BotW: tips for getting started

The open world nature of Breath of the Wild can take some getting used to. This article provides tips for new(ish) players who’d like some general advice on how to go about the adventure.

In general…



Take your time – there is a lot to do and see. Seemingly insignificant things can take on a lot of importance later on in the game.

You’ll never remember everything so keep notes – use the map’s Stamp feature to mark important spots. At times I wished I’d also used a notebook as I find stamps a bit limited for recording.

Exploring new areas

Climb up to higher ground where you can – take the time to survey the area and look for enemies as well as resources. Find a route up to the top of hills and peaks which you know you have the stamina for. If it’s raining or you don’t have food to restore your stamina on steep slopes, come back later.

Be careful exploring any new area – find a safe spot (such as a high point) and take the time to identify hazards and enemies. Plan an escape route for when it all turns to custard.

Remember you don’t have to stick to the road. Woods and caves can hold valuable materials – as well as enemies.


Take everything you find – you may not know how to use it now, but you will later. There is no limit to the amount of materials you can carry.

Cook the essentials – meals which restore hearts and stamina are probably the most important at any stage of the game. If necessary, you can get by without stealth or speed enhancements from food but hearts and stamina are must-haves.

Steal from enemies if you can – you may be able to sneak into a camp by crouching to take weapons or food.

Return to places you found resources in – these usually respawn every few days. You don’t need to wait for a blood moon.

Sell items if necessary, but not food that you need for hearts or stamina. Try not to sell rare or unusual items – later in the game you might need these. If you’re cooking food items to sell, always cook 5 items together in a pot – you get a better price that way.

More info on food and cooking

Stocking up on arrows

Interacting with people (NPCs)

Talk to everybody in towns and stables – they provide general advice and bits of the backstory, and get you started on some important quests. Go back again as you progress through the game – they may have new info or a reward.

Talk to people outside of settlements too – eg on the road or in the wild. One or two may be treacherous but most will also be helpful.

Dealing with enemies

Pick your battles – early in the game, you’ll probably find it better to avoid combat in some situations. You can always come back later!

Soften them up – get to a safe higher place if possible and use bombs or boulders etc to cause some damage.

Preserve your stronger weapons – use your weakest weapons where possible so you can keep your stronger weapons for other enemies. Try to keep the undamaged weapons (they sparkle in your inventory) by using the already damaged ones until they break.

Rest at night if you are finding skeletal enemies difficult to deal with. Find a safe spot and sit by a fire (or, even better, a cooking pot) until morning. Cook some of the food items you found during the day to prepare yourself for the next day.

Solving problems

Try to solve every specific problem yourself by yourself at first, including boss battles, quests and shrine puzzles. If you can’t solve it on your first attempt, leave and come back later – often you will get further than before.

If you decide you need some help, look for some general advice first – it may be as simple as a recommendation to use a specific item or rune. There’s no shame in using a walk-through or video tutorial if you need it – but if you have a go yourself first you’ll get better at the game more quickly and have a greater sense of achievement.

Some shrine puzzles require you to use the motion controller – these can be very tricky in hand-held mode. If you detach the Joy-Cons from the unit you may find these a lot less frustrating!

Go, and bring peace to Hyrule…