Returnal: Tower Of Sisyphus [Definitive Guide]

Break past your combat limits and aim to achieve a high score in Returnal's Tower of Sisyphus!

The Tower of Sisyphus in Returnal was a new activity introduced with the ascension update on March 22, 2022, for the PS5. The PC version of the game comes with the Tower included with the base game. It is essentially an endless horde mode designed for hardcore players as well as even casual ones who’d like to test their combat skills. But before you can even jump into it, it is vital to discuss key information regarding it as well as a few tips and tricks from someone who played it effortlessly, which can help you set a high score in it with relative ease.

Before You Start: You will need to have unlocked the Icarian Grapnel equipment for Selene in order to access the Tower Of Sisyphus which can be done by defeating Ixion for the first time.
Important: Despite gaining access to it pretty early on as a new player, we strongly encourage you to attempt the Tower of Sisyphus after you have completed the main game because most progression can carry over to the activity such as weapon traits and permanent equipment upgrades.
Key Takeaways
  • The Tower of Sisyphus is a unique activity for Returnal, which puts players to the ultimate test against a series of endless floors of enemies as well as its own boss.
  • Players can earn themselves a high score and a ranking among the leaderboards of other players of the game by clearing the Tower of Sisyphus.
  • Speed is key here as the score multiplier is based on how fast players can clear each respective floor along with the enemies as well as other conditions, such as taking no damage.
  • Players will only face one particular boss throughout the Tower, Algos, who will get stronger and stronger during each threshold of the tower.
  • There are also new special weapons that players can use in the mode as consumables called the Disgorgers, which can turn the tide of battle in a matter of seconds.
  • The activity also includes its own storyline, making players hunt down six different flowers across the mode in order to access new story events.
  • As someone who’s invested countless hours in the Tower of Sisyphus, we have also highlighted a few tips and tricks to help players efficiently achieve a high score.

Tower Of Sisyphus Explanation

returnal tower of sisyphus
The main lobby of the Tower of Sisyphus (Image Captured by Us)

As stated previously, the Tower of Sisyphus functions as the ultimate challenge for any player, as it puts you against a wave of enemies and battles across endless floors, each slowly increasing in difficulty. The main thing to remember as you play the game for the first time on PC is that the Tower is available right from the early going, but there is a slight catch to actually entering it.

The Tower entrance will be located right in the beginning area where Selene’s ship, Helios, is located. But the only caveat is that the entrance will require you to make use of the grappling hook in order to reach it. The Grappling hook is called Icarian Grapnel, which is a permanent piece of equipment unlocked by defeating the game’s 2nd boss fight, Ixion, in the Crimson Wastes Biome.

As shown in our image above, on the main floor of the Tower, before you begin your ascent, you have the option to check the current leaderboards for the mode as well as tackle any weekly refreshing challenge runs associated with it from the nearby terminal.

Furthermore, other interactables here include the operation bed, which will transport you to a Hospital area where you can explore and check out new story-related events, which we’ll discuss briefly later on.

returnal teleporter
How to exit the Tower (Image by eXputer)

Lastly, you can also exit the Tower and head back to the Helios’ crash site by using the nearby teleporter tool, which most players might recognize as the similar one found in the ship’s interior, which lets them visit the first and latter halves of the game. But for now, let’s discuss the new story events added here (without any major spoilers), as well as the Algos Boss fight that you will repeatedly be tackling in the Tower of Sisyphus.

New Story Events

returnal tower of sisyphus
The new story events (Image Captured by Us)

So with the new Tower of Sisyphus, players can also expect new but short storyline events to witness, which of course, add a whole new layer to uncovering the mystery of Selene’s past. But before you can view them, there is a catch to even unlocking them all. It pertains to unlocking 6 Poppy flowers hidden across the various sections of the Tower itself in the form of collectibles.

You will know you are making correct progress by collecting each flower indicated by the vase in the Hospital section. You can travel there anytime from the operation bed on the main Tower of Sisyphus floor we mentioned previously above in order to view the story events taking place. The location of almost every flower is random, but once you get a new one, make sure to head back to the bed and view each event.

Algos Boss Fight

Returnal algos
Algos (Image by eXputer)

If you didn’t run into too much trouble with the base game bosses of returnal, then Algos in the Tower of Sisyphus shouldn’t prove too much of a bother either, as it is mostly stationary aside from the last phases. The fight will always start off slow, with him launching attacks with a number of projectiles launching at you. Another one of his essential attacks includes a rotating laser beam from his eye which you can easily evade by jumping.

