Zelda: Breath of the Wild (BotW)

Beginner's Guide and Early Game Tips

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Botw - Breath of the Wild Tips and Tricks

This is a guide to getting started in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (BotW) for the Nintendo Switch. This guide covers early game tips such as equipment, cooking, and exploration to get you started on your adventure.

Early Game Tips and Tricks

Get the Warm Doublet

Zelda Botw - Get the Warm Doublet
Areas with cold weather are fairly common in the early parts of the game, such as the area where the Owa Daim Shrine is located. Fortunately, you can find the Warm Doublet before leaving the Great Plateau. This piece of clothing provides Link with ample Cold Resistance to get through the early cold areas.

There are three ways to get the Warm Doublet:

Cook the Spicy Meat and Seafood Fry

Go to the Old Man's Hut and read his diary. He describes inventing the Spicy Meat and Seafood Fry, a meal that requires Raw Meat, Spicy Peppers and a last ingredient that he can't remember. This final ingredient is the Hyrule Bass.

Cook this meal with all three ingredients and show it to the Old Man, and he'll reward you with his Warm Doublet! We recommend this method as it is easier and will allow Link to explore cold areas earlier.

Climb to the Top of Mount Hylia

Zelda Botw -  Climb to the Top of Mount Hylia
Another way to get the Warm Doublet is by scaling to the top of Mount Hylia. This area has cold weather so it's necessary to cook some Spicy Sautéed Peppers to avoid getting damaged. Once you reach the top of the mountain, the Old Man will appear and give you the Warm Doublet.

Complete all Shrines in the Great Plateau

Zelda Botw  -  Complete all Shrines in the Great Plateau
You can also get the Warm Doublet by simply completing all the Shrines in the Great Plateau. Once complete, visit his house and you'll find a treasure chest with the Warm Doublet inside.

Farm Arrows with the Wooden Shield

Zelda Botw - Stalkoblin Bow

Arrows are fairly rare in the early game, but it is possible to farm them from enemies if you have a Wooden Shield!

To farm arrows, find an enemy wielding a bow and block with your Wooden Shield. The arrows they shoot will stick to the shield and will be placed in your inventory when you release the ZL Button.

Arrows can also be gained when parrying an attack.

Arrow Farming Guide

Collect Wood and Fruit using the Remote Bomb

Zelda Botw - Bombing a Tree
Although Link can cut down trees with his weapons, doing so lowers their durability. Another way to collect wood and fruit from trees is by using the Remote Bomb Rune which you can get from the Ja Baij Shrine.

Blowing up trees to get wood and fruit may seem unorthodox, but it is one way you can conserve a weapon's durability eary in the game!

Exploration Tips and Tricks

Use Cooking Pots to Create Food and Elixirs

Zelda Botw - Stock Up on Food Before You Leave the Plateau
Many of Hyrule's locales are treacherous and filled with enemies looking to end Link's journey. Before you leave the Great Plateau, it is important that you stock up on some food.

You can find cooking pots in villages, stables, and near tents all over Hyrule. If you find one, make sure to cook food and create elixirs before venturing out as these items restore more hearts compared to the raw ingredients and provide additional buffs.

Some good early-game food include Seared Steak, Fish Skewer, Fish and Mushroom Skewer, and Spicy Meat and Seafood Fry.

List of All Food and Elixir Recipes

Cross Bodies of Water Using a Raft and a Korok Leaf

Zelda Botw - Cross Bodies of Water Using a Raft and a Korok Leaf
You can cross rivers and oceans using a Korok Leaf to blow winds at the raft. You can also use the Cryonis Rune to create ice pillars, but we recommend using a raft for faster travel time.

How to Get the Korok Leaf

Always Carry an Iron Sledgehammer

Zelda BOTW - Always Carry an Iron Sledgehammer
Make sure to have an Iron Sledgehammer with you as it can be used for the following:

You can obtain an Iron Sledgehammer early in the game inside the Owa Daim Shrine in the Great Plateau and in villages and stables.

If you have completed Hylian Homeowner and unlocked your house in Hateno Village, you can get two Iron Sledgehammers that will respawn every time a Red Moon appears.

How to Get the Iron Sledgehammer

Collect Materials from Decayed Guardians

Zelda BOTW - Collect Materials from Decayed Guardians
Approaching a Decayed Guardian allows you to pick up ancient guardian materials from them. These materials allow you to upgrade certain items and guardian weapons, so be sure to collect them.

Be careful when approaching the Decayed Guardians as some may come alive and attack. You can use an upgraded Statis Rune to check if the Decayed Guardian is alive.

Certain Areas Cause Temperature Damage

Zelda BOTW - Certain Areas Cause Temperature Damage

If Link is shivering, feeling dizzy, or grimacing in the main menu, this is a sign that he will take temperature damage over time.

Areas such as snow-covered mountains, deserts, and volcanoes can cause temperature damage if you are not wearing proper equipment. Be sure to change to the correct equipment or use food and elixirs to avoid getting temperature damage.

Hearts decrease slowly in snowy areas and in deserts whereas they decrease faster in volcanoes, so be sure to prepare the necessary recovery items before proceeding to these locations.

Pay Attention to the In-Game Time and Weather

One minute in the real world is the equivalent of one hour in Breath of the Wild. The time in the game advances in increments of 5 minutes or 5 seconds in real world time.

These changes in time affect the behavior of monsters in the overworld. For example, most monsters sleep at night, making it easy for you to perform sneak attacks to clear the area.

Weather conditions such as rainfall make it difficult to climb cliffs whereas thunderstorms can cause you to get struck by lightning if you have a metal weapon equipped.

