Hyrule awaits, and it's bigger than ever before. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is massive, so much so that it can be a little overwhelming at first. There are so many places you can go, and there are so many tempting routes to take.
Of course, everything should be explored eventually (if that's your thing), but we want to put you on the right path and help you get accustomed to Tears of the Kingdom in the hours before you start worrying how to get the Master Sword or how to beat all the bosses.
Here are a few early game tips, tricks, and recommendations.
Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom - Beginner's Tips
Get used to your new skills on the Great Sky Island
Tears of the Kingdom has a fairly lengthy tutorial, and for good reason — not only has it been six years since Breath of the Wild came out, but you've also got four brand-new abilities to mess about with.
The Great Sky Island is where you start your adventure, and you get all four abilities — Ultrahand, Fuse, Ascend, and Recall — over the course of the adventure. think Great Plateau and you're not far off. The game teaches you how to use all of these, and gives you a general idea of the ways you can interact with the world through the Shrines and by simply exploring and talking to the Constructs.
Put simply, there's no need to rush off the island to reach the surface straight away. Take your time, explore the island, and simply enjoy yourself.
Where to go first in Hyrule
When you first get to Hyrule, you can basically go wherever you want. But we recommend progressing with the story for a minute, at least until you unlock the first Skyview Tower and you get your paraglider.
When you get the Regional Phenomena quest, you'll be directed towards four different objective markers. You can do these in any order, but we have a recommended story route for you.
Don't be afraid to break weapons
Weapon durability returns, but in Tears of the Kingdom, it feels like weapons are everywhere. Enemies drop them, swords are often just lying around, and in caves, you'll often find swords buried underneath rocks.
Basically, don't be afraid to fight things and don't be afraid to break things. You'll get replacements all the time. Check out our guide for the Best Early-Game Weapons for more info.
Pick up everything
Just like in Breath of the Wild, resources are abundant in Tears of the Kingdom, and you should pick up basically everything you see. There are lots of early materials that will come in useful for cooking and navigating...
- Brightbloom Seeds are fantastic to help you see in the dark. You'll find these in caves, and you should hold on to them.
- Spicy Peppers, Flame fruit, and Ice Fruit are all brilliant for making dishes that protect you against different weather conditions. You can also make some pretty dangerous elemental arrows with these, too.
- Bomb Flowers replace your Remote Bomb from BOTW, and they can be a bit rare if you don't dive down every cave you see.
- Weapons should go without saying, even with your limited inventory initially.
Get those Zonai devices
When you're on Great Sky Island, you'll come across Zonai Dispensers, gacha machines that give you Zonai device capsules for a price. These are worth spending your Zonai Charges on early on because they'll allow you to quickly put together vehicles.
The Device Dispenser on the Great Sky Island can give you rop Flame Emitters, Wings, Fans, and Portable Pots. Flame Emitters are fantastic for making good weapons, while Wings and Fans are good for traversal. Portable Pots are portable cooking pots that you can use once to cook something — extremely handy when you're in a pinch and there's no cooking pot or fire laying around.
Check out our complete list of all Zonai devices and where you can find them.
Explore every cave and well
There are tons of caves and wells across Hyrule, and they often contain handy items, materials, and monsters that drop stronger weapons and materials. This is also where you get Bomb Flowers, gems, and Brightbloom Seeds, along with frogs and lizards for elixirs. In some caves, you can even find a Fairy or three.
You'll also eventually pick up a quest which wants you to find every well across Hyrule. For every well you find, the Well Enthusiast will give you 10 Rupees, so it's a nice little hit of cash if you're the explorative type.
Lastly, caves are where you'll find Bubbulfrogs and Bubbul Gems. Find out what you can do with those in our Bubbul Gem guide.
Don't forget about Ascend
Ascend isn't used as often as Recall, Ultrahand, or Fuse, but it might just be the best of the four new abilities Link has.
