Game Guides

Returnal: How Many Biomes Are There?

Atropos is a strange and varied place.

by Diego Perez


How many biomes are in Returnal? The game’s level layouts shuffle and change each time you die, but the biomes themselves remain the same. You’ll always go through the same locales in the same order, facing the enemies and obstacles that are native to each biome. The alien planet you’re stuck on has lush forests, arid deserts, and frozen wastes just waiting to be explored, each area housing new upgrades and equipment to help you get further each time. Here’s how many biomes are in Returnal.

How Many Biomes Are in Returnal?

There are 6 biomes in Returnal, and each of them is listed below.

  • Overgrown Ruins
  • Crimson Wastes
  • Derelict Citadel
  • Echoing Ruins
  • Fractured Wastes
  • Abyssal Scar


Each biome follows the same basic structure. You explore the area, find some keys or other required items so you can open the boss door, and then defeat the biome’s boss to unlock access to the next zone. When you die, you’ll always start back at the Helios crash site in the Overgrown Ruins. That is until you make it to Echoing Ruins, which become the new starting point after you make enough progress in the game’s story.

Each biome usually contains some sort of permanent upgrade or new equipment that will make subsequent runs much easier. You get a grappling hook in the Crimson Wastes, for example, and you gain the ability to swim and collect underwater items in the fifth biome.

Of course, just fighting your way through all six biomes and beating the final boss isn’t enough to be done with Returnal. There’s a secret true ending that you’ll want to see if you care at all about the story in Returnal, and you’ll have to trek through all six biomes one last time in order to unlock it.

Returnal is available now on PlayStation 5.

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