PlayStation’s Returnal has recently launched Ascension, a substantial free update that is now available almost a year after the original release. Alongside the addition of the Tower of Sisyphus, which presents an arcade mode of sorts with increasingly harder floors as you move to the top, you can now play co-op, which introduces a new ranking feature. This guide explains how the Returnal Scout Rank works and the rewards for it.
What is the Scout Rank in Returnal?
Introduced with the Ascension update, the Returnal Scout Rank is a feature present in co-op, meaning that it doesn’t take place in singleplayer by any means. You can only increase your Scout Rank in Returnal when you join another player’s session, as opposed to hosting your own (regardless of whether it’s a public or private session.)
Now, the Scout Rank is mostly for show, as it’s always displayed next to your name during multiplayer. It doesn’t carry a deep progression nor introduces any new substantial mechanics into how the game works.
The orange “8” and “2” next to the healthbars represent each of our Scout Ranks.
That being said, there are rewards involved, which leads to an interesting incentive if you’re planning on sticking around co-op for long. Jump into our new section if you’re keen on learning more about it!
Returnal Scout Rank Rewards – What is Ether and How to Use
The reward for leveling up your Scout Rank in Returnal is ether. This is an in-game item that can be quite elusive, so it makes for a great opportunity to get more ether in addition to what you find during singleplayer. As for the description, it’s said that it works as “a permanent resource that interacts with other timelines and cleanses Malignancy”. In other words, you won’t lose ether when you die.
In practice, there are multiple uses for ether in Returnal:
Cleansing Malignant objects: If you see a chest, key, or any other item with a purple aura around them, as well as a name that clearly displays “Malignant,” it means they’re corrupted and can infect you with a debuff. You can use ether to cleanse them and avoid it altogether.
Using the Reconstructor: The Reconstructor is a terminal that can be found across areas inside its own room, and allows you to respawn there instead of losing the entire run if you’re taken down. You can use ether to use it.
Unlock new items at the Cthonos: On the crash site, right before you’re about to exit through the door and start a new run, there is a terminal on the left side that allows you to exchange ether for brand new artifacts and consumables that you haven’t unlocked yet. If you’re a completinionist or just want to try your luck for a new item to be added to the usual loot pool, this is the best use for your ether.
You can exchange ether for obolites: In shops, you can come across terminals that allow you to trade ether for obolites, or the other way around. I wouldn’t recommend doing this unless you’re in a tough spot and want to purchase a health item, for example, but it’s up to you.
Worrying about increasing your Returnal Scout Rank is going to depend greatly on how you’re engaging with the game in the first place. If you’re mostly being a host for friends or other people online, you won’t be getting any of the benefits. But if you’re up for lending strangers or friends alike a hand, having ether as a reward is a nice bonus.
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That’s all you need to know about the ReturnalScout Rank introduce during the Ascension update, have fun out there!