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Death Stranding guide: How to avoid and kill BTs

Dodge or death?

Kojima Productions/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

While the terrain you travel through might be the biggest enemy in Death Stranding, it of course has its fair share of monsters in the otherworldly Beached Things aka BTs. The worst part about BTs is that they are mostly invisible until you’re right next to them. Get too close, and the humanoid creatures will drag you off, far from where they grabbed you, and throw you right in front of a larger monster called a Giant BT.

While they are a threat, there are ways to avoid BTs — and when you can’t avoid them, you can kill them. Here’s what you need to know.

How to find nearby BTs

BTs are invisible, but they can’t sneak up on you. Death Stranding gives you two separate early warnings before you can even get close to a BT.

First, you must get caught in timefall — that’s the creepy rainfall that speeds up time. You’ll know if you’re in timefall when the game slows down briefly and the hood on your outfit automatically pops up. While getting caught in timefall can damage your gear and cargo (by rapidly aging it), you’re not in threat of BTs until the game gives you a second prompt.

Once you get caught in black timefall, the game will slow down again and your radar system, known as the odradek, will activate. The robotic arm on the left side of your outfit will spring to life and start showing you a series of signals to help you detect the invisible specters.

How to spot and avoid BTs

Once you odradek is active, it’ll display three different signals to show you how close you are to BTs. Once you’re close enough, hitting R1 on your controller will reveal them as you scan.

Death Stranding, Sam, BTs, and the odradek Kojima Productions/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

First, your odradek will always face in the direction of the nearest BT. When it’s displaying a white light and begins flapping its robotic body, that means it’s spotted a BT in the distance. As you get closer, the odradek will flap faster and faster. You may notice as you move that the “face” of your odradek will follow the BT, allowing you to position yourself relative to where your odradek is looking.

When you’re very close to a BT, your odradek will change its display color to orange. The closer you get to the BT, the faster it’ll flap. If hit the scan button on your controller, you may spot the BT. When hit with the scanner at close range, the BT will even moan.

When you’re within striking distance of a BT, your odradek will beep and spin wildly. Scan again and it should not be difficult to miss the BT.

If you’ve managed to escape the BTs, the game will slow down time and your odradek will literally give you a thumbs up and will turn itself off, letting you know you’re in safety.

But what if a BT is in your way and you can’t avoid it? How do you get rid of it?

Getting rid of BTs with grenades

Even if BTs aren’t of this world, you can fight them off.

Once of the first items you get are EX grenades. You’ll get one of three from your private room at a certain point in the game, depending on how you manage to use the shower.

While each EX grenade is filled with different facets of things that have come off of or out of your character’s body, their use is the same: They get BTs out of your way.

Chucking an EX grenade at a BT will understandably annoy it, and the BT will move out of the way. This is great if you happen across one in an area that you must cross.

EX grenades are good at moving BTs around, but if BTs are still around you they can still pose a threat. If you want to kill a BT, you’ll have to wait until you’re introduced to another weapon: hematic grenades.

These weapons use blood to cut the BTs connection to your world. A single hematic grenade can kill a BT, completely removing it from your current area and turning it to chiral crystals.

While this is an effective way to get rid of the smaller, humanoid BTs, what if they catch you and throw you in front of one the larger, miniboss BTs? If you’re face-to-face with one of those, you have two options.

How to deal with Giant BTs

If a group of the humanoid BTs grab you, they will drag you to an open stretch on the map and you’ll have to deal with a much larger, animal-like BT. Their forms will change throughout the game, but you still have two options when dealing with them: run or fight.

Running is a bit challenging, but it’s a viable option if you just don’t have enough resources on hand to fight off a larger BT. When you are dragged into these boss-like encounters, the large BT transforms the current area to a small lake of black, watery chiralium. This goop is hard to walk through and frequently pulls old buildings and cars from its depths, making it harder to escape. However, if you manage to escape the battlefield the BT has created, the encounter will end, and BTs will disappear from the area.

Of course, you can always bring the fight to the BTs, if you have enough weaponry on you. Between hematic grenades and other sorts of weapons you get later in Death Stranding, it is indeed possible to kill the bigger BTs.

Doing so requires a lot of resources. Early in the game, all you’ll have are hematic grenades and it takes up to 15 hematic grenades — or three full sets — to eliminate Giant BTs.

Later in the game, you will also be able to destroy BTs with stronger weapons, especially if you’re farming for chiral crystals.

To kill a Giant BT, assault it with whatever hematic-enhanced weaponry you have. Keep an eye on the monster’s health bar as you do so. Once it’s been hit enough, it’ll stop any attack or pursuit. You may be tempted to hit it even more while it makes it’s quick retreat, but hold off, as damaged is reduced when it’s covered in your blood.

Wait for it quickly submerge itself after it takes damage, and only attack it again once it’s reappeared and covered in chiralium again. Keep doing this, and eventually you’ll defeat the BT and turn it into a huge batch of chiral crystals.

Fighting off BTs is a huge resource drain and is mostly not necessary. Avoiding them is the best option as encounters may damage your gear and vehicles. Unless you’re looking to stockpile a lot of chiral crystals for crafting, it’s best to invest a bit of time avoiding BTs altogether.