walkthrough, and Episode 2 walkthrough as a guide.
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.
Again, the thing to keep in mind is that a big part of Death Stranding is 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.
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 3 – It’s The Big One
Welcome to Episode 3! Did you enjoy your trip over to the central part of this weird America Norman Reedus calls home? Great! Time to pick up the crap you brought over and exit the building. Take the stairs up. You can do this. You’re not a baby anymore. You just have a baby hanging on your person.
There’ll be plenty of lost cargo for you to collect on the way up, but I think I’ve given you enough warnings about knowing your limits by now. I’m gonna stop hassling you.
The distribution centre you need to get to is at the top of this complex. You honestly can’t miss it. Deliver the packages you need and let’s hurry this up.
Episode 3 – S-S-Smokin’!
Bringing this distribution centre onto the chiral network will reward you with the ability to fabricate smoke-emitting cargo to use as a decoy for MULEs. To be honest with you–I never used this once. I like to punch them all out. But hey, this is a game about creativity! Feel free to express yourself with the smoke!
You’ll also unlock the ability to fast travel, among other things. See? I told you we could go back later. Once you get a bunch of new gear in this chapter, you can go back and clean up the starting area way easier.
Episode 3 – Pick A Pack Of Preppers
Okay, let’s start! Once you’re done in your private room, you can pick up three critical missions–that’s three deliveries to three different locations. Mr. Reedus needs to try and get all of these folk, these Preppers, onto the chiral network.
Seems easy, right? Well, you’re playing a video game. And what’s a video game without a few curveballs to keep you from completing your mission?
Grab all three critical items, offload as much lost cargo and extra baggage as you can, stock up on any necessary items depending on how you think you’ll want to approach things (there isn’t anything major up ahead except for MULEs–if I have a strong recommendation in future, I’ll flag it early) and let’s go!
First stop: The Engineer.
Episode 3 – Get Ready To Rock
Head southwest out of the distribution centre towards the engineer. If you hit the watchtower along the way, you’ll immediately notice that you’ll be encountering MULEs real soon, and that the terrain is a little more bumpy. Keep on your toes!
Episode 3 – POW! MULEs!
They’ll definitely get in your way. Run, fight, sneak past ’em, whatever takes your fancy. Me? I just love beating the crap out of these guys. If you didn’t see our MULE combat tips from the Episode 2 walkthrough, go read them!
Episode 3 – GG EZ
Once you’ve dealt with the Mules, it’s basically a super clear shot to the engineer. Go into his little tent and deliver the cargo.
Episode 3 – PRESENTS!
Hey guess what! Your job is about to get a lot easier, because the Engineer will reward you with a Power Skeleton, which augments your ability to carry more crap and maintain balance.
These are super, super useful. The catch is that they run on batteries, so you should make sure you have a spare PCC with you in order to create a generator and keep them charged.
You can still use them when they’re out of batteries, true, but note that by equipping these, you can no longer attach small cargo to your legs.
Time to head out and see the Elder! Head south-east–I’ll be easy going for a little bit, but you might want to bring a set of climbing anchors, a couple of ladders, hematic grenades and extra blood packs for a later.
Episode 3 – Mountain Time!
Let’s punch straight up this thing!
If you’ve scanned the terrain ahead, you’ll notice that there’ll be a couple of ladders lying around. Grab the one that’s lying around as cargo, and use the other that an NPC set up. The ladder can give you a big helping hand once you get closer to the peak, but it’s not completely necessary.
The Elder will be at the top of the mountain in a shack similar to the Engineer. Pop in and hand in your cargo.
Episode 3 – The Craftsman
Alright, time to get off this stinking mountain and head north east to the Craftsman.
Now, you’ll probably notice that you can’t fabricate equipment at the Elder’s place. Hope you brought that climbing anchor I asked you to make at the Engineer’s place!
Episode 3 – It’s A Long Way Down
See? It’s a long way down.
Climbing anchors will make this really easy, but if you forgot to bring some, know that there are definitely sections along this cliff where it’s not as steep. You just need to be super careful with your footing, especially if you’re carrying a lot of stuff.
Episode 3 – Don’t Do This
Believe me–having all your cargo tumble down a mountain and having to retrieve it is not fun.
Episode 3 – MULEs Again
Once you’re down the mountain, you’ll likely be in MULE territory again–and there’ll be more of them. Plus, they have trucks now!
Deal with them how you see fit. If you decide to run, it’s easy to lose the truck by taking some of the more treacherous paths.
