Returnal: What Is Adrenaline?

As you play Returnal, you’ll constantly be told about Adrenaline. You’ll reach new levels and have it reset all in the space of a few seconds. However, it isn’t instantly clear what Adrenaline actually is, or how you can use it to your advantage.

Returnal is an incredibly chaotic Roguelike experience, so it can be hard to understand everything that is happening on screen. Hopefully, this short primer on Adrenaline will help to clear up a little bit of that chaos for you.

What Is Adrenaline In Returnal?

Adrenaline is a system that rewards you for killing enemies without taking damage. There are five Adrenaline levels in total. Each level grants you a different bonus.

How To Level Up Adrenaline In Returnal

Each time you kill three enemies, your Adrenaline level will increase by one. This means that you need to kill 15 enemies to reach the highest level of Adrenaline. These don’t need to be within a certain amount of time, so there’s no rush.

However, your Adrenaline level resets back to zero if you take any damage. This includes damage from every source, including enemy attacks, environmental damage, and falling off the map.

Each time you level up your Adrenaline, a message will pop up on the screen to let you know.

What Are The Adrenaline Bonuses In Returnal?

Each level of Adrenaline gives you a buff that helps you survive. Here are the buffs that you get for each Adrenaline level:

  • Adrenaline Level 1: The Overload marked zone is bigger.
  • Adrenaline Level 2: Your scan lets you see further.
  • Adrenaline Level 3: Decreases your melee cooldown.
  • Adrenaline Level 4: You gain weapon proficiency 50% faster.
  • Adrenaline Level 5: You earn 50% more Obolites.

You can see little icons representing your current Adrenaline bonuses at the bottom of the screen.

How To Keep Your Adrenaline High In Returnal

Dashing is the best way to ensure that your Adrenaline level doesn’t get reset. Whilst dashing, you don’t take any damage from enemy attacks. Likewise, dashing in mid-air can help you reach the other side of potentially harmful gaps.

No matter how you are about to take damage, dashing away should usually help keep your Adrenaline high.

If it does drop back to zero, be on the lookout for an Apex Sphere. This is a consumable that will set Selene’s Adrenaline level straight back up to five. This unlocks all of the bonuses instantly, putting you back on your feet and ready to fight.

Next: 10 Best Roguelike Games, According To Metacritic

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