The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the most exciting, boundary-breaking games to come from Nintendo in years. By returning to the series' roots as a free-roaming, adventure, Nintendo did the impossible: reinvent a franchise that many had come to feel was staid, predictable, and even boring.
With a game this big, this involving, and this well-designed, it's no surprise that gamers have dedicated themselves to discovering all the secrets it has to offer; and it has quite a few of them. From hidden gameplay mechanics to the wildest creatures to physics and combat-twisting elements, Breath of the Wildhas countless weird and fun details to occupy oneself with.
Updated May 31, 2023, by Stephen LaGioia: Breath of the Wild has officially passed the torch to the darker, more dynamic follow-up, Tears of the Kingdom, to great acclaim from fans and critics alike. With vast dungeons (called Temples), a slew of new shrines, and the added Sky Islands and Depths (literally) adding even more depth to the formula, fans will likely be uncovering new secrets for months to come.
But looking back on its deep predecessor, many have found the lands of Hyrule and beyond still have untapped secrets and easter eggs. So we've decided to reexplore this list and add some hidden details and areas still unseen by many.
20 Playing Baseball With Octorok Pitchers
It's easy to get bothered by the pesky rock-spewing Octoroks. Though Link can actually turn their assaults into a fun baseball minigame, by timing his swing and batting the projectile back at the creature.
Or to get around this more easily, you can bust out a spin attack for more drawn-out hits and coverage. These moves achieve little, but it's an amusing function that tends to get overlooked. Projectiles thrown by Bokoblins can be handled in the same way.
19 Sturnida Secret Hot Spring
There are various soothing Hot Springs scattered about the vast lands of Hyrule. But there is one that is particularly unique and off the beaten path, known as Sturnida Secret Hot Spring. Link can fully submerge in the fairly deep spring, which is quite nice given the paradoxically chilly area around it.
This hot oasis can be found in the western part of the Hebra Mountains, specifically between the Hebra West Summit and Lake Kilsie. And if you get bored relaxing here, you can head to a cliff just south, where you can get a Flamespear after slaying some Lizalfos.
18 A Hidden And Secluded Lava Patch
Near the Coliseum Ruins, which is in the southern area of Hyrule Field a bit north of the Great Plateau, there's an odd death trap of lava that is well hidden. It can be found off to the southeast, just north of a small pond. As it happens, there is a small, unseen — but no-less painful — patch of lava near a sloping hill.
It emerges as a secluded fiery puddle only when Link stands on it. Given its odd, random placement and invisibility, it seems that this is merely a glitch; though for many, that makes it all the more interesting to stumble upon. Just be sure not to get too burned!
17 Finding The Lord Of The Mountain
Link can find and tame a particularly alluring beast and mode of transport; one that overshadows Epona quite a bit. Known majestically as the Lord of the Mountain, this glowing horse can be found atop Satori Mountain, which lies in the Ridgeland Tower region west of Hyrule Field.
You can opt to venture there on your own, or seek out Botrick residing near Outskirt Stable by Rota Ooh Shrine. You'll want to look out for a green glow, as well as a group of Blupees that typically appear near it. This beast can be particularly fussy and hard to tame, and can't be kept. Still, it's worth the effort as you ride across Hyrule in style for a bit.
16 The Forgotten Temple And Shrine
One of the tougher places to locate and reach in the game is The Forgotten Temple, and the adjoining Rona Kachta Shrine. Despite its size, this relic of Hyrule history is nestled discreetly at the lower part of a gaping chasm. This massive valley is on the western outskirts of the Great Hyrule Forest Region.
Have Link paraglide through the air until landing upon the stone entrance. To reach the rewarding shrine beyond, you'll need to evade some tough Guardians with their sights all on you. Among the goodies in the shrine, there are the 'Of The Wild' armor set and a potent Great Flamebalde.
15 Translate Ancient Hylian Runes
When accessing a new shrine, tower, or drop pins on the map, you might notice a sequence of foreign letters scrolling vertically. These are ancient Hylian — but far from being made-up gibberish, they can be translated into normal language.
Many of these translations are simple instructions, but some have hidden easter eggs; the Hylian on the pins seen through your Shiekah Scope translates to "it’s dangerous to go alone". This is a reference to the old man’s dialogue from the original Legend of Zelda. Even better, though, is the ancient Hylian in one of the game’s shrines, which translates to "all your base are," a reference to the highly-memed dialogue from the 1992 Mega Drive game Zero Wing.
