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Zelda Breath of the Wild guide: How to beat Trial of the Sword’s Final Trials

Learning what to do feels like looking through the Matrix

The Master Trials DLC gives Link a new challenge to unlock the full potential of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s Master Sword. But first, you’ll have to prove yourself against an insanely difficult gauntlet in The Trial of the Sword’s Final Trials.

Truth is, it’s not so bad. You just have to plan accordingly. In this guide, we’ll show you how.

In short, beating the Final Trials is less about learning how to fight and more about learning how to think about fighting (and cooking). You need a plan from the very first Underground Floor. That’s a big philosophical shift from the Beginning and Middle Trials, but it’s simple to learn and execute.

Reframing our approach changed the Final Trials from a seemingly impossible fight to an easily solvable puzzle. When we figured out the tricks, it felt like looking through the Matrix. Here’s how you can do it, too.

It’s OK to drop more weapons than you use

Making better weapons with the octorok on Underground Floor 7

Between all of the enemies you’re up against, the treasure chests you uncover and the handful of weapons you can refurbish on Underground Floor 7, you’re never going to run out of weapons. In fact, you’ll probably start dropping weapons way earlier than you’d expect.

The previous sets of trials trained you to pick up everything. In the Final Trails, though, you can be a little more picky. You just have to be picky based on what’s coming up.

There are four phases to the Final Trials. Here’s how to think about them, in relation to the weapons you carry:

  • Underground Floors 1 through 5 are rainy and full of lightning, so using metal weapons and shields is out. (However, you should pick up every rusty metal weapon and shield you find, in preparation for Underground Floor 7, where you can transform them into much better weapons.)
  • Underground Floors 7 through 11 are hot and full of lava, so wooden weapons and shields are out.
  • Underground Floors 13 through 17 are cold, but there’s no real restriction on weapons (unless you’re using a weapon to stay warm).
  • Underground Floors 19 through 23 are a super tough baddie free-for-all, so low durability weapons are out.

The trick is learning that sequence so you can plan ahead. You need to keep enough wooden weapons to get you through the first five floors, while also picking up enough metal weapons to get you through the next five and so on.

Don’t hoard your best weapons

You’ll basically have your choice of weapons for your entire run through the Final Trials (assuming you don’t abuse your weapons). Don’t fight with a tree branch when you have something better.

Don’t miss any treasure chests

The treasure chest on Underground Floor 2 contains one of The Final Trials’ most powerful weapons

Hidden treasure chests will provide you with invaluable weapons and tools. And there are plenty of them for you to uncover along the way. Don’t miss them and, don’t hoard their contents. Use what you get. Deal damage.

Here’s a list of all Final Trials treasure chests and their contents:

Match the weapon to the enemy

You don’t have to hoard your best weapons, but you also don’t need to waste them.

One headshot with an arrow kills stalmoblins on Underground Floor 3

The various stal-something enemies you fight on the first four floors only have one hit point each. In fact, the 23 enemies you face across the first four floors have a total of 45 hit points — and half of that comes from the two electric chuchus on Underground Floor 3 (that you can still one-shot with a decent bow).

You don’t need a fancy weapon to take out almost every single enemy you face — literally anything will one-hit-kill them. You don’t have to wear down good weapons on low-level enemies.

One hit with the great frostblade kills this lizalfos

There are a couple of fights where you one-shot or one-hit many/most of the enemies if you use the right weapon. Fire-based enemies, like the lizalfos on Underground Floors 7 through 11 or the wizzrobe on Underground Floor 9, are one-hit kills with an ice-based weapon like the great frostblade you picked up from the stalnox on Underground Floor 5 or with the ice arrows from the buried chest on the same floor.

Use arrows at every opportunity

Another thing you’re not going to run out of is arrows. (Well, assuming you don’t miss a lot.) Arrows, the most plentiful weapon in the Final Trials, let you turn the tables on a lot of the enemies you encounter.

