How to find all Death Stranding preppers, gear and upgrades

Death Stranding preppers, gear and upgrades
(Image credit: Sony)

Finding all the Death Stranding preppers is how you unlock new gear in the original and Director's Cut version of the game. These upgrades can really make a difference to your progress as you gain equipment that can make you carry more stuff for longer. They'll also flesh out the story but by far the most important thing is a supply of new gear that will gradually make the game easier for you. So, ironically, the more time you play, the quicker you can progress. Things like new weapons, floating cargo  carriers, or exoskeletons take time to get, but save time compared to trying certain things without them. So it's worth the time to get the in Death Stranding

The different preppers in Death Stranding reward you with this new equipment when you find them and deliver things to them, upgrading your relationship. Most of the time you'll be finding mission critical stuff through story missions many non-essential Death Stranding preppers provide amazingly useful upgrades. 

Obviously there's spoilers here in terms of Death Stranding gear and equipment but that's about it - nothing story related, just the names of a side characters, locations and what you can get from them. 

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Death Stranding gear - story unlocks

Everything you actually need is unlocked by playing the story. For that reason it's best to stick to that where you can. Certain things, like the all terrain exoskeleton which makes rough ground easier to traverse are a God send and better unlocked before you trek off for hours on side side missions. This is a list of all the things you basically can't avoid picking up. That's not to say some of these location won't have optional rewards as well though.

  • Postbox PCC lvl 1 (Waystation West of Capital Knot City)
  • Container Repair Spray (Distribution Center West of Capital Knot City)
  • Bridge PCC lvl 1 (Distribution Center West of Capital Knot City)
  • Generator PCC lvl 1 (Wind Farm)
  • Blood bag (Capital Knot City)
  • Hematic grenade lvl 1 (Capital Knot City)
  • ???? Port Knot City ????
  • Smoke-emitting decoy cargo (Lake Knot City)
  • Power skeleton lvl 1 (Engineer)
  • Smoke grenade lvl 1 (Engineer)
  • Bola Gun lvl 1 (Craftsman)
  • Delivery bot (Distribution Center South of Lake Knot City)
  • PCC lvl 2 (Weather Station)
  • Floating Carrier lvl 1 (Weather Station)
  • Anti-BT handgun lvl 1 (Chiral Artist) 
  • Power skeleton lvl 1 (Junk Dealer)
  • Smoke grenade lvl 1 (Junk Dealer)
  • Backpack customisation (Distribution Center South of Lake Knot City)
  • Truck (Distribution Center South of Lake Knot City)
  • Handgun lvl 1 (South Knot City)
  • Assault Rifle lvl 1 (South Knot City)
  • Grenade (South Knot City)
  • Sticky Gun (Lake Knot City)
  • Armour plate lvl 1 (Waystation North of Mountain Knot City)
  • Non-lethal assault rifle lvl 1 (Waystation North of Mountain Knot City)
  • Stabiliser (Knot City)

Outside of this list the things you can find and pick up are optional. For example, a level 2 Floating Carrier can take more weight but it's not essential and the base level Floating Carrier you get as part of the main quest will see you through the game with ease. There are also customisation options like colours and materials that can be earned by building a relationship with them (which we've left off this list). 

Because you have level up your relationship with different people by finding and making multiple deliveries to unlock the extras, it's best best to know who has what. Especially as random characters can hand out stuff almost arbitrarily, often with little relationship to where you may have unlocked the original item. With out a list you'll never know where to find some upgrades or that some options even exist. 

Reaching level five with a character will generally always unlock the following: 

  • That character's hologram data (sometimes unlocked earlier if they haven't got much  to unlock)
  • The ability to rest there (if it's a prepper)
  • A Star for Sam to wear

Quick note: This is basically only a list of the the functionally useful stuff - we haven't noted down all the colours or materials you can get because there are loads. Plus, if a location starts at a higher level, it means you'll unlock story essential stuff earlier, and we've just listed the bonus gear.

