Do you own a Nintendo Switch? Or maybe you are a game enthusiast ready to take up any challenge? The perfect game is finally here. The Legend of Zelda is an enormous open-world game filled with amazing adventures and endless possibilities. After all, an open-world game means exactly this. You can explore pretty much the whole world and do whatever you please while also asking yourself what in the name of God are you supposed to do.
What’s the storyline? You find yourself at the end of Zelda’s timeline and control Link, who awakens from a hundred-year slumber to defeat Calamity Ganon and save the kingdom of Hyrule. This version takes inspiration from other open games like Far Cry or SkyRim. Therefore, Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s structure is a little different than most Zelda games. There’s no lengthy tutorial, and it takes only minutes before you’re finding yourself exploring, foraging for ingredients, and raiding camps. Discovering their world alone is not only hard, but also dangerous, and surviving might turn out to be more challenging than you thought.
This guide is here to help get through the start and the finish line of this incredible adventure. Travelers beware: put on your best equipment and be prepared to slay a Divine Beast if you want to continue reading.
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The Great Plateau – When the game starts, you’ll find yourself on a geological skyscraper overlooking the vast Kingdom of Hyrule. This place is called the Great Plateau. For the first hours of the game, all of your actions will take place here. There will be creatures to defeat, dungeons to overcome, and mountains to explore. Don’t be fooled by this small part of the map. Consider it a Prologue to the rest of the game and enjoy practicing important skills that you’ll find to come in handy later. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wind puts your mind to work as everything you see is filled with clues and hints in order to help you evolve. This isn’t about tasks and battles. You need to explore, collect and use the logic of the game to your advantage if you want to live until to see the of it.
Get comfortable with the controls – First of all, start playing with the commands and learn how to use them before exiting the plateau. Here is a tutorial so you know what to expect:
– Press the old-fashioned Start/”+” on the switch to look at your inventory
– Use the right stick to see categories such as clothes, food, and swords
– Shift over to the right with the shoulder button and discover the diagram of the control
– Shift over to the left with the shoulder button and identify the Adventure Log. Here you will find the main quest as well as the Side quests and the Shrine ones
Go for the Towers – After escaping the Great Plateau, the whole map is yours to discover. However, taking your time and looking around plays an important part because you will miss out on a lot of impressive views and surprising features if you are rushing through it. When wandering around the world, a good piece of advice is to always look for towers. They are structures that you can climb and offer you map data for the area. This data is always helpful, pointing you towards milestones and offering some guidance. While in the tower, use your binoculars to spot important areas such as Shires. And even more, after climbing the towers you can use the paraglider to reach further areas. This will save you time and stamina.
Save the game – A general tip: save your game often. This can apply to other games too and as simple as it sounds, it is essential if you want to make any progress. Don’t get ahead of yourself and think it is quite naive not to save a game. It happened to all of us at some point. Aside from the multiple autosaves the game creates, you are given a manually save slot. Use this option to your advantage and press save before entering a dangerous area or if you need to experiment with equipment choices or quests.
Become Chatty & Tame Horses
As the game isn’t that friendly with you in the beginning, the best thing to do is to become friendly with the ones around you. The NPCs can guide the way and open your eyes to the world around you. All in all, the simple tip here is to become conversational! Make friends, strike up conversations and talk to everyone you meet. This is the best way to make your character feel alive and enjoy the majestic creations of the game. A lot of the conversations will probably end in 2 minutes or so but others may actually give you hints on where to go or what to do next. This is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it likes to play detective. Don’t get annoyed when some people just start talking about the weather. They have their role in this adventure and so do you. Hurrying won’t actually get you through the game faster.
What’s interesting are the so-called reoccurring characters who give directions to lost adventurers. Where to look for one? The Early-Game isn’t a piece of cake, so after you complete the first main quest, you’ll exist a building and probably you will be clueless about your next move. Instead of walking around confused, just go down some steps outside the door and don’t ignore the NPC that seems to be waiting for you. He is designed to help you in finding your next mission. Being chatty comes in handy sometimes, doesn’t it?
Characters can talk non-sense but they can also give you a useful piece of advice or sometimes even unlock Side Quests. And how do you tell the difference? If you see a word bubble with a red exclamation point in its upper left corner, that’s the game telling you that there’s a quest here. However, don’t get yourself too worried about them. It’s completely your choice how you wish to play this one. Side Quests are optional and easy to find. You don’t have to unlock them, and even if you do, you don’t have to finish them. There are some rewards in taking up the challenge and learning what the NPCs need may unlock unexplored territory you didn’t even imagine.
