Thanks to kinjall for the header.

Overview:
  • Estimated trophy difficulty: 8/10
  • Offline trophies: 29 (17, 5, 7)
  • Online trophies: 2 (1trophy_bronze.png, 1)
  • Approximate amount of time to platinum: 40-50 hours
  • Minimum number of playthroughs: 1
  • Number of missable trophies: 0
  • Glitched trophies: 0
  • Does difficulty affect trophies?: No difficulty settings available
Introduction:

Returnal is the latest game from veteren developer Housemarque. Best known for its selection of arcade-style shooters, this PS5 exclusive is somewhat of a change of pace, with a switch to third-person perspective and a heavy focus on story and atmosphere. This doesn’t mean that the action has taken a back seat, however, and the gunplay on show here is just as slick as ever.

At its core, Returnal is a roguelite, where dying sends you back to the same starting point, and each run sees the layout of the world - along with the weapons, upgrades, and enemies along the way - shift and change each time you restart. Combined with an excellent atmosphere, next-gen visuals and a compelling story, it’s an impressive package, but it also makes for a frustrating Platinum trophy. The game’s shifting, roguelite structure means it’s difficult to make a definitive guide, but hopefully we can help make your journey a little easier. Just be prepared for a fair bit of dying and grinding.

Walkthrough:

Step 1: Complete the game up until the end of Act 2, grabbing collectibles along the way
The first step is the most substantial one - reach the credits, aka the end of Act 2. Returnal features six distinct biomes, and you’ll travel through all six to reach the end of the game, and unlock the large majorities of the trophies in the process.

You’ll begin in Overgrown Ruins, and you can knock out a lot of optional trophies along the way here alongside the story-related, unmissable ones. Travelling through the ruins, make sure to check your map and mini-map for any items, Xenoglyph Ciphers, Scout Logs and more. You’ll want to take every side door you see as well to make sure you grab as many collectibles as possible early on in order to tick off a few of those collectible-based trophies. There are are plenty of skill-based or combat trophies which you might grab by accident, and they’re easy enough to mop up later if not.

Continue through all six biomes and defeat the five bosses, making sure you enter the 20th Century House any time it's lit up in the Overgrown Ruins or Echoing Ruins. If you do that, and make sure to explore every room and pick up as many collectibles as possible as well, you’ll likely have unlocked the majority of the trophies below. Don’t worry if you’ve missed any, though, as you’ll always be able to access them later once you’ve finished Act 2, and you can check out the specific trophy guides to see how best to do them.

Trophies Unlocked in this stepStep 2: Complete Act 3, grabbing up any needed collectibles you can along the way
Once Act 2 is complete, you’re now free to flit between the first and second act of the game, with access to all six biomes as a result. The next step is completing act three by collecting the six Sunface Fragments (one found in each biome) and entering the house one last time. You can take a crack at any challenge trophies remaining, such as Hardened Shell or Irreversibly Contaminated, although they can always be done later (or earlier).
Trophies Unlocked in this stepStep 3: Free play, mopping up, and any final challenges
Here we go, these are the tough ones. There’s an element of luck to each of the Survey trophies, as they require you to collect items and collectibles that have a chance not to spawn at all on a specific run. Make sure to explore every room fully, use all your permanent equipment to reach new areas, and check your minimap so you don’t miss any. Again, you can also use this time to clear out any leftover trophies from previous steps as well. Make sure you make use of the PS5’s 
Trophies Unlocked in this step

Returnal Trophy Guide

Printable Guide
Show completed trophies
Show secret trophies

31 trophies ( 18  18  )

  • Collect all trophies

    Does what it says on the tin! Well done.
  • Learn the basics of survival on Atropos

    By the time you finish the Overgrown Ruins, you should have discovered all of your main abilities, which will unlock this trophy. These include your weapon, the Alt-Fire and the Melee Attack. If you’re struggling to unlock the trophy, just make sure you explore every area you can during a run of Overgrown Ruins, and make sure to check the mini-map for items so you don’t miss anything.
  • Scan a Xenoglyph

    Almost impossible to miss, simply scan one of the alien glyphs found on stone tablets around the world. The first one you’re likely to find will be in Overgrown Ruins, in an area near a group of Fabricators, and will be marked on your map with a unique symbol. Another can be found in Overgrown Ruins in the area with a long stairway and the first boss door (marked in red on the map). 
     