How to Make it Stop Raining

Use a bonfire or bed to advance time

Zelda BOTW - Use a bonfire or bed to advance time
You can advance the time by interacting with a campfire, cooking pot, or by sleeping in a bed at an inn.

You can also make a campfire anywhere if you have a bundle of Wood and Flint or a Fire Arrow.

Combat Tips and Tricks

Always Have a Spare Weapon

Zelda BOTW - Always Have a Spare Weapon
The durability system in the game means your weapons will eventually wear down and break from constant use, and the last thing you want is for your trusty weapon to shatter when facing against a tough enemy!

Always carry a spare weapon with you when you go exploring in the game. If you find weaker versions of your current weapon, keep them so you can use them against weaker enemies while saving your "main" weapon for tougher engagements.

List of Weapons

Throw a Weapon Close to Breaking

Zelda BOTW - Throw a Weapon Close to Breaking
There is no way to repair broken or close-to-breaking weapons in the game. If you are in combat and you see the notification that your weapon is close to breaking, your initial reaction may be to switch to another weapon.

Instead of switching, throw the damaged weapon at an enemy by locking onto them with ZL button and pressing R button. The damage a thrown weapon inflicts is double the damage the weapon does on its last hit.

Practice Your Headshots

Zelda BOTW - Practice Your Headshots
Although it takes some practice and a bit of stealth, headshots do double damage to enemies and is a great way to make the most out of your limited supply of arrows.

If you see a group of enemies in the distance and they haven't noticed you yet, try to get a headshot. Depending on the type of Bow you have, you can one-shot weaker enemies and stun stronger ones.

Aim for the Guardian's Eye

Zelda BOTW - Aim for the Guardian
Early in the game, Guardians are near-unstoppable and your only option is to run and hide from them. If you're cornered by one of these ancient machines, try hitting their eye with an arrow. This will stun them and hopefully give you enough time to run away.

This strategy also works on the immobile Guardian Turrets, as well as as the smaller Guardian Scouts that you will find in Ancient Shrines.

Always Keep Your Hearts Full to Prevent Instant Death

Zelda BOTW - Always Keep Your Hearts Full to Prevent Instant Death
If you receive instant death damage when your hearts are full, you will always have one-fourth of hearts left except in Master Mode. This is helpful in the early stages of the game as you only start with 3 hearts.

Note that this only applies to normal attacks and not damage caused by the elements, such as damage taken from fire. For example, getting hit by a Guardian's beam causes an instant death as the laser causes flame damage whereas you will not instantly die if you get hit by a Stone Talus's normal attack.

How to Proceed with the Main Story

Activate the Towers to Unlock the Map of the Region

Zelda BOTW - Activate the Sheikah Towers
There are many Sheikah Towers scattered throughout Hyrule. Much like the one in the Great Plateau, activating these towers provides Link valuable information on the regional area. Activating a tower also unlocks their Travel Gate, which allows Link to teleport to the tower.

Tower Map and All Tower Locations

Use the telescope and pins when heading to the tower

Zelda BOTW - Use the telescope and pins when heading to the tower
When using the telescope, you can press the A Button to pin visible shrines and towers from a distance. This comes in handy exploring the area to activate the landmarks.

Note that you can only use up to 5 pins, but these will disappear automatically when you reach the destination that you have pinned on the map.

Clear Shrines to Become Stronger

Zelda BOTW - Prioritize Ancient Shrines

Shrines not only contain Spirits Orbs that allow you to boost Link's Health and Stamina, some also contain powerful weapons, armor, treasure, and even upgrade materials! It is always worth it taking a small detour from the story if you see a Shrine in the distance.

Shrines Map and All Shrine Locations

Clear the Main Quests

Zelda BOTW - Clear the Main Quests
The Main Quest section of the Adventure Log contains all the quests related to the main story. Make sure to complete all of the other main quests first before taking on the Destroy Ganon quest.

Among all the Main Quests, the Captured Memories is the most difficult as it requres you to find landmarks scattered across Hyrule. However, it is necessary to complete this in order to obtain the true ending.

Main Quests Walkthrough and Recommended Order

Free All Divine Beasts to Make the Final Boss Easier

Zelda BOTW - Release All Divine Beasts to Make the Final Boss Easier

Each of the Divine Beast that you have freed will attack Calamity Ganon and reduce its health. We recommend freeing all the Divine Beasts before this fight as doing so will reduce Calamity Ganon's health to about 50%, effectively making the fight easier.

Divine Beast Walkthroughs

All Tips and Tricks

List of Beginner's Guides

Combat Guides
How to Parry How to Perfect Dodge
Weapons and Armor Guides
Weapon Repair Guide Where to Get Fireproof Armor
Cooking and Elixirs
How to Cook Food How to Make Elixirs
Travel Related Tips
How to Shield Surf How to Tame Wild Horses
The Best Recipes How to Get the Paraglider
How to Make it Stop Raining How to Get the Best Horses
Yiga Clan Hideout Location
Early Game Rupee Farming Guide Treasure Chest Gambling Guide
Best Items to Sell
Other Farming Guides
Star Fragment Farming Giant Ancient Core Farming
Ancient Arrow Farming Arrow Farming
Dragon Parts Farming Blood Moon Trigger Guide
Equipment Guides
How to Get the Master Sword How to Get the Hylian Shield
How to Use Amiibos
100% Clear Guides
Master Mode Guide Hyrule Compendium Completion Guide
Post-Game Completion Guide

Zelda: BotW Related Guides

BotW - Return to Top Page

Breath of the Wild Wiki Top Page

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