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How to use the Zonai wing in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom like a pro

Forget the long bridge — the best way to cross huge gaps is flight

Link flies through the sky on a Zonai wing in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon
Chris Plante co-founded Polygon in 2012 and is now editor-in-chief. He co-hosts The Besties, is a board member of the Frida Cinema, and created NYU’s first games journalism course.

How do you fly in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom?

It’s incredibly easy to fall and glide in this game using the paraglider, with lookout towers launching Link into the clouds. But actual flight takes a bit of work, and the game never quite explains the “best” technique for using Zonai wing. We’ve tried a variety of different takeoff methods, and we thought it would help to share them.

Trust us: Nailing flight pays off. The easy solution to practically every problem in Tears of the Kingdom’s opening hours is to build a bridge. A very, very, very long bridge. But the further you go in Hyrule, the bigger your problems — quite literally. Soon, a geographical challenge will span a distance far greater than any bridge could reach.

For the biggest gaps, you’ll need the Zonai wing. Here are our go-to methods for lifting off.


Link uses Ultrahand on a Zona wing in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

How to fly with Zonai wing: The basics

Before you can become a master of aviation, you must first learn the basics. Early in the adventure on the Great Sky Island, Link will come across a bird-shaped glider called the Zonai wing. Alongside this device waits a pre-cut runway that slopes downward and off a cliff, sending the wing into the air using nothing more than gravity. This runway and Zonai wing combo is the best way to reach the Temple of Time — and a great opportunity to take your first flight.

A map of Great Sky Island in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon
A Zonai capsule dispenser in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon
Link looks across Great Sky Island in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Where to buy Zonai wing capsules

Before you leave the Great Sky Island, you will come across a Zonai capsule dispenser near the Gutanbac Shrine. Spend your Zonai charges! Seriously, don’t be stingy, because you’ll collect plenty more charges throughout the game.

I recommend you buy in bulk, putting five Zonai charges into the machine to receive as many capsules as possible. Do this a few times if you have the extra charges on hand. This particular capsule dispenser favors Zonai wings and fans, which will be indispensable throughout your journeys both in the sky and on the surface.

Link attaches a fan to a Zonai wing in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Fly the Zonai wing with fans and rockets

Once you return to the surface of Hyrule, you won’t find many (if any) Zonai wing launch ramps. So, taking flight is a bit trickier. The most obvious way to get air is to use additional Zonai tools to convert the Zonai wing from a glider to a miniature airplane.

I recommend a tall cliff and either fans or rockets. Place the various Zonai parts in a safe, flat space near the cliff edge. If using one fan or rocket, place it on the tail of the Zonai wing. If using multiple, balance them on opposite sides of the rear of the Zonai wing.

Carry the complete mini-plane to the edge, then trigger the Zonai fans or rockets. You might need many fans or rockets to get enough propulsion off the edge. Which is why we recommend...

Links lift a Zonai wing into the air in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon
Link uses Recall on a Zonai wing in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon
Link rides a Recalled Zonai wing in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Fly Zonai wing with Ultrahand and Recall

This strategy may look a little trickier, but it lets you save your precious Zonai resources and, in my experience, has had the best success rate.

Drop a Zonai wing onto a flat surface near the edge of the cliff. Get some distance between you and the Zonai wing, and then grab it with Ultrahand. Carry the wing to the edge of the cliff, hold it off the cliff, and lift it up high. Now, slowly walk backward, lowering the Zonai wing gradually back to the surface — think of it like performing the plane’s takeoff in reverse.

Once the Zonai wing is on the ground, hop on and hit it with Recall. If done correctly, the Zonai wing will take off into the air and off the cliff.

If you want to get extra distance, combine this technique with the fans/rockets approach. Take off without thrusters, then turn them on when you need some propulsion to reach your destination.

Link plummets to his death in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Fly the Zonai wing by skydiving

This last method is neither reliable nor easy. You’ll need either be shot into the sky or leap from a sky island, and then there’s the trouble of actually pulling off the aerial stunt. But this method definitely looks the coolest.

First, skydive from a very, very high place. When you’ve reached an opportune altitude from which to soar to your target, pop open your paraglider. Select a Zonai wing capsule from your inventory and drop it beneath you. If done correctly, the Zonai wing will materialize beneath Link’s feet, allowing you to convert the energy of the free fall into forward momentum.

Let me be clear: I have not pulled this off. The photo above is me failing. But the maneuver is possible. One day I will get good.

Fly safe in the skies of Hyrule!

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