Zelda: Breath Of the Wild - Things The Game Doesn't Tell You
Hidden In Hyrule...
In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, there are myriad important mechanics and concepts that the game never explains outright. At times the game alludes to them, but the majority of the time, you're left to figure them out on your own, either by experimenting or completing a sidequest that introduces a particular mechanic. With so many veiled secrets, we've compiled 14 useful things to know to help you on your journey.
Be wary, there are potential spoilers ahead. Check back often as we update this feature with more secrets.
Breath of the Wild out now for both Nintendo Switch and Wii U. And even after you finish the game, there'll be more to play: Nintendo has announced a $20 DLC Pass for Breath of the Wild. For more details about the game, check out our feature covering everything you need to know about it. Otherwise, you can read all our written coverage and watch every video here.
Nintendo Switch is officially out now, priced at US $300/£280/AU $470. For all the games confirmed to be coming to Switch--but not necessarily at launch--take a look at our roundup. You can also check out the console's main peripherals, as well as our in-depth feature of its menus and UI (user interface). And if you're curious how the Switch compares to other consoles in terms of size, check out our size comparison.
How To Perform A Perfect Dodge, Parry, And Charged Attack
Against a tough enemy, there are three advanced and essential combat techniques: Perfect Dodge, Parry, and the Charged Attack.
Perfect Dodge allows you to slow down time after a precise dodge and inflict a devastating flurry attack upon an enemy. To execute a Perfect Dodge, jump out of the way of an attack right before it's about to hit you, and then press Y to perform the attack flurry.
Parry allows you to use your shield to deflect an enemy's blow, leaving it vulnerable to an immediate counterattack. To Parry, lock onto an enemy and press A right before their attack connects.
The Charged Attack allows you to perform a powerful offensive maneuver. Each weapon type sports a different Charged Attack. For instance, the sword has a 360-degree attack that covers you on all sides, while the spear has a flurry of stabs. To use a Charged Attack, simply hold the Y button in combat.
Using Your Final Breath While Climbing
While climbing, if you jump when your stamina wheel is in the red, you'll propel yourself upward twice the usual distance. This is a handy last resort technique that can be a life saver when you're just about to reach the top of a mountain, but can't make it by climbing alone.
You Can Retrieve Lost Arrows
If you miss an enemy with an arrow, don't worry; it's possible to pick it back up. The same works for enemy arrows, which you can pick up when they land at your feet. You can even retrieve the arrows that get stuck to your shield by putting it away. This is a great way to farm hundreds of arrows.
Regardless, when a battle is over, make sure to mine the battlefield for all the arrows that missed their mark.
How To Shieldboard
It's possible to use your shield to slide down hills and steep inclines. To do so, hold ZL to bring up your shield, then jump forward and press A. As you slide on your shield, you can shoot arrows or press the Y button to perform tricks. Note that sliding on your shield wears down its durability, so use this ability wisely.
How To Catch A Horse
If you want to travel faster through Hyrule, you should find and tame a horse. The best place to get a horse early on is at the Blatchery Plain (after the Dueling Peaks), where there are several roaming free. There are two types of horses to discover: spotted and one-color. Spotted horses are great for beginners, as they're easier to tame and aren't as ill-tempered. One-color horses more are difficult to tame and are often unwilling to follow your directions, but their higher stamina and speed more than make up for the grief.
To tame a horse, sneak up to one and hop onto its back, and then mash the L button to soothe it before it kicks you off. After you've earned the horse's respect, take it to the nearest stable to register it. This allows you to summon it whichever stable you're at if you ever get separated.
If you want your horse to perform at its very best, you need to be attentive to its performance. When it cooperates, make sure to reward it by soothing it or feeding it an apple. But keep in mind, it’s imperative to soothe your horse when it’s panicked or stressed.
Riding Wild Animals
It's actually possible to ride wild animals, such as bears and deer, like you would a horse, so long as you approach it carefully and with stealth bonuses activated. Unfortunately, wild animals aren't the most useful or reliable mounts, as they're far less compliant than horses. You also can't register them at stables for future travels. Despite these limitations, riding wild animals is a fun novelty well worth taking advantage of when the opportunity presents itself.
