The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild is set in the Kingdom of Hyrule. It’s a large world with changing environments that span multiple provinces. Unfortunately, the entire map will be completely blank at the start of the game. To fill a section of the map, find one of the fifteen glowing, red towers and climb to the top. Place your Sheikah Slate on the pedestal at the peak of the tower to add a section to the map, learn the names of each province, and add the tower as a fast travel location. Explore Hyrule to add the names of specific locations to the map when zoomed in. In addition to the fifteen towers, there are fifteen stables in each area. Stables are used as Shops, Inns, and to keep your horses.
My maps are marked with bows for Lynel, swords for Hinox, shields for Talos, stars for the fairy fountains, pots for decent critter spots, leaves for decent plant spots, and a diamond icon for decent mineral spots.
Since Hyrule is so large, it’ll take far too long to trek across the land when completing quests. Discover and interact with shrines to add fast travel locations on the map. Those who are barely getting into the series might take some time to memorize location names. See the table below to help remember where everything is.
A large plane of grasslands and forests.
A range of icy mountains and lakes. This is where the Rito live.
A vast desert hidden beyond a mountain range. This is where the Gerudo live. Make sure to take some heat resistant gear or meals for the day, and cold resistant gear or meals for the night.
A series of lakes, rivers, forests, and grasslands. Make sure to take some electric resistant gear or meals.
A forest and series of rivers surrounded by mountains. This is where the Zora live. Make sure to take gear to increase your swim speed and ascend waterfalls.
Large lakes and cascading rivers flow throughout tall mountains. Make sure to take some cold resistant gear or meals.
A snowy wasteland. Make sure to take some cold resistant gear or meals.
A volcanic mountain where the Goron live. Make sure to take some flame proof gear or meals.
A mysterious forest that only has one entrance and exit.
Link can instantly travel to any activated tower or shrine in Hyrule, even if it’s in the heat of battle. If you don’t see any chance of defeating any enemy, immediately teleport out of there – of course, it’s important to fight with all your heart instead of running when faced with a challenge. Unfortunately, horses cannot fast travel alongside Link. All owned horses will stay where they were left, and wild horses might run off. Time will naturally pass as you fast travel from one part of the map to the other.
Surviving the Changing Climate
The world in Breath of the Wild contains tall mountains, rushing rivers, vast deserts, and everything in between. Hiking through the wilderness isn’t as simple as you would think, and the elements can cause mayhem if you’re not careful. Stick to the roads to get from town to town quickly and discover all the main towns and stables. A compass will be present at the bottom-right corner of the screen unless Pro HUD settings are enabled in the options menu.
The forests, beaches, and foothills of Hyrule are often the right climate for a Hylian like Link. However, the wide deserts are far too hot, and will cause Link to lose half a heart every couple of seconds. Moreover, the volcanic Death Mountain is so hot that Link will lose half a heart each second, and any equipped wooden gear will catch fire and deteriorate almost instantly. Certain armor and meals will prevent Link from taking damage due to extreme heat, but his weapons, shields, and bows will still feel the effects of the elements. Keep an eye on the temperature gauge on the bottom-right corner of the screen if you’re still exploring and don’t know which areas bring which climates. Don’t allow the needle on the gauge to dip into the red or blue!
Not only can it get too hot, but it can be too cold as well. The tops of most mountains are capped with ice, and even nightfall can be a tad too cold for the average Hylian. When it’s too cold, Link will lose a heart every couple of seconds. Certain armor and meals will prevent Link from taking damage due to extreme cold. Furthermore, a fire can be started to provide quick relief. Simply drop some wood and flint, and strike the flint with a metal weapon to start a fire. Don’t have wood? Use an axe to cut down a tree, and then cut the trunk into stacks of wood.
Weather and Effects
Extreme temperatures aren’t the only thing to look for. Every so often, select parts of Hyrule will be hit by rainstorms. Rain will wet everything, making all surfaces slippery. After climbing about four steps upward, Link will slide back down a distance. Walls can still be climbed, but a jump has to be timed just right, and climbing speed must be increased to make any progress.
Once the weather meter switches from rain to thunder, immediately un-equip all metallic weapons, shields, and bows or they will attract lightning. A bolt of lightning will do massive damage to Link, but the weapons should withstand the blast. Thunderstorms can happen anywhere it rains, but they occur far more often in Faron region, around the southern area of the map.
