One of the first significant obstacles in Returnal is the red barrier. This energy field blocks Selene’s path, and she doesn’t have the means to destroy it when she first encounters it. Luckily, the tool needed to get through the red barrier is relatively close.
How to break the red barrier in Returnal
Shortly after the game begins, players will encounter a red energy barrier blocking their way. They’ll need to acquire a tool that can destroy the red barrier, the Atropian Blade. It’s not too far away from the red barrier, but the rooms leading to it will be a lot tougher than what players have faced so far.
When players first see the red barrier, it’ll be at a fork. To continue progressing, they’ll need to proceed through the door that isn’t blocked. For us, this led to a large room containing several enemies. There may be a Main Quest Door in red on the minimap along with a regular blue Main Door. Ignore the red one for now and head through the blue one.
Players will need to continue progressing through blue Main Doors until they reach a room that goes into lockdown. This area will contain several Kerberons and a Kerberonyx. This is a tough fight at this point in the game, but it’s not overwhelming. Once all enemies are defeated, the lockdown will lift.
In this room (or one close to it), there’ll be a blue Main Door with a semi-circle above it. This is the Crimson Gateway room, where players can find the tool needed to break through the red barrier in Returnal.
The door will lead into a chamber containing an inactive portal (which players will eventually travel through). While the portal is useless for now, Selene finds a broken robot holding the Atropian Blade. Now, all players have to do is return to the red barrier and cut through it with a single melee attack.