Returnal Hookshot [Use, Location, & Boss]

Grapple onto the hook and move from learning everything from the uses to the location of the Grapnel!

Returnal makes its way back to PC to woo its veteran players once more, and it also brings in the Returnal Hookshot mechanic, allowing players to progress even further in the game than before. Players might want to know how they can get their hands on the grappling hook; therefore, they might require assistance in figuring how where it is located, how to use it and more!

IMPORTANT: Heavy spoilers ahead await you. Proceed with caution. Spoilers regarding boss fight, usage of Icarian Grapnel are mentioned.

Key Takeaways
  • The hookshot is essentially known as the Icarian Grapnel, and it is basically a suit upgrade suited especially for Selene. 
  • The grapnel is a xeno-tech module that allows players to traverse from one point to the next that, makes exploration and progression easier. 
  • Players make use of grappling points in order to move around from one place to the next. 
  • The way that players use the grappling hook is to get close to a grappling point, interact with it, hook onto it, and it slings you towards your destination, that is on a higher ground. 
  • In order to get the grapnel, you need to defeat Ixion, which is a boss that appears as a three-stage boss that players need to decimate. 
  • The grappling hook is located on one of the corpses after the boss fight has ended, and Selene is able to pry it off and use it. 
  • The first phase of the fight entails Ixion shooting out teal and orange orbs simultaneously, and also zooms from one end of the arena to the other. 
  • The second phase makes the boss fight a little bit tougher as it mainly focuses on Ixion plunging down onto the middle of the ground, and players need to be a bit more cautious here. 
  • The third phase is where Ixion goes haywire and starts to shoot out orbs from every direction and becomes an absolute menace. 

Grappling Hook Basics 

Grappling Hook Basics
Grappling Hook Basics (Image Credits Exputer)

One of the first things players might want to look at is the Returnal Grappling Hook itself. It is essentially known as the Icarian Grapnel and goes by two other names that are not canon in the game itself. It goes by the grappling hook and the Hookshot name commonly known in the fandom. 

  • The Icarian Grapnel is essentially a suit upgrade used for Selene, which grants her the ability to move along the world more easily. 
  • It has been described to be a xeno-tech module that essentially grants Selene, or the player, the ability to make use of the various terrains to traverse around the world with a lot more ease. 
  • More specifically, the Grappling hook comes in handy to let players move into areas that might be a lot harder to reach and terrains or cliffsides that would’ve been made inaccessible otherwise if it had not been for the Grappling hook coming to the rescue. 

Selene takes charge of the grappling hook by using grappling points that are littered all across the different biomes that are made available in the game, and she can use it to traverse from one location to the next without needing to put in much effort. 

How To Get Icarian Grapnel 

How To Get Grapnel
How To Get Grapnel (Image Credits Exputer)

Players can get the Icarian Grapnel after they’ve managed to defeat Ixion (more on that later), and it can be found after the boss fight ends. 

  • After the boss fight is over (more on that later), you can see a few enemies that are lying dead on the ground. 
  • On one of the corpses, Selene first states that she found more Xeno-type technology present on another corpse. And she also says that scanning it indicates that it has the potential to be worthy of becoming a suit augmentation. 
  • Selene holds down on one of the corpse’s hands, and the Grappling hook is essentially stuck onto the arm and needs to be pried off. 
  • After checking whether it is safe to repurpose or not, players can attach it to their left wrist, and it takes a second for players to get used to the feeling of the grappling hook hooking onto their wrist (nice pun!). 
  • Players need to follow up by checking if the system integration has been completed, after which they are asked to perform a function test, which will come in handy to teach players how to use the grappling hook

How To Use Grappling Hook 

How To Use Grapnel
How To Use Grapnel (Image Credits Exputer)

Now, one more thing that players need to keep in mind is the actual way in which they can make use of the Icarian Grapnel. While it isn’t all that difficult to figure out, there are a few ways that you can make use of the Grapnel once you manage to get your hands on it. 

  • Throughout the entire biomes of Returnal, players can take note of the various terrains, mountainside cliffs, and longer hills that they need to climb on but are simply unable to do so because there is no way to reach that area safely. 
  • If players look closer, however, they can also see yellow Grappling points scattered all over these taller mountains and whatnot. 
  • The grapple points allow players to get on top and reach areas that would otherwise be deemed unfit for climbing. 

Players need to use the grappling hook to simply make their way over to any of the Grappling points that are present and marked with yellow

Using Grapnel (Image Credits Exputer)
  • After that, players need to aim their camera so that the grappling hook is in their field of sight; otherwise, the process can be hindered if the Grappling hook isn’t in view. 
  • After that, move a bit closer to the Grappling point, and players need to keep in mind that they need to be at a certain distance from where they can interact with the grapple point. If you’re too far away, it simply won’t work. 
  • Whenever you see the grapple point, if you’re playing on PS, then you can see a small triangle that appears below the grapple point, indicating players to interact with it. 

Once that has been done, the Icarian grapnel hooks onto the actual grapple point and strings players. It allows players to traverse the lands of Returnal, and they don’t have to fear falling off. 

  • Other than that, players can also grapple onto higher ground, which can come in handy whenever you are being herded or ambushed by opponents and feel like there’s no way out. This is, of course, only for when there is a point that you can grapple onto nearby. Otherwise, you’re screwed. 

