The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been praised for giving the player near-total autonomy. After finishing the Great Plateau, players are basically free to explore any nook or cranny of Hyrule they desire. As a result, it’s not uncommon for players to leave the Great Plateau thinking, ‘OK, what now?”
The “optimal route” of Breath of the Wild has been theorized by many Zelda fans since the game’s release. This debate boils down to the order in which to hunt down Divine Beasts, as some of them give Link powerful abilities. As it turns out, players should get some of these abilities sooner rather than later (and one of them isn’t really as good as the others).
Start In the Faro Woods
After clearing the Great Plateau, players can begin seeking the Divine Beasts. However, it’s best to ignore this mission for a while and simply explore the world. At this point in the game, Link is incredibly weak, with only three hearts and a small stamina bar.
Fortunately, there is one area close to the Great Plateau that’s perfect for grinding: the Faron Woods. This area has loads of shrines that players can clear to get their heart count and stamina bar up. It could almost be seen as a training ground to prepare Link for the trials ahead. Another reason it’s good to stop at Faron first is that it’s home to some of the best food in the game. In particular, players can find Mighty Bananas here, which boost Attack. Hearty Durians and Hearty Radishes, which both replenish health and give extra hearts, can also be farmed here. Players will definitely want to cook them often and stock up before any boss battle or tough area.
After the player visits Kakariko Village and goes through Faron, the first Divine Beast they should actually confront is Vah Rudania, near Death Mountain. This may seem counterproductive, because Link gets burned whenever he walks by Death Mountain. However, the pros far outweigh the cons.
One reason to visit Death Mountain early on is the countless rare gems to collect (Sapphires, Diamonds, etc.). If players can start collecting these early, they could end up with a large pool of money. More money makes it easier to buy the Goron-made fireproof armor, as well as arrows, other items and even a house during the Tarrey Town side quest. The other nice thing about clearing Death Mountain first is that the boss, Fireblight Ganon, isn’t really that difficult. Defeating Fireblight Ganon grants players access to a shield that can really come in handy throughout the remainder of the game.
Once Death Mountain is taken care of, head all the way across Hyrule to Rito Village. Clearing shrines along the way will provide valuable weapons that can be used in more difficult battles. Defeating Windblight Ganon on top of Vah Medoh triggers one of the best abilities in the game: Revali’s Gale. This is essentially a boost of wind that propels players up, allowing them to climb to higher places, really opening up the map.
The Gerudo Desert is hidden behind the Gerudo Highlands, so it’s a good idea to grab Revali’s Gale before heading here. Players will find some really tough beasts to slay in the desert, most notably the Moldugas and Thunderblight Ganon inside Vah Naboris.
Thunderblight Ganon might arguably be the toughest boss in all of Breath of the Wild. Players shouldn’t feel bad if they need to get more hearts or a stronger weapon before attempting this fight. It might also be a good idea to grab the Master Sword from the Lost Woods before facing Thunderblight Ganon. All the work will be worth it, since Urbosa’s Fury is a phenomenal offensive ability. It deals tons of damage in a really short amount of time. Link can eliminate a Hinox in seconds with Urbosa’s Fury, and Lynels will go down much quicker as well.
Although many players head to this area first, there really is little reason to rush to Vah Ruta in the Lanaryu Province. When the player defeats Waterblight Ganon here, they receive Mipha’s Grace, which revives the player with extra hearts. While that does sound nice, Link can already do this through cooking. Especially on Master Mode, players should be cooking Hearty Durians and Hearty Truffles to give them extra hearts anyway. As long as Link has access to a couple of fairies, he will be revived from a fatal blow as well.
After clearing all the Divine Beasts, most players will be prepared to head to Hyrule Castle and slay Ganon. It’s best to go in with cooked loads of Hearty Durians and Mighty Bananas. High-powered weapons are fine, but the Master Sword is really all the player needs here. With the right food and enough shrines completed, players should have the tools they need to complete this game, which can be surprisingly difficult at times.
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