Box art - Returnal

How to perform a melee attack in Returnal

Players will notice early on that there’s no way to melee in Returnal, despite it being listed in the controls. One might worry that there’s something wrong with their Square button when Selene doesn’t do anything when it’s pressed. Fortunately, there is melee in Returnal, but players have to unlock it.

Is there a melee attack in Returnal?

Returnal Melee Attack Atropian Blade

One of the things that might feel like it’s missing when users start playing Returnal is a melee attack. When enemies get close, it only feels natural to want a strong melee move to take them out quickly. Players might even get curious enough to check options and notice that there is a melee attack mapped to the Square button.

Selene can perform a melee attack, but not at the beginning of the game. For the first 30 minutes or so, players are going to be stuck using their long-range weapons only. To unlock melee in Returnal, players have to find a particular item, one which has multiple uses.

In addition to destroying red barriers, the Atropian Blade equips Selene with a powerful melee move. Fortunately, it’s hard to miss since it’s required to progress further in the game. Players can find it in front of the Crimson Gateway. Of course, the room pops up randomly, but keep an eye out for a blue door with a semi-circle above it to find it.

Once the melee attack is unlocked, it can be performed by pressing Square. It’s extremely powerful and excels at taking out enemies at short-range. It’s good to get in some practice with it early on in the game, too, as certain enemies are protected by red barriers that players must break with the Atropian Blade.

There are also some Artifacts that increase the power of a melee move. Keep an eye out at Fabricators to purchase these.