How to Swim in Returnal

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In Returnal, you’ll occasionally come across pools of water – and it often has useful items under the surface. But how do you swim?

Sadly, you have to wait quite some time to unlock the ability to swim. As tempting as the Silphium and Obolites under the surface may be, you’ll just have to ignore them to begin with: until you’ve got the ability, entering water will damage you. And avoiding as much damage as possible is the name of the game in Returnal.

You’ll gain the ability to swim in Returnal towards the end of the fifth biome. That’s right – it’s a fairly late-game skill. But once it’s unlocked, it’s permanent. And with it, you can then revisit older areas and finally see what’s lurking under the water.


Well, we say ‘swim’; Selene doesn’t so much swim as she does use special boots which allow her to walk on the water’s floor. Presumably her suit allows her to continue breathing underwater as normal.

Don’t worry – it’s an upgrade that can’t be missed, as you need it to access the sixth, and final, biome of Returnal.

Need more help with Returnal? See all of our guides by clicking here.