14 Hack Your Travel
Breath of the Wild's physics system allows you to utilize many absurd ways to get around Hyrule more quickly. One amusing method is to stack a metal cube on top of a minecart, climb on top of it, then use the Magnesis rune to lift Link in the air as a DIY flying machine. Be careful, though, since the contraption can fall apart easily if he goes off balance.
Similarly, if blasting air at Link's sail with a Korok leaf is taking too long when out at sea, you can use Magnesis to push a metal chest or crate against the sail. This will strangely propel Link forward. Magnesis isn't the only power that will make hopping around Hyrule faster. If using Stasis on a boulder, hit it until its arrow glows red, and then hop on just before it launches. Link will be blasted across the landscape with it as if it were an express train.
13 Try New Recipes On A Blood Moon Night
One of the best-kept secrets in BOTW has to do with cooking during that spooky time known as the Blood Moon. Every few nights, the moon turns bright red as it rises in the sky, and at midnight all the enemies that have been slain reemerge like scorned zombies. This can make for some stressful battles and drains resources, not to mention the fact that seeing a bright red moon rise over a dark horizon is quite chilling in and of itself.
But, thankfully, there's an upside to this ominous scene. In the minutes before the Blood Moon takes effect at midnight, seek out a cooking fire and start tossing in ingredients. The concocted meals will have increased stat boosts — perhaps meant to prepare for the coming gauntlet of revived foes.
12 Find Lon Lon Ranch
Hyrule Castle is enveloped by darkness, and the kingdom around it is in ruins, but that doesn't mean you can't discover familiar locations. The Hyrule map will show that southeast of the castle lies an area labeled "Ranch Ruins."
Going there reveals the bones of a structure eerily similar to a memorable location in Ocarina of Time, Lon Lon Ranch. The giveaway is the brick wall at the left of the entrance, which bears a masonry pattern that's too similar to be a coincidence. Might it be one of Epona's descendants is loping around Hyrule, just waiting to be tamed?
11 Control The Guardians’ Fire
The mechanical Guardians are some of the most fearsome foes in Breath of the Wild, with their mechanical octopus appearance and laser blasts that can end Link in one hit. But with a bit of ingenuity, you can co-opt their weaponry and take advantage of their firepower.
First, use the upgraded Stasis rune to freeze a Guardian in its tracks and run around to its backside. Then, smack it with Link's weapon. This works as a manual fire switch, triggering their laser beam to shoot in whatever direction they’re pointed. This swiftly produces a potent Guardian gun to blast other enemies with.
10 Find Hidden Nods To Designers
The shrines throughout the game have some strange names, but the very first accessible shrine has a secret message in its title. The Oman Au shrine on the Great Plateau is a cleverly-disguised anagram on Aonuma, as in Eiji Aonuma — the lead producer on the Legend of Zelda series.
The nods to famous figures don’t stop there. Observant players have noticed that Botrick, a soldier who patrols around the Outskirt Stable in Hyrule Field, bears a resemblance to Satoru Iwata, the beloved late head of Nintendo. Moreover, Botrick will tell Link about a secret spring lying at the top of Satori Mountain nearby.
Go there at night, and you’ll find a glowing forest spirit who is said to watch over Hyrule with a benevolent eye. This lines up with developers’ comments that they felt Iwata’s spirit watching over them as they designed Breath of the Wild. This one has the potential to invoke some misty eyes.
9 Rain Chicken-Death On Enemies
As any Zelda fan worth their salt knows, it's never advised to attack the Cuccos. These fiesty things look like harmless chickens — but jabbing them with a sword will invoke a violent attack that commences until fleeing to a nearby building. There are few more ignominious deaths than getting pecked into an early grave. Though Breath of the Wild lets Link kill most other animals, it keeps this tradition alive.
However, unlike the other games in the series, its open-world design lets you get a little creative. Taking a Cucco into battle and tossing it into an enemy attack will lead the Cuccos to swarm onto them. Maybe these feathered fools aren't so terrible after all.
8 Make Enemies Fight Each Other
Combat in Breath of the Wild can be a difficult, draining affair, especially when fighting against powerful sub-bosses like Guardians, Stone Taluses, or Hinoxes. But instead of wasting weapons and shields by throwing Link against foes, why not make his enemies do all the work?
