Returnal: How To Open Anathema Vault [Explained]

Discover the Forbidden Riches and get access to the other side of the Vault!

Returnal features a lot of mysterious Biomes and restricted areas to explore that come with exhilarating adventures and surprises inside them. One of these areas in Returnal is the Anathema Vault, a pathway to other Xeno-Tech locations that is shrouded in secrecy and intrigue.

Opening the vault is necessary to progress through your storyline, as you will face your first enemy on the other side of the Vault. So, once you’ve reached this point of the game, get ready to gear up and prepare for some intense action. 

Key Takeaways
  • The Anathema Vault is the locked pathway in Atropos that leads you to other biomes in the storyline. 
  • To get access to Anathema Vault, you have to search for the Anathema key.
  • You can find the Anathema Key somewhere in the Overgrown Ruins.
  • As the layout of the biome changes with each run, it is not guaranteed that you will find the key in the exact same spot every time.
  • To get to the key, you have to look out for the red energy barrier inside Overgrown Ruins and break it with Atropian Blade to get to the key location.
  • Once you have the key, use the Teleporting Station to get to the vault and open the gates. 
Important: Returnal features a dynamic map mechanism that shuffles up the layout of the Biome for each run. So, do not get confused if you spawn and find that the arrangement of the map has changed.

The Anathema Vault

Returnal Anathema Vault
Anathema Vault [Image by eXputer]
As you progress through the main storyline, you will face different bosses, each being sturdier and stronger than the previous one. Once you thoroughly explore the Atropos Planet, one of your last objectives will be to get access past the Anathema Vault. Here, you will counter Phrike, who is apparently the first Rival that you need to defeat to move on further. 

Finding the Vault is not a hectic task. But once you reach it, you’ll find that it door is locked, and you need the Anathema Key in order to get access to it. The key to the Vault lies somewhere in Overgrown Ruins, and your task is to find it. 

How To Get Anathema Key

If you want to get past the first Biome, you have to find the Anathema Key. As Returnal generates random patterns and refreshes the layout after each spawn, predicting the exact location of the key is not possible as it is not guaranteed that the map will place the Key-spot exactly at the same place every time.  

To get the exact location of the key, you have to make some effort on your own by exploring the Overgrown Ruins, as you can not just memorize the way to the key. Even though the map layout changes, the key’s general location will not change in each spawn.

Exploring The Ruins

Explore the Ruins
Overgrown Ruins [Image by eXputer]
You can find the Anathema key in a special place Overgrown Ruins that is guarded by a protective aura. Your main focus should be on looking out for the red barrier-type shield, as the room is located on the other side of it. To get past the red barrier, you can use your Atropian Blade, as the shield is resistant to projectiles. 

Once you find the barrier field, get close to it and take out your Blade to perform a melee attack that will break the shield. On the other side of the shield, you are most likely to encounter some low-tier enemies that you can counter easily. 

Returnal Anathema Vault
Red Barrier [Screenshot by eXouter]
Once you’re past the barrier, you can find a Translocator and a bridge right in front of you. Keep heading forward until you see a “question mark” indicating an object lying in the center of the bridge. Get close to the mark and hold your interact button to get the Anathema Key. Now, you can use the Translocator to teleport to the vault location and get access to it.

Get the Anathema Key
Anathema Key [Image by eXputer]
Use the Translocator
Translocator Screenshot by eXputer]

Once you open the vault, you’ll meet the first boss of the game, Phrike, waiting for you on the other side. Once you defeat the sturdy monster, you’ll get access to new biomes that you can explore and continue your exhilarating journey. 

Tips To Beat Phrike

Phrike is a powerful creature that can give you a hard time if you do not use the correct strategies against him. The monster apparently has three phases, each being deadlier than the previous one. Once you deplete his health, he will regenerate his health, starting his next phase. Here are some useful tips that you can follow to beat him effectively. 

  • During the first phase, Phrike will usually attack you with his projectiles and energy balls. You can dodge his attacks by sprinting towards one side, opposite the direction of the projectile
  • If Phrike raises his hands in the air, it means he is about to release a chain of energy balls. In the attack, you have to be a bit more cautious as the balls come in a random pattern and might hit you if you do not dodge it timely.
  • If Phrike’s face starts to glow, it means he is charging up to unleash a penetrating beam, that causes massive damage upon contact. To dodge the beam, you can move sideways quickly when he is about to hit you. 
  • During the second phase, Phrike’s attacks will become faster and more deadly. Once he absorbs enough damage, he will teleport himself to spawn elsewhere and attack you. To counter his attack, you can keep track of a fainted red light that will tell you his next position. 
  • The third phase is the most difficult one, in which he teleports more often and attacks more aggressively. The main attack in his last phase is a continuous wave of fireballs. The balls are difficult to dodge as they come from all directions. The most effective way is to keep running sideways while attacking the boss when you get the opportunity. 

Wrapping Up

That sums up our guide in the Anathema Vault in Returnal. The Vault is just the beginning of your adventure, as much exciting drama and action await you in the upcoming Biomes of Returnal. If you want to have a detailed review of the game, then you can check out our Returnal Review.

Also, if you’ve got a hookshot and want to learn how to use it properly, you can check our guide for it. Also, make sure to learn about repair efficiency to prolong your survival and get better at fights. Lastly, if you want to increase your Scout Rank in the game, we have a detailed guide on it as well. 

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Huzaifa Malik

Huzaifa Malik is a Mobile Games Writer on eXputer who’s been playing FPS games like Call of Duty as far back as he can recall. He also loves to invest his time in mobile games and write about them in detail for his audience on eXputer. He has several years of experience writing for games. By following his passion for games, he chose eXputer as his hub to deliver information-rich articles. Feel free to get more familiar with Huzaifa on his gaming profiles on Steam. Experience: 3+ years || Published 100+ Guides

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