Dogmatil what it is used for

Returnal: ether - what is it used for? Tips

This page of the Returns Guide explains what ether is used for. This resource can make it easier for you to play through. We also explain how you can get Ether.

  • Ether - what is it?
  • How do I get ether?
  • What can you spend ether on?

Ether - what is it?

Aether is one of the resources in Returnal and is definitely rarer than Obolite. Typically, you have a few to a dozen pieces of Aether in your inventory.

The unique feature of ether is that even if you die, that is, when the cycle is restarted, you will not lose it. It is an integral part of your equipment. Once we have acquired Ether, we no longer need to consume it during the current session, as is the case with Obolite. We can keep it and use it in any future cycle.

Aether can be used for a variety of purposes, but unfortunately we need to spend it wisely as there are few collectibles of it in a single cycle. Having a supply of Aether can be very helpful if we suddenly get to a point in the game where using the Aether will help you move forward or minimize the risk of Selene's ultimate death. For more information on what ether can be used for, see the text.

You may also find an artifact in the next stages of the campaign: radio. It also rewards saving ether and not spending it on unnecessary things. A unique feature of this artifact is that it grants you a protection bonus based on the current supply of Aether. For example, if Selene currently has 30 pieces of Aether, her protection increases by up to 30%. This can be very useful in clashes with elite monsters and bosses.

How do I get ether?

We can find aether mainly as prey. They are always single deposits, so resource gathering is slow.

We can also maintain ether by overcoming daily challenges. As a reminder, challenges will become available after we go through the first biome (Overgrown Ruins) and return to the Helios ship. A new terminal will be unlocked so that you can start experiments that change every day. If we complete a single challenge, we can receive a few pieces of Aether.

The daily challenges are described in more detail on a separate page of our manual: Challenge Terminal.

A less common way to get Aether is to avenge the death of another player - a scout. After finding another player's body (assuming we're playing online), there may be an opportunity to avenge them. If we choose to take this step, we can get some pieces of Aether, but Selene will have to defeat a random mini-boss that will appear in the area where you found the corpse.

Online gaming is described in more detail on the Multiplayer and Social Features page.

Aether can also be a reward for defeating one of the main bosses. This can allow us to make purchases and replenish Selene's health once she is depleted after an intense boss fight.

What can you spend ether on?

Ether can mainly be used to cleanse malignant objects, i.e. the cursed ones. These could be keys, obolite deposits or loot containers, for example. Interacting with a malicious object carries the risk of armor malfunction, i.e. a curse that can, for example, increase skill recharge time, increase the damage done to you when you fall, or cause obolites to be lost.

It is recommended that you only spend Ether on containers with the most valuable content, so there is a higher chance that the loot you acquire safely will be useful in the battles to come.

Another important application of ether is the use of reconstructors (example in the picture). These are machines that track our progress, so Selene's death does not automatically mean the end of the cycle. The game allows a one-time resurrection in the reconstructor and the preservation of your equipment. This allows you to continue the gameplay within a certain cycle.

Using a reconstructor is a good idea before fighting a boss of a particular biome. If we fail, we have the option to repeat the fight with the same (or better) equipment.

Another easily accessible way to dispense ether is to use the Cthonos device. It appears after a while near the crash site where we start each cycle. We can spend aether and get random loot in exchange. This method is not necessarily inexpensive because although we spend a few pieces of aether, the object we receive may be of little use to us.


Ether can also be used on a smaller scale:

  • We can spend it to loot another Scavenge player's body. This allows us to get loot without having to fight the mini-boss.
  • We can exchange ether for obolith in certain places. This can come in handy when we want to make some purchases for Obolite but don't have enough of them right now.
  • Category: Returnal, Tips