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YouTuber mods treadmill to play Death Stranding

Hideo and Norman approved

Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

YouTuber Allen Pan hooked a treadmill up to his PlayStation 4 to play Death Stranding. And based on Pan’s 15’s minute video, it works exactly as you think it should.

Being a game all about walking, Pan wanted to design a controller to play Death Stranding the way it was “meant to be played.” Under the guise of maintaining his New Year’s fitness resolution, Pan found a broken treadmill on the street and made it DualShock 4 compatible.

When Pan walks at a brisk pace, Death Stranding’s Sam Bridges starts to move as well. And when Pan begins to run, the treadmill interprets it as clicking the left thumbstick in, and Sam takes off running — mission accomplished. To round out the device, Pan connected a third-party PS4 controller (sans left thumbstick) and a backpack strapped to the back of the treadmill — to keep the player upright as they run.

With his device built, the second half of the video showcases the treadmill controller in action. Pan’s friends each take a turn, running one of the game’s early missions. Two players both make it a little over four minutes, trading out after it gets too hard. And while the group manages to deliver their first package successfully, things don’t go as well when Sam runs into his first group of BTs.

Pan’s invention looks absolutely exhausting to play, but is certainly fun to watch from a distance. And Death Stranding director Hideo Kojima and star Norman Reedus seem to agree, with Kojima retweeting an article about Pan, and Reedus tweeting the link to his millions of followers. With the DualShock 5 surely on its way, there’s no telling the kind of treadmill connectivity we could see if Death Stranding 2 ever comes along.

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