A special mention here goes to Horses, a players’ best friend in Breath of the Wild. Even if it may not be the most important part, catching horses is definitely one of the fun activities this game has to offer.
Why aren’t horses essential? They are only helpful when you are in an area accessible by horse and there simply aren’t that many. Climbing makes traveling much faster and easier but having fun and still creating a stable won’t hurt anyone.
How to catch a horse? When exploring you’ll come across groups of horses, and you need to creep up and tame one. Move slowly from behind, pressing the left stick to crouch while watching the sound gauge in the bottom right of the user interface. When you are close, jump on and tame them. Spoiler: You will get thrown off quite a few times in the beginning but don’t give up on your abilities yet. Your tame may be rebellious initially and you need to register the horse to a stable in order for it to respond to your whistle.
What are these places? – There are around 100 Shrines spread around Hyrule and each holds its own unique puzzles. Especially at the beginning, every Shrine you stump upon feels like a challenge that must be conquered and your instinct might be right this time. If you succeed and beat a Shine, your reward is a Spirit Orb that can increase your abilities. Besides the Spirit Orb, each Shine contains a hidden chest that will offer you a special item, from weapons to rare clothing and valuables gems.
You can interact with the Spirits Orbs after you have gathered 4 of them by finding a Goddess statue and praying to it. The statue is brought to life right in front of your life and offers you a hard choice: exchange your orbs for an extra heart or extra stamina. Take some time to think about it or listen to this piece of advice: if you are still new to the game, go with the hearts. Stamina determines how far you can swim, how high you can climb, and how far you can glide but health will still be the top priority. You should start going for the stamina only after gathering enough hearts, as some locations may be inaccessible without a certain stamina threshold. Also, you won’t see the Goddess statues marked on the map, so tagging your location when you find one will save you some time and energy.
How to prepare – Arrive at a shrine with a full complement of arrows! For some reason, arrows seem to disobey the rules of a Shrine, and having some around at all times is the safest decision to make. Most of the necessary weapons, in order to complete a Shrine, will be given to you there. For example, if you have to smash a rock, you’ll probably find a sledgehammer nearby. Logic dictates that you will find some arrows too, as there are lots of puzzles that can’t be solved without them. However, this is not the case, so don’t come empty-handed. What to do if this takes you by surprise? Try using a sword and throwing it at the target. It’s not as effective but it’s better than nothing.
Tips – Don’t count on the powers you obtain from beating a divine beast. They don’t actually work inside a Shrine so you are on your own.
– Grab every single chest you see. A lot of them will be a disappointment but the ones that don’t contain unique items. That means you won’t find them anywhere for a very long time and you should definitely take advantage of the head-start they offer.
– Shrines can be used as Save Spots. In the beginning, these places are a great opportunity for weapons and special items but later on, even if you find a Shrine, you don’t have to beat it right away. Use it smarter as a save point regardless of whether you beat it or you are taking your time.
– Don’t hurry. Conquering a Shrine right away is impractical once you collect an overage of weapons and hearts. 4 Orbs can give a heart container or a stamina upgrade so it’s better to wait until you gain all 4 and stack them up. Why drop a nice item on the floor like a newbie when you can leave a few extra weapon slots before entering a Shrine.
Breath of the Wild implies logic, creativity but also a lot of fighting. Battles are not the most complicated part as combat in this game is straightforward, but there are some things you should probably know.
Learn to fight as early as you can – Once you start the game, it won’t take long until you run into an enemy that can take away all your hearts in an instant. From that point of view, the Early-Game is especially tougher, as you will probably be overwhelmed by enemies that are more powerful than you.
Save your weapons – During your adventure you will surely find some powerful equipment and your instinct may betray you into using them right away. Interestingly enough, unlike past Zelda games, in this one almost all the weapons have a durability mechanic, so items will wear down over time and break after extensive use. Be smart and keep the best for the harder battles you will have to win in the Late-Game.
Aim for the head – Headshots count even more when you are using ranged weapons like the bow. The damage on your attack you will double and the higher number that your bow has, the more damage it will cause.
Advanced fighting – When confronting a dangerous enemy, there are three essential combat techniques: Parry, Perfect Dodge, and Charged Attack.
