Returnal What Do you Lose When You Die Guide PS5 PlayStation 5

What do you lose when you die in Returnal? Do you lose absolutely everything and start fresh? Are there permanent upgrades? As part of our Returnal guide, we're going to outline what exactly happens when you die in this game. Read on to learn what is kept and what is lost when a run is over. For some advice on keeping runs going for longer, see our guide ā€” Returnal: How to Not Die.

Returnal: What Do You Lose When You Die?

Returnal is a third person shooter with a rogue-lite structure. What that means is you'll go through the randomly generated environments again and again, and each time you die, you'll lose some of the equipment you picked up in your run.

But what exactly is lost when you die in Returnal? Here's a list of what happens when your run comes to an end:

  • The weapon you're carrying is lost
  • Consumable items you're carrying are lost
  • Artefacts you have are lost
  • Parasites you're carrying are lost
  • Malfunctions are removed
  • Obolites you're carrying are lost
  • Keys you're carrying are lost
  • Datacubes you have are lost
  • Weapon proficiency level progress is reset to zero
  • Your health is reset to default
  • Any other stat changes are reset

So, to put it simply, anything affecting Selene's build is reset, and any disposable equipment she's carrying goes away. However, you don't lose absolutely everything.

What Do You Keep When You Die in Returnal?

There are certain things that do carry over when you die in Returnal. Here's a list of what persists between runs in this game:

  • Permanent equipment is kept once you've unlocked it. Examples include the Atropian Blade, the Hermetic Transmitter, and the Icarian Grapnel
  • Permanent items are kept once you've acquired them. Examples include the House Key and the Crimson Key
  • Ether carries over between runs
  • Artefacts and items you've scanned or unlocked will show up randomly in subsequent runs
  • Research progress on enemies, weapon traits, items, and artefacts is persistent
  • Story/objective progress is persistent
  • After defeating a boss once, you don't have to fight it again (although you can if you like)

As you make progress through Returnal, you will slowly acquire permanent upgrades that will allow you to access more areas and get through the game a little more easily. This means that, even though most of your stuff is taken away, you will gradually and naturally become better equipped and more adept at the game.

Ether is a currency that persists between runs, and has multiple uses, so it's important to gather that as and when you come across it.

Do You Always Have to Start Back at the Helios Crash Site When You Die?

Most of the time, especially early on in the game, you will return to the crash site of Helios, Selene's ship. However, there are a couple of ways you can keep a run going if you die prematurely.


Returnal Artefacts Astronaut Figurine

There are one or two artefacts in Returnal that, if equipped, will bring you back from a fatal blow immediately, giving you a second chance. Keep your eyes peeled for artefacts such as Astronaut Figurine ā€” these will resurrect you where you died and let you carry on without losing any progress.


Returnal Reconstructor

In a side room (represented by blue triangular doors on the map) you may come across a Reconstructor. This device allows you to return from the dead without going back to Helios, and you keep everything you currently have when you step inside. It costs 6 Ether to use, and can only be used once per biome.

So, that's what's lost when you die in Returnal. Have you been dying much in the game so far? Stay alive in the comments section below, and check out our Returnal guide for lots more on the game.