In the world of Death Stranding, massive explosions called voidouts have destroyed most of The United States of America. These explosions weren’t caused by weapons, but rather from the deaths of normal people and the otherworldly monsters called beached things (BTs).
In the game’s fiction, corpses can trigger a voidout, causing massive explosions that wipe out everything in its surroundings. Since death is a prerequisite for the process, players might think that Sam, the main character who can return the dead, is immune to triggering voidouts.
It turns out that you can — and doing so will significantly change the landscape of your game. Here’s how it works.
How to trigger a voidout
To make a voidout occur in your game, Sam needs to die in a specific way.
If you’ve ever tumbled off a cliff or been hit by a giant BT attack and lost all of your blood, you know that when Sam dies, he goes into a place called the Seam. This underwater world allows Sam to find his body again and respawn where he lost his life. Once Sam comes back, things go return to normal and no harm comes to the world.
But back 2018, Sony’s E3 teaser trailer for Death Stranding explains how Sam’s death can cause a voidout. The character that we now as Deadman tells Sam that, “if [a BT] eats you, it’ll trigger a voidout. You’ll come back, sure, but the surrounding area will still be a crater.”
Getting eaten by a BT isn’t an easy process. If you’ve ever encountered BTs while traveling through the game, you may notice that they tend to drag you far away from any important landmarks before summoning a giant BT. This may be an intentional game design decision to allow enough space for a voidout to happen without creating damage that would break the game.
Each giant BT has a different attack pattern, but every so often, they will dive headfirst into you (to eat you). If you stray too far from a giant BT, it may use a long-range attack which will only harm you. The closer you are to a giant BT, the better the chance they’ll try and eat you. Also, this can occur at any time during combat, so you don’t need to be close to death for it to happen.
You’ll know a voidout has occurred if your dying animation zooms into Sam’s body. At this point, you’ll enter the Seam as usual, but once you emerge, you’ll come out next to your voidout.
The voidout area will be inaccessible, blocked off by a barrier of energy. The coverage area is quite large and voidouts are even viewable on your map.
Voidouts are an interesting piece of fiction that also allow players to literally shape the game world they’re playing in. Much of Death Stranding’s story contains areas with voidouts that happened prior to the game’s events, but it’s interesting to see that players can also trigger these catastrophes.