How Hard is Zelda: Breath of the Wild: The Brutal Truth

You know, I remember the first time I picked up my controller to play Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I was excited, pumped up, and ready to dive into this highly anticipated world of Hyrule. I, like many other gamers, was drawn in by the game’s vast open world and the promise of an epic adventure.

Little did I know that this breathtaking game was also a minefield of challenges. I often found myself wandering into high-level enemy territories or scratching my head over complex puzzles. It was like trying to play an intense game of chess while riding a rollercoaster – exhilarating but equally challenging. And boy, did I wish I had a detailed guide to help me through these hurdles.

That’s why I decided to craft this comprehensive guide for all my fellow gamers. In this article, we’re going to dive into the heart of Hyrule, exploring topics like:

  • How difficult is Zelda: Breath of the Wild?
  • Can you adjust the game’s difficulty?
  • Does the game become more challenging over time, especially regarding world and monster scaling?
  • How can people with health issues or physical/mental impairments enjoy the game?

So, whether you’re about to start your journey in Hyrule, stuck at a particular point, or curious about the game’s difficulty, this guide is your trusted companion. Like a trusty steed in a dangerous land, it’ll carry you through your gaming quest. So buckle up and let’s unravel the mystery together – keep on reading!

How difficult is Zelda: Breath of the Wild?

In the vast world of video gaming, one question often floats around forums and gamer groups – just how hard is Zelda: Breath of the Wild? The game, considered an epic journey in the mystical land of Hyrule, does pose a formidable challenge, but in the most compelling way possible.

The Challenge in Every Corner of Hyrule

If you are a newcomer to the Legend of Zelda franchise, you might find Breath of the Wild to be quite the maze of puzzles and combat scenarios. The game starts you off with little hand-holding, letting you chart your own course. It’s like being dropped into the middle of a dense, enchanted forest with just a map and a compass – exhilarating but equally intimidating.

The game has an open-world design, which means you can go anywhere and do anything – but it also means you can wander into an area with high-level enemies quite early in your adventure. It’s a bit like showing up to a boxing match and finding out your opponent is a heavyweight champion.

The puzzles scattered around the world also pose a unique challenge. They require clever thinking, sharp reflexes, and a keen understanding of the game’s physics system. For some, these brain-teasers might feel like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube while running a marathon.

Dealing with Dangerous Enemies

Combat in Breath of the Wild is another significant factor contributing to the game’s difficulty. Unlike previous Zelda games, where enemies could often be defeated by simply mashing the attack button, Breath of the Wild requires you to be strategic with your attacks and use every tool at your disposal.

Enemies have different weaknesses and strengths, forcing you to adapt your strategies constantly. It’s like playing a fast-paced game of chess where every piece has unique moves and every decision can make or break your success.

In conclusion, Zelda: Breath of the Wild is challenging, but not unapproachable. It demands your attention, strategic thinking, and adaptability. But if you’re up for the challenge, it’s an immensely rewarding journey. With that said, is there a way to adjust the difficulty setting for those who might prefer a slightly easier or harder experience? Let’s dive into that next.

Can You Change Difficulty of Zelda: Breath of the Wild?

The difficulty setting of a game often acts as the metaphorical volume knob on the radio of challenge it presents. However, in Zelda: Breath of the Wild, there’s no conventional way to adjust the difficulty. But don’t let that deter you; the game offers a unique approach to balance the challenge.

Exploring the Game at Your Own Pace

Zelda: Breath of the Wild doesn’t offer the typical easy, medium, or hard settings found in many games. Instead, it allows you to decide how challenging your journey will be through your decisions and the paths you choose to take. Think of it like a choose-your-own-adventure book where the difficulty depends on the pages you decide to turn.

The game doesn’t follow a linear storyline. Therefore, if you find a particular area or boss too challenging, you have the freedom to walk away, explore other regions, improve your skills and gear, and then return when you’re ready to take on the challenge again. It’s akin to building up your arsenal and mastering your gameplay before stepping into the boss arena.

