tears of the kingdom how to get to sky islands

Tears of the Kingdom How to Get to Sky Islands

In Tears of the Kingdom, you start the game on a massive Sky Island, but after you jump off and get to the surface of Hyrule, you might find that you have some trouble getting up to the rest of the islands in the sky that contain shrines, puzzles, and bosses for you to fight. There are a few ways to get up there, but none are super clear.

While getting to every island might seem impossible at first, there are many ways to reach the floating pieces of paradise. This guide will cover every method you can use to gain quite a lot of height, from the obvious to the ingenious and obscure.

Bottom Line Up Front

Though there are many ways to get to sky islands, the best ways are using Zonai Wings from islands you can fast travel to or using Skyview Towers to launch high in the sky.

Fast Travel

Tears of the Kingdom zelda map fast travel
Image By Monica Phillips.

Since you have to unlock five different fast travel points on the Great Sky Island before you can even leave, it might be wisest to fast travel back up there to explore other sky islands. This point exists as a jumping-off point for the rest of the methods that aren’t exclusive to the surface.

You can fast travel by opening the map with the minus button and pressing up on the D-pad to select the Sky Island layer of the map, then pressing A on whatever blue icon you want to go to. For example, I’d recommend going to the southernmost shrine on the Great Sky Island since it’s one of the highest up points on the map.


paraglider item Tears of the Kingdom
Image By Monica Phillips.

One of the first things you should try is just using your paraglider. You can get the paraglider by just heading to the city outside Hyrule Castle and doing the quests there as soon as you get off the Great Sky Island, and it comes in extremely handy when you want to try and get to any new sky islands.

It’ll lose height at a constant rate and only go as far as your stamina meter allows, but this should absolutely be the first method you try if there’s a sky island you want to go to that isn’t too far away. Generally, if the island looks like it will exhaust all your stamina or is above you, you should go for something else.


skyview tower Tears of the Kingdom
Image By Monica Phillips.

The most straightforward and best way to get to Sky Islands is by doing it the intended way. All around the world, you’ll find a bunch of giant towers with floodlights at their base to make them easy to spot, some of these might be a bit trickier than they seem, but luckily for you, we have an entire guide dedicated to getting every single one of these.

Once you unlock a tower, you can fast-travel to it anytime and activate it to get launched super high in the sky. This plus the paraglider will get you to almost any Sky Island in the game, but there are still quite a few that are nowhere near a tower and would take a ton of stamina to glide towards, so that’s when you should look for other methods.


Tears of the Kingdom ascend
Image By Monica Phillips.

I only really include this one because I often forget it even exists. Ascend allows you to go straight up through any ceiling, as long as it isn’t too far away, and Link can pop up on top with no issues. So if you need to go directly above you, I’d recommend this one before heading for any other option. Otherwise, you can continue forgetting this ability exists.

Zonai Contraptions and Ultrahand Shenanigans

Now we can get to the more long-distance methods that can take you from the surface to the sky. Zonai Devices such as fans or Balloons come in handy for anyone who wishes to get a ton of height quickly, and while creating a decent flying machine can take some creativity (and battery), the best ones in the game aren’t too hard.

For pretty much all of these, I’d recommend investing a ton of Zonai Charges into the dispenser near Tarrey Town on the northeast side of the map. It won’t take too long to get to and contains Fans, Wheels, Balloons, Big Wheels, Rockets, and Steering Sticks, which is just about everything you’d ever need.

The Powered Wing

Tears of the Kingdom the powered wing
Image By Monica Phillips.

The most basic contraption that the game will have you creating all the time is just a Zonai wing with 1-3 fans on it. While you could go for more than 3, that will weigh down the contraption with Link being unable to balance it out, so I’d recommend only going for 3. Feel free to add a Control Stick if you want to turn easily.

The only issue with this one is that it won’t be gaining much height. While you could add rockets to it to boost it if they’re available, those things are pretty rare, and you’ll probably want to use it on something a little more sustainable since Zonai wings will evaporate after just a minute or two of continued flight.

The Hot Air Balloon

Tears of the Kingdom hot air balloon
Image By Monica Phillips.

The Balloon item in Tears of the Kingdom serves exactly one purpose, to make a hot air balloon with it. There isn’t much to this one, just put a flame emitter in the basket of the Balloon, attach the Balloon to whatever you want, and start flying.

The only issue is that it takes quite a bit of battery and only goes straight up, but you could also try to create a campfire inside instead.