If you lure separate enemies together and bait them into attacking each other, you'll get the satisfaction of watching them fight each other to the death. It's highly satisfying to watch a towering Talus throw rocks at a frantic Guardian while Link sneaks off, hidden by the unfolding chaos. It's an extra bit of polish that really shows how detailed the title is.
7 Talk To Merchants When It's Raining
When traveling about Hyrule, you'll likely find a few wandering merchants who will sell region-specific items and weapons. Their selection during normal days is decent, but if one is approached while it rains, you might notice something a little different.
Perhaps to better attract customers despite the cruddy weather, the merchants will sell rarer and better materials while raining. One might be selling regular raw meat, for instance, but upgrade to prime meat during a storm. As in real life, shops have to deal with weather conditions when they're stocking their shelves. The only difference is that in the real world, most stores tend to have less merchandise in harsh conditions.
6 Use Elemental Weapons In Harsh Climates
One of the coolest features of Breath of the Wild is its dynamic weather, which shifts from hot, tropical weather to snowy mountain peaks to burning volcanoes. These climate shifts can be hard to deal with if missing the proper gear to handle extreme conditions like the bitter cold. But there’s another way to adapt to temperature changes.
Players that have elemental weapons in their arsenal such as Frostblades or Flameblades can equip them to offset the temperature changes. A Flameblade will keep Link warm in the snowy Hebra Mountains, while a Frostblade will cool him off when traversing the volcanic Death Mountain.
5 Go (Mostly) Clothless
Just like in real life, freeing oneself of pesky clothing in Breath of the Wild can be a lot more fun than going clothed. On a basic level, Link can arguably pull off the shirtless look rather well. But more significantly — Nintendo loaded the game with easter eggs for the clothesless. Link’s idle animation changes, prompting him to show off his guns. If opening treasure chests without lower body armor, Link will hold his foot in pain. After all, he does kick the chests open.
And if talking to NPCs without clothes on, they’ll act scandalized and beg Link to cover himself — unless, of course, he's talking to Hestu, who’s seemingly amused by it. The most useful of all, though, is that removing Link's clothes actually improves his swimming speed, making him use less stamina.
4 Knock Guardians Over Like Dominoes
Another trick to dealing with Guardians is to treat them not unlike large mechanical dominoes. Horses are a boon when dealing with these large bots, since they let Link gallop out of their way much more quickly. Instead of fleeing though, try running toward the lumbering beasts.
If Link triggers his horse’s charge when nearing the guardian, he'll make it topple over onto its side as he runs into it. This has two advantages — it drastically limits their movement and exposes their underside for easy attacking. And it's rather funny to see these fearsome enemies waggle around on their backs. Of course, this is assuming Link can survive fighting a few of them at once.
3 Fix Rusty Weapons
In the early stages of Breath of the Wild, you'll come across a lot of rusty weapons; they’re downgraded versions of more powerful arms like broadswords and halberds. While they can have high attack power, they break after a couple of hits, making them pretty useless upon leaving the Great Plateau. Still, it's advised to keep one or two around while traveling, as the game lets you exploit enemies to fix them.
The Rock Octoroks that lurk on Death Mountain have a Kirby-style suction attack that lets them suck up items from the environment and spit them back out. If tossing a rusty weapon at them, they’ll swallow it and spit out a new and improved shiny new version. Just make sure not to get hit by the pristine new sword when it gets shot back at Link.
2 Farm Arrows With Your Shield
Arrows are one of the most precious commodities in Breath of the Wild, and most will probably spend ample time scheming how to get more. After all, considering some can crush Link like a bug when close enough, it's useful to pick them off from a distance. One little-known trick makes it even easier to stock up on arrows.
Find enemies that will shoot arrows at Link and hold up his shield. The arrows will bury themselves in the wood, and when putting the shield away, those arrows will transfer themselves into your inventory. Voilà, arrow farming! This stands as another detailed flourish that's quite rare in gaming.
1 Get Ganon's Horse
Out in the wilds of Hyrule lurks a horse unlike any other. Early in the game, you might come across a side quest asking Link to find a horse descended from the lineage of the royal family's steeds. It makes sense, then, that you can also find an animal who's related to the evilest being Hyrule has ever known.
In the Taobob Grasslands to the south, you can seek out a giant horse — literally, he's twice the size of any other steed — who has the same color scheme as Ganon. The link between the two seems doubly confirmed when completing a sidequest involving the beast. Link's reward? The same riding gear that Ganon himself once used.
Next: When Does The Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom Take Place?