If you’ve made your way through a few biomes in Returnal, you’ll probably have noticed large ponds with what looks like loot inside. Problem is: you take damage each time you try to enter. So how do you swim in Returnal?
The good news is that you actually can swim and it’s not just a weird bug, though it’s going to take you until right near the end of the game until you can unlock the ability to swim. You’ll need to get to the game’s fifth level, Fractured Wastes.
You will need to simply follow your objective, which is to find Hadal Keys. Two of these are through the main objective doors and are the ultimate reward for beating the super tough mini-bosses, but the third is available after beating the challenge room behind the yellow door.
Once you have all three Hadal Keys, unlock the massive red door on your map and then walk through and interact with the corpse to get the Hadal Ballasts.
With these suit augments equipped, you can then swim in Returnal. Simply jump into the water that previously did damage to you and you will be able to run around on the water’s floor and hoover up all the loot.
You will also need the Hadal Ballasts to make it to the next biome, Abyssal Scar. Jump into in the previous rooom (the one that connects every route to the Hadal Keys) to start your descent — in more ways than one.
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