Zelda Tears of the Kingdom New Players Guide

If you’re venturing into the enchanting realm of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom for the first time, we’ve curated a thorough introduction aimed at new players. Our guide sets out to illuminate the fundamental mechanics of the game, providing an essential foundation while highlighting the key elements of this adventure. It offers guidance on how to get started, identifying initial locations you must explore, managing encounters with foes, discovering valuable items, and much more.

Take a look on our Zelda TOTK Enemy damage calculator. It will help you as a new player to gain intel on your enemy damage:

Zelda TOTK Enemy Damage Calculator


Mastering the Basics 

Combat in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

In addition to exploring the vast world and understanding the critical aspects of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, combat plays a pivotal role that novice players need to grasp. This adventure thrusts you into a sprawling open-world, teeming with imminent threats that keep you on high alert. As a player, your task is to navigate these risks by familiarizing yourself with the rudiments of combat and adapting to the surrounding environment. Eliminating these threats endows Link with advantages, such as accumulating loot rewards, potential upgrades, and, ultimately, surviving hazardous circumstances. We’ve compiled an array of useful tips, tricks, and a succinct guide explaining the foundations of combat, enabling you to overcome your opponents and adapt to this treacherous environment.

Combat tactics depend on your game level and you will level up by progressing through the story and completing mission. Here is a quick calculator to give you know the XP (Experience) required to level Up.


The Fundamentals of Melee Combat

The majority of your initial encounters will likely involve close-quarters combat, especially at the game’s outset when your arsenal lacks advanced weaponry and unique equipment. Similar to other titles, Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s melee weapons bear resemblances. Initially, the game introduces you to the “Tree Branch”, a rudimentary weapon. This introduction serves to familiarize you with the behavior of melee weapons. For instance, repeatedly pressing the attack button allows Link to unleash a combination of attacks for amplified damage. Conversely, long-pressing the attack button enables Link to power up his weapon, delivering a charged attack that inflicts considerable damage. Furthermore, when Link finds himself in higher terrain or gliding, he can execute surprise jump attacks that can catch adversaries off guard, proving to be a game-changer in many scenarios.

The Art of Evasion: Dodging Enemy Onslaughts

Striking a balance between offensive strikes and evasion is vital. Recklessly engaging enemies without a strategy to dodge potential counterattacks is not recommended. One method to avoid the majority of onslaughts in the game is by combining ZL + Jump + a directional button. A successful execution results in Link rolling a safe distance away, effectively evading attacks. Additionally, if you manage to time your dodge accurately just before an attack lands, you can pull off a Perfect Dodge. This maneuver enables you to perform a “Flurry Rush” counter-attack, a powerful move exclusively available after a Perfect Dodge. It’s crucial to remember that while Link’s offensive abilities are significant, mastering the evasion technique is equally important and warrants your attention.

Shielding Yourself: Blocking Enemy Strikes

Dodging isn’t your only defensive mechanism in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. The game also allows you to block enemy assaults by using the ZL button when a shield is equipped. Unlike evasion, blocking is a direct method of countering enemy blows. In addition, akin to the Perfect Dodge, there is a tactic known as Perfect Guard, which can be executed by pressing the A button just as an enemy strike is about to land. A successful Perfect Guard gives you the opportunity to initiate a potent counter-attack, mirroring the outcome of a Perfect Dodge.

Stealth: Employing Surprise Attacks

In Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, stealth is your ally when tackling large enemy groups who can easily overwhelm you with their numbers. By adopting a stealthy approach, you can eliminate adversaries without alarming others nearby. When you sneak up behind an enemy or attack while they’re sleeping, you can execute a potent “Surprise Attack” by pressing the Y button, causing substantial damage. To minimize the likelihood of detection, it’s recommended to crouch while approaching an enemy or to seek cover behind obstacles or structures within the combat area. Additionally, utilizing a crouch leap allows swift movement with reduced noise.

