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How to reach sky islands in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Step one: Don’t call them ‘skylands’

Link flying between sky islands in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom on some sort of ancient hovercraft Image: Nintendo
Johnny Yu (he/him) is a guides writer at Polygon. He has written about games such as The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Diablo 4, and Fire Emblem Engage.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom adds more verticality with the addition of two layers: the Sky and the Depths. The Sky Islands — floating masses of land that comprise the Sky layer and are exactly what they sound like — can be particularly difficult to reach because there isn’t an obvious stairway to heaven out there in the wild.

However, with the new abilities and additions, you can get creative with how you travel between the layers of Hyrule. Read on to find out how to reach the Sky Islands in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.


Launch into the air at a Skyview Tower

Link wearing a Bokoblin Mask diving from the sky after taking a Skyview Tower in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Once you activate a Skyview Tower, you’ll be sent into the air and reveal a portion of the map. After the brief cutscene, you’ll take control of Link in the sky layer where you can glide or dive to your destination. If you’re itching to get to a Sky Island that you see in the distance, your best bet is to take the nearby Skyview Tower and glide toward your desired location.

Recall falling debris

Link rides a rock into the sky in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Recall to rewind time. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo

The first method shown during Nintendo’s March 28, 2023, gameplay demonstration is by using your Recall ability which allows you to rewind an objects movement. In this case, you can use Recall on the fallen rock to carry yourself up into the sky, and then paraglide to one of the nearby sky islands. Keep an eye out for any crash-landed objects on the ground as they might be your elevator up to a sky island.

Build a hot air balloon or flying contraption

Link riding a hot air balloon with a sunset in the background in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo

Zonai devices are a new addition to Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom that allow creative thinkers to run wild. Some of the aircrafts you can make will lead you up into the Sky level, letting your each those pesky Sky Islands. However, there are a few limitations on your creations. Your Energy Cell only has so much power, so if you haven’t upgraded them yet, you might not be able to reach the Sky Islands. The height you can reach also depends on which Zonai devices you use. For example, when you’re building a hot air balloon, a flame emitter will elevate you into the air faster than a campfire will, but it will also use up your energy.

Ascend to higher ground

Link ascending through another dimension (just the ceiling) in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo

Another ability added in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is Ascend, allowing you to phase through the ceiling to get to the floor above. Of course this wouldn’t let you get to a sky island directly, but Ascend could be used to reach higher elevation on the ground or on another sky island to then paraglide to a lower sky island.

Blast off with a rocket

Link blasting off into the sky while attached to a rocket in The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo

In the final trailer, Link ascends to the sky with the help of a rocket! With the power of Fuse, a new ability added to Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, you can combine a weapon or a shield with a material of your choice. When you combine a shield and a rocket, you’ll be able to blast off into the air for as long as you have energy. If you have multiple energy cells and take off from high elevation, you can make it to the Sky Islands. Keep in mind, once you use the rocket, it will be consumed and lost forever.

Hop on a dragon’s back

Link riding on a dragon’s back in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

This is a very situational method and not really recommended, but you can technically hitch a ride with a dragon. Some of the dragons will weave between layers, diving down into the Depths and returning to the Sky. The opportune time to hop onto a dragon’s back would be when they’re coming out of a chasm and heading into the Sky level. This will be very happenstance if you don’t know the dragon’s exact route, so don’t rely on this method!


Update (May 12): We have edited some of the existing methods and added a couple new ways to reach the Sky Islands.

These are not the only ways to reach Sky Islands in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom as there are more undiscovered methods. We’ll update this post down the road with all of the methods once we get our hands on Tears of the Kingdom.

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