The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is a lot of things: expansive, wonderous, and engrossing come to mind–but it’s also pretty difficult at times. At least, it can be if you’re not careful, heading off to places where you shouldn’t be quite yet, or trekking into the snowcapped mountains without a pocket full of peppers. Thankfully, we’ve enlisted our foremost Zelda expert, Max Blumenthal, to walk you through exactly how to survive as you explore Tears of the Kingdom for, oh, I don’t know, dozens to hundreds of hours. Here are Max’s tips on staying alive, well-defended, and ready to prevail over any obstacle.
Get to Satori Mountain
I recommend that if you’re low on materials, one of the first stops can be Satori Mountain, which is a great resource to use to stock up on lots of healing items and goodies quickly. Between the apple orchard, flower garden, mushroom grove, and loads of other useful stuff around the mountain, you’re hard-pressed to find a more convenient place to find things clumped together.
If you continue to have problems collecting materials though, Amiibos are also another option, as the Zelda Amiibos drop paraglider skins along with lots of helpful items, and even non zelda amiibos drop decent loot as well.
One-hit protection explained
You may or may not have noticed, but sometimes Link takes a massive hit and survives with a sliver of a heart. That’s because just like in Breath of the Wild, in normal mode, Link has something called one-hit protection. This means that no matter how powerful an enemy attack is, it will never flat-out kill Link as long as you have full health. Enemies have to do another attack to finish him off.
So you can twist this to your advantage by constantly being at full health, and Link will technically never die. So, basically, never partially heal. Instead, make sure your hearts are always fully topped off. There are a couple of caveats to this though, gloom damage will negate this effect, so it’s best to have some Sundelion recipes on hand. I recommend cooking with a couple of fish or meat to heal your gloom hearts and top off your actual health as well. And also, just like in Breath of the Wild, this doesn’t protect you from fall damage, the elements, blowing yourself up, or anything that’s a mistake on your part.
The joy of cooking
There are a bunch of basic recipes, most that carried over from Breath of the Wild, and some that are new that I recommend using when you have the materials for it. Five bananas give you a triple attack buff to help boost your damage, and five iron shrooms give a triple defense buff in a tough fight. Two or three fleetwood lotus with two or three rushrooms makes a quick triple speed buff.
A defense against the cold is 5 Sunshrooms, and defense against hot weather can be 5 Chillshrooms. Endura carrots are great when cooked by themselves, because they fully replenish your main stamina wheel as well as add a little extra, cooking multiple together is something recommended when you’ve progressed later in the game. Remember that in a pinch, the portable cooking pot can be used to make any meal on the fly, making cooking before a certain situation much more available.
Beating the heat (or the cold)
When fighting the elements, most players turn to recipes or clothing. Both of these are obviously viable, clothing is the best long-term option since it doesn’t take any resources to use it, but recipes work just as well to keep you nice and comfortable. But remember this game allows other legacy tricks that worked in Breath of the Wild. Like in hot weather, you can splash yourself with water, make some mobile cover from the sun for yourself, and most practical of all, use the Fuse function to attach cold items to your equipment to cool Link down. This includes literally anything elemental, from legendary dragon parts to measly keese parts, these will keep you cool. I personally recommend attaching it to your shield so you can keep your weapon and bow focused on damage.
Bomb shield jumps are the bomb
I’m also going to keep bringing up Bomb Shield Jumps until I drill it into people’s heads. This fuse combo is, hands-down, one of the best combos in the game. This doesn’t require much technical prowess, all you need is these bombs pre-fused to the shield so you’re not scrambling during combat, and practice for a simple shield jump. And from this point you can run, or go on the offense and shoot them in bullet time, it’s generally great as a big red button to escape a bad situation.
Seek efficiency in situations
It’s also not necessarily about getting good at combat though, it’s about using the right tools well and efficiently, such as against Stal enemies, where normally you may be scrambling around hitting them, wasting arrows, maybe even getting damaged and wasting more healing items when instead one dazzle fruit takes out the whole bunch and there are no extra materials used. When you’re struggling with annoying frox in the chasms that keep running away from you, just one blizzard rod knocks them all out at once. When you’re up against a bokoblin boss that’s giving you a hard time, one puffshroom gives you an opening to do a sneak strike that does eight times the damage, without the worry of taking any damage and saving you tons of durability on your weapon. Make sure to use all the tools in your bag to your advantage, and save your good stuff for selling or really tough battles.
Fairy odd talents
A staple of the Zelda series, fairies make their return, and can be found at specific locations up in the sky. What you want to do is look for islands with circular ponds. They carry a couple of goodies along with fairies for you to pick up. I recommend crouching, jumping towards them, or walking slowly, and jumping to catch them when they’re close to the ground. So far the maximum is four fairies, but it could change at any time.
Another way to help you survive a lot of incoming damage as well is old reliable, the Soldier’s Armor set, with high base defense that can be upgraded at the Great Fairy. This can be easily accessed early in the game after completing just one of the regional phenomena. After doing so, return to Lookout Landing’s shelter, where you can uncover a hidden entrance to to the Royal Secret Passeage which contains all three pieces. Once you get these armor pieces, you can take a bigger beating than before.
Hopefully these tips will help you stay alive in the monster-infested Hyrule. For more help in Tears of the Kingdom, check out our Zelda guides hub with nearly 100 guides.
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