An essential staple of all Metroid games is the act of upgrading Samus’ suit and equipment to better access new areas of the map. In this Metroid Dread Upgrades Guide, I will explain all of the upgrades available and how you can use them. I will provide links to any relevant Boss or E.M.M.I guides to help you acquire them too!
I have categorized the upgrades in this guide for easier browsing, but I’ve provided this table of each upgrade’s chronological appearance if you’d like to jump to the next one in your game:
You will start the game with the Power Beam equipped. Use it by pressing to fire a single beam round.
The Omega Cannon is a temporary cannon upgrade that you can only acquire by draining power from Central Units. It is the only weapon able to defeat E.M.M.I units.
With it, by holding you can fire an Omega Stream, used to destroy the faceplates on E.M.M.I units.
You can also hold while aiming with to charge a powerful Charged Omega Shot, capable of destroying E.M.M.I units if fired with at an E.M.M.I’s “eye”.
The charge beam is found here in Artaria.
With it, you can hold to charge a more powerful beam shot. Release to fire.
You can use it to temporarily charge doors with low power, allowing them to open. These Charge Beam Doors look just like regular doors but are dimmer and don’t open with a single shot.
A fully-charged shot will also deal large amounts of damage to enemies, similar to a missile.
You will find the Wide Beam Upgrade in the center of Dairon when you visit as a detour before defeating the Green E.M.M.I in Cataris.
It is an upgrade for the Charge Beam, causing fully-charged beam shots to explode on impact with a purple energy cloud. This cloud of energy can hit things on the other side of walls and pillars that are exactly one tile wide.
You can also hit destructibles such as Organic Matter inside walls to reveal hidden paths.
You can switch to the Grapple Beam by holding . Then, once you fire with , you will shoot a rope-like grapple that can latch onto triangular blue grapple points.
You will head to Elun after collecting the Super Missile Upgrade, and will acquire the Plasma Beam there. You can find it in a Chozo Item Sphere near the bottom of the map.
The Plasma Beam Upgrade powers up your Wide Beam, turning the projectiles green. It will replace your regular attack, making all of your shots more powerful.
The Plasma Beam travels through defeated enemies, allowing you to hit multiple enemies in a row.
You will now also be able to damage and destroy robotic enemies with standard attacks, which would have previously required several Charge Beam shots.
Additionally, you can use the Plasma Beam to dissipate Plasma Beam Door Covers.
You will receive the Wave Beam for defeating the Purple E.M.M.I in Ferenia after taking the shuttle there from Hanubia.
It will replace the Wide Beam as your standard projectile attack. It can pass through solid objects entirely, allowing you to shoot enemies from behind walls.
You can also use it to destroy Wave Beam Door Covers and access new areas. There’s one in Hanubia you will need to destroy after collecting it in order to progress the story.
You will get the Hyper Beam during the fight with Raven Beak X at the end of the game. It won’t be available outside of this end-game sequence.
It will destroy all enemies and obstacles with a single press of .
You can find the Super Missile Upgrade behind a door with a Missile Cover in the southern part of Ghavoran.
There’s a secret Bomb block under the door leading to the Dairon Elevator. Breaking through it will lead you to the Missile Cover Door.
Inside, collect the Super Missile Upgrade from the Chozo Statue’s Item Sphere.
The Super Missile will replace your regular Missile. It deals more damage and has the added ability to open Super Missile Door Covers.
You will get the Ice Missile Upgrade after you have defeated the Blue E.M.M.I.
With it, you can freeze enemies by shooting missiles at them, and can destroy flaming Enky Plants.
You will get the Storm Missile Upgrade after defeating Escue in Ferenia.
With it equipped, you can hold until a yellow laser is projected from your blaster. Use it in conjunction with to aim at up to five different enemies. Once you have locked onto your targets, push to fire a barrage of tracking missiles which will deal massive damage.
This will use 3 Missile Ammo for every target you hit.
These Missiles will be able to damage enemies that are covered in electrical energy shields and some enemies can be targeted multiple times to deal massive damage.
In addition, you can use them to trigger switches for Storm Missile Boxes.
You will have the Power Suit from the start of the game. It has no particular traits.
You will need the Varia Suit to explore rooms in extreme heat conditions without taking damage. You will be able to collect it from Artaria once you have the Morph Ball Upgrade required to reach it.
As explained, the Varia Suit can withstand extreme heat (though not direct contact with fire or lava) and will offer some additional resistance to enemy attacks.
You can retrieve the Gravity Suit from South Burenia once you have recovered the Space Jump Ability from Ferenia.
It will allow you to stand in Fire and Lava undamaged and withstand extreme subzero temperatures, allowing you to fully explore more of the map.
It will also offer some additional level of protection against enemy attacks and makes your melee attack more powerful.
You will get the Metroid Suit during the fight with Raven Beak X at the end of the game. It won’t be available outside of this end-game sequence.
Morph Ball Upgrades
You will receive the Morph Ball upgrade when you defeat the Green E.M.M.I.
