If You're Playing Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, Turn Off The Minimap

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a fantastic game, as fun to pick apart as it is to master. One tip for those of you who are playing this weekend: Turn off the minimap.

Breath of the Wild's options menu is more limited than your average big-budget open world game. You can do things like invert the Y-axis or remap the jump button. You can also change the HUD mode from Normal to "Pro".

I spent my first day or so playing with the normal HUD before Stephen reminded me about the Pro HUD. There's a pretty big difference. Here's the normal HUD:

And here's the Pro HUD:

As you can see, Normal HUD includes a ton more information than Pro HUD, including temperature, time of day, quest objectives, how much sound you're making and a big honkin' minimap in the corner of the screen. Pro HUD only shows your hearts, though it occasionally conveys other pertinent information as well.

Here's the thing: You don't actually need to read that extra information as you play. Like a lot of well-designed games, Breath of the Wild consistently communicates with the player in more organic, natural ways. If the temperature is cold enough to be an issue, Link will begin shivering. If you're not making much noise, you're not making much noise. The game world itself is easily readable and there's always at least one easily identifiable point of reference on the horizon.

If you want to make sure which way you're heading, you can look through Link's scope and any waypoints you've placed will illuminate. You can even use the scope to place waypoints. And if you do want to check the temperature or your location, that information is a button-press away in the map screen.

With Pro HUD turned on, I found myself much more able to get lost in the world and to play the game in what I've come to realise is my favourite way. I forgot about the minimap almost immediately. I've spent hours and hours in Breath of the Wild simply exploring, wandering around and experimenting and messing about and seeing what's that over there, and what's that over there?

I actually wouldn't recommend starting the game in Pro HUD mode. Breath of the Wild has some new ideas that you're going to want to get your head around in the opening hours, and it's probably a good idea to have a few assists while you get used to the game. But as soon as you set out from the plateau, try switching to Pro mode. Ditch the minimap and go get lost.


Comments

    I might have to give this a try.

    I haven't found the HUD to be distracting, but sometimes I focus on the sound meter as I run around.

    Last edited 04/03/17 9:51 am

    Your advice intrigues me.

    I do like how pretty the game is. I will go and as you put it 'get lost'.

    You can't tell me what to do Kirk you're not even my real dad

    First thing I did when starting the game: invert y axis and turn off mini map.

    Come to think of it, that's pretty much my standard practice with any game, if I can. That and turn off subtitles if it's full voice acting. Guess it's a preference thing, but I find cutting back on all the extra shit the game throws at you makes for a better, more immersive experience.

    Without the minimap, you have more spacial awareness and are able to learn the land way quicker (also helps with noticing the small stuff); without subtitles, you pay more attention to the words being spoken and the expressions of the characters saying them; with the y axis turned to inverted, you are no longer a monster who doesn't know how a neck works. Win-win-win!

      It's a shame Nintendo doesn't seem to understand how camera inversion works, and applies the same settings to the controls for the magnetism manipulation and the scope view. Thank god they at least didn't also invert the tilt controls too.

      If you're going with the neck justification you'd have to invert the X axis as well, since to look left your head makes the same motion as pushing the stick right.

        That doesn't follow. The equivalent of turning your head left would be to twist the analogue stick anti-clockwise, which isn't possible. Left and right motions with the stick would be equivalent to tilting your head in those directions.

        I think at this point, you're unlikely to get people to change their preference by telling them it is illogical.

          Explanation:

          The Y axis on the stick is yaw, not roll. In every first and third person game the camera sits behind the head, not above it. From that perspective, when pitch forward means camera up/view down, yaw right should mean camera right/view left but most people don't flip their X axis. Imagine it like putting your thumb on the back of someone's (tiny) head at the top of the neck. You'd push your thumb up to make them look down, and you'd push your thumb right to make them look left.

          I'm not trying to change anyone's preference. People like to make light-hearted digs at inverts vs normies, my reply was intended that way too but having to explain it to you kinda loses the jest.

          Last edited 05/03/17 7:48 am

            If I put my hand on the top of your head and moved it to the left, you'd still be looking forward, but your head would tilt to the left. This is the "roll" axis rather than "yaw". A body in 3D space has six degrees of freedom, but dual analogue stick controls only gives you control of four. For most games, they give up on vertical translation (aside from limited control by jumping), and the roll axis.

            That's why I was saying that this argument about inversion of the Y axis doesn't necessarily map to inversion of the X axis. And if you're taking aircraft controls as a model, you'd usually roll to the left as a way to start turning to make a sharper turn to the left, so they'd probably favour non-inverted X controls.

              Why would you assume control from the top of the head when the camera sits to the rear of the pivot point, not above it? You seem to be deliberately choosing a perspective that doesn't make sense (particularly since there's no twist motion on the analog sticks) when there's a perspective that maps both stick axes to camera motions just fine - pitch and yaw, as viewed from the rear where the camera sits.

              He's talking about this from the perspective of a camera behind the head rather than the head itself, I think. In which case, assuming the viewpoint is a fixed distance behind the head and is always angled through the center of the head, to "look left" you need to move the camera to the right. It's just that most people don't think that way, because you rotate your neck left to look left. And X inversion tends to make games incredibly hard to play, which is why next to no one does it and it's often not an option.

              I'd love to see someone do a proper scientific study on invert vs normal controls for Y axis. Is it something hard-wired to specific people, where it's just how they feel comfortable, or is it something to do with upbringing or the games you're exposed to at a certain age?

      Personally I prefer subtitles, as my hearing isn't the greatest so I can read along with the person. I also have a hard time with background noise during cutscenes or w/e, but to each their own. I also just do up is up down is down on the Y axis.

    Pro mode was a godsend in Sykward Sword. Though I found it really weird to be Zeldaing without a map at all in that, but got used to it eventually. I guess for the most part I am switching to the full map instead to check out where I am, just like you did in that game, so it probably makes sense.

    Although I kinda wish they had the map on the gamepad screen, that would've been nice.

    I must have triggered this accidentally, because I died as a frozen popsicle then noticed that I lost the temperature gauge

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