The new Zelda game is incredible, and it is also complicated. Breath of the Wild has interlocking systems that enable you to do some incredible things, but you may find yourself overwhelmed when you start. And I’m here to help.

Before we get into it, a piece of advice: Don’t sell the loot you collect unless you’re sure you don’t need it. You can sell the items you craft, like food or elixirs, but you will have a use for just about anything in your inventory. And you don’t want to sell all your Ancient Shafts only to find out you need them an hour later.

OK, now let’s get on to the tips.

Understanding weapon durability

Your weapons are going to break. Get used to it.

Early on, the weapons you find and take from other creatures seem like they are made from balsa wood and built by a blacksmith who hates their job. It’s common for a new spear or sword to crumble after just three fights.

You can get frustrated with this, or you can accept it. The tip here is that you should use this as an opportunity to experiment with different kinds of weapons. And you should also try to hang on to at least one strong weapon in case you come across a more powerful enemy. The strength of the weapon is the number in the box on the inventory screen, and you can tell if a weapon is more or less durable than normal by reading the flavor text on the inventory screen.

Beyond that, just know that you’ll start regularly getting awesome weapons later on.

How to spot active Guardians and then kill them

The camera also has another use. You can point it at the dilapidated Guardians, and the camera will tell you if it’s going to suddenly come to life and attack you.

Come at me!

Above: Come at me!

Image Credit: GamesBeat

When you do get into combat with a Guardian, you’ll likely have a tough time beating them. Here’s a couple of tricks:

  • Find a shield.
  • Lock onto a Guardian with ZL to hold up your shield (if you have a two-handed weapon, you’ll need to sheath it).
  • If you hit the A button while holding the lock-on button right after the Guardian fires its blue-colored blast at you (and I mean right after you see that bright blue flash), you’ll deflect the attack right back at the ancient machine. If you time it right, this will also not do any damage to your shield.
  • I previously thought you needed a Guardian shield to do this, but you any shield will work.
  • If you are struggling with the shield technique, you’ll need Ancient weapons to easily fight Guardians. You can get these by traveling to the Northeast to the Akkala Ancient Tech Lab. There, you can trade in more ancient parts (which you pick up from broken or defeated Guardians) and rupees to buy items like swords, arrow, bows, and more that are designed to kill Guardians.
  • But you should probably get good with the shield trick (or go after the Master Sword early in the game).

How to climb in the rain

Climbing in the rain is just not really an option for a lot of the game. Typically, you’re best off finding a dry alcove to start a fire so you can pass some time and wait out the rain. You can start a fire by holding a bundle of wood and a flint, dropping them on the ground, and striking them with something metallic. If you have a fire sword or a similar weapon, you can start a fire with just wood.

But if you’re determined to get to the top of a mountain in the rain, you need to use the following technique:

  • Find a path to where you want to go that is not a sheer cliff wall. You can’t climb up vertical surfaces in the rain.
  • Instead, try to find a path that is at least a few degrees less steep than a 90-degree angle to the ground.
  • Try to stay on your feet as much as possible.
  • If Link grabs the wall to start climbing, immediately press B and try to run some more.
  • If you are close enough to a landing point, you can jump, immediately press B, wait for Link to grab the wall, and then press jump again.

It’s a tough technique, and it works in a lot of circumstances. Here’s an example of how it works:

Finding and using special powers

At the start of the game, Link must collect magic abilities from the four shrines on the Great Plateau. These enable you to summon bombs, stop time on certain objects, create pillars of ice in the water, and control magnetic items. But those are only your basic spells. Eventually, you can get much more powerful magicks that will save you in combat and aid you in exploration. Here’s what they are, where to find them, and how to use them

Mipha’s Grace

  • When this power is active, it will automatically restore your life to beyond your max HP whenever you complete deplete your heart meter. This is crucial for tough fights because it enables you to take a one-hit killing blow and still get up to continue the fight.
  • You get it by completing the Divine Beast quest in Zora domain.
  • It has a 20-minute cooldown timer.