  • Unlock all translation tiers of a Xenoglyph

    Can be unlocked as early as the first biome. Make sure to keep an eye out for Xenoglyphs Ciphers around the world - like Parasites or Keys, they’ll be marked with an upside-down triangle on your mini-map. Once ten of them have been scanned, go to one of the stone Xenoglyph Tablets in Overgrown Ruins and read it, and you should find you’ve unlocked the third tier of translation. Xenoglyphs in later biomes require more ciphers to have been scanned, so it's best to get this out the way early in the Overgrown Ruins, although it's easily mopped up once the credits have rolled as well.
  • Perform 5 successful Overloads in a row

    Dead simple, pick an empty room in the game and fire your weapon until you’re out of ammunition, keeping a close eye on ammo. Once ammo is depleted, press R2 within the displayed window to perform an Overload (basically an active reload). Repeat five times in a row without messing it up, and if you do mess it up, just start from the beginning again. Can be made easier by reaching level one Adrenaline, which increases the timing window for Overload.
  • Achieve Weapon Proficiency level 30

    Don’t even begin to attempt this until you’ve reached the sixth biome in the game. In the game’s second act, you’ll automatically start on level 15 weapon proficiency in the Echoing Runs each time you die. The best way to kickstart your way to level 30 proficiency is to travel to the area before Hyperion’s boss room, where you’ll find two portals can take you to Fracture Wastes and Abyssal Scar. Travel through the portal to Fractured Wastes, grab the free Weapon Proficiency canister there, and immediately jump into the whirlpool to reach Abyssal Scar, where you should find a second Weapon Proficiency canister. This should hopefully boost you to a nice 25+ weapon proficiency. From there, it’ll be a little bit of skill, and a little bit of luck. Save up all your obelites just in case you can buy an item or artefact that boosts your Weapon Proficiency, and keep an eye out for Parasites or Canisters which offer a Weapon Proficiency boost. From there, try to fight plenty of enemies, and avoid being hit to try and keep yourself at at least level 4 adrenaline, which will speed up your WP progression. If you don’t die, you should get to level 30 before the final boss room.
  • Complete a daily challenge in Simulation Mode

    Simulation mode is unlocked after defeating the first boss. Simply enter your crashed ship Helios the next time you die and interact with the secondary screen next to the cockpit door (not the main one which shows your stats). Begin the daily challenge and complete it without dying to bag the trophy.
  • Achieve 200% Max Integrity

    This can be a bit of a tough one, and relies as much on luck as it does skill. The main thing here is to avoid being hit at all costs - if you’re at maximum health, then any health items you find will be Resin, which boosts your max health, rather than Siphilum, which heals you. You have to collect three Resin to boost your max integrity by a small amount, so you’ll likely need to find other routes to reach 200%. One consumable item, the Key Liquifier, converts keys into max health, but finding it is down to luck. If you are lucky enough to find it, try to collect 3-5 keys before using it, and you’ll find that you’re nearly there already.

    You’ll also want to save all your currency for the machines which boost your max integrity by 25%, and avoid critical malfunctions at all cost, as these can quickly drop your max health right down. This is perhaps easiest to do once you’ve completed Act 2, as you can start in the Overgrown Ruins again, where it’s fairly easy to avoid getting hit, and there’s a lot of Resin to pick up if you explore every area. Either that, or you might just find the trophy pops when you’re on a particularly good run.
  • Finish Calculated Risk

    Probably the least useful trophy description out there, Calculated Risk is actually a challenge exclusive to the PlayStation 5 Activities Cards. To finish it, you’ll need to do the following.
    • Open 3 Malignant Containers
    • Pick up 3 Malignant Silphiums
    • Pick up 3 Malignant Resins
    • Pick up 1 Malignant Key
    • Pick up 3 Spoiled Resins
    You’ll find plenty of malignant items to interact with on each run, and they don’t need to be done in one life, so you can either blitz through these as soon as you find them, or otherwise just naturally unlock them as you play. You can keep an eye on how you’re doing via the Activities Cards as well, in case you lose track and need to check what’s left to do.
  • Achieve maximum Adrenaline Level

    Simple enough - don’t get hit. Taking out enough enemies without taking damage will give you max adrenaline. Make sure to dash continuously and try to avoid entering the middle of an arena with lots of enemies, instead stick to the edges so you can’t be attacked from behind, and carefully take out each one. If you’re struggling, perhaps focus on the game’s first area and the easier enemies there.
  • Have 5 Parasites simultaneously

    Best to do this on a throwaway run, just pick up every Parasite you find regardless of the consequences, and make sure not to remove any until you have five attached. Alternatively, you can keep a record of any Parasite you find and where they are, but don’t pick them up until you come across one of the parasite removing machines. Then, use the teleporter pads to return to the Parasites, collect them all, unlock the trophy, then use the machine to remove any you don’t want.
  • Retrieve 10 Scout Logs

