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