It's possible to slow down time to shoot an arrow, which is an effective technique for picking off multiple enemies at time. To do so, simply pull out your bow while high up in the air (preferably from a glide). You can also execute the maneuver after jumping forward on horseback. Keep in mind, the slow-motion only lasts as long as the amount of stamina you have, so if your stamina fully depletes in air, time will resume as normal.
Talk To Wandering Merchants, Especially When It Rains
When you're travelling in-between towns, you'll encounter travelling merchants, who can sell you various equipment or cooking ingredients. Be sure to browse their wares when possible for supplies you might need. However, when it rains, merchants bust out their rare items. For example, a merchant that typically sells the Raw Meat ingredient during sunny weather will list the better, more effective Raw Prime Meat ingredient when it rains. If storm clouds start to appear, seek out merchants in the area; you never know what rare items you might be able to purchase.
Elemental Weapons Affect Your Body Temperature
Often in your journey, you'll work hard to figure out how to survive some of the world's more extreme weather conditions. There are a few specialized clothing options and elixirs that can help keep your body temperature in check, but there's actually a little known alternative: elemental weapons.
Elemental weapons affect your body temperature; depending on which you choose, your body temperature will either increase or decrease. For example, if you're in the hot, arid Gerudo desert, equipping an Ice Rod or a Great Frostblade will lower your body temperature. This is a handy technique to use in your travels, as it lets you keep your stronger armor equipped while in extreme climates. It's also a great option if you simply lack the other survival options available to you.
Reawaken The Great Fairy To Upgrade Your Armor
If you go up the hill from the Tal'oh Neag Shrine in Kakariko Village, you'll find a plant pod in a forest clearing. Hidden inside the pod is the Great Fairy Cotera, who requests 100 Rupees from you to reawaken her power. If you oblige, she can upgrade your armor using components you find out in the world. For example, to enhance the Hylian Tunic, you need to give her Bokoblin Horns. It's important to note that an armor set gains a special bonus after Cotera enhances each part twice.
Dogs Lead You To Treasure
If you find a dog in any of the towns or stables, don't just crouch down and nuzzle it. Feed the pup three pieces of meat or fruit to show it you care. After doing so, it'll lead you to a treasure chest hidden in the surrounding area. For example, if you feed the dog in Hateno Village, it takes you to a chest containing a Silver Rupee. Make sure to feed all the pups in Hyrule to acquire all sorts of secret treasure.
You Can Reassign Your Essence
In Hateno Village, you can find a mopey-looking statue at the bottom of the hill on the other side of the village entrance. If you talk to it, you'll initiate a sidequest where the statue steals some of your essence (either a Heart Container or a Stamina Vessel); speak to it again to reclaim what was taken from you. The statue offers you a deal where you can sell it one of your Heart Containers or Stamina Vessels for 100 Rupees. This might sound like a bad trade-off at first, but you're actually able to talk to it again and pay 120 rupees to acquire either a Heart Container or a Stamina Vessel in return. This is a handy resource, as you're essentially paying 20 Rupees to reassign the upgrades you've acquired throughout your journey.
Grab Fairies To Get Revives
It's possible to grab small fairies floating in the air. Doing so turns them into a usable item, which can revive you when your health fully depletes. As a result, fairies are a precious commodity that shouldn't be wasted. You can typically find fairies near any of the three Great Fairy fountains or hiding in tall grass.
You Can Stealth Kill Enemies
If you sneak up directly behind an enemy without them noticing, a prompt appears that allows you to deliver a devastating blow. This is an incredibly useful maneuver, as it nearly kills enemies in one blow, regardless of their level of health and defense.
You Can Parry Guardian Laser Shots
Guardians are a tremendous threat early on, mostly because of their incredibly destructive laser blasts. But if you have decent reflexes, you can actually parry a Guardian's laser blast with your shield, and send it straight back at them.
To do so, get close to a Guardian and wait for it to charge up a shot. When you hear a beep, that's your cue to press A. Do this three times to make a standard Guardian explode; though, a stationary Guardian can be destroyed with one shot.