HOWEVER, know that you can then easily take the truck for yourself! Sneak past or dispatch any MULEs, throw the cargo in the back, get behind the wheel, and joyride that thing until the juice runs out!
Episode 3 – Road Pavers And You!
You’ll also likely run into a road paver on your way to the craftsman. These appear in set spots in the world, and once you feed enough metals, ceramics, and chiral crystals into one, it will rebuild a small section of road.
This is a tough job! It requires lugging a *lot* of stuff to remote areas (steal a MULE truck!) but the end result is definitely worth it. Thankfully, this is a community effort! You won’t have to rebuild everything yourself, but every little bit helps.
Anyway, moving on.
Episode 3 – Nice And Easy
Aside from a few rivers which will require you to go up and down, there’s nothing intensive about the rest of the journey past the MULEs–just the difficulties of managing your balance and making sure you don’t trip on a bump you forgot to account for.
Head in and give the craftsman his cargo. You might recognise him, perhaps as a certain studio head who recently became a high-level PlayStation executive?
Episode 3 – You Want Me To What?
Uh oh! Looks like the craftsman doesn’t want to play ball and join the chiral network. He wants you to do something for *him* first! Can you believe it?
You’ll be retrieving an item of his from a location nearby. Will be it dangerous? Most definitely. But good thing you listened to me earlier and packed those hematic grenades for no good reason!
You’ll be coming back here once you’re done, so take the opportunity to offload anything that isn’t a piece of climbing or anti-BT gear into the private locker, and head out north.
Episode 3 – Approaching The Ruins
Uh oh, it’s starting to rain… you know what that means…
Episode 3 – The Wall Is To Keep Them In
You guessed it! There are BTs here. You have to retrieve a thing from the middle of a BT-infested zone. The nerve of that craftsman!
Once you get to the area pictured, there are basically two immediately available ways to get into this area.
The first is to the left of the wall, where you’ll weave through a bunch of ruins. However, you and I are both daredevils, so we’re going to use our ladder to climb OVER that wall and straight into the fray.
The problem? Well, how are we going to get down after we climb the wall? We can’t just jump! We’ll break our legs and lose all our stuff!
Don’t worry, I got you. See the big crack in the wall? See the big wall divider to the right of it in the centre of the screenshot? What you want to do is place your ladder *in-between* those two things.
Episode 3 – So Convenient!
See? There just happens to be a handy rock ramp on the other side! You’re welcome.
Episode 3 – Kill All BTs
The downside of jumping over the wall is you’ll have a larger density of BTs to deal with. But good thing you packed all those hematic grenades, huh? BLOW THEM UP, REEDUS.
Episode 3 – Get The Thing
The thing you need to get is in a little shelter in the middle of the area. Grab it and head back through the carnage you hopefully caused. It should be relatively clear, and you should be able climb that rock ramp you came in on and hop down on the other side onto the debris without too much hassle.
After that, sprint back to the craftsman, give him the thing, and have him lavish you with praise as he joins the chiral network.
Episode 3 – You Have A Gun Now! Kinda!
Alright! New stuff! The craftsman will reward you with a Bola Gun, which is super effective at incapacitating MULEs. Just aim, fire, and they’ll be bound.
One thing to remember: doing this won’t knock them out, and they can eventually escape. You’ll need to run up to any MULE you hit with a Bola and kick them with Square to knock them out.
Episode 3 – Let’s Go Hunting
It’s a good thing you have that Bola Gun now, because your next mission (which will be given to you once you leave the Craftsman’s abode) requires you to once again infiltrate MULE territory and steal something from one of their post boxes. Thankfully, it’s really close by.
Do what you need to do to get ready and let’s go steal some stuff!
Episode 3 – Don’t Forget Your Fundamentals!
There’s a deep river right before you enter MULE territory. I thought I didn’t need to scan it, it looked fine. I was wrong.
Always scan the things. Be super careful. Use a ladder.
Episode 3 – Take The Camp!
Again, there are lots of different ways to approach this. You can definitely stealth it. But you just got a sweet Bola Gun, so why not go to town with it and try and take out every single MULE in the area? Just don’t forget to knock them out after they get tied up.
If you manage to knock out every single MULE in the area, they’ll actually be replaced by friendly porters for a brief period of time, who can offer you gear. Just an FYI.
Finish up, grab the Macguffin from the post box, and head on back to Lake Knot City.
Of course, this is a good chance for you to do a bit of side stuff and increase your rank with the Preppers in this area for extra items, if you so choose. You might also find a few extra Preppers in the world if you look hard enough! So take a break if you wish, follow your heart, and we’ll pick this back up once you’ve delivered the cargo you stole from the MULEs.
