This page of the Returnal guide contains the most important information about character development. You'll find a description of Selene's basic stats and weapons and information if her development is completely reset once a new cycle starts.
Basic information about character development
Returnal doesn't have many strong RPG elements, but still, the main character's stats and that of weapons can increase successively. This can allow us to attack enemies more effectively and to defend ourselves against stronger monsters.
Most of the developed statistics are not transferred to the next cycles. This means that if we start a new cycle after Selene's death or after turning off the game, we will be forced to start the development from the beginning.
We can significantly improve our progress by exploring the surroundings - we should not limit ourselves to killing monsters and just pushing forward. Thanks to examining locations, we'll be able to find items and devices that will make our character stronger and will enable purchasing buffs and items that are helpful in increasing statistics.
In Returnal, there are no fully-fledged builds, although we can adapt our play style to some extent. This is done primarily through weapon selection - some weapons reward aggressive clashes at short range, other guarded attacks from a long distance. Your play style will also be affected by buffs applied to armor, any debuffs and malfunctions of it.
The current main statistics of Selene can be checked in the Status window in the pause menu. The most important of them are:
- Integrity - basically the length of the health bar. We always start with 100% and, as a result of our actions, the bar can be permanently or temporarily lengthened and shortened (e.g. as a result of receiving a debuff).
- Proficiency - basically experience level. This parameter is associated with the use of weapons, which is discussed in the following subsection.
- Adrenaline - it can be considered as a kind of multiplier and a guarantee of various passive bonuses. We described it in more detail on a separate page of the guide: Adrenaline.
- Weapon damage - this parameter does not contain any information about the current damage value. It concerns the percentage damage bonus. The actual damage varies depending on the type of weapon used and its level.
- Protection - here we are also dealing with a percentage that determines the buff or debuff of our current defense.
- Proficiency rate - its default value is 100%. Higher rate (e.g. 150%) can allow us to advance faster to the next levels of proficiency and a lower one (e.g. 80%) will slow down this process.
- Repair efficiency - this factor indicates whether there are any bonuses to the efficiency of healing Selene using various medications available in the game. We should definitely strive for plus percentages, so that we recover more health points with a single use of, for example, Silphium. This may come in handy during boss fights.
- Alt-Fire Cooldown - this parameter indicates whether there are any deviations from the default cooldown of an alternative weapon attack. We should look for opportunities to shorten the wait if we use weapons with a very useful additional attack.
- Malfunctions- this is an optional parameter that can appear if we fall victim to some "curse". The malfunctions may vary - for example, they can weaken Selene or make cooldown longer. We described them in more detail in the FAQ section: Malfunctions - how to fix?.
- Parasites - these statistics are not available for viewing at all times. They concern only those parasites that we voluntarily attach to Selene's spacesuit. We can learn about their buffs and debuffs. We described parasites in detail on a separate FAQ page: Parasites - what are they?.
The permanent increase of most stats from the above list can be achieved thanks to careful exploration of the area. We can find, receive for free or buy artefacts and stat augments. Each found object offers one stat bonus.
Of course, planning Selene's development in detail is not possible due to the random locations of items improving her parameters and, in addition, not every one of them can be actually picked up e.g. due to insufficient supply of Obolite.
Most of the statistics in this table may be reduced as a result of:
- Receiving armor malfunctions - the most common reason for this phenomenon is an interaction with a malignant object.
- Receiving debuffs - the most common reason for this phenomenon is the attachment of a parasite to your armor.
Malfunctions and debuffs don't have to stay with us forever. We can get rid of malfunctions, for example, by completing the challenges associated with them. Debuffs can be removed by weeding out unwanted parasites.
Each firearm in the game is described by three properties:
- Alt-Fire - it is imposed and cannot be changed. If we don't like a particular attack, then we need to look for a similar weapon with another alt-fire.
- Statistics - these are three bars that deal bonus damage, overheat limit and quick-fire. They affect, of course, weapon efficiency in dealing with enemies.
- Traits - they affect the way the weapon works and its capabilities. Traits are developed and unlocked as you continue to use the weapon. The important information is that traits are permanently saved and once you find yourself in the next cycles, any developed weapons you find can already have some unlocked features.
The hitting power of a weapon is affected by its level. We should change weapons to new ones from the higher levels on a regular basis.
Weapon level is linked to Selene's proficiency level. The point here is that proficiency level affects the minimum level of weapons found in the game world. For example, if Selene has advanced to Level 10 of proficiency, then from now on we will find new weapons from Level 10 and higher. Developing proficiency becomes important, because otherwise you might come upon random weapons that are insufficient to deal with the enemies on your way.