Box art - Returnal

How to go back to the first level in Returnal

Upon finishing the third biome in Returnal , players are greeted with a surprise: a brand new loop to enjoy. The Echoing Ruins are new but, like the name implies, echo the first stage of the game, Overgrown Ruins. But dying in Echoing Ruins doesn’t send players back to the Overgrown Ruins. Here’s how to go back to the first stage in Returnal and change the Simulation Mode.

How to return to the Overgrown Ruins in Returnal

Is there a Returnal level select option?

To go back to the first level in Returnal and change the Simulation Mode, players need to go back to the ship, Helios. The ship is at the start of every loop. Press the Triangle button to crawl back in and there will be a door to the left of one of the computer terminals.

Is there a Returnal level select option?

Walk to it and it will open up and let players walk into a void-like room. Go up to the machine in that weird room and interact with it with the Triangle button.

How to go back to the first level in Returnal

After the short cutscene load screen plays, walk out of the room and exit the ship to start another run in the Overgrown Ruins. This is vital to get the game’s true ending as well as the other collectibles.

It is possible to go back to the Echoing Ruins using the same method and players can switch back and forth whenever they want. However, just note that changing to a new biome essentially starts that run over and acts if the player has died. No Obolites, weapons, parasites, or gear transfers over after going in the machine. Knowing this, it is best to switch biomes at the start of each run instead of waiting.

There’s also no level select in Returnal so players can’t just jump to any stage they want from any other stage. Portals to newer stages are permanently unlocked once the boss to the previous biome has been killed, but those have to be found first. Jumping to later stages isn’t always the best idea since underpowered players will be at a disadvantage for these harder stages. For more general tips, check out our tip guide every newer player should know.