Episode 3 – VROOM!
Alright! Now that you’ve handed in the cargo back to Lake Knot City, you now have the ability to fabricate motorbikes (okay, ‘Reverse Trikes’) from anywhere that’s connected to the chiral network.
That’s all very exciting, but remember, with the kinds of terrain this game throws at you, vehicles are sometimes way more trouble than they’re worth! But if you know a path is clear, or there happen to be a lot of roads already built in your world, then they are very cool to have.
Now would be a great time to rest up in your private room and restore yourself, if you haven’t already.
Episode 3 – Let’s Go South!
The next big trip you have to take is to the Distribution Center South of Lake Knot City. Boy, these names are really memorable, huh?
You’ll be trekking over a lot of familiar territories–the straightest shot is through the two MULE zones you dealt with at the beginning of this chapter, but now that you have access to vehicles, power skeletons, and a few places to rest up and restock, you should be able to conquer this easily. Just plan out your paths, be prepared, and enjoy the journey.
Episode 3 – All Roads Lead To The UCA
If you’re really keen, this is also a good time to start building roads–in fact, there’s a side mission which will give you a bunch of free materials to finish the first section in front of Lake Knot city. You also have access to a vehicle now, so requisitioning materials from different locations and feeding them into the road pavers dotted along the map is a lot easier than it is by foot.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a lot of hard work, and it’ll take a lot of time to gather the materials let along transport them to where they need to go. But having a long stretch of highway to drive on? Blissful.
Head towards that Distribution Center to finish that delivery when you’re ready. Grab a bike! Why not? So long as you stay off the mountain and are able to hit a few generators along the way to charge, this should be pretty easy.
Episode 3 – Stealing Your Jobs!
Once you bring the Distribution Center South of Lake Knot City into the fray, you’ll have access to bot deliveries.
Bots can take on any of the ‘Standard’ deliveries for you in real-time, earning you a portion of the reputation that would have come from doing it yourself.
Take advantage of them regardless–it’s basically free likes!
You’ll have an extended scene in your private room after this.
Episode 3 – The Weather Station
We’re about to head west into some serious mountain territory now, with high winds and maybe even a little bit of snow? This will be your first taste of this terrain, so be sure to have some ladders and climbing ropes with you–never forget the fundamentals!
Episode 3 – Don’t Use A Bike
Hey–remember when I said that sometimes, a vehicle is *way* more trouble than it’s worth? This particular region around the distribution center will definitely prove that.
Try it if you want–there are still a few clear paths around the place–but know that there are some serious rocks ahead, and you’ll likely spend more time getting unstuck than you will being a speed demon.
Episode 3 – Whee! BTs!
Head west. There’ll be a shallow river to cross, and another BT area as you get closer to the mountain. If you’re lucky, some generous players might have left behind some gear to help get up the steep cliffs. If not, throw up your own ladder! Help everyone out! Leave a like! And don’t forget to keep an eye of your odradek and scan for BTs!
Episode 3 – Weather Station! I’m Here!
Once you escape the BT areas and get closer to the destination, the terrain will ease up a bit, and it’s a straight shot to where you need to go.
Hand that stuff in and get ready–it’s about to feel like all your Christmases have come at once.
Episode 3 – Christmas!
Alright, here’s all the cool new stuff you’re gonna get.
First–you now have the ability to monitor Timefall on your map. Just hit R3 to cycle between different views, and you can also see what the timefall will be doing in the next 10, 20, and 30 minutes. This means you can plan your routes in order to avoid timefall in certain areas, however, know that certain locations will have timefall no matter what.
You also get…
PCC (Level 2) – An upgraded version of your existing PCC, which can build more advanced structures, such as…
Timefall Shelter – This structure is *great*. It will act as a big umbrella that protects you from timefall, of course, but it will also let you hit Square and instantly ‘wait out’ timefall, skipping ahead to when it clears up–unless you’re in a mandated timefall area, that is. Not only that, Timefall Shelters will also repair all of your cargo while you’re under them! How good is that?
Safe House – Wow, you can actually *build* your own safe house in the middle of nowhere now! Escape the rain for real, and slam down a Monster Energy while you’re at it!
Floating Carrier – OH MAN this is a godsend. This thing is basically a hovering trolley which you can load all your cargo on, tether it to your body, and pull behind you with minimal effort. Seriously–carry one of these with you at all times and you can pick up all the lost cargo you damn well please. The catch? It needs chiral crystals to stay afloat, so be sure to keep scanning the environment and keeping your stock of those up.