You can shoot the skulls of the stalmoblins on Underground Floor 3 before they even stand up. You’ll use arrows to shoot the eye out of the stalnox on Underground Floor 5. And you’ll use arrows throughout Underground Floors 7 though 11 to get bullet time shots on the various enemies. Your arrows are invaluable against the guardians you’ll face in the final five rooms, too.

Ignore your parents’ advice and jump off of things

Eye shots are easier in bullet time

The important thing to remember is to sure you’re not firing blindly with arrows. Find something to jump off of — a tree or an updraft — and use the paraglide-bullet time trick to make sure you’re not wasting ammo.

Use bombs everywhere you can

Just like in the Beginning and Middle Trials, remote bombs are your not-so-secret weapon. You can clear entire levels (or most of other levels) without ever drawing your weapon or bow. You just have to be smart about it. Bombs are your sneak attack weapon and your crowd-control weapon. Use them.

Relying heavily on your bombs means you save arrows and wear and tear on your weapons. Bombs might not deal the most damage, but they’re free and reliable.

Cook the best possible meals

There are three oasis levels in the Final Trials — Underground Floor 6, Underground Floor 12 and Underground Floor 18 — and three things you should do before approaching their cooking pots.

Cook hearty items by themselves

Every one of these levels contains at least one hearty food item.

Here’s the invaluable trick: Cook hearty items by themselves. They’ll produce a meal that will restore all of your red hearts and grant one or more additional yellow bonus hearts.

Put differently, cooking three hearty bass together will produce one meal that restores all of your hearts (and grants bonus hearts). But cooking each hearty bass individually will produce three meals, each of which restores all of your hearts (and grants bonus hearts).

Collect and use the fairies

Each oasis level also includes at least one fairy, and the first thing you should do on every one of these Underground Floors is crouch, sneak up to and collect them.

Use fairies to help you cook. Select one as an ingredient, and the resulting meal will receive a bonus to hearts or status effects. We also kept one fairy in our inventory, knowing that, if we died, the fairy would revive us.

Cook items with similar status effects

Don’t mix items with different status effects. If you combine ingredients that give you a bonus to strength with other ingredients that give you a bonus to speed, the meal you produce will provide neither bonus. Group like items and design your meals around them.

Find and hoard ancient arrows

You’re going to find a total of nine ancient arrows throughout the Final Trials. You find them three at a time on Underground Floor 6, Underground Floor 10 and Underground Floor 14.

Ancient arrows will (literally) annihilate any enemy you hit with them.

An ancient arrow destroys a lynel in one hit

Careful use of these precious arrows changes some of the hardest fights of the Final Trials into something else entirely. Our Final Trials walkthrough lays out where to use them:

  • Use one on the first lynel you fight on Underground Floor 17. Fighting lynels is hard, and fighting lynels in the Trails of the Sword is even harder. So don’t.
  • Use one on the skywatcher guardian on Underground Floor 21. Instead of hitting it with (what feels like) dozens of bomb arrows, you can shoot it in the eye once with an ancient arrow and finish the fight.
  • Use three more on the three guardians on Underground Floor 22.
  • Use two more on the lynel and the guardian on Underground Floor 23 — the final floor.

This leaves you with two extra ancient arrows. You can either plan to use them somewhere else — like on a couple of the guardians on Underground Floor 19 — or you can hold onto the extras in case you miss any of your shots.

It might seem like a cop-out way to take on really hard fights, but it’s really just the smartest use of the tools available to you. Sure, you can beat your head against the wall that is a lynel, but when you lose and have to fight your way back through 17 floors just to try again, is it really worth it?

Bring it all together

Action shot!

All of this advice boils down to this: Prepare and fight smart. That’s a bit of a shift from the “fight for your life” approach during the Beginning and Middle Trials.

The Final Trials are arguably the most difficult challenge you’ll face in Breath of the Wild — they’re even harder than the final fight of the game simply because you don’t have all the shiniest weapons and upgraded armor. The Beginning and Middle Trials make you polish your fighting techniques. The Final Trials make you think and plan ahead.

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