Understanding Ranged Combat

Apart from close combat with melee weapons, the Bow can be a strategic instrument for taking down oblivious foes from a distance. Methodically targeting enemies one by one or initiating an attack by shooting at explosive barrels or bee hives in the enemy’s vicinity can yield effective results. Players can trigger a slow-motion focus state by jumping and aiming with their bow or while leaping off their horse. When employing the bow, a headshot is your most potent tactic, capable of eliminating a weak enemy instantaneously. Bear in mind that there are various types of bow ammunition suitable for different scenarios. A significant aspect of using a bow is managing your limited ammunition—each arrow counts, as replenishing your stock may prove challenging.

Maintaining Link’s Health

In Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Link’s health is signified by Hearts, and the number of Hearts indicates his current HP. If you find yourself low on Hearts during a battle, you can replenish them by consuming a relevant meal from your inventory. Always having a sufficient food supply to restore health in demanding combat situations is a vital strategy.

Monitoring Weapon Durability

Each weapon in your arsenal has a certain durability, which gradually decreases with use. If a weapon’s durability falls to zero, it will break and become unusable, an important consideration during combat.

Leveraging the Lock-on System

By pressing the ZL button near an enemy, Link locks onto the target. This mechanism allows you to circle the enemy, simplifying your ability to defend, dodge, and inflict damage. Keeping your focus on the enemy is key to maximizing your effectiveness in combat.

Melee Weapon Types

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom offers a variety of melee weapon types for players to choose from, namely One-Handed Weapons, Two-Handed Weapons, and Spears. Each weapon type possesses unique strengths and weaknesses, and finding the perfect match for your playstyle is key, as it may vary significantly from one player to another.

One-Handed Weapons:

This category constitutes the most basic and user-friendly weapon types, featuring a decent balance of attack power, speed, and range. Here are the noteworthy points:

  • Offers a moderate level of attack power and speed.
  • Possesses a reasonable attack range.
  • Allows for shield equipment.
  • Capable of executing Rotating Slash Attacks.

Two-Handed Weapons:

Ideal for advanced users, these weapons boast the highest attack power but the slowest attack speed. They offer a high-risk, high-reward experience due to their speed but can dish out immense damage.

  • Highest Attack Power.
  • Slowest Attack Speed.
  • Wide Attack Range.
  • Capable of hitting multiple targets.
  • Can stagger enemy shields.
  • Able to fell trees effortlessly.

Spear Weapons:

These weapon types boast the highest attack speed among the three, compensating for their lower attack power with speed and an extended reach.

  • Lowest Attack Power.
  • Highest Attack Speed.
  • Longest Attack Range or Reach.
  • Capable of staggering enemies during attacks.

Exploration Guide

After covering the basics of combat, we now turn our attention to exploration. The Kingdom of Hyrule is expansive and brimming with secrets and breathtaking landscapes. While traversing the Hyrule landscape is one of the game’s most enjoyable activities, it is essential to master the art of navigating this vast terrain. Be prepared to overcome treacherous slopes, towering mountains, deep rivers, and even the sky itself. We’ve prepared some basic tips and guides to help you set off into the unknown with confidence.

Stamina Management:

You can ascend cliffs faster by leaping, but it will consume a significant chunk of your Stamina Gauge. Alternatively, climbing steadily can help conserve your Stamina Gauge. Remember, if you drain your Stamina, Link will lose his grip and fall, which can be life-threatening, especially when scaling great heights. Such a fall not only wastes time but also necessitates re-climbing. Therefore, careful route planning can be advantageous during exploration.

Weather Awareness:

The lands of Hyrule are as hazardous as its weather. Extreme weather conditions, such as intense heat or cold, can affect Link’s survival. It is advisable to equip weather-resistant armor or have food and medicine at hand before embarking on an exploration in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. This will help you withstand severe weather conditions and maintain your health during long journeys. For a detailed guide on handling Weather Conditions, we have dedicated a separate section.

Capturing Insects and Horses:

When Link attempts to pursue a horse or insect, they tend to flee rapidly. However, you can catch them by surprise by crouching and approaching from behind. An alternative approach is to capture horses by using a parasail to leap towards them or hide in the grass to avoid detection.

Boosting Your Wallet: More Rupees, More Fun

In Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, rupees can be earned by selling materials and gems at various stores. These items are typically obtained by breaking rocks, finding treasure chests, or defeating Iwaroks. Although these materials and gems can be utilized to upgrade your armor, selling your excess items can yield a substantial amount of rupees.

