There’s more to be afraid of in Death Stranding than the Beached Things, not all people are good friendly friends. MULEs are other porters that have gone completely crazy, and want nothing more than to hoard massive amounts of cargo.
After Episode 3, you’ll start seeing these guys everywhere, and they’ll get more dangerous down the line. Let’s dig into the best ways to handle these folks.
The first MULEs you meet will only use shock sticks (but they can throw them for range,) and they want nothing but your cargo. Generally speaking, keeping some distance between them and yourself, or throwing down some of your unimportant cargo to distract them manages to be enough for sneaking around them. However, not all can be avoided so easily.
MULEs spot you by using their sensors, the same as yours to ping the cargo on your back. Shortly after being introduced to the MULEs, you’ll gain the ability to essentially “parry” the ping back to them by scanning with your sensor immediately after being hit with theirs. This is your best way to avoid being tagged by them because no matter how much you hide if you’re pinged, they will do everything to find you.
Otherwise, sticking behind rocks, in tall grass, or other environmental obstacles will help guard you from their sights. Be sure to crouch often and walk slowly, otherwise they will likely see or hear you moving about.
There’s an audio cue that you cannot miss when a MULE spots you. From this point, it’s still possible to avoid them if you can run or drive away fast enough. However, you may be swarmed or carrying too much to get away. In this case, you’ll have to fight.
If you’ve gotten to this point, you might be in trouble or maybe you just want to beat on some MULEs. Either way, we’ll show you how it’s done.
You have plenty of tools in your arsenal that are made specifically for non-lethal methods of taking out a MULE. Starting with melee.
The tried and true method of fighting. Using the square button swings Sam’s arms left and right, you might imagine what you’ll be using this for. You can either swing just your fists, or you can pick up cargo and use it as a weapon. It may be worth noting, if you use cargo as a weapon, it’ll be much more effective but the cargo will almost certainly break.
The strand is another option and can be selected off the tool wheel. Using this and timing your button presses with the on-screen prompts, you can parry the melee attacks of the MULEs and send them tumbling to the ground. Following another prompt will choke out the MULE and get them out of your hair.
If you’re not in the business of killing (and you shouldn’t be, we’ll talk about why in a moment,) there are plenty of ways to send the MULEs back packing.
If a weapon is labeled as Non-Lethal or the Riot Shotgun, they use rubber bullets and can pelt the MULEs into submission without killing them. It obviously will take a couple extra shots than a bullet would, but it certainly gets the job done. You likely won’t find many of these weapons out in the wild, and instead might need to fabricate them.
That’s not the only option though, as the Bola Gun exists as well. The Bola gun binds the mules together with a long rope, tying them up. This isn’t an insta-fix though, and sometimes you’ll have to go kick the MULEs on the ground to stop them from trying to break out.
Just kidding, we’ll dig into it a bit more. If you’ve been paying attention to the story, you know that dead bodies make for future BTs, and future BTs are bad. If you kill a Mule, you could potentially trigger a voidout or create a new BT. Once you kill a person, Die-Hardman will be tearing you apart over the radio, and you’ll have to go deliver the body to an incinerator.
A lot more work than it’s worth, and I really wouldn’t recommend it. Okay, maybe once to get it out of your system but that’s it.