How to start a co-op game in Returnal

Bring another into your nightmare.


Screenshot by Gamepur

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Co-op was added to Returnal with the Ascension update. Finally, it’s possible to bring a friend or other random players into your cycle and have them help you battle your way through each region and boss. However, it’s not clear how you start a new co-op game. This guide explains how to invite people to your cycle or join others in theirs.

How do you start a co-op game?

Screenshot by Gamepur

To start a co-op game, you need to visit the Chronosis. This is the large sphere to the right of the main door through to the first biome. Interact with the Chronosis to open the co-op menu, where you can choose to join a cycle or host a public or private cycle.

If you join a cycle, you’ll automatically join another player that has chosen to host a cycle. If you decide to host a public cycle, a random other player will enter your world and assist you in your next cycle. Finally, if you choose to host a private cycle, you’ll need to invite a player to join you, which is the easiest way to have a friend enter your cycle.

A co-op game will last until you beat the boss you’re currently stuck on. You cannot bring a co-op player into the Tower of Sisyphus. Once you do, the second player will be returned to their world. You can revive each other while there are two players in a cycle, which makes life easier in intense encounters providing both players can keep their cool.