The Power of Knowledge: The Adventure Log Is Your Friend

During moments of uncertainty or indecision about the next steps in the game, your “Adventure Log” serves as an invaluable guide. Access the menu by pressing the – Button and the Adventure Log by pressing the L Button. This log provides a wealth of information to aid you in plotting your next moves.

Weather Guide

Adapting to varying weather conditions is an essential skill for newcomers in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. This section delves into this intricate aspect of the game, as weather conditions can drastically affect Link’s survival. For instance, during a thunderstorm, wearing metal armor can cause Link to be struck by lightning. Traversing vast snowy expanses can also pose a significant challenge due to reduced visibility. Here’s a quick rundown of the known weather conditions and their common effects:

Weather Effects
Sunny None
Cloudy None
Thunderstorms – Effects mimic those during rainy weather.<br>- Wearing metal armor increases the risk of being struck by lightning.
Rainy – Difficulty spotting monsters and animals.<br>- Slippery surfaces can make cliff-climbing challenging.<br>- Flame and bomb arrows lose their special properties and become regular arrows.
Snowy – Poor visibility can make exploration challenging.

Weather Conditions Can Affect Creatures

Weather conditions in the game can influence the spawn rates of various creatures. Some fish species only appear during certain weather conditions, while specific insects may spawn more frequently under different conditions. This is crucial if you are hunting for specific creatures to collect specific loot, as you may need to cycle through different weather patterns to achieve your goal.

Weather Patterns Vary

The weather patterns in the game vary depending on the location. Some weather conditions may not occur in certain regions. For example, as the Gerudo Wasteland is a desert, rainy weather does not occur in that area.

Changing the Weather

To swiftly change the weather in the game, you can sleep at your home or an inn, or wait by a bonfire to pass the time. Weather patterns shift every three in-game hours or three real-time minutes. If you don’t have access to a bed or a campfire, you can simply wait a few minutes, and the weather will naturally change.

Predicting the Weather

In the game, you can observe the weather forecast for upcoming periods in the bottom right corner of the screen. Regularly checking the forecast can help anticipate and prepare for upcoming weather conditions, which can be a significant advantage during gameplay.

Dealing with Cold Weather

When exposed to snowy weather conditions, Link may be afflicted by a Cold Status Effect. To counteract the harmful effects of frigid weather, wear armor that offers a “Cold Resistance” effect. Some armor sets inherently possess this effect, making them useful for traversing chilly landscapes. A variety of armor sets can be purchased from armor shops scattered across numerous villages in the game. It’s recommended to explore these shops and check their stock, as they often offer armor with additional beneficial effects.

Additionally, consuming food or medicine with a “Cold Resistance” effect can help mitigate the impact of cold weather. Remember, however, that the duration of this effect is temporary. Below are the harmful effects of cold weather if untreated:

Detrimental Effects of Cold

  • Link suffers continuous damage over time.
  • The damage is significantly increased when in contact with bodies of water.

Dealing with Hot Weather

Similar to cold weather, Link may be afflicted by a Heat status effect when exposed to high temperatures. Donning armor that provides a Heat Resistance effect can help alleviate the negative impact of scorching conditions. Certain armor sets inherently possess this effect, offering an added advantage in the heat. Village armor shops stock various types of armor, so they’re worth visiting to check for suitable gear. Consumable items and food that grant heat resistance can also help combat the detrimental effects of high temperatures. Areas like the Gerudo Wasteland, a hot, arid region in the southwestern reaches of Hyrule, are notorious for their extreme heat during the day and freezing cold at night.

Detrimental Effects of Heat

  • Link suffers continuous damage over time.

Dealing with Thunderstorms

As previously mentioned, wearing metal armor during a thunderstorm increases the likelihood of being struck by lightning. Lightning strikes can inflict severe damage and incapacitate Link instantly. If a thunderstorm is imminent, promptly switch to non-metallic attire. This simple precaution highlights the importance of having diverse sets of gear to adapt to changing weather conditions.

