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Zelda Breath of the Wild guide: How to make your weapons last longer

Embrace the crappiest weapons

Breath of the Wild’s weapons sometimes seem like they’re made of glass (where by “sometimes,” we mean “at every conceivable moment.”). Every time you swing a club or sword, thrust a spear or sling a bow, the durability lowers, and you’re one step closer to watching your weapon disintegrate into glowing blue shards. But are things you can do to make your favorite and most powerful weapons last longer. In this guide, we’ll show you how.

Use the right weapon for every enemy

Our entire strategy rests on this premise: You should save your best, favorite and most powerful weapons for the enemies that deserve them. Who’s deserving? The toughest monsters — the ones with the most hit points.

Put differently, don’t waste your powerful weapons — clubs, swords, spears, bows, arrows — on weak enemies.

This keese is on fire, and it still only has 1 HP

Consider the annoying, bat-like Keese. They have exactly one hit point. To kill it with a single hit, you need a weapon that does at least 1 HP of damage. And that pretty much means that any weapon you have will do.

Given that every hit in Breath of the Wild inches a weapon one step closer to explosion (and the best you can do is find random duplicates or reforge some select weapons), then it makes sense to equip your least powerful (and likely least favorite) weapon. In short, use the right weapon for the right enemy.

Keep a crappy weapon

There’s a corollary to this advice, too: It may seem counterintuitive, but you should carry at least one (relatively) crappy weapon. Maybe that’s a low-powered club or a weak sword. It’s up to you. The specifics don't matter. All that matters is that it’s less powerful and, therefore, more expendable.

Don’t let their size fool you: Moblin skeletons have 1 HP, too

Keeping a weapon that’s significantly less powerful than your other weapons means you can quickly pull it out for confrontations with the low-level enemies that roam Hyrule. That includes everything from Keeses to the brownish-red variety of Bokoblins and everything from the smallest skeletons to giant Moblin monsters.

The point? Let your worst weapon take the abuse, and save your better weapons for more powerful enemies where chipping down HP is essential, and every hit chips off more HP.

The best crappy weapons for fighting and breaking

In Breath of the Wild, we’re always on the lookout for two crappy weapons to keep in our inventory — though, to be fair, thinking of them as weapons is the wrong way to approach it. They stink for fighting almost everything — except the weakest of enemies.

The iron sledgehammer and the woodcutter’s axe don’t have much in the way of power, but (at least based on our experience) they’re among the toughest weapons in the game. They won’t do much damage, but they won’t break easily, either.

Where can you find these? Just about every stable has a woodcutter’s axe. There’s a ledge on the cliff wall by the Owa Daim shrine in the Great Plateau where you can find an iron sledgehammer.

Both of these weapons have a bonus feature, too: Because they’re so tough, you can use them to break crates and jewel-filled rocks. Don’t waste your powerful weapons breaking them. Save them for enemies.

Stealth and the amazing sneakstrike

When you want to use a powerful weapon, there are still ways to make it last longer. So if you’re going to use a powerful weapon, consider stealth and the sneak strike.

The Blue Moblin above has 144 HP, so a powerful, two-handed sword is appropriate. But how you approach the fight can have a significant effect on your weapon’s durability.

If you confront it directly, swing several times, you may take damage — and you’ll certainly degrade your weapon with every hit. But if you can sneak up behind your enemy, lock on with a powerful weapon equipped and press Y when you’re close, you’ve got a shot at a one-hit kill, thanks to the sneakstrike.

In the video above, it’s raining, which made it harder for the Blue Moblin to hear us sneaking up for some murder. We also have a (possibly irrational) fear of an enemy turning around just before we’re about to sneakstrike, so we drank some elixir to boost our movement speed, too.

In short, stealth can save your weapons for another fight. And if you want to be stealthy, then consider doing two more things: Cooking food and elixirs that boost your stealth abilities and buying the stealth armor in Kakariko village.

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