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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a break from other Zelda games in that it is an open world that let’s Link explore as he sees fit. It’s a break from Zelda games in another way as well: It offers a more difficult setting: Master Mode.
What does that mean? Keep reading our guide to Breath of the Wild Master Mode and we’ll tell you all about it.
Key Details Up Front
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild offers a Master Mode option, which makes enemies a level harder. It also offers additional quests, armor, and treasure for Link to discover. Master Mode kicks things up a notch for those who just can’t get enough of Breath of the Wild.
What is Master Mode?
Breath of the Wild Master Mode was developed to provide additional challenges to players. Mostly it focuses on increasing the difficulty of gameplay, which includes combating enemies. There are also additional changes that enhance the game itself.
For example, when playing Master Mode, Nintendo gives you a save slot explicitly for it. When you save in Master Mode you won’t overwrite an already existing file in Normal Mode. However, players only get one manual save slot and one autosave slot. If you’re up to the challenge, this should suffice.
One of the cool things about Breath of the Wild is that you can play either Normal Mode or Master Mode. You don’t have to complete one to play the other. Since the default gameplay is in Normal Mode, that’s where your first save file is created. After that, it’s up to you how you play (and save) your game.
How to Get Master Mode
You’ll only have access to Master Mode if you purchase the Breath of the Wild DLC. Once you have it, Master Mode is available when you enter the game. That’s all there is to it!
How is Master Mode Different?
There are many different ways in which Master Mode is different than Normal Mode when playing Breath of the Wild. Let’s go through some of the differences you’ll encounter as you explore Hyrule.
Detection Range for Enemies
It’s harder than ever for Link to sneak up on enemies in Master Mode. This is in large part due to their extended detection range. In Master Mode, enemies will detect Link over further distances than in Normal Mode. Fortunately, the same stealth features still apply, so remember the following when trying to surprise attack an enemy:
- Rain suppresses the sound of Link’s footsteps
- Hiding behind solid items like trees or rocks prevents enemies from seeing Link
- Tall grass and foliage conceal Link from enemies
Moving on Up
By default, all the enemies Link faces in Normal Mode are leveled up in Master Mode. This means their attack power, health, and difficulty are kicked up a notch. You can see this visibly based on their color, which we’ll talk more about in a moment.
The main thing to remember is that every enemy you fought in Normal Mode is now more difficult to defeat. Keep that in mind as you navigate your way through the game.
Your Favorite Enemies, Now in Gold!
When you play Breath of the Wild in normal mode, you probably realized that the most difficult enemies you face come in Silver. In Master Mode, enemies are all leveled up, so now the most difficult enemy you can fight comes in Gold.
As you fight your way across Hyrule, you’ll encounter gold Lizalfos, Moblins, Bokoblins, and even Lynels. These enemies are among the toughest you’ll face in Breath of the Wild. Honestly, the only enemy that might be more difficult is Thunderblight Ganon.
These enemies come with stronger resistance to any damage Link can throw at them along with more health. Just like in Normal Mode, you’ll have a difficult time defeating these enemies until you increase Link’s capabilities.
That’s not to say it’s impossible. It’s just that it’s easier to defeat a Lynel with a sword and shield than a tree branch.
Why Won’t you Die?
Another fun Master Mode feature that increases the challenge of Breath of the Wild quite a bit is enemy regeneration. No, they don’t come back from the dead, but if you stop fighting an enemy long enough, their health meter will refill.
Encountering more difficult enemies is one thing, but fighting enemies who can refill their health offers a whole other level of frustration. With regeneration, Link can no longer take his time defeating enemies. If he plans on fighting, it’s a fight to the death…or until it’s time to retreat.
Fighting enemies that can regenerate their health also makes fighting several enemies at the same time much more challenging. This is especially true when several enemies are silver or gold.
Don’t Look Up
This new Master Mode feature might be the most exciting one. As Link makes his way through Hyrule, there are only a few times when he has to worry about what’s above him. That’s no longer the case in Master Mode. There are now areas where enemies sit atop floating platforms.
They’re not everywhere, but they are in some challenging places. Bridges, cliffs, and other crossings are the most common areas where you’ll find them. If you do come across some floating platforms, you can ignore them if you want, but what’s the fun in that? You’re playing Master Mode for the excitement, right?
Plus, there are treasure chests on many platforms, so you might be missing out on some awesome loot. These floating platforms are worth exploring early in the game, especially on the Great Plateau. Within these chests, you’ll discover weapons that can help you defeat early-game enemies like blue Bokoblins.
