Returnal: How To Increase Scout Rank

Playing with a friend and looking to increase your Scout Rank to get Ether? Then look no further and check out our guide below!

Scout rank is a feature in the co-op mode of Returnal, and the players will only be able to access it in the multiplayer mode after the Ascension Update. Therefore, if you are playing in single-player mode, you won’t be able to access or use scout rank in the game. You will be able to increase the scout rank of your character only when you join a session hosted by another player. So, if you are hosting your own session, whether it is private or public, you won’t be able to increase your scout rank. 

Key Takeaways
  • Scout Rank was introduced in the ascension upgrade of Returnal. 
  • It can only be accessed in the co-op feature, and single-player modes won’t allow you to progress in Scout Rank. 
  • In order for you to level up your scout rank, you will have to join a session instead of holding one. 
  • During the match cycle, the players will be able to increase their scout rank by helping other players and reviving them whenever needed. 
  • After successfully completing each match cycle, the players will get Ether as a reward. 
  • The Ether obtained from increasing your scout rank can then be used to cleanse Malfunctions caused by Malignant Objects or at the Reconstructor. 
  • It can also be used to get new items and equipment from Cthonos or to obtain Obolites for health items in the game. 
Important: Scout Rank can only be accessed through the co-op mode and only be increased when you have joined another player’s session.

How Does Scout Rank Works 

The scout rank is another addition along with the Tower Of Sisyphus introduced in the ascension upgrade of Returnal. Along with the introduction of the tower of Sisyphus, which is a sort of arcade mode with different floors and enemies that get harder with each level, players also got the scout rank update in the game.

Going to chronosis
Scout Rank (Image Credits eXputer)

Now the players will be able to play Co-op with the new progression system that also has a lot of rewards in store for the players as they move up in the ranks. 

Just like any progression system, scout rank works the same, where you have to go through different levels and difficulties to increase your in-game rank. 

Scout rank itself does not have that strong effect on your overall gameplay. It will be displayed next to your name when you have joined a session with another player, so you can keep track of it there. However, it’s not something very crucial and is not necessary for progression in the game. The only reason scout rank is worth leveling up is due to the rewards involved. It is also important to know how Co-op works if you want to level up your scout rank. 

Accessing Co-op 

First, to check out the scout rank, you will have to play in the Co-op mode. For that, you will have to download and install the ascension update for Returnal. If you have saved data for your game, you will be able to play the multiplayer mode easily.

Returnal what is Scout Rank
Accessing co-op (Image Credits eXputer)

However, if you are playing the game for the very first time, you will have to die first in order to access the multiplayer mode. When you return to the crash site after dying, you will be able to access the Co-op mode. In order to start the Co-op mode from the crash site, you will have to make your way to a glowing orb that can be found on the right side of Cthonos.

Going to chronosis in Returnal Scout Rank
Chronosis to play on co-op (Image Credits eXputer)

Then you will have to go through a door that will lead you to the main story. When you approach this orb called Chronos, you will be able to activate it to go into the multiplayer mode and level up your scout rank. 

Different Modes 

After activating chronosis and seeing your scout rank, you will be able to choose between three cycles that you can host in the game. In the Host Public Cycle, you will be able to set up a public multiplayer session that other players will be able to join. Only in this session will you be able to progress and level up your scout rank. In the host private cycle option, you will be able to set up a private multiplayer session.

Inviting a friend
Inviting a friend (Image Credits eXputer)

This session can only be joined if you invite someone by using a code or by sending an invitation to your friends from your friend list to play with you in the game. You will also be able to join a public multiplayer or Co-op session by selecting the Join A Cycle option. Doing so will put you in the matchmaking process, and you will be able to join a public session after some time.

In case you are wondering what will happen to your progress after joining a multiplayer session, then it depends on the session you have currently joined. In case you are hosting the game, the progression status will be different.  

Any players that are hosting the game will be allowed to keep the progress they have made so far in the game. However, they won’t be able to level up their scout rank. In case you are one of the joining players that are entering a session hosted by another player, then you will not be able to use any equipment that you have obtained in the game.

Returnal Scout Rank levels
Xenoglyphs (Image Credits eXputer)

This includes any kind of permanent equipment and weapons. However, any Xenoglyphs or Scout Logs that you have obtained so far will be carried on in the multiplayer session as well. Only in a session that you are joining will you be able to level up your scout rank. 

Hosting A Session 

When you are hosting the multiplayer mode, you won’t be able to level up your scout rank. However, it is a great option for players who find themselves stuck on a difficult level and can’t seem to get through.  But for the host, the only important thing that they will be getting is in progress

There rewards from both skills upgrades, and other equipment will be unlocked only for the player hosting the campaign. However, some specific sections of the game and some cutscenes won’t work in the multiplayer session. Any first-person story cuts will not be available in the Co-op session. Therefore you won’t be able to access the crash site ship or the house in the game when you are in a Co-op cycle. 

