Death Stranding’s Buzzwords Explained

Despite being on all of our collective radars for more than three years now, with a bunch of trailers and demos flooding our newsfeeds over the past few months, there’s still a lot to take in when it comes to getting a handle on just what the hell is going on in director Hideo Kojima’s latest project.

In order to do our best to help folks make sense of Norman Reedus’s wacky ghost adventure, we put together a handy dictionary for the main wild buzzwords you may need to refer to when playing through one of this year’s most anticipated releases.


The United Cities of America are what remains of the United States after the Death Stranding

catastrophe. A disparate collection of underground metropoles, the reconnection of the UCA is Sam’s main goal in Death Stranding.


We may never be told explicitly what the acronym DOOMS stands for, but it seems to be a condition inherited by few people that give them an affinity for “the beach”, which seems to result in the ability to react to or sense BTs, and may also be linked to triggers of hallucinations or nightmares (that Sam often experiences when resting).


Bridge Babies, or BBs, have become instrumental to surviving the world after the Death Stranding. Technically still “unborn,” they’ve been… extracted… from their comatose and braindead ‘stillmother’ – yeah, we know, the whole concept is… not great…. and placed in a carrier that replicates the internal conditions of a womb. BBs are used to detect and avoid the spectral BTs that are found across the world.

Every IGN Kojima Game Review


Short for “Beached Thing,” which basically means an interdimensional ghost. A spirit that has been “stranded” in our world, either unable or unwilling to return to the land of the dead.


They were professionals once, and some still are. Some even complete proper deliveries from time to time. Fragile Express has been known to use them. They’re basically junkies driven crazy by a desire to steal supplies.


Sure it may look like a bunch of USB sticks – which, aside from the weird floaty thing, it basically is – but these devices are used by Sam to establish connections on the Chiral network between cities and centers across the UCA.


Personal Construction …. Cartridge? Okay, so we aren’t exactly sure what the acronym stands for, but these portable – oh that’s probably what the P stands for! – cases allow Sam to construct a variety of helpful items and structures out in the field, from bridges to cross gaps and rivers to power generators and mailboxes.


The president’s last name. Also your close combat rope weapon, made from strands of rope imbued with Sam’s own blood. Also the name for the umbilical cords.


These shoulder-mounted scanners can gather topographical data and ping the location of lost cargo or valuable materials. When used together with a BB unit, they can allow DOOMs-sensitive travelers to detect BTs nearby. The name and appearance comes from Franz Kafka’s short story “The Cares of a Family Man.”


After the cataclysm known as the Death Stranding rain began affecting the world differently, causing whatever it touched to rapidly age, as if time began moving faster within its droplets. This effect has since become known as TimeFall.


From the Greek word for “hand,” chirality is a concept in chemistry in which different compounds can have mirror images on a molecular level that behave differently. It’s easier to understand when Walter White explains it on Breaking Bad.


In Death Stranding, these are small organisms which, when eaten, can prevent the effects of Timefall and replenish blood supply. In reality, a cryptobiote can refer to any primitive organisms which presumably existed, but left no trace, as well an organism that enters the state of cryptobiosis in response to environmental changes, such as Tardigrades or Sea Monkeys.


A fear of physical touch/intimacy. Sam exhibits clear signs of this state of mind, though he also suffers from a unique condition – or perhaps a very extreme form of Aphenphosmphobia – where he’s literally allergic to human contact.


Being poisoned by chemicals found in one’s own body. BB will succumb to autotoxemia after undergoing too much stress.

Those are the big ones that may be useful during your playthrough, but of course, this is Kojima, so this is far from everything in Death Stranding’s complex lore. Add any other unique words you come across in the comment section below!

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