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Death Stranding guide: Upgrading and customizing structures

How and why to upgrade the things you build

Death Stranding upgrade structures guide Kojima Productions/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon
Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

On your quest to rebuild America in Death Stranding, you’ll be building a lot of structures. These include everything from ladders and ropes to generators, safehouses, and river-spanning bridges. You’ll also interact with structures from other players in regions that are on the chiral network.

All structures will deteriorate over time, and as they’re exposed to timefall. Some structures — everything more complicated than ladders and climbing anchors — can be upgraded and customized. Let’s talk about why you’d want to upgrade your structures, and how you can customize them.

Upgrading structures

To upgrade a structure, approach it and hold down Options to access the structure menu.

Death Stranding structure menu to upgrade, repair, or customize a structure
The structure menu lets you upgrade, repair, or customize structures.
Kojima Productions/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

Upgrading a structure will increase its durability — basically its hit points, or how long it can withstand timefall. Each upgrade requires more materials, but each also substantially increases the durability. The second upgrade — to level 3 — increases the structure’s timefall resistance.

Why upgrade structures?

Not every structure needs to be upgraded. Things that you built out of necessity that you’ve only ever used once probably aren’t worth your time or resources.

Structures that you use a lot are worth upgrading. Similarly, structures with a lot of Likes — meaning that other players are using and appreciating them — are worth some investment.

Customizing structures

Death Stranding customizing structures with holograms and music
A goose is probably not the friendliest hologram.
Kojima Productions/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

The first upgrade to a structure — to level 2 — unlocks a customization slot. At level 2, your structure can play music, convey a helpful phrase, or project a hologram. You’ll unlock these customizations as you level up facilities’ connection levels by completing deliveries.

Customizations are aesthetic, so they don’t have any effects on the function of the structure. But a friendly hologram on a bridge or a peaceful song at a timefall shelter might get you a few extra Likes to improve your porter grade.

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