Joining A Session 

In case you are a player joining a session hosted by another, then you will also get a lot of benefits from it. The major benefit of joining a session is an increase in the scout rank. This progression system is determined by how you help out the player who has hosted the session. You will get a lot of rewards out of this as well. The most valuable reward that you will get after a co-op session is Ether.

Returnal Scout Rank
Getting databank entry from Scout Rank (Image Credits eXputer)

The players will also be able to obtain a lot of other benefits from joining a session, including Weapon Traits. Furthermore, they will also get Database Updates and Upgrades. These rewards will be obtained as a guest. However, you will be able to utilize them in your main campaign. Any progress you make in the session you join will be kept only by the player who is hosting the session.

So you will just be helping them out in the game. Furthermore, you will also get a lot of revivals that will make it significantly easy for you to clear stages. However, enemies will be far more difficult than what you will see in single-player modes. 

Leveling Up The Scout Rank 

Your scout rank will increase depending on your skills and your assistance to other players when you join a certain Co-op session. You will be able to level up your scout rank by being there for everyone in need and helping them out in their journey. Furthermore, you will also be able to boost your scout rank to a higher level by helping them fight enemies and reviving them in the game.

Increasing Scout Rank
Increasing Scout Rank (Image Credits eXputer)

The multiplayer experience that you will be able to observe in Returnal is very much like the solo experience. However, the only difference will be that you will have the assistance of another player who will be able to revive you and provide you with any necessary equipment required. In case a player dies, the other player will be able to revive them by going to that area and holding the Triangle button.

Returnal How To Increase Scout Rank
Reviving Friends (Image Credits eXputer)

The best part about it is that you will be able to revive the other player as much as you can. However, in case both of you die, the session will be over, and you will have to start again. The Co-op session will be significantly harder since there are two players making progress in the game. 


The major reward that the players will get by increasing their scout rank is Ether. It is no doubt that Ether is one of the rarest items in the game. This is why it is important to level up your scout rank and play in Co-op sessions whenever you can obtain this rare item. The main use for Ether is to cleanse any malfunction that you have encountered while using Malignant Objects or Parasites. You can also use Ether for the following purposes. 

Cleansing Malfunctions 

You will be able to cleanse any malfunctions that you have encountered while exploring by using Ether. These malfunctions are commonly caused due to malignant objects that give a purple glow. Most of these items are keys or, in some cases, chests. However, they can be in other forms as well.

Returnal Scout Rank and co op
Getting Ether as a reward (Image Credits eXputer)

These corrupted items can give you a debuff that will last for a period of time and can greatly affect your Repair Efficiency and suit integrity. Therefore you can use Ether that you have obtained while leveling up your scout rank to cleanse any malfunction encountered through these objects. 

Unlocking New Items 

You would also be able to use Ether to unlock new items in the game. For that will have to visit the crash site in Returnal. Before going through the main door and starting your main campaign progression, you will need to head toward your left side.

There you will be able to find a terminal that will allow you to use Ether to get a lot of different items. These items can be unlocked by spending a specific amount of Ether that you have obtained from Scout Rank Progression. These consumables and different items can be unlocked and utilized in your main campaign. If you are looking to complete your game, then you can use this opportunity to farm as much Ether as you can to unlock the powerful equipment and items in the game. 

 Using The Reconstructor Terminal 

Ether can also be used to go at a certain point of your gameplay progression in case you die. For that,  you will have to access a reconstructor that takes a specific amount of Ether to be used. These are found at random areas throughout the world and will allow you to respawn in that area so you can avoid losing your progress. 

 Exchanging For Obolites

 You will also be able to exchange Ether to get abilities in the game. For that, you will have to visit shops where you can access different terminals to make the exchange. Obolites are great when you need a health item for your run. Otherwise, it is important to save up Ether as it is a much more important resource in the game.

Returnal How To Increase Scout Rank
Getting Obolites (Image Credits eXputer)

Summing It Up 

With this, we conclude our detailed guide on scout rank and how it works in Returnal. The major takeaway from our guide will be that scout rank can only be increased when you join a Co-op session hosted by another player.

You will not be able to level up your scout rank in single-player mode or by hosting a Co-op session. At the end of every session, you will be able to farm rewards like Ether.

The level of your scout rank depends on how great of a help you or during the match cycle. You will be able to use Ether at reconstructors in case you die or use them to cleanse any malfunctions caused by malignant objects.  To increase your scout rank, it is important to give as many revivals as possible to the other player and make sure they clear any difficulty level and make progress. 

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Kashaf Ul Khair

Kashaf is an RPG and Battle Royale enthusiast and can be seen spending most of her time battling other players in Naraka Bladepoint or improving her skills in Diablo 4. She loves to curate builds based on her own expertise and writes guides to help the audience become pros in no time. She kicked off her writing career on eXputer with several years of experience. You can follow Kashaf's gaming activity on her Steam profile. Experience: 3+ Years || Education: Majored in English Literature || Published 250+ Guides 

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