Stuck in a cave? Use Ascend. Need to sneak up on an enemy above you? Use Ascend. Spot some grey blocks on the side of a mountain or wall? Ascend is your friend.
Basically, Ascend can save you a huge headache and can get you out of tight spots. Remember it, use it, and love it.
Sell your gems
Gems can be used to make elemental weapons, but in the early game, you don't really need to hold onto them as they don't add a ton of attack power to your weapons.
You can find precious stones in mineral rocks in caves and wells across Hyrule. Here's how much each precious stone sells for:
- Amber - 10 Rupees
- Opal - 30 Rupees
- Topaz - 80 Rupees
- Ruby - 110 Rupees
- Sapphire - 150 Rupees
- Diamond - 500 Rupees
For more money-making tips, check out our How To Get Rupees guide.
Save your Zonaite
Zonaite is a pretty rare material (at least until you explore the Depths), but it's also an extremely valuable one that you can use to buy items to upgrade your Energy Cells, the battery power used to power Zonai Devices.
Zonaite can be spent at the Forge Construct on the Great Sky Island to buy Crystallized Charges. These charges can be used at the Crystal Refinery, which you can access by warping to Nachoyah Shrine. Don't sell them for Rupees because Energy Cells are much more important later on in the game.
Get a horse
While you can eventually build some pretty elaborate creations in Tears of the Kingdom, nothing is better than a good ol' horse to get you started.
As early as Central Hyrule, you can find horses grazing about in the fields. Capturing these is the exact same as in Breath of the Wild — sneak up on them and press 'A' when you're close enough to right. Give them a pat with the 'L' button, and then you're off. Horses make for a safe way of getting around too, as they naturally follow the roads of Hyrule.
Check out our dedicated guide to the Best Horses and where to find them.
Practice makes perfect
Ultrahand's controls are similar to Magnesis from Breath of the Wild, but it can take a minute to get used to, especially when you're sticking stuff together to make vehicles.
Great Sky Island does a great job of teaching you the basics, but there are multiple Hudson Construction sites across Hyrule where you can practice sticking together wood plants, wheels, and more, to create some fun vehicles.
Break boxes with Ultrahand
Boxes and barrels are littered around the world, and while you could blow them up or break them with a weapon, there's a much more resourceful way of breaking into them — sticking them together with Ultrahand and dropping them from the sky.
This does take a lot longer, but in a game where weapons can break and resources can be the make-or-break of your survival, this is a good way of getting extra arrows, apples, or materials without affecting your weapon durability or losing some flame fruit.
Stick wheels on the side
You can stick a wheel wherever you want on a vehicle, but best practice is that wheels should go on the side or on the corners of your slate, wood, or Zonai device.
Ultrahand naturally guides you towards the places where the materials make sense, but generally, use the centre of the wheel as a guide.
And, no, wheels can't be used as a steering wheel. Trust us. it didn't go well. You'll get a way of steering your vehicle naturally as you explore and find more Zonai Devices.
Fuse tips - Best early-game Fuse
You'll get a lot of really useful materials as you naturally explore in Tears of the Kingdom, but some of the best early-game combinations are good for more than just their attack power, although they'll do that too when you're looking to increase the power of weapons before you ultimately get the Master Sword.
We'll list some of our favourite Fuses right here...
Bokoblin Horn / Monster Parts
Every single enemy will drop various horns, toenails, claws, and other monster parts. These are frequently your best common Fuse item for increasing the attack power of any given weapon. No longer do you need to cook up Monster Elixirs with them — every single item they drop is useful for dealing damage.
Fire/Ice/Shock Fruit and Chuchu Jelly
Anything with elemental properties is an amazing addition to any arrow in Tears of the Kingdom. Elemental arrows are gone, but in their place is a bunch of different fruit and jelly that you can use to cause elemental damage.
