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Returnal cheats and how to use developer debug cheat codes

Returnal
(Image credit: Housemarque)

Returnal cheats aren't easy to do - what about the game is? - but they can be worth setting up if you're really struggling with Housemarque's rich and robust roguelike. By setting up the right codes players can effectively move around the map, create weapons and generally give themselves a big boost when tackling the terrors of Atropos. This isn't technically supposed to be in the game, but players have found out about the hidden developer debug options that wouldn't normally be an option.

However, there's a couple of catches - firstly, you'll need a USB keyboard you can plug into your PS5. Secondly, and more problematically, after the 1.3.4 update for Returnal, these keyboard cheats have been removed altogether! However, if you play an unpatched version of the game, this should still be a viable way to get around the worst threats. If you can set it up, these are how you can activate the Returnal cheats.

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How to use Returnal cheats

Returnal cheats

(Image credit: Housemarque)

To access Returnal cheats, you first need to connect a keyboard to your PS5 via USB. Once your console recognises this new input, you can they use various combinations of buttons in-game for different debug actions. The following Returnal cheats can be entered on your keyboard:

Hold Shift, Control, & Alt, then press a number from 1 to 0
This will drop different weapons at your current weapon proficiency level.

Hold Shift & Control, then press 4
This will respawn you at the ship at the start of biome 1, maintaining your current health, items, adrenaline and weapon proficiency levels.

Hold Shift & Control, then press 8
This will respawn you at the start of biome 3, maintaining your current health, items, adrenaline and weapon proficiency levels.

When holding Shift & Control, do not press 3 or 7 as it will crash your game
The other numbers do nothing when holding Shift & Control.

Returnal cheats

(Image credit: Housemarque)

You can use these Returnal cheats, chiefly the ship respawn in biome 1, to keep repeating the loop from the start of the game to the shop while upgrading your weapon of choice and stocking up on the items you need, until you feel ready to head out on your run.

Important warning: Don't use the ship respawn cheat after biome 3 or during biome 4 unless you've already beaten the game, otherwise you'll find yourself stranded in biome 1 with no way to get back to the previous biome you were in.

Iain Wilson
Guides Editor

Iain originally joined Future in 2012 to write guides for CVG, PSM3, and Xbox World, before moving on to join GamesRadar in 2013 as Guides Editor. His words have also appeared in OPM, OXM, PC Gamer, GamesMaster, and SFX. He is better known to many as ‘Mr Trophy’, due to his slightly unhealthy obsession with amassing intangible PlayStation silverware, and he now has over 475 Platinum pots weighing down the shelves of his virtual award cabinet. He does not care for Xbox Achievements.