The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a very different beast to recent entries in the long-running series, eschewing a linear path through the story in favor of a player decision-driven experience. This harkens back to the earliest games (The Legend of Zelda on the NES being the first) where a player can attempt (after a tutorial area) any dungeon/area in the game, at any time, up to and including the final boss if they should choose to do so.
Whilst this is certainly within the realms of achievable, Link begins the game with little more than a wooden stick and some threadbare clothes after a fairly long nap. This would make the final incarnation of Calamity Ganon quite the challenge, and I feel it would be wiser to arm Link with something a little more substantial.
With this in mind, and in the tradition of Legend Of Zelda games (though perhaps not quite so focussed on specific tools), Breath of the Wild has an enormous variety of items to collect, with perhaps the largest selection of armor in the series so far.
Included in this range are area-specific armor sets that provide bonuses to stats and buffs to counter the harsh environments our hero finds himself traversing. These come in three parts, a helm/hat, a chest piece, and greaves/legwear, which when combined provide some hefty bonuses.
From fluffy cold-weather woolies to heavy fire-resistant suits, I feel these items are essential to spend any substantial time exploring the relevant areas of Hyrule. One of the main (and frankly, most beautiful) areas is Zora’s Domain and its surrounding area, and with it comes the Zora Armor Set.
In this guide, I’ll give you a breakdown of the Helm, and show you where you need to start looking to collect this headpiece.
What is the Zora Helm?
The Zora Helm is armor for Link’s head that, when worn, increases defense, enhances your swimming speed, and enables an underwater spinning attack.
- Item Location: Toto Lake, Lanaryu Region
- Requirements: Zora Armor (Upper Body), Magnesis
- Base Armor Rating: 3
- Benefits: Increased Swim Speed, Enables Water Spin Attack
- Dyeable: Yes
- Enhanceable: Yes
- Set Bonus*: Swim Dash Stamina Increase
*Note: Set Bonus is applicable when wearing all three pieces of the Zora Armor Set, after enhancing twice via a Great Fairy Fountain.
Key Features and Benefits
The Helm gives Link a Zora-like appearance and can be dyed into a wide range of colors to suit your tastes. I find it incredibly useful, as aside from shooting arrows at enemies from the shore, there are no other means of attacking whilst in water. The boost in swim speed is also a handy benefit both for traversal and combat. When worn with the other items from the set (after enhancement, see below) it provides a solid increase to stamina whilst dashing in water, allowing for further, faster exploration of the depths while being able to defend yourself.
Where to Find the Zora Helm
- Location: Toto Lake, Submerged Ruin
- Required Ability: Magnesis
- Required Items: Zora Armor (Upper Body)
The Zora Helm is hidden away in a Treasure chest at the bottom of Toto Lake, northwest of Zora’s Domain. This is accessible via swimming up a waterfall within Zora’s Domain, which will require the Zora Armor (Upper Body), and the Magnesis ability.
The Armor can be acquired as part of the Divine Beast Van Ruta questline by speaking to King Dorephan, which will occur naturally as part of the story progression while in Zora’s Domain. (This is, of course, provided you haven’t gone straight to Hyrule Castle with your trusty wooden stick.)
Magnesis can be acquired in the Oman Au Shrine, back at the Great Plateau, to the south of the Temple of Time. This is usually the first mini-dungeon you will encounter in your travels.
Once you have the Armor, equip it and make your way to the Northernmost waterfall in Zora’s Domain, then swim to the top. You will arrive at Toto lake and should see a submerged ruin within. Enter the lake and swim towards the center point, then climb onto the closest platform you can find and activate your Magnesis ability. This highlights any metallic objects nearby, including any that may be underwater. You should see a treasure chest near the center of the ruin.
When you have located the chest, find the closest platform you can climb on (if not the one you are standing on) and make your way there. Stand on the top and use Magnesis to lift the chest from the lake, and carefully place it on the platform. Inside you’ll find your prize.
