When traversing the land in Death Stranding, one of your most valuable tools is your Odradek. Your what? That weird four-pointed apparatus on Sam's back, of course. Named for an obscure Franz Kafka plot device, it's one of the only things that can keep you safe from BTs and help you figure out your next moves.
With that said, it can be a bit confusing at first to figure out how to use your Odradek, especially since it can be used in two very different ways. Still, it's massively useful, and it's a good thing that you can't go out into the world without it. Here's how you can use your Odradek to figure out where to go and how to deal with the terrain on your way there.
How to use the Odradek in Death Stranding
First off, your Odradek in tandem with your BB can be used to scan for BTs (beached things) throughout the world. The Odradek will automatically point toward the closest BT around you, so keep an eye out for when it's active and pointing toward something. Since Sam himself can't see BTs on his own, this is your best shot at detecting one first. You'll know when one is around anyway, seeing as the Odradek will go positively berserk if it detects a BT's presence, and entering BT-populated areas will cause it to do this as well.
You can perform a scan to look for BTs, too. When connected to a BB, you can hold down the R1 button and the Odradek will scan the terrain. A flash will run down the terrain in front of you, and will briefly give you a faint outline of any BTs on the horizon. They will only be visible for a moment, so you may need to do this a few times, but it's the easiest way to see exactly where a BT is at the moment so you can sneak past.
The Odradek can also be used for non-BT purposes. Using R1 when outside of an area that contains BT, you can perform a scan that gives you an idea of how difficult or easy the terrain in front of you is to traverse. You'll want to stay away from red Xs that appear over rocky, hilly areas as they can be difficult to cross over, and you can also tell how deep bodies of water are before you decide to try to cross them. These two very different functions work together to ensure you know exactly how to deal with situations like finding your path and dealing with BT avoidance. Learn to make copious usage of both modes and you'll do just fine.
Now you know all about how to use the odradek in Death Stranding. Be sure to head over and check out our complete Death Stranding strategy guide for more assistance. There's plenty of great content there that can help you figure out what songs Sam can hum, how to take pictures in the mirror, and how to save. There's a ton going on in Death Stranding, so trust us – you're going to want all the help you can get.