If you’re just starting out in Returnal, the only weapon you have is a gun – but there’s a button assigned to ‘melee’. So how do you get a melee weapon?
The melee weapon in Returnal is very useful. Not only can you slash enemies with it, causing a good amount of damage, you can also use it to get past certain barriers, like vines. Needless to say, it’s a crucial piece of Selene’s arsenal. But you don’t start out with it; you need to find it.
Thankfully, the melee weapon in Returnal is one of the earliest permanent upgrades in the game, and it’s impossible to miss. You’ll get this once as you make your way through the first biome. After killing the first ‘miniboss’ of the game you’ll be awarded it. And once you’ve got it, it doesn’t matter if you die – it’s yours forever.
You need the melee weapon in order to progress through Returnal‘s first biome, as you need to use it to destroy a barrier that stops you moving forward. So follow your quest markers, and you’ll be lead to the right place. Once you’ve got the melee weapon you’ll be able to backtrack and destroy some vines, too – these often have useful items behind them so they’re worth checking. And shielded enemies? They’re now a thing of the past thanks to a slash of your blade.