Game Breaker / The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a very open-ended game, to say the least. Of course, such a game is usually expected to have a few items that break it in varying degrees. And this game definitely has its fair share.
  • The Champion's gifts. They are all very useful and effective spells, and their only drawbacks are how long each needs to wait between uses once your limit is up. Of the cooldowns Revali's is the shortest at only 6 minutes, Urbosa's is twice that at 12 minutes long, Daruk's is 18 minutes, and Mipha's is the longest at 25 minutes for her single use.
    • Revali's Gale creates instant, tall updrafts from where you stand, giving Link incredible vertical height. This can only be used three times before it is on cooldown, but proper timing and planning can trivialize a lot of climbing sections and even dungeons, including Hyrule Castle. There's also the fact that drawing one's bow midair causes Link to go into Bullet Time, which will allow a more skilled archer to make quick work of most of their enemies by simply spamming arrows at their target's weak point.
      • You can achieve the same (albeit weaker) effect by simply dropping five bundles of wood onto the ground in a pile and lighting it on fire, which creates an updraft you can use. This works anywhere except shrines and has no cooldowns or other requirements aside from the materials which are easily obtained. Alternatively, you could simply light a Spicy Pepper or Sunshroom on fire and get the same results.
    • Urbosa's Fury casts a tremendous thunderstorm that deals massive damage and stuns enemies in an enormous range. This also has three uses before it goes on cooldown, but it is perfect in a pinch when Link is surrounded, or if there is a strong enemy that needs to be subdued.
    • Daruk's Protection creates a Beehive Barrier that surrounds Link while he targets an enemy. This protects him from three attacks, and anything that hits the barrier gets reflected, basically acting as a perfect shield bash every time without the player needing to time anything. After that, it goes on cooldown. This can trivialize Guardians, especially if Link is surrounded by them.
    • Mipha's Grace revives Link when he falls in battle, but it also awards Link some bonus hearts upon revival. At low maximum health, this can be a bit underwhelming, but at higher heart counts, this is a full heal and is nothing short of miraculous. Given how effective this spell is, this is the only one with a single charge, as otherwise it would be even more broken.
      • Don't like the cooldowns on these effects? No problem! This is easily fixed just by hanging around Hyrule Castle for a while. To elaborate, there's a hidden effect that reduces these spells' cooldown to only a third of its original duration as long as you're within the Hyrule Castle area proper. This applies even to spells that are already on cooldown. Should you find the hidden Shrine within the Docks of Hyrule Castle, you can easily port there at anytime, and simply restock on equipment and items there or just idle for a bit and all four spells will be back up in no time flat. Suddenly, these spells are no longer Too Awesome to Use.
  • Shield bashes. While they are difficult to master, they are very effective against Guardians since a shield bash will reflect their laser right at them, which can destroy them very quickly. This turns any solo encounter against them from extremely difficult to trivially easy. Daruk's Protection can also be used for this effect as well, and it is completely effortless as the player just needs to hold down ZL and the lasers will auto-reflect. The only caveat is the cooldown afterwards. The Ancient Shield, while requiring Guardian parts to even create, can also reflect Guardian lasers without the need for a shield bash, so simply holding it up will do the job. This will damage the shield, but it is a very safe option against them as well.
  • Cooking, once the player figures out the most effective recipes. Meat Skewers can be efficient for both healingnote  and sellingnote  and the ingredients can be easily farmed in the Hebra region if the player has access to cold-resistant gear. An hour or two of grinding will get you enough rupees to buy out every Money Sink in the game. That's not even getting into more elaborate combinations that do things like raise your maximum health or attack power. And while previous Zelda games might have let you carry 4-6 potions to heal yourself with, BotW's limit on food is sixty items, and there is no cooldown or diminishing returns on their use. There is nothing stopping you from carrying around 60 full heals and cheesing anything that can't kill you in one hit through sheer attrition alone if you so desire.
    • "Hearty" items break the cooking system even further. Since their special effect, when cooked into a meal, is to temporarily raise Link's maximum health, they, by definition, also function as a full heal. Simply cooking a single "Hearty" item gives you a complete full heal with additional health on top of that. The only drawback is that "Hearty" items aren't incredibly common, but they aren't terribly rare, either.