I’ve also learned that if you choose to place a piece of wood in the basket, it burns brighter and makes your Balloon go higher faster if you throw a bunch of Hylian pinecones in the fire. This game consistently keeps impressing me with the fact that intuitive physics pretty much always applies to anything.

The Octo Balloon

Tears of the Kingdom octo balloon
Image By Monica Phillips.

If you’re like me, you might’ve gotten a little too caught up with all the fancy new Zonai devices and wholly forgotten about Breath of the Wild’s old reliable method of gaining a ton of vertical height, and no, I don’t mean magnesis and two minecarts, I mean Octoballoons, those things that drop from Octoroks that spawn in big pools of water.

You can attach these to just about anything by opening your inventory and holding them by pressing X. I’d recommend using at least two and placing them on opposite ends of whatever you’re trying to make float and having a few extras on hand since they don’t last forever. Even in Tears of the Kingdom, they’re an excellent battery-free alternative.

The Long Bridge

long ultrahand bridge Tears of the Kingdom
Image By Monica Phillips.

Sometimes, simplicity is the best solution. Find the longest objects you can, and stick 21 or fewer of them together, end-to-end, and make a bridge so long the camera zooms out to where Link is hardly visible anymore. These get a bit unwieldy to manipulate with ultrahand, but they can often get the job done effectively.


springs Tears of the Kingdom
Image By Monica Phillips.

Need to get up somewhere but don’t have a Balloon or rockets on hand? Well, you can glue a bunch of springs together, one on top of the other, then hit it while on top to get bounced super high. You should expect this to launch you further the more springs you do, and it’ll throw you extremely far and cap out at about eight springs total.

The Green Goblin

green goblin glider Tears of the Kingdom
Image By Monica Phillips.

One of the most effective vehicles for flying around is literally two fans and a steering stick. First, lay one fan on the ground, facing down, then lean another fan against it so it’s at around a 35° angle.

Next, glue the steering stick to the side of the fan at an angle, take the fan out from under it, and glue that to the other side, leaving the fans flat and the steering stick at an angle.

This should let you control it and fly straight up when you hold back, forward and a bit down when holding forward, and fly forward and up when holding no direction. You could also add an extra fan to the front and glue the two fans further back to make this machine even more effective, at the cost of a bit more battery consumption.

Flying Floating Platforms

Tears of the Kingdom flying floating platforms
Image By Monica Phillips.

This one has a confusing title, but trust me when I say you probably will or already have made these before. Take one of those floating platforms and glue rockets or fans or a balloon to them, and you’re done.

These things retain their height no matter what, so you can never lose height while recharging. They do disappear after getting too far from where they spawn, though.

Hover Stones

hover stones Tears of the Kingdom
Image By Monica Phillips.

Remarkably similar to the previous one, just with a bit more convenience and a far heavier toll on your battery.

You can get a Hover Stone from some Zonai dispensers, which will stay afloat in mid-air as long as you have a battery. It can’t be pushed by fans or rockets, but you can activate two of them and use ultrahand to make yourself an infinite staircase, as long as you don’t run out of juice.

The Advanced Infinite Flight Machine

infinite flight machine Tears of the Kingdom
Image By Monica Phillips.

In this tweet by @imZaytri on Twitter, she shows off a rather expensive but extremely useful design for a flying machine that can gain infinite height no matter the battery you have.

This requires a shock emitter, four motors and propellers (from the Gemimik shrine, located right inside that spiral island in the Northeast), and four giant boomerangs fused to electric batteries (from the Mogawak shrine in Zora’s Domain).

While this is wildly expensive, you can add this design to your Autobuild favorites to spend some Zonaite building it rather than having to scavenge for these materials and sometimes having to fuse them to things and break them apart at Tarrey town to get them out of shrines.

Additionally, you can substitute the boomerangs for any other metal weapon at the expense of making the machine a tad heavier.

infinite flight Tears of the Kingdom
Image By Monica Phillips.

First, set down a platform to attach everything to; this can be a square wooden platform. Next, put a motor on every corner, then attach the giant propeller to every motor. We can now start connecting our metal weapons fused to electric batteries to the top of every motor, adding a shock emitter and ensuring each motor will get electrified when it kicks in.

infinite flight 2 Tears of the Kingdom
Image By Monica Phillips.

Now you can optionally put a Steering Stick on top or just hit it to activate and hope it doesn’t rotate. Just be aware it’ll lose some height before the backup power kicks in and that you definitely shouldn’t be using this when it’s thundering outside. You can feel free to favorite this on Autobuild now, so you won’t have to struggle to recreate it.

