Returnal game-breaking patch pulled — it's now safe to update

Returnal PS5
(Image credit: Sony)

Returnal launched last week exclusively for PS5, but it's had a few niggles with games crashing and save files being corrupted. 

A patch rolled out yesterday but caused more harm than good, with reports of more corrupted games. Housemarque has since remedied the issue and it's now safe to update your game.

Patch 1.3.3 came with a number of fixes implemented in the update. Unfortunately, it was followed by reports that it had outright broken some players' games, corrupting saves; something exacerbated by the lack of an auto save or manual save feature. 

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Housemarque pulled the patch and rolled out patch 1.3.4 overnight, but affected gamers are in for a headache. It reverts to the previously stable build (1.3.1) as well as "addressing a known Trophies issue, and fixing a keyboard exploit." 

"Patch 1.3.3 has been pulled and we are reverting back to 1.3.1 until it's fixed. We are fixing the issue now and a new patch will be published in a few hours All users affected by the 1.3.3 need to re-download the game. Our sincerest apologies," the studio tweeted. 

Housemarque added that you'll know if you've been affected because you'll get the CE-100028-1 error popup. It advises that if you're not sure, you should wait for the next patch — which is live now. So "don't start the game before the upcoming patch is available and downloaded" is the current advice, to be on the safe side.  

Patch 1.3.5 is expected in the "near future" that we assume will remedy issues that patch 1.3.3 was intended to address. For now, your save games are safe. If you were affected by the blip, Housemarque posted advice on the various scenarios you may have found yourself in, so you can figure out what you need to do next. 

  • Some game saves will have become corrupted with Patch 1.3.3, but maintained their file size. Players with those save games are able to safely continue their progress after installing Patch 1.3.4, without the need for using a backed up save game.
  • Unfortunately other save games will have been effectively "deleted" by Patch 1.3.3, with their file size reducing to 0KB. These save games are not directly salvageable by Patch 1.3.4, without a backup save game available.
  • In those cases, please try using a backed up save from PS+ if available, after installing Patch 1.3.4. With an intact save game from PS+, players can safely restore and continue playing with Patch 1.3.4 installed.
  • Depending on the console settings, the cloud save may have been overwritten by the "deleted" save game noted above. If this is the case, progress will remain unsalvageable, even with Patch 1.3.4.

Of course, even the simple act of updating Returnal with a fully functioning patch isn't straightforward. Game progress is lost if you close the application, or turn off your console. The developer has even advised disabling the auto update feature on your console, as if the game updates while suspended and your console is on, your progress is going down the pan.

For now, follow the studio's advice and sit tight while we wait for patch 1.3.5. Don't forget to check out our Returnal tips and tricks if you've picked up the game. 

Shabana Arif

Shabana is T3's News Editor covering tech and gaming, and has been writing about video games for almost a decade (and playing them since forever). As well as contributing to Tom's Guide, she's had bylines at major gaming sites during her freelance career before settling down at T3, and has podcasts, streaming, and video content under her belt to boot. Outside of work, she also plays video games and should really think about expanding her hobbies.