Returnal is a third-person action game with both rogue-lite and Metroidvania elements. The game is challenging, and seeing the credits roll will be quite difficult for many players. However, the Platinum will cost you more than double the time it takes to beat the game to farm collectables, and that’s the true test of willpower.

The game is split into two parts: Act 1 (Worlds 1-3) & Act 2 (Worlds 4-6), and you’ll start with nothing but a pistol at the start of each of those acts. Those are the only hard checkpoints in the game, but you also don’t have to beat any boss again after you’ve beat it once before.

If you’re like to know if the game is any good, read our Returnal review.

Trophy Difficulty: 8/10 (it may be closer to a 7 for good players or a 10 for those who really struggle to finish the game once.)

  • Estimated Time To Platinum: 40-60 hours

  • The Number of Missable Trophies: There are no missable trophies

STEP 1: Beat the game for the first time (Act 1 & Act 2) and get the hang of all of the mechanics in Returnal, as well as the six biomes.

If you’re reading this before starting Returnal, make sure you can find Scout Log 09 in your first run before picking up the Atropian Blade. Doing so will drastically decrease the grinding necessary to find it later on.

STEP 2: Collect all the Sunface Fragments and complete the game again to finish Act 3.

For more on collecting the Sunface Fragments after you’ve beaten Act 2, check out this guide.

STEP 3: Begin the tedious journey to find and collect all the Scout Logs and Xenoglyph’s needed to finish the Survey trophies related to each biome.

All six biomes in Returnal have a Survey trophy attached to them, and you can track your progress towards its completion by checking the PS5 Activity Cards.

Each survey requires you to do the following:

  • Find all the Scout Logs in the level (there’s nearly ten in each level)

  • Scan all of the Xenoglyh Ciphers (these are red alien graffiti you’ll see on walls)

  • Complete the Xeno-Archive room (there’s one of these in each level. To fully complete it, you may require a gadget you get later in the game)

  • Find a secret area (yellow orbs show a location you can drop down into)

  • Survive the Containment Room (there’s one Containment Room in each level, and you’ll spot them easily with their bright yellow doors. They’re a challenge room with three waves of increasing difficulty in enemies)

Some extra tips for hunting the Scout Logs and Xenoglyh Ciphers:

  • Pay attention to the mini-map as you run levels for the collectables. The Scout Logs appear as a radio-wave symbol, and the Xenoglyh Ciphers will be the blue triangles (although the blue triangles can also be other things.) If you see neither, move into the next room.

  • Besides Biome 5, inside the locked door in the HUB area, I didn’t find any Ciphers or Scout Logs behind locked doors.

  • There are no Scout Logs or Xenoglyh Ciphers behind the yellow areas; you can slash away with the upgraded melee attack.

  • You will never find more than one Xenoglyh Cipher in a room.

  • If you need help with what guns are best to use in the game, check out this guide.

Glitched Trophy Warning

There have been reports that all boss, act, survey and house sequence trophies have a chance to glitch, and the trophy won’t pop. To ensure you’re safe, have a backup of your save before completing Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, final house sequence and any of the surveys. You can re-fight any of the bosses, which means you can re-trigger those trophies.

Since launch, reports from players have also noted that the PS5 Activity Cards don’t record your progress correctly if you’re playing offline, which may correlate to the survey trophies not popping. So play online at all times.

PATCH 1.4.0

[Update 12/06/21]

The upcoming patch 1.4.0 will address several of the scout logs not spawning often, as well as the reports of glitched trophies. We will not have time to test the patch and confirm these details, but we hope they increase the grind and stop any glitch trophies.

Read more about the patch notes here.



Helios (Platinum)
Collect all trophies

Unlock all the other trophies in the game and you’ll earn the shiny Platinum for Returnal.

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Atropian Survival (Bronze)
Learn the basics of survival on Atropos

You’ll get this trophy after picking up the Atropian Blade, which is your first objective in the game.