In my experience, this will only work well if it has a bit of a headstart; it tends to fall further than it flew in the first place while switching to backup power and will only make up that distance slowly over time to gain more height overall than it loses. You should try starting this off a giant cliff or off the edge of any sky island for max efficiency.


dungeon Tears of the Kingdom
Image By Monica Phillips.

While not extremely practical, two of the four dungeons in the world will take you up incredibly high, namely the Rito and Zora dungeons, on the Northwest and East ends of the world, respectively. So if you’re trying to get somewhere that happens to be near these, you should feel free to fast-travel to either the dungeons themselves or the shrines inside.

The Rito dungeon is one I’d recommend getting for those who want a convenient way of getting some extra flight time anyways, and the Zora dungeon happens to be high up enough that it makes accessing a bunch of sky islands nearby way easier. So I’d recommend going after these two and using them to paraglide off of whenever you need them.


Tears of the Kingdom eldin canyon tower solution recall
Image By Monica Phillips.

Occasionally you’ll see a rock fall out of the sky with a big blue trail on it, and I’d recommend running to it, climbing on, and then recalling it. If you’re lucky, this might take you directly to a new Sky Island. Still, at the bare minimum, it’ll get you up extraordinarily high and give you an excellent position to paraglide down to nearby islands.

You can also use Recall in various ways outside the intended way to use it for sky islands. For example, try shooting an arrow with wood fused to it at the island you want to get to. Follow the arrow, attach something to it wherever it is, hop on to it, then recall the wood and watch as you get rocketed up to wherever you were going.

If there’s a tree on the sky island next to a ledge, and it just so happens to be in shooting distance, then strap a bomb to an arrow and try to shoot the tree so its log will fall off. Then, if done right, you can glide onto the log, recall it, and try to ride it up to the sky island. This one’s a bit unwieldy but feels fantastic to do.

Finally, if you keep running out of battery while on a Zonai Wing with fans and barely can’t reach your destination, try spamming Recall on the glider in mid-air while your battery recharges. It will naturally fall a bit or go back because of the recalling, but you can abuse this endlessly to stall in mid-air and get back to flying.

Rocket Shields

rocket shield Tears of the Kingdom
Image By Monica Phillips.

This one is far more complicated than it seems on the surface. You can achieve near-infinite height with a single Rocket strapped to your shield, but pulling it off requires incredible timing and precision. But first, a rocket shield will give you a big vertical boost for holding it out, so if you need a boost, that’s fine.

If you want a ton of height at minimal cost, you’ll have to chain together a series of rocket shield surfs, canceling the shield surf, pivoting, and doing all of this correctly with good timing. I recommend watching this clip from Max Blumenthal on Twitter, as it explains and demonstrates the process well.

Essentially, you need to run forward, pivot by pressing the R button to start throwing something quickly, get out of the animation, and start shield surfing by pressing ZL + A. Then, right after the rocket starts up (which takes a second or two), you need to cancel the surf by pressing B. You can then repeat the shield surf and cancel.

If you time this right, you can get an absolute ton of height, and if you need to do this often (or just want to look really cool), I’d say try and practice this. Rockets are rare, but you can usually find them in shrines and the Zonai dispenser near Tarrey Town. All you need is one shield, so it’s not too expensive.


Question: What’s the best way to get to the new Sky Islands in Tears of the Kingdom?

Answer: The best way is also the intended way, by activating Skyview Towers that you can find around Hyrule, which will get you to 90% of the islands in the game.

Question: How do I gain height easily in Tears of the Kingdom?

Answer: Rocket shields will give you a small boost, but for a more long-term solution, make a hot air balloon with a Zonai Balloon and a platform.

Question: What’s the best flying machine in Tears of the Kingdom?

Answer: You can easily make one of the best and most efficient flying devices using Ultrahand to glue two fans at a 35° angle to a Steering Stick.


There are many ways to gain height in Tears of the Kingdom, and while some of the best are complex Zonai contraptions, you can get by just gluing a bunch of logs together and calling it a day. It’s hard to miss Revali’s Gale when you can do something about the same with a shield and rocket without beating a single dungeon.

I’d recommend trying the methods I’ve laid out in this guide, but also try your ways of getting to any sky island you see. Exploring is more fun when you do it your way, and sometimes your way is by making a flying truck or getting on the back of a dragon, and even if they aren’t the best ways, they’re still at least going to be fun.

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