Zelda: Breath of the Wild (BotW)

What is Master Mode? | Master Mode Guide and Tips

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BOTW - What is Master Mode

Master Mode is a challenging game mode added in The Master Trials DLC of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (BotW). Learn what the Master Mode is, how to unlock it, as well as tips and strategies to get through Master Mode in this guide!

What is Master Mode?

Challenging Game Mode in The Master Trials

The Master Mode is an additional game mode included in the Master Trials DLC Pack. This is the game's Hard Mode and makes traversing even the early parts of Hyrule extremely challenging!

Separate From Normal Mode

Having the Master Trials DLC Pack adds a Play in Master Mode option in the main menu, where you can start a new adventure separate from your Normal Mode save files.

Take note that you can only switch between Normal and Master Mode in the main menu screen, and you cannot carry over any data from Normal Mode to Master Mode and vice versa.

What's Different in Master Mode?

Master Mode Differences

Separate Save States

BOTW - Master Mode Save State

Master Mode uses a separate save state from normal difficulty, so you don't have to worry about overwriting your normal game if you played before. However, only one autosave slot and manual save slot are available in Master Mode.

Stronger and Smarter Enemies

BOTW - Bokoblin Camp With Gold Bokoblin

All enemies in Master Mode will be upgraded one level. For example, if you would normally encounter Red Bokoblins in an area, Blue Bokoblins replace them in Master Mode.

Additionally, you may encounter tougher enemies in early areas that weren't there before, like a Blue Lynel on the Great Plateau.

Enemies also detect Link faster and generally employ smarter strategies in battle, making even one-on-one engagements challenging!

Enemies Can Still Be Upgraded Further

BOTW - Gold Lynel

Like in the Normal Mode, a hidden kill counter is also present in Master Mode that upgrades the enemies after each Blood Moon until a certain limit (some enemies will remain at Black or Silver level no matter how high the counter gets).

This means that field enemies like Blue Bokoblins will reach Black or Silver level faster than they would in Normal Mode. Additionally, all the Lynels (except for the Lynel near Divine Beast Vah Ruta) in the overworld will eventually reach Gold level.

Regenerating Enemies

BOTW - Enemy Regenerating Health in Master Mode

Every monster, ranging from the lowly Bokoblin to the powerful Lynels, will regenerate health when Link stops attacking them or flees from battle. This makes hit-and-run tactics inadvisable!

Enemies also have a limit to how much lost health they can regenerate, as well as the time they need to be unharmed before they start healing.

Golden Enemies

BOTW - Gold Moblin

Master Mode introduces enemies tougher than the Silver enemies you'll find in normal mode - Golden Enemies. These are the strongest variants in the game and essentially turns some monsters into mini-bosses.

Having a Golden variant mixed in a group of monsters will definitely pose a high threat, so be well prepared on attacking camps by bringing strong weapons (Urbosa's Fury also works wonders)!

Master Mode Tips




Exploration Tips

Look Out for Sky Octoroks

BOTW - Sky Octorok Platform

In Master Mode, you'll encounter curious Sky Octoroks scattered throughout the overworld. You'll encounter them holding up platforms for Bokoblin Archers and lookouts. Be careful when around these sky platforms as some of their archers use Bomb Arrows.

You can use your own bow and arrow to pop these Sky Octoroks and drop the enemies on them. Just make sure that you can still grab the chest (if there is one on the platform) from where it falls!

BOTW - Sky Octorok Platform Chest

The contents of the treasure chests range from powerful weapons with modifiers to crafting materials. You can glide towards the platform to get to the chest without risking it falling on hard-to-reach places.

Always Check for Hidden Treasures With Stasis or Magnesis

Especially in the early parts of your playthrough, you'd want all the weapons you can get as the monsters' toughness can easily wear your weapons' durability out.

Try to constantly activate Stasis or Magnesis when exploring to check for half-buried or submerged treasure chests that may contain useful weapons!

Combat Tips

Sneak Up on Enemies

BOTW - Sneaking Behind a Bokoblin

The high health coupled with the low durability of early-game weapons mean you can easily break all of your stored weapons on just one enemy.

Instead of directly attacking an enemy, sneak up and hit them with a Sneakstrike. A successful sneakstrike greatly improves the attack of your weapons, allowing you to deal high amounts of damage and stun them, making them a lot easier to finish off.

Disarm Enemies With Electric Weapons

BOTW - Shocked and Disarmed Bokoblins

One of the effective and efficient ways to deal with enemies is to disarm them using electric weapons, preferably Shock Arrows. A shocked enemy will drop their weapon, which you can quickly pick up, greatly decreasing their attack damage and range.

This type of arrows is hard to find in the early game, but once you're sufficiently geared, you can farm them by defeating Lynels.

Progression Tips

Unlock the Remote Bombs First

BOTW - Unlocked Remote Bombs

It's a good idea to unlock the Remote Bombs as soon as possible. You can obtain these runes from the Ja Baij Shrine, and you'll most likely be directed there by the Old Man once you progress through the first few quest.

With the scarcity of good weapons and increased health of enemies, the bomb is useful as it provides great chip damage and can knock smaller enemies off their feet, without costing weapon durability.

Get the Warm Doublet From the Old Man

BOTW - Warm Doublet

We also recommend getting the Warm Doublet from the Old Man as soon as possible. You can get it by reading his diary and cooking a Spicy Meat and Seafood Fry.

Cook a piece of Raw Meat, a Spicy Pepper, and a Hyrule Bass. All of the ingredients are readily available in the Great Plateau. Present the dish to the Old Man to receive the Warm Doublet.

Start the EX Treasure Side Quests

BOTW - Misko EX Journal

As soon as you get the Paraglider, travel to the Outpost Ruins and read Misko's Journal to start the EX Treasure series side quests. This allows you to unlock better armor than your starting ones, helping you throughout your journey.

Avoid Monsters With Majora's Mask

BOTW - Majora

One of the sidequests allows you to unlock the legendary Majora's Mask. Although the mask has very poor defense, wearing it allows Link to approach certain monsters without getting attacked - including Lynels!

EX Treasure: Ancient Mask Walkthrough

Get More Heart Containers First

BOTW - Getting a Heart Container

You'll want to prioritize getting more Heart Containers as soon as you start getting Spirit Orbs from the Shrines. Even the weakest enemies, such as the Bokoblins, can inflict over 4 Hearts of damage on Link and will often result in a Game Over. Getting more hearts ensures you have enough health to survive an attack.

Upgrade the Remote Bomb When You Can

BOTW - Upgrading the Remote Bomb From Purah

You also want to prioritize upgrading the Remote Bomb runes. You can do this by starting the Slated for Upgrades sidequest that you receive from Purah in Hateno Ancient Tech Lab.

The Upgraded Remote Bomb runes have increased damage and a faster recharge rate, and is essential up to the late-game as you'll be using the bombs to supplement your weapons when damaging enemies and bosses.

Upgrade the Stasis Rune Too!

BOTW - Upgraded Stasis Rune

Stasis is another rune you'll want to upgrade as soon as possible. The Upgraded Stasis rune can freeze enemies in place, on top of a faster recharge rate. This is extremely useful, especially if you find yourself pursued by Guardian Stalkers, giving you time to heal up or run away to a safe place.

Breath of the Wild Related Guides

BotW - DLC

DLC Features and Guides

BotW Expansion Pack Content
Trial of the Sword Master Mode Guide
The Champion's Ballad All DLC Quests


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