The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild tips and tricks (plus secrets and more)
If you are looking for some Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild tips and tricks, you probably have a lot of options. It’s not so much that there are that many outlets covering the game (although there are plenty), it’s just that the game is so, so, so big, with so much to see and do that we may be finding secrets for months, maybe years to come. That leads to a lot of articles covering a lot of topics.
Our goal with this guide is to give as much information as possible in one single location. That means two things: First, this guide is ongoing. We’ll keep adding to it for a long time to come. Second, it is probably going to get very long. We hate multiple pages for a single article as much as anyone, but we need to break it up just that to avoid annoying load times. We’ll try to keep everything as succinct as possible. Given the size of the game, a single post covering Breath of the Wild tips could get crazy long.
While you can lob a lot of criticism at Nintendo for a variety of things but when it does something right, it does it very, very right. Whether you are playing on the Switch or you dusted off your Wii U, the new Zelda is an incredible game by any standard. Even if you hate the gameplay and can’t stand the lack of direction, it’s hard to deny that the game is a remarkable achievement. You can spend dozens of hours playing and not even have unfogged the complete map. Breath of the Wild is massive. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, you find something completely new to do you never even considered.
If you have any Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild tips and tricks, let us know in the comments, Facebook, Twitter, or drop us an email through the contact section. And keep checking back, as we’ve barely scratched the surface of this incredible game.
When you first get started, you have a limited range you can travel and a mostly linear path you need to take. The opening area, known as the Great Plateau, is a relatively safe area for you to explore and get a hang of how the game moves and plays. At first glance, it seems like the area is fairly deserted, but like everything else in Breath of the Wild, the more you look, the more you find.
In this area, you’ll be introduced to an Old Man who will direct you on your way. If you are anxious to get moving, you can find the four shrines, receive the Runes, climb the tower, then begin your exploration of Hyrule. If you want to take some time to familiarize yourself with the game though, this is the place to do it.
The enemies here are relatively weak, so you won’t find a better place to practice. You can also stock up on ingredients and food. Take your time and have a look around.
- The Old Man mentions a recipe, but it’s incomplete. To complete it, head to the forest and hunt a boar to earn raw meat, run to the lake to grab a Hyrule bass, then collect a pepper from the Old Man’s cabin. Cook them, then return to the hut and inside you’ll find a chest with a doublet that will help with the cold.
- There’s a miniboss, the Stone Talus, in the northwest corner of the map. Make sure you have a decent weapon and prepare to dodge – a lot. Use bombs, and if you find a hammer, keep it for this battle.
- When you reach the snowy areas, look for a waterfall beyond a broken bridge (you’ll need magnesis to pass). There’s a treasure behind it.
- You may die often at first. It’s a minor problem though, and you won’t lose much.
- If you aren’t sure where to go from the start, just start by looking for towers and shrines. You can’t go wrong.
- Use the axe to chop down trees. You can use this to cross the odd chasm.
- You’ll meet an enemy known as a Guardian early on – you can’t miss it, it looks like a metal octopus. If it hits you, you will die instantly. You can’t destroy it until you earn ancient arrows, so keep your distance.
Animals – Taming and Hunting
Like so much else in Breath of the Wild, riding and hunting are optional pursuits that you can pursue or skip. And like so many other aspects of the game, if you ignore them you’ll be missing out.
When it comes to hunting animals, you need to approach them like you would an enemy – the only difference being that they will run away rather than attack you if you’re spotted. If you do spook them, you can try to chase them down, but it’s difficult and rarely worth the effort. Try to get close and go for a headshot. There are a few beasts that require more than one arrow, so you may want to fire off a few in quick succession to be sure. Different animals drop different types of meat, so it’s worth experimenting. If you hit them with a fire arrow, they will become grilled meat; hit them with an ice arrow and they become cold slices.
When it comes to riding animals, there are similarities to hunting. You’ll want to sneak up behind the animal and get close enough to touch it. When you are at the right distance, you’ll see a “mount” icon. Do so and hang on, then rapidly tap the “soothe” button. Some animals will let you ride them with minimal fuss, others will buck you until they are broken or your stamina runs out. If you are determined to ride the animal but it almost has you beat, eat food with a stamina boost and hope that is enough. You may also want to swing by an enhanced inn like at Zora’s Domain, and pay extra to stay the night in the more expensive bed. You’ll earn an extra stamina bar for it.
While horses are the most common animal you will ride, but they aren’t the only one. Bears, moose, deer, and a few others can be ridden – although you won’t be able to keep them. Still, riding a bear is fun, and you can destroy anything in your path.
When you have a horse, you should take it to the nearest stable and register it. Once that is complete, spend some time riding the horse, soothing it, and feeding it assorted food to increase the bond. The stronger your bond, the more responsive they will be. Just make sure you take care of them and they will take care of you.
