The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a massive game that offers very little direction, instead opting to let players figure things out. This approach is part of what makes the game great but it can also be a bit overwhelming. With some help from The Game Fanatics’ own Tyler Chancey, here are five Breath of the Wild tips to help you start your journey.
5 Tips To Get Started In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Mark Up the Map
Unlike most open-world games, Breath of the Wild doesn’t mark every point of interest for you. It’s your job to get a good vantage point and mark out anything that looks interesting. Shrines and towers are the most obvious landmarks but the game includes a set of 100 stickers you can use to mark anything and everything.
If you come across an enemy camp that you aren’t prepared for, throw a sticker on it. Found a spot where you can harvest a valuable ingredient? Sticker time. The game has a variety of stickers so it’s also worth developing your own system. Write it down and then you will know that sticker you left 15 hours ago was marking a spot to find a valuable mushroom and not an enemy camp.
Cook and Cook Some More
In a break from Zelda tradition, Breath of the Wild doesn’t make hearts available in the world. The only way to regain health in the field is by eating food. Food can be eaten raw for a quick fix but the only way to unlock its true potential is by cooking. The cooking system, much like everything else, relies on experimenting to find the best recipes.
Basic cooking can be accomplished using almost any heat source. Tossing ingredients into a fire will roast them and increase the number of hearts healed. The real benefits come when using one of the several cooking pots throughout Hyrule. Many ingredients have bonus effects, such as temporarily increasing defense, that only activate when cooked in a pot. Read the description of each ingredient in your inventory to get an idea of what it can do and then cook away. Each dish can feature up to five ingredients so be sure to try different combinations; just remember a dish can’t have multiple benefits, adding them will cancel each other out. It’s also a good idea to write down any particularly useful recipes as the game doesn’t keep track of them for you.
Manage Your Resources
Taking a cue from survival games, Breath of the Wild is full of resources and item management. Everything from your health and stamina to inventory space will need to be carefully managed. There isn’t a worse feeling than running out of stamina right before you reach the top of a mountain or watching a weapon break without a backup ready.
Weapons and shields are one of the first places where resource management comes into play. Almost everything is scavenged from enemies and it all breaks after enough use. It’s always a good idea to have a full inventory of weapons. You will also want to keep stocked on arrows. Most camps have at least one bow wielding enemy and if you miss the target, you can often scavenge for that arrow as well.
The in-game economy also requires you to manage your materials. Rupees don’t freely drop in this game; instead, you will get the most money from selling resources. Early on, most armor is only available through shops so having rupees is a must to upgrade your meager defense. At the same time, the parts you sell are also valuable as ingredients in elixirs and meals. You need to balance the need for cash with your supplies for cooking to make sure you aren’t left without ingredients you need later.
Combat, especially early on, can be brutal. If you’re not careful it’s easy to get surrounded and many enemies kill Link in one hit. When it is time to fight, there are plenty of ways to gain an edge over your enemies if you take the time to plan.
Always start by sneaking in and getting an idea of your surroundings. You will want to know where the archers are, where the enemies will go to grab weapons, and any other environmental objects you can use to your benefit. If you see a bunch of red barrels, a well-placed bomb can take out most of the camp by setting off a massive explosion. You might see a boulder that can be pushed from above to take out a couple guards. Use the environment and your available skills to tip the scales in your favor. Careful planning before the encounter can be the difference between life and death.
It’s also a good idea to get used to the bow. A headshot with the bow is a guaranteed critical hit. Early on this will often be your most powerful weapon. It has the added benefit of knocking enemies down giving you a chance to rush in for a melee attack or creating more distance between you and them. In a lot of battles, you can kite enemies around and pepper them with arrows until they go down. Keeping your distance is key when facing multiple enemies with strong weapons.
Pick Your Battles
While you can engage every enemy, it doesn’t mean you should. When many of the baddies can take you out in one hit, avoiding combat is important. The sneaking mechanics are simple to use and can help you avoid encounters. You can even sneak into camps to steal treasure or weapons without fighting. Of course, sometimes things will go bad. It’s always a good idea to have an escape plan ready. Look for escape routes where you can break line of sight, such as off the side of a cliff or into a forest. Eventually, if you put enough distance between you and the monsters they will return to their posts.
When running away or sneaking won’t work the game gives you a couple last ditch options. You can eat food at any time, even in combat. If you can’t get away you can always heal yourself or take a buff, like increased movement speed, to help you escape. As a last-ditch option, there is always fast travel. The game doesn’t stop you from fast traveling in combat so if you can’t get away or don’t have any supplies to heal this can save you in a pinch, especially if you grabbed an item you don’t want to lose.
The massive world of Hyrule can be a bit daunting early on. With these Breath of the Wild tips, you should have a smoother first few hours exploring. If you have any other Breath of the Wild tips you want to share be sure to leave them in the comments below.