clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

How to upgrade armor in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Enhancing your gear boosts defense and unlocks secret powers

Link receives a blessing from a Great Fairy Fountain in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Upgrading your armor in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will quickly become a priority the further you venture into Hyrule and go up against its many hazards. It’s not enough to wear one of the best armor sets of the game, as you won’t unlock their true potential until you upgrade your armor pieces.

If you’re wondering how to upgrade armor in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, there are multiple factors to consider. This page explains how to unlock the mechanic, how to gain access to all four enhancement levels available, and how to fully upgrade an armor set.

How to upgrade armor in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

In order to unlock the mechanic to upgrade armor in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, you first need to gain access to the Great Fairy Fountains. Each of them requires you to complete a side adventure involving The Stable Trotters musical troupe.

Here’s the gist: You’ll gain access to armor upgrades as soon as you help at least one of the Great Fairies. From then, talk to the Great Fairy to open the menu, which will showcase all armor pieces in your inventory.

A screenshot of the Great Fairy Fountain armor upgrade menu showcasing the Climbing Gear set in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

In order to upgrade your armor, you’ll have to pay a rupee fee, and have the necessary materials. Upgrading the Climbing Gear chest piece, for example, required three Keese wings and three rushrooms, alongside 10 rupees. This increased its base stat of 3 defense to 5 defense.

If a specific armor piece isn’t highlighted, that means you either don’t have the necessary materials, or that it’s not eligible for upgrades. Regardless, selecting the piece will tell you. If a piece is highlighted, though, that means you can upgrade it on the spot.

Also, there tend to be shrines near their locations — make sure to grab the fast travel point so you can quickly get back to the Great Fairies in the future!

How to unlock all armor enhancement levels

If you want to upgrade your armor even further, you’ll need access to the subsequent fairies. As such, the possible enhancement levels at your disposal (signalized by a star icon) increase with each fairy until you’ve uncovered all four of them.

Great Fairy Cotera tells Link she can upgrade his armor to the maximum in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
Access to all four Great Fairy Fountains allows you to upgrade armor to the maximum.
Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Every time you talk to the Great Fairies, they’ll tell you how much they can upgrade your armor, starting with “a little bit” and culminating in “to the maximum” once you have access to all four. It’s worth mentioning that whichever one you visit is irrelevant, as they all share the same menu and options.

For a step-by-step breakdown of how to unlock all armor enhancement levels, head over to our dedicated Great Fairy Fountain locations page.

How to fully upgrade armor sets in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Once you have access to any complete armor set — well, one that’s eligible for armor upgrades — there is a chance for the Great Fairies to unlock their “potential.”

Great Fairy Kaysa tells Link about enhancing an armor set twice in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

This is achieved by upgrading all armor pieces of a set twice. If the armor set is eligible, you’ll be bestowed with a new power. (Keep in mind the dialogue appeared for me while I was upgrading the Barbarian Armor set. As of this writing, I haven’t been able to upgrade an armor set twice. We’ll update this story with additional information when we know what the specific power is.)

When doing so with the Climbing Gear set, the Great Fairy repeated a similar phrase, but also mentioned the caveat that “not all sets have the potential,” which could be a good hint to keep in mind in case you want to prioritize other sets.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.