Enemies with shields in Returnal can be annoying. Here’s what you need to know about how to destroy them.
Thankfully, enemy shields are easy enough to destroy in Returnal. But you need to unlock the ability to destroy some of them first.
Shields come in two forms: there are individual red bubble-like shields that appear around certain enemies, and there’s also a green glow shield that affects enemies in a whole room. You’ll encounter both types of shields right from the first area of Returnal, but you can only destroy one type right away. To destroy the green shields, you need to find the large totem-like enemy that’s emitting the shield. You can destroy it by shooting it, which will then get rid of the shield on every other enemy, allowing you to damage them.
The red bubble-like shields, however, require you to have unlocked the melee weapon before you can destroy the enemies within them. You’ll get the melee weapon once you’ve killed the first boss. It’s a permanent unlock, so once you’ve beat that boss, it stays in your inventory forever, regardless of how many times you die.
Once you’ve got the melee weapon, simply striking each enemy with a shield will destroy it. Sometimes, one melee attack is all it takes to destroy the shield and the enemy within it. Other times, it’ll leave it open for further attacks. The only downside is that the melee weapon requires you to get up close and personal, so be careful when it comes to dodging incoming attacks as you move in for the kill.