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Past the Ruins (Gold)
Finish the Overgrown Ruins Survey

The hardest part of the Overgrown Ruins Survey is finding Scout Log 9. I spent hours running this level over until I found the room containing it.

The video below shows the exact room you’ll find the Scout Log inside. There’s no way to increase your chance of finding it, and it simply comes down to a grind.

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Ascending the Mountain (Gold)
Finish the Crimson Wastes Survey

For me, three Xenoglyh Ciphers gave me a hard time in the Crimson Wastes. All three of the rooms containing these Ciphers appeared in the second half of the biome as you’re ascending the tower. There are fewer random rooms to find in the open area of the desert.

The video below shows my final Cipher location.

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Through the Forgotten City (Gold)
Finish Derelict Citadel Survey

I chained together my runs of Crimson Wastes into Derelict Citadel and knocked off most of the Xenoglyh Ciphers I needed by the time I finished the Crimson Wastes Survey.

The final Xenoglyh Ciphers I needed I missed the first time I had entered this room as I couldn’t hear the usual Xenoglyh Cipher sound; since it’s in water, the glow they give off wasn’t as prominent either.

Check out the video below for that location.

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Echoes of the Past (Gold)
Finish the Echoing Ruins Survey

This was the first Survey trophy I achieved, and it was nearly all-natural.

Echoing Ruins has a specific middle-point, and it’s structured in a way that makes it feel less random than the other biomes. As such, I found everything I needed naturally and just needed to play through the Containment Area to grab the trophy.

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Frozen in Time (Gold)
Finish the Fractured Wastes Survey

Given the somewhat more structured nature of Fractured Wastes, I didn’t have as much trouble finding all the Scout Logs or Xenoglyh Ciphers in this biome. I had all but one of the Ciphers and Logs after running the level just two or three times. So I’m not sure if I got fortunate, or it’s just an easier level to find the collectables.

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Submerged in Memories (Gold)
Finish Abyssal Scar Survey

Like my thoughts on the last Xenoglyh Cipher I found in Derelict Citadel, finding the Ciphers underwater is harder than above. Luckily, I found most of them to be in your face for this level. The key places to check other than every blue triangle door is the area where you drop down after being in the shopping/safe room, as there are three different variations to this location, and one of them has a Cipher in it.

For me, the last Cipher was in a random room in the main path of the level that hadn’t spawned for me even after several runs. You can see that below in the video.

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A Shadow in the Fog (Bronze)
Defeat Phrike

The first boss in Returnal may be the hardest for many as you’ll have the least artifacts and weapon abilities unlocked. It’s also a straight-up duel that feels like a Souls boss.

Phrike has three stages, with the last being a more aggressive version of his second.

In phase one, Phrike shoots out orbs and waves at you. Either step around, over or dodge through them while continuing to shoot.

Phrike will initiate a wind-up attack in phase two before blinking in front of you to slash at you. Learning to spot this animation and then preparing to dash out of the way is key to beating Phrike.

To make this fight easier, either time it up with your first run through the house to get the Astronaut Figure or buy it from a vendor. It’ll return you to life once after you die. I also wouldn’t bring anything other than a health item if you have the choice.


Ascension (Bronze)
Defeat Ixion

Ixio will throw down more bullets and things for you to dodge, but he is slightly less aggressive than Phrike.

In its first phase, you need to dodge and dash through projectiles as you deal damage like the first boss fight.

After this, Ixion will initiate a bunch of dives from the sky. There’s no way to interrupt these attacks, so listen out for the direction Ixion is coming from and dodge out of the way.

In the third phase of the fight, Ixion will begin jumping towards you to attack, but it’s a lot slower than Phrike, and you’re giving much more time to get out of the way. Just beware of the energy ring; it sends out what it lands.

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Trial by Judgment (Bronze)
Defeat Nemesis

The Nemesis fight is a test of both patience, dodging and platforming. One big piece of advice is not to bring a shotgun into this fight. You’ll be at a massive distance from Nemesis for a lot of this fight and won’t be able to deal any damage if you do.

