Returnal: Adrenaline Levels [Detailed Explanation]

Break your limits as you strive to achieve the highest adrenaline levels in Returnal!

The Adrenaline levels in Returnal are essentially one of the game’s central mechanics within the gameplay system. It allows players to gain unique bonuses whilst engaging enemies in combat such as higher weapon damage as well as other helpful passive elements with a total of five levels or tiers. Furthermore, there are also a couple of ways players can manipulate it to gain the highest level as well as increase the rate at which they gain it.

Important: There are Five different Adrenaline levels, but they can all be reset if you take damage from almost any source in the game.
Key Takeaways
  • Adrenaline levels correlate with how well players can handle the game and its gameplay systems, as without taking damage, they can increase these levels.
  • There are five unique adrenaline levels, and each one can be gained after defeating a certain amount of enemies on every level.
  • Each level or tier can provide unique and helpful bonuses to the player, such as a larger window to reload as well as increasing total obolites gained from enemies.
  • The Adrenaline level is reset if players take damage from anything whether it’s acid pools left by enemies or even the slightest damage from a projectile.
  • Players can decrease or increase the rate at which they gain adrenaline levels through various means such as parasites, artifacts, and other consumables.
  • The Pros of playing with a higher adrenaline level encourages players to achieve their best whilst in combat and at lower adrenaline levels, it only increases room for error.
  • Players will also be able to deal additional damage to enemies and bosses as with every increasing adrenaline level, Selene’s shoulder droid will fire off blue-colored homing projectiles.

What Are Adrenaline Levels In Returnal?

returnal adrenaline levels
Adrenaline levels (Image Captured by Us)

Now, going more into specifics here, the adrenaline level is essentially the gameplay mechanic which rewards you for playing the game in a skillful manner. It is represented by the bar at the bottom of your screen during gameplay that actually resembles a Heart Rate Variability (shown in our image above).

The bar here will also use different symbols as well as a numerical value between 1.0 to 5.0 in order to visualize what adrenaline level you’re currently at in the game. Receiving damage in any kind of way whether it’s from enemy attacks or any other source, will reset your adrenaline level back to zero. As you gain each level, the bonuses that each tier may provide will offer newer ones which of course, can all stack with the previous one.

It is worth noting that while it can be incredibly useful to keep your adrenaline level at the highest tier during most fights but with main-game bosses, you will most likely suffer a hit sooner or later.

Lastly, the small droid beside Selene’s right shoulder will also fire off homing projectiles alongside your currently equipped weapon with more shots fired with every increasing adrenaline level. Aside from that, let’s discuss each of the adrenaline levels in the game in brief detail.

Level 1

returnal adrenaline levels
Level 1 (Image Captured by Us)

At the first level as shown in the image above, you will gain the bonus of a larger window to reload your weapons which in this game is called weapon overloads. There is a great variety of the Best Weapons in Returnal but they all pretty much have distinctive overload timings the first adrenaline tier will make sure you have a larger window to do that in contrast to the normal one which is comparatively shorter.

Level 2

returnal adrenaline level 2
Level 2 (Image Captured by Us)

As depicted in the image we have provided, on the second adrenaline level, Selene will now be able to track enemies through walls, allowing you to calculate their step around the arena easily. It may not seem like a substantial upgrade, but it can be highly beneficial as a few enemies can sneak up on you amidst the chaos. Enemies will be marked red through walls so make sure to pay close attention to your surroundings.

Level 3

returnal adrenaline
Level 3 (Image Captured by Us)

The third adrenaline level will offer a boost to your melee ability as shown in the image above. Most players might assume it increases your melee damage, and while it does seem to be the case, we found that it actually increases your melee ability cooldown and how often you can use it. The Atropian blade allows you to perform these melee attacks and they’re an incredibly potent ability to use that is highly underrated in some cases.

The adrenaline level allowing it to have a shorter cooldown will tremendously benefit you in the long run, especially if you’re a skilled player since using the ability in conjunction with your short-range weapons can shred the health bars of foes with relative ease.

Level 4

returnal max adrenaline
Level 4 (Image by eXputer)

At the fourth level, you will gain a bonus of +50% to your weapon proficiency rate on kills. In case you didn’t already know, weapon proficiency plays a pivotal role in the game just as the adrenaline levels as they help upgrade the level of weapons you receive in each cycle.

While the traits are totally different elements that are unlocked by using specific weapons, proficiency only affects the levels and the stats they drop at in the current cycle and resets upon death. While on the topic of weapon proficiency, it has a different value in the second half of the game as during Biome 4, and you will always start with a Level 15 proficiency rate.

Level 5

returnal level 5
Level 5 (Image by eXputer)

Finally, the highest adrenaline level allows players to increase the amount of Obolites earned from all sources by 50%, and they are differently indicated by their brightly glowing in contrast to the normal obolites. This is by far the best adrenaline level, one which can incentivize skillful playing as Obolites are your main currency of the game through which you will fabricate items for Selene as well as buy other types of items.

However, there is another upgrade that the game doesn’t tell you of, and that is how at Level 5 Adrenaline, you will gain a shield (indicated by the glowing armor on Selene) which can allow you to take an additional hit before resetting your adrenaline level. After taking damage, the shield will break, and the next damage taken will reset the level back to zero. It also increases the radius at which you can collect them before they can vanish.

Tips And Tricks To Increase Adrenaline Level

returnal consumables
Apex Sphere (Image by eXputer)

Lastly, before we conclude, there are actually a few ways that you can increase your Adrenaline level with ease, and that pertains only to how well you can play the game but also to acquire the best consumables and artifacts. There is a consumable called the Apex Sphere (Shown in the image above) that can instantly grant you max adrenaline which is best used in tough situations such as boss fights or even challenge rooms.

Furthermore, parasites are risk-reward situations that can provide great bonuses, such as doubling the amount of adrenaline that can be gained with each enemy defeated, but there is always going to be a catch with them as, in turn, you will be inflicted with malfunctions that,, need to be cured or else you will be faced with negative effects.

If you’re trying to get that Adrenaline level up as quickly as possible, then we strongly recommend using a long-range weapon such as the Hollowseeker. Other weapons also include the Electropylon Driver, which can instantly kill enemies using its Spider-web-like attacks, boosting adrenaline levels in no time flat. Aside from that, it generally just comes down to how well you play and how long you can continue without taking damage.

The Wrap-Up

As you can see from the following Subreddit Post, it is well-stated that striving to achieve the highest adrenaline levels in Returnal can tremendously benefit you in the grand scheme of things. The advantages that you receive from them are definitely worth it, as you can have an easier time playing the game with the increased Obolites along with the bonus shield at max adrenaline.

The Total Playtime of Returnal might shock a few players, but if you’re going for the Platinum Trophy/100 percent achievement, then you might be in it for frustration and a grind fest. Thankfully the game now supports a plethora of useful features, one of which is the ability to Suspend The Cycle, which is essentially auto-save. Once you finish the main campaign, you can also head into the Tower of Sisyphus for its own host of challenges.

But for now, this wraps up our guide to the Adrenaline levels in Returnal. If you have any other questions or queries related to the topic or just the game in general, then feel free to let us know in the comments section so we can help you out as soon as possible. As always, eXputer wishes you luck!

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Saad Ali

Saad is a News writer at eXputer. With vast journalistic experience working for a multitude of websites, Saad currently reports to eXputer with the latest news and dishes out his opinions on a frequent basis. He's currently studying Game and Interactive Media design, which has further increased his knowledge about the ins and outs of the industry. Experience: 1+ Year || Education: Bachelor's in Game and Interactive Media Design || Published 100+ News Stories || 

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