- Horses can die. When they do, they yield nothing. Be careful taking them into a group of enemies.
- Sneaking up on animals like bears can be tough – you may want to use a stealth elixir or eat food with stealth enhancements.
- The Lord of the Mountain, a rare luminous horse, can be ridden – but it’s not going to be easy. You can find it atop Satori Mountain in a small watering hole, but only at night. When you do see it, save your game first, then eat some stealth food (you may want to equip stealth gear as well). When you mount it, you’ll need two full stamina bars to break it. It offers a great ride, but unfortunately, you can’t keep it.
- You can shoot an enemy off their horse and take it. If you do, you don’t have to break it. It will also form a stronger bond than most wild horses.
- The markings and colors of the horse designate how hard they are to tame. Spotted horses are easy, solid colored horses are tougher but have better attributes.
- Don’t reward and soothe the horse all the time –save it for when it is about to disobey you. The red mist will signify it likes you more.
- If you have a Smash Bros. amiibo, you can summon Link’s horse Epona. You only get one shot though. If she dies or you fail to catch her before registering her, you can’t resummon her. Epona is the only horse that can’t be renamed.
- You can store up to five horses at once.
- You can befriend a dog (one at a time). Give it treats – dogs like fruit, but they crave meat – it will bond with you. You can’t check the bonding level, but when it is high enough that it follows you, it will lead you to buried chests.
- Despite their similarities to dogs, you can’t bond with foxes or wolves.I
- In the Taobab Grasslands you’ll come across the rare giant horse. It is easy to spot -other horses follow it, and it towers over them all. It also has infinite stamina and the most strength of any horse, but it isn’t very fast. Taming it requires more than two full stamina bars, so be prepared. It takes a lot to bond, so be patient.
- You can paraglide directly onto a horse, but it’s tough to do.
Cooking and Ingredients
The acts of hunting and cooking are integral to the game, with different ingredients making different foods with different effects. When you first start, you’ll mostly be cooking basic food that restores hearts. As you begin to understand what the ingredients do and how certain combinations work, you’ll start to create foods and elixirs that will make a huge difference.
To create food, you’ll need to find a cooking pot with a fire going underneath (although you can also just throw food on a fire and it will cook without the pot). Once you find one, go to your inventory and select an item to “hold.” You can cook a single item and it will improve it (both in value and restorative properties), but the trick is to combine up to five items. Don’t feel that you need to always cook with five ingredients though, sometimes two or three will be just as effective.
To begin with, read the ingredient instructions. Monster parts mix with critter parts to make elixirs. Edibles go with herbs to make restoratives. Try mixing and matching them to get the best of both. You should make as much food as you can as often as you can. It’s how you regain health and you’ll use it often.
You’ll also need to pay attention the environmental conditions and stock up accordingly. If the area is frigid, you’ll need cold resistance. If you face electric wielding enemies, prepare shock resistance. And on. You’ll also want to try to keep a steady supply of temporary health extensions (designated by yellow hearts) and stamina restorative. Save the attack power ups for bosses and shrines that require a test of strength.
- Two Hearty Durans and two Big Hearty Radishes give you full recovery and +19 yellow hearts.
- Cooking during a Blood Moon gives you a significant bonus.
- Adding herbs to food significantly increases their restorative power.
- Don’t worry if you make a gross looking dish. Eating it won’t give you a lot of restorative power, but it will help a bit.
- Healthy is better. Balance meals of meat and fish with herbs and vegetables. Fruit courses can make a good go to as well.
- Catch all the bugs and small creatures you can. They pair with monster parts and offer special bonuses.
- Don’t mix status effects (things like cold resistance and electric resistance) while cooking. At best you’ll waste one of them. You can (and should) mix restoratives with effects, however, to get a meal that restores hearts and gives you a specific bonus.
- If you find a metal cooking pot but it’s not lit, go to your inventory and hold wood and flint. Drop them both, then hit it with a sword strike.
- If you need more kindling, throw a bomb at a tree to fell it. Then throw another and it will become kindling. You can also use an axe, but it will destroy it eventually.
- Cooking with fairies gives a huge restorative boost.
- There is a limit to the number of food items you can carry.
- Sell food items to earn money. If you need some rupees quickly, simply cook things like apples and you will significantly upgrade their value.
- Cook with spices to create cold resistant food.
- If the ground is hot enough (as it is in the desert), you can cook direcetly on the ground.
- If the temperature is cold enough, you can freeze certain foods (good for when you are in hot climates).
- If you kill an animal with a fire arrow, it will cook the meat. If you hit it with an ice arrow, it will freeze it.
