As you move through the biomes of Returnal, you can find different artefacts that can give you different benefits.
In Returnal, if you lose in a certain biome, you have to start over at the ship that fell. Like other Roguelite games, you’ll lose most of your progress and money. You don’t lose everything, though, because you can unlock different artefacts as you go.
You can find these artefacts in Containers or Fabricators. They are added to your general pool. You have to choose between different objects, and it’s best to know which ones will help you the most based on how you play, because they can make or break your run.
Progenitor Egg / Pulsating Mass
When you connect or remove a Parasite, the Progenitor Egg and Pulsating Mass are special artefacts that help you keep your integrity. Parasites are quite dangerous in the game because they can be both good and bad. These artefacts give you more of an edge when using Parasites, especially the Pulsating Mass, which raises your maximum integrity.
You can also combine these with the Murmuring Cocoon if you get both on the same run. This artefact makes the good things your Parasites do even better. You can use almost every Parasite in the game with this whole build.
After a couple of hours of playing Returnal, you’ll probably get the Atropian Sword. This is a permanent unlock that lets you break through walls and attack enemies when you’re close to them. Even though the sword is good on its own, this artefact makes it even better by making it do more damage.
Even if you might not use it much until one of the last biomes. Most enemies in early areas aren’t very tanky, so you should be able to kill them with a single physical attack. This can still be good for mini-bosses like Kerberonyx or Severed.
Overload is one of Returnal’s most interesting gameplay features because it happens when you run out of bullets. Overload is triggered by pressing the attack button when the bar is yellow, and causes a rapid reload. This artefact shortens the time it takes for your alt-fire to recharge after a successful overload.
It can also work well with Overload Bolts, another artefact that, when used correctly, shoots two bolts. Since these artefacts depend on the overload mechanic, you need to watch out for flaws because some of them hurt you when you use overload.
You can improve your maximum integrity in the game in a number of ways, and collecting three resins is one of them. Like other healing things, these resins are marked on the map with a green plus sign. Resin Enhancer reduces the number of resins you need to raise your maximum integrity by one.
Even if you have full health, you have to look at every healing item on the map if you have this artefact. Even though it might not seem like much, lowering the amount of resin you need can make a big difference in your maximum integrity after a few biomes.
The Music Box is a special item that you can’t get until you’ve done the house routine twice. When you beat Phrike for the first time, this path will become available to you. You can begin your run through Overgrown Ruins and return to your home once the boss has been vanquished.
When you get close to a secret, the Music Box plays a cute tune. This artefact is great for new players who don’t know what the game’s secret spots look like.
You need a lot of luck to find enough healing things to make up for the damage you take on your run. Most of the time, you won’t be able to heal, which will make things harder and might cause you to make mistakes. Phantom Limb helps with this problem in some ways.
In Returnal, every time you kill an enemy, this item has a 10% chance to restore your integrity. This isn’t a big chance, but since you have to fight a lot of enemies in Penalty Kick Online game, you’ll have to heal up a lot.
Again, Spaceship Model is a special artefact that can only be opened after the fourth house sequence. This sequence shows you some things from a different angle, and it will drop this artefact that makes your dash better by giving it a special punch.
Every time you dash through an enemy with this item, it will hurt them. This is an easy way to hurt someone, and it’s also very dangerous. You probably won’t lose a close-quarters fight with this one.
In Returnal, you’ll sometimes have to fight waves of more than ten enemies, which makes it hard not to take damage. After taking damage, you become immune to harm for a few seconds. Think about how nice it would be if an artefact could make this state last longer.
Damaged Robot does just that, and it can be all you need to win a fight on its own. Selene is strong enough to take multiple hits before going down, and it’s much better when you can do more damage to the enemies while you can’t take any.
Astronaut Figurine / Child’s Watch
Getting a second chance after losing is the best thing that can happen in Returnal. Both the Astronaut Figurine and the Child’s Watch can be unlocked through the first and fifth house sequences. When you die, they both bring you back to life.
You can’t have both of these items in your collection at the same time, which is too bad. If you already have one and find another, it will tell you that you already have something similar. Even so, other game elements, such as Reconstructors, can be stacked with these artefacts.