A common trend in the Legend of Zelda series is the ability to enhance items. This used to involve Blacksmiths, finding better versions of items, and other more obscure methods. In Breath of the Wild, this takes the form of armor enhancement via the Great Fairy Fountains. These appear as huge flower buds in select locations, surrounded by glowing mushrooms. To awaken them, Link must provide them with enough Rupees (increasing as more are found and woken).
This provides several benefits, including increasing the Armor Rating, as well as some special abilities for both individual parts and whole sets of armor. This allows different armor sets to feel relevant throughout your entire journey and provides a variety of options to overcome even the most stalwart of beasts.
Each part of an armor set must be taken to a Great Fairy Fountain, with relevant materials to increase both power and bonuses. I have included a breakdown of the benefits, and the materials required to power up the Zora Helm, enabling it to keep you safe as you progress on your adventure.
|Upgrade Level||Armor Rating||Armor Increase from Previous||Ability Unlock (With Set)||Materials Needed|
|None||3 x Lizalfos Horn|
|Swim Dash Stamina Increase||5 x Lizalfos Talon
5 x Hyrule Bass
|None||5 x Lizalfos Tail
5 x Hearty Bass
|None||10 x Lizalfos Tail
15 x Opal
I would strongly recommend putting the time into upgrading this, and other Armor pieces, as you will begin to encounter harder foes, you will need stronger defenses to stand a chance.
As mentioned previously, there is quite a selection of armor available in Breath of the Wild, each piece with its benefits and uses. I would consider the Zora Helm to be Environmental armor, and by that I mean it gives an ability or statistical increase to enable navigation of treacherous areas. As there is such a range, I have compared it below with other Helms and headgear that provide similar benefits to highlight the capabilities included;
|Armor Name||Defense Rating||Additional Abilities||Requirements||Location|
|Swim Speed Up
|None||Toto Lake, Lanaryu Region|
|Swim Speed Up||DLC with version 1.3.3 Update, Complete Quest “Xenoblade Chronicles 2.”||Bridge of Hylia, Hylia Lake Region|
|Vah Ruta Divine Helm||
|Swim Speed Up
See Enemy HP
|Scanning the Mipha Amiibo with the Amiibo Rune. Must have cleared at least one Divine Beast.||Anywhere|
From these items, the first worthwhile replacement for the Zora Helm is the Salvager Headwear from software update 1.3.3. Although it cannot be upgraded, it offers the same great swim speed boost, and a higher defense, which is great for early game adventuring.
This is is completely free, and only requires that you download the update through your Switch (usually done automatically by the system before you play) and that you complete a short quest which should be added to your adventure log automatically.
From the point of the quest addition, you should follow the clues within to obtain the relevant armor pieces. The Headwear in particular is on the Bridge of Hylia in the Hylia Lake region. It requires you to stand in the middle of the bridge and look up at the southern sky at night. Any time after 9 pm (in-game, if you’re early, set up a campfire and wait until the right time) should do the trick. You’ll see a red shooting star, follow this to the chest with the headwear!
If you were lucky enough to secure a Mipha Amiibo (A small physical figure of an in-game character, that can be scanned via the Amiibo rune on your Sheikah Slate), then give it a scan. Fish will fall from the sky, (which could be handy for upgrading the Zora helm!) as well as a treasure chest.
This chest has a chance to contain the Vah Ruta Divine Helm, but only if you have cleared/completed one of the four Divine Beast dungeons. These are usually part of the path to completing the game, so you should find yourself coming across one fairly soon after setting off from the Great Plateau area.
If the chest does not contain the Helm, don’t worry! You can scan the Amiibo once per day (Real-time), which causes the same effect. Continue this until you acquire the Helm. This can be enhanced up to a whopping defense rating of 28 at the final upgrade tier and requires parts from Guardians (you may have come across these, usually right before a close encounter with a Laserbeam) so you want to wait until later in the game before collecting the relevant upgrade material.
From the above, my preference is the Scavengers Helm as an alternative to the Zora Helm. It is straightforward to acquire and is a viable replacement up to the point of upgrading the Zora Helm twice. In addition, it doesn’t require any additional expense to obtain.
Question: Do I Need the Zora Helm to Complete the Game?
