Box art - Returnal

Returnal: How to get Ether

Returnal can be a challenging game, but items like Ether can help you get an edge on opponents. Ether is one of the game’s only currencies, and not only is it used to buy new buffs, it’s also the only way to unlock the valuable Reconstructor. Fortunately, knowing how to get Ether is as simple as following specific icons on the minimap.

How to get Ether in Returnal

How to get Ether in Returnal

Ether in Returnal is found as a random drop throughout each area. Since the game uses procedural generation, there are no guaranteed spawn locations. As such, the best way to get Ether is to thoroughly explore each environment. Alternatively, you can get Ether quickly by completing Daily Challenges.

Luckily, you shouldn’t have to look too hard to find it. Each Ether location will be highlighted on the minimap as soon as the environment is loaded. All you need to do is look for the small pink icon. Once you’re in the vicinity, the Ether should stand out thanks to its purple hue and blue glow. Get close to it, then press the Triangle button on the DualSense controller to pick it up.

Returnal - Ether minimap icon

Otherwise, you can get Ether quickly through daily challenges. Simulation challenges, when completed, offer 5 Ether per run. To start challenges, simply look for the console within Helios.

To get the most out of Returnal, you’ll want to acquire as much Ether as possible. Why? Because it’s one of the most important currencies in the entire game. Either is the only material you can use to activate a Reconstructor, which allows Selene to respawn after dying and keep her current loadout. This is especially helpful when clearing out biomes and building up toward a boss battle.

Ether is also what you need to activate Cthonos, which can provide non-permanent buff for individual runs. Beyond that, it can cleanse Malignancy from certain items, which is important when you come across a Malignant Chest. Finally, you can exchange Ether for Obolites, which are used to craft temporary upgrades and increase your maximum health.