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Spoiler-Free Tips For Starting The Legend Of Zelda: The Breath Of The Wild

by Kyle Hilliard on Mar 01, 2017 at 11:01 PM

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is nearly upon as and it’s very, very good. One of its best features is how full of surprises it is, which is why this beginner’s guide doesn’t go too deep into late-game strategies. Instead, it offers some tips for getting started without revealing too much about the larger game.

And as an added bonus, if you hate reading words, you can check out a video version of these tips below.

Don’t Get Precious About Your Equipment
Weapons don’t stick around very long in Breath of the Wild. You might want them to initially, but you will learn to get over it quickly. There are basically three main types of melee weapons (with some variations in-between) and you will figure out which of those types you like quickly. Instead of looking for that one exact sword you like, I recommend keeping an eye out for that type you like. If you like the longer spears, grab spears and don’t dwell on exactly what type of spear it is. It will be breaking soon, plus you will always find a more powerful one just a few steps ahead.

Throw Your Weapons When They’re About To Break
As you’re using a weapon, an alert will appear on screen telling you that your weapon is about to break. Using your weapon to the breaking point is perfectly acceptable, but you will do a lot more damage by throwing a weapon at an enemy than you will by getting off one or two final melee hits. Plus, throwing a sword in the face of a lizalfos so hard that shatters is always satisfying.

Grab All The Arrows
Arrows are powerful, but they are also hard to come by. Even the stores that stock them usually only have a few on hand, and they’re expensive. One way to stock up on them is to find an enemy firing arrows, and let them fire off a few rounds at you. You can pick up the arrows that missed you off the ground, and then kill the bad guy. You can truly make them believe they had a fighting chance. Additionally on this tip, if you use an arrow in a shrine to help solve a puzzle, there is a good chance it can be recovered. Make sure you do that.

Choose Stamina Over Hearts (But Hearts Are Important, Too)
You get to choose periodically if you want to upgrade hearts or stamina, and I would recommend the latter. That isn’t to say hearts are not important. Breath of the Wild is a challenging game, and a few extra hearts go a long way. Plus, I was very happy I had 13 hearts when I was close to the end of the game. There are, however, plenty of food options that will give you extra temporary hearts. You can extend your stamina meter temporarily with food, too, but extra hearts are much more common, and you won’t go through your bonus hearts by simply running or climbing.

Inspect All Downed Guardians
Guardians, the octopus-like creatures seen as early as Breath of the Wild’s initial reveal, are everywhere – but some of them are dead. There is no reason to fear the dead guardians, and you should take a look at every one. They usually offer loot which is valuable for a number of early- and late-game upgrades.

Mark Your Map
You are in charge of marking your map, and you definitely should. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you will remember where that one thing is – you won’t. I had luck making decisions early about what each symbol would mean, and was thankful for the markings when I found the thing I needed to  return to it later.

If You Don’t Feel Like Solving A Puzzle – Don’t

Shrines are incredibly valuable. They give you an important currency, usually contain good weapons, and serve as your fast-travel points. They should be a high-priority for you, but if you don’t want to solve their puzzle right away, you don’t have to. Walking to the shrine and opening its door is enough to activate a fast travel point, and your map will denote that you haven’t solved its puzzle yet for you. So if you are on a mission, see a shrine nearby, but don’t want to stray from your current goal, go open its door and go back to your mission. That way, when you are in the mood to solve puzzles, you can travel directly to it.

Always Sprint Full-Speed Up Ladders
Link recovers stamina while climbing ladders, so start hitting the jump button when you start climbing. Don’t waste any time.

A Suggested Dungeon Order
You technically don’t have to do the dungeons if you don’t want to, but you really probably should. You will thank yourself later. Early in the game you will get some markers showing where the dungeons are generally located. They can be tackled in any order, but I would suggest doing the southeast and northwest dungeons first.

Leave The Motion Controls On
“Motions controls” are a dirty word in 2017, but I actually liked them in Breath of the Wild. You still aim your bow and items as you normally would with both control sticks, but I found that using the motion controls to make small, precise movements to improve accuracy was very helpful. I absolutely recognize that motion controls are not for everyone, but I encourage you to try them out.

Find The Stables And Talk To The People
Finding a stable is almost as valuable as finding a shrine, but for different reasons. The stable owners won’t do much for you outside of getting you your horse, but the people hanging around will offer tips, give directions to nearby oddities, or sell you items that you need for the area.

You should also look out for the guy you see above. He will help you find specific story-related moments that are difficult to find. If you see him, talk to him, and take note of what he says.

Bring Flint To The Woman In The Dessert
There are lots of side-missions to do in Hyrule, and they are worth doing. You meet interesting distinct characters, and they usually give you rupees, which are actually hard to come by in Breath of the Wild. There is one, however, that has a much more valuable reward than rupees. In a town in the desert you will find a woman in the main square looking for 10 flint. You can wait to complete most side-missions until you need rupees, but the woman in need of flint’s mission is one you should complete as soon as you can.

For more on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, head here for our review.