Returnal: How To Defeat The Third Boss Nemesis

Here is everything you need to know to defeat the third boss in Returnal.

Returnal_ How To Defeat The Third Boss (Nemesis)
Returnal: How To Defeat The Third Boss (Nemesis)

Nemesis is one of the toughest bosses in Returnal, the roguelike action game for the PlayStation 5. Located in the Derelict Citadel area of the game, this formidable foe can easily wipe out an unprepared player in just a few hits. This makes it incredibly hard to defeat the third boss of the game.

However, defeating Nemesis is not impossible with the right strategies and equipment. This guide will show you how to defeat this challenging boss and claim victory in Returnal.

Key Takeaways

  • The fight against Nemesis has three phases.
  • Fire only at the red heart in Nemesis’s chest to defeat the third boss.
  • Phase One has three different bullets fired by Nemesis and two minions attacking.
  • Dashing and dodging is the best way to survive this round.
  • Phase Two is similar to Phase One but with stronger and faster attacks, more minions, and Nemesis being able to move around.
  • Whenever Nemesis moves around, find the area where the minions have gathered and wait for it.
  • Apply the same strategies as Phase One.
  • Phase Three requires you to move towards Nemesis on floating platforms while avoiding attacks.
  • Move quickly between platforms and ignore minions, only attacking Nemesis.

Preparing for the Battle

Returnal Nemesis Preparing
Credit: SweetJohnnyCage YouTube

Before you face Nemesis, having the right equipment and upgrades is important to give you an edge in the fight. Here are some tips for preparing for the battle:

  • Upgrade your weapon: The best weapon for the job is the Hollowseeker, which significantly damages Nemesis. Make sure to upgrade it as much as possible before the battle.
  • Collect artifacts: Artifacts like the Astronaut Figurine and the Icarian Grapnel can be very helpful in the fight, as they provide extra protection and mobility.
  • Use consumables: Items like the Silphium Vial and the Apex Sphere can help you survive longer in battle. Make sure to collect as many consumables as possible before the fight.
  • Familiarize yourself with the arena: The battle with Nemesis occurs in a circular arena with several platforms. Explore the area beforehand to get a sense of the layout and where you can take cover.

Taking Down Nemesis

Returnal Nemesis Taking Down
Credit: SweetJohnnyCage YouTube

Once you’re prepared, it’s time to face Nemesis. To defeat the third boss of Returnal, you must survive the fight’s three phases. Here are a few strategies to help you get through it.

Phase One

Returnal Nemesis Phase One
Credit: SweetJohnnyCage YouTube

The fight will start off without giving you a chance to get your bearings. You will wake up on the strange, barren ground where everything has a red tinge. Right in front of you will be Nemesis, along with two minions, one on either side. You will face attacks from all three, but your main target will be the red “heart” in the center of Nemesis’s chest.

During Phase One of your fight to defeat the third boss, Nemesis will fire three kinds of ammunition at you. These will be in the shape of orbs of distinct colors.

  • The purple orbs will spawn on either side of Nemesis and come towards you suddenly with great speed. Your best bet to avoid these is to change your position in a delayed reaction. As soon as you see the purple orbs next to Nemesis, wait before dashing to the side.
  • The blue orbs will mostly be fired as companions to the attacks made by the minions. These bullets will be fast and plentiful. They mostly come in giant, sweeping waves over the battleground that you must simultaneously jump and dash to avoid. However, sometimes Nemesis will send them in stacks aimed directly at your position. Once again, your best bet is to dash to the side at the last second to avoid them.
  • The last kind of bullets Nemesis fires your way is the fiery orange orbs. These are Nemesis’s main ammunition against you but are relatively weaker. They are pretty slow to reach you and, therefore, much easier to avoid. Their main purpose is to distract you or occupy your attention so that you take heavy damage from one of the other attacks. Make sure you don’t let that happen.

Finally, the minions on either side of Nemesis execute the last attack in Phase One. Occasionally, one of the minions will come closer to the ground and fire a sweeping yellow laser across the battlefield. You should try jumping over such lasers or dashing through them. Whenever one of the minions is about to fire, a string of white electrical lightning connecting it to Nemesis will warn you of its impending attack.

If your fight against nemesis takes too long, the minions will begin executing a new attack soon enough. In this new attack, the minions simultaneously descend together to set the battlefield on fire in certain areas you should try to avoid. At the same time, Nemesis will fire a volley of blue and orange bullets at you.

