Returnal is a game full of difficulty spikes. For many people, Phrike is the most deadly – he is also the first. Returnal’s bosses are all about learning how they work and focusing first on how you move. If you can stay away from their fire, you can return enough to take them down.

Here’s how to beat him! 

How to Defeat Phrike in Returnal

The most important thing to do in this fight is learn how to strafe. Generally, you want to make sure you are constantly moving around him. Missing your shots is fine as long as you manage to dodge his.

I’m going to take you through his choreographed moves and how to avoid them, learn them, keep firing and you should take him down in no time.

Phase One

There are a few main moves he will do throughout this phase but it’s mostly slow and fairly choreographed. If he pulls his hands up to aim them at you, he’s firing at you. Just run around the fire, they’re very easy to dodge.

If he swings his arms in an arch before holding three in front of him, he’s casting orbs that slowly descend. Luckily, you can dodge through them and they don’t lock on. Occasionally, he holds just one hand up and purple orbs fly out.

These have a wide arc but can be dodged through with good timing. If red balls appear around his head, he’s about to fire a beam. Jump or dodge here as the beam hits the floor or just before.

When he disappears, just look around and prepare for him to rise again. If he raises three hands up and they are glowing red, he will fire small homing bullets - they can be dodged

Phase Two

Phase two is stronger and quicker and now he adds a few new moves to his arsenal. If orbs appear around him and he focuses his layer on the ground, a slow pulse attack will hit. You can jump over this but this is mostly used to overwhelm you.

Tackle it early and get over it. He will often follow this up with a lunge. When he holds his hand behind his head and his arm starts to glow, he will lunge and attack. Dodge backwards as he reaches you.

If he goes to fire the laser but aims to the side of you, two lasers will sweep the field – jump over them. He can also do a new move that shoots out blue shots, they aim for you but they don’t lock on. You can strafe around them

Phase Three

Phase Three is designed to overwhelm you and become a real bullet hell. Take it slowly and don't rush in and you should be fine. He’s tough and quick but not unbeatable. You’ve got this. 

One move is entirely unchoreographed but you have enough time to get out of the way. Sometimes, yellow orbs will fire from the ground, you can jump over or dash through them.

Sometimes, he will fire tiny shots above him, that will arc and lock on, just dodge these too. That’s every move he has. The key to most of these attacks is just staying on the move. If you can strafe well and have good access to the dodge, this shouldn’t pose too much of a threat. 

Related: Little Nightmares: A Postmortem Analysis

If you liked this guide and you’re struggling on more bosses, watch out for other guides right here!