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Returnal patch rolls out today — here's how to make sure it doesn't ruin your progress

Returnal
(Image credit: Sony)

If you're been playing Returnal, you'll know how gruelling the roguelike's cycles can be. But what you may not know is that there's a big patch set to roll out today that could scupper your progress. Developer Housemarque has your back though, and has dropped a PSA about how to avoid this happening. 

The studio took to Twitter to give PS5 gamers a heads up ahead of the update, which goes live today, May 5 at 12 p.m. PST / 3 p.m. EST / 8 p.m. BST. The tweet actually says 7 p.m. GMT but someone at the studio has their time zones mixed up — the UK is now in BST thanks to daylight savings. But we recommend implementing the workaround well before then, so you don't have to find out if this is a typo, or a weirdly staggered rollout. 

The short version is that you need to turn off auto-update in your PS5 system settings. Otherwise, even if you leave the game suspended and your console on/ in rest mode, your cycle will be reset once the update goes live. The developers link to a PlayStation support page that details how to turn it off, and it's actually super easy.

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To turn off auto-updates, head to Settings Saved Data and Game/App Settings Automatic Updates. You'll find two options here that you can toggle on and off: Auto-Download and Auto-Install in Rest Mode. 

Flip these to off, and you can manually download install the update at a convenient point between runs. Given the nature of the game, you'll have just died yet another horrible death, so taking a breather to download and install the update is a good a time for a break as any. 

As we mentioned in our Returnal review, the game doesn't have an auto save feature, or any way to save your progress. The only options players have is to leave the game suspended, and their console on or in rest mode. If you switch to another game, close the application, or turn your console off, it's back to Helios for you. 

In spite of this rather large niggle, we gave the game a 4.5/5. It's one of the few next-gen exclusive titles to launch, and showcases the PS5's SSD and DualSense controller features to an impressive degree. If you're in the UK, you can save 20% off Returnal right now, as well as the upcoming Resident Evil Village, and more over on eBay. The promotion is running for the whole week, so don't miss out.  

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.