Those of us who have been enjoying The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom have spent hours remembering old memories and making new ones. This game is a wonderful sequel to Breath of the Wild, and more complex in a lot of ways. In this article, we detail some tips and tricks that new players and more experienced ones can use to make the most out of their experience.
You can’t rely too heavily on the map markers
There are lots of games where you can almost play on autopilot, letting the map markers direct you through a beautiful open world that you’re not even really seeing. They can even auto-update as you reach one to add another, taking you on a precise path so you don’t have to figure out a way from Point A to Point B.
Not so in Tears of the Kingdom.
You’ll find that the quest marker doesn’t necessarily update after you’ve interacted with the right person, because the NPC gave you a description about where to go that you should have paid attention to. After all, most games have NPCs that give clear directions as if you had pulled up beside them in real life, but we’re so used to quest markers that it’s easy to skip through dialogue and just keep trudging.
If the quest marker does update, it’s not necessarily going to take you exactly where you need to go, either. It will point you to a general area where your task can be found, and expect you to do the hard work of finding it. In some cases, the quest marker is surprisingly far from your actual objective. In the image above, I’m standing at the thing I was looking for, but the quest marker was at the bottom of the hill!
Activate Purah’s scope in midair
Did you know that you can activate Purah’s scope as you fly? Anytime you’re using your glider, just push down on that right Joy-Con stick and start surveying your environment. Time will slow down significantly for you, so much so that you’ll barely notice it pass! The best time to use this trick is after jumping out of a Skyview Tower. You’ll wind up so high that the tiny amount you keep falling is inconsequential.
Keep in mind, though, that you’ll still be susceptible to the environment around you. Your stamina will deplete because of the glider (even though it’s significantly slower), nearby enemies can attack, and you can take damage due to extreme heat or cold. And, if you use this while falling before you open the glider, time still slows down, but not nearly as much.
Always mess with the weird stuff
This is a lesson that players learned in Breath of the Wild, but if you didn’t play that (or just forgot), you should know that it’s almost always a good idea to mess around with things that look out of place. Even seemingly banal things, like a single, liftable rock placed at the perfect centre atop a hill or in a small dip in a cave wall. Trust your gut!
What you’re looking for are Koroks. They’re children of the forest who will cheerfully give you their seeds in exchange for finding them. Those seeds can then be traded to Hestu the musician (who uses them in his maracas) in exchange for more inventory space. (Just keep in mind that Hestu could be in one of several locations, including Lookout Landing.)
Even when something seems strange but there’s no Korok to be found, you’ll occasionally find a unique material or a rupee. However, more often than not, it’s a hidden Korok. It may seem like Tears of the Kingdom has an enormous map (and it does), but there are 900 Koroks spread across it! That’s enough for them to be reasonably found no matter where you go.
There are coordinates now
Probably thanks to the three different map levels, Tears of the Kingdom has improved on its predecessor by adding coordinates that show you where you are in the world! While it’s not something you’ll make use of all the time, it’s helpful to know if you’re trying to remember a place’s location (since the stamps aren’t always clear), share a fun easter egg with a friend, or interpret a guide written by someone else online.
You can climb in the rain
If you played Breath of the Wild, you may be remembering an old trick. In that game, it was also possible to climb in the rain, albeit at great difficulty, by jumping at the exact right moment. If you could time your jump to occur right before Link slipped (which, of course, occurred at predictable intervals), you’d get up higher, then slip. The slip was less than the height of your jump, so you could genuinely make progress by repeatin the process. However, it quickly depleted any stamina bar and, frankly, wasn’t often worth the effort.
This old trick can still be used in Breath of the Wild, but they’ve also added an alternative: a new effect called Slip Resistance. To make a Sticky Elixer, just combine a Sticky Frog or Sticky Lizard in a cooking pot with some monster parts. If you want permanent Slip Resistance, you can earn the Froggy Armor from the editor, Traysi, at the Lucky Clover Gazette in the Tabantha Frontier.
Adjust your settings
For some, this is the first instinct when they pick up a new game. For others, it slips the mind as they become immersed in a whole new world. I’m just here to remind you to take a look.
Some important controls you might consider adjusting are…
- Camera sensitivity (how quickly the camera turns when you move the joystick)
- Aim with motion controls (adjusts whether the gyro in your Joy-Con will be used to aim your Purah Pad and arrows and such)
- Swap jump controls (adjusts whether jumping is mapped to B or X on the Joy-Con)
- Lock minimap to north (adjusts whether the minimap in the lower right corner turns with you)
- Message-window transparency (can be turned up if you have trouble reading the text)
Pick. Up. Everything.
