Death Stranding Mules strategy: How to fight Mules and clear Mule camps easily

Death Stranding Mules are one of the main adversaries, along with BTs, that you will often encounter while traveling from one destination to another.

Although mules are easy to spot from a distance, they can be difficult to avoid, but fortunately there are some strategies for dealing with them and some healthy rewards for doing so.

As such, we highly recommend learning how to fight mules – it’s the easiest and fastest way to deal with them, and the rewards for doing so are worth it, and on the page we’ll explain how.

In this page:

Death Stranding Director’s Cut for PS5: Technical Review by Digital Foundry

If you’re looking for more information on the critical path, our Death Stranding walkthrough can help you.

What are mule and mule camps in Death Stranding?

Mules are wasteland bandits who will aggressively steal cargo from any porter who regrets getting in their way.

They’re pretty much the only other figures you’ll see when exploring, so if you see one, it’s probably a Mule.

In addition to scouting on foot and by truck, they will set up sensor posts around their campsites.

It is where the mule camps are mainly concentrated, which are usually located between points of interest, making them an obstacle to avoid when making deliveries, and although they are dangerous places, they are also full of resources that you can steal.

Of course, they are subject to a series of mandatory missions, including the introductory encounter in Episode 2’s Order 7.

How to avoid mules in Death Stranding

Although you can spot mules from afar, the best way to find their positions in advance is by using a lookout tower. Build one of these using a PCC to get a view of your surroundings, allowing you to tag them on the map.

If you want to avoid them, the best advice is to give them as much distance as possible. The Mule Sensor Poles will outline the edges of their camp, so if you see them, back up and try to go adjacent to their positions to find the boundary and turn around.

Vehicles allow you to travel through Mule territories faster, but they’re not foolproof: a shock pole launched from a Mule can stop a vehicle in its tracks, forcing you to fight.

Although you can also “counter” the pulses of the sensor poles with the scanner override function later in the game (from Episode 3, Order 28), allowing you to remain hidden when detected, although it is difficult to time them correctly.

If you want to sneak through Mule territory, as well as to avoid BTs, it is recommended to crouch and hold your breath. Meanwhile, having a stack of cargo on your back will expose your position when hiding.

If you’re desperate to avoid being detected by mules, a simple strategy is to not carry any load. If you don’t have anything of value to steal, they’ll ignore you!

If you are detected with a load in any direction, you will see an orange outline of where you were, indicating your last known position and where the Mules will initially search. You can try to hide in tall grass or find a cave or building to block their line of sight, but to be honest, evading them at this point is difficult.

You can also run away; However, we recommend that you stay still and fight them head on as there is an easy way to do so.

How to fight mules in Death Stranding

If you want to fight Mules (and we recommend that you do, clearing their camp in the process), then you’ll want to make use of your Strand.

This is the rope-like weapon that you will always carry with you and you can equip it by holding the Right button on the D-Pad and selecting it from the radial menu.

To use it, hold L2, holding it forward. Now face an approaching mule. When they attack, time will slow down and you will see a message on the screen to parry with R2.

Doing so will evade the attack and then offer a second message: Bind with the Strand, which is also done by pressing R2.

Although it may take a bit of practice, the timing of these steps is quite generous and once tied up they are permanently incapacitated.

One less, many to go. Although they can and will attack while you are tying up another Mule, do not generally Take turns attacking you. If you’re attacked, you’ll be momentarily stunned and drop any stray charges, but stay focused: quickly pick up the Strand again, focus on the nearest Mule, and repeat.

Another factor to consider is the electrical poles that are in your path. These are frustrating, but if you keep moving in circles, all while facing a Mule, then you’ll be able to avoid them fairly easily.

Continue this process: take down the Mules, one at a time, as even in groups they will split up to fight you individually, and you will soon be out of trouble.

If you’re struggling to fight Mules with a Strand, you’ll have more weapons as you play through Episode 3, including Stun Grenades and Bola Gun, although this weapon only temporarily stuns them.

Tomorrow is in our hands, again! Learn about new features in Director’s Cut, including new story missions, a career mode, Half-Life missions, and how to transfer saves to PS5. Our main Death Stranding walkthrough describes how to play the story, including the Episode 3 missions, the small thermonuclear device, and how to find a way to change Lockne’s mind. As you play, you can find memory chip locations and learn how Death Stranding multiplayer works.

How to clear Mule camps and the rewards for doing so in Death Stranding

With Strand’s strategy above in mind, it’s easy to clear the Mule camps. Once a Mule has been alerted to your presence, the rest in a camp will slowly make their way through, allowing you to reach the Strand and permanently take them down one at a time.

When they stop coming (early game camps can take less than five minutes to clear), you’ll be free to explore the area without risk of being bothered.

Mule Camps have a lot of resources that you can use to upgrade UCA facilities and other points of interest in the world, so if you’re serious about it (especially if you want to upgrade structures for multiplayer Death Stranding), then they are worth looting.

In particular, mailboxes contain many valuables, including some stolen deliveries that you can complete.

To help with this, some mule camps have trucks. These are parked or have mules that come towards you when you see them, which you can then get on and chase them away.

While they can’t be repaired or charged in the ACU garages (which means you have to make sure they don’t get damaged while exploring and keep the PCC generators running), they’re great for charging up charging piles for missions or just as a way to transfer all the cargo you find inside a camp to a UCA facility.

Last but not least, clearing a mule camp will remove the mules from the area. Not only will this make your life easier during deliveries, but it will also add friendly porters to the map, adding some life to the world.

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