Astra’s Guide to Returnal – What Carries Over Between Playthroughs?

Kai Powell
returnal update 1.3.4 housemarque

A good roguelike rewards players for their perseverance and persistence across multiple playthroughs, and Housemarque's Returnal is no different. While you won't be able to carry over that level 30 Tachyon Carbine on your next adventure on Atropos, we've highlighted some of the things that will make a difference to Selene's survival.

Other Returnal guides - Eight tips to surviving on Atropos

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What doesn't carry over?

This is going to be the majority of what Selene picks up on her adventures in Returnal. Fear not, because what you do pick up does change up what Selene can acquire the next time she embarks from the Helios crash site. With the world map being randomly generated on each run, it makes sense that Selene would have to start off with a blank slate each time. The rooms themselves are crafted by hand, so you'll start to recognize the layouts and how the world fits together the more you enjoy subsequent playthroughs of Returnal. Because Obolites don't carry over between runs, take a moment to locate the conversion terminal in your biome (in the first region, this is in the same room with the four upgrade terminals) and cash in a stack of unneeded Obolites for Ether, once per run.

  • Proficiency levels
  • Selene's equipped weapon
  • Any artifacts and consumables
  • Map completion
  • Obolites (currency)
  • Parasites and Malfunctions
  • Selene's maximum health
  • Datacubes (if not deposited at the end of each biome)
  • Atropian Keys

What does carry over?

Each run you complete in Returnal adds new items to the loot pool of future runs. Artifacts that are unlocked through Ether purchases or picked up in regular play can appear in later playthroughs. Datacubes, once picked up, can be deposited at special terminals and add one of eighteen unique artifacts/consumables into the mix. The more that you use a particular item/weapon or kill an enemy, you'll gain a small level of knowledge in Selene's codex. I wasn't able to find a use for this in my playthrough, but it's something for completionists to keep an eye out for. Weapons can spawn in with one to four randomized traits. By earning enough kills with a particular weapon, you'll unlock the trait permanently so that you won't have to go through the same process with a newer version of that weapon.

Upon earning certain keys such as the Crimson Key, players can skip over those segments of the biome and go straight for the boss of each level. However, it's advised to continue searching these extra areas for artifacts and some of the collectibles to cut down on the grind to unlock Returnal's platinum trophy.

  • Ether
  • Unlocked weapon passive and alt-fire attributes
  • Selene's traversal equipment
  • Key items
  • Audio Logs
  • Scanned Xenoglyphs
  • Xenociphers
  • Notes and Records
  • Item and Artifact Loot Pool

There you have it. While you won't be able to carry over everything that made your last Returnal run successful, the items you've unlocked should help give Selene a fighting chance the next time she ventures into the unexplored regions of Atropos. Is there anything else you'd like to know about Returnal? Let us know in the comments below!

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