The Parry allows you to use your shield to deflect an enemy’s blow, leaving it vulnerable to an immediate counterattack. To do so, press A right before the enemy attack connects.
The Perfect Dodge is a brilliant way to slow down time after a dodge and inflict a powerful flurry attack on your enemy. How to execute it? Jump out the way of an attack the moment it’s about to hit and press Y to use the attack flurry.
The Charged Attack is an offensive move and it differs from weapon to weapon. To perform it, hold the Y button while you are in a battle.
Loot management – An important part before any combat is preparation. Each weapon in this game includes an arrow icon to the right of its name, giving you information about its attack power. If the arrow is gray and pointing right, the item is the same level as what you are holding at the moment. If it’s red and pointing down, the item has a worse attack power than yours and if it’s green, that’s the one you want.
Cooking & Recipes
An amazing part of the game is that cooking can get you so many boost items and it’s simple, as well as fun to do. To cook, just choose a few ingredients from your inventory and put them into a bonfire with a pot on it. According to the ingredients you choose, you’ll create a dish or elixir that gives you a different status effect. There is even an inventory explanation so you can find out more about an ingredient. Keep in mind that cooking becomes impossible while it’s raining and that an open fire can only slightly cook food items, status-affecting ones being available only with a cooking pot.
Don’t be afraid to experience diverse recipes and cooking styles! Practice makes perfect. Try to be logical on your combinations and learn buffs such as boosting your resistance to cold or thunder. When you are missing a tutorial, the key is to NEVER mix effects. Each food item can only offer you one effect. Also, don’t stuff in the pan multiple status-impairing things. You will just make a mess that barely gives any advantage to your abilities. The only advantage is that more ingredients mean indeed more health recovery.
There is no cookbook, but you can check the ingredients of any given recipe. From that point of view, shops really save you. Buy a few elixirs and check out the necessary items to craft them. It’s an easy little trick to cut out the experimental part and get directly to cooking. However, just because the shop-bought version contained a particular set of ingredients, that’s the only way to make the item.
Want other hints on cooking? Here are the last ones, as the rest you shall discover by yourself. Bugs and lizards can be used to make elixirs and other unusual items, but aren’t great for food. Moreover, mixing ingredients like meat and fish with grains or vegetables usually has a good result.
Tips and Tricks
Stay safe during a Thunderstorm – If a thunderstorm starts to rage through Hyrule, remove all metal equipment, including your armor, swords, shields, and bows. If you wear metal during a thunderstorm, the risk of being struck by lightning increases considerably, and thunder can kill you instantly. When you hear your metal equipment flash and flicker during a storm, that’s your signal to access the inventory and remove it right then and there.
Stealth is your friend – In Breath of the Wind, you can sneak up directly behind an enemy without them noticing. A prompt will appear and allow you to deliver a devastating blow, making the rest of the combat a lot easier as one hit can even kill the enemy.
Avoid Guardians – What are those? Guardians are deadly six-legged foes that can kill you in one hit with a charged shot. Avoid them as much as possible and concentrate on other fights. If you really have an itch and can’t get over the idea of attacking these creatures, take your time and prepare by taming a horse and equipping it with the best arsenal of elemental and bomb arrows. Your hits should be aimed at their legs to reduce their movement and the center eye to inflict the best damage.
Climb – Always take the opportunity and climb every obstacle throughout the game. You can climb almost anything, from apple trees to cliffs!
Fish – The game doesn’t include fishing in the traditional sense, but there’s a much better way to get fish than swimming after them: Use bombs! Throw a bomb into the water and simply watch how the seafood rises to the surface, waiting for you to harvest it. This method requires minimal effort and will surely save you some time.
Shield Surfing – This is one of the best ways to travel across the world. How to use it? Raise a shield and jump, then press A and start gliding. Factors such as rain or slippery ground influence this ability and you should always remember that shield surfing can eventually break the item if you aren’t coasting through sand or snow. If you are in a snowy or desert area, then it’s totally safe!
- 9.8Total Score
Similarly to its 1986 original title, The Legend of Zelda, players are free to roam the game world with little instruction. If exploration and experimentation is what you look for, this may be exactly what you need!
- Technical Quality9.5
- Engaging Experience10
- Addictive & Fun10
- THE GOOD
- Open-ended World
- Masterful Design
- Great Mechanics
- Limitless and Magical
- THE BAD
- It is not an easy game