Additionally, sandstorms brew up in the far southwest corner of the map in the Gerudo desert. These Sandstorms make it so hard to navigate that the compass at the bottom-right corner of the screen will be blacked out.
Another thing to consider while adventuring is time. Time will automatically move while the game is being played, but will completely freeze when looking at any menu. One second in the real world is equal to one minute in Breath of the Wild. That means one minute (60 seconds) in the real world is equal to one hour (60 minutes) in Breath of the Wild.
At night, more monsters will appear in the wild, making it best to sleep at a stable or town until morning. Sit by a fire or sleep in a bed to instantly jump to a certain time of the day (Morning at 5am, Noon at 12am, or Night at 9pm). Creating a fire is simple: either drop some wood and flint on the ground and strike the flint with a metal weapon, or transfer a flame using a torch.
Exploring Tips and Tricks
The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild features a huge, open world to explore. Before doing so, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the exploration system to survive, and learn a few travel tips and tricks to thrive. Walking around is easy enough, but extreme activities like running, climbing, swimming, and gliding all take up Link’s stamina. A green wheel indicates how much stamina is left before Link stops his action.
It’s best to stop running just before the stamina wheel is completely emptied. Once the meter is dry, Link will stop doing any vigorous activity until the meter is entirely refilled; however, if you stop performing an action before the stamina runs out, the gauge will refill quickly. Additionally, if a stamina gauge is never fully emptied, actions can be done immediately before the stamina wheel is drained.
Different terrain will cause Link to struggle through his exploration. Find specialized armor or stick to the main roads to keep your speed up. Slowing down from a sprint to a exhausted walk isn’t too troublesome; however, if you’re climbing a mountain, Link will release his grip and drop straight down. He will try his best to reduce his speed by dragging his feet on the cliffside, but sometimes there is nothing to grab onto. Hopefully it’s not a far drop because more damage will be inflicted the further Link falls.
Climbing is made nearly impossible once a storm comes in. A wet surface is far too slippery to climb, but a quick jump might make it possible. Press the X Button while climbing to jump upwards or to the side. Jumping will reduce your stamina meter by about 1/3rd, but a quick leap is sometimes all that is needed.
After clearing the first set of main quests, you will obtain the Paraglider. Press X while in mid-air to glide instead of fall straight down. The paraglider is highly useful if you accidentally fall from a cliff, or if you wish to reach a place in the distance without trekking through the hills and forests. The stamina meter will slowly reduce while Link glides through the air. Look for hot air currents during tough battles to ascend into the sky while paragliding. Even if grass catches fire, it can cause an updraft, allowing Link to fly into the air.
Reach a deep body of water to switch from treading water to swimming. Emptying the stamina gauge while swimming will cause Link to drown and lose a heart before returning to the shore. If no hearts remain, you will receive the Game Over screen and be forced to reload a save file. Jumping from a high platform into the water will allow Link to dive. Press the X Button to dash forward into the water. Dashing will reduce the stamina meter by about 1/6th, but a quick burst of speed through the water can be helpful in certain situations. Dashing is required to fight against strong current in raging rivers.
After meeting with the Zora in the east, a special piece of armor will be given to Link that allows him to swim up waterfalls. Simply press the A button once you reach the base of a waterfall while swimming.
Finally, if you find yourself at the top of a mountain and wish to get to the bottom quickly, you can surf on the bottom of your shield! Simply equip a shield, jump into the air (X Button), and press A to jump on top of your shield. Be warned: shield surfing will cause the shield to deteriorate and eventually break.
A number of environmental hazards might block your path as you explore the world. Thorny vines can be found growing around Hyrule, which will block your path and injure you the second you touch them. To get passed thorns, set them on fire with magical fire weapons or flaming arrows.
When metallic objects are located around the world, use your magnesis rune to move them to the places you need. Sometimes flat, metal surfaces can be used as bridges. Other times metal treasure chests can be pulled from beneath a river or pond.
If you encounter a wooden treasure chest, the magnesis rune will not affect them at all. Instead, use the crynosis rune to lift them out of the water and onto a pillar of ice.
Travel to the colder climates of Hyrule and you might find items, Korok Seeds, and even shrines frozen in large glaciers. Use fire–even a torch or campfire will work–near these blocks of ice to melt them away.
When a large object is blocking your path or is obviously hiding something, freeze it with stasis and attack it with a melee weapon to send it flying.