Atomic Heart endings, explained

Get your head around the biggest reveal in the game.


Screenshot by Gamepur

Atomic Heart has a lengthy story that packs in a lot of information in a tiny space of time. It’s absolutely understandable if the game’s ending confuses you slightly, which is why we’ve put this guide together to explain both of the conclusions you can reach.

Atomic Heart’s killing Sechenov ending, explained

Screenshot by Gamepur

If you choose to take down Sechenov, you’ll get to see the best ending in Atomic Heart. You’ll first have to fight your way through The Twins. Then, when P-3 confronts Sechenov, his glove electrocutes him, causing him to fall to the floor. The glove pops open, and the Neuropolymer containing the personality and brainpower of the character you know as Charles crawls out. He speaks about how he has been manipulating P-3 from the very beginning to distrust Sechenov, and now that both Sechenov and P-3 are incapacitated, Charles makes his move. The Neuropolymer crawls across the floor while chatting about how humans need to become extinct and make way for the new dominant lifeform, Polymer, into the nearby vat of Red Polymer.

Related: Atomic Heart lore and fictional history, explained

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll remember that Red Polymer can absorb bodies and create new lifeforms. Charles uses it to take the rough form of a jelly man before picking up Sechenov and breaking his neck. Later we learn that Charles also absorbed the body, but we don’t know if it does the same to P-3. Charles explains that Polymer is so much more than humans could ever be, and now it needs to spread around the world and become something else alongside the robots it helps support.

Charles picks up the Thought Device on Sechenov’s desk and crushes it. This seems to do something more, but we’re not sure what. It may just signal that all Thought Devices have stopped working since this was the most powerful one. What we do know is that Thought Devices are irrelevant, and Charles may now be able to control every human that’s had a Polymer injection on the planet. This would leave the humans as mindless bodies.

Screenshot by Gamepur

This is the most likely outcome because P-3 is transported to Limbo following the moment the Thought Device is crushed. He sees Right, one of The Twins that contain the brain and personality of his wife. However, Charles has been able to send P-3 to Limbo for the entire game, so it could only be P-3 that’s sent to Limbo. The way Right comes down from the sky and P-3 reaches out to it feels like imagery telling us robots are now gods in Atomic Heart. This may be true in Facility 3826.

The final moments of this ending make it clear that some people are still alive and not controlled by Polymer. These may be people from outside of the Soviet Union. They remark how the Neuropolymer containing Charles skulked off and can’t be found anymore. It also can’t be analyzed further in camera footage because of its size. Given these notes, Facility 3826 is under Charles’ control, but the rest of the world is still free. How Charles plans to kill all humans remains to be seen.

Atomic Heart’s walk-away ending, explained

Screenshot by Gamepur

Related: Someone has already made a mod that skips Atomic Heart’s lengthy intro sequence

The second ending in Atomic Heart is a joke. You’ll get this if you choose not to confront Sechenov and rip your glove apart. The narrator explains that P-3 was last seen walking away into the countryside, and Sechenov views this as insubordination but doesn’t chase after him. The comment about a small pile of Neropolymer crawling along the floor and disappearing is still made, but you won’t put the pieces together unless you’ve seen the best ending above.

After this ending is finished, you can select a new option in the game’s menu, “Return to Facility 3826.” If you do, you’ll jump back into the game from the point where the train crashed. You can take on all the optional content without the pressure of tackling any main objectives.