Returnal: PS5 players complain of crashes and bugs

Returnal: PS5 players complain of crashes and bugs


Returnal is one of the first big games for the new PlayStation 5 and is therefore very popular. We also had a lot of fun with the title, but we found some points of criticism. In particular, the lack of a memory option is currently a hotly debated topic in the community, but the list of problems with the title goes on. For example, Returnal regularly crashes with many players. However, this should not be due to the game itself, but to the PlayStation 5. A spokesperson on Discord points out: "This is a problem with the platform. We sent our report to [Sony]. Specifically, it has something to do with the pre-start system."

Recommended editorial content At this point you will find external content from [PLATTFORM]. To protect your personal data, external integrations are only displayed if you confirm this by clicking on "Load all external content": Load all external content I consent to external content being displayed to me. This means that personal data is transmitted to third-party platforms. Read more about our privacy policy . External content More on this in our data protection declaration. Furthermore, the developers know about the various problems that players are currently struggling with. These include audio issues and invisible barnacles. In a current Discord chat of the developers, the known problems are discussed:

Game has no save option The team is aware of this problem. There is no longer any need to draw attention to it.

Not being able to interact with the Fabricators and go through doors If you are using a pre-order suit, go to the pause menu and restart your run. Then choose the simple Selene suit in your spaceship. Your run will be lost, but all permanent progress and weapon upgrades will be retained.

Audio Issues The sound may be too loud or cut off completely

Barnacles are not displayed visually. Invisible barnacles can Sneak around the map sucking yourself in when you can't see them.

Some interactions won't work after remapping controls Custom controls can prevent you from reading items around the house, interacting with chests, and other interactions to execute. To fix the problem (for now), you can use the standard layout.

The constant crashes in particular get on the nerves of many players, so hopefully we'll get a firmware update from Sony soon to at least to solve this problem.

Useful Tips Going into Returnal

Housemarque’s Returnal is finally out. Just under a year since it was first revealed back at Sony’s first PS5 presentation livestream, the Finnish developer’s latest round of fast, frantic, bullet-hell stuffed, orderly chaos, appears to be another certified winner. Seeing the humble, cult-established developer behind such beloved entries as Resogun and Nex Machina, adding but one more impressive IP to their already-stellar portfolio of titles. But in amongst the developer’s foray into this highly-polished, 3D interpretation of the equally-beloved roguelite style of gameplay comes a bevvy of systems, mechanics and area with which some may find a little daunting to wrap their head around. For anyone who’s willing to unravel the time-looping mystery behind the unsettling, shape-shifting world of Atropos, we’ve compiled together a few quick tips and bits of advice that may make one’s trip (or in this case, many a repeated trip) a little easier.

Stay On The Move

Returnal Tips Screenshot

It may sound obvious, but it’s easy to confide in simply spraying an enemy with bullet-fire — aiming down one’s sight as you do and completely disregarding the million other things going on around you. Returnal is not only a game that encourages you to keep on the move, but in most cases advises against standing still for too long. Enemies charging, striking and of course, unleashing a myriad of sphere-shaped bullet waves at you, will often mean you’re having to shift from one position to the next. Make sure you have at least one (ideally two) areas to retreat towards and that an escape route out of one’s specific place is always readily available.

3D Audio will of course aid in allowing you to detect which direction enemies are coming from and later on you’ll acquire a handy grappling tool with a surprisingly long reach to aid in one’s quick retreat. Before that time comes, however, it’s often the case that players will usually have a few seconds to unload on a particular enemy because said enemy dishes out their associated attack. Be on the look out for any sort of visually-vibrant tell and the moment you see anything that resembles a flurry of bullets, move! Projectile fire is surprisingly quick in Returnal and with the issue on depth perception coming into play, it can be tricky to tell just how far (or close) certain foe’s projectiles are. Notably in the case of a certain type of flying drone in the third and fifth Biomes. It isn’t long before you get into the groove though: let loose, move, let loose again, move again.

Remember to Pick Up Dropped Obolites

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It can become easy to forget that all foes in Returnal drop Obolites — the game’s yellow, glowing currency used for all manner of investment. From purchasing temporary upgrades, to vital health packs, to even converting into the accompanying carry-over resource Ether, it goes without saying that Obolites are a plentiful but still vital resource in this game. Not least because of the fast, frenetic, perilous nature and the fact that it’s easy to forget about picking up all the loose shards of glowing yellow, amongst the madness ensuing. On top of Obolites not lasting particularly long when dropped — disappearing after only a few seconds, with that window of availability potentially reduced more so if you just so happen to acquire an associated Parasite debuff.

In what may be one of Housemarque’s more subtler, but still commendably-clever, uses of the risk:reward style of roguelite progression, the trick then is not so much knowing when to make that mad dash in vacuuming up all the loose Obolites. But making sure to keep track of where enemies are bested. Specifically, their position in the environment as dropped resources have a way of tumbling off platforms. Though do note that the game has a charitable way with having resources materialize at a platform’s edge should an aerial creature, for example, be defeated mid-air over an abyss. Even so, it may sound surprising, but it’s easy to lose track of the sheer amount of Obolites that drop during any encounter. Providing that one isn’t sprinting head-first into an unavoidable mass of bullets, taking the time to gather all Obolites that drop can mean the difference between having enough to purchase that useful damage boost later on…and not having enough.