Revali’s Gale

  • Use this power to catch a pillar of wind by holding down the jump button. It’s important for exploring the word, but you can also use it in combat because it’s an easy way to reach weak points or to get to a point where you can activate your slow-motion bow-and-arrow attack.
  • You’ll find it by completing the Divine Beast quest that starts in the Rito village to the northeast.
  • You can use it twice before it needs a 6-minute cooldown timer.

Daruk’s Protection

  • This is a magical shield that you can turn on by hitting ZL to lock onto enemies. If you take a hit, Daruk’s glowing red sphere will protect you from it.
  • You get it by completing the Divine Beast quest to the north in the Goron village near Death Mountain.
  • It can absorb three hits, but then it needs to cooldown for 10 minutes.

Urbosa’s Fury

  • This is a magical attack that will damage and shock enemies in a large sphere by holding down the attack button. This is crucial for when fights are getting out of hand with too many enemies or a difficult boss.
  • You get it by completing the Divine Beast quest that starts in the Gerudo town in the desert to the West.
  • You can do three Urbosa’s Fury attacks before it needs a 12-minute cooldown.

How to get more stamina and more heart containers

PRAY TO ME!

Above: PRAY TO ME!

Breath of the Wild doesn’t have pieces of heart containers hidden around the world, and you won’t get a full container often, either. Instead, you’ll expand your life meter and stamina bar by completing the more than 100 challenge dungeons. Spirits Orbs are standard reward for solving one of the smaller puzzle dungeons, and you can go pray to a goddess statue and select either an extra heart or more stamina after collecting four of them.

You can find goddess statues in most villages, but you can always find one at the Temple of Time or in the center of Kakariko Village.

What to do with Korok seeds?

Soon after you start, you’ll begin finding little forest spirits called Koroks. They’ll reward you with seeds for uncovering them. You should take those seeds to the river north of the Dueling Peaks Stable. Don’t cross the bridge; instead, walk around the river until you find a giant Korok who is sad about his lost maracas. Follow his quest to get his maracas, and then he will accept your seeds in exchange or expanding your inventory slots.

Cooking 101

I don’t think you’ll need to download a list of recipes for Breath of the Wild. You could, but I think that’s a waste of time. Instead, you should learn the basic rules of how this system works.

Here’s what you should know:

  • You can cook in any frying pan. If it’s not already over a fire, you’ll have to start one. You can light the fire under a pan using a nearby fire and a torch, flame arrows, or a flaming weapon. But it’s most efficient to place a flint stone (found in ore deposits) next to the wood and striking it with a metal weapon.
  • Cooking meat, fruit, veggies, and other substantial foods will make them slightly more effective.
  • Mixing ingredients together in the pan is the key to making complex meals that will provide you a lot of health, extended status effects, and more.
  • But don’t mix items at random — try to pair meat together with salt to make salt-grilled meat that can replace a lot of hearts.
  • For status effects, pay attention to the name of the ingredients. The Staminoka Fish and the Stamella Shroom can both replenish your stamina, cooking them together can have a compounding effect that increases the effectiveness of the meal.
  • Don’t mix together two different kinds of effects, as they’ll cancel each other out.
  • Don’t throw in a bunch of ingredients for the hell of it. If you mix together a multiple mushrooms and one piece of meat, the result may cancel out the meat to give you a mushroom skewer that you could’ve made without wasting the meat.
  • Early during your adventure, mixing two or three ingredients is better than three or four because you probably don’t need a meal that replenishes 11 hearts. You’d be better off with four meals that recover 3 hearts each.
  • Low-level, mid-level, and high-level: To get higher-level status effects, you’re going to need more of the active ingredient. For example, you can make a high-level electric-resistant dish that lasts 12.5 minutes by cooking three Zapshrooms and two Electric Staffina. A good rule of thumb is that you won’t get a high-level resistance or buff unless you have at least four active ingredients, but five is even better.