More Beginner Tips in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Having covered most of the basics, here are some additional general tips and advice for new players of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, along with some guidelines to make gameplay more accessible:


Maintain Link’s Health at Maximum

Always aim to keep Link’s health at 100% by filling his heart containers. Initially, Link starts with three heart containers, which can withstand non-attribute attacks. However, potent attribute attacks can deplete these containers instantly, resulting in Link’s defeat. Thus, maintaining at least three hearts in the early stages is recommended to avoid sudden death.

Know the Significance of Sound

Noises can alert enemies and scare away nearby creatures, complicating combat and hunting. To avoid this, move silently by walking slowly or crouching, thus minimizing noise production. The level of sound made is represented by a purple wave in the lower right corner of the screen. Keep an eye on this indicator to ensure stealth when needed.

Keep Collecting Ingredients

In Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, ingredients play a crucial role in cooking and crafting. You can find them by foraging in the wilderness, defeating enemies, and even by purchasing them from merchants. Always keep an eye out for potential ingredients and collect them whenever possible. These ingredients can be used to cook meals that restore health, grant temporary buffs, or can even be essential in crafting or upgrading items.

Be Careful When Mixing Ingredients

When cooking, be mindful of the ingredients you mix together. Ingredients in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom each have their unique effects. However, combining ingredients with differing effects (like “Stamina Gauge Recovery” and “Heat Resistance Effect”) can result in those effects canceling each other out, making your cooked meal less effective or even useless.

Pinning Locations

Utilize the game’s map and pinning feature. If there’s a location you plan to visit or revisit, mark it with a pin on your map. This allows you to easily locate it later, aiding in navigation and ensuring you don’t miss out on places of interest.

Tracking the Weather

As discussed earlier, weather changes can affect Link’s health and performance. Stay vigilant about the weather forecast located at the bottom right of your screen. By keeping track of the upcoming weather, you can prepare adequately, equipping the right gear, and packing the necessary items.

Mastering the Basics of Combat

Combat in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom can be intense and challenging. Learning and mastering combat fundamentals such as dodging, guarding, and striking can significantly improve your effectiveness in battles. Practice your timing for dodging and guarding, and familiarize yourself with your weapon’s range and swing patterns. Over time, you’ll be able to create openings, deflect projectiles, and land powerful blows on your enemies.

New Features in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Weapon Creation & Enhancement

In Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, the new Item Fusion feature allows Link to combine two items to create a makeshift weapon. This feature adds a whole new level of customization and creativity to the game, allowing you to turn common items into powerful tools of battle. This mechanic applies to both weapons and arrows, meaning you can enhance your arsenal’s effectiveness and adapt to various combat situations.

Building Structures with Ultrahand

The Ultrahand ability is another exciting feature in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. This ability allows Link to combine items found in the environment to create structures, vehicles, and other devices. Whether it’s building a raft to cross a river or crafting a hovercraft to navigate the vast lands of Hyrule, Ultrahand promises to bring a level of creativity and exploration that further deepens the gameplay experience.

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom FAQs

What is the storyline behind Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom?

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, a much-anticipated open-world action-adventure sequel to Zelda: Breath of the Wild, unfolds shortly after the events of the prequel. The narrative is expected to pick up where the previous game left off, with Zelda expressing her sorrow over the rebuilding of the Kingdom of Hyrule. The trailer depicts an adventurous journey of Zelda and Link through a cavern, followed by the sudden reawakening of an imprisoned Ganon by a stronger version of Malice. An unfortunate incident leaves the Master Sword heavily damaged and Zelda falling into Link’s right arm. Although the storyline is largely under wraps, one can anticipate Link’s heroic quest to rescue Zelda, restore the Master Sword, overcome Ganon, save Hyrule, and finally break the curse initiated by Demise.

When was Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom announced?

The first announcement of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom was made at E3 2019. A follow-up teaser trailer, showcasing snippets of gameplay, was subsequently revealed at E3 2021.

What is the release date for Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom?

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is slated for release on May 12, 2023.

Which platform will host Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom?

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is set to be available on the Nintendo Switch upon its launch.

Is Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom a direct sequel to Zelda: Breath of the Wild?

Although the developers have often described the game as “the Sequel to Breath of the Wild”, and despite the trailers presenting similar scenes involving Link and Zelda as seen in Breath of the Wild, certain elements suggest the game might be set in a time prior to the Breath of the Wild timeline. The true chronology, however, remains uncertain until more information is released.

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