After your adventure through the Overgrown Ruins to defeat Phrike, you will come up against Ixion in the Crimson Wastes. This winged beast is the second boss of Returnal, and it certainly ups the ante.
This guide will cover everything you need to know about the Ixion boss battle in Returnal, breaking down each phase of the fight.
How To Prepare For The Ixion Boss Battle
After defeating Phrike, you will have access to a second Consumable slot. This will help you a lot in the battle against Ixion, as you can now stock up on more Silphium Vials.
- Tip: Silphium Vials are Consumables that you can find across Atropos. They allow you to quickly restore some health during a fight.
As with every boss fight, save any Obolites that you can find. Teleport back to a Fabricator just before the fight so that you can purchase some useful Artefacts and Consumables to aid you in the fight.
- Tip: The Astronaut Figurine allows you to respawn where you died once, which can be extremely helpful in boss fights. It can usually be found in the Overgrown Ruins, so try not to die on the way to the Ixion fight.
How To Defeat Ixion In Returnal
Ixion’s health is displayed at the top of the screen. You must drain the health bar to advance to the next phase, which makes the battle more intense and chaotic. There are three phases to the Ixion fight, after which the boss will be defeated.
How To Survive Ixion Phase 1 In Returnal
When Ixion first appears, it will fly slightly above the boss arena.
Throughout the first phase, Ixion will dash around the edges of the platform. It will use one main attack throughout, although there are a few different variants to be mindful of. In the first phase, Ixion will use a mix of the following:
- Ixion will fire a scattered burst of orbs at you. These won’t be too accurate, so you can usually avoid them easily.
- Each time Ixion dashes around the arena, it will leave behind a group of orbs that slowly drift towards you. These won’t travel far, but it is important that you keep them in mind so that you don’t move into them.
- Ixion will occasionally fire a torrent of orbs in a vortex pattern. These come thick and fast, so be ready to dash away to avoid them.
- When Ixion stops moving, it may aim a more focused stream of orbs at you. This attack won’t last long, but it is much more accurate.
When its health bar is empty, Ixion will fall to the ground.
How To Survive Ixion Phase 2 In Returnal
In phase 2, Ixion becomes much more unpredictable. The attacks will be sporadic, but here’s what you need to watch out for:
- When Ixion is on the ground, energy fields will start growing outwards from the center of the arena. Dash through these to avoid taking damage. Whilst this is happening, Ixion will also release more orbs, filling the arena with potentially harmful projectiles.
- After a short period, Ixion will take flight again. This time, it will randomly appear around the arena, before unleashing a beam of energy across the arena in a straight line. This will release orbs and an energy field outwards, just like the previous attack.
- Whilst in the air, Ixion can repeat the same attacks that were used during the previous phase.
- If Ixion stops flying, be prepared for it to unleash a laser beam that will strike across the arena. You can tell when this is about to happen, as its face will glow blue.
Since Ixion is so unpredictable in this phase, always be ready to use your dash. You won’t take any damage whilst the dash animation is playing, so use that to your advantage.
How To Survive Ixion Phase 3 In Returnal
In the final phase, Ixion will mostly stay on the ground. It will begin using melee attacks, which can be devastating if you have low health. Don’t forget to use a Silphium Vial if you have one.
Ixion has a variety of different melee and area of effect attacks in this section:
- Sometimes, Ixion will leap at you and swing out with its bladed arm. As it impacts the ground, projectiles will fire out around it.
- Ixion will sometimes smash its arms into the ground, releasing energy waves that ripple across the floor. You’ll need to jump to avoid these.
- When Ixion stops and roots its arm into the ground, it will begin firing groups of orbs in your direction. These will be bunched together, so keep dashing to avoid them.
As it did in the previous phases, Ixion will dash around a lot. Be careful, as it may now follow each dash up with a powerful melee strike that could end the entire fight.
Best Weapons To Use Against Ixion
You will find various weapons as you explore the Crimson Wastes. However, they aren’t all worth using. The Thermogenic Launcher deals a lot of damage, as does the Pyroshell Caster. These explosive weapons are excellent for dealing with packs of aliens whilst exploring Atropos, but they are too inaccurate for boss battles.
- Tip: When fighting Ixion, use something that fires quickly, as the boss is constantly flying around. The Hollowseeker or Carbine are particularly useful in this fight.
Most importantly, you need something accurate that you can use to hit Ixion before it dashes away.
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