      • Special mention goes to the dozen or so Hearty Durians located conveniently next to Faron Tower, with many more of them being found everywhere in the Faron rainforest. Cooking five of them produces a food item that not only is a full heal, but also gives you twenty bonus hearts on top of that, carrying both early game and end game players without ever losing its usefulness. And if that's not enough, they're also very close to where one of the three Dragons spawn, speaking of which . . .
    • Each of the Dragon parts, if you can get past Too Awesome to Use syndrome, are also extremely powerful when cooked. The horn fragments in particular, if cooked in any buff food, will always and automatically increase the buff timer to half an hour, significantly cutting down time and quantity when gathering resources.
  • Ancient and Guardian equipment are some of the strongest and most useful equipment in the game. They are especially effective against Guardian Stalkers, being able to cut off their legs with ease, debilitating it. The Ancient Arrow can instantly kill any Guardian if aimed at their eye. The Ancient Armour have high defense and can help Link withstand attacks from Guardians. Ancient Gear is also effective against the four Blight Ganon bosses as they also have Guardian technology. For absolute destruction, upgrade the Ancient Armour set and it then gives a set effect called 'Ancient Proficiency', which gives a massive +80% damage boost to Ancient and Guardian weapons. Here is the kicker: it stacks with Attack buffs. Equip an Ancient Bladesaw or a Guardian Axe++ and start swinging. Nothing will survive. Finally, as a nice little bonus: the Ancient and Guardian weapons are neither wood nor metal, so they will not burn up in the Eldin region, and they will not attract lightning when there's a thunderstorm.
    • Even better: The Guardians in a shrine will regenerate every Blood Moon, giving you plenty of chances to harvest them for more Guardian weapons and crafting materials. The Guardians in Major Tests of Strength tend to carry three weapons at once (or two weapons and a shield), meaning that you can build a surplus even if you break one Guardian weapon per battle - and it's even easier if any of them come with a durability buff.
  • The armor upgrade system eventually becomes this. The root of the problem is that defense is based on a subtraction system, as in: damage you receive = (strength of the enemy + strength of the weapon) — armor. This means that in the lower defense levels, enemies can one-shot you, but once your armors are upgraded to a level 2, they won't make much damage anymore, and when fully upgraded, even silver Lynels will only take one quarter heart per regular hit. Even worse, some of the easiest-to-find armors like the Hylian Armor or the Champion's Tunic don't even need to be fully upgraded to turn most enemy attacks into scratches. Couple that with the cooking system and you'll be basically invincible half-way through the game, if not earlier.
    • Special mention to the Champion's Tunic, which is the most powerful piece of armour in the game and can easily be turned into a full-blown defensive Disc-One Nuke, since the main storyline heavily nudges you into it very early in the game. Up to Eleven if you know the location of the Great Fairies and the spawn points of the Spirit Dragons, which would allow you to max it out in a short time.
  • The Barbarian Armour set has its own set of problems. It's hidden in enormous mazes throughout Hyrule and requires Lynel parts in order to be upgraded, but it permanently raises your attack just from being worn, with the maximum effect being a whooping +50% Attack UP boost. Upgrade it further and it gives an added effect of reducing the stamina cost for charged attacks like the spin attack, allowing Link to use more attacks like that in combat. On top of that, given that the Barbarian armour acts as a permanent attack buff, the player can give Link additional buffs like a speed up buff, making Link both fast and strong.
    • The Fierce Deity armor set is the exact same as the Barbarian armor save for requiring different materials for upgrades and needing the Majora's Mask amiibo to obtain. It's worth it though to be able to cosplay ingame as Fierce Deity Link.
    • The DLC Phantom Armor is a Disc-One Nuke version of the above two sets. While it cannot be upgraded at all, it offers the same Attack Up effect as the above when worn, and each piece still offers a hefty 8 Defence (24 DEF total). This roughly place this armor on the level as upgrading the individual pieces of the Barbarian set to Level 2 (which can take some time to access). Having easy access 24 DEF and a permanent +50% ATK boost as soon as you start the game proper takes a lot of bite out of most of the enemies well until they themselves are upgraded to Silver tier. This is especially powerful for the game's Master Mode.