However, keep in mind that these enemies are likely to have advanced long-range weapons. So keep your eyes out for electric arrows, fire arrows, and ice arrows. These guys aren’t playing around. Of course, no risk no reward, right?
Powered up Guardians
ALL enemies are leveled up in Master Mode, including Guardians. However, the color code that applies to other enemies doesn’t apply to Guardians. They look the same as they did in Normal Mode but now they’re more powerful and much more aggressive. They’re primed to detect and hunt down Link at a moment’s notice.
For example, you’ll face a Guardian Scout during the early parts of the game while on the Great Plateau. In Normal Mode, you’d only have to hit it twice to defeat it. But in Master Mode, you’ll probably have to have a few more weapons at your disposal to take it out. Single Guardians, even Scout Guardians, can require using up several weapons to defeat them.
Another new feature that full-size Guardians employ is the timing of their beams. In Normal Mode, you can quickly adjust to the fighting and timing of their laser beams. Decent players can perform a beam deflection back at the Guardian and defeat it. However, in Master Mode, full-size Guardians have a delay when firing on Link. While it’s not impossible to defend or deflect, it will take some time to get used to.
Master Mode Tips and Tricks
When you’re ready to tackle Breath of the Wild in Master Mode, here are a few tips and tricks to consider:
Always be Gathering
No matter what you’re doing, always be picking up plants, hunting animals, and grabbing fish as often as possible. You never know when you might come across a cooking pot that will allow you to make some health-recovering meals you can use when fighting those gold enemies.
Use Those Campfires
Anytime you see a campfire with a pot, take time out to use the ingredients you’ve gathered to cook. This way, you’ll have power-ups at your disposal if you’re fighting in different climates or when fighting various enemies. For example, if you’re in cold climates, use meals that keep your body temperature up.
Focus on Health
Yes, stamina is important in Breath of the Wild, but in Master Mode, you’ll need all the health you can get. Turn your Spirit Orbs into as many heart containers as possible. You can focus on gathering Stamina-increasing ingredients to offset your lack of Stamina.
Be on the Attack
You’re going to break some of your weapons as a result of being attack-minded, but that’s okay. In Master Mode, you’ll want the additional hit power that comes with your last hit. The benefit is that when you’re able to defeat powerful enemies, you’re likely to get powerful weapons in return.
Don’t Forget About Stealth
Yes, enemies can spot Link from further away in Master Mode, but that doesn’t mean you should scrap stealth completely. You’ll come across many enemy camps that are perfect for sneaking. Take your time and take them out one by one. This is especially helpful when you’re dealing with encampments that have more than one silver or gold enemy.
There are plenty of questions about Master Mode in Breath of the Wild. Here are a few of the most commonly asked ones.
Question: Is There a Difference Between Master Mode and Normal Mode?
Answer: The main difference is that in Master Mode, enemies are powered up while in Normal Mode they’re not. This includes Guardians, which are some of the most difficult enemies to defeat.
Question: What’s the Best Way to Deal With Guardian Scouts?
Answer: Deflect their beams back at them with a metallic weapon of your choosing. However, this can be very difficult to do in Master Mode due to the Guardians’ increased aggressiveness and timing. If you’re able to strike them with a bomb arrow before they attack, that will also damage them considerably.
Question: What’s the Best Way to Get Better Weapons?
Answer: If you’re able to take down powerful enemies, they’ll often drop weapons of varying quality. This is a good way to grab some high-level weapons and upgrade your current ones.
Question: How do I Stay Ahead of the Game?
Answer: Always be gathering resources for cooking and upgrading your armor. Also, remember that in Master Mode you should prioritize health over everything else. And take advantage of any opportunity to sneak up on enemies and take them out one by one.
Question: Do I Need to Complete all the Shrines Before I can Start Master Mode?
Answer: No, you don’t need to complete all the Shrines before starting Master Mode. There are no prerequisites to playing Master Mode in Breath of the Wild.
Question: Are There Any Cheats or Special Codes for Master Mode?
Answer: At this time, there are no cheats or special codes available for playing Breath of the Wild in Master Mode. However, many players have found ways to increase their odds of success by taking advantage of glitches and exploits. It’s always worth looking into when you’re feeling overwhelmed in the game.
Can you Master Master Mode?
Breath of the Wild’s Master Mode is a great way to increase the challenge and get more out of the game. By focusing on health, attacking enemies, and using stealth, you can give yourself an advantage. And always be sure to gather resources so you can cook meals and upgrade your armor. With a little practice, you’ll be beating Master Mode in no time!.