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Returnal: What Are Malfunctions?

Malfunctions will hinder your abilities throughout your journey on Atropos. Returnal’s Malfunction feature can make a run much more challenging, but sometimes they are worth taking.

This guide will cover everything you need to know about Malfunctions in Returnal, including how they happen and whether or not you should avoid them.

What Are Malfunctions In Returnal?

Malfunctions are negative effects that may activate when you use or pick up Malignant objects. Malignant items are distinguishable thanks to their signature purple glow. Almost anything can be Malignant, including Consumables and Containers.

When a Malfunction triggers, it will appear in the top left corner of the screen. The negative effect will be listed, along with a challenge.

You can remove the Malignant status from an item using Ether. Otherwise, you will need to know how to remove Malfunctions.

How To Remove Malfunctions In Returnal

Malfunctions can be removed by completing the associated challenge. This could be a variety of things, such as “Kill 15 enemies”, or “Collect 200 Obolites.”

You can also find an item called a Nullification Sphere. This is a Consumable that you can use to remove all active Malfunctions at one. After using the Nullification Sphere, it will be destroyed.

As you explore Atropos, you will find Parasites. These offer a positive and a negative trait. Some parasites will offer the ability to instantly remove one Malfunction as their positive trait.

Should I Risk Using Malignant Items In Returnal?

Since Malignant items cause Malfunctions to activate, you need to carefully consider the risk before interacting with them. Malfunctions can cause some extremely bad effects, such as losing Obolites when you take damage. Although a Malignant item might be useful, you need to think about whether the potential Malfunction is worth it.

Malignant items won’t always cause a Malfunction. The likelihood depends on the Malfunction Probability, which you will see when you approach a Malignant item. If it is low or moderate, you might be able to get away without a Malfunction. If the probability is high, you are much more likely to suffer a Malfunction.

What Is A Critical Malfunction In Returnal?

A Critical Malfunction occurs when you have two active Malfunctions and a third triggers. Rather than activating a third Malfunction, this destroys a random item in your inventory. This could be the difference between life or death, especially if you have a useful Artefact like the Astronaut Figurine, so it’s best to always clear your Malfunctions as soon as possible.

Next: Returnal: How To Defeat Phrike

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