The Legend of Zelda.
The name alone conjures up feelings of adventure, mystery, and intrigue, but also the memories of such adventures and mysteries from those who have been lucky enough to play through any number of the entries in the series.
Being one of Nintendo’s most popular and iconic franchises, there are fans far and wide, and young and old, who enjoy the many games that fall under the shadow cast by the title.
With so many veteran players, you’d think that everyone would know everything about every last game in the franchise, but you’d be wrong. In fact, there are quite a few things that seemingly seasoned gamers actively do (or think) wrong within each game, and we’re hoping to tackle some of these issues today.
In our list of 25 Things Most Legend of Zelda Players Don’t Realize They’re Doing Wrong, we’re counting down a number of issues that plague the sizable fanbase of the series. We’re also not limiting the discussion to a single game, opting instead to deal with as many as we can!
Some of this information regards general gameplay tips and tricks, including unconventional methods for dealing with bosses. Other entries on this list are a little more contentious, dealing specifically with behaviors and beliefs that are passionately held, but with little reasoning behind them.
With the controversial stances, we’re going to be taking on quite a few hotbed issues, we’ve already put on our flame-resistant gear and cooked up a nice Flameproof Elixir in preparation.
With our shields now raised, we’re ready to start!
25 Hoarding Weapons In BOTW
One of the chief complaints against Breath of the Wild was ire regarding the fragility of every weapon in the game. Even the hardiest of the bunch would shatter during prolonged combat, and this caused a good chunk of players to hoard their arsenals.
This is unfortunate because the game’s difficulty hinges on you taking risks in order to gain greater rewards.
Saving up all your swords and spears only prevents you from seeking out greater equipment or looting more powerful enemies, so you’re only hindering yourself.
24 Spending Money In Shops
If you’ve ever dropped rupees for items in any shop in almost any Zelda game, you’re pretty much doing it wrong.
Just about everything you ever need is in some pots or in the grass, so why waste money on hearts, bombs, arrows, Deku Nuts, or others when you can just find troves of them all over?
Heck, even in Link’s Awakening, the game more-or-less encourages you to steal an expensive item from the shop instead of buying it. Yeah, you’ll be labeled as a thief the rest of the game, but still.
23 Not Using Din's Fire On Dark Link
The Water Temple is often labeled as one of the most frustrating and difficult sections in Ocarina of Time, but it’s also something of a favorite thanks to the mini-boss encounter with Dark Link.
This epic duel is a mano-a-mano affair that will truly test your skills with its controller-breaking challenge… unless you just spam Din’s Fire until Dark Link is vanquished.
That’s right, instead of having an honorable sword duel, you should just be burning your opponent into oblivion.
22 Tearing Through The Story First
Zelda games are known for their engaging stories, whether they’re intimate tales or large-scale odysseys.
Regardless of the type of story you’re playing, tearing through it first and foremost isn’t the best idea.
In Majora’s Mask, you could tackle the major plot dilemma directly, but you’d be missing out on just about everything that makes the game great.
The same can be said for Breath of the Wild: while following the objectives on your map seems enticing, the real joy comes from finding your own path and discoveries.
21 Cooking Elaborate Dishes
Breath of the Wild introduced an addictive and fun cooking system, which encouraged major experimentation with ingredients. Using all kinds of materials that you pick up on your journey, you can craft all sorts of potions, elixirs and elaborate meals.
Here’s the thing, though: you really don’t have to go all out for the cooking.
Rather than trying to find the perfect recipe, you can just cheese the system with little creativity.
Need warmth? Five spicy peppers will do. Need a heart boost? Just about anything with a hearty durian will suffice. Less is more.
20 Fighting Kalle Demos Traditionally
Within the Forbidden Woods of The Wind Waker, players must challenge the sinister plant known as Kalle Demos, who has gobbled up Makar.
Normally, this is a drawn-out fight that requires throwing your boomerang to cut vines and then slashing the weak point of the beast with your sword.
That’s fine, but you could just destroy the boss with a single drop of Forest Water.
If you’ve got any on you, just pour it on the monster’s weak point and poof, you win.
19 Seeking Out The Triforce
Most of you probably know about it already, but it’s worth repeating for the poor souls that don’t.
Back when Ocarina of Time was on the horizon, a trailer and some screenshots showed what appeared to be an obtainable Triforce.
In the finished game, however, there was no Triforce to be found.
Sometime later, a person claimed to have found it and provided “proof,” along with a bogus method.
