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How to defeat Nemesis in Returnal

The key to completing Act 1 of this bullet hell shooter

How to defeat Nemesis in Returnal
(Image: © Future)
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Housemarque's recent PS5 exclusive Returnal has boss fights that are both captivating to behold and brutally difficult to beat. Of the bosses in Act 1, none demonstrate these dual qualities as well as Nemesis. This opponent is the final one you'll face in Act 1, capping off the third biome with an impressive fight using incredible scale.

Fortunately, once you pick your jaw up off the ground and read through our tips, you'll be equipped to take this on this fight. Here's how to beat Nemesis in Returnal.

How to unlock and fight Nemesis

returnal third biome

(Image credit: Future)

Nemesis is found in the third Biome of Returnal, the Derelict Citadel. To unlock this boss, you'll need to ascend the various layers of the Citadel, navigating the laser defenses and hordes of automaton enemies.  

After reaching the Derelict Citadel for the first time, you'll unlock a shortcut in the Overgrown Ruins that you can use, so you don't have to go through the entirety of the Crimson Wastes again in order to reach your goal. 

Tips for fighting Nemesis

You'll want to prepare for this fight. While you can just run to the top immediately, you really won't stand a chance. Returnal's randomized nature means that getting some specific things will be extremely tricky but at least try to do the following.

Farm Resin to bolster your Suit Integrity in the first Biome. Whenever you're at full health, all of the available health replenishment turns into Resin. This means that if you're willing to take time and trek back to Helios to heal up between clearing rooms, you can consistently get to around 150 - 170% suit integrity by clearing the Overgrown Ruins. 

Prioritize upgrades and Parasites that increase Weapon Damage, Suit Integrity, and Protection. Melee upgrades are not needed and will not help you in this fight, you won't be in range to use your melee attack. Having an Astronaut Figure artifact is also extremely helpful. Finally, try to find a long-range weapon. The Tachyomatic Carbine or Hollowseeker are your best bet, stay away from guns like the Rotgland Lobber or especially the Spitmaw Blaster.

returnal nemesis boss cutscene

(Image credit: Future)

As for the fight itself, there are three stages, just like with prior bosses. In the first stage, Nemesis will use orange orbs attacks and sweeping yellow beams. Strafe from side to side to avoid the Orbs, while you need to dash through the yellow beams to avoid taking damage. Target the red heartlike mass with consistent fire and frequently use your gun's alternate attack, if it's a long-range attack.

The second stage is fairly similar but Nemesis will now rotate around the vast arena, meaning you'll need to dash across the floating platforms once or twice. Just be careful when crossing, you don't want to fall and lose a chunk of health.

The third stage is wildly different. You'll start falling through the air but go ahead and keep attacking, you aren't in danger yet. When you start to see platforms float past you, clamber up to them. While the orbs will continue to fire your way from time to time, the yellow beam attacks will now intensify and are your greatest threat. Try to time your grapples to other platforms to coincide with these attacks, so you can dodge them without having to worry about falling off your current platform. 

Keep on firing and grappling and you shouldn't have too much trouble.