Information about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been served to us primarily through drips and drabs, but once in a while we're treated to a sizable info dump.
The latest deluge of information comes courtesy of the newest issue of Game Informer magazine. Nintendo Everything pulled some of the feature's highlights, and Game Informer itself will post Breath of the Wild content as the month of February goes on.
We've used this new information to pull together a list of what you should know about Breath of the Wild. How do shrines differ from dungeons? How does weather affect Link's adventure? How does fast travel work? We have answers to all those questions, plus many more.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild comes to the Nintendo Switch and Wii U on March 3.
What you should know about Breath of the Wild's geography
Link can keep several horses
Link's faithful steed Epona is no longer the only horse in town. Breath of the Wild has several stables scattered across Hyrule, which Link can populate by taming wild horses. When Link jumps on a horse's back and manages to calm it, he can ride it to a stable and house it there, effectively taming it (as long as he doesn't get kicked in the face first). Link can keep several horses at once, and the horses can get killed by enemies, so be careful with your pony pals. However, horses can be made stronger and friendlier with feeding and care.
There numerous stables across Hyrule, and they function like rest stops
Link's horses rest in Hyrule's stables, but Link can take five in them, too. Thankfully, he doesn't have to share real estate in the horses' stalls; he can rent beds at the stables. Paying for better beds grants him temporary yellow hearts that boost his health meter, but yellow hearts vanish for good once Link loses them in combat.
Hyrule has dynamic weather
Weather exists for reasons other than atmosphere in Breath of the Wild. People react according to the condition of the day. If it starts raining, for instance, they'll go inside instead of standing around brainlessly. There is also lightning, which will indeed hit Link if he runs around in an open field equipped with metal weapons.
You can speed up time by lounging near fires Loitering near a bonfire will make time pass quickly. Bring marshmallows.
The game's difficulty changes depending on where you are in the world
In true RPG fashion, enemy toughness is determined by your location. If foes are too rough, you can hustle your bustle back to a gentler part of Hyrule until you're better-equipped for combat.
Shrines are fast-travel points
When you discover one of the 100+ shrines dotting Hyrule, you can fast-travel to it from thereon in.
Different shields offer different snowboarding experiences
Burton? Forum? Gnu? Those names mean nothing in Hyrule, where a sturdy shield is all you need if you want to shred some powder. Different shields offer differing speeds and level of control.
You can mine for minerals
Mining in Breath of the Wild yields rupees and materials that can be used for crafting. Mining for the sake of crafting, huh? Sounds … familiar.
You can place map markers, and several symbols are at your disposal
Given the size of Breath of the Wild, you're going to have to become friends with its map. You can place up to 100 markers, which are available across a variety of symbols. Game Informer reports seeing a sword, a shield, a bow and arrow, a pot, a star, a chest, a leaf, and a skull (perfect for marking the locations of nurseries and playgrounds).
What you should know about Breath of the Wild's combat
Nearly anything can be used as a weapon, but low-quality weapons wear down quickly
Link can pretty much arm himself with any old thing he picks up off the ground in Breath of the Wild. This includes sticks as well as crude clubs, swords, and bows dropped by enemies. However, these low-quality weapons wear down and break after some use. Higher-quality weapons wear down more slowly, though it should be pointed out that there are no "invincible" weapons (Master Sword: Handle with care?).
The stamina meter controls sprinting, gliding, and climbing, and the meter can be enlarged
Link is not a tireless adventurer. Much of what he does is controlled by a stamina meter, a la Skyward Sword. He can enlarge his stamina meter, though Nintendo wouldn't tell Game Informer how it's done.
There are shrines and dungeons
We know quite a bit about the shrines in Breath of the Wild. We know there are lots of them, they vary in size, some are focused around combat, some are focused around puzzle-solving, many have bosses at their end, and they all yield "spirit orbs" that can be traded for special items. However, despite initial fears, there are actual dungeons, too. Game Informer got to visit one, and the crew notes some interesting things about the location. Apparently, it's "always moving," a living substance called "malice" covers the dungeon (it can hurt Link if he touches it), and said malice can be destroyed by attacking its eyeballs. Link can also use his Sheikah Slate as a multi-tool in the dungeon: It serves as a pair of binoculars as well as a map. Link can even call up a 3D model of the dungeon that tilts the entire structure when it's manipulated. The dungeon is guarded by a monstrous creature called "Wind Blight Ganon," and true to its name, it wields wind magic.
What you should know about Breath of the Wild's characters
An entire team was dedicated to programming AI for the game's wild animals
Hyrule is populated by myriad wild animals. You'll see deer, boar, foxes, and all kinds of predators and prey (some of which are quite edible). Horses will kick you in the head if you're not very careful about sneaking up on them.
There's no "guide" character
Breath of the Wild producer Eiji Aonuma told Game Informer that he wants players to choose their own path, hence why you won't find "guide" characters (Navi, Fi, King of the Red Lions) in the game.
Beedle the merchant is back in Breath of the Wild.
Got questions about Link's first adventure for the Nintendo Switch? We have answers. Check out all our guides, tips, and articles about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.