How to Complete Act 3 of Returnal and See Final Ending

Returnal is a lengthy game that likes to play with your expectations. The game traps protagonist Selene in a time-loop where she’s forced back to the start after every death. It’s a game that could fundamentally go on forever, but there is a definitive ending. The game, however, doesn’t make it entirely clear how to get that final ending.

SPOILER ALERT! Everything beyond the following image features spoilers for Returnal. Only proceed if you’ve completed the first two acts of the game.

Returnal is evenly divided into three acts. Act 1 ends with the defeat of Nemesis, giving players a cutscene where Selene escapes, ages and then dies of natural causes. Of course, we shockingly learn that she’s not free of the loop. Instead, that death reboots the cycle of events on Atropos, forcing her to complete another three biomes. After defeating Ophion, the fifth and final boss, players are once again treated to another cutscene, this time featuring a car accident that occurred in Selene’s childhood.

That triggers credits, but the game isn’t over. Selene reawakens on Atropos with no clear objective marker. Helios’ cargo bay has opened up with a machine that allows her to travel back and forth in time. There’s still one last House Sequence to witness and Selene subtlety mentions there’s still something to do. So, what do you do?

Act 3 boils down to a hunt for items. Specifically, you’ll need to find six Sunface Fragments. Each biome holds one fragment apiece, necessitating you travel back and forth between time periods. The fragments are permanent items that don’t reset upon death and the in-game menu keeps track of which ones you already have. Sounds like a simple task, right? Unfortunately, no.

Getting all six Sunface Fragments isn’t a simple task due to the roguelike nature of Returnal. The rooms that contain the fragments spawn randomly. You may get lucky and find the first three biome’s fragments in a single run and then have no luck in the final three. It’s a task that could take hours to complete if RNG doesn’t favor you. There’s also no way to know if your current run contains the fragments without searching every room in the biome.

There are a few ways to determine whether or not a room might contain a fragment. First off, fragments appear on the mini-map as turquoise triangles, so look for those upon entering a room. Secondly, getting these fragments require the use of endgame equipment. If you enter a room and see a triangle underwater, a glowing orb or lava, there’s a strong chance the room contains a fragment.

Collecting all six fragments unlocks the sixth and final House Sequence. After completing it, you’ll be given a set of car keys. From here, it’s a straight shot to the ending, at least, as long as you don’t die.

Finishing Act 3 is essentially finishing Act 2 all over again. Head back to Biome 6 and defeat Ophion again. There’s no new boss or new tricks you need to worry about. Ophion in Act 3 is the same as Ophion in Act 2. Once defeated, dive back into the crater and move forward until you see the car you passed in Act 2.

To complete Act 3, approach the driver’s seat and use the car key to open the door. This move triggers the final cutscene for the game, and, thus, the ending of Returnal.

Returnal is available now on PS5. Be sure to read our review check our useful tips to help you survive in Returnal.