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Returnal boss guide: How to beat Ixion

How to defeat the flying boss of the Crimson Wastes

The Ixion boss fight in Returnal Image: Housemarque/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

Returnal’s second boss, Ixion, is a flying creature that controls a circular battle arena in the Crimson Wastes. Defeating it requires avoiding its projectiles, dodging its area-filling attacks, and understanding what it does during all three phases of its fight.

In this Returnal boss guide, we’ll show you how to defeat Ixion. We’ll explain what moves it has and how to dodge them. We’ll also detail which attacks it uses in all three of its phases.

How to defeat Ixion

To find Ixion, follow your objective marker to a teleporter that helps you ascend the mountain. At the peak, continue to climb until you reach some cliffs on the outside of the mountain. Jump across the broken platforms until you find a circular arena. Drop down, and prepare to face off against Ixion.

This boss flies around the battle arena while shooting at you. In the second and third phases, it uses area-filling attacks to hit you. In the final phase, it attacks with melee strikes.

If you know what to expect, Ixion’s fight become easier. So let’s break it down, phase by phase.

Ixion phase one attacks

During the first phase, Ixion launches several types of attacks at you. Run around in a circular pattern and dodge when necessary to avoid getting hit.

These are the attacks you need to look out for in phase one:

  • Every time Ixion dodges, it shoots a burst of light blue energy bullets from its point of origin. They are mostly harmless, but if you forget they are there, you might run into them.
  • Ixion shoots a similar burst of light blue energy bullets at you like a shotgun blast.
  • The boss sometimes shoots a stream of blue bullets in a straight line.
  • At range, the boss shoots an expanding spiral of blue energy bullets at you.

Ixion phase two attacks

At the start of phase two, Ixion slams the center of the arena causing a circle of red flame that expands from its landing point. Ixion adds some new attacks while also combining its projectile attacks from phase one. For instance, the boss shoots both its shotgun and straight line pattern of blue bullets at the same time.

  • Ixion shoots a blue beam into the sky that causes blue waves of energy to emanate from its body. Jump over or dodge through these. While this attacks is happening, the boss also shoots blue bullets across the ground and a circular ball of blue bullets explode from its body.
  • When Ixion flies off screen, it’s preparing for a flying attack. Ixion comes flying in and sweeps across the full length of the battle arena, creating a parting wave of blue energy that bisects the whole area. Jump over or dodge through these. While the waves cut across the floor, Ixion shoots a spiral of blue bullets.
  • Ixion shoots a sweeping wave of blue bullets. These go back and forth a few times, so get ready to dodge more than once.
  • Ixion stays airborne outside the arena and shoots a massive blue beam that sweeps forward. At the same time, it shoots an array of small blue bullets track you. Run away from the blue beam, and dodge the bullets right before they hit you.

Ixion phase three attacks

In this final phase, Ixion becomes more aggressive. It adds melee attacks that force you to not only dodge the physical strike, but a projectile that gets cast after it attacks. The boss starts this phase same as the one before it with a ground pound that creates a circular ring of fire. From there, Ixion mixes up old attacks while getting in close.

  • Ixion does the same blue rings and bullets attack as it did last phase, but this time it adds more complicated patterns of bullets to dodge.
  • The boss has a few different whip-like strikes added to its repertoire. One of them is a leaping strike that creates a splash of red bullets. Another is a swinging strike that creates a red expanding ring under it. Lastly, Ixion repeatedly strikes at the ground creating multiple red rings and red bullets to dodge.
  • While it does its melee attacks, it also dashes and creates blue bullets behind it. Sometimes it’ll shoot a red wave of bullets after a dash.
  • Ixion also adds a new projectile attack that mixes slow red bullets and fast blue bullets. It ends this attack with a slow wave of blue bullets that creep across the floor.

After you defeat Ixion, and you’ll get the grappling hook.