Nemesis will send out projectiles and laser beams as you dodge around them in the first phase of the fight. You have a lot less room to work with here than in other fights, so be careful and aim for the red glowing things on its chest.

After this, you’ll be transported into the sky for the second phase of the fight. Make your way over to wear Nemesis’ henchmen are looming, and Nemesis will appear again. This phase is no different than the first, just with Nemeesis’ henchmen at times sending a yellow beam attack down upon you that is easy to jump over.

The final phase is the hardest as you’re required to move from one floating platform to another while shooting Nemesis still. The key to this final part is to keep moving and shooting at the same time. Nemesis’ attacks can be easy enough to dodge from a distance, but when its henchmen send out their attacks grapple to another platform. It’s important to note that you’re invulnerable while grappling.

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Silence the Song (Bronze)
Defeat Hyperion

The Hyperion boss features a lot of glowing projectiles, but it doesn’t melee attack you. So this fight is primarily about being able to concentrate and push through the waves of bullets and objects on the screen — which is good practice for the final fight in the game.

In phase one, the boss stands at the back near its organ, sending waves of rings or orbs. Just keeping shooting and dodge left-to-right, back and forth.

In the second phase, Hyperion is doing basically the same attack pattern but from the middle of the room, which means you’re moving around Hyperion.

In the final phase, in case you haven’t guess, it’s just an insane amount of orbs and rings to try and dodge. For the most part, it’s the same as phase two, just with added attacks. The hardest to dodge are guided blue missiles, which you can lead into the ground by dodging at the very last moment, and a big X blue orb attack which is easier to dodge through and adjust your landing on the other side depending on what orb attack is following it. When Hyperion is nearly dead, it’ll back up to the organ again, so keep up the attack, but don’t go in for the kill as getting too close will trigger these pillar/root things to come from the ground.

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Inner Darkness (Bronze)
Defeat Ophion

In my opinion, the last boss in Returnal is the easiest fight in the game. What weapon you bring into this fight up to you, but since you’ll be at a distance and be constantly jumping around, anything with an AOE splash or a retarget ability is a good idea.

There are technically three phases to this fight like the others in the game, but there’s little variety. Each phase brings one more attack, but the boss never moves. You need to keep up the dance and keep shooting.

One thing remains the same throughout this fight: you need to shoot the orbs. To either side of Ophion will be a glowing big orb, and shooting it will reveal Ophion’s weak point. When the orb spawns back, shoot it again and so forth.

When you reach the last stage of the fight, it’s nearly impossible to dodge everything on the screen. So try and reach this stage without losing much health, or have not used all your health items. One super-helpful consumable I’ve found for this fight is the one that lets you freeze time for ten seconds. Use this in the final stage after hitting the white orb and go to town on the enemies weak points to quickly finish Ophion off.

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Failed Escape (Silver)
Finish Act 1

You’ll automatically unlock this trophy as part of the story.

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Last Drive (Silver)
Finish Act 2

You’ll automatically unlock this trophy as part of the story.

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White Shadow (Gold)
Finish Act 3

Although the title may lead you to think this is the ‘ending’ of the game, it’s actually the secret/final ending. You have to beat the game once and then find six Sunface Fragments before completing the final house sequence and beating the final boss one more time.

For help on all of that, check out this guide.

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Second Chance (Bronze)
Returned by an artifact

After finishing the first House sequence, you’ll pick up the Astronaute figure. When you die next, it’ll bring you back to life, earning this trophy.

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Cryptic Messages (Bronze)
Scan a Xenoglpyh

There’s two or three of these in each biome. Usually one at the start of the level, somewhere in the middle, and one in the Xeno-Archive room. You need to look at one, and you’ll likely unlock this in your first hour with the game.

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Cryptic Translations (Bronze)
Unlock all translation tiers of a Xenoglyph

You’ll likely unlock at least one of these playing through the game. If not, play the first level after beating the game and find the first Xenoglyph, you’ll have scanned enough of the glyph’s to decipher it by now.

