This page of the Returnal guide explains whether quitting the game entails a loss of progress within a given cycle and whether there is an option to save the game. In addition, we have included hints on how to exit the game safely, assuming that we will want to resume the Returnal playthrough in the same place.
Saving the game - is it possible?
In Returnal it's not possible to save the game. We will not find such a command in the pause menu at all.
By default, the game does not create any checkpoints at which we could be resurrected after death. The death of Selene marks the restart of the cycle, that is, starting the entire struggle from the very beginning, near the wrecked ship in Overgrown Ruins, the first biome.
Interestingly, we can force a restart of the cycle before we die. This can be a useful feature if Selene is on the verge of death or, for example, if we do not like the setting of the rooms leading to the mission objective or the next biome.
As an exception, we are allowed to save our progress in a device called Reconstructor - an example of this machine is shown in the picture above.
The Reconstructor allows Selene to be resurrected in case she dies, but it has two significant limitations:
- We need to spend Ether (a rare resource) to record our progress.
- Each Reconstructor will work only once.
Loss of progress - how to prevent it?
Unfortunately, Returnal doesn't allow you to end the session by returning to the main menu. If we decide to close the game, then once we start it again, we will find ourselves back at the wrecked ship of the protagonist. We will not be returned to the place where we ended the playthrough, although we will keep all the inventory items that we've acquired so far, i.e. things that are transferred between cycles.
If we want to move away from the console and not lose progress from a given cycle, then we can suspend the game (Suspend option). To do this, we need to return to the PS5 main menu and turn on the rest mode of the console. After restarting the console, we can return to the game and resume the playthrough in the same place where we finished it.
Additional note - the option to suspend the game will not work if we turn off the console on our own or if, for example, there is a power outage or the console freezes after an error occurs. In such situations, we will be forced to start a new cycle.