‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ survival guide: Tips for getting by in Hyrule

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Nintendo
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild may be the most difficult Zelda game ever released. It asks you to survive amid harsh conditions and gives you few tools beyond what you can scavenge. Then you have to defeat Ganon with whatever you can muster.

A large part of that difficulty stems from the game’s insistence that should you figure things out on your own. That’s great for some players, but for those of you who wish the game would give you just a little bit more info, use our Breath of the Wild survival tips to get started on the right foot.

Looking around

Talk to everyone

This may be obvious for players used to big role-playing games, but you should talk to everyone you can. Many people you encounter out in the world, whether they’re simply walking down the road or residing in villages, will sell you stuff or give you side quests. If you’re strapped for time or don’t want to speak to every single person, simply walk up to people and look at the name that pops overhead. If the name has a red circle with a exclamation point in it, you know they will have a side quest for you. You will definitely miss some interesting and useful conversations if you limit yourself to those conversations, though.

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Check anything that looks suspicious

If a rock looks like it doesn’t belong there, pick it up. If a tree seems out of place, climb it. If you find anything in the world that seems at all suspicious, it’s almost guaranteed there’s something valuable hidden there.

Turn camera sensitivity up

Go into the settings menu and turn your camera sensitivity up ASAP. The default movement speed is way too slow, and with a faster camera, you’ll be better equipped to keep track of large groups of enemies.

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Mine with bombs

You’ll find ore deposits everywhere in Hyrule. You can mine them pretty efficiently with a blunt weapon like a club or sledgehammer, but it’s even easier to hit them with bombs and save durability on your items. The only downside is the valuable ore can then go flying, so don’t blow it if you’re near a ledge.

Catch fish by swimming

You might be waiting for Breath of the Wild to introduce a fishing rod like past Zelda games, but there actually isn’t one. To catch fish, simply swim near them and tap “A” to grab them. Use the dash button to your advantage.

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Sneak more quickly

You can move more quickly when you’re sneaking if you tap the jump button while crouched. It will cause you to lunge forward without breaking out of sneak mode, which is useful for catching up to enemies you’re trying to get the jump on.

Cooking

Learn to cook

Breath doesn’t do a great job telling you exactly how to cook. It’s easy, though: open the menu, select the ingredient you want, and hit “A” and select “hold.” That puts the ingredients in Link’s arms. Select up to four additional ingredients, then close the menu and press “A” again to drop them into a cooking pot. Experiment by mixing different types and amounts of food to produce different kinds of healing items. Make sure to read the descriptions of your ingredients, which will tell you potential status effects they may add.

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Cook food, make money

If you’re hurting for rupees early on, a good way to earn some cash is by making lots of food and then selling it. Depending what you cook, it can sell for a high price, and this doubles as a great way to experiment with recipes.

Kakariko Village, which you find early in the game, is a good hub for selling your culinary creations; there’s a cookpot right outside the ingredient vendor’s house.

Stack ingredients

We’ll have a comprehensive cooking guide soon, but there’s one tip that will help you make the best possible food right off the bat: when in doubt, stack the same ingredients. Four or five of the same mushroom or fruit together makes extremely potent food.

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There are recipes on posters

When you’re looking for new recipes, simply check the walls of any stable, village, or other peopled location in Hyrule. The most popular type of wall art in the land is apparently posters of recipes.

Monster parts aren’t just for elixirs

Read the descriptions for the various items you pick up. Some monster parts are good for more than just cooking elixirs. Chuchu jelly can be used as grenades, for example, and Octorok sacs can be attached to objects in the world — like, say, exploding barrels — to make them float. There’s nothing like aerial bombing a mob of goblins.

Exploring

Take pictures of everything

After you get the camera, take pictures of everything to add as much as you can to your compendium. You can use the Sheikah Sensor to track anything in your compendium, and you never know what you might need to find for a late-game recipe or upgrade.

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Sort your inventory with “Y”

You can sort your inventory pages with the “Y” button, which makes it easier to keep track of your ingredients and wardrobe.

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Don’t freak out about the blood moon
When the blood moon rises over Hyrule, it can seem like something catastrophic is happening. But it just means that enemies you’ve killed out in the world are resetting. Don’t worry too much about it.

You can make a campfire anywhere

Cut down trees and chop them up to make wood, then mine ore to get flint. Drop them both on the ground from the menu, and then strike the flint with any metal weapon. Now you have a fire where you can advance time to morning, noon, or night.

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You can’t climb in the rain

You’ll slide downward and lose as much progress as you make if you try to climb in the rain. Wait for the weather to stop by passing the time at a campfire. And if the weather doesn’t stop, figure out another way up, because in some places it rains forever.

Don’t get struck by lightning

You’ll die often if you don’t figure out how to avoid getting struck by lightning. Simply unequip any swords, melee weapons, or bows that are made of metal. Common sense goes a long way in this game.

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How to adventure efficiently

Select the right quest

Early on, Breath of the Wild gives you multiple quests. Make sure you have the one you want to pursue selected by opening the inventory menu (the “plus” button) and tabbing to the left — you’ll get an objective marker on your map.

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Mark your map often

You can leave a variety of symbols on your map, including treasure chests, rupee icons, swords, and more. Use the large colored beacons to mark things you want to do immediately, since they always appear on your mini-map. But don’t be shy about using the other symbols to mark anything you might want to check out again in the future, from a puzzle you can’t quite figure out to a tough enemy you want to fight another time.

You can’t kill everything right away

When you’re running around Hyrule, if you see a huge enemy that looks like it could grind you into dust with its pinky finger, it probably can. Don’t try to fight enemies that are too powerful for you. Instead, mark them with a skull icon on the map and come back when you have more health, better weapons, and more potent food/elixirs.

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