- You can use bait (including mushrooms) to lure fish to the surface. Alternatively, you can just throw a bomb in the water and detonate it send the dead fish to the surface.
There are four Divine Beasts located throughout the game. These are essentially massive dungeons combined with puzzles. You won’t just be able to storm them and take them out though, each requires you to prepare and complete missions that clear your path. You’ll also face multiple boss fights on the way, so stock up with weapons, food, and elixirs first.
Technically, you can challenge any of the Beasts in any order, but the game leads you toward the east and the Divine Beast Ruta. You should accept the game’s advice, as Ruta is the most straightforward of the Beasts, plus completing it earns you a special power that when charged brings you back from the dead with additional hearts. That will come in handy.
If you are determined to defeat the game as quickly as possible, you can go from Beast to Beast, then on to the final boss. That sort of defeats the purpose of the game though. With the exception of Ruta, don’t rush off toward the other Beasts.
- Defeating each Beast earns you a heart container.
- When you enter each Beast, go for the map before you do anything. Not only will that help you navigate, it can serve other purposes. In Ruta, for example, you can control sections of the Beast by manipulating the map.
- When you get near a Divine Beats, head for the nearest settlement and talk to the locals. They might have quests that help you prepare for the battle, or they might just have good advice.
- After you beat a Beast, return to the nearest settlement. The dialog will have changed, and you may have opened up other quests.
Although details are still scarce, there will be two additional pieces of content coming for Breath of the Wild sometime in 2017. The Expansion Pass will cost $19.99, and Nintendo will not sell the content separately. The first add-on is due this summer and includes a Cave of Trials challenge, a new hard mode, and something Nintendo is teasing for the in-game map.
The second DLC is due this holiday season. It will include “a new dungeon, an original story, and even more new challenges.”
- Purchasing the Expansion Pass also adds three chests for the main game.
The advice to “explore” is both obvious, and fundamental to Breath of the Wild. The game is designed for you to explore – and not just hit things from point A to B, but to really explore.
Nintendo doesn’t give you many directions when you start. It helps you along in the first hours, then lets you loose on Hyrule. There are very few limitations. A few places will be much harder without the right equipment, but you can still go there and find ways to survive. Some areas have more powerful enemies than others, but you can generally skip combat if you aren’t ready for it or just aren’t in the mood to fight.
There are certain checkpoints you are expected to hit, including defeating the four Divine Beats, but if you want you can go right to the last area of the game and confront the final boss. You will probably get slaughtered, but you have a slim chance. That’s how open the game is. If you are looking for a game that gives you a clear path, Breath of the Wild may not be the game for you.
There’s a general rule of thumb with it comes to this game. If you see something shiny, or you come across something that looks like there’s more to it, it’s usually worth looking into. Sometimes there will be a person that tells you about it, sometimes you’ll just stumble on it. That’s what makes the game so incredible. Every corner has something new. Every rock is worth turning over.
Breath of the Wild really is about freedom. The game has a final destination, but how you get there is entirely up to you.
- Hidden throughout the game you’ll find Koroks hidden all over. They can be under rocks, at the top of trees, under metal blocks, and a dozen other places. Finding them gives you korok seeds, which in turn expand your inventory.
- There are 900 koroks in the game.
- To upgrade for the first time, have at least three seeds and head north after passing through the dueling cliffs, then go east at the Pillars of Levia. You’ll find a giant who has a simple quest for you. Once complete you can upgrade your inventory slots twice. After that, he will tell you he’s heading north and you can find him there for more upgrades (see the Lost Woods section).
- Use the map to your advantage. You can stamp areas with several types of icons. Just keep a running tally in your head of what means what and use them to your advantage.
- Fast travel is an important means of travel. With a few exceptions, however, the only places you can travel are shrines and towers. You don’t need to beat shrines first to unlock the fast travel option.
- While you can’t travel directly to towns or stables, there will almost always be a shrine nearby.
- Talk to everyone. If there is a red icon next to them, it means they have a quest to assign you. Even if they don’t, you should talk to them. They may have advice.
- If you have the stamina, you can climb up just about anything.
- Always head for the tallest point in a new area to reconnoiter. Mark locations on the map and come back to them later.
- Swimming is more dangerous than it looks, as the current can easily drain your stamina. Look for the narrowest areas to cross.
- If you come across a unique, strange object you can collect, hold onto it. Eventually, it may come in handy.
- If you want to feel more like an explorer, turn off the HUD.
- At first, you may want to stick to the roads. They will always take you somewhere interesting.
- Climbing in the rain is nearly impossible, but you can slide down hills quickly during storms.
- Hearts and Stamina
- The Lost Woods
- Sheikah Slate
- Town and Villages
- Weapons and Clothing
- General tips and secrets