The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is easily one of the most ambitious titles to ever grace the franchise. Hyrule is bigger than we've ever seen it, stretching far and wide, with many locations and hidden treasures scattered about. Traditional dungeons are gone, replaced by elaborate (moving) Divine Beasts, and powerful mini-bosses who roam the countryside. It's an experience too epic for words and it can be rather overwhelming the first time you adorn the Sheikah Slate.
For some, the wide world can be a bit intimidating. There is a main questline that will have you traveling to a variety of locations. Along the way, you'll discover new gear, weapons, items, and abilities. By the time you're ready to face Calamity Ganon, you'll be a battle-hardened warrior. That being said, it's entirely possible to bring down the dark lord without truly exploring Hyrule.
Whether it's your second playthrough or your first attempt, chances are you missed SOMETHING. Obtaining 100 percent completion in Breath of the Wild is no small task, and there are many hidden secrets and side quests that you probably don't even know about. Thankfully, you have us at The Gamer to point you in the direction of some of the best sidequests and events that you may have missed.
What was your favorite side quest or hidden event? Let us know!
Let's be honest, Link climbs at a snail's pace. Thankfully, you can remedy this issue with the Climbing Gear, which you can obtain from three separate shrines. Each piece will give you a boost to scaling speed and the full set will turn Link into a climbing pro.
The climbing bandana can be found within the Ree Dahee shrine. You'll find this challenge in Necluda, in the gorge west of Dueling Peaks stable. To snag the climbing gear, you'll need to locate the hidden Chaas Qeta shrine. This formidable strength challenge is found on a small island in the middle of the Necluda Sea. The outfit is finished with the addition of climbing boots. The footwear can be grabbed from the hidden Tahno O'ah shrine, which is nestled behind a bombable wall on the eastern slope of Mount Lanayru.
The Barbarian armor set looks amazing. The outfit is comprised of old-world leather, bones, war paint, cord, and a Lynel skull. This is what you would expect a battle hardened warrior of the wild to look like. Finding the three pieces necessary to complete this set can test your patience, but it's well worth it for the added strength output.
There are three labyrinths located throughout Hyrule that you'll need to solve to obtain this set. The mazes are large and can be easily seen on the world map. The helmet is within the Tu Ka'loh shrine to the far northeast. The torso armor can be obtained from the Dila Maag shrine, south of East Gerudo Mesa. Last but not least are the boots, which you'll find at the Qaza Tokki shrine, near the North Tabantha Snowfield.
There is nothing more agonizing than finding an amazing weapon or shield and not being able to hold it due to Breath of the Wild's low starting inventory space. To unlock the ability to increase your inventory, you'll need to locate a large Korok named Hestu. You'll first encounter this musical maple on your way to Kariko Village. After passing the Dueling Peaks, follow the road across the bridge and along the edge of the Pillars of Levia. Hestu will be standing off the path, frantic about the loss of his beloved maracas.
After bashing in some baddies and retrieving Hestu's instruments, you'll be able to trade Korok seeds for inventory upgrades. The more specific slots you receive (weapon, bow, shield) the more costly subsequent upgrades will be. It's also important to note that after two upgrades, Hestu will move to a different location. If you can manage to upgrade your inventory five times, he will travel back to The Lost Woods and remain there.
The "Sword That Seals the Darkness" has been a mainstay within The Legend of Zelda franchise, aiding Link in his neverending battle against Ganon and those who would seek to destroy Hyrule. It feels odd to have to place "obtain the Master Sword" under applicable side quests. It's here because it's entirely possible to beat the main storyline without ever obtaining this evil smiting weapon.
To obtain this sword of legend, you'll need to travel deep within The Lost Woods and find the Great Deku Tree. Like in previous Zelda games, The Lost Woods are punishing to anyone who veers from a particular path. Once you overcome the maze-like forest, you'll be reunited with Link's beloved blade. There is one catch though, in order to wield the Master Sword you'll need to prove you're ready. This requires obtaining 13 total red hearts (yellow hearts won't count).
What good is the strength of a Master Sword, without a Hylian Shield for protection? This Legend of Zelda staple is easily the best shield within Breath of the Wild, boasting an insane durability and a high protection rating (90). It's also "everlasting." If it does manage to break (from all the rocky shield surfing you'll definitely be doing) it can be purchased again from a special vendor (in Tarrey Town, which is also featured on this list).
The Hylian Shield isn't nearly as straightforward as the Master Sword. You won't find this special item resting on a pedestal in the middle of the forest. Instead, you'll need to travel deep into the bowels of Hyrule Castle. Many see this location as the finality against Calamity Ganon, but Hyrule Castle actually holds many secrets (and powerful items). The Hylian Shield is located in the prison section of the castle and it's guarded by a powerful Stalnox (Stalfos Hinox).
We're so used to seeing Link portrayed as a child, or as a young adult. Most games within the series feature him waking up in his room or under the protection of a legal guardian. With all his adventuring and epic questing, it's hard to imagine the Hylian hero ever owning his own land.
