Given how hard it is, it would be easy to wonder if there are a suite of Returnal difficulty settings available to players. Most games have them, after all. Here’s whether or not Returnal has difficulties and if players can change them.
Are there Returnal difficulty settings?
Returnal has no traditional difficulty settings hidden in the options anywhere. There is just one setting and it is the same default that everyone who plays the roguelite will encounter. Housemarque has not spoken about adding new settings that make the game easier or harder.
Some other roguelite games like Hades and ScourgeBringer have some options that make them easier so it is not completely out of the question that Returnal will offer something similar sometime in the future in an update. Sony games in particular seem to be keen on adding other difficulties in post-release updates like The Last of Us 2, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Spider-Man.
However, there is one option that might help players navigate its trickier gunplay. Pause the game and go to the settings menu. From there, go the section titled “Gameplay.” There will be an option to enable varying levels of aim assist. This defaults to the middle-of-the-road option, but can be cranked up or down depending on what each player wants. Aiming will be stickier on “High” or require more precision on “Low” or “Medium.” Aim assist can also be turned off entirely.
Most will likely think that Returnal is a tough experience and will try to find ways to make it easier or take the edge off. Roguelites can ask a lot of the player and mistakes can be fatal. Currently, those players can just look at tips to dial it down. Upgrading health, paying for Reconstructors, opening secret chests, and more can all help players succeed.