Returnal has many Metroid-like elements so it’s easy to wonder if players can walk on lava. There seem to be upgrades across large fields of lava as well as big lakes of cold water, after all. Here’s how to walk on lava in Returnal.
How to get the Promethean Insulators upgrade in Returnal
To get the ability to walk on lava in Returnal, players first have to make it to the game’s fifth biome, which is called Fractured Wastes. It is the snowy level. Once there, there will be a few rooms in the central hub with the big spinning drain. And while the game is procedurally compiled, there should always be one side room in that big room. These are the doors with the dark blue triangles on the map.
It will require an Atropian key, too, so be sure to have one or search the level for one.
Walk inside that room and it should take away Selene’s ability to dash. There should also be a few ledges and a grapple point.
Carefully jump to those ledges and grapple to the ledge in question.
The Promethean Insulators will be on the other side of that gap on a small pedestal. This will allow Selene to traverse hazardous areas like lava or extremely cold water.
This is technically a missable upgrade since the game does not require this item to see even its Act 3 ending. However, it does make the game easier since it opens up more options to the player. One of the Sunface Fragments (the one in Echoing Ruins) is on the other side of lava, but crafty players can just take a ton of damage and bypass the need for the Promethean Insulators. The Promethean Insulators are also one of the game’s few persistent upgrades, meaning it will transfer between runs.