How To Defeat Ixion 

Ixion Introduction
Ixion Introduction (Image Credits Exputer)

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of things by figuring out how players can defeat Ixion. For context or o jog your memory, the Ixion boss must be fought to attain the Returnal Hookshot. The boss is located in the Crimson Wastes area (more on later). 

  • Whenever players first head into the arena, they are introduced to the boss, hanging from wires in the middle of the area, and he is slung from his body, seemingly in a deep slumber of sorts. 
  • Whenever players jump into the battle location, a cutscene showcases the boss tied from the four pillars surrounding the arena. Ixion breaks out of its bounds by ripping apart from the wires and falls to the ground with a thud, awakening his slumber. 

Players need to keep in mind that they are not recommended to head into the boss fight without having a weapon that is under level 8 at least, as you will get demolished. The main reason why players want to bring a higher-leveled weapon is simply because of the need to get through phase 3 of the boss as quickly as possible. 

First Phase 

Phase 1
Phase 1 (Image Credits Exputer)

When the introduction to the boss is over, players see Ixion flap its wings, and the battle begins

  • As soon as the boss fight starts, Ixion first goes ahead and launches out light blue/teal orbs that are lighter on the outside and darker on the inside, and they are targetted towards the player and appear to be about 30 or so orbs that rain down on you. 
  • After that, Ixion flashes to the other side of the arena, and there are tons of orange and black orbs that rain down on the player as the teal ones did, and a ton of orange particles can be seen as Ixion zooms to the other end. 
Phase 1 Fight
Phase 1 Fight (Image Credits Exputer)

During this time, players want to use a weapon that can auto-track opponents so that they can consistently launch out attacks and don’t need to worry about the actual aiming. 

  • After orange orbs are done firing down at you, as soon as Ixion settles to the other side, it fires out yet another blast of the same teal/black orbs at you. They arrive towards you in a rotating pattern, and all players need to do here is a dash to the side as swiftly as possible. 
  • Ixion continues to move from one side to the next, and he rains down yet another fire of the orange orbs at the player. 

The way Ixion moves is basically after he shoots out those arbs, he dashes straight from one end to the next in a straight line rather than moving around the entire arena on its own. 

  • With the previous way that he fires down his teal and black orbs in a rotating manner, he also fires them down in a motion where he fires down only one orb at a time at you. 
  • Another thing that players should keep in mind is that they should stay at a distance at all times since the second you’re close to the boss, you’re done for. 

Second Phase 

As soon as the second phase starts, this is where the boss fight becomes a bit tougher. Once he has been thrown against a wall, he jumps up and then plunges to the middle of the arena, where he also launches out an orange circular ring that travels across the entire battlefield, which you can simply jump over. 

  • Starting, he reaches out into the sky, and there is a sky blue ring that approaches that you can jump over, and then players can instantly see the same teal/black and orange/black orbs approaching the players, which they need to avoid. 
  • He launches out the blue ring again, and the orange orbs will continue to approach you, but there is quite a distance between them. Therefore, you can simply dash between the gaps. 

After that, he disappears for a solid second before he targets you and zooms past you to try to catch you off guard, and as it does, you can see the same orange/black orbs appearing again, but this time, they arrive in a rotating manner. 

  • He makes that same zooming motion again, and this time it also passes two blue lines going past that players need to jump over. 
  • Ixion will not always appear from the same direction, but he can zoom in from any end of the arena. Therefore, players need to be wary of the places from where he appears. Players can hear whenever he is about to appear, making it much easier. 
  • After that, another firing of the orbs is fired out, and they continue to step to the side whenever they appear towards you. 
  • Just make sure to be careful with your reloads and your distance, keep your guard up at all times, and make sure that you keep an ear open as well so that you can hear him approaching. 

When phase 2 of the boss fight ends, there is a massive pillar that Ixion attaches itself, and he launches out a beam that fires at your vertically. Then smaller projectiles are fired towards you, and you can damage the boss even more from here. 

Third Phase 

Phase 3
Phase 3 (Image Credits Exputer)

As soon as the third phase of the boss fight starts, Ixion drops down to the middle of the ground once again, and there is another red ring on top that players can jump over. 

  • Ixion reaches out to the skies once again, and he launches out yet another blue ring that you can either dash through or decide to jump straight over it. 
  • There are also the same orange/black orbs, but they travel across the ground in a certain pattern. 
  • The blue/black orbs arrive in circular patterns and the same orange and blue orbs then follow it. 

As soon as this part is over, this is where Ixion basically goes haywire and first goes up and then plunges down towards you, causing a red ring to go out, which you need to avoid, followed by the same orange orbs. 

End Of Fight
End Of Fight (Image Credits Exputer)
  • There is also a giant gold dome that appears and surrounds the player, with the walls of the dome having honey-bee patterns all over it. The red rings continue to move towards you, and you need to jump over them back to back in order to avoid taking too much damage. 
  • If players have access to any healing, then you should try not to use it until you actually reach phase 3 since it can become quite difficult to surpass the fight without getting any sort of healing here. 
  • Ixion continues to zoom from place to place and then basically continues to shoot out the orbs, plunging on you, and just goes absolutely insane. 


And there we have it! All that players need to know about Returnal Hookshot, and with that, we will wrap up our guide! While you’re at it, you might want to check out our Returnal How To Increase Repair Frequency 

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Moiz Banoori.

Having worked at various Video Game sites, coupled with 7 years of Content Writing Experience. I presently monitor teams, create strategies, and publish qualified pieces through my aptitude.

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