Beginner Tips for Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild



The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a great video game. I really like it. One fun thing about this title is that so many people are still discovering it for the first time. As I hear about players who just got a Switch for Christmas, or otherwise are interested in starting their adventure after hearing so much about it or clearing other choices in their backlog, I think back to my own time as a new player.

And, although I don’t regret going in “blind,” I do wish I had known a few things before I began. There are other beginner’s guides out there, such as this solid one from Kotaku, which is spot-on about things like turning off the HUD ASAP and making sure you find every treasure chest in every shrine (the name of the shrine gets a chest icon when you’ve found all its treasures!). And changing the jump button, and turning off motion controls, as mentioned in the comments. Do these things, definitely.

Follow the Road to Kakariko

 

 

Some backstory on this one: I bought Breath of the Wild on opening day, and did not read any sort of guides or reviews before diving in. So once the game opened up past the Great Plateau, I was bewildered (joyously!) by the wealth of options for exploration. Now, I’m the sort of guy that enjoyed pushing my luck in games like Dragon Warrior by seeing how far beyond the intended boundaries I could go and still avoid death from enemies stronger than I should have been comfortable with.

So, as someone who enjoys boundary-breaking and going outside the intended rules and generally doing my own thing, I had fun going far off the beaten path. Dozens of hours into the game, I was slowly growing more powerful, finding my way around, and getting comfortable.

However: I desperately wanted to expand my inventory slots, and had no idea how. It was awful. I had started collecting memories, I had unlocked several towers, I was doing well, but utterly frustrated at my lack of weapon slots.

This is all because the game tried to guide me on a certain road to get to Kakariko Village and I simply went a different way. I’ve had people ridicule me, asking “how did you miss Hestu?”, but I am here to let you know that there are a thousand ways you can miss him and keep progressing through Kakariko, because the game simply lets you. You can go in any direction. There was nothing stopping me from avoiding that section of road.

Anyway: For most people, apparently, this is not an issue at all. But if you’re anything like me, prone to wander, just — I would recommend, at least for the first portion of the game, following its guidance on taking their specific route to Kakariko. Not only will you discover the only way to increase your inventory slots, but you will also run into some shrines with some nice equipment inside.

After that, though, go nuts.

Bombs Are Free

The game tries to nudge you toward this idea that weapons are also seen as tools for certain purposes — an axe can be used to chop down trees, sledgehammers can be used to break rocks, etc. However, it’s worth noting that bombs do these things to, without wearing your weapons down. While it’s true that you may not want to use bombs with a mineral deposit on the side of a cliff (less you lose a precious diamond to the abyss below), I definitely use bombs very frequently instead of wearing my weapons down. Use bombs. Use bombs a lot. There’s… not really any reason not to.

Cooking is Good for the Economy

Cooking and crafting may not appeal to you. But in Breath of the Wild, not only will cooking enhance the healing/buffing properties of your items, but it will enhance their sale value as well. This really helps the early game, and turns the cogs of the in-world economy. Did you use one arrow to kill an animal that gave you one piece of Raw Meat? Even just cooking that one piece of raw meat gives you a Meat Skewer you can sell for 20 rupees, which can be used to buy five more arrows, and then you may begin to see how your wealth slowly builds over time.

Honestly, I am over 200 hours in and I can honestly say that 99% of my cooking is just taking a moment to throw apples or meat on a fire. Even just that has been worth it.

Temperature Items

 

 

This is just a cool little helpful tidbit to keep in mind: Ice items cool you while you are holding them, and fire items heat you. This means you can hold them and increase your temperature buffs, or just have a little more freedom to vary your armor set while doing so. It also means, for example, that if you need to melt some ice but don’t want to use up any resources, you can just stand near it with a fire weapon to melt it away.

There is No Wrong Way to Play

Tackle the dungeons in whatever order you’d like. Travel wherever you want to go. Attack the game fast and aggressively, or take it at a slow, leisurely pace. Heck, just spend a few hundred hours exploring the landscape without completing any dungeons at all if you want. Play in whatever way you feel led, however you enjoy.

Don’t listen to internet people who try to steer you otherwise. It’s a game. It’s meant for your enjoyment. Have fun. Part of Breath of the Wild’s greatness is the sheer variety in ways you can take it in.

 

A Few Other Things

The weakest bows (Boko, Traveler’s) can’t kill deer in one hit.

Pebblits (those adorable little rock enemies that are usually found in small groups) can simply be picked up and thrown, which kills them instantly, although this will hurt you if they are the ice or fire type.

Bombs float, and fish killed by their explosions in the water will float to the surface for you to collect.

If a shrine is frustrating you, let yourself feel free to walk away and try again later, especially since you can always just quick-travel back.

Speaking of quick travel; you can use it at any time, so there’s no shame in using it to escape a tough fight.

Take in the scenery.

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