Another tip I can give you, something that really worked well for me on my first play-through, is to try and complete as much of the game as you can before fighting the Divine Beasts. I’ll talk about this in a little more detail soon, but the game world scales in difficulty depending on what enemies have been defeated. Powerful enemies such as the divine beasts accelerate the difficulty of the game dramatically.

Additionally, I highly, highly recommend that you focus on playing the game in the following order:

  1. First, beat the opening area, the great plateau. You don’t have a choice in this matter, and it acts as a great introduction to all the game mechanics and will help you practice defeating low-level monsters.
  2. Next, you want to spend time unlocking all the Sheikah towers in the game world. This will help you navigate around the map quickly. And you can unlock these towers with a minimum of combat. But you will need some help with a few stamina, cold resistance and heat resistance potions.
  3. Next, you want to spend time completing shrines. Completing shrines gives you the resource you need to get more health and stamina. You can also use shrines to practice combat in safety.
  4. Once you have 13 full red hearts, you want to get yourself the Master Sword in the Lost Woods. The Master Sword does incredible damage and makes most normal fights and boss fights incredibly easy.
  5. Make as many Level 3 defence potions as you can. Level 3 defence potions dramatically upgrade your armour rating. This means that most attacks, even very powerful attacks, will only take 1 quarter of a heart off you.
  6. Now take on the Divine Beasts.
  7. If you are still having trouble, upgrade your armour at the Great Fairies scattered throughout Hyrule. High-level armour upgrades make you essentially an unstoppable tank by the time you are toward the end game.
  8. If you’ve managed to take out the Divine Beasts, you are likely ready for the final confrontation.

If you are still struggling with Zelda Breath of the Wild, I highly recommend picking up the official game guide. The hardback edition is a stunning book that is worth owning in its own right. But it’s also a superb, in-depth guide, that’ll help you get the absolute most from Nintendo’s masterful open-world game. You can pick up a copy of the BOTW game guide below:

Introducing Master Mode

For the bravest adventurers who crave more of a challenge, Breath of the Wild offers an additional difficulty mode known as Master Mode. This mode amplifies the difficulty significantly, with enemies leveling up, having higher health, and recovering health over time. It’s like playing in a game tournament where every opponent is a top-tier player.

Master Mode truly tests your understanding of the game mechanics and demands that you utilize everything at your disposal to survive. It’s a high mountain to climb, but the view from the top is nothing short of triumphant.

To sum up, while you can’t change the difficulty in the traditional sense in Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the game gives you the tools to customize your adventure to a difficulty level you are comfortable with. But, does the difficulty of the game increase over time? We’ll uncover the answer to that in the next section.

Does the Difficulty of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Increase Over Time?

Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a dynamic game where the environment and the enemies you face evolve as you progress. This section will discuss how the game handles world and monster scaling, which contributes to the increasing difficulty over time.

The Scaling World of Hyrule

As you progress through Breath of the Wild, the world around you scales to match your progress. This is not a linear process; it’s more like leveling up in an RPG, where the game keeps tabs on your progress and adjusts the world accordingly.

However, this doesn’t mean that the game becomes exponentially harder with each boss you defeat. The scaling in Breath of the Wild is subtle and feels natural. It’s more like a hiking trail that gradually inclines, challenging your stamina and skill without making the journey impossible.

Evolution of Monsters

Similarly, the monsters you face in Breath of the Wild also scale up as you progress through the game. You’ll notice that enemies become tougher and start appearing in more varieties as you defeat more bosses. It’s like playing against an AI that learns from your moves and levels up its game.

Additionally, some enemies will also respawn over time with increased difficulty. This aspect of the game ensures that the challenge remains consistent throughout your journey, making every fight a test of your skills.

