If you've been digging into Metroid Dread over the past week or two since it released, you'll no doubt have noticed flashing areas on your in-game map as you study it for possible routes forward in order to progress through Samus Aran's latest adventure. But why is the in-game map flashing? What do these flashing areas mean? What year is this? Who is the president?!?
Well, as with any title in the Metroid franchise, Metroid Dread's world is stuffed full of hidden collectibles and upgrades. Some of these items are placed well out of your line of sight or obscured by walls and destructible bits of scenery.
When you're in a location on the planet ZDR where there's something to find, your in-game map will very helpfully flash in order to alert you to the fact a secret is nearby. It's always worth taking a little look around when you're in one of these areas, you may nab yourself a handy missile tank or energy upgrade for your troubles, but we must also advise that if it's not immediately obvious, or if you're spending quite a lot of time looking but not finding anything, your best bet is to leave it for now and move on.
Many of the upgrades and collectibles in Metroid Dread just aren't possible to get your hands on until quite late in the game, so it's best not to frustrate yourself or add pointless hours onto your playthrough every time you come across a flashing point on your world map.
We recommend hoovering up easy and obvious collectibles as you go and then sweeping back through ZDR late in the game once you've got a full suite of abilities, in particular the Pulse Radar, which will reveal all nearby breakable blocks and terrain so no secret can stay hidden for long!
This guide is part of our Metroid Dread walkthrough and guide series, which includes all ability locations, all missile tank locations, all energy tank locations, all energy parts, all suit upgrades, all power bomb tanks, plus every compatible amiibo unlock, E.M.M.I. and boss battle tips, and other helpful tips to help you get through the game and get those post-game unlocks.