Returnal Artifacts List: Best Artifacts For Surviving Atropos
Finding the best Artifacts can mean the difference between success and failure in Returnal.
Returnal is one of the hardest PS5 games to date, but it can be made much more manageable with Artifacts. As you journey across the alien world of Atropos, you'll come across these all-important buffs that stay with you for the duration of your current run, or until used, if it's a single-use Artifact--whichever comes first. But given the game's looping roguelite nature, it can be hard to know everything that awaits you as possible loot. Here's a complete list of all Returnal Artifacts, as well as what we think are the best ones.
Returnal Artifacts list
There are 31 total Artifacts in Returnal and they all prove to be only positive additions to your fight against the creatures on Atropos. Artifacts are buffs without caveats. Here's all of them:
|Astronaut Figurine||Grants one resurrection (exactly where you died)||Overgrown Ruins|
|Blade Balancer||Buffs melee damage||All|
|Blown Nightlight||Buffs weapon damage by 10% when at low health||Overgrown Ruins|
|Broken Calibrator||Weapon proficiency (small)|
|Damaged Robot||Extends invulnerability after getting hit|
|Energy Manipulator||Briefly buffs protection by 20% after using a consumable|
|Enhanced Calibrator||Weapon proficiency (largest)|
|Fractal Nail||Buffs weapon damage while Malfunctions are active||All|
|Golden Coil||Buffs weapon damage by 5% for every 200 Obolites on -hand (up to 20%)||All|
|Modular Calibrator||Weapon proficiency (varying)||All|
|Murmuring Cocoon||Improves all Parasites||All|
|Music Box||Plays a sound when near secret locations||All|
|Obolite Stabilizer||Dropped Obolites last three seconds longer||All|
|Phantom Limb||10% chance to repair Integrity (health) after each kill|
|Pristine Calibrator||Weapon proficiency (large)|
|Progenitor Egg||Attaching or detaching Parasites repairs Integrity|
|Pulsating Mass||Attaching or detaching Parasites improves max Integrity|
|Recharging Overload||Successful overloads reduce alt-fire cooldown by three seconds|
|Recharging Response||Getting hit reduces alt-fire cooldown by five seconds|
|Resin Enhancer||Lowers required Resins to improve Integrity|
|Resinous Shield||Picking up Resin grants shields against next hit|
|Spaceship Model||Improves dash|
|Two-Way Radio||Grants up to 10% protection based on the number of Ether held|
|Unfed Pod||Buffs stagger power by 20% for each attached Parasite|
|Visceral Knot||Gives 35% chance for enemies to explode upon death|
|Worn Calibrator||Weapon proficiency (medium)|
|Wound Seekers||Buffs damage to low-health enemies by 30%||All|
|Xeno-Tech Sight||Slows time when aiming with alt-fire||All|
You can theoretically beat Returnal without picking up any Artifacts other than those you find in the story, but it's going to be much harder without them. This makes them critical to your mission in Returnal, and for that reason, we recommend exploring an area to its fullest unless you're really hurting or worried you're not well-equipped for what lies ahead.
Artifacts won't often be on your critical path, so they take some digging. While you can buy some using Obolites when you come upon the in-game "stores," they remain quite rare. Your best bet will always be to venture into rooms decorated on the mini-map with blue upside-down Vs as opposed to the rectangular rooms. The former represents a side area, while the latter represents something closer to a critical path in the ever-shifting alien world of Atropos.
As for the best Artifacts, my absolute favorite is the first one in the game: the Astronaut figurine. It gives you a one-off respawn use per run, which helped me not only defeat the first boss on my first try, but it eventually made the difference when I was stuck for days on the second boss.
Another great Returnal Artifact is Murmuring Cocoon, which buffs Parasites. I've found Parasites more often than not prove their usefulness even though some of them have upsides and downsides. Murmuring Cocoon enhances those upsides, so it's a great addition.
Visceral Knot is also fantastic. Having roughly every third enemy explode upon death means giving your arsenal a passive crowd control mechanic that comes in clutch in the game's more lively areas. It's possible to even set off a chain reaction and have a little fireworks display using the bodies of the bioluminescent creatures.
There's no limit to how many Artifacts you can carry in a single run, so you'd do well to grab all you can. While some can be purchased, shop inventory is as randomized as the world itself, so your best bet is always going to be to explore every crevasse and corner--and hope that you've amassed enough strength and protection by the time you face off against each of the game's bosses. For more tips on Housemarque's brutal shooter, try our Returnal beginner's guide.
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