Tips For Playing The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a big, brilliant game full of secrets to uncover. It's a blast to explore on your own. But you might need a little nudging. Because this is a game about discovery, and we don't want to risk ruining that feeling for anyone, we're dividing this tips article into two sections. First, some general tips that don't spoil very much and will be helpful for everyone. Then, more specific stuff.


Turn off the HUD 

The mini-map and temperature gauge are both inessential, as Kirk points out, and it's easier to appreciate Breath of the Wild's beauty when there's less stuff on your screen.

Climbing without jumping lets you go farther 

It takes more stamina to jump upwards than it does to climb normally, so if you want to scale big walls, don't jump.

Take advantage of physics as you climb

Find little ridges on the mountains where you can stop climbing and just stand still for a few seconds, recharging your stamina so you can climb even further up mountains without falling and dying.

When you get to a new area, look for high ground

A good rule of thumb in Breath of the Wild is to explore from the top down. It's easier to get your bearings — and find cool stuff — when you're starting from a high point.

Go for towers first

Towers, as you'll find out shortly after starting the game, are large structures that serve both as waypoints and as sources of information for your multi-tool Sheikah Slate. Until you find each region's tower, your map will be totally blank. Climb to the top of that tower, however, and you'll fill out that region of your map. Plus, you'll have a new fast travel point and a good place to scope out where you want to go next.

...Then go for shrines

Each shrine is a fast travel point, so if you want to start exploring in one direction and then backtrack so you can check out what's in the other direction, you'll want as many of those as possible. Plus, they're awesome.

Use your map to find new places to explore

Once you've found a tower, zoom around your map and look for landmarks that seem interesting. They always are!

Save often

The auto-save system is forgiving, but not THAT forgiving. Run into the wrong surprise boss and you may lose a few minutes of progress.

Don't be afraid to run like a coward

As you're exploring Breath of the Wild, you'll inevitably encounter massive bosses and other dangerous surprises. This is, as I wrote in my review, a difficult game. Link might have the Triforce of Courage, but you don't, and you're the one who has to deal with the Game Over screen, so if you find yourself in a tricky situation, just nope on out of there.

Talk to everyone in every town

Townspeople have plenty of fun, useful things to say. The ones with red exclamation points near their names will give you sidequests, and many of the others will give you clues about what's happening in each region. Some are just hilarious

Don't worry about your weapons breaking

Yes, it's weird to have to worry about weapon durability in a Zelda game. Truth is, you don't really have to worry. Breath of the Wild gives you more weapons than you know what to do with, so don't be afraid to use your best ones. If your cool new sword breaks, you'll find a replacement pretty quickly, even if you have to steal it from a Bokoblin's dead hands.

Annotate your map (and keep a notebook)

As you're exploring, you'll probably find places that you want to revisit for one reason or another. The in-game map lets you put down markers, but there's no way to jot notes alongside these markers, so it's easy to forget which things you want to come back to, and why. Keep a notebook (or laptop) as you play so you can write this stuff down.

You can fast travel any time

Even in combat!

Change your clothes all the time

You can switch armour whenever you'd like. There are no penalties for doing this, no matter what situation you're in.

Always keep a lot of arrows on hand

They're cheap and essential. Also, if you shoot an arrow and miss your target, you can usually find that arrow lying on the ground nearby.

Change the jump button

You can't remap buttons — get ready for lots of accidental crouching when you're trying to run — but you can at least switch the jump button from X to B, which is way better placement.

And now...


Hang onto a hammer, a bladed weapon, a torch, and a Korok leaf

Each of these four weapons has a specific, useful purpose. The hammer will make it easier to break rocks; the blade will let you chop down trees; the torch is, well, a torch; and the Korok leaf will let you create wind.

Cook food that gives you extra hearts

For really tough bosses, grab some radishes and cook them with raw meat for dishes that add extra hearts to your meter. Enhanced survivability!

Throw five cheap ingredients into a pot for $$$

A handful of apples or mushrooms turns into a useful dish that can sell for good money and help you buy equipment (and other food ingredients) for your journeys through Hyrule. To maximise the amount of money you get, make sure you're putting in five each time.

Sell gemstones

You may want to hang onto the rare diamonds, but there are plenty of rubies, topazes, and amber rocks throughout the world. Don't be afraid to sell a few so you can buy good gear.

Always break shiny rocks 

That's where all those rare minerals come from.

Spicy food lets you outlast the cold

Find yourself freezing? Get some spicy peppers and throw them in a pot.

Talk to everyone in a major town after beating a boss

Without getting too specific: There are four major towns, and after beating the main quest of each one, you'll want to go back and talk to everyone for extra rewards and sidequests.

Find the Korok seed man

He's on the road to Kakariko Village. Help him out and then you can start looking for Korok seeds, which will let you upgrade your inventory slots.

Upgrade weapon slots first

Bow and shield slots aren't nearly as useful.

Look for unusual objects in the environment 

Bricks, balls and chains, that sort of thing. Also, climb to the top of every mountain. Pick up every strange rock you'll see. Korok seed mini-puzzles are everywhere.

There are always multiple ways to do things

As the directors of Breath of the Wild describe it, this game is a chemistry set: part of the fun is seeing how you can manipulate the physics to solve puzzles and achieve your goals. Metal attracts electricity, wind propels objects, and everything catches on fire.

