Returnal How to Play Online Co-Op PS5 Guide 1

How do you play online co-op in Returnal? How can you access Returnal's co-op mode on PS5? The Ascension update added two-player online co-op to Returnal, allowing a pair to team up and tackle Atropos together. As part of our Returnal guide, we're going to explain how co-op works.

Returnal: How to Play Online Co-Op

Below, we're going to explain how to access online co-op and start playing with a friend.

How Do You Access Co-Op?

Returnal How to Play Online Co-Op PS5 Guide 2

After downloading and installing the latest update for Returnal, online co-op will be added to the game. If you have existing save data, you will be able to play co-op immediately. However, if you are starting the game for the very first time, you cannot access co-op until after you have died for the first time. Once you return to the crash site, online co-op will be available.

You can start online co-op play from the crash site. Approach the large, glowing orb, located to the right of Cthonos and the door that takes you to the main game. This orb is called Chronosis. Press Triangle to activate it.

What Co-Op Options Are There?

Returnal How to Play Online Co-Op PS5 Guide 3

When you activate Chronosis, you will be presented with three options. These are as follows:

  • Host Public Cycle: Set up a public co-op session. This can be joined by any other player.
  • Host Private Cycle: Set up a private co-op session by inviting someone from your Friends list to join you.
  • Join a Cycle: Matchmake with another player's public co-op session.

What Happens to Your Progress When Playing Co-Op?

If you're playing in co-op, you might be wondering what happens in terms of your progress through the game. It depends on whether you are hosting a game or have joined a game.

Host Players will keep any and all progress made while playing in co-op. However, their Scout Rank will not increase.

Joining Players will not keep any permanent equipment unlocks, but they will be able to keep things like Xenoglyphs and Scout Logs. Additionally, their Scout Rank can increase.

What Is Scout Rank?

Scout Rank is new for the co-op mode in Returnal. This pertains to your helpfulness and skill when joining other players for co-op. Basically, the better a co-op partner you are, the higher your Scout Rank will be.

How Is Returnal Different While Playing Co-Op?

Returnal How to Play Online Co-Op PS5 Guide 4

The co-op experience in Returnal is largely the same as the solo experience, just with a second player aiding you. However, there are some small differences to note.

Firstly, you are able to revive each other. If one player takes a fatal blow, the other player can revive them by reaching them and holding Triangle for a few seconds. You can do this as often as is needed. If you both die, you'll be unable to revive each other, and the cycle is over.

Secondly, the game's balancing is altered in co-op to account for there being two players present. Don't expect co-op to be a cake walk.

Have you been enjoying Returnal in co-op mode on PS5? Buddy up in the comments section below, and check out our Returnal guide for lots more help.