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Returnal guide: Item colors

How to tell what’s what on your minimap

The main character in Returnal stands near a yellow obolite Image: Housemarque/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

In Returnal, you’ll see various item icons on your minimap and glowing objects throughout each of the biomes. In the beginning, making sense of them is difficult. We’re here to help.

In this Returnal guide, we’ll explain the meaning behind the green, blue, yellow, red, and purple items you’ll find in the game, detail what each icon represents on your minimap, and explain what each item color in the environment is so you know what to look out for.

Table of contents

Plus (+) icon: Healing items

The minimap icon for healing items is a green plus (+) icon. In the game, you can spot a green glow coming from these health resources.

A healing item in Returnal
Healing icons glow green
Image: Housemarque/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

Healing items can either be a piece of silphium which restores health or a piece of resin which increases suit integrity.

Tear icon: Obolites

Obolites are an in-game currency you can use to fabricate consumables and artifacts, represented by a tear-shaped icon. You can spot obolites from a distance from their yellow glow.

An Obolite in Returnal
Obolites glow yellow
Image: Housemarque/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

Obolites appear either as a small item you can grab by touching it or as obolite chunks. To destroy obolites chunks, you’ll first need to get the sword, which you find on your way to beating the first boss, Phrike.

If you have excess ether, you can exchange it for obolites at an Obolite Repository.

Handgun icon: Weapons

A weapon in Returnal
Weapons glow red
Image: Housemarque/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

New weapons appear as a handgun icon. You’ll usually find new weapons dropped from powerful enemies, distinguished by their red glow.

Weapons also appear in item boxes, but their icon won’t appear until after you open the item box. You’ll also find a weapon waiting for you before most boss encounters, right outside of their battle arena.

Upside down triangle icon: Resources

A consumable in Returnal
Resources glow different colors
Image: Housemarque/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

You can find resources by following the upside down triangle icon on your minimap. You won’t know which resource it is until you walk up to it.

Weapon calibrators, Atropian Keys, and ether have a dark blue glow. Consumable objects which are used for offense and defense have an orange glow. Parasites have a bright purple glow.

Malignant objects

A Malignant Key in Returnal
Even though its a resource, it glows purple
Image: Housemarque/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

Several of the items above can also be malignant. While all of these objects maintain their icon on the minimap, malignant versions of objects will have a dark purple glow.

Malignant objects are similar to their normal counterparts, except that they may cause a malfunction. If you interact with a malignant object, there’s a chance that you’ll also receive a debuff. You can also use ether to cleanse these objects, which makes them safe to interact with.