      • What breaks it even further is if you cook four Ironshrooms (a common find), which will give you an additional +24 defense boost for a few minutes. Combined with the Phantom Armor, you'll have a near-endgame armor value during tough encounters even very early into the game, along with the attack boost.
  • Multi-fire bows, specifically the ones that fire three arrows at the cost of one. This godsend of an effect triples your ranged damage — or quintuples, if you can loot a five-arrow bow from a strong Lynel variant — and stacks with every type of arrow, and each arrow in the volley can still Critical Hit. Triple Bomb Arrows to a Lynel's head will really take the wind out of its sail, and triple Ancient Arrows to a Guardian Stalker's eye will drop its mighty 1,500 HP straight to zero in a single volley, no attack buffs needed.
  • Ancient Arrows as a whole. They are easily producible by Robbie if you have the resources at your disposal, and they can one-shot anything organic. Even Lynels of all colors will be erased from existence by a single arrow. It also works on the guards in the Yiga base, removing the necessity for stealth. They can also one-hit kill Guardians with a single arrow to the eye-socket. The downside is that weapons and drops of organic enemies are vaporized alongside the enemy, but you probably won't care if you reach the point all Lynels become Silver Lynels and gain more health and killing power than Ganon himself. Only things tough enough to take an arrow and survive are bosses and indirect hits on Guardians. And unlike the Light Arrows of old, you can get these fairly early in the game. Also, all the resources you need to make ancient arrows are provided when you destroy a Guardian with one; sell some of the spoils for rupees and you have a self-sustaining loop provided you don't miss too many shots.
  • The Ice Rod can freeze an enemy solid, allowing you to get some free hits on them with another weapon. Freeze again and repeat. The Blizzard Rod can freeze enemies in a huge radius and performing a Spin Attack with it will basically freeze any enemy in a huge 360 degree radius. The only limitation besides the durability is monsters that are attuned to ice and any type of Elite Mook (Lynels, Hinoxes, etc), but they are very far and few in between.
  • Fire and Ice weapons in general are these in certain areas due to a quirk of how Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors works with their Fire/Ice/Lightning set up: Any ice attack acts as a One-Hit Kill on fire based Mooks, like Lizafos or Wizzrobes, and vice versa, while Electricity has no obvious exploit. Add this on top of how simply holding an ice melee weapon in hot areas (where fire enemies are common) also helps keep you cool, with the inverse also being true, means that fire melee weapons are easily your new best friend on the snowy mountains while their ice based counterparts makes Death Mountain a lot more bearable. Expanding on their general Mundane Utility in the region holding fire weapons around ice blocks hiding items or Koroks also causes them to melt, albeit rather slowly, without using any of the item's durability or fire arrows.
  • Thunderspears aren't powerful in terms of attack, but their utility makes them the Hylian equvialent of a taser. Notice an enemy has a powerful weapon but don't want to go through the trouble of fighting them? Or you don't have a good enough weapon of your own to take them on? Take out a Thunderspear, poke them once, and watch as they drop the weapon for you to easily pick up and use against them! note 
  • The Thunder Helm. You have to go through a lot of effort to get it (completing every sidequest in Gerudo Town), but it outright nullifies lightning damage. Once you have it, you never need to worry about thunderstorms or any electric enemy again, and you have free rein to use any metal equipment while it's storming. The one downside is you have to beat the lightning-based boss before you have access to it, but multiple other areas are trivialized if you get it early.
    • The Rubber Armor set provides the same effect (with lightning immunity as a set bonus at level 2) and can be acquired before setting foot into any of the Divine Beasts. Its only downside is in terms of how it looks, seeing how the helmet is a weird looking fish Link is using as a hat and the use of more modern looking sneakers with the pants looks odd in the setting, but this can still be a plus for some players.
  • Zora armor will increase swimming speed and allow the user to swim up waterfalls like the Zora. It's not so bad in most places, but the many conveniently placed waterfalls in Hyrule Castle combined with this item can turn one of the toughest final dungeons in the series into a straight-up Breather Level by allowing you to skip huge chunks of the dungeon with little effort.
  • Having the possibility of solving shrine puzzles in different ways can also potentially break interesting puzzles into ridiculously easy endeavors, as shown here.
