The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (BotW) is said to be one of the greatest games of all time, even winning multiple Game of the Year awards in 2017. As the name suggests, Breath of the Wild (BotW) puts exploration front and center, forgoing tutorials and handholding, and allowing you, the player, to do whatever your heart desires. This approach is why the BotW community still remains active so many years after its release, as people keep discovering and unlocking new secrets every day. While this approach to video gaming can be magical when it works, others might want to be a bit more prepared before starting the game. Today, we bring to you some useful tips to help you get a head start on your journey of exploring Hyrule.
1. Weapon Durability
The weapon system in BotW has been well-documented. BotW might not have pioneered breakable weapons might, but the game still uses this feature so well that it becomes a highlight instead of a handicap. Every weapon, shield, and bow you find comes with a durability counter, after a set number of uses almost every weapon in the game will break. This makes it necessary for players to hoard weapons, cycle through different weapons, and always be on the lookout for new weapons that can be used. Being forced to cycle through weapons also compels you to try out new weapons, which is a good thing, as each melee weapon has unique properties. For example, spears are good for taking care of enemies from a distance, while a sword and shield is a great option to fight Bokoblins and other basic enemies, hammers and other heavy weapons can be used to smash rocks and do severe damage to Lynels and other mini-bosses. Having a wide variety of weapons in your inventory is the best way to make sure that you can get out of any sticky situation.
2. Mastering the Combat
Now that we have gone over the weapons, the next step is to learn how to fight with them. The enemy AI is remarkable in Breath of the Wild. Enemies will adapt to the way you are fighting, pick up nearby objects and use them as weapons, and some of them can even fire lasers that can end you in one shot. But don’t worry, there is a secret behind mastering combat that your in-game enemies don’t want you to know. This secret is the Flurry Rush mechanic. While engaged in combat, using the block button and hitting the dodge button at exactly the right moment will allow Link to enter Flurry Rush, which freezes the opponent while allowing you to dish out damage. This maneuver allows you to ignore enemy defenses, does not affect weapon durability, and works on almost every single opponent you face. Once you have mastered the counter and other combat basics, combat will get considerably easier.
3. Learn how to make a fire
Fires can help the time pass faster, cook your food, light torches, create updrafts and even fight enemies. Breath of the Wild is all about the systems that the game allows you to interact with. Being able to create fire when you need it will be a huge asset while playing. To create a flame, all you need to do is gather some wood and flint. Wood can be found by chopping down trees, and flint can be found by breaking the shimmering rocks scattered around Hyrule. Drop the flint near the wood and strike the flint to start a fire. You can also use fire arrows and fire weapons to get the same results without flint, but those are a bit harder to find. Learn what works best for you, and you will learn the ability to start a fire whenever you need it.
This is one of those sections where BotW’s no-handholding policy can make things a bit confusing. Recovering hearts in the game requires you to either eat something or get rest at an inn. Seeing as exploration is a key gameplay mechanic, finding inns can be just as difficult as successfully reaching them without getting sidetracked. The game provides no tutorial for players to cook, leaving them to fend for themselves or look up online guides.
Cooking can actually be quite simple once you get the hang of it. Holding an item in Link’s hands and dropping it onto an open fire will bake or roast that ingredient. However, cooking in this manner will only give you a single heart or two. Instead, if you can find a cooking pot already placed on fire, you can hold a variety of ingredients (Up to 5) and drop them all into the pot to cook up a meal. While at the start you might find yourself creating horrible messes that don’t even resemble food, you will eventually get the hang of it. The trick is to cook food and plants together and keep the monster parts relegated to elixirs. Keep an eye on the stat-boosting effects of the food such as an increased attack, increased stealth, cold resistance etc. Mix and match your recipes or consult an online guide to cooking in BotW and you will be cooking up mouth-watering delicacies in no time.
5. Keep an eye out for useful food buffs
Now that you know how to cook, you need to learn what to cook. You can find plenty of apples lying around on the ground and on trees in BotW. You can find and catch fish by swimming in the water, and you can collect meat by hunting the birds and animals you encounter. Mushrooms with special buffs can be found near the bottom of a tree or on a mountain. Keep an eye out for hearty foods such as the hearty radish and the hearty truffle. These ingredients when cooked into a dish can not just restore your health, but they can also increase your number of hearts temporarily. Other buffs that you can find in the wild are:
Do not mix buffs, and be sure to add other ingredients that complement your buff to create different types of meals that help increase your stats.
6. Fairy Hunting
There are four Great Fairy Fountains in BotW. After a small cash payment, these Fountains can be unlocked and used to upgrade your armor at any point in the game. While this is a useful ability, there is something much more valuable at the Fairy Fountains – the smaller fairies. The smaller fairies hovering near each of the Fairy Fountains can be used to instantly revive Link when his total number of hearts hits zero. This makes these fairies an amazing hack to cheat death. Since the inventory number isn’t really limited, the only thing keeping you from immortality is how many fairies you can capture.
7. Prepare before heading out
The main star of BotW is the land of Hyrule. While you might be confident in your combat abilities and have the support of health-restoring foods and fairies in your inventory, the elements can still get you. Simply walking through a thunderstorm with metal items can get you killed in this game. Trekking from one place to another is an exercise in climbing, gliding, horse-riding, and swimming your way to your destination. Arm yourself with gear that gives you climbing buffs, food that gives you stamina buffs, and elixirs to handle extremely high and low temperatures. At the end of the day, exploring and enjoying Breath of the Wild is all about the preparation you put in before embarking on your journey.