Prioritise Activating the Reconstructor 

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Returnal never clearly states that this machine, right here, is perhaps the most useful piece of equipment in the entire game. Purely on the basis that, when activated, it allows you to respawn upon death, without resetting the entire run. A second chance if you will; you keep everything you had on you at the moment of death, though even if you have the Ether on hand, Reconstructors can only be activated and subsequently used once per run. That same rule applies regardless of how many of this device you end up activating over the period of an entire run. The main rule to remember is that activating a Reconstructor in one Biome and dying in another does not bring you back. You need to have activated the associated device in the same Biome for a second opportunity to materialize. Naturally, it doesn’t come cheap; activating each Reconstructor will set you back six Ether.

But for those who are willing to sink a little more time in hunting down precious Ether, this machine is worth its weight in gold so far as getting back up from an out-of-shot melee hit or stray, spherical bullet is concerned. Better still, more than one machine can be active during the same run. Keep in mind, however, that each device is tied to their respective Biome. Meaning that if you activate a Reconstructor in one biome, but end up falling in another without enabling the latter setting’s equivalent machine, you won’t be revived. Both the machine’s location and one’s death must take place in the same setting, whether that’s amidst regular combat, tackling the yellow-tagged challenge rooms, or even the accompanying boss fights lying at the end of each path. While it may not instantly respawn you at the point of death — requiring you to retrace one’s steps, needless to say a second chance in Returnal is quite possibly one of the most valuable assets you could have during one’s run.

Higher Numbers Aren’t Everything

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One of the meters you’ll be, to some extent, building up over the course of any stand-alone run is your Weapon Proficiency meter. While this may not be the game’s equivalent of a supposed strength or general “power level” indicator, what it does do is increase the overall capabilities and possible values of any future weapons you may stumble upon on your travels. But it’s easy to look at the bold green number attached to each gun and assume that because 15 > 12, that that must mean said weapon is all-round better by default. The truth of the matter is that a weapon’s benefits — and in general, its strengths — are more complex than just a single plastered-number.

That’s not to say that higher Weapon Proficiency doesn’t add an arbitrary boost in general power to all weapons, but it’s a little more complex than just an arbitrary number. Each weapon comes with three separate meters governing such things like bonus power, projectile speed and more. Sometimes weapons will come with an additional boost to these meters, sometimes they won’t. But the most important aspect lies in the permanent mod upgrades that players unlock after reaching a set milestone with a given weapon. Essentially: the more you use a weapon during fights, the closer that weapon comes to unlocking a new mod. Enjoy using the pulsating, LMG-styled Voidbeam enough and you’ll soon have a weapon that not activates a useful, laser-spouting sentry, but also applies its own firepower with a corrosion buff. The trick with weapon progression in Returnal isn’t simply relying on the numbers shown, but in spending enough time with the arsenal of your choice that repeated runs are rewarded with more beefier, mightier alternatives of those same guns.

Don’t Be Afraid to Invest in Parasites

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Like all roguelites, the RNG nature of any run is dictated by a pure roll of the dice. The same very much applies to how well (or badly) one is supplied with useful skills and items to not so much acquire, but consider acquiring upon discovery. One of Returnal‘s more unique interpretations of the sub-genre’s risk:reward counter-balancing lies in its Parasite drops. While the tainted nature of certain items and pick-ups is more a continuation of that same random luck — the probability of suffering from a debuff varying from Moderate to Very High chance — the plentiful Parasites are the more interesting addition to consider.

The idea being that every Parasite organism you come across is adorned with one of hundreds of randomly-assigned pairings of buffs and debuffs alike. The trick then is working out which areas you’re willing to take a short knock to, when trading off for that slight advantage. The scale of the cost does vary wildly (from decreased stats, to the inability to pick up health items for example), but a lot of these slight disadvantages can on occasion be countered later down the line if the right temporary upgrades and artifacts are acquired/purchased. Leaving you with a net profit, if lady luck just so happens to shine on you that run. It’s for this reason why the negative aspect of Parasites shouldn’t dissuade you from applying one, or even a couple, during a given run. Providing you can adapt on-the-fly to the affiliated debuffs, the gains received can not just mitigate, but even outweigh the costs they inflict. 

Take The Time to Prepare

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Death in Returnal can be, to put it mildly, a frustrating affair. And while you may be adamant that you can beat that boss, get through that one area and just may want to see what the next area looks like, while not out of the realm of possibility, rushing head-first into things is generally not the way to go here. Yes, it doesn’t automatically mean that a lengthier run — which here, has the potential, if you do good, on lasting beyond even the hour mark — is a guaranteed success. But taking time with each run can often lead to maximizing all potential beneficial areas. Whether that’s gathering all available Resin so as to increase your health, finding useful artifacts that apply temporary skills. As noted, unlocking the ability to respawn without restarting the loop. There’s even the chance you’ll come across a weapon with a significant boost to its stats.

Plenty of options are made available in Returnal and the best thing is that the game makes sure to tag the rooms and routes that could lead to a useful find. Unlike most roguelites where routes in and out can be a little too vague. That they lack some vital warning or heads-up that more riskier ventures are in that given direction, Returnal codifies rooms based on the kind of encounter or scenario one is likely to face there. Of course, players are free to just sprint down the supposed “main” route to the next story objective, but taking time to deviate and explore the many detours will only increase the likelihood one may well survive once that challenging boss battle arrives or simply an unexpected flurry of foes swarm you.

In Fractured Wastes, Tackle The Yellow Challenge Room First!

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Seriously, just do it. And if you don’t trust my word alone, then perhaps the words of the one who reviewed the game, Kevin Dunsmore, might: “Keep pressing triangle to rappel across the map. Put some distance and have a long range weapon. If you have a weapon that causes poison damage or any other damage over time, never let it go” You’ll thank me (or in this case, us) later. He repeats: “NEVER LET GO of poison!”