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Returnal Overload Mechanic Explained: What It Does, How It Works


Returnal Overload Mechanic Explained: What It Does, How It Works

Developed by Housemarque and Sony, Returnal isn’t exactly the kind of game you’d expect from the studio that made Nex Machina and Resogun, twin stick shooters that made their debut on the PS4. That isn’t a bad thing, though, as Returnal as launched to great reception and critical acclaim, and has proven to be a pretty fun roguelite shooter with in-depth combat mechanics. Here’s how the overload mechanic works in Returnal.

Returnal Overload Mechanic Explained

There’s no proper ammo system in Returnal, but there are repercussions for firing your weapon without a care in the world. When firing, there will be a small white bar that pops up right below your reticle. It depletes as you shoot, and once it’s completely depleted, your weapon will overload and you’ll be unable to use it for a very short period of time.

However, there is a way to bypass that cooldown. Once a weapon is overloaded, you’ll see a bar that starts charging up in the middle of your screen. In the middle of that bar is a small colored area, and if you press the R2 button as the overload bar fills up and touches that middle area, the weapon will be reloaded immediately and you can start using it again.

It’s worth noting that all of the weapons in Returnal have different overload cooldowns and charge spots, so memorizing the timing can be tricky. However, mastering this mechanic is key to being able to fire your weapon more frequently and take out your enemies faster.

Enhanced Overload

There is a way to make the overload mechanic a little more forgiving, and that’s by making use of the Adrenaline system. We’ve got a guide explaining Adrenaline here, but to give you a quick rundown, you gain an Adrenaline level for every three enemies you kill.

Unlocking the first Adrenaline level will give you the Enhanced Overload buff, which makes it much easier to hit the charge spot when your weapon is cooling down. Your Adrenaline levels will get reset when you get hit by an enemy, though, so don’t rely on this too much.

That’s all you need to know about how the overload mechanic works in Returnal. Be sure to check our guide wiki for more tips and information on the game.

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