Death Stranding preppers, gear and upgrades - Eastern Region

(Image credit: Sony)

1. Capital Knot City
Level 3

Bridges Baseball cap

2. Ludens fan
Level 2
Hologram: Ludens Jumbo Nendroid
Level 4
Hologram: Ludens fan

3. Distribution Center West of Capital Knot City
Level 4

Hologram: Benjamin Hancock 

4. Musician
First delivery - Harmonica

Death Stranding preppers, gear and upgrades - Central Region

(Image credit: Sony)

1. Lake Knot City
Level 4

Hologram: William Lake

2. Engineer
Level 2
Power skeleton lvl 1
Smoke grenade lvl 1
Level 3
Power skeleton lvl 2
Smoke grenade lvl 2
Level 4
Power skeleton lvl 3
Engineer hologram data

3. Craftsman
Level 2

Bola Gun lvl 1
Level 3
Bola Gun lvl 2
Custom hematic grenades - restocked with subsequent deliveries 

4. Elder
Level 2
Vog-emitting decoy cargo
Level 4
Hologram: Elder

5. Distribution Center South of Lake Knot City
Backpack accessory: Windmill
Level 2
Delivery bot
Bridges boots lvl 2
Level 3
Truck (long range lvl 1)
Level 4
Truck (long range lvl 2)
Level 5
Truck (long range lvl 3)

6. Collector
Level 1
Backpack cover

7. Junk Dealer
Level 2
Speed skeleton lvl 1
Smoke bomb
Level 3
Speed skeleton lvl 2
Custom CHIRAL ladder x3
Level 4
Remote stun bomb
Hologram: Junk dealer
Custom CHIRAL ladder
Level 5
Speed skeleton lvl 3

8. Chiral Artist
Level 2
Anti-BT handgun lvl 1
Level 3
Anti-BT handgun lvl 2
Chiral boots x2 - restocked with subsequent deliveries
Level 4
Holograms: Chiral Artist

9. Film Director
Level 1
J.F Rey "Sam" Glasses
Level 2
Hologram generator (disguises post box as rocks)
Level 4
Film Director hologram

10. Weather Station
Backpack accessory: Weather Talisman
Level 2
PCC lvl 2
Floating carrier lvl 1
Level 3
Floating carrier lvl 2

11. Cosplayer
Level 1
Otter hood
Level 2
Utility pouch bag upgrade
Level 3
Large Grenade pouch
Level 4
Wandering MC and Cosplayer holograms
Level 5
Omnireflector backpack colour

12. South Knot City
Level 2
Handgun lvl 1
Assault Rifle lvl 1
Level 3
Reverse Trike: Defensive
Handgun lvl 2
Level 4
Truck: Defensive
Second delivery bot

13. Timefall Farm
Level 2
Odradek scanner nullification (cancel out Mule pings with your own Odradek scan)
Level 3
Odradek human detection (shows outlines of human enemies)
Level 5
Hologram: Goose

14. Veteran Porter

15. Palaeontologist
Level 2
Oxygen mask
Hematic grenade lvl 2
Level 4
Hologram: Palaeontologist hologram

16. Geologist
Level 2
Climbing anchor level 2
Level 4
Hologram: Geologist

17. Heartman
Level 1

Thermal pad
Level 3
Backpack Accessory: Cryptobiote

18. Evo-devo Biologist
Level 2
Grenade launcher
Level 4
Multi-rocket launcher

19. Roboticist
Level 2

All-terrain skeleton lvl 1
Level 3
All-terrain skeleton lvl 2
Level 4
All-terrain skeleton lvl 3

20. Mountain Knot City
Level 2
Level 3
Assault Rifle lvl 3
Non-lethal assault rifle lvl 3
Level 4
Third delivery bot unlocked

21. Doctor
Level 2

Canteen lvl 2
Level 3
High capacity blood bags

22. The First Prepper

23. Spiritualist
Backpack accessory: One Dollar Coin
Level 4
Spiritualist hologram

24. Waystation North of Mountain Knot City
Level 2

Armour plate lvl 1
Non-lethal assault rifle lvl 1
Level 3
Armour plate lvl 2

25. Distribution Center North of Mountain Knot City
Level 2

Assault Rifle lvl 2
Non-lethal Assault Rifle lvl 2
Level 3
Spare ammo pouch

26. The Novelist’s Son
Level 2
Backpack Accessory: Bell charm
Level 3
Holgram: Novelist’s Son

27. Photographer
Level 2

Shotgun lvl 1
Riot shotgun lvl 1
Level 3
Shotgun lvl 2
Level 4
Riot Shotgun lvl 2

28. Mountaineer
Level 2
Bridges boots lvl 3
Power gloves
Custom chiral climbing anchor - restocked with subsequent deliveries
Level 4
Hologram: Mountaineer
Hologram: Mountain Guide holograms

Leon Hurley
Managing editor for guides

I'm GamesRadar's Managing Editor for guides, which means I run GamesRadar's guides and tips content. I also write reviews, previews and features, largely about horror, action adventure, FPS and open world games. I previously worked on Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website.