Ranged weapons such as the Hollowseeker will make quick work of him, and more on weapons for the entire Tower will be listed in our tips and tricks. Aside from that, as you progressively encounter Algos, he will only have more health, and his attacks will become deadlier, so don’t expect anything new after you’ve fought him the first two to three times.

Tips And Tricks

Now that we’ve mentioned most of the important aspects revolving around the Tower of Sisyphus, we have gone ahead and enlisted a few of our tips and tricks after personally setting a personal best score in the leaderboards. It is worth keeping in mind that despite the weapons or loadout we suggest, it all comes down to using whichever weapon suits your playstyle the best in the long run here.

Best Weapons

returnal hollowseeker
The hollow seeker (Image by eXputer)

There is a variety of weapons that you can use in Returnal, and the vital element to remember is that all of your progression on them, including their unlocked traits, will carry over to this mode. So don’t be hasty in trying the Tower of Sisyphus straight away, but instead, come back once you’ve fully finished the game for the first time.

The best weapons that we found were great, including the fan-favorite Hollowseeker, as traits on it, such as the Portal Gun and Waves, helped us easily demolish almost any kind of enemy on our ascent. Furthermore, we found that popular speedrunners of the game as well as the top 10 players on the Leaderboards, preferred using the Dreadbound as using it optimally requires you to be in close to-mid-ranged combat most of the time.

Score Multiplier & Bonus Obolites

Returnal score multiplier
My high score (Image by eXputer)

The score multiplier works a bit complicated on the deeper spectrum, as the main thing to remember is that you will need to clear rooms as quickly as possible. Upon clearing each room, the portal to the next room will glow orange for a brief second, signifying that you can earn a bonus from it. This bonus not only comes in the form of the score multiplier maintaining a bonus value, but you will also receive extra obolites for your quick efforts too.

Whenever you start a new room or floor in the game, the multiplier will slowly start to diminish, but you can easily keep it intact by defeating enemies using their weak points as well as meleeing them to death mid-air. Hardcore players will know how to abuse the method efficiently at the highest floor levels. Most Returnal players will end up air meleeing enemies in order to achieve a high score in a short amount of floors completed.

The Best Items & Upgrades

returnal wound seeker
The Wound seeker (Image by eXputer)

In our personal experience with the game and the Tower of Sisyphus, we found using offense items the best while slowly investing our obolites in purchasing Protection increasing upgrades. Any opportunity where we had the option to increase the Protection of Selene, we chose it due to the fact that as you slowly progress through the Tower, enemies will be able to deal more and more damage to you, making it even possible to one-shot you.

Lastly, in terms of weapon upgrades, we strongly encourage you to pick up anything that can help increase weapon damage in general, such as the Wound Seekers shown in the image above, which can greatly help here as they will help you instantly finish off enemies who are close to dying. Aside from that, if you had the option to choose between increasing Protection or Weapon Damage, then we’d easily prioritize the latter more here.

Effectively Using Disgorgers

returnal diisgorger
Disgorger against Algos (Image by eXputer)

The Disgorgers are essentially the new super weapons included with the Tower of Sisyphus mode in Returnal. They are one-time consumables that can replace your weapon with a powerful one that shreds through the health bar of any enemy, whether it’s a mini-boss or even Algos.

It goes without saying that these are preferably best used in dire situations, especially towards the higher floors where any damage will prove to be your last stand. You can store up to 10 or so Disgorgers on Selene before reaching the limit, so feel free to stock on them and then use them for a tough encounter since you will be finding them in a large accomodity throughout your ascent of the Tower.

The Wrap-Up

If you’re looking for an even deeper analysis of the score multiplier and how it works in the mode, then feel free to check out a Subreddit Post where the user has excellently detailed everything regarding its functionality. If you can get a high score multiplier combo from the early going, then you can be sure to expect to rack up an adequate score in order to place yourself in the leaderboard of other players around the world.

Our Review of Returnal discusses most things as one might expect from its bizarre yet richly conveyed storytelling as well as, of course, its sublime rogue-like gameplay and action.

I personally had the pleasure of playing the game when it was first released on PS5, sinking enough hours to grab the Platinum Trophy and then fast-forwarding to the PC release; it instantly caught my eye to the point where I just had to boot it up again for a replay.

As much as I would like to gush more about the game, this wraps up our guide to the Tower of Sisyphus in Returnal as well as its tips and tricks to help you get started with it. If you have any other questions or queries related to the guide, then please feel free to let us know about it in the comment section below so we can get back to you as soon as possible. Last but not least, eXputer wishes you luck!

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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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