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Returnal: What You Keep After Dying

You will die a lot in Returnal. Over and over again, you’ll wake up near that crashed ship whilst trying to process the infuriating death that you just suffered.

Of course, you need to jump in for just one more run. However, it might not be clear what you keep from the last run and what’s been removed from your inventory. This guide will cover everything that you keep after dying in Returnal so that you know which items you can rely on.

What Do You Keep After Dying In Returnal?

There are some items that do persist after dying in Returnal, but many don’t. Here are the answers to a couple of commonly asked questions about death and how it affects your inventory items, upgrades, and weapons.

Are There Permanent Upgrades And Items For Selene In Returnal?

Some of the most important items that you find throughout Atropos are permanent, so Selene will keep them when she dies.

You will usually find these items after defeating the boss in a specific biome. For example, after defeating Phrike in the Overgrown Ruins, you will receive an extra consumable slot. There are more permanent upgrades like this that you will get in the later biomes.

You also keep the Atropian Sword, which allows you to perform melee attacks. This is the only weapon that persists between each run, as you will always respawn with a basic pistol as your firearm.

There are also items that you will occasionally find that you will not lose after dying. These include things such as the House Key, which allows you to enter the 20th century House and discover new story elements as you progress through Returnal.

Do You Keep Ether After Dying In Returnal?

Ether is one of the main forms of currency that you will use on Atropos and as such is important to collect.

  • Ether does not disappear or get destroyed when you die, so you can build up a large stockpile whilst playing Returnal.

Ether can be used to cleanse Malignant Items, or to unlock new items at Cthonos, the living statue, so it is useful to always have plenty.

  • Unlocking new items at Cthonos adds them to the loot pool, which is also permanent in Returnal.

You will not keep any Consumables, Artefacts, or weapons that you find whilst exploring Atropos, but any unlocked at Cthonos are available permanently in the loot pool. This means that you will be able to find them in future runs, and you won’t need to scan them again.

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