But really, you should experiment. Cooking is something you can learn in this game, and I think it’s really best if you go for it.

Elixirs 101

Making elixirs is similar to cooking, but it’s maybe a bit easier.

Here’s what you should know:

  • For most elixirs, you can mix a status-affected bug or reptile with monster parts to get what you want.
  • The flavor text will tell you what something like the Sunset Firefly does (it improves your stealth rating), and you can pop it into the pan with four bokoblin horns to get a long-lasting elixir.
  • If you want a more powerful elixir, you can try using some of the more rare monster parts.
  • Be careful: Read the text for the monster parts. If it says something like, “it may have a use,” don’t mix it for an elixir. Save it because you’ll need it for other kinds of upgrades.

What to do with precious metals

You can sell metals like opal, diamonds, ruby, and more for a lot of rupees, but you can also give them to a woman who runs the shop on the right side of Gerudo town. She will build you headwear with status effects, which is important for completing full armor sets. You can also give the metal to the Great Fairies to upgrade your headwear.

Upgrading your clothing with monster parts and chu jelly

Speaking of Kakariko Village, just to its north, you’ll find the Ta’loh Naeg Shrine. Walk past that into the forest and you’ll quickly discover a Great Fairy Fountain. This fairy will improve your clothing if you give her certain monster parts. All of the monster parts that she accepts will say something such as “it may have other uses” in the flavor text.

Give me your clothes!

Above: Give me your clothes!

Image Credit: Jeff Grubb/GamesBeat

To upgrade you clothes again, you’ll want to find another fairy. There’s a second one in the Tabanatha region across the bridge from the horse stable.

How to easily catch bugs and fish

Are you finding that bugs and fish always scamper away from you before you can grab ’em? Then you should get the stealth Shieka armor from the armor shop in Kakariko Village. It’s expensive (try cooking some meals and selling them if you need the cash immediately, and be sure to sell your precious stones). If you buy the whole set, you can easily sneak up on bugs and fish even without going into the stealth stance. It makes catching those critters much easier.

If you’re just trying to fish, however, you can throw bombs into the water where you see them swimming. This will instantly kill the fish, and you can swim up and grab them.

How to climb mountains

Climbing is an art in Breath of the Wild. You don’t want to spam the jump button because you’ll cash your stamina meter way too fast. But just pure climbing is way too slow. I’ve found that climbing up to points of even really steep inclines, hitting B, and trying to run enables link to build back up his stamina meter while ascending relatively quickly. This won’t work on a sheer cliff, but you can see in the video above that I got to the top of the Dueling Peaks pretty quickly using this method. Of course, if it’s raining, climbing is typically an all around bad idea, but you’ll have slightly better luck if you have climbing gear (like the climbing pants and bandanna).

You can find the climbing pants on Mounta Lanayru’s far-east side. It is hiding behind a bombable wall.

What to do with Luminous Stones

There’s a Zora near the front of the Zora domain that shows up after you finish the temple in that area. He wants 10 Luminous Stones, so try to save them until you meet him. He’ll give you two diamonds the first time, and then he’ll give you 1 diamond for each 10 Luminous Stones after that.

How to use the camera to find certain items

One of the most important items in Breath of the Wild is the camera. You’ll get it from the Hateno Ancient Tech Lab on the outskirts of Hateno Village. You can use it to scan everything in the world to add it to your Hyrule Compendium. Once it’s in your compendium, you can set your Sheikah Sensor to help you track down that item. You’ll need this if you’re trying to quickly complete certain side-quests.

Where to find a Guardian shield.

You can get a Guardian shield by defeating certain challenge shrines. Try the Pumaag Nitae Shrine to the South of the overworld map:

Defeat the Guardian in here to get a Shield.

Above: Defeat the Guardian in here to get a Shield.

Image Credit: GamesBeat

Are you wondering how to do something and don’t see it here?

Hey, email me if you have an unanswered question about Breath of the Wild. Let’s figure this out together, so we can expand this guide for everybody!