The Ultimate "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" Beginner's Guide!

Updated on March 31, 2019
brittpinkie profile image

Brittany is a Nintendo Switch gaming addict! Her favourite genres are RPG, simulation, city-builders, puzzles, and more!

All screenshots taken from my own game play, and are courtesy of Nintendo.
All screenshots taken from my own game play, and are courtesy of Nintendo.

"The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" is truly an amazing game. With its open world, massive map, thousands of collectables, shrines, bosses and side quests, there's so much to do, and its completely up to you to do things how you like.

All of that freedom and game play can be overwhelming to a beginner, though. How do you collect weapons? How do you earn rupees? Where should you explore first, or which Divine Beast should you take on first?

This guide is meant to help you get started in the game, and doesn't contain any major spoilers, so you can still experience the game for the first time with the same amazement and wonder that you should, but just with a little more direction.

Use the Table of Contents below to skip to the section you need help with:

General Tips

Feel free to explore to your heart's content!
Feel free to explore to your heart's content!

Explore, explore, explore!

This game's HUGE open world gives you the freedom to go anywhere, so explore to your heart's content. You can find lots to do and see simply by walking around, scaling mountains, or travelling down paths.

Don't Be Afraid to Go off the Beaten Path

Speaking of which, if you see a small trail leading off to somewhere, follow it! You can usually find treasures there that are hidden from the main pathway.

Complete Shrines for Spirit Orbs

Spirit orbs are items given to Link in the game by the Sheikah Monks each time you complete a Shrine. You definitely want to have plenty of Spirit Orbs, because you can trade them in for more heart containers or stamina vessels.

Pray to Goddess Statues for Heart Containers or Stamina Vessels

In order to actually obtain more Heart Containers or Stamina Vessels, you'll need to track down the Goddess Statues scattered throughout the game and “pray” to them in order to trade 4 Spirit Orbs for a Heart Container, or a portion of a Stamina Vessel. You can upgrade these how you like, but I prefer to level up my Stamina first, then heart containers (as you can eat much more food to upgrade Heart Containers vs. Stamina, but more on that later).

Sparkling Rocks Can Be Bombed for Ores and Gems

If you see sparkling rocks lying around, bomb them! Once they break open, you can collect different ores and gems which can be collected, traded, or sold.

Pray to the Goddess Statues to earn Heart Containers or more Stamina.
Pray to the Goddess Statues to earn Heart Containers or more Stamina.

Talk to All the NPCs

It always gets a bit tedious in RPGs when you have what feels like millions of NPCs to talk to, but the ones in Zelda are all pretty useful. Some can just give you information about the area you're at (which is useful with Breath of the Wild's massive open world) or about something else important to game play, some will give you food or items, and some will give you side quests. You'll know if an NPC has a side quest for you as they'll have a red exclamation mark on their text bubble when you pass by.

Items Reset with Each Blood Moon in Game

Zelda will tell you in a voice over about the blood moons and how monsters regenerate, but what she fails to mention is that everything regenerates when the blood moon comes. That includes chests, weapons, items, etc. If you find a weapon you really like, stamp where it is on the map, and go back to it after the blood moon to collect it again.

You Don't Have to Steer Your Horse

It took me ages to learn this, and I only actually found out when one of the people at the stable told me, but you don't actually need to steer your horse. It will travel along the path automatically, leaving you free to sight see, fight, or jump off when you need to collect items.

Look for Peculiar Patterns to Find Korok Seeds!

Now, there is this fantastic interactive map (warning: filled with spoilers!) which you can use to track down all 900 Korok seeds, but if you don't want to "cheat" you can find them on your own just by being observant. Look for a single flower in a field. A circle of rocks that's missing one rock to complete it. Metal boxes that seem to form a pattern. Interact with these objects and complete the puzzles to obtain Korok seeds. You'll definitely want some!

Use the Stasis rune to see which items you can interact with.
Use the Stasis rune to see which items you can interact with.

Use Stasis to See What You Can Interact With

When you're first starting the game, it can be a bit confusing to figure out which things you can interact with; which items you can bomb, which rocks you can lift, which items on the ground you can pick up, etc. If you use the Stasis rune, it'll highlight all interactable objects in a dark yellow colour for you (even chests that are hidden underwater!). After a while, you'll start to recognise things easily, but this was a game changer for me when I first started playing.

Use Shrines and Towers to Teleport/Fast Travel

Every time you visit a shrine (note that you don't have to actually complete the shrine, you just need to interact with it using your Sheikah Slate) or unlock a tower, it gives you the ability to teleport there from anywhere on the map. Keep in mind that you do not have to be at a shrine or tower to teleport, either; you can literally teleport any where or at any time in the game. Find yourself up against a big enemy who is going to kill you? Pause the game and teleport away! Or, just teleport to get you to places on the map quicker than walking or by horse.

