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15 things you can do to make Breath of the Wild feel new again

Just in time for the sequel

The sad thing about playing a masterpiece is that, at some point, it will have to end — only to become familiar. More than once, I’ve heard people wish that they could erase the memory of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and start over again, just to recapture that wonder of not-knowing. The good news is, even if you’ve been playing it for ages, there’s actually still plenty for you do in Breath of the Wild. The experience doesn’t have to be over yet.

With some creativity, the whole thing can feel new again.

Below, you’ll find a list of cool or unique things that can freshen up your Breath of the Wild experience. The list assumes you’ve already done go-to things like beating all the shrines, collecting all the Korok seeds, finding nice outfits, cooking up a storm, and discovering some cool horses. I also assume you’ve done things like trying Master Mode, visited Eventide Island, and have done the quest where you build a town. This list is more about self-imposed challenges, minigames, and mechanics that can help you rediscover the game.

Go to infinity and beyond with stasis

For the most part, Breath of the Wild’s use of stasis is limited to puzzle solving, but you can also use it to get around in the map. Speedrunners discovered a technique called “super launch,” and it’s a fantastic way to get some high-speed air. Zelda player extraordinaire Zant has a tutorial on how you can use this, and it’s worth checking out even if you don’t want to beat the game in a record time. It’s one of those things that is fun to just mess around with to see how fast and far you can go.

Shield surf like a pro

Most people will probably try to surf a few times, break their shield, and then give up on it. But trying to find the longest possible routes can be a great distraction. Plus, knowing the basics of how to shield surf can help you in learning how to shield flip, which is a great technique you can to find shortcuts through shrines that you aren’t normally supposed to take.

Try a bookshelf

Here’s a weird thing: Bookshelves in Breath of the Wild have metal parts, so you can use Magnesis on them. Players figured out that you can use a bookcase as a weapon, and it’s a surprisingly effective one, too. If you’re feeling brave, try it against a Lynel — or Calamity Ganon itself.

Fly through the skies

Forget horses. The most exclusive way to get around in Hyrule is through a mine cart contraption that is held together through magnesis. If you do it right, you’ll be able to do things like fly right next dragons. How cool is that? Thing is, it’s a little tricky to learn how to properly pilot a mine cart like this, so make sure to watch the tutorial above to get the basics down.

Use a Cucco on a big baddie

If you’ve ever made the mistake of attacking a Cucco, then you know how savage these feathered beasts can be. The funny thing is, that behavior isn’t limited to just Link. Any being that attacks a Cucco will get hit by their flurry. You can use this to your advantage. Enemies like Lynels, Modulga, and even Calamity Ganon can all be Cucco’d. The hard part is transporting the Cucco there in the first place, but that’s part of what makes this challenge so fun.

Do long-distance parries

The moment that you learn how to reflect an attack on a Guardian is a crucial one in your Breath of the Wild adventure, but it doesn’t have to stop there. Guardians can attack you from afar if they’re aggro’d, which is a great way to truly test out your reflexes. How far can you go before you miss a parry, or the Guardian no longer sees you? Only one way to find out.

Mess with the Yiga clan

Once you’ve played enough of BotW, you can spot a Yiga member a mile away. The thing is, every time you talk to a disguised Yiga, they’ll “reveal” themselves by jumping backward. If you pay attention to the distance, you can set up situations where you set up a trap for the Yiga member. See if you can find ways to instantly kill the Yiga before it even has a chance to unveil itself. You can see an example above, but there’s also more inspiration to be found here.

Play without the HUD

You don’t need it. More importantly, playing without the HUD forces you to pay attention to the game more closely. It’s also a great way to get lost in the game — in a good way. Breath of the Wild is best when you’re kinda wandering through it, and this is a good way to facilitate that. All you have to do is go into the options menu, and turn on the “Pro” HUD setting. Voila.

Play without fast travel

Towers are a boon, but you’d be surprised how much you end up missing in the game if you overuse them as a travel option. Hyrule feels like an entirely new place when you try walking through all of it. Some folks prefer to ride horses over walking, and that’s valid too. Twitter user Katie also suggests trying to ride your horse until you hear the full riding song. “It interrupts itself anytime an enemy pops up so it’s harder than you think to get through the whole thing,” she notes.

Make titans duke it out

Any guardian that you find in the overworld can be moved, with enough time and patience. If you know the location of baddies like Modulga, Hinox, or a Stone Talus, you can stage a battle between the two giants by pushing a Guardian into its view. This won’t be easy to set up, but that challenge is exactly what makes it so much fun.

Play with Octo Balloons

You can attach a balloon to many objects, and the possibilities are endless. Build a flying raft contraption. Attach it to logs and pop them over the heads of your enemies. Rig an explosive barrel up and watch the sparks fly. Your creativity is the only limit here.

Do the bullet time bounce

Speedrunners discovered a glitch in Breath of the Wild that sends you flying off of a frozen enemy. All you have to do is shield flip onto the chilled baddie, and then shoot an arrow in slow-mo. Bizarrely, this sequence of events will set off Breath of the Wild’s physics. Who knows where you’ll end up? Granted, doing this is easier said than done — you’ll probably need to practice, and watch a tutorial like the one embedded above.

Use the Hero’s Path

If you have The Master Trials DLC, you can use it to get a map that outlines exactly where you’ve been before. This is useful for charting paths to new locales you haven’t visited before, so make use of it! Just press “X” on the map screen, and the rest should take care of itself.

Make some new memories

This suggestion requires a second player who is also enjoying Breath of the Wild in their own save game. Twitter user Faqsimil suggests taking a photograph, and showing that picture to a friend. Their job is to find the exact spot you took the snap. Once that’s done, it’s your friends’ turn to do the same. Faqsimil calls this “one of the coolest experiences” he had in the game, because it was like “a player-created version of finding the memories.”

Explore some ruins

Pocket Seizure

Based on the first teaser trailer for Breath of the Wild’s sequel, it seems very likely that the next game will dive into what happened to the Zonai. As it turns out, Breath of the Wild is full of the remains of past civilizations — and we’re not just talking about the Sheikah here. Right now, players are heading to these ruins to see if they can decipher some clues for where Breath of the Wild will go next. Even if you’re not into theories, these ruins are worth checking out just to see what kind of ambient storytelling BOTW does without ever really calling attention to it.

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