Does Returnal have difficulty settings? How to make the game easier?

Does Returnal have difficulty settings? How to make the game easier?

Returnal is a third-person survival shooter roguelike title developed by Housemarque and is currently available on PlayStation and Windows. The game centers on astronaut Selene Vassos, who visits the planet Atropos in quest of the enigmatic “White Shadow” signal and ends up caught in a temporal loop. 

Apart from its powerful narrative and unique gameplay mechanics, the game is also famous for being painfully hard and not allowing the players to adjust the difficulty. 

Returnal does not have an easy mode or difficulty settings. Initially, casual gamers may find the difficulty of the game frustrating. 

In an interview with Push Square, Mikael Haveri, Marketing director of Returnal, explained why they did not add difficulty settings to the game. 

He revealed that the entire gameplay concept of Returnal incorporates difficulty control. Players may not be able to adjust the difficulty using sliders, but how they approach each level—aggressively or cautiously—can affect their odds of surviving that level. 

This doesn’t mean that the game will automatically lower the difficulty if you die too much. However, the roguelike nature of the game allows players to carry over their experience, collected items, and abilities after each death, allowing them to get strong enough over a period to tackle the difficult part. 

How to make Returnal easier? 

Returnal can be made easier by utilizing the following tips and tricks:  

Does Returnal have difficulty settings? How to make the game easier?
Returnal | Source: PlayStation

I. Crank Up the Aim Assist 

Aim assist helps gamers playing on a console to aim better and faster at their enemies. Commonly, it is set at a lower strength by default. To increase it, Go to the game’s settings and head to the gameplay tab. Here turn the aim assist to ‘High.’ 

II. Grind the Game 

Returnal is undoubtedly a difficult game, so do not try to rush your way through the game. The Roguelike nature of the game allows you to gain new abilities and grind for weapons and upgrades to increase your chances of surviving a level. So, the more you play, the stronger you become. 

Is Returnal harder than Dark Souls? 

Does Returnal have difficulty settings? How to make the game easier?
Returnal | Source: PlayStation

Returnal can be as difficult as Dark Souls because of its hard-to-master core mechanics and the intricacies of combat. 

Returnal is surely a skill-based game, but its roguelike nature makes it more of a grind. Recently, it has become more of a meme to compare every difficult game to the Dark Souls; be it Cuphead, Nioh, or Returnal itself. 

However, all of these games are unique and have certain specific gameplay mechanics. Mastering these mechanics through continuous practice is the key to beating such games. 

How long it takes to beat Returnal? 

It takes 55 hours to complete 100% of Returnal, according to the website HowLongToBeat.

However, if you are only interested in the game’s story, it will take you around 20 hours to complete the entire main storyline. Additionally, finishing every side quest in the game will cost you extra 10 hours.  

About Returnal

Returnal is a third-person shooter roguelike video game developed by Housemarque and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. It was released for the PlayStation 5 on April 30, 2021.

The game follows Selene Vassos, an astronaut who lands on the planet Atropos in search of the mysterious “White Shadow” signal and finds herself trapped in a time loop.