This page of the guide to Death Stranding explains the purpose of memory chips. Memory chips are the main category of collectibles/secrets in Death Stranding found during exploration.
Memory chips are very small objects and as a result they are easy to miss. You can use a scanner to detect memory chips. They will be marked, along with other detected interactive items.
If you play online, you can also check the map in search of signs informing you about their location. They don't have to be real, but they are still worth checking out and scanning every spot indicated by another player.
You can check your memory chips in the Data Archives in the pause menu. Initially, all collectibles here are unidentified.
To identify a memory chip, you must return to any allied facility and interact with the terminal. Select Make Delivery and then Share Memory Chip Data.
When you reopen the memory chips list, you will be able to check the unlocked entries. An additional motivation for finding memory chips are trophies related to collectibles:
- Find and check the first memory chip to get A Thirst for Knowledge trophy.
- Find and read all memory chips to get Fount of Knowledge trophy.