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Returnal: How to Defeat Phrike

Learn the attacks of Returnal’s first boss, Phrike.




Returnal How to Defeat Phrike

Returnal features a few bosses that will test your skills at the end of each of the game’s areas.

The first boss you’ll face is Phrike, a three-armed humanoid alien. Despite being the first boss of the game, he is no slouch and his attacks can quickly overwhelm players.

However, knowledge is power! In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Phrike. We’ll detail everything about his moves and his different phases, so read on.

How to Defeat Phrike in Returnal

Phrike, being the first boss, has a fairly simple attack pattern once you learn how to avoid his moves. He’s still quite challenging, mind you, Returnal is not an easy game by any means.

Phrike is found at the end of the Overgrown Ruins area and the fight consists of 3 different phases. We’ll break this guide down by going over each phase.

Phase 1

This is the easiest phase, where you should get accustomed to Phrike’s basic attacks. Let’s identify each attack and how to avoid them.

How to Defeat Phrike in Returnal 1
Source: Pmas

When Phrike raises one of his hands with an orange glow, he’s about to shoot 3 barrages of orange orbs. You can avoid all 3 barrages by running to the side.

You can also zigzag, dodging in the direction opposite of the hand he is firing from. If he shoots to your left, move right, for example.

When Phrike raises one
Source: Pmas

At times, Phrike will raise his hands and rain purple orbs on you. You can’t dash through these.

Focus on dodging the projectiles more than on dealing damage to Phrike when he uses this attack.

Source: Pmas

If Phrike has a glow on his face, he’s about to shoot a laser beam vertically. Quickly dodge to the side to avoid this attack.

Phrike has a glow on his face
Source: Pmas

Another one of his attacks is a concentrated barrage of blue lasers. He signals this attack by raising all 3 arms at once. Strafe to the side and you should avoid all projectiles.

Lastly, Phrike might sometimes go into the ground and disappear. He’ll reappear next to you, dealing damage as he comes out. Don’t stop moving until he reappears to avoid damage.

Try your best to keep shooting at him as you dodge his attacks. Focus on not taking damage more than on dealing damage. Eventually, you’ll clear his first phase. Get ready for phase 2!

Phase 2

For the second phase, Phrike starts attacking faster and mixing up his attacks more often. Again, focus on dodging the barrage of attacks he throws at you.

Be careful of dodging into one attack while avoiding another. It’s a common mistake to make as Phrike overwhelms you with projectiles, but it can be a run ender.

new attack is a beam he charges
Source: Pmas

His first new attack is a beam he charges directly toward the ground. This creates a circular beam that expands outward. You have to jump over it to avoid it.

As soon as he does the previous attack, Phrike will charge at you and swipe you with one of his arms. Dodge to your side, being mindful of not dodging into the circular beam.

He might randomly charge at you like this even without using the beam first, so keep an eye out for that attack.

horizontal sweep with a red beam

His third new attack is a horizontal sweep with a red beam. You can jump over this sweeping beam. Be careful not to confuse it with the vertical beam, however.

You can differentiate which beam he will use by looking at his head’s position. For the vertical beam, he will look straight down in front of him. For the horizontal sweep, he will look to his side.

Don’t let Phrike trip you up with his barrage of attacks and new tricks, keep avoiding everything he throws at you and dealing damage to reach the third and final phase of the fight.

Phase 3

Phrike is getting desperate and bringing the intensity up to 11 with this final phase.

As soon as the phase starts, Phrike will charge at you for a sweeping melee attack. Be ready to dodge to your side as soon as it happens.

his 3 arms to shoot the blue laser beams

He will also raise up his 3 arms to shoot the blue laser beams. However, the beams now go upwards and then fall toward you. These lasers have homing properties, so they are very dangerous.

Phrike will also spawn a myriad of purple orbs that trail along the ground. Move to your sides and zigzag between these to avoid them. He’ll teleport in for a melee attack once the projectiles vanish.

Other than that, he doesn’t get many new attacks. However, he’ll start doubling up almost all of his previous attacks.

phase is incredibly tough

For example, the expanding circular beam on the ground will now be two circles instead of one. His orange orb barrages are increased to about 6 to 8 barrages instead of just 3, as well.

This phase is incredibly difficult and will really test how well you learned his attacks during the previous phases.

Persevere and dodge the insane number of projectiles while you keep shooting at him to take Phrike down once and for all!

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