Datacubes in Returnal are special items that you use to unlock consumables and artifacts from, after you use the datacube processor. Everything you unlock with the datacube then becomes available to find in the open world in subsequent runs. It’s a fairly major way of progression, so you should figure out how it works asap. You’ll want to know what to do with datacubes, and where to find the processor. We’ll show you all you need to know in our Returnal Datacube Location – Where is the Datacube Processor guide.
What to Do With Datacubes in Returnal?
What you do with Returnal datacubes is decode them in a datacube processor in order to unlock whatever is in them. Each datacube has a blueprint inside it, be it for an artifact, or a consumable. You can discover eighteen different items from these cubes. Once you open a datacube at the processor, you will immediately get a copy of the item, and you’ll be able to find it elsewhere in the world in further cycles. It’s basically one of the ways that you make your character more powerful over time, allowing you to push further.
As for where you can find datacube locations, since Returnal is a roguelike game, everything is randomized and the whole zone layout changes after you die. However, datacubes are always found in the same rooms of the level. There’s only a question whether in the randomized setup of the level those rooms will appear. There are three datacubes per biome and therefore three rooms for you to find. We’ll list the description of rooms for all zones so you know where to look for the datacube. Do note that you can carry only one datacube at a time, and you’ll lose it if you die.
Where is the Returnal Datacube Processor
The first datacube processor in Returnal that we’ve come across is after defeating the first boss. So, you’ll have to keep hold of a cube all the way throughout the whole first biome, beat the boss, and only then will you be able to get whatever item might be inside it. This is, of course, way easier said than done, but you have to do it. You might need several attempts to put it off, considering how difficult the game is.
Rest of the Datracube processors follow a similar pattern. Most are found just before the boss or after it. Here is the rest of the Datacube Processor locations for each biome.
- Crimson Wastes – Just before the boss. You need to get the grapple hook, which means you’ve defeated the 2nd boss once before. Instead of going to the boss fight grapple to the platform on your left, just before the boss. You’ll find the datacube processor and a parasite remover.
- Derelict Citadel – before the boss room. You can’t miss it.
- Echoing Ruins – In the room where you can travel to the 5th and 6th biome. It is the one where you ascend the tower towards the music. Once you unlock the big door with two keys where the fabricator is at.
- Fractured Wastes – This one is easy because it is inside the first hub room. The one where the pool of water is at and all the other fabricators and replicators are at. The problem is surviving the three rooms and bringing back the datacube to the processor.
- Abyssal Scar – after you defeat the last boss of the game you can deposit the datacube in the processor behind the hole he craweled from.
Returnal Datacube Locations
Datacubes are located inside special rooms in each biome, but not each of these rooms will appear during every run. We can’t tell you to go here or there in each zone, but we can help you by telling you which special features of a room to keep an eye out for. It is recommended that you finish the first playthrough of the game and collect all exploration items first. Some datacubes are inaccessible unless you have items that help you reveal hidden platforms, grapple to yellow points or go underwater. You get all these by progressing to the last boss of the game.