Game Guides

Returnal: What Does the Reconstructor Do?

Reconstructors are expensive, but what do they actually do?

by Diego Perez


The Reconstructor is one of the strangest items in Returnal. The game doesn’t explain what it does, and it has a significant price tag if you want to use it. The device requires you to spend your hard-earned Ether without telling you much information up front, leaving many players wondering if the investment is worth it. The Reconstructor is actually one of the most useful things in the game despite its hefty cost, and it can save your run when you think all is lost. Here’s what the Reconstructor does in Returnal.

What Does the Reconstructor Do in Returnal?

The Reconstructor description reads “A xen0-tech devices for accurate reconstruction of complex entities per environment.” The device costs 6 Ether to activate. Most players are wary of spending all that Ether on a device with an incredibly vague description, but the Reconstructor’s purpose is actually quite simple. The Reconstructor allows you to change your respawn point. Normally, you return to the crash site at the very beginning of the game when you die in Returnal, but activating a Reconstructor will allow you to respawn at that location whenever you die next.


You’ll only get a single second chance when using a Reconstructor, but it’s still a very helpful device that can provide a safety net when you’re really far in the game. Think of them like really expensive checkpoints. It’s always a good idea to pay the price to activate a Reconstructor if you have a great build going and you really like the items you’ve obtained on your run. It would suck to take on a late-game boss at the end of a long run only to die at the last second and lose all that progress, and that’s where the Reconstuctors come in.

Ether is a rare commodity in Returnal, but Reconstructors are worth the price. Going all the way back to the crash site in the first biome of the game can be a real drag, especially if you die in a late-game biome like the Fractured Wastes. If you save as much as you can and don’t spend Ether to cleanse every single item you come across, though, you should be able to afford a Reconstructor when you really need one.

Returnal is available now on PlayStation 5.

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