What do Reconstructors do in Returnal?

Using one in a run is a significant, but worthwhile, investment.


Screenshot by Gamepur

Returnal is challenging because you only have one life for every run. That life has to last you the entire game effectively, and it’s hard to make it last when alien lifeforms are trying to take it from you. However, certain machines around Atropos can help you prolong your life by surviving death. For a hefty price. In this guide, we’ll explain what those machines, Reconstructors, are and how they work.

What is a Reconstructor?

Screenshot by Gamepur

A Reconstructor is a machine in Returnal that brings Selene back to life after dying. In a game where every death is met with rebirth, that isn’t much of an advantage. However, a Reconstructor allows Selene to come back within the same run, with all the equipment she had on her when she went into the machine, whilst maintaining the current map.

How do Reconstructors work?

Screenshot by Gamepur

You’ll stumble across at least one Reconstructor each run if you look hard enough. They’re large, imposing machines with an outline of the lifeforms that once lived on Atropos. Selene can investigate and even use these machines, but only at a cost. To use a Reconstructor, you must pay six Ether.

Ether is a resource you’ll find throughout Atropos, but it’s not common. Getting six requires you to uncover the entire map in a single run, and even then, you may not have enough. Luckily, Ether sticks with Selene through death so that you can build up a decent supply over a couple of trial runs before paying for the Reconstructor and going in for the kill on the next boss.

Bear in mind that a Reconstructor only works once. You’re paying six Ether to bring Selene back from the dead with all of your current progress in a run once. It’s a high price to pay with a resource that can get you more advantages earlier on in the game. Make sure you weigh up that cost before paying for a Reconstructor.

When to use a Reconstructor

Screenshot by Gamepur

You should only use a Reconstructor when you’re going to make a real attempt at the current boss. If you’re not happy with the Augments, Parasites, Weapon, or anything else in your current run, take the boss on without paying for a Reconstructor first. That way, you’ve got the Ether to splurge on one later when you really need it.

If you’ve got a killer weapon, a set of Parasites that boost your gameplay style, and an Augment or two that will help you defeat the boss, then you should definitely use a Reconstructor. Try to use it just before you take the boss on. That way, all your currently equipped items will be reconstructed along with Selene if you lose.