    You’ll see Scout Logs marked with a radio signal-type symbol on your map. There are dozens found over the course of the game, so as long as you’re exploring side areas and collecting every item in each location, paying close attention to your mini-map, you should get this in no time at all.
  • Complete a Xeno-archive set

    Xeno-archives are found beyond side path doors, with one in each biome, and you won’t be able to complete a full set until you obtain the grapple beam after defeating the second boss. Once you’ve obtained the grapple beam, simply enter a Xeno-archive in either Overgrown Ruins or Crimson Wastes and interact with all of the dust-cloud images, using the grapple beam to reach the areas you couldn’t before. You’ll know once you’ve found all of them in one archive if the trophy pops.
 

Secret trophies

  • Finish Overgrown Ruins Survey

    The Survey trophies are when things begin to get tough, as your ability to find the last few collectibles is heavily reliant on what rooms the procedural generation spits out. To complete the Overgrown Ruins Survey, you’ll need to do the following
    • Explore one secret area
    • Collect every Xenoglyph Cipher
    • Retrieve severy Scout Log
    • Scan every Xeno-Archive
    • Survive the Containment Area
    • Eliminate the boss
    The secret areas can be found by walking up to glowing orbs by Xeno statues - you’ll know you’ve entered one when you fall through the floor into an area where your minimap doesn’t work. The boss is story based, so you can’t miss it, and the Xeno-Archives are found in side route doors, although you’ll need the one of the permanent upgrades in order to scan all the Xeno-Archives in each biome, so it's best to wait until the post-game after Act 2 to go for these.

    Containment Areas are found in doors marked with a big star on your map - you’ll know which one because you’ll need to shoot a big squidgy alien plant off of it to unlock it. These are tough, challenging areas which throw three waves of strong enemies at you, so if you’re on a good run or just want to progress through the game, it’s best to leave these until after you’ve finished Act 3. Not only does it reduce the penalty of dying, but you’ll have more knowledge of the enemies and their patterns, meaning it’ll be much easier.

    The rest seems simple enough, but you’ll likely find you’re left with at least one or two Xenoglyph Ciphers or Scout Logs, even by the time you complete Act 3. From here on out, it’s a case of luck, and you’ll need to explore as much of the Overgrown Ruins as possible in one run. If you don’t find a Cipher or Scout Log, you’ll need to start again and hope the algorithm spawns the room they’re in this time round. When you’re in the biome, you can access this trophy via the PS5’s Activities Cards to see exactly what you have left to do or collect.
  • Finish Crimson Wastes Survey

    Similar to the criteria for Past the Ruinstrophy_gold.png, but in the Crimson Wastes biome. Don’t worry about tackling this until you’ve finished White Shadowtrophy_gold.png. When you’re in the biome, you can access this trophy via the PS5’s Activities Cards to see exactly what you have left to do or collect.
  • Finish Derelict Citadel Survey

    Similar to the criteria for Past the Ruinstrophy_gold.png, but in the Derelict Citadel biome. Don’t worry about tackling this until you’ve finished White Shadowtrophy_gold.png. When you’re in the biome, you can access this trophy via the PS5’s Activities Cards to see exactly what you have left to do or collect.
  • Finish Echoing Ruins Survey

    Similar to the criteria for Past the Ruinstrophy_gold.png, but in the Echoing Ruins biome. Don’t worry about tackling this until you’ve finished White Shadowtrophy_gold.png. When you’re in the biome, you can access this trophy via the PS5’s Activities Cards to see exactly what you have left to do or collect.
  • Finish Fractured Wastes Survey

    Similar to the criteria for Past the Ruinstrophy_gold.png, but in the Crimson Wastes biome and without the need for the boss fight. Don’t worry about tackling this until you’ve finished White Shadowtrophy_gold.png. When you’re in the biome, you can access this trophy via the PS5’s Activities Cards to see exactly what you have left to do or collect.
  • Finish Abyssal Scar Survey

    Similar to the criteria for Past the Ruinstrophy_gold.png, but in the Crimson Wastes biome. Don’t worry about tackling this until you’ve finished White Shadowtrophy_gold.png. When you’re in the biome, you can access this trophy via the PS5’s Activities Cards to see exactly what you have left to do or collect.
  • Defeat Phrike

    Story related, cannot be missed.

    The first boss of the game, he can be quite challenging, but his attack patterns are easy to learn and dodge once you’ve got the hang of them. Shoot your way through the three phases and the trophy is yours.
     
  • Defeat Ixion

    Story related, cannot be missed.

