Have you had a chance to check out The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom on Nintendo Switch? Six years after 2017’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the newest entry in the mainline Zelda franchise has arrived.

Whether you played Breath of the Wild or not, Tears of the Kingdom presents serious challenges for the Hero of Time. Here are tips and tricks to help you on your heroic journey in Tears of the Kingdom.

Read, Read, Read. Read Everything!

Link reads Zelda's diary.

Like in real life, reading everything in Tears of the Kingdom can give you invaluable perspective. First and foremost, this means talking to every character you encounter and reading what they have to say. Character dialogue is filled with hints to help you accomplish your gaming goals better.

RELATED: GGA’s Most Anticipated Video Games Dropping in 2023

However, it’s also important to read everything else possible. This includes signs posted on the side of the road and the papers and books you find open inside homes. In addition to providing insight for your next move, this text offers incredible texture for the game.

You Don’t Win Friends With Salad

Link befriends a dog in a sheep pasture.

You may notice a dog nearby when you visit certain towns and horse stables. As noted by social media early on, it is sadly impossible for Link to pet this dog. 

However, interaction with the canine is possible, and it is mutually beneficial. By winning the dog’s favor via treats, you’ll earn the right to follow them to a treasure chest concealed nearby. To win the dog over, you just have to drop a few pieces of meat (try four). Sometimes the prize inside the chest is a little underwhelming, but at least you fed a dog.

Magic Scepter Attachment

Link weilding the Ruby Scepter on the weapon selection screen.

Players will eventually find a weapon called a “Magic Scepter.” While the attack power of this weapon is not very high, it can be greatly enhanced by attaching certain materials.

RELATED: Take Another Cross-Country Road Trip Inspired by Video Games

One example is the various precious stones you’ll find during your quest. Resist the urge to sell these stones to merchants. Each stone is associated with a different elemental power, and attaching them to the magic rod allows you to access this power. For example, because rubies are associated with the fire element, attaching a ruby to a magic rod gives you a weapon that shoots fireballs.

Eye, Arrow

Link talks to a young arrow enthusiast.

Speaking of Link’s new attachment ability, it isn’t just melee weapons that benefit from combination with other collected material. Many different items can be combined with arrows before they are shot from your bow. Fortunately, time will stop as you select the material to be attached to the arrow.

One material can prove especially helpful when attached to an arrow: a Keese eye or eye from another flying enemy. When these eyes are connected to an arrow, the arrow will automatically hone in on the target towards which you fired it.

Horses Love Me

Link rides a horse.

As you might expect for a maverick like Link, horses can prove to be a great ally in Tears of the Kingdom. First, be aware that if you tamed a horse in Breath of the Wild, that horse’s save data would be transferred to Tears of the Kingdom. This means you can continue your journey with your equine friend by picking them up from a stable.

RELATED: GGA’s Most Inspiring Female Video Game Characters

Whether you are importing a horse or not, horseback riding can prove invaluable in the vast realm of Hyrule. Once you have a tamed horse, traversing the overworld becomes much more manageable. Be sure and note that a well-tamed horse does not necessarily need directional guidance to follow paths. Instead, you can spend your concentration aiming your bows (or just sit back and enjoy the view).

Cooking Is Fundamental

Link reads about cooking materials.

As Breath of the Wild players will already realize, cooking is a fundamental element of this era of The Legend of Zelda. Like in the previous game, cooking pots are spread throughout Tears of the Kingdom. You will want to take full advantage of these utilities throughout your time in Hyrule.

One important thing to remember: while recipes are great, throwing food elements in a fire can render them more effective than eating them raw. In addition to making meals, you’ll also want to combine monster remains with captured critters to create incredibly effective elixirs. Don’t be squeamish; just drop them in!

Recipe for Success

Link looks at a cheesy recipe.

However, it is helpful to learn cooking recipes to maximize your meals’ efficacy. Some recipes will be obvious, like combining the common ingredients of meat and mushrooms to make skewers. The good news is that recipes like this are easy to make and can offer significant recovery during battle.

RELATED: Here Are 8 Time Loops That Don’t Result in Paradoxes

But when it comes to cooking, the best bang for your buck will come from making unique recipes. You can learn these from talking to characters, but they also appear on posters in food-related locations. If you’re in a shop that sells a specialty food ingredient, odds are there is a recipe on the wall for a dish involving that ingredient. Take notes and cook accordingly. 

Fashion for Success

Froggy Armor.

The special effects you can unlock by eating certain meals or elixirs can prove essential in Tears of the Kingdom. However, consumables can only offer you so many effects at one time.

Fortunately, there’s another way of unlocking abilities like temperature resistance or better defense: clothes! The clever adventurer will therefore strategically combine edible power-ups with the effects of fashion items to ensure they have every advantage in their next battle.

RELATED: F2P Friday: Shiner

Tears of the Kingdom

Finally, if you’ve got any Amiibo, scan them into the game. Each Amiibo can be used to receive raw ingredients each day. Better still, Amiibo from the Zelda franchise can even unlock special clothing items and glider fabrics.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is available now.

This article was originally published on 5/26/23.

June’s Most Anticipated Video Games

Avery Kaplan