Your weapons, bows, and shields might have inventory limits, but your material sack doesn’t. Seriously, pick up everything you can lay your hands on. Not only are they used for quests and upgrading your armor, like in Breath of the Wild, but you can now attach them to arrows and weapons to cause genuinely unbelievable phenomena.
Brightbloom Seeds provide light. Keese Wings can make arrows fly farther. Bomb Flowers literally explode.
Even things that aren’t materials, like rocks and boxes, shouldn’t be overlooked. You can fuse them to a weapon to improve its capabilities, or just make a mental note of its location for solving a puzzle down the line.
Participate in burgeoning capitalism for incredible benefits at stables
The stables in Tears of the Kingdom now have a loyalty program, just like your favourite boba tea spot. No, I’m not kidding. Various activities can earn you these Pony Points, including reaching a new stable for the first time, registering your first horse, sleeping at a stable, and doing side quests for the stable.
The points can be redeemed for special rewards, which can make your life a lot easier, or just prettier. At seven points, for example, you’ll be able to sleep in a special bed that rewards you with extra hearts when you wake up. At 16 points, they offer a service to style your horse’s mane. There are rewards all the way up to 50 Pony Points, so keep working to earn them!
Avoid selling your materials
This was good advice for Breath of the Wild, and it’s even better advice for Tears of the Kingdom. Rupees can feel scarce, so it’s tempting to sell the high-value items like gemstones and rare monster parts. Trust me, you’ll be sorry you did.
Just as I explained when I told you to pick up everything, Tears of the Kingdom provides a lot more uses for your materials than Breath of the Wild. Not only will you want them to improve your equipment and make food or elixirs, you’ll also be attaching them to your weapon to get an advantage just when you need it.
It’s better to be choosy with what you purchase than to sell everything willy-nilly. You can collect all the armor when you’re richer, towards the end of the game; don’t buy the new set just because you came across it in a shop. If you buy ingredients, make sure you have a recipe in mind first.
Fuse weapons with other weapons
The game encourages you to fuse weapons to objects in the world, like boulders, in order to take down new obstacles, like a cracked cave-in. For that reason, you may forget that you can fuse your weapons with a lot of things, including other weapons.
Your equipment storage is limited, unlike your materials. You can only hold so many weapons, bows, and shields at one time. The situation can be improved, luckily, by giving Hestu your Korok Seeds. He’ll reward you with extra space. However, that takes a lot of time and energy. You’ll probably spend a lot of the game faced with the ‘You can’t carry any more melee weapons’ message.
Do yourself a favor and start combining them. You’ll wind up with weapons more powerful than when you started and your inventory will thank you.
Do the unexpected with your new abilities
When faced with simple mechanics that we’re familiar with, like ‘hit enemy with sword’ and ‘dodge to get a special attack’ and ‘climb cliff the boring way,’ we’re more likely to default to them. That’s not our fault, it’s just the path of least resistance! However, don’t let that take over and make you forget the amazing, creative ways you can use the powers handed to you.
You’re most likely to remember you don’t have to just charge in, sword in hand, when you’re having trouble with an encounter. The difficulty will make you consider other options. Maybe use Recall to throw enemy projectiles back in their face? Maybe Fuse your sword with their weapons before they can reach them? The options are endless.
Prioritize more stamina over more hearts
It’s instinctual to crave more health, I think. You’ve felt the frustration of dying after just one swing of your opponent’s club, and you don’t want to feel it again. Sure, you also feel frustration when you drown because you don’t have enough stamina to get across the river, but being respawned back on the bank isn’t as bad as that Game Over screen.
However, you should really stock up on stamina. It will open a lot of doors to you that you didn’t even know were closed. Again, this advice also applied to Breath of the Wild, but is doubly true for Tears of the Kingdom. You use your glider a lot more this time, trying to get from Sky Island to Sky Island. Just by increasing your stamina for that purpose, you’re bound to get more loot. Let armour and the Heart Containers you automatically get for beating the main dungeons help with the amount of damage you take, and save your Lights of Blessing for stamina.
For more tips on The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, check out our beginner’s guide. We also have a full review of the game.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is now available exclusively on the Nintendo Switch. It can be purchased from Amazon, The Source and Best Buy for $89.99.
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