Master Mode is the newest addition to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and it’s looking to deliver the hardest experience that this title has to offer. Acting as a brand new difficulty setting, Master Mode not only upgrades all of the enemies in the world, but introduces more mini-bosses, and limits players to one Auto Save and one Manual Save. This mode will push players to their absolute limits and can make the early hours of Master Mode extremely difficult.
If you want to survive the dangerous lands of Hyrule, here are 10 tips and tricks for Master Mode:
1. Stealth is Your Best Option
With every enemy in Master Mode becoming tougher to kill it’s vital that you don’t just rush into fights. Users will no longer run into red Bokoblins, meaning early on battles can be very difficult given how little offense and defense Link will have. Because of this, learn to sneak around your enemies and engage foes only when you truly feel that you have the advantage. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed early on, so only pick fights if you manage to initiate a sneak attack on a foe. This will typically outright kill or severely damage your target making them easy to quickly put down.
2. Get Majora’s Mask Early On
Players typically will not encounter new gear that’s useful until they reach their first village, but it’s actually really easy to get Majora’s Mask from the start. After you’re allowed to leave the tutorial area, fly to Lake Kolomo and head to the ruins where the chest is buried under the rubble. The enemies around here are super easy to kill and the mask itself makes it harder for enemies to spot you. This is a fantastic perk to have in Master Mode since you will typically want to sneak around your foes’ camp before engaging.
3. Water is Your Best Friend
While some enemies like Lizalfos can swim, others such as Bokoblins will instantly die if they do into deep water. Use this to your advantage and try to knock enemies into the water with heavy weapons like hammers, as this will guarantee you an instant kill. If possible, try to ignite explosive barrels by rivers and lakes, as these typically send enemies flying into the water. Always use the environment to your advantage in Master Mode since it can be easy to run through your weapons in a fight before it’s over.
4. Capture, Don’t Cook Fairies
You will die a lot in Master Mode, but thankfully fairies can bring you back from the dead if you fall in battle. While they can easily increase the healing power of food when cooked, try to avoid doing this as battles will be far harder on this difficulty setting. You can quickly nab four fairies at the first Great Fairy Fountain in Kakariko Village by the Shrine. Others can be found by fountains, on top of mountains, and in more tucked away locations across Hyrule. Stock up on these mystical creatures because they can be a life saver, especially since you can only have one save file at a time.
5. Learn to Land Headshots
Your bow is perhaps one of the best weapons in all of Master Mode as landing a critical blow on an enemy will not only deal a hefty amount of damage, but also stun them. This is great for making space and offering players breathing room during a hectic fight, so learn to land headshots while in melee brawls. Being able to swap to your bow, land a hit, and then switch to a melee weapon is crucial to your survival. Try to also initiate engagements with your bow and use elemental arrows to freeze or stun higher ranking foes.
6. Always Go For Sky Chests
A new addition to Master Mode are floating platforms held up by Octoroks that contain rare and powerful items. These are almost always enchanted shields and weapons, all of which can drastically up your chance of survival in Breath of the Wild. It’s imperative that you’re always on the look out for these floating platforms as they are pretty easy to access. However, because there are usually some enemies either on the platform or around it be prepared for a fight if you want to unlock these items.
One important thing to know is that you can pop the Octoroks, which will cause the platform to become unstable and dump the contents onto the ground below it. If the platform is over the water make sure the chest is metal so you can pull it up with your Magnesis, otherwise the chest will be lost.
7. Make the Most of Your Map
The map in Breath of the Wild is a fantastic tool for those roaming these dangerous wildlands, as users can place stamps to indicate everything from boss locations, treasure chests, Korok Seed puzzles, etc. Keeping of the detail record of the world will help you avoid running into a wandering Guardians or chests that you couldn’t originally get to. Always mark down items on your map, especially enemy camps as they will constantly reset during your playthrough via Blood Moons.
8. Craft Damage Boosting Elixirs and Meals
Potions have always been important in Breath of the Wild, but they are vital to your success when you play on Master Mode. Given every enemy is harder to kill, consuming a damage boost elixir will typically offset your lower level gear early on in the game. Try to always have three or four on you at all times, because there is a high chance that you’ll come across mini-bosses when you’re running around. Remember, don’t waste your elixirs on Guardian fights since parrying their attacks is a way easier method of killing them.
9. Be Liberal With Your Manual Save
You have two save files in Master Mode, so learn to balance both the Auto-Save and Manual Save features to ensure that you don’t lose tons of progress if you die. While the Auto-Save will typically reset you back to the latest key event, use Manual Saves before you engage with bosses, enemies, make risky jumps, or try to sneak by a powerful foe. There’s no penalty for saving, so feel free to abuse it whenever possible during your Master Mode playthrough.
10. Dungeons Are Not a Priority
Don’t feel like you need to rush to each main dungeon, as these are typically very difficult to get to and can eat up a lot of resources. Instead, spend your time visiting shrines, hunting down rare items, slaying mini-bosses, and collecting key armor pieces like the Climber’s Set. If you do decide to visit a dungeon, do the Gerudo Desert one last. Not only does this feature the toughest boss, but players will have to complete a quest that forces Yiga clan enemies to hunt you down. These are the last people you want chasing you in Master Mode, so try to delay this as much as possible.