So, you've having trouble against the second boss fight in Returnal, Ixion. You got a boss fight under your belt and have gotten more confident in what you are capable of, stomping through the Crimson Wastes like a bona fide bad ass. Then you fly hard into the next big wall in your journey, and don't know what to do. Thankfully, we have a guide to help.
Returnal Ixion – Getting to the Returnal Second Boss
Unlike Phrike in the past area, Ixion's location is straightforward. Get to the top of the mountain marked by the giant yellow beacon on the horizon. In this respect, the Crimson Wastes is more like a gauntlet than a key-hunting area since it is full of challenging mid-bosses and navigational challenges along the way. Just take your time, watch the skies, and keep following the orange marker on your compass. Once you see a large circular arena with a large feathered mass held up by giant metal cables, you've reached the boss fight. This is your last chance to stock up and get ready because this one is a doozy.
Returnal Ixion – Fighting the Returnal Second Boss
Like Phrike, Ixion can be broken up into three phases, with attack patterns that change and add up as the fight progresses. As for weapons to recommend, I do have a few suggestions. First, Ixion is a very agile boss that spends most of the fight in the air and far away. Because of this, stay away from the shotgun and grenade launcher weapons, they'll be liabilities at the ranges Ixion will be hitting you from. Stick to quick precision weapons with steady rates of fire like the sidearm and the carbine weapons with alt fire attacks like Killshot or Homing Barrage and you should be fine.
As for attacks to watch out for, Ixion has a few. Throughout phase one, Ixion will stay in the air and throw out clouds of bullets while darting around the map. These bullets come at you not just in bursts and waves but in large drill shapes as well. Don't get overwhelmed by the number of bullets, just keep an eye on him and keep weaving through the shots as they come at you.
Ixion has two major attacks that might trip you up at this point in the fight. The first is his laser barrage, which is where he flies to the back of the arena and spreads his wings wide as they glow with energy. Once this happens he'll charge up and fire a blue laser in a quick upwards slice towards you, similar to the one Phrike used, then have that large cloud of glowing blue particle effects fly at you as a large swarm of darts. Dodge the laser, then keep moving in the direction you dodged to lose the follow-up dart barrage.
The second attack is bullet barrage that comes from the center of the arena. When Ixion flies straight up into the sky get away from the middle of the arena because he is coming down hard. Once on the ground Ixion, will cover the arena in several swarms of bullets, circles of blue bullets in the air and several swirls of orange bullets on the ground. Furthermore, blue pulses will come out from the center. Unlike the red shockwaves, you cannot dodge through these attacks, you have to dodge over them. Just keep track of where you're jumping to and make sure you don't mid-air dash, otherwise you might get hit by a follow-up blue pulse.
There is another attack Ixion will dole out in phase 2 which is a bit harder to read. He'll fly into the sky then start carpet-bombing the arena with bullet drills and more blue pulses. The best advice I can give here is to stay out of the center in case he ends with the pulse barrage mentioned above, and keep an eye on the warning indicators near your character model. If you see that light up, move immediately before Ixion's fly-by tears you up.
Finally, we have phase three. This is where you've clipped Ixion's wings and bring him down to the ground. His moves change to a more aggressive form of the pulse barrage as well as some rapid-fire flechette shots that come in three different colors. But the most aggressive of his new attacks is a leaping claw attack that ends with a red shockwave on impact, a second shockwave when he pulls his claw from the ground, and a third shockwave when he strikes the ground in fury. You'll have to not just dodge this large leap, but be prepared for these aftershocks. Keep all of these attacks in mind, keep firing, and hopefully, you'll reduce Ixion to ashes in no time. Claim the grapnel gun upgrade from his body and carry on to the next area.
And that is our guide on how to beat Ixion, the boss of the Crimson Wastes in Returnal. If you have questions or need help in other parts of the game, check out our beginner's guide and exploration guide. Good luck and watch out for visions of that astronaut.