Elemental damage is often a lifesaver. You can freeze enemies with White Chuchu Jelly or Ice Fruit, or shock them from a distance with Electric
We've separated this one out in particular because Lizalfos tails can turn your oft-short weapon into a whip, meaning you can attack enemies from a distance.
If you pop one on the end of a spear — as ridiculous as it looks — then you've got an extremely long whip that you can fend off enemies without worrying about taking damage.
Boulders and rocks are okay for dealing extra damage on the end of weapons. But their true use? Breaking rocks and mineral deposits.
If you're ever short on bombs, or you want to save them for other things, then a stick with a boulder on it is the perfect spelunking tool that'll help you dive into the many cave systems in Hyrule. What's better, rocks are basically everywhere, so just stick it on something you don't need and get swinging.
Speaking of bombs, Bomb Flowers can be a bit scarce, but when you have them, they're really useful. Put one on an arrow for an explosive long-distance shot, or stick it to a shield and shield surf to go flying into the air. No, really.
Popping a leaf on the end of a sword doesn't sound useful... until you realise you can use this to manipulate sails on your Autobuild vehicles. The breeze from the wind also pushes enemies back, meaning you could then swap to your bow for a quick snipe.
Keese Eyeballs and Wings
If your archery aim isn't perfect, then eyeballs and wings are two of the best items to collect throughout your adventure, not just the early game.
Keese and Aerocuda Wings mean that your arrows can fly even further, letting you can take out enemies from quite a distance without them realising. Eyeballs allow arrows to home in on enemies. Oh, and all of these can come with elemental variants.
Have you ever wanted to use a flamethrower in a Zelda game? Fuse a Flame Emitter Zonai device to a sword for a fiery whip, or stick it on a shield for some fire-breathing defense.
It looks silly, but it's absolutely amazing and utterly hilarious.
Use those Brightbloom Seeds
Brightbloom Seeds can be found in caves all across Hyrule, and while they don't add much to your attack stat, they are extremely useful for getting around the Depths.
Throwing a Brightbloom Seed at the ground, or firing an arrow with one attached, will light up the area around it. This is very helpful in the Depths because everything is pitch black, at least until you find a Lightroot in that particular area.
Avoid & Heal Gloom damage
Once you're down in the Depths, you'll want to equip yourself with the knowledge required to avoid gloom damage where possible and heal up when you find your hearts corrupted. In order to heal up you can activate a Lightroot to repair your hearts, cook food with Sundelions to create a cure or even fast travel back to the surface to instantly dismiss any accrued gloom corruption.
To avoid gloom corruption entirely, try making a meal with Dark Clumps to provide temporary resistance, tame and mount a skeleton horse to ride unharmed through the gloom or, later in the game, get your hands on Gloom Resistant Armour by purchasing it with Poes.
For a more detailed breakdown of all of this, check out our guide on How To Avoid, Resist & Heal Gloom Damage.
Shrines on Surface = Lightroots in the Depths
If you're struggling to find your way around the Depths, there's one handy trick to help push you towards a Lightroot, which will help light up an area.
If you have a Shrine on the surface, it directly correlates to the location of a Lightroot in the Depths. For example, Jiosin Shrine is directly above Nisoij Lightroot on the map. The root's name is the Shrine's name in reverse. So you can use your pins to help find the next Lightroot by swapping between the Surface and Depths maps.
Lightroots don't correlate to Shrines in the Sky, just the Surface.
Don't be afraid to run away
The Depths are much, much harder to navigate than the Surface or Sky of Hyrule. Enemies do more damage, and Gloom damage can be a pain. So if you're struggling, there's no shame in leaving and coming back later when you've got better equipment or armour to help defend against the dangers of the depths.
If you're brave, remember you don't have to fight anything — just keep running through the depths and avoid enemies as best as you can.
That might seem like a lot, but with the scope of Hyrule this time around, this should set you on the right path and give you a good idea of what to save and what to do. For even more help on your adventure, check out our Tears of the Kingdom walkthrough for everything you need.