Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom Exploration Tips

Exploration in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom requires a lot of knowledge about the game's system which these handy tips will provide..

Exploration is key in all open world games and the same is true for Zelda TotK. There are quite a lot of things that you can buy with in-game money but there are several cooler things to be found out there through exploration in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom. Not everyone wants to be constantly fighting so players typically tend to relax and explore areas of the game between missions.

To improve your journey across the vast landscape of Hyrule, we have crafted some important exploration tips to keep in mind as you explore the world of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom.

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Exploration tips

Each region of Hyrule in Zelda TotK requires players to change up their tactics in one way or another. Without a solid grasp of all the gameplay systems and how they interact with the open world exploration in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom, you will have a hard time surviving the weather conditions or dangerous areas.

Increase Elemental Resistance for different regions

Zelda ToTK contains mainly three elements that can cause you harm. These are cold, heat and lightning. Thankfully, the game contains several ways to battle these elements. One of them is through armor sets.

An armor set basically consists of three pieces. All of these pieces can be found to complete the set and get its perks. There are many sets that offer protection from these elements.

The Desert Voe armor set offers Heat resistance and Shock resistance. The Snowquill armor set provides Cold Resistance. The Flamebreaker armor set gives you the power to withstand lava as it is completely fireproof. The Depths armor set enables you to withstand Gloom.


Another way of combating elemental effects is through meals. Cooking is a major part of Zelda TotK. You can cook various meals that can give you powers. Some of the meals also offer resistance to these elements.

Perform cool looking dives into chasms

Don’t know how to dive? No worries, you’re not alone. Diving is a complex mechanism of Zelda TotK and can be either really difficult to understand or may take you very long to finally get its grip. Diving can save your air time and get you to a surface rather quickly.

This mechanism has a set of certain parameters that need to be met with, or Link will just perform an awkward jump from wherever you’re trying to get him to dive. Firstly, Link will dive automatically when there is water present underneath him. If you’re on the edge of a cliff or on a bridge and there’s water underneath, just jumping will do the trick and Link will perform a dive.

If you’re in the sky region, jumping off of a ledge will allow for a short dive and then Link will assume a sky-dive position. You can still continue your dive by pressing the R button on your Nintendo Switch. If you’re jumping off a ledge and there is land underneath, Link will just perform an awkward jump which will cause fall damage if the glider is not opened timely.

Shield Surf to quickly travel downhill

Believe it or not but you can actually use your shield as a surfboard in this game if you can find a smooth and downhill slope. This feature was introduced Zelda BotW which has been moved to Zelda ToTK as well.

The basics are the same as in Zelda BotW. Start walking forward. Press the Focus (Z-Left) button. Press the Jump (X) button and while in mid-air, press the Action (A) button.

Shield surfing can be done on all kinds of platforms e.g dirt, snow, grass even minecart rails. This is a for sure faster and more fun way for traveling around Hyrule. But as with everything, consequences also have their grip on this fun feature. Your shield degrades and loses its strength depending on the kind of terrain you’re surfing on.

The only two terrains which do not degrade your shield are dirt and snow. Every other terrain will cause damage to your shield. Fusion of materials also plays a part in this feature. If you fuse a minecart to shield, you have a plain and simple skateboard. It will increase your movement speed and give you better control. Fusing a Zonai spring can allow you to have a trampoline on the go.

Break open every cracked wall you see

Cracked Rocks are a common sight in Zelda ToTK. It would be more appropriate to call them walls as they contain some sort of hidden passageway behind them. You are welcome to attack them in any way you like. But it is highly unlikely your weapons will hold up against the toughness.

The easiest thing you can do is to fuse a rock or boulder with any weapon, creating a rock or boulder hammer. They will be quite sturdy and inexpensive. Or you can turn to the professional way of doing this by using the Boulder Breaker.

