Returnal is a fiendishly hard game. If the monsters don’t get you, lady luck surely will. It seems like you’re always destined to die no matter what you do! Fret not, with these Returnal tips, you might actually stand a chance!
Tip 1 – Stay at the exit/entrance
Here’s one of the easiest tips that will serve you well no matter how far you are in the game. Always (ALWAYS) stay near the entrance to a room and scout for enemies. Most rooms have enemies that are just inside, or at the very least, visible from the entrance.
Shoot them from there and hold your ground. Since enemies don’t respawn, staying at the entrance gives you a clear retreat point if you’re being overwhelmed. You get to fight on your own terms this way, which is infinitely preferable to fighting blind.
Some things to beware though; teleporting enemies can port into your escape room, so make sure to keep an eye on your radar!
Tip 2 – Electropylon Driver is your friend
If you own the Deluxe Edition of the game, this is one of rewards for buying it. For those who don’t, there’s a reason this weapon is only found later on.
It’s the best gun in the game.
Even at Level 1, it should be able to pretty much be able to comfortably decimate enemies in Act 1.
Try to get the one that fires a single harpoon at a time instead of the other variant (which fires a multiple harpoons simulatenously). The reason being you can better set up the electricity arcs instead of leaving things up to luck. Fire one harpoon for each enemy, then fire a couple at choke points. The pylons will electrify each other, damaging the enemies they’re attached to AND any enemies that pass through the electrified areas!
All you need to do then is hang back (or in the case of bosses, focus on dodging).
Tip 3 – Never take anything that give you malfunctions
Malfunctions are bad. There are no two ways about it. That’s why you should always try to avoid them. Parasites are the sole exception when you can consider taking them on but more often than not, you should skip them.
The only time you should consider is when the Parasite gives you a health boost, regenerates your health when it’s critical or gives a boost to your maximum integrity (health) or gives you extra protection. You’ll need every single one of those things to survive, so being hobbled a little might be a worthy tradeoff.
Tip 4 – Always try to stay at full health
It seems like basic advice but it’s still something that needs to be said. If you’re hurt, heal IMMEDIATELY. Do not save the health pickups you find in rooms for later!
The reason for this is simple. Health pickups morph into integrity boosts when you’re at full health. See the 3 rectangles beside the Health icon in the lower left? Those are filled boosted one box at a time (two for large health pickups) every time you nab a Health pickup while you’re a full health.
Fill all three and you get a small boost to your health. It all adds up as you keep find drops! Remember 200% is the max you can go, so don’t go overboard nabbing them too.
Tip 5 – Dodge towards danger
Weird right? It’s effective as hell though.
Whether it’s projectiles or an enemy jumping towards you, the best thing to do is to dodge…towards the attack. You’ll pass through projectiles when you’re dodging (it also works if you’re grappling towards something) and dodging towards an enemy will actually make them overshoot you!
The ONLY time you’ll want to dodge sideways is when a bad guy has a laser attack. Whether it’s a one shot deal or the sustained lasers that slowly track you, you do NOT want to dodge into them. Every other time though? Go headlong into danger and come out the other side fresh as a daisy!
For best effect dodge into the fray and then slash with your sword if the enemy’s near, then dash away. Done right, you’ll get a free hit AND get away scott free!
There you have it!
Pay attention to these Returnal tips and you’ll have a much easier time tackling the game. Not a hell of a lot easier mind you, but hey, every bit helps right?