Breath of the Wild changes that perception and, although many still view link as a youngin, he's allowed to purchase his first property. To being this quest, you'll need to find Bolson, who's tearing down a house near the Myahm Agana shrine in Hateno Village. After some pestering, Bolson will agree to sell you the house for the low price of 3,000 rupees and 30 bundles of wood.
After purchasing the homestead, Link can acquire different upgrades, including decorations, a bed, and various plaques to hang and store weapons.
Not all quests within Breath of the Wild have to do with obtaining powerful gear or extravagant items. There are some side quests that have you doing nominal tasks for small rewards. Take, for example, most of the quests in Kariko Village. Here, you'll do things like corral chickens, catch fireflies, or cook a tasty stew. The completion of each quest will reward you with a small stash of rupees or a common item.
The real reward of Kariko Village comes from the completion of these little side quests. After helping some denizens, you'll unlock access to a quest with a much more useful reward. The Stolen Heirloom side mission will allow you to uncover the hidden shrine that's east of town.
The quest itself is pretty straight forward, but the story behind it is actually pretty interesting. A lot of Breath of the Wild has you running, climbing, hacking, and slashing. This story-driven sidequest is a refreshing change of pace.
Let's keep with the subject of towns that desperately need Link's help. Gerudo Village has a slew of sidequests that have the Hylian hero performing all sorts of unique tasks. One quest has you collecting the guts of a mighty Molduga, while another (it's a shrine quest too) has you toting a valuable ice block from deep within the desert to make a famous Gerudan drink. You'll even cosplay as the police, by stopping a litterbug from tossing her trash around town.
Like in Kariko Village, you'll be rewarded for helping all the needy desert-dwelling NPCs. This time, however, the reward is much more substantial. Completing these mundane tasks will allow you to "borrow" the great Thunder Helm from Riju. This handy headwear makes you lightning proof, which comes in handy when you're drudging through a thunderstorm or fighting those ever annoying Electric Lizalfos.
If you're rupee obsessed like us, then you've already come to understand the importance of gemstones. They're a great source of income, but gemstones have another unique use. If you've ever scanned over these rocks within your inventory, you've probably noticed that they possess different elemental types. That's because certain gemstones can be used to produce and upgrade accessories with elemental resistances. To gain access to the shop that sells these items, you'll need to complete a rather simple quest (Tools of the Trade) in Gerudo Village.
In the "shopping district" of town, near the stalls, you'll find a woman named Isha that is in desperate need of flint. You can find this resource by mining ore deposits all around Hyrule. Once you hand over 10 flint, she'll be able to open her specialized jewelry shop, giving you access to helpful (and fashionable) headgear.
Link is a man of few words, but many sounds. He's also a hopeless romantic, as evident by the sidequest, "Special Delivery." This random mission has you escorting a love letter down a rapid-filled river, waiting for it to fatefully arrive at its recipient. The quest is noble, but the premise is a little creepy. For one, the love letter is being sent by a rather small Zora. It's received by an adult (perhaps Link's age) traveling merchant.
The scene in which the two meet will have you screaming for Chris Hansen, but some people point out that many Zora are actually hundreds of years old. Still, that doesn't make it any easier to see, but we digress.
The quest itself is pretty straightforward, but it can be a bit annoying to complete. You'll find the quest-giver (Finely) at the Bank of Wishes, near Zora's Domain. This quest can only be started after the Divine Beast Vah Ruta has been calmed.
If you've ever wanted to cosplay as a Zora, this is the sidequest for you. The armor itself is something straight from the darkest corners of 50 Shades of Grey, while the headpiece looks like something from a Three Stooges episode.
This armor has the unique set bonus of making you impervious to lightning, which is fantastic, except for the fact that the Thunder Helm can do the same thing while occupying only the headgear slot. That makes the Rubber Suit a bit of a waste unless you're a diehard fashionista.
The fish head is rewarded for completing the Thunder Magnet side quest, given to you by Cima at Lakeside Stable in Faron. The suit comes from the Thunder Trial, located Northwest of Ludfo's Bog. Last, are the boots, which you can snag by completing the "A Song of Storms" side mission, given to you by Kass, south of Calora Lake.
If you've been down to Gerudo Town, you've probably noticed how annoyingly slow Link moves in sand. It's not his fault, he just doesn't have the proper footwear for such arid conditions. If you want to pick up the pace, you'll need some Sand Boots. Thankfully, there's a nearby quest-giver with a shiny pair that you to borrow.
Bozai can be found running laps around the perimeter of Gerudo Village. Talking to him (you'll have to be fake lady Link, he's a bit of a romantic) will begin the Eighth Heroine side quest. You'll be tasked with locating and photographing a fabled statue. The statue itself sits high on a Gerudan peak, surrounded by piles of deep snow. Bozai is nice enough to let you borrow his Snow Boots, which will allow you to tread through any powder with ease.
As soon as you leave The Great Plateau, the world of Hyrule is at your fingertips. You have a quest to complete, but you're free to explore every inch of the land if you please. Those of you who opted to sightsee may have witnessed massive dragons spiraling through the sky. These gargantuan beasts may seem like world decoration, but they actually serve some pretty important purposes.
