I recently unlocked the melee attack in the first area of Returnal. According to the tutorial, I can use this attack to destroy energy barriers, vines, and other barriers. I've already used the melee attack to destroy a couple energy barriers and a few vines, but in my most recent run I came across an energy barrier I wasn't able to destroy with my melee attack.

Attempting to melee an energy barrier in Returnal

This energy barrier doesn't appear to be any different than any of the other energy barriers I've destroyed (unless it's another colour blind issue), so I'm really confused as to why I can't destroy it. The energy barrier is a door to a blue (?) triangle room if that makes a difference, although I don't see why it would.

Why can't I destroy this energy barrier with my melee attack? Is this just a bug, or is there something I'm missing here?


1 Answer 1


It could be a colour blind issue. As I know, there are two different kind of barriers: red and orange.

Red energy barriers can be destroyed with a strike of your Atropian Blade (your melee weapon).

To open orange energy barriers (the one in your GIF) you also need to purchase the Blade Balancer Artifact from a Fabricator. It costs 250 Obolites and has the vague in-game description:

Enables a more powerful melee attack.

Once you’ve purchased this, you can then walk over to the orange barriers and press Square to use your melee attack to slice through them.

Source: Twinfinite.

  • 1
    Awesome, thanks! I had a feeling it was just a colour blind issue. If they were next to each other I'm sure I'd notice the difference, but when I'm seeing them on completely different runs, they just looked exactly the same. Now that I'm aware two different barriers exist, I'm curious if I'll actually notice the colour difference between the two of them next time I come across the red ones. This would've been way more obvious if they made one of them red and the other blue.
    – Wipqozn
    Sep 22, 2021 at 10:48
  • @Wipqozn that color choice doesn't make any sense to me, too.
    – pinckerman
    Sep 22, 2021 at 11:06

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