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How to beat Gloom Hands in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Keep those nasty hands away from me!

Gloom Hands, dark red and black hands with an eye in their palm, creep out of a puddle of gloom in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon
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.

As you explore Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, you may notice out of place pools of gloom on the surface. As you approach each of them, you’ll see a group of dark hands with an eye in the middle.

The so-called Gloom Hands (also known as “red hands” by players, and officially known as Gloom Spawn by the game) will charge at you with their deceptively fast speed and grab ahold of you, destroying your hearts in the process.

The Gloom Hands are frightening at first — as seen in the Lost Woods and the Korok Forest of gloom — but if you come prepared, you’ll quickly learn that there is nothing to be afraid of. Here’s how to beat them.

How to beat Gloom Hands in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Gloom Hands are exactly what they sound like — dark red hands covered in gloom. They are scattered all over Hyrule, but you’ll generally only know you’re going to fight them when it’s too late to turn back.

Link shoots a bomb arrow from higher ground into the middle of five Gloom Hands in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Heading into battle, we recommend you prepare a few items to take them down. Here are some of the best weapons and items to use against Gloom Hands:

  • Bomb flowers
  • Elemental Chuchu jellies
  • Elemental Like stones
  • Elemental Keese eyeballs
  • Magic rods

As soon as the Gloom Hands begin to creep out of their hole, prepare your weapon of choice. We’ve found that it takes around six bomb flower arrows to defeat all of the hands, but if some are still alive after that, use any of the weapons listed above to take them out. Once you’ve taken them down, a Phantom Ganon will spawn in their place. If you’re up for the challenge, put up your shield and get ready to block!

Tips and tricks to defeat Gloom Hands

A Gloom Hand grabs Link in a Link’s Awakening costume in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Gloom Hands can be tricky to beat even if you come prepared. Here are a few extra tips and tricks to take down the nasty hands found in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

  • Climb to higher groundGloom Hands won’t follow you to higher elevation, so you can escape their reach and rain fire from above.
  • Equip gloom resistance armor — The Depths Armor’s set bonus will make you more resistant to gloom attacks, negating some of the damage you take when you’re grabbed by the hands.
  • Shake your analog sticks as fast as possible — If you get grabbed by the Gloom Hands, chaotically wiggle your sticks to avoid losing hearts. If you’re fast enough, none of your hearts will break and you’ll break free of the grasp without taking damage.
  • Cook sundelion dishes — Sundelions are commonly found on Sky Islands, and they will replenish your gloom-inflicted hearts. If you do lose a few of your hearts, replenish them with a sunny dish.
  • Make gloom resistance dishes or elixirs — Gloom resistance dishes and elixirs can be made using dark clumps, which can be gained from Bargainer statues for 10 poes each or as a drop from Phantom Ganons.
  • Quickly kill all five of the Gloom Hands — If you don’t quickly eliminate all five Gloom Hands, they’ll begin to respawn, and they respawn fast. Make sure to not leave any stragglers behind because one hand will soon turn into five.
  • Run away if you’re not prepared — You can always leave and come back if you don’t think you’re ready to take on the challenge. Remember that there is a Phantom Ganon waiting for you after the Gloom Hands, so if you don’t think you can take on both, there is no shame in fleeing!

Gloom Hands locations

Gloom Hands can appear across Hyrule, and they can be quite the jump scare for the unprepared. They’ll spawn in set locations, so you can either avoid them entirely or hunt them down. Here are all of the Gloom Hands locations we’ve found so far:

An annotated map shows Gloom Hands locations in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Graphic: Jeffrey Parkin, Johnny Yu/Polygon | Source images: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon
  • Lindor’s Brow Cave - Hyrule Ridge
  • Great Deku Tree Chasm - Great Hyrule Forest
  • Mekar Island - Great Hyrule Forest
  • Hollow tree stumps at Crenel Hills - Hyrule Field
  • Hyrule Castle Docks - Hyrule Field
  • Kolomo Garrison Ruins - Hyrule Field
  • Tree clump northeast of Eastern Abbey - Great Plateau
  • Mount Lanayru - Mount Lanayru
  • Ordorac Quarry - Akkala Highlands
  • Akkala Citadel Ruins - Akkala Highlands

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