The main problem with this attack is how overwhelming it looks. It is built to make you overthink how to survive it. The most important thing is not to let it unnerve you. Moving in a circular path is the easiest way to avoid bullets. Stay away from the fire, and you will quickly grow used to the pattern the orbs follow.

Try to get through this attack as quickly as possible; once it starts, it will repeat itself multiple times. If you can, finish Phase One before this attack even begins. Be careful not to waste time or ammunition firing at the minions during the fight. Firing directly at its heart is the only way to defeat the third boss. That is the only part that will weaken its health.

Phase Two

Returnal Nemesis Phase Two
Credit: SweetJohnnyCage YouTube

Phase Two will start with the ground beneath you shifting and splitting off into separate floating platforms. More importantly, the boss will shift its position. Don’t worry, though; for the few seconds that Nemesis disappears, the aliens acting as its companions are still visible. Just head to where you see the four familiar aliens floating. If you arrive early, wait for Nemesis to materialize and start shooting immediately.

Your target in this phase is still the same as the previous one; the red heart glowing in Nemesis’s chest. As you progress through the fight, you will begin to notice that Phase Two is a more intense, complicated version of the first phase. The base attacks are the same. However, their difficulty and manner of execution are now different.

Nemesis will still fire the same three colored bullets at you. Now, however, it will combine some of the orbs, such as the orange and blue ones, to attack you at the same time. The blue orbs will still come at you in giant waves and occasional sweeps. Moreover, the speed of the bullets will increase in this round. So you must be more careful about your timings when it comes to dodging.

The minions in Phase two have increased in number. There will now be four minions, two on either side. One minion from each side will come together to attack you from both sides simultaneously. Their attack is still the same seeping yellow laser, only now it will sweep backward as well, so you must avoid it twice in one attack.

The most drastic change between Phase One and Phase Two is that you will fight on floating platforms here. This is made to disorient you as the screen will be tilted as you fight, and your judgment regarding bullets will be hindered. You can navigate between platforms using a grappling hook to jump from one platform to another.

Moreover, Nemesis will be able to change locations. It will disappear from one place and reappear in another at will. Luckily, this only happens very rarely during the fight. Whenever it does, simply locate the aliens and jump to their position. Nemesis will appear there shortly. Be sure to end this fight as quickly as possible by firing at Nemesis’s chest with a powerful weapon.

Phase Three

Returnal Nemesis Phase Three
Credit: SweetJohnnyCage YouTube

As soon as Phase Two ends, Nemesis will destroy the battlefield. You will hang in the air for a few seconds before new floating platforms will appear for you to navigate. This will make your job much easier and much harder at the same time. While you can cover distance and dodge attacks more effectively by jumping on another platform, you cannot control the platforms’ locations. Therefore, you might get stuck being unable to avoid a direct hit.

In Phase Three, Nemesis will move far away from you, and you must find your way as close to it as possible. You can technically fire at it from as far as you like, but attacks from closer assure more damage and accuracy. In rare instances, Nemesis will push you back when you get too close to it. Try your hardest to defeat the third boss before it gets the chance to do so, and do not get frustrated if it does.

Nemesis once again fires the same three colored bullets at you, but this time in different patterns. It will mostly practice wide-range attacks. It will send out bullets in waves and spirals, firing bullets in sweeping patterns. This makes it easier for you to dodge, considering the lack of space you have to move around immediately in this phase.

The minions are still beside Nemesis and have now evolved their attack to a joint yellow laser that they fire directly at you. However, the minions are not the most important part of this fight. Your main target is Nemesis. The minions’ attacks will be frequent but weak in comparison.

Furthermore, the minions will now have the ability to destroy any platform you are standing on. This is extremely dangerous for you; therefore, as soon as you see any of the minions glowing a disquieting red, change platforms as quickly as possible.

Phase Three is likely to be considerably easier than the first two phases. This is because the terrain is much more to your advantage. Don’t be afraid to use the platforms as best as you can, whether to move quickly by grappling to another platform or to block attacks. Your main goal is to fire at the red core until you defeat the third boss.


Returnal Nemesis Conclusion

The fight with the third boss is taxing but, most importantly, long. It is important to be ready and patient during the battle. With these tips and strategies, you should be well-prepared to take on Nemesis and emerge victorious in Returnal. Good luck, and happy hunting!

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