Episode 3 – Let’s Grow!
There’ll be a side missions to teach you how to build a safe house, but the next critical mission is a delivery to a location south of the Weather Station. Definitely do both–you’ll get all the materials you need to build the safehouse for free, and it’ll be a good opportunity to learn how to use the floating carrier.
Episode 3 – I’m Leaving
Heading down south to the next destination is pretty straightforward (you can see it in the far distance in this screenshot), but it means going down the mountain you just climbed–so watch your footing! Don’t get cocky!
It can also potentially mean encountering some timefall, which you can easily avoid–just take a look at the new weather feature on your map, identify where the timefall stops, and plot a route around it!
Finally, you’ll also encounter MULE territory when you get a bit closer–but it’s nothing you can’t handle. You’ve snuck past/knocked out dozens of MULEs to get to this point! Just keep your wits about you and then steal their truck! Stupid MULEs.
If you’re feeling super cocky, you can find their postbox, load up the truck with the lost cargo in it, and delivery it at the next destination.
Episode 3 – Ping? Pong!
Delivering the cargo at the next destination will grant you a new ability–man, I told you Chapter 3 was gonna give you so much new stuff!
This upgrade is Scanner Nullifier for your odradek. How do you use it?
When you enter MULE territory, you’ll have likely noticed that you’ll get smacked with an orange ping that identifies your current location. This lets you counter and nullify that, but you need to time it.
The trick is to listen out for the low growl just *before* the visual ping comes out. Activate your odradek (R1) as soon as you hear that growl, and you should successfully cancel the MULE ping out–there’ll also be a confirmation in text on the left-hand side of the screen.
Episode 3 – What Now?
You’re going to get introduced to orders that come through via the game’s email system, and you’ll specifically get on where you have to delivery beer back to the distribution centre for Shaun Of The Dead director Edgar Wright. It’s not a critical quest, but take it on anyway, since you need to go back regardless and as an in-game character says, it’d be a waste of a trip.
If you’re taking a truck back like I am, just be aware that you need to keep it juiced (pray for community generators), and that when you get closer to the distribution centre, things will get really, really, really rocky. So maybe drop off the bulk of your stuff off at the Weather Station first?
Remember to keep an eye on the timefall and MULE territories, and you should be fine!
Episode 3 – Let’s Deliver Some More Junk!
Like, actual junk this time. To a junk dealer.
Now, you’ll have to go southeast this time, and I’m gonna warn you now–this region is *super* rocky, and there are a *bunch* of chasms. So, I definitely do not recommend you take a vehicle.
Instead, pack some extra ladders to cross all those chasms–falling down them and trying to find a way out is a bit of a headache, though there is an optional Prepper location hidden in there. Also, pack whatever you need to deal with MULEs, and definitely pack some hematic grenades for later.
If you *do* want to take a vehicle to this area, here’s my pro tip: If you think you can make a particular jump–you can’t. It’s a bad idea. Don’t take a vehicle. Just use your floating carrier.
Episode 3 – I Hate This Place
Now, there’s definitely going to be instances when you find yourself without a ladder, and you’ll have to jump. If you do need to make a jump, try to find a place where the gap is so damn small you could almost walk over it.
Seriously–with the way momentum and balance work in this game you do not want to risk an unnecessary fall.
This area is rough. The important thing is to just play it safe. Take a low-risk approach. I mean, it’s more hilarious when you do mess up, and you’ll have a bunch of stories to tell your friends, but I’m not officially allowed to sanction that.
Episode 3 – Getting Closer…
You’ll know you’re getting closer when the terrain eases up and you start to see dark red mountains.
I’ve never been so glad to see such grim scenery.
Episode 3 – Hello Junkman!
When you get to the Junk Dealer’s place, you’ll notice a bunch of cargo sitting outside. You can worry about that later–they’re for an optional side activity where you have to throw them in a lake.
You should do that mission when it comes up! It’ll be good practice for… something later on.
Just turn in the cargo and find out what a ~pleasant guy~ this Junk Dealer is.
Episode 3 – I Hate You, Junkman.
This guy is so pleasant that he’s asking us to go *into* BT territory and lug out at least 60kg worth of dirty, rotten, useless, rusty old junk. Great. Just great.
Head south west–the path to the BT area is a cakewalk, thankfully. The timefall will start as you get close to the city ruins, and the BTs will trigger once you enter city limits.
Source: Game Spot Mashup