No real technique exists, though, so if you still believe that the Triforce can be found by jumping into the direct center of the lava under Ganon’s Castle, please stop.
18 Waiting For The Rain To Stop In BOTW
Rain is a major hindrance for players who are hoping to do some extensive climbing in Breath of the Wild.
When it rains, just about every surface becomes immensely slippery, so you may as well just give up any hope of climbing.
Don't waste your time waiting for the rain to end, start up a fire and rest for a few hours.
It takes seconds to sit by the fire and transition to the next set of hours, which is far speedier than taking an unwanted detour.
17 Not Using Ice Arrows On Bongo Bongo
The Ice Arrows in Ocarina of Time are the reward for completing the excellent, puzzle-heavy Gerudo Training Grounds, but they don’t seem to have too much utility in the main game.
Well, except for a certain boss battle against a phantom with a penchant for drumming.
Against Bongo Bongo, you can actually freeze his hands, triggering a unique animation, but also leaving him open to a series of easy potshots.
Using this technique, you’ll have no trouble defeating this foul phantom, and you’ll actually get to use the Ice Arrows for something other than pointless fun.
16 Undoing Bubble Curses
One of the worst things in any Zelda game is when you’re hit with a curse that makes Link incapable of using his sword. This problem is even worse in the incredibly difficult original Legend of Zelda, where the loss of your primary weapon could result in your immediate demise.
Instead of running for your life and trying to wait the curse out, there’s a quick and easy trick that’ll undue its fiendish effects immediately, letting you jump right back into combat.
Simply play the recorder and you’re good to go!
It's as simple as that.
15 Trying To Beat The Running Man
In Ocarina of Time, one of the colorful cast of characters is a gentleman that’s most enthused with the prospect of endlessly running around. He loves it so much that he actually challenges Link to a race to somewhere across Hyrule.
Here’s the thing, though: no matter what method you use, he can’t be beaten.
Even if one of your friends said they did it long ago, disregard them. It’s literally impossible to outrun the running man, so don’t even bother trying to do it.
14 Not Mastering Parrying In BOTW
Breath of the Wild accommodates all kinds of play styles and successfully incorporates multiple strategies for dealing with every kind of combat situation.
One of the best-enhanced features in the combat system is the ability to parry incoming attacks with your shield.
That said, most players prefer the faster, less precise dodge mechanics that trigger flurry rushes, but parrying is the most important.
If you master the skills necessary to parry, you’ll be destroying Guardians minutes into the game with a pot lid. Maybe even Ganon himself.
13 Taking The Timeline Too Seriously
After years upon years of speculation, readers were graced with the release of the official Zelda timeline within the massive Hyrule Historia.
The placement of certain games on the fractured timeline sparked intense debates, and if you partake in them, you’re doing it wrong.
Nintendo has never been about “story first” in anything they’ve ever done. It’s always been gameplay and design first, the timeline is more like a rough guideline that they themselves don’t pay much attention to, so you shouldn’t either.
12 Confronting Maz Koshia And The Yiga Clan Without Bananas
Whether you’re sneaking around the Yiga Clan’s hideout or facing off against the best in Breath of the Wild, whatever strategies you’re using probably aren’t as good as dropping a bunch of mighty bananas.
Dropping these treats near any patrolling Yiga guardsmen will immediately trigger their baser instincts as they become distracted and prance towards the fruit, leaving you free to pass.
Interestingly, this same trick works on Maz Koshia, too, albeit once.
Does this mean that he’s a secret Yiga Clan founder or something? We don’t know, but we won’t question it.
11 Not Screaming At Pols Voice
Do you remember those weird, hopping rabbit, ghost things in the original Legend of Zelda? The ones that were seemingly immortal and would wreck you on contact?
They are Pols Voice, and while you can destroy them with a single arrow, the real method of eliminating them is far different and far weirder.
On the Famicom version of the game, you were supposed to scream into your controller (which had a microphone) and that would be the correct method to seal their fate.
10 Not Using Bottles For Fairies
In Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, and Twilight Princess, if you use your bottles for anything other than hoarding fairies, you’re doing things exceptionally wrong.
Potions have almost no use in Ocarina or Twilight Princess due to the how painfully low the overall difficulty of those games are, and while it might be more appealing to get some sweet milk from the Milk Bar in Majora’s Mask, you’re still better off with a fairy.... just in case.
That said, Grandma’s Soup in Wind Waker and the mixed potions in Skyward Sword are your best bet in those games.
