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Returnal guide: Reconstructor

Spend ether, change where you respawn

The main character of Returnal stands in front of the Reconstructor Image: Housemarque/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

Returnal’s Reconstructor is just one of the odd objects and gadgets that the game doesn’t explain. The large device looks like something out of a Ridley Scott or Junji Ito horror story. However, once you know what it does, it can be one of your most valuable tools.

In this Returnal Reconstructor guide, we’ll explain how to use the Reconstructor. We’ll show you where to find it and explain why you want to use it to help you choose where you respawn when you die.

How to use the Reconstructor

Throughout Returnal, you will mainly see two types of doors: rectangular doors for the main path and triangular doors for optional rooms. Optional rooms can contain a number of different things from areas full of items to places that house special gadgets like the Reconstructor.

The Reconstructor is a large device that has an alien/humanoid-shape cut into it. The game doesn’t give you a clear idea of its purpose even after you use it. When you first encounter it, a description reads:

A xeno-device for accurate reconstruction of complex entities per environment.

Image: Housemarque/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon
Go in, come out again
Image: Housemarque/Sony Interactive Entertainment

For the price of several ether, you can enter the Reconstructor. After paying the fee, your character will climb into the large device and then promptly exit with no apparent change. It isn’t until you die that you’ll learn its function.

What does the Reconstructor do?

After using the Reconstructor, you will not return to the beginning of the game when you die. Instead, you will return to where you last used a Reconstructor. You will lose any malfunctions or parasites you had when you first used it, but you will return to that biome rather than the crash site you normally start from.

The Reconstructor is a great gadget to use if you’ve made it far into a new biome for the first time and you don’t want to restart from the beginning if you die. You will respawn with full health, so using this machine is a good way to continue a cycle mid-run.

Be aware that the Reconstructor is a single-use item. If you die after respawning at the Reconstructor, will restart your cycle. So only use the Reconstructor if you really want to continue a run from further in, rather than from the beginning.