Death Stranding: How To Fight MULEs & Terrorists (And Why You Don’t Want To Kill Them)

If you kill, you have to take care of the body before time runs out.

MULEs are the first human enemies you’ll encounter in Death Stranding. Before long, you’ll have to deal with Terrorists too — basically, upgraded Mules that pack deadly weapons. They both function (basically) the same way. You’ll see their territory marked on your map in a yellow outline. Once you enter that area, you’re fair game. The bad guys will attempt to track you down and take your stuff.

Seeing as this game is all about making deliveries, that can be a very bad thing. MULEs are armed with several weapons as the game progresses — usually a shockstick that they can throw to disable your vehicle, or a Sticky Gun that automatically latches onto the cargo on your back and pulls it away. They’ll also use trucks to quickly ride to your position and try to surround you.

They’re a real annoyance, and here I’m going to list everything you need to know about them — how to avoid them, ways to trick them, and how to beat them. It’s possible to actually kill these enemies too, but I don’t recommend it. Learn what happens when you kill at the bottom.

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 | How To Farm For Resources & Build Roads | Materials Guide | How To Get Upgrades To Keep Your Cargo Safe | Backpack Guide | How To Clear Out BT Infestations

MULEs & Terrorists Guide | What Happens When You Kill
Hiding in a holographic rock keeps you hidden from enemy pings.

As stated above, MULEs (and Terrorists) and human enemies that control large sections of the map. Look for yellow outlines that denote their territory and scanning range. When you enter these areas, you’re susceptible to scans — when you’re scanned, the MULEs / Terrorists will know your last-known-location.

There are ways to trick human enemies, sneak past them, or defeat them in combat. Here’s a quick list of tips.

MULE / Terrorist Tips & Tricks

You always have a Strand in your inventory. Use it to fight MULEs — equip the Strand, then hold [L2]. Press [R2] the moment a MULE attacks to knock them off balance. Then you can punch them with a three-hit combo.

If you sneak up behind a MULE, you can instantly take them down and tie them up with your STRAND. Just don’t forget to press [Square] to knock them out.

MULEs only care about cargo. If you’re carrying equipment in pouches, on the Boot Clip, or on your Equipment Slot, they won’t care. You can essentially ‘sneak’ through MULE territory.

MULE camps are packed with useful resources and equipment.

You can counteract the MULE / Terrorist ping with a ping of your own. If you see the orange ping, press [R1] to use your scanner. If you do it right before, you’ll cancel out the enemy scanner and remain undetected.

Beating up and defeating all the MULEs in an area will temporarily transform the region into a safe zone. You’ll start to see travelling NPC Porters. Neat!

If you’re using the Bola Gun, make sure to run up to the downed enemies and press [Square] to kick them, knocking them out.

In a fight, MULEs will block most of your attacks. Sprint, hold [L2+R2] and press [Square] to perform a tackle. That knocks MULEs off-balance, giving you a chance to knock them out with regular attacks.

Tall grass (green on your scanner) is a great place to hide. But, if your cargo is too tall, MULEs will still be able to easily spot you.

MULE camps are packed with resources. You’ll usually find a truck parked inside their garage, which you can pack with even more stuff. Steal as much as you can! It’ll all respawn when the MULEs recover.

Terrorists are dangerous. Don’t attempt to fight them unless you have a Non-Lethal Assault Rifle and a couple of Blood Bags.

Terrorists don’t scan for cargo. They scan for Sam, the player — they want to kill you. Regular MULEs will knock you out, take your stuff, and dump your body somewhere elsewhere. Terrorists will gun you down, and only take cargo. They’ll scatter your equipment outside their base.

MULEs and Terrorists, if they successfully knock you out / kill you, will take your cargo to their main camp Postbox. MULEs often have extra hidden Postboxes in their region, so scan and search for them.

MULE / Terrorist Postboxes are a great place to find Lost Cargo. If you’re looking to improve your star rating with lots of different settlements, they’re a good place to start.

Once you convince the Film Director to join the UCA, you’ll unlock the Hologram Projector. Hold [D-Pad: Up] to activate a hologram while you’re standing still, hiding you inside a fake rock. It uses up battery, but this hologram also counteracts enemy scanners.

Don’t kill MULEs / Terrorists! Especially terrorists. If you use lethal weapons against an enemy, you can lost progress instantly.

What Happens When You Kill Human Enemies

Dead enemies must be burned before you cause a voidout.

If you use a lethal weapon against a human enemy, you’re setting up a ticking time bomb from which you might not be able to escape. After killing an enemy, nothing will happen — Die-Hardman will issue you a warning, but that’s it.

It won’t be until much later that Deadman will contact you. He’ll tell you the body is about to go necro — and a symbol will mark the dead body on your map. To avoid a game over, you must reach the body, collect it, and take it to a Cremation Facility.

There’s a massive Cremation Facility located in the northwest corner of the Central Region. You may also be able to dispose of dead bodies in the tar pit near South Knot City, but I haven’t tested this yet.

You can burn bodies at the large Cremation facility in the northwest corner of the Central Region.

If you don’t cremate a dead body, a BT will spawn from the corpse. If the BT captures a living human, it will cause a Voidout — instant death for anyone in the region. Sam will return to the seam, and instead of finding a gold thread, you’ll need to find a black thread that sends you back to before the Voidout.

It’s difficult enough dealing with one dead body, but if you kill multiple Terrorists, you’ll really have issues. Just don’t kill anyone, and this will never be a problem. Only equip Non-Lethal weapons when dealing with human enemies.