9 Not Saving The Game Correctly
The original Legend of Zelda is a difficult and mystifying experience, but it’s also incredibly satisfying to conquer.
It’s a lengthy experience, and it’s only made lengthier by the amount of time you might be wandering around trying to burn down every bush and bomb every wall, so you’ll be saving a lot.
Unfortunately, you need to be defeated in order to reach the save screen… or do you?
Nope! Simply press Start on controller 1, and then press Up and A at the same time on Controller 2, and you’ll be able to save whenever you wish!
8 Fighting Ganondorf With A Sword
The showdown between Link and Ganondorf in Twilight Princess is one of the standout water cooler moments in the entire franchise. This one on one sword duel is the epitome of epic, and it will stick in your memories long after you’ve beaten the game.
But why waste your time using your sword against Ganondorf? That’s the exact opposite of what you should be doing.
Indeed, you should be wielding your legendary fishing rod.
Pulling out the fishing pole distracts Ganondorf, and you’re able to land free hits on him.
It’s embarrassing and cheap, but it works.
7 Abusing Fast Travel
Breath of the Wild’s gorgeous open-world is designed exquisitely.
You’re bound to find something of interest in almost every nook and cranny, which nurtures a sense of discovery and exploration that’s so critical to the experience.
That said, if you use your Fast Travel abilities rather than opting to walk, ride a horse or the Master Cycle Zero, you’re missing out on some of the best aspects of the game.
Yes, Fast Travel becomes a necessity by the end, but if you use it too much beforehand, you’ll pass over the true beauty of the experience.
6 Beating Majora's Mask Without Every Mask
In Majora's Mask, you're tasked with reliving the same three days over and over again in a bid to stop the moon from falling, while harnessing the power of enchanted masks to save the day.
But even if you beat the last boss and the credits roll, you really haven’t beaten the game unless you’ve gotten every last optional mask available to you, of which there are several.
Only then will you have truly experienced the best and most meaningful parts of the game: the wonderful side-characters and their incredible stories.
5 Complaining About "Bad Controls" In Skyward Sword
This is a controversial statement, but it really shouldn’t be: Skyward Sword controls perfectly.
Yes, we said it, and we’d say it again, too.
We can’t believe the number of people who claim that the motion controls are buggy and unreliable... unless they’ve set them up incorrectly. The sensor bar location and the distance between it and your controller make a world of difference, and when it’s done right, SS plays like an immersive dream.
We have a feeling the people who complain about the controls either haven’t set them up right or just don’t like motion controls.
4 Seeking Out The Biggoron Sword
Ocarina Of Time’s only major and lengthy side quest is the one required for obtaining the Biggoron Sword, a weapon that even makes the Master Sword seem like a child’s toy.
This incredibly overpowered weapon might not be worth the trouble it takes to get.
Not only does its damage output break an already easy game, but you can also make Ganon bow to you in mere minutes.
Why bother when you can instead use the Megaton Hammer on the monstrous pig for a more dramatic battle, and attempt to simulate an actual challenge?
3 Raging About Tradition
There was a surprising amount of Zelda fans that felt betrayed by BOTW, and directed their rage against it for “breaking tradition.”
If you’re part of this group, take a seat, because you’re wrong.
If anything, BOTW is the closest we’ve gotten to “tradition” in a long time.
Taking massive cues from the original game, like exploration and secrets in a non-linear open world, BOTW was a genuine return to form.
While there’s nothing wrong with the style of 3D Zeldas made popular by Ocarina, that formula started to get stale and this shake-up was needed.
2 Breaking Pots
Here’s a question for you: have you ever gone into someone’s house, wrecked their stuff in front of them, and then left?
If you did, you’d probably be arrested. So why does no one arrest Link? Why do they only stare and make pleasant conversation while he loots their home?
Would you try to upset a person with nine bombs in his pocket and a sword on his back?
We didn’t think so.
So while it’s not “wrong” by gameplay standards, it’s a moral tragedy.
And to think, they call this kid a HERO!
1 Not Turning Off The HUD in BOTW
Breath of the Wild’s world was lovingly designed and crafted by a devoted team of developers.
In order to properly play Breath of the Wild, you simply need to turn off your HUD.
Doing this will not only immerse you but help you realize just how visually stunning Hyrule is.
Every location is a landmark, you can find your direction with the sun, you can hear how loud you’re being, and you’ll know when you're too hot or cold judging by Link’s reactions.
It’s beautifully and subtly done, and it can’t be appreciated until you abandon the visual aids.