With it, when you press while standing, you will roll up into a small ball. You can use this ability to enter service tunnels and other small spaces.
You can also morph ball into a small space while hanging from a ledge by pushing towards the gap.
The Morph Ball Bomb can be collected from a room behind a Missile Door Cover at the top of Dairon:
With it, you can press while in ball form to drop a small explosive device. The explosion will propel you upwards if you stay in ball form on top of it.
You can use a series of bombs in a row above each other to reach great heights and uncover secrets.
Using bombs in Morph Ball Boosters will propel you through the attached tunnel at great speed.
The Cross Bomb works exactly like Golzuna’s Bombs in that they explode in a large plus-shaped formation, damaging everything in a line, both horizontally and vertically.
To place a Cross Bomb, hold and then press while using Morph Ball.
Staying on a Cross Bomb that you have placed will push you upwards, allowing you to gain more height in Morph Ball form.
It can also be used horizontally, to propel you quickly in one direction. This will allow you to pass over Pitfall Blocks before they can crumble under your weight.
Power Bombs will use a new type of ammo that you will need to manage and collect.
To use a Power Bomb, enter Morph Ball form, then hold to charge a Power Bomb. Once fully charged, press to place the bomb.
It will eventually explode in a huge high-damage explosion capable of destroying Power Bomb Blocks.
You will obtain the Spider Magnet after defeating the White E.M.M.I.
With it, Samus can cling to blue, glowing, magnetic surfaces throughout the game and move up walls/across ceilings.
You will acquire the Speed Booster ability by defeating the Yellow E.M.M.I.
While running with , push to initiate the Speed Booster. Keep running and Samus will gain speed. While this effect is active, Samus will damage enemies she comes into contact with, and break through Speed Booster Blocks.
Additionally, you can use Shinespark while Speed Booster is active.
Push down while sprinting with Speed Booster and Samus will crouch and store the Speed Booster energy. Push in the direction you wish to travel and then press to release that energy, sending Samus flying at speed in your chosen direction.
This can be used to break through Speed Booster Blocks overhead and reach high places.
You can find the Spin Boost ability in a Chozo Item Sphere near the center of Ghavoran when you return there from Elun and the Blue E.M.M.I has been reactivated.
The Spin Boost ability allows you to essentially double-jump. Press while in the air after jumping and Samus will ball up, press again and she will jump a second time.
With it, you can reach higher platforms, naturally.
Underwater, it is not so useful for gaining height (until you have the Gravity Suit), but can be used to travel further horizontally.
With it, you can Spin Boost repeatedly an infinite number of times, allowing you to reach even higher locations and cross wide gaps.
Note that while you are underwater, the ability cannot be used to get any higher than a normal jump would take you until you have the Gravity Suit. That being said, you can still use it to infinitely travel horizontally and cross large underwater gaps.
You can collect the Screw Attack ability from a Chozo Item Sphere in Western Artaria after defeating Experiment No. Z-57 to reactivate the furnace and defrost the region.
With the Screw Attack Ability acquired, your Space Jump ability will become an electrified, damage-dealing attack.
It can be used to damage enemies and destroy Screw Attack Blocks.
After acquiring it, you can use it to reach the Burenia Elevator in the west and progress.
Aeion Ability Upgrades
You will obtain the Phantom Cloak ability when you defeat the first boss, Corpious.
With it, you can press to go invisible. Being invisible will allow you to avoid being detected by E.M.M.I units and other enemies.
If an E.M.M.I unit comes into contact with you while you are invisible, though it will immediately detect and attack you regardless.
You can also use the Phantom Cloak to pass by Sensor Lock Doors unnoticed.
When using the Phantom Cloak, the yellow Aeion Ability bar under your Energy gauge on the HUD will slowly deplete. It will drain much faster if you move or shoot while the cloak is active.
Once the Aeion Ability bar has been depleted, the Phantom Cloak ability will not deactivate automatically. Instead, it will begin draining your Energy until it reaches 1. Only then will the ability switch off on its own.
You will never be outright killed by overusing the ability, but having only 1 Energy remaining isn’t much different to being killed by it.
When it begins drawing from your suit’s Energy, a flashing red glow will indicate that it is happening.
With a full Aeion Gauge, you can hold to prepare a Flash Shift. Then, push in the direction you want to go and release to teleport a short distance in that direction.
You can also push while moving with to activate the ability with more ease.
Flash Shifting will drain your full Aeion Gauge but you can do it up to three times consecutively. Regardless of whether you Flash Shift once, twice, or three times in a row, the gauge will empty all the same.
You will need to wait for the Aeion Gauge to recharge before you can use it again.
Unlike the Phantom Cloak, you can’t drain your Energy in order to use the ability while the Aeion Gauge is empty.
The Pulse Radar Aeion Ability is available from a room at the top-center of Ghavoran’s map.
When your Aeion Gauge is full and you have this ability, you can press to send out a Pulse which will highlight destructible blocks in the surrounding area.
This is extremely useful for finding hidden items and will help you out when you’re stuck and can’t figure out where to go.
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