Create minecarts to travel on rail tracks

Minecarts can be found anywhere you can find their rails. They are special transport vehicles that can be used to transport anything through hard and difficult terrain. Ideally, you should be operating these on their specified rails. But with the help of a control stick, you can change things up a bit and use it according to your own liking (on whatever terrain you prefer).

Operating these vehicles is rather easy. All you need is a Zonai Fan and a Zonai charge to operate the fan. Attach the fan to the backside of the cart. The more fans you attach, the faster the cart will move but your Zonai charge will also be rapidly depleted.

After attaching the fan, get in the cart and whack the fan to start it. The cart will start to move under the influence of the fan.

Chop down trees to create new things

Chopping down trees in this game is an easy practice. All you need to do is go to a tree and attack it with an axe of some sort or any sword. The best weapon to use here is the Stone axe which is cheap and inexpensive.

A stone axe can be formed by fusing a stone to any regular axe. The fallen trees can be used for making wooden platforms. They can also be stored in your inventory. For example. 3 wooden logs can be attached together to make a raft.

Fast Travelling in Zelda ToTK

Fast traveling in this game quite literally means transporting from one part of the map to another. But you cannot just fast-travel to any location on the map. You first need to unlock checkpoints on the map. As Hyrule has 3 regions, each region has different checkpoints. In the sky region, you have shrines for fast travel. On the surface, shrines and skyview towers are present as checkpoints.

In the Depths, however, it is a completely different ball game. There are special structures called lightroots that light up the surrounding area. These lightroots serve as fast travel points in the Depths of Hyrule.

Be mindful of different weather conditions

Weather in Zelda TotK also plays a vital role in your survival. For example, if it is raining, you cannot light a fire in the open. The slopes become slippery and it is harder for enemies to detect you. If it’s a thunderstorm and you make the mistake of using metal weapons out in the open, there is a good chance you will get struck by lightning. 

Weather changes every 3 hours according to in-game time. If you do not wish to explore during your unfavorable conditions, you can wait until the weather changes. There is no hack or something else that will work. However, you can always sit by a bonfire or stay at an inn to fast forward in-game time.

Tame wild horses to quickly travel around

Taming a wild horse is not so hard for the veterans of Zelda franchise. All you need to do is just find their group. Sneak up on them or go towards them gently otherwise, you will just spook the horse. Once it is spooked, it will be harder for you to tame it as it will just run away continuously.

Approach the horse with fruit in your hand and gently follow it around until it accepts the treat from your hand. It will be tamed. Or you can try the soothing technique. Mount the horse in any way you can and match the L-button on your controller to soothe the horse.

One more important thing is to always register your horse at a nearby stable. Otherwise, if you decide to fast travel or go anywhere distant, you will lose the horse.

Protect yourself in thunderstorms

Thunderstorms are known to be notorious in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom and can seriously hamper your exploration. First of all, remove any metal-based equipment you have either in your hand or on your body. Having metal on you during a thunderstorm is an invitation to lightning.

Secondly, take shelter inside because despite not using any metal, you can still get randomly struck by lightning. Pass the in-game time to pass the storm.

But if you find yourself stuck in open fields with no shelter and surrounded by enemies, just throw any metal object towards your enemies and become the god of thunder. Lightning will rain down on your enemies causing significant damage.

How to Pass In-Game time

In-game can be passed through a few methods. You can either choose to sit nearby a bonfire. Sitting by a bonfire will allow you to choose the timings of the day e.g dawn, morning, noon, dusk etc. You can also choose to stay at an inn. However, the stay at any inn isn’t free and will cost you game money.

Know how to climb efficiently

Climbing is a major part of your exploration. Climbing efficiently requires a few things. You can try the Sticky Elixir which enhances your climbing ability by reducing the slippiness of a surface. Or you can try wearing the Climber’s Armor set. This set allows you to increase your climbing speed and increase friction.

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Ali is a passionate RPG gamer. He believes that western RPGs still have a lot to learn from JRPGs. He is editor-in-chief at SegmentNext.com but that doesn't stop him from writing about his favorite video ...