Pretty much everywhere you go in Zelda: Breath of the Wild can be dangerous, but some areas require more specific preparation than others. Venturing out in the middle of a thunderstorm or scaling a snowy mountain can be deadly, if not downright impossible, without the right gear, items, and knowledge. Here’s what you need to know to survive in almost every situation.
For more Breath of the Wild tips, check out our Beginner’s Guide and our list of things the game doesn’t tell you. We also have helpful cooking tips and tricks, a guide to what each amiibo unlocks in the game, and more.
It rains a lot in Breath of the Wild, and the main problem with that is rain makes it nearly impossible to climb anything. You’ll slide down most surfaces, though you’ll be able to climb short distances if you use X to jump up quickly.
If you need to climb something and it starts raining, try to find a sheltered area to build a fire and wait it out. You can build a fire by dropping wood with flint or Red Chuchu Jelly and striking it with a metal weapon (or you can shoot the wood with a fire arrow). Sit by the fireside to pass time until it hopefully stops raining.
Advantages: Rain will muffle your footsteps, making it easier to sneak up on enemies. There are also certain plants and animals, like Tireless Frogs, that can only be found in the rain.
If you find yourself in a thunderstorm, be sure to unequip all metal items–that means weapons, shields, and bows–to avoid becoming a conductor for lightning. Note that you do not have to unequip metallic armor.
If you do end up becoming a target, you’ll see sparks on Link’s body just before the lightning strikes. Try to find shelter as quickly as possible to avoid getting hit.
Also be wary of standing too close to metal treasure chests or anything similarly attractive to lightning. If lightning strikes near you, you might not die, but you will sustain a lot of damage.
Advantages: If you’re quick and brave, you can use lightning to fight enemies. Equip a metal weapon during a thunderstorm and become a target, then throw the weapon in the direction of any enemies to cause the lightning to strike near them instead. Some enemies will pick up weapons you throw or drop, too, which helps ensure that they become targets.
In some areas of Hyrule, like mountain peaks and the Gerudo desert at night, the temperatures will drop to dangerously low levels. If you aren’t prepared, you’ll shiver and slowly lose hearts. Keep an eye on the temperature gauge near your minimap–the blue section is the danger zone.
There are two ways to combat the cold: cold-resistant gear, like the Warm Doublet, and meals or elixirs that grant you temporary cold resistance. You’ll have access to both options very early on. Spicy Peppers, Warm Darners, and Summerwing Butterflies will all make cold-resistant dishes and elixirs and can be found in a lot of areas–check out our full cooking guide if you aren’t sure where to begin.
Note: If you’re just starting the game, go to the old man’s house on the Great Plateau. Inside are a bunch of Spicy Peppers and a diary. If you make the dish he describes in the diary, he will give you a Warm Doublet. The dish is Spicy Meat and Seafood Fry (any meat + Hyrule Bass + Spicy Pepper). Talk to him at his cooking pot after you’ve made it to receive the Warm Doublet. If you don’t get a Warm Doublet this way, he’ll give you one after you complete the Cryonis trial (Keh Namut Shrine) on the Great Plateau, so you would have to make cold-resistant dishes first in order to get there.
In the especially bitter cold, you’ll need higher-level resistance, so either prepare a stronger meal or elixir or equip multiple armor pieces at once. Be warned, though: no amount of preparation will save you from icy water. Use rafts, tree trunks, or ice blocks to cross safely.
Advantages: You can drop some food items, like raw meat, in the snow or icy water to freeze them, which gives them heat-resistant properties. Frozen food stacks in your inventory. Note that this does not work in the desert at night, even though the temperature is low.
During the day in the Gerudo desert, you’ll need heat resistance to survive. Watch out for the solid orange zone on the temperature gauge.
Like with cold resistance, you can either wear the correct armor (in this case, a light Gerudo outfit) or make dishes and elixirs that grant you the effect for a period of time. Cold Darners and Chillfin Trout are two options for ingredients, and both can be found in and around Zora’s Domain in the Lanayru region. You can, of course, also consume frozen food to give yourself a short burst of heat resistance.
Note that taking off your clothes will not add to your heat resistance. Additionally, some areas will require higher heat resistance than others, like with cold temperatures; again, increase your resistance with a stronger dish or elixir or by wearing more than one piece of resistant armor.
Advantages: There isn’t anything particularly beneficial about the desert climate, whether hot or cold.
In addition to high temperatures in the desert, there’s a totally different kind of heat around Death Mountain. You’ll need the flame guard effect instead of heat resistance, or else you’ll catch fire and die almost instantly. Additionally, wooden weapons, shields, and bows will burn up in the heat, regular arrows will catch fire at the tip, and bomb arrows will explode in your face.
Like with the other extreme temperature conditions, you can get the flame guard effect through either armor or dishes and elixirs. You can buy fireproof elixirs from Gaile at Foothill Stable to help you survive your first trip up the volcano, and you can brew more elixirs yourself using Smotherwing Butterflies and Fireproof Lizards, which are found around Death Mountain.
To get the Flamebreaker Armor on the cheap, speak to a Hylian named Kima at the Southern Mine (which is on your way up to Goron City). He’ll offer to give you the armor in exchange for 10 Fireproof Lizards, which can be found in abundance in the Southern Mine itself. Just sneak up to them and catch them for some easy armor. You can buy the matching boots and helm in Goron City; having a Great Fairy upgrade the entire set twice will grant you the Fireproof bonus when you wear all three together.
While water in this climate is fine–relaxing in the hot springs will fill your hearts–taking a dip in lava is not advised.
Advantages: Drop food items in this environment and they’ll catch fire, roasting them. Roasted food will get you more hearts than the raw version, and it’s a quick and easy way to get some health if you can’t get to a cooking pot.
Last and probably the least of your worries, keep in mind that some areas have strong winds… and don’t paraglide against the wind. You’ll also sometimes see updrafts, which will propel you high into the air if you take out your paraglider.
Advantages: Wind will push round objects, like remote bombs, and allow you to paraglide much farther. Keep this in mind when bombing enemy camps or exploring a region. You can create updrafts to aid in combat or exploration by starting a wildfire, like in dry grass.
An interesting read via GameSpot