returnal weapon alt-fire modes

Returnal: How to Use Weapon Alt-Fire Modes

Each weapon you have at your disposal in Returnal has a standard fire mode which can be fired with a press of R2, alongside an alternate fire mode. These alternate fire modes drastically change how the weapon… well, fires. To give you a helping hand, we’ve run through how to use weapon alt-fire modes in Returnal, so you can decimate any alien enemies that get in your way on your journey across Atropos.

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How to Use Weapon Alt-Fire Modes in Returnal

You won’t be able to use alt-fire modes for weapons until you’ve got the Atropian Weapon Charger in the Overgrown Ruins. This is the first of Returnal’s biomes, though, so you won’t have to wait long to get it.

Once you’ve got this, simply press down the L2 trigger all the way to use a weapon’s alt-fire mode. This may sound a little confusing as you’re also using L2 to aim-down sights, but this is where the PS5 DualSense controller’s adaptive triggers come into their own.

Aiming down sights requires you to only hold the trigger down halfway, you’ll feel a nice bit of resistance once you’ve reached this point. By pushing past this resistance and pressing the trigger all the way in, you’ll automatically fire your weapon’s alt-fire mode. Keep in mind you can’t constantly use this, and the DualSense’s haptics will alert you when it’s ready to use again. It’s a very distinct and unique buzz.

We’d advise keeping your alt-fire mode in reserve for when you come across a particularly tricky skirmish. Using it unnecessarily to wipe out easier enemies can leave you in a pinch later on, especially if you’re exploring a new biome and don’t know what lays in wait for Selene up ahead.

For more on Returnal, head over to our wiki or see more of our coverage on the game below.


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Chris Jecks
Chris Jecks has been covering the games industry for over eight years. He typically covers new releases, FIFA, Fortnite, any good shooters, and loves nothing more than a good Pro Clubs session with the lads. Chris has a History degree from the University of Central Lancashire. He spends his days eagerly awaiting the release of BioShock 4.