Red water appears early in your Returnal runs — once you reach the Crimson Wastes, you’ll encounter challenge rooms full of deadly red water. The only way to overcome this stuff is to earn a unique traversal item that’s also completely optional. You can complete the entire game without ever entering a pool of red water. But, if you’re curious like me, you’ll never let something like challenge rooms go.
If you’re stumped on the red water problem, we’ve got the solution. You’ll need to make some good progress into Returnal before you can access it, but even if you’ve reached the end of the game, this optional item can be missed. It’s a permanent key item upgrade, so once you get it once, you’ll never have to track it down again. It’s also required for unlocking the secret ending, but we won’t talk about that here. This is all about those annoying (and unbeatable) red water challenge rooms. Here’s how to traverse them.
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How To Enter Red Water Without Taking Damage | Promethean Insulators Guide
Red water is a liquid that’s coursing with red electricity. Entering it does damage — and will kill Selene very quickly. Usually rooms with red water also prevent you from dashing, so you’re forced to walk in the water.
To traverse red water, you need to acquire the Promethean Insulators. This is a key item that is permanently added to your inventory.
- How To Find The Promethean Insulators: At the beginning of the Fractured Wastes, the fifth biome, you’ll encounter a locked door. Get a key and unlock it — it leads into a platforming challenge room.
You’ll have to reach the end of the platforming room without the Dash. If you reach the end without falling into the killer water, you’ll recover the Promethean Insulators. Now you can traverse any of the red water rooms and earn more rewards — or backtrack and get hidden Sunface Fragments.