But what about players who might face additional challenges due to health issues or physical/mental impairments? Is there a way for such players to enjoy the game? Let’s delve into that topic in the next section.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Players with Health Issues or Impairments

Zelda: Breath of the Wild, like many video games, can be challenging for people with certain health issues or physical and mental impairments. However, Nintendo has taken steps to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for all players.

Accessibility Features

Breath of the Wild includes a few accessibility features that aim to make the game more playable for people with impairments. For instance, there’s an option to enable subtitles and adjust their size, which is helpful for players with hearing impairments. Think of it like adding subtitles to a movie, ensuring you don’t miss a single line of dialogue.

For players with visual impairments, the game offers a clear and distinct color palette and high contrast visuals. It’s like having a vibrant, easy-to-read map for your journey in Hyrule.

Play at Your Own Pace

Perhaps one of the most significant advantages for players with physical or mental health challenges is the game’s non-linear structure. Breath of the Wild allows players to progress at their own pace without any strict time constraints. It’s like taking a leisurely stroll through a beautiful park; you’re free to explore and enjoy at your own pace.

In conclusion, while Zelda: Breath of the Wild does present a notable challenge, it also offers ways for players of all abilities to enjoy their adventure in Hyrule. And so, our journey through the difficulty and adaptability of Breath of the Wild comes to a close. This exploration into Hyrule’s challenges shows us that like life, the game can be hard, rewarding, and adaptable to everyone’s needs and abilities.


In this expansive realm of Hyrule, the adventures we’ve embarked on together in this guide have seen us navigating the complexities of the difficulty level in Zelda: Breath of the Wild. We’ve not only delved into the challenge, but we’ve also learned how to adapt to it, how it changes over time, and how it caters to a wide range of players.

To summarize our journey through Hyrule’s difficult landscape:

  • Zelda: Breath of the Wild is indeed challenging, throwing puzzles and formidable enemies at you at every turn.
  • The game doesn’t offer a conventional difficulty setting, but your decisions and paths significantly influence your experience.
  • Master Mode is available for those seeking a higher challenge.
  • The game’s world and monsters evolve, subtly increasing the difficulty as you progress.
  • The game offers some accessibility features, and its non-linear structure allows players with health issues or impairments to play at their own pace.
  • Lastly, your approach and adaptability are key to facing and overcoming these challenges.

Like a well-battled boss, we’ve conquered the difficulty level of this game. But as in any great game, the quest never ends. There are always new challenges, adventures, and surprises waiting around the corner. So, gear up and get ready to venture into the “What’s Next?” section of this guide.

What’s Next?

As a fellow gamer, I understand the value of having actionable insights to apply right after reading a guide. It’s like collecting useful items in a game that’ll help you level up. Here are five actionable tasks you can undertake after finishing this article:

  • Dive back into the game and experiment with different approaches. Adaptability is your greatest tool in Breath of the Wild.
  • If you haven’t yet, try out the Master Mode for an amplified challenge.
  • Use the game’s non-linear structure to your advantage. Explore different regions, improve your skills, and take on challenges at your own pace.
  • Use the game’s accessibility features if needed. Don’t hesitate to adjust the settings to suit your playstyle and needs.
  • Share your experiences, tips, and tricks with other players. Gaming is a community, and your insights can be valuable to others.
  • If you are still struggling to play through the game, I highly recommend picking up a copy of the official Zelda Breath of the Wild game guide. Not only is it a stunning book that is worth getting in its own right, it’s packed full of tips and tricks that help you get the most from this frankly stunning game. YOu can pick the Zelda BOTW Guide up from Amazon here.

Remember, your journey in the land of Hyrule is uniquely yours. Happy gaming!

Nick Sinclair

Nick Sinclair, a gaming aficionado since the Commodore 64 era, studied Creative Computer Games Design in university before founding his own gaming company. Discovering a passion for content creation, Nick now helps gamers squeeze every drop of fun out of their favorite gaming hardware

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