Don't Be Afraid to Turn Around and Head Back Where You Came From

When I first started playing, I just galloped around wherever, and at one point I found myself too close to Hyrule Castle where there were Guardians galore. I realised it's better to just turn around and leave that area until I levelled up some more. I used a skull stamp to remind myself not to go back there for a while!

Save Often!

Though there's no massive penalty for death in the game (you simply go back to the last time the game auto saved), it's best to save often, particularly when going up against tough monsters or when you've collected some good loot. That way if you do die, you only lose a tiny bit of progress.

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Earning Rupees

Lift up rocks to find hidden rupees.
Lift up rocks to find hidden rupees.

Sell Spare Monster Parts

Once you start killing monsters, you'll notice you have a LOT of monster parts. You can start to sell these for rupees. While you do need some in the game for upgrading armour and making potions, you'll end up with far more than you'll ever need. Sell the spares for rupees.

Sell Spare Ores

Just like monster parts, you'll eventually be swimming in ores. You can sell them for rupees in the beginning of the game, as they aren't really needed much until later on (by which point, you'll likely have a stash of rupees already)

Check Under Rocks

There's all sort of things hidden under rocks (sometimes lizards- so hit “A” as soon as you pick up a rock to catch one), but there's often rupees hidden there too!

Don't sell Ancient Parts during the early game- you'll need them to level up important things.
Don't sell Ancient Parts during the early game- you'll need them to level up important things.

Break Vases and Boxes

You can break vases and boxes by throwing them against the wall, or using a weapon to break them apart. There's often rupees hidden inside!

Finish Side Quests

You can occasionally receive rupees from NPCs by fetching items for them, finishing their side quests, or saving them from monster attacks.

Look for Hidden Chests

There's chests hidden every where in Breath of the Wild. Look on side paths, under water, high rocks and more to find hidden chests, where rupees can be stored.

Save All the Ancient Parts

One thing I don't recommend selling are ancient parts. You can find them by interacting with broken guardians or defeating a guardian (some hints on that later!), but they are very valuable to upgrade your Runes and Sheikah Slate, so don't sell them!

Cooking

Cook food instead of eating it raw for better stat upgrades and to fill more hearts!
Cook food instead of eating it raw for better stat upgrades and to fill more hearts!

Collect Lots of Food and Ingredients

One great thing about the inventory in Breath of the Wild is that it's unlimited for materials; you don't get capped off on how many pages of ingredients that you can carry. So hoard away: collect every mushroom, herb and plant you see. And hunt lots of animals!

Hunt with Arrows

You can kill animals using your regular weapons, but it can be hard to sneak up on them as they're all quite skittish. I prefer to use my bow and arrow to hunt. You'll learn that different animals yield different kinds and grades of meat. Hunting is probably one of my favourite things to do in the game!

Cooking Gives You Special Effects

You don't need to eat to live in Breath of the Wild, but cooking can give you special effects in the game. In addition to restoring your hearts or giving you additional hearts, cooked meals can also give you stamina increases, defence or attack bonuses, protection from cold, heat, or electricity and more.

I always keep my food inventory completely stocked; you never know when you'll need a meal, and when you might be far off from a cooking pot.
I always keep my food inventory completely stocked; you never know when you'll need a meal, and when you might be far off from a cooking pot.

Read About the Ingredients to Find What Stat Upgrades They Give

Cooking is not completely explained to you in the game, but if you go into the inventory and read the descriptions of the materials they will tell you what sort of stat increase they give. Try different combinations to learn recipes and meals that'll give you a good stat increase.

Cook Every Time You Come Across a Cooking Spot

I've gotten in the habit of cooking every time I come across a cooking area in the game (the cooking pot placed over fire). You find them in stables, cities/towns, and sometimes in monster infested areas. I also find it good practice to cook until all three pages of my food inventory is filled, that way I always have plenty of meals to eat when I'm fighting a tough enemy or boss.

“Hearty” Foods:

Anything with “hearty” in the title will give you extra hearts when cooked, I.e: hearty truffle, hearty durian, hearty radish, big hearty radish. You can cook these alone to fully recover your hearts and earn you some temporary hearts (which only go away when removed by an enemy attack).

You can find a full list of recipes in game here!

Weapons, Armour and Combat

The easiest Divine Beast to complete first is Divine Beast Vah Ruta!
The easiest Divine Beast to complete first is Divine Beast Vah Ruta!

Which Divine Beast to Complete First?