Once Link gets close enough to a dragon, the music will change and updrafts will appear all over. This will give you the opportunity to engage one of these flying titans with near-unlimited stamina. The key is to get close enough to land a few arrows. If successful, you'll notice a small glowing piece fall to the ground. Dragon parts can be used to upgrade certain armors, increase elixir durations, and are even required to open some shrines.
Not all gossip is a bad thing, as you'll learn from a peculiar quest within Gerudo Town. Hidden down a back alley way is an inconspicuous door which requires a password to bypass. The doorwoman will quiz you on the sequence of letters (and one shape) before letting you in. In order to find out this password, you'll need to "overhear" some town gossip. There's no better place for ranting and raving than a bar.
Once you have the password, you'll gain entry to the "secret shop" behind the door. The shopkeeper here sells a unique set of armor, known as The Radiant Set. You'll need to bring her some Luminous Stones (and pay a handling fee of course) but it's well worth it. The Radiant Set looks pretty amazing. It even has the added bonus of increasing your attack power with bone weapons, while simultaneously attracting skeletal enemies.
Horse riding is a big part of Breath of the Wild. In fact, there are many different types of horses that you can corral and board at local stables. Certain horses have certain temperaments, and some have more stamina than others. It's rather exhilarating when you find that perfect steed. On the flip side, it's downright depressing when your equine friend meets a sudden and unfortunate demise.
Unbeknownst to many, there is a way to bring back a lost horse from the grips of the underworld. You'll need to locate the Great Horse Fairy, Malanya. She can be found resting within the Lake of the Horse God (expertly hidden), in the Lake Tower Region of the world map. She'll be happy to bring back any horse you happen to lose, but you'll need to fork over 1,000 rupees to obtain her services.
At times, you'll notice your inventory is overflowing with monster parts. Horns, claws, teeth, and sometimes even guts, can quickly pile up if you find yourself raiding camps and defeating mini-bosses. You've most likely made a few elixirs or even sold some parts during times of financial struggle, but one unique side quest will offer you much more for your hoarded trophies.
You'll want to travel to a skull-shaped island near Deep Akkala, in the northernmost part of the world map. There, at night, you'll find a mysterious merchant named Kilton. This will gain you access to the Fang and Bone shop, and allow you to trade your monster parts for a special currency. Kilton offers the visually stunning Dark Link armor, as well as some other useful monster-tricking items.
When you arrive in Kariko Village, you'll have a sit-down with Impa. The wise old ally will tell you about unlocking your memories and suggests that you go to some familiar places within the world. It's listed as a main questline, but you can actually beat the game without collecting the necessary memory points. Unfortunately, that will only reward you with the basic ending.
In order to obtain the true ending, you'll need to collect the master sword, free the divine beasts, and unlock all 18 of Link's memories. These locations are like one big treasure hunt, where you only have one still photo as your map. Each memory features a cutscene that will give you a little more background on what Link was up to before falling into his century long slumber.
Armor-equipping in Breath of the Wild takes some getting used to. We're accustomed to seeing Link in one outfit (with some color variants), so it's strange to see him changing armor types and designs on the fly. Through your travels, you'll find elaborate costumes, heavy plated armors, and even monster masks, but you may find yourself craving that original Legend of Zelda ensemble.
If you have all the Legend of Zelda Link Amiibo, you can try on any classic outfit your heart desires. For those of us that don't have access to these small statues, there is one hidden in-game alternative. The 'Of the Wild" outfit can be obtained by completing all 120 shrines found throughout Hyrule. It's an arduous task indeed, but the armor is actually quite powerful when upgraded.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is nothing short of challenging. It's easily one of the hardest titles within the franchise and it can be downright punishing to an under-geared player. Some enemies will rip you to shreds, while hazardous conditions can wear you down. As you progress through the game, you'll find yourself growing and adapting. By the end of the journey, you're a battle-hardened hero.
But there is one shrine challenge in Breath of the Wild that will truly test your mettle. Eventide Island, located far southeast on the map, will strip Link of all of his weapons and armor, forcing you to scavenge a small area for items and protection. You'll need to complete three tasks (including killing a Hinox mini-boss) and dying will force you to start from the beginning.
This is it, the one side quest you NEED to do. This is arguably the best, and most worthwhile quest in the entire Breath of the Wild experience. It's quests like these that made the original 3D Zelda releases such a fun and engaging journey. You'll find yourself traveling the world, engaging with NPC, and directly influencing a beautiful story of togetherness.
To receive the sidequest, "From The Ground Up," you'll need to own the home in Hateno Village. With nothing left to build, Bolson will send one of his crewmen, Hudson, on a surveying mission to the Akkala region. You'll find Hudson again near Lake Akkala, and after finishing the quest, you'll have created a new shopping area called Tarrey Town. Here you can purchase low-priced goods, a special armor set, and buyback rare items like the Hylian Shield.