Once you've mastered parrying Guardian shots, these once dangerous foes become much less threatening. It's also one of the most efficient ways to defeat a Guardian, as it doesn't require any weapon use, nor does it wear down your shield's durability. Be wary, this tactic is incredibly ineffective against multiple Guardians, as it can only be implemented while locking onto one of them, so once again: don't push your luck!
Lighting Grass On Fire Creates An Updraft
Lighting grass on fire creates a temporary updraft that you can use to skyrocket yourself up into the air with your glider. This has a variety of applications, such as creating height between you and an approaching Guardian or propelling yourself upward to give you more time in the air.
You Can Plow Through Guardians With Your Horse
It's possible to use your horse to charge straight through a Guaridan. Simply spur your horse in the direction of an approaching Guardian and watch as it tumbles over the both of you. It's worth noting that if you don't charge through the Guardian's center base, it might not flinch much from your charge, so be careful in your approach and make sure to keep spurring your horse on to maximize your force of impact. This technique can also be used repeatedly to tear off a Guardian's legs, drastically hindering its movement.
You Can Buy A House
When you enter Hateno, you can find a group of construction workers attempting to tear down a house near the Myahm Agana Shrine. If you talk to their head foreman Bolson, he'll ask you if you want to purchase the house. Accept his offer to strike a deal to acquire the house for a sum of 3,000 Rupees and 30 bundles of wood.
After buying the house, Bolson can furnish it with various upgrades. For example, you can ask him to install a door or to make you a bed you can use to rest overnight. However, each upgrade is going to cost you 100 Rupees.
Talk To The Giant Korok To Expand Your Inventory Space
On your way to Kakariko Village, you encounter a giant Korok named Hestu, who pleads with you to retrieve its maracas from a pack of Bokoblins. Completing this task earns you the ability to upgrade your inventory space, but at a cost. Hestu asks that you supply him with Korok seeds he can use to fix his now-broken maracas. These special seeds can only be acquired by finding Korok hidden in the environment. For example, you can find one hidden beneath a rock on top of one of the Pillars of Levia. For every Korok seed you bring Hestu, he'll upgrade the space of an inventory category of your choice.
Keep an eye out for anything that seems out of place in the environment. If something seems amiss, chances are that there's a Korok hiding there.
Upgrading Your Sheikah Slate's Functionality, And The Sheikah Sensor+
It's possible to enhance functionality of the Sheikah Slate's abilities by talking to Purah at the Ancient Tech Lab in Hateno Village. But make it a priority of upgrading the Sheikah Sensor, which requires three Ancient Springs. Doing so allows you to use it to sense the presence of specific objects in the world, just as long as you take a picture of it first. For example, you can set the Sheikah Sensor to go off whenever a Sunshroom is nearby. This expanded functionality proves useful when you're trying to pinpoint the location of specific weapons, ingredients, or animals you need to track.
Amiibo Net You Classic Rewards
It's made apparent early on that you can scan amiibo to get new weapons and items. But if you scan amiibo of classic Zelda characters, you can get special armor and weapons from past games. For example, when you scan the Toon Link amiibo, you have a chance of acquiring Wind Waker-inspired armor pieces. You can even obtain new mounts, like the iconic Epona, which you can get when you scan the Super Smash Bros. series Link amiibo.
It's worth noting that each amiibo can only be scanned once per day, and that items are randomized. In addition, certain items are only available to its respective amiibo, so don't expect to get Sheik's Mask from the Ganondorf amiibo.
If you're interested in donning on the classic Link outfits from past games, be sure to take advantage of Breath of the Wild's amiibo functionality.
You Can Dye Your Clothes
In Hateno village, the second shop to the right allows you to dye your clothes various colors for the cost of 20 rupees. You also need five items that share in the dye color you wish to use. These can be any materials you find out in the wild. For example, items like the Bokoblin Horn and Moblin Fang can be used to dye your clothes grey.