Use the Magnet ability to find hidden chests underwater

You'll be surprised by how many cool things are hidden in the depths of Hyrule's lakes and rivers.

When in doubt, try Stasis

Freeze an object, then hit it a bunch of times to send it flying in a certain direction, which can have some unexpected effects.

Hang onto monster parts

You'll need a lot of them to upgrade your armour.

Hang onto ancient parts

You'll need them to upgrade your runes.

Use bombs on weaker enemies like Chu-Chus and Bokoblins

They're powerful and infinite, so they don't waste your ammo or weapon durability. Plus, you can use them in all sorts of weird experiments.

Get several horses

Not only can you catch faster, stronger horses throughout the game (the better ones tend to be toward the edges of the map), it's fun to have a giant collection of horses.

Don't sleep on set bonuses

Put together sets like the Goron armour (helmet, chest, and pants) and you'll get some damn good buffs.

Follow the roads 

It's tempting to climb mountains and skip over everything, but if you don't follow the road to Kakariko Village, for example, you'll miss out on some crucial equipment and landmarks.

Aim the bow while you're in the air to enter slow-mo mode

It will drain stamina but give you more time to aim. And it feels badass.

You can use the paraglider any time you're walking down a vertical slope

Just jump in the air and hit the button. There's no real practical reason to do this, but it's fun as hell.

You can pay a little extra at inns for temporary bonus hearts

Just in case you don't want to waste your radishes.

Upgrade your Sheikah Sensor

Once you get the upgraded version, you can combine it with your photo compendium to keep track of all sorts of things. For example, take a picture of a treasure chest and then you can set the Sensor to beep when you're near one. Since there are treasure chests everywhere, this can get a little out of hand, but it's a fun little hack.

Get the optional treasure chests in every puzzle shrine

They usually have good loot.

When in doubt, try something crazy.

It will almost always work.


    My tip for cooking is this:

    X, A*, B, A
    * Repeat for required ingredients, X, A, A, A, B, A for example.
    Once you get the pattern down its not so tedious

    Motion controls suck on a Wii U tablet, turn that gear off.

    Climb everything, the freedom is amazingly liberating without being broken.
    I thought it would be cool to climb a tree and snipe a camp whilst crouching on a branch, I thought it was even cooler that it let me.

    Game is fun, honestly we wanted more than another Skyward Sword, the best gimic we had was back in Ocarina.
    It tries new things, does some of those things quite well.

    I only just got off the plateau, loving it

    Last edited 04/03/17 3:01 pm

      Motion controls suck on a Wii U tablet, turn that gear off.Motion controls are necessary for Wii U tablet because Nintendo are retards that don't understand the difference between camera controls and aiming controls.

        Uh, well I turned it off and haven't had any problems yet.
        I'm used to my aiming and camera being the same right stick in most things.

        I should add I'm talking about having motion controls active whilst playing on a TV with a Wii U tablet, it can be helpful if you want two layers of accuracy but a pain if your just stick aiming.

          Oh I only half wrote my post, I meant in terms of axis inversion. Basically if you're controlling a third person camera, then it's behind the character so moving the camera left should result in the view pivoting right. But if you're using an aiming reticule it's in front of the character, so moving it left should make the view pivot left. In this game if you need the x-axis inverted to be able to control the camera, then the aiming controls are fucked.

          Last edited 06/03/17 10:31 pm

    Get a horse as soon as possible.

    I've gotten bored/sick of the game already from running around so much, sadly. The world just feels too vast and empty for the speeds at which you can travel. This game feels more like Nintendos attempt at a Skyrim/Assasins Creed crossover than a Zelda game.

    I hope others can enjoy it though, it's a beautiful game, should be great for those who love exploring!

      Get a horse. You can fast travel to any point you've been to. There are over 100 shrines and they are all fast travel points so far.

        Though that's just useful for going back to where you've been, still got loads of running around to do to set up that network in the first place.

    Tap run, don't hold it.
    Bombs are great for mining and destroying crates without weakening your weapon.
    If you are running out of stamina and still gliding down, you can conserve your stamina by free falling and then going back to the glider before impact.
    Write down any good recipes and make a lot of them.

    Last edited 05/03/17 12:47 am

      Ooooh, tap running, nice.

      You can kick off a wall while climbing and transition in to gliding to cross gaps.
      It's added many a new way to traverse mountains and other obstacles

        How do you kick off? I tried a bunch of things to see if that was possible but couldn't seem to figure it.

    You can't remap buttons — get ready for lots of accidental crouching when you're trying to runWhat? I don't even know how you could do this unless you have some kind of condition that causes random uncontrollable squeezing of the hands.

    but you can at least switch the jump button from X to B, which is way better placement.Says you :P

      Yeah I tried to swap X and B.

      Wasn't too much of an issue till I started climbing.
      Swapped it right back because as awkward as it is, there is too much attached to each button to suddenly swap around a singular aspect.
      B is cancel everything for example, when it becomes jump, it's still let go when climbing.

    Just going to disagree on one point @JasonSchreier

    Upgrading slots; sure, upgrading the Primary weapon slot is the better option first time round, but i highly recommend the next upgrade is a ranged slot... once you start collecting the different types of arrows (theres a few, ive come accross about 4-5 varriations) they each permanently take up a slot in your inventory... even if you run out of a particular type of arrow, it continues to occupy that slot with a QTY of 0.

    Last edited 06/03/17 10:45 am

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