I recommend taking on Divine Beast Vah Ruta (the Elephant beast) first. It's the easiest of the four to take on, gives you a pretty good bonus upon completing it, and following the story that leads up to Vah Ruta also rewards you with some good weapons, items, and armour. I also think the game does a better job of explaining how the beasts work and how to get to them in this storyline than the others, i.e. if you do this beast first, you'll know exactly what to do when it's time to fight the others!

And you get to meet Sidon! You'll understand why that's worth mentioning once you meet him ;)

Look for the lightening bolt effect in your inventory to see if the item will get you struck by lightening.
Look for the lightening bolt effect in your inventory to see if the item will get you struck by lightening.

Things Struck by Lightening Will Have a Special Effect in Inventory

The game will give you hints about this, but it's pretty obvious to know when your items will cause you to be struck by lightening during a storm; open up your inventory and look at your shields, weapons and bows; if there's a lightening effect on them, that means they'll attract lightening (basically, anything that's not just wooden). Same goes for when you make it to Death Mountain; all wooden items will catch fire (and will have a smoke effect on them while you're there).

Don't Get Attached to Weapons

Here's the thing: all items in this game (except one, but that's not until much later) will eventually break and you'll be unable to use it. So don't get attached to the great sword you found or awesome bow. After a few hits, it'll break, and you can find a new one soon, anyway.

Kill Monsters for Better Weapons

One of the main ways you can get new weapons is in combat. Killing Bokoblins, Moblins, Lizalfos, Wizzrobes and more will lead to them dropping whichever item they were holding for you to pick up and then use yourself.

An “Up” Arrow on a Weapon Means It's Better Than What You're Currently Holding

When you go to interact with a dropped weapon, you'll notice that it has either an up or down arrow, or a straight line. These indicators let you know if the item is better, worse than or the same as the item you're currently holding.

If any item is better than the one you're currently holding, it'll have an up arrow near its name.
If any item is better than the one you're currently holding, it'll have an up arrow near its name.

Pause and Eat Meals Mid-Combat

Some RPGs don't allow you to pause mid-combat, but Breath of the Wild does. I mentioned this above, but not only can you literally teleport away mid-combat, but you can also pause the game and eat meals to increase your hearts, or increase your stats. Use this to your advantage!

Farm Arrows by Killing Lizalfos

I love arrows and hunting with bows, so I found that I needed LOTS of them in the game. Now, you can certainly buy arrows from travelling merchants, in stables or in towns, but you can also farm them from killing Lizalfos, particularly the ones heading up to Zora's domain. They drop 5x arrows with each one you kill, so after going there once, I gained 100 arrows! Then you can go back after a few days (when enemies regenerate) or after a blood moon and do it again.

Kill Enemies with Opposite Items

That's to say, if you find a Wizzrobe that shoots fire, kill him with an ice arrow and he'll die with one shot. On the other hand, you can kill a Ice-Breath Lizalfos with a fire arrow in one shot.

Level up Armour for Better Stats

You can level up your armour in the game by finding faeries and interacting with them. You'll have to trade rupees and materials, but you can level up your armour to have better defence or protection from the elements.

Parry Guardians to Kill Them

You can defeat Guardians early in the game with only a shield.
You can defeat Guardians early in the game with only a shield.

Initially, I'll say to avoid Guardians. They're very powerful early game and can kill you in one strike.

However, once you're more comfortable with controls (and probably after you've completed the Ta’Loh Naeg shrine (which comes pretty early in the game)), you can parry and shoot the Guardian back with its own laser beam to kill it.

To parry, get your shield out. It doesn't need to be a special one- any standard shield will do. As soon as you face up against a Guardian, press down on the left-trigger and hold your shield in front of you. Hold it there until you see the blue light flash. As soon as the blue light flashes, hit the A button, and your shield will deflect the blue laser beam back at the Guardian and kill it!

Some stronger Guardians will require you to hit them with a few beams of light, but you can do it! Practice a few times with some of the Guardians in the Great Plateau, and then get out there and start taking those suckers down!

That's it for The Ultimate "Breath of the Wild" Beginner's Guide! Are there any other beginners tips and tricks that you've learned since playing? Let us know in the comments section below!

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Brittany Brown

    Comments

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      • profile image

        Dan English 

        12 hours ago

        Thanks so much for this! I've not long started playing BotW and as much as i love it, there are some things that aren't explained - but this article answers all my questions! Many thanks!

      • brittpinkie profile imageAUTHOR

        Brittany Brown 

        5 months ago from Sydney, Australia

        Thanks Larry! It's an awesome game, you'll love it if you ever play :)

      • Larry Slawson profile image

        Larry Slawson 

        5 months ago from North Carolina

        I have been wanting to play this game for quite awhile now. Looks so much fun. Thank you for sharing!

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