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Surgical Precision (Bronze)
Perform 5 successful Overloads in a row

Overloading is the Returnals “perfect reload” system. When a weapon is depleted a bar will appear and if you press R2 as it passed the middle point you’ll successfully overload. Do this five times in a row and this trophy is yours.

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Adapting to Circumstance (Silver)
Achieve Weapon Proficiency level 30

In Act 1 (Worlds 1-3), you can only reach a max rank of fifteen, so this trophy can only be achieved in Act 2.

There should be more than enough enemies and weapon proficiency items to get you to this by exploring every area through Worlds 4-6. I had this trophy pop about halfway through World 6. I hadn’t bought any of the proficiency items either.

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In-Field Training (Bronze)
Complete a daily challenge in Simulation Mode

[Online trophy]

Inside Helios, Selene’s ship, you’ll find a computer screen that lets you initiate a daily challenge. They change every day. See it through to completion, be that dying quickly, or going for a high score, and you’ll earn this trophy.

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Hardened Shell (Bronze)
Achieve 200% Max Integrity

I got this trophy without trying and earned it on a perfect run through Act 1. You’ll most likely do the same as you look to finish the Survey trophies.

Suppose you need to chase this trophy. Try not to lose any health in a room as the health items then turn into silphium to upgrade your max health/integrity. Also, buy any integrity upgrade. You’re able to reach max integrity much faster.

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Risk Assessment (Bronze)
Finish Calculated Risk

You can track your progress towards this trophy on one of the PS5’s Activity Cards.

To complete Calculated Risk Assessment, you must:

  • Open 3 Malignant Containers

  • Pick up 3 Malignant Silphiums

  • Pick up 3 Malignant Resins

  • Pick up 1 Malignant Key

  • Pick up 3 Spoiled Resins

All of those are cumulative, not one run.

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Adrenaline Spike (Bronze)
Achieve maximum Adrenaline level

Each kill in the game earns you some point towards your adrenaline, with a maximum of rank five. Taking damage will reset your adrenaline to level zero. Get kills without taking damage to earn rank five adrenaline. This will likely be one of the first trophies you earn in the game.

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Irreversibly Contaminated (Bronze)
Have 5 Parasites simultaneously

Parasites are the purple items you can pick up and have big risk/reward factors. As such, you may find you don’t use many of them while playing the game normally.

However, to chase after this trophy, start a new run and pick up every parasite you find. On world 1/4, this is easier thanks to the egg type things you can break, which may contain parasites.

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Eternal Return (Bronze)
Die for the first time

Technically you could beat the game without ever dying, but it’s doubtful you would.

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Alternate Fates (Bronze)
Retrieve 10 Scout Logs

You need to collect over 60 for the Platinum. You’ll most likely collect 10 without going out of your way and earn this after a couple of hours with Returnal.

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Welcome Home (Bronze)
Complete the first House sequence

Although you could choose to ignore the house sequences in Returnal, it isn’t very likely you would, and this trophy will instead come to you naturally.

You’ll find the house on your first run through Overgrown Ruins. Enter it and complete the short house sequence to unlock this trophy.

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Sins of the Mother (Silver)
Complete all House sequences

The house will appear in World 1 & World 4. In those, 5/6 of the house sequences can be completed as you play through the game. Some of them can only be played in World 4. If you check the door to the house every time you come across it, which is at least once every run on Worlds 1 & 4, you’ll be on your way to earning this trophy.

When the house says it’s “gone dark” after doing 5/6 of the sequences, you need to finish the game and then begin your hunt for the Sunface Fragments.

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Visions of the Past (Silver)
Complete a Xeno-archive set

There’s one Xeno-archive set in each world, and they’re museum rooms with five-six holograms to activate.

You won’t complete all of these museum rooms each time you find one and will instead need to return later with need gadgets and abilities. However, the room in World 3 can be completed the first time you come across it and is likely when you’ll earn this trophy. You can’t miss this room either as it’s always across the first room across the big bridge right before the boss.


If I’m missing any information or helpful tips, please let me know in the comments section below.

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