YouTuber turns treadmill into PS4 controller to play Death Stranding

Michael Gwilliam
Allen Pan/YouTube

YouTuber Allen Pan is well-known for his elaborate creations including a mouth flamethrower and real burning lightsaber, but nothing could have prepared him for the challenge of playing Death Stranding with a treadmill.

Death Stranding is the latest title by influential video game director Hideo Kojima, who is best known for creating the Metal Gear Solid series. In the game, players take control of Sam Porter Bridges, who is played by Norman Reedus.

Players must transport cargo through a post-apocalyptic United States, essentially making the game a mailman/walking simulator of sorts. They have to endure harsh conditions and tough terrain on their journeys to deliver packages.

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YouTuber Allen Pan plays Death Stranding on a treadmillYouTube/Allen Pan
If Death Stranding wasn’t already a “walking simulator” it is now.

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Allen Pan decided to make the game even more of a “walking simulator” by turning a treadmill into a PS4 controller.

“All I have to do is take the rotor encoder from the treadmill and use an Arduino to calculate how fast someone is walking on the treadmill and the Arduino can control a digital potentiometer that is connected to a PS4 controller,” the YouTuber explained. “That way we get a treadmill that lets me play a game of Death Stranding as it was probably intended to be played.”

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Basically, by walking on the treadmill fast enough, Pan can turn the walking relay and cause his character to walk in the game while running quickly can cause his character on screen to run.

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Just to make the experience even more immersive, the YouTuber strapped on a huge backpack to mimic Norman Reedus’ character in the game.

At first, things didn’t go so well, as Pan couldn’t properly balance his cargo and all his packages went flying. After a few more tries, however, he started getting the hang of it and even started running at a brisk pace.

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“Yeah! I’m running and he’s running!” the entertainer laughed. “We’re running together! This is so stupid!”

Allen Pan/YouTube
Playing Death Stranding on a treadmill is quite a workout.

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Suddenly, the game became quite the interactive workout as Pan was left sweating profusely after reaching his destination.

Amazingly, this could end up being the best workout game ever created and add a whole new layer to an already impressive award-winning title.

Now, if only Hideo Kojima himself could try out his game on a treadmill.

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About The Author

Michael Gwilliam is a senior writer at Dexerto based in Ontario, Canada. He specializes in Overwatch, Smash, influencers, and Twitch culture. Gwilliam has written for sites across Canada including the Toronto Sun. You can contact him at or on Twitter @TheGwilliam