Keep in mind the shopkeeper dyes your entire outfit the color you choose, so it's best to mix and match what you want colored for more efficient use of your money. But if you change your mind about the colors you choose, you can always revert back to the original color scheme for another 20 Rupees.
You Can Take Selfies
Similar to The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, you can take selfies in Breath of the Wild with your Sheikah Slate's camera. Simply turn on the camera with the L button, and then press X to activate "Self-Portrait" mode. Moving the left stick in different directions changes Link's pose, maximizing the photo's social media effectiveness.
You Can Customize Your Horse
After spending hours traveling across Hyrule on horseback, do you ever find yourself wishing you could customize the appearance of your trusty steed? Well, Breath of the Wild makes it possible. Simply go to the Outskirt Stable, which lies to the North of the Great Plateau and West of the Coliseum Ruins.
When you reach the stable, talk to Canni, the lady tending the horses outside. She offers to change out your horse's saddle or bridle with any new ones you've found. She also lets you alter the mane of your horse. Looking to style your horse's mane with some sweet french-braids? Or maybe you'd like to give it a long, flowing green mane? Canni can make it happen.
Keep in mind, Canni only offers her services to horses that are raised with lots of love, so if you don't have a max bond with your horse, she'll reject you.
How To Refresh Rusty Weapons
You'll often encounter a fair amount of rusty weapons, which while useful at first, eventually become obsolete as you find stronger weapons to add to your arsenal. But don't just ignore every rusty weapon you find. Make sure to keep a couple in your inventory for the inevitable moment you encounter a Rock Octorok in the Death Mountain region.
This might seem strange, but try tossing a rusty weapon onto the ground for the little critter to suck up. After it does so, wait a few seconds and it'll spit out the weapon in brand-new condition. Keep in mind, the weapon it spews out is randomized based on the weapon type. For example, if you toss it a Rusty Broadsword, you might get a Traveller's Sword, while another time, you'll get the more powerful Royal Broadsword. Take advantage of this refurbishment technique to nab some decently powered weapons.
You Can Bring A Horse Back From The Dead
Have you ever recklessly let your trusty steed die in the middle of a battle, and spent the rest of your journey in depressed? Don't worry, it's actually possible to bring your horse back to life. But you can't do it with the help of folks at the stable. Rather, you need to seek out the help of Malanya, the Great Horse Fairy.
To find her, head to the Lake Tower region to the south and find the Highland Stable. From there, head southeast towards the Horse God bridge. When you reach the end of the path you'll find what looks like a Great Fairy Fountain. Examine it and pay Malanya the flat fee of 1,000 rupees to access her services. Talk to her again, and she'll work her magic to bring your steed back from the grave. Note that you can do this as many times as you'd like at no additional rupee cost to you.
Weaponized Cucco Swarm
Like in past Zelda games, if you use excessive force against a Cucco, it'll call upon a swarm of its friends to attack you. While triggering a Cucco swarm isn't in your best interest, it's possible to make it work in your favor. Simply grab a Cucco and bring it with you into battle, and whichever unfortunate enemy happens to hit you will be swarmed and pecked to death. It's important to note that a Cucco swarm only does minimal damage against higher-leveled enemies, like Guardians and Lynels, so don't push your luck.
Kilton's Monster Shop
Hidden in the outskirts of Hyrule is a mysterious merchant named Kilton. To find this eccentric peddler, wait until nighttime, and then head to the left "eye" of Skull Lake, which is located northwest of Death Mountain.
When you talk to Kilton, he tells you he's going to set up shop at various villages across the land before disappearing to do just that. To find him, search the outskirts of any of the main villages and towns between 8 P.M. to 4 A.M. Kilton's shop is relatively easy to identify; it appears as a patchwork hot-air balloon from a distance.
Once you find him, Kilton sells an assortment of useful and quirky monster-related items, such as the much sought-after Monster Extract cooking ingredient, or a Moblin Mask, which allows you to blend in with Moblins. However, you can only purchase these items using a special currency known as Mon, which you can acquire by trading in monster parts to Kilton.
Make sure to visit Kilton's shop often, as he frequently stocks up on a variety of new and useful items.