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Death Stranding Small Thermonuclear Device and Order 38 mission explained

How to deal with the unexpected package.

Death Stranding Order 38: Emergency Provisions Delivery to South Knot City ends Episode 3 with an unexpected delivery.

As well as the nine packages you are ordered to take, you also collect a Small Thermonuclear Device.

Though the game hints at what you need to do, it doesn't make it explictly clear how not to detonate the device - or how to dispose of it. We explain how on this page.

If you're looking for more from the critical path, our Death Stranding walkthrough can help.

Death Stranding Director's Cut PS5: The Digital Foundry Tech Review

What to do with the Small Thermonuclear Device in Death Stranding

After you collect Order 38, you are also given a Small Thermonuclear Device after the cutscene.

As mentioned, this device detonates if it enters South Knot City - which is where Order 38 needs to go - or if it's left behind anywhere.

First, attach the cargo to somewhere on your person, so that way if you don't accidentally leave it behind on a vehicle.

Second, we need to dispose of it. Head south towards South Knot City, but make a stop at the Distribution Centre at South Knot City along the way, and enter the Private Room.

This will activate a cutscene with Fragile, explaining what to do next.


Tomorrow is in our hands - again! Learn about the Director's Cut's new features, including new story missions, a racing mode, Half-Life missions and how to transfer saves to PS5. Our main Death Stranding walkthrough outlines how to play through the story, including 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, learn how Death Stranding multiplayer works.


How to dispose of the Small Thermonuclear Device and complete Order 38 in Death Stranding

After visiting Distribution Centre at South Knot City, you have a new objective - dispose of the nuclear bomb in the crater lake.

You have 20 minutes to do so, but the location is not far from the Chiral Artist's Studio, so take a similar route as you did before to get there.

When you get to the edge of the tar pit, you have to equip the Small Thermonuclear Device by hand and throw it in.

To do this, go to your cargo menu and move it to your left or right hand.

Keep holding the corresponding trigger to keep holding it. Now hold square to start swinging, then release the trigger to yeet it into the pit.

After the cutscene, time to complete the trip to South Knot City - it's just the other side of the tar pit.

With this done, you receive a host of rewards, including several Fragile holograms, design schematics for firearms, and South Knot City joining the UCA.

Once done, it's recommended you rest in the Private Room to replenish your supplies, then head outside for a cutscene and the start of Episode 4.

About the Author

Matthew Reynolds avatar

Matthew Reynolds

Managing Editor

Matthew edits guides and other helpful things at Eurogamer.net. When not doing that, he's out and about playing Pokémon Go or continuing to amass his amiibo collection.

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