  • Not only are Lynels hilariously powerful, but so are their weapons. The Savage Lynel weapons are some of the strongest weapons in the game, with the strongest of them (the Savage Lynel Crusher) only being beaten by an Ancient Axe++ while wearing the ancient armor set enhanced bonus. Not to mention the Savage Lynel Bow having a chance of firing quintuple arrows.
  • The Master Sword itself. Not only is it a solid weapon with an attack power of 30, it doesn't break when its durability runs out, but only goes on a cooldown before it can be used again, effectively replacing sledgehammers and axes for mining and logging, respectively. Additionally, in the presence of Malice or Malice-infused enemies like Guardians, its attack power doubles. The only condition to obtain it is that Link must have 13 red hearts.
    • The Trial of the Sword DLC serves to break it even more. While it gets a lot more difficult than the 13 heart requirement to get the Master Sword the "Trial" in question is three stages long and finishing each one adds 10 extra points of damage to the sword's base power level, so doing all 3 levels puts it in its 60 damage state permanently, and the stages are in order of their length and general difficulty curve. Given how each part is a No-Gear Level so Link is a Glass Cannon under even the best conditions, and there are breather areas in each stage that can give him access to fairies and cooking, it can even be possible to finish them all right after getting the sword if you're good enough at dodging.
  • The spin/charge attack with a two-handed weapon. Holding down the attack button while holding a two-handed weapon causes Link to spin on the spot and anything that gets close to him immediately gets hit. However, what really makes it incredible is that it rapidly strikes anything within range for full damage for as long as Link's stamina holds out. If you have a halfways decent (50-70 attack power) weapon with attack buffs, you can take out even Silver Lynels in less than 10 seconds just by stunning them (multi-shot shock arrows to the face works wonders) then triggering the spin attack while standing right next to them (as an added bonus, unlike with Ancient Arrows this allows the Lynel to be looted afterwards). Oh, and this will also trigger Urbosa's Fury, if you have it, meaning if you don't have the attack power to take out whatever hellbeast you're up against, just release the charge attack as soon as the enemy recovers from their stunned status and Urbosa's Fury will re-stun them, allowing you to repeat the whole process again.
  • Majora's Mask, which was added in the first DLC pack. It essentially functions as all four of Kilton's masks (Bokoblin, Moblin, Lizalfos, and Lynel) combined. Since the majority of enemy encounters are with those four in particular, it trivializes combat in most cases. On top of that, it doesn't need to be bought, and even if you don't read the journal that tells you where it's hidden, it's buried in a place players are likely to stumble upon early in the game. Like the Phantom armor set, this is one of the many ways of curbing Master Mode's increased difficulty for the early parts of the game.
  • The Hylian Shield, assuming you're crazy enough to brave Hyrule Castle Lockup early to claim it. 90 defense, blocks even Guardian blasts without you taking a scratch, and it has a durability rating of 800! To put this in perspective, most shields hover around the 10-20 range. Daybreaker, the shield you get for completing Vah Nobooris, is the second most durable shield in the entire game at 60 durability, meaning the Hylian Shield is fourteen times the durability of Daybreaker. If you are skilled with shield bashes, this one shield can carry you through the entire game. You'd think being unique would be enough to balance it out, since it eventually breaks. Nope! Complete the Bolson construction quest in Akkala and you can just go buy another one for 3000 rupees!
  • Monster Extract. While its effects are random (sometimes making the resulting recipe worse than it'd normally be) it's possible to get the same +30 minutes modifier that a dragon horn would give. Since you can simply save before cooking and reload if the resulting recipe doesn't turn out the way you'd like, it is a very easy way to get a massive duration bonus without resorting to rare dragon parts, although a bit time consuming.
  • The snow bowling mini game, once you find the perfect spot, makes acquiring money insanely easy. You get a net of 280 rupees per strike. You can then proceed to buy every arrow, armor set, rare ingredient—including the aforementioned ingredients that completely heal Link when cooked—and Great fairy you come across. Since many defense upgrades require items you can buy, access to unlimited money makes upgrading defense much easier than the developers probably intended. Basically the entire game's difficulty takes a nosedive if you earn enough rupees.
  • Zelda-themed amiibos make the game much easier in general by granting features you can't otherwise get, exclusive gear or equipment, or just regular high-end equipment that you otherwise wouldn't see until well into the main game.
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