You’ve beaten the first boss in Returnal, got through the first main difficulty barrier and now, you’re a little bit cocky. Ixion works to knock that confidence way back down again. With tonnes of flying abilities and far too much momentum, this fight can be a little hectic.

They are also the first real bullet hell challenge the game throws at you. Going through their moves and style, here’s everything you need to know to beat them for yourself. Good luck in there!

How to Defeat Ixion in Returnal

The issue with Ixion is they stay in the air a lot. Melee moves are more or less pointless until the end of the fight so don’t bother with these upgrades as you make your way to them. Try and develop weapons that have a bit of a spread and don’t require too much accuracy.

Although it’s a great weapon, I wouldn’t advise using the Dreadbound here as you will often shoot into wide spaces. Doing so leaves you without that bullet for a length of time. Essentially, you want to give yourself an excuse to miss a lot, to prioritise moving. 

Ixion Fight Phase One 

Ixion’s moves are harder to predict but generally a bit easier to avoid so we’ll only mention the real tough ones to avoid. This first phase is done entirely in the air, with Ixion flying above and around you. Every time they dodge, bullets come your way, so make sure to tackle them early by getting past them. 

This phase isn’t too hard and almost every move can be avoided with well paced strafing. One move worth looking out for is when they build-up for a second or so. This will be followed by a concentrated beam of shots that take just under five second to finish. You will need to dodge a few times here. 

Ixion Fight Phase Two

This phase starts immediately with a pulse from the middle of the stage, go towards them and jump over it. A dangerous combo worth watching out for is when they point in the air with a blue beam. Not only will they fire blue orbs around them but a blue wave will course from their body.

This gives you a real taste of bullet hell. Luckily, you can dodge through the wave. Just dodge forward into it and walk back while firing, then dodge into it again. Occasionally, they will disappear off screen – this means they’re about to rush in again.

As they fly in, another wave and more bullets will hit. Occasionally, they will entirely disappear and materialise into a haze of blue. They will fire a laser updards starting on the floor and many small shots will start to lock on - wait for them to get close and dodge. 

One final move to look out for is when they start to fire bullets from right to left. It will hit a wide spread and keep coming back. You can jump over this or dodge it but you need to be prepared for it to come back again. 

Ixion Fight Phase Two

This phase adds a little bit of everything with more speed and a new melee style. You can take this but it does get tough. Ixion will reach inside themselves and pull out a melee weapon. While they do so, you have a few seconds of uninterrupted fire to send their way – do it while you can. 

After this, their melee attacks are very dangerous. They are well choreographed with swings and arches but you really have to watch out for after they land. Melee moves are accentuated by extra shots and sweeping attacks. You are better off waiting until they’ve attacked to dodge back and take pop shots. 

There are a lot of red wave attacks here so you have to jump over them. As long as you continue to dodge and jump throughout this phase while keeping steady attacks, you should be able to take them out. 

Related: How to Defeat Phrike in Returnal