Your backpack is your most important tool in Death Stranding. Keeping your gear organized and safe from TimeFalls, MULEs, BTs and Terrorists is super important, but thanks to the disconnected world, it’s going to take some time to find solutions to your most basic problems.
Here, I want to talk about two features — Backpack Customization, and a hidden Covered Backpack upgrade you can unlock with an optional Prepper. The Central Region is filled with preppers that are completely skippable, but if you take the time to trek to their camps and hook them up to the Chiral Network, you can get insanely useful rewards.
More Death Stranding guides:
24 Mind-Bending Tips | Beginner’s Guide | How To Beat Every Boss | BTs & Terrorists Guide | How To Get The Reverse Trike & Unlock Fast Travel | How To Use Your Urine To Spawn Healing Items | How To Build PCC Bridges | How To Fight BTs With Your Bodily Fluids
Backpack Upgrades Guide
For this guide, we’re primarily concerned with how to get a hard-to-find (and completely optional) upgrade for your backpack that covers it up, protecting the contents. But, there are other upgrades you can get that are automatically acquired, but you might not know how they work.
Eventually, as you progress, you’ll unlock the ‘Backpack Customization‘ feature. At any Private Room, look at your backpack (under the hanging suit) and take a closer look. Now you can fabricate attachments for your backpack — you’ll start with a battery and grenade pouches. Grenade pouches, like the Utility Pouch and Book Hook, make it so you can safely store grenades / Blood Bags. Items in pouches are protected from the elements, enemies can’t steal them, and you’ll keep them if you go unconscious.
Make sure to place as many items as you can in pouches! You’ll get a lot more as you unlock more settlements.
How To Get The Covered Backpack Upgrade:
One of the best upgrades is unlocked by convincing an optional Prepper to join the UCA. Just south of the Distribution Center South of Lake Knot City, in the Central Region, you’ll find the optional Collector Prepper.
The covered backpack upgrade protects all the gear in your backpack — it makes it so attacks won’t knock it loose, MULEs can’t grab it with Sticky Guns, and it’s protected from the rain. This only counts for the square of space around the backpack itself, so anything above it is fair game.
To reach him, bring a Climbing Anchor and locate the hiding spot in the crevasse on the edge of MULE territory. If you don’t have any Lost Cargo to return to him, you’ll find a bunch at the local MULE camp — and there’s a Standard Order available at the Delivery Terminal. Take on the ‘Deliver Old Game Console’ quest to get in good with the Collector.
The Game Consoles are located in two locations — in the Postbox in the center of the nearby MULE camp, or at a disguised Postbox outside the camp. You only need to get one to complete this, but I recommend getting all three for maximum benefits. One order won’t be enough to get the upgrade item.
After he joins the Bridges network, you’ll unlock extra quests on the Standard Orders menu. Select “Collection: Large Consignment of Video Games” or “Recovery: Tactical Action Games Stolen By MULEs” so you can increase the Collecttor star ranking.
You won’t be able to get this prepper to join you until further in the game, so don’t bother trying until far past Episode 3. Even if you’ve reached Episode 6, you’ll need to wait longer until this prepper gives you the gear you need.