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Death Stranding guide: How to block the MULE scanner ping

Bandits got you down? Here’s how to avoid them

Sam negates a scanner ping in Death Stranding Kojima Productions/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon
Russ Frushtick is the director of special projects, and he has been covering the world of video games and technology for over 15 years. He co-founded Polygon in 2012.

It will quickly become clear that MULEs in Death Stranding suck. In case you’re still learning the lingo, MULEs are the human bandits that live out on the wastes and will chase you down for your precious cargo. Worse yet, stealth isn’t really an option because the second you enter their territory, they’ll send out a scanner ping to instantly highlight your current location, even if you’re hiding in a bush.

Once you’re marked, your options are extremely limited, and often it’s best to just get out of their territory as quickly as possible. But there’s a way to avoid being marked in the first place. Yes, you can actually negate their scanner! We’ll explain how it works, since it can be a little tricky.

How to unlock the MULE scanner upgrade

Unfortunately you’ll have to play through a good chunk of Episode 3 before unlocking the ability to negate the MULE scanner ping. Eventually you’ll unlock a story mission that sends you to the Timefall Farm, located in the far south of the map.

Location of the Timefall Farm, where you unlock the scanner upgrade
Bring a delivery to the TimeFall Farm to unlock the scanner upgrade
Kojima Productions/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

Connecting the Timefall Farm to the Chiral Network unlocks the scanner upgrade you’re looking for. But how do you use it?

How to block the MULE scanner ping

As you approach territories controlled by MULEs, you’ll notice a series of posts sticking out of the ground, like the one in the image below.

Sam walks into MULE territory in Death Stranding
Posts like this one indicate the start of MULE territory
Kojima Productions/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

The moment you walk past one of these posts, they will send out a scanning ping, represented by a wave that travels across the ground. There’s also a bit of an audio cue, but really you’re going to want to look for the wave most of all.

The second you see the wave hit you, you’ll have to send out your own ping (using R1) by activating your scanner. You can see the timing in the video below.

There’s a bit of wiggle room, but if you wait too long the scanner will bounce back at you and reveal your location, so try to be quick about it ... but not too quick.

If you’re successful, text will appear on the screen telling you that you that you’ve successfully negated the MULE scanner. Congrats! Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you’re out of hot water yet. MULEs can still spot you using their, um, eyes, so you’ll still want to be stealthy. Or, alternatively, if you’re packing a ton of non-lethal weapons, you can knock them all out without too much hassle. It’s really up to you.

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