    The second boss is one of the hardest of the five. Concentrate on avoiding its fire, and make sure you quickly track it to the air when it takes off flying so you’re not caught by surprise. The third phase changes things up, with Ixion suddenly coming in for up-close hits, but a good build will get you through this after a few tries.
     
  • Defeat Nemesis

    Story related, cannot be missed.

    As long as you don’t let the boss’s size and the unsteady ground get to you, this is a fairly easy fight. Make sure to concentrate fire on the glowing weak point, and use your grapple to get as close to Nemesis as possible in the second and third phases to best avoid its fire (and the weird laser-shooting squids).
  • Defeat Hyperion

    Story related, cannot be missed.

    Another of the trickier boss fights, you’ll need to be constantly dodging and jumping here to avoid Hyperion’s barrage of bullets. In each phase, once you’ve got Hyperion’s health below a quarter, they’ll return to the organ and start raining projectiles from the sky. Use this brief moment to try and deal as much damage as possible before it gets too chaotic, and you should be fine.
  • Defeat Ophion

    Story related, cannot be missed.

    Ophion is surprisingly simple for a final boss. Shooting the glowing orbs floating in the sky (water?) reveals some big googly eyes on their body, which is the only way to harm them. Try and concentrate fire on a single eye until it explodes, before moving on to another, all the while making sure at least one orb is active so that the eyes are revealed. Ophion’s attacks are actually fairly simple to avoid, with a lot of jumping needed for the purple attacks that can’t be dashed through. This is also the only boss that drops a health-restoring item after each phase, so make sure you spot those on the floor to keep your health topped up!
  • Finish Act 1

    Story related, cannot be missed.

    Once you’ve beaten Nemesis and interacted with the machine nearby, you’ll see a series of cutscenes and unlock this trophy.
  • Finish Act 2

    Story related, cannot be missed.

    Once you’ve defeated Ophion, jump into the hole where it once resided and follow the path. The trophy will soon pop once you’re done.
  • Finish Act 3

    Act 3 becomes available after the credits roll, in what we’ll affectionately label the post-game. Here, you can choose whether you begin in the Overgrown Ruins or the Echoing Ruins. It’s unclear at first what you need to do to complete Act 3, but there’s actually one brand new item in each of the game’s six biomes - a Sunface Fragment. They’re mostly hidden behind areas that were inaccessible on your first visit to the biome, such as needing the grappling hook, or the visor attachment. There appears to be a high chance they’ll spawn on a run, but it's not guaranteed, so if you’ve searched every room and can’t find them, you’ll need to restart a new loop. Once you’ve found all six, you’ll be able to enter the house for a final time, gaining a new key. Take this key back to the final boss, Ophion, once again, and use it on the car found below the boss room, and the trophy should pop.
  • Returned by an artifact

    You’ll need to complete the very first house sequence in the first biome, unlocked by finding a set of house keys out in the world. Completing the first house sequence will unlock the Astronaut figurine. Make sure you collect this artifact outside the house, and check it’s in your inventory. If it is, you’ll find that, the next time you die, you’ll be returned to life. Neat!
  • Die for the first time

    Unless you are an actual god, you’ll die at least once in Returnal before finishing the game. Probably the easiest trophy in the entire game.
  • Complete the first House sequence

    In one of the rooms in the Overgrown Ruins, you’ll find the House Key, which will become a permanent item in your inventory. You’re likely to find the key by yourself, but if you’re struggling, make sure to carefully check in every room, including side rooms, within the Overgrown Ruins, using your pause map to check for unopened doors, and your minimap to check for items and chests.

    Once you’ve found the keys, either return to the area with the 20th Century House using a teleporter, or, if you’re yet to find the house, search the Overgrown Ruins until you do. It will pop up in multiple runs and in different areas, sometimes right near the crash site. Once you’ve found the house and have the keys, you can enter and begin the first House Sequence. Interact with everything you can, avoid the dark areas and you’ll soon complete it. Make sure to pick up the Astronaut figure to help complete Second Chance too.
  • Complete all House sequences

    Over the course of the game, you’ll come across the house multiple times, either in the Overgrown Ruins or the Echoing Ruins. Once you have the House Key, you can enter any time that the lights are on within the house, which appears to be triggered by hitting certain milestones, such as defeating bosses or entering a new biome. There’s little need to seek these out - simply enter the house the next time you pass it after you die, if you can, or wait until you’ve beaten the next boss fight. By the time you finish Act 2, you should have completed five of the six House sequences. To see how to unlock the sixth (which is a bit trickier) see the White Shadowtrophy_gold.png trophy.

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  • MattLorrigan

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