Answer: No, progress is possible without the Helm, however, I would recommend it as the additional benefits it provides make water traversal much more convenient.
Question: Where do I find the Items Required to Enhance the Zora Helm?
Answer: The required materials can all be found throughout Hyrule in treasure chests, as quest rewards, or as pickups from defeated enemies, see below for an extended list;
|Lizalfos Horn, Talon, and Tail||From all Lizalfos monsters (Lizards, usually found in groups with other monsters) found all across Hyrule, simply kill them to collect the items they drop.|
|Hyrule Bass||Found in Ponds and rivers across Hyrule, you can either swim into one to collect or throw a bomb into the water near and detonate it. This will cause all nearby fish to float to the surface. You can find them:
Pond, west of the Temple of Time
Pond, north of the Great Plateau Tower
Squabble River, southwest of Dueling Peaks Tower
Ponds near Ubota Point, South of the Lakeside Stable
West side of Telta Lake, north of Kakariko Village.
|Hearty Bass||Found in West Faron, can be collected using the same method as the Hyrule Bass.
Around Floria Bridge, North of Ubota Point
Calora Lake, Northeast of Lake Floria
|Opal||Found in treasure chests on the Great Plateau (see below for locations) or across Hyrule from mining ore deposits, and from the Stone Talus monster when killing them. These can seem imposing when you first encounter them, but persevere and learn their patterns, and either shoot the Ore deposit on their head or back with a bow or use bombs to destroy their arms and attack the deposit when they fall.
Underwater in the pond next to Oman Au Shrine.
In a treasure chest in the ice lake, outside the Keh Namut Shrine.
Clear out the Bokoblin camp to the north of the Forest of Spirits.
Defeat all the Bokoblin surrounding Hopper Pond.
Behind a bombable wall, west of the Temple of Time.
In a treasure chest in the ruins, Northwest point of the Great Plateau.
Question: Why Can’t I Enhance the Helm?
Answer: To upgrade the Helm (and other Armor Pieces) you need to find and awaken Great Fairy Fountains. There are four throughout Hyrule, and you can only upgrade armor several times equal to the number of Fountains you have discovered. These cost Rupees to wake, starting at 100, and increasing to 500, 1,000, and 10,000 as each is unlocked. Below is a list of locations for the Fountains:
Great Fairy Cotera: Kakariko Village, Duelling Peaks Region In the hills above the village, near Tal’noh Naeg Shrine
Great Fairy Kayasa: Piper Ridge, Tabantha Region South of Rito Village
Great Fairy Mija: Lake Akkala, Akkala Region Southeast of the island in the center of the Lake
Great Fairy Tera: Great Gerudo Skeleton, Gerudo Desert Region The most South western point of the Gerudo Desert, West of the Southern Oasis
Question: How can I Dye my Armor?
Answer: You will find the Kochi Dye Shop in Hateno Village (in East Necluda), and to proceed, you will need twenty Rupees and five items. These items can be a variety, including food, plants, and Monster parts. Bear in mind that some items cannot be dyed, but the shopkeeper Sayge will inform you if this is the case. Your whole outfit will be dyed in the color of your choice, so make sure you remove anything that you do not want to be the shade of choice. There are 15 different options here, provided you have the items to accommodate.
With some patience and a little armor swapping, you’ll look stylish in no time.
Question: Will the Zora Helm Make Prince Sidon Like me More?
Answer: Prince Sidon likes you regardless of your choice of headwear!
I found the Zora Helm to be crucial when exploring the realm of Hyrule, as the Spin Attack ability was needed to defend myself while swimming, especially in the more monster-crowded areas. I appreciated the increase in speed, which made a normally sluggish swimmer (Link didn’t have much time for lessons with all that beauty sleep) cut through the water with grace. I’m also a Fashion addict in gaming, if there is a set or collection of armor, I must have it all and this scratched that itch, especially with the ability to dye the Helm in a color of my choice. I felt it was one of the more useful pieces of Armor in the game, and would recommend putting the time into collecting, if only for the Spin Attack.