Although dying is a big part of Returnal’s gameplay loop, players will want to know how to heal so they can get the most out of each run. There are only a few options to restore health in Returnal, and most of them are randomized. However, there are ways to increase Selene’s max health, which can help players keep going longer.
How to heal in Returnal
There are two ways to heal in Returnal: Silphium and Inert Reclaimers.
Silphium has a chance to spawn at random(ish) in any room and comes in three varieties:
- Small Silphium
- Large Silphium
As players can probably imagine, these pickups heal for a small, medium, and a large amount of health, respectively.
There is also Malignant Silphium which works the same way as the regular variety, but can inflict a Malfunction if used. These can be cleansed with Ether, but it’s usually best to avoid them altogether.
Players won’t start seeing Inert Reclaimers until around the halfway point in the game. Once they reach the Echoing Ruins, these will start popping up, primarily in Side Paths. If Selene activates one, it’ll restore a decent amount of health and has a chance to raise suit integrity. However, players should be wary. These machines also have a chance to spawn enemies (typically 2-3 Lamiadons).
How to increase max health in Returnal
Increasing max health is similar in concept to healing. Raising suit integrity (what Returnal calls the life bar), can be done in three different ways: Resin, Inert Reclaimers, and Parasites.
Players will notice a three-bar gauge to the left of the life bar) by filling this, Selene’s max HP will increase.
Resin comes in two varieties:
- Silphium Resin (1 bar)
- Large Resin (2 bars)
Resin also has a diseased variety called Spoiled Resin. Similarly to Malignant Silphium, Spoiled Resin has a chance to cause a Malfunction when picked up. It can be cleansed with Ether, but again, it’s best just to avoid it.
In addition to healing, Inert Reclaimers have a chance to improve Selene’s max HP. However, since enemies have a chance to spawn, it’s a gamble when players use them.
There is a type of Parasite that drastically increases suit integrity. As with all Parasites, there’s a catch. However, unlike with most Parasites, the drawbacks are usually worth picking this one up. This Parasite spawns at random, so it’s just the luck of the draw whether a player will get one or not. Its negative effect might be randomized, but we usually encounter it with something like, “Upcoming Malfunctions have more severe effects.” This means picking it up will have no negative consequences as long as the player avoids Malfunctions.