Is there a way to get back to earlier levels in Returnal? How can you revisit the first few biomes? If you've been playing Returnal and have reached Act 2, you'll find yourself in an unusual situation — you have a new starting point. As part of our Returnal guide, we're going to explain what's going on once you clear Act 1, and whether you can get back to the game's older stages. If you're looking for more on Returnal's levels, see our guide — Returnal: How Many Biomes Are There?
Note: Due to the nature of this guide, there will be some light spoilers.
Returnal: Can You Get Back to Earlier Levels?
After you defeat the boss Nemesis at the end of Derelict Citadel, the story advances and you'll find yourself in a familiar but different setting. You're still at the Helios crash site, but your surroundings have altered. This is because, at the start of Act 2, you don't start your runs from Overgrown Ruins (the first biome), you start them from Echoing Ruins (the fourth biome). Is there a way to return to those first three areas?
Yes, you can get back to the earlier levels. Don't worry if you get to Echoing Ruins and are wondering how to go back. Just keep playing, and the game will open up even more.
How to Get Back to Earlier Areas in Returnal
In order to return to the first three biomes in Returnal, you first need to beat Act 2 and roll the credits. This means you need to get through Echoing Ruins, Fractured Wastes, and Abyssal Scar, and you will need to defeat the boss Ophion (For more on boss fights, see our guide — Returnal: All Bosses and How to Beat Them).
Once you're past the credits, you'll be back in the game at Echoing Ruins, the fourth biome. However, you can now get back to the earlier stages. To do so, climb inside Helios. To the left of the main terminal in the central room, a door that was previously locked should now be open. Inside is an ominous looking device (pictured above) — approach it and press Triangle, and it will transport you back to Overgrown Ruins, the first biome. Using this device, you can swap between areas 1-3 and areas 4-6.
Have you been going back to earlier levels in Returnal? Tell us in the comments section below, and visit our Returnal guide for lots more on the game.