Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s modding community is thriving thanks to the Cemu Wii U Emulator, which allows players to enjoy the land of Hyrule on PC. Emulation is certainly a legal grey area and isn’t officially sanctioned by Nintendo, but that hasn’t stopped folks from using emulated copies of the game to add new playable characters, items from past games, and even new ways for us to play. The sheer amount of freedom and experimentation in Breath of the Wild is vast, and with the arrival of mods this level of creativity has only increased. I’ve searched the depths of the web to find the most ambitious and downright ridiculous mods you can use in Breath of the Wild.
Link has vanquished more bad guys than you can shake a Deku Stick at, and while it’s fun to play as the Hero of Time, it’s often nice to mix things up. Hyrule Warriors gave us a unique opportunity to slash our way to victory with our favourite characters from previous games, and it felt good to swat hordes of Bokoblins with the pointy end of Zelda’s rapier. Unfortunately, the majority of his companions are non-playable, with Link invariably being the sole adventurer who explores the game’s picturesque overworld and dank dungeons. However, modders WilianZilv and Skriller are currently working on a mod that will make Zelda playable. The head is taken from the Zelda model that present in-game, while the rest of the body is built entirely from scratch. There’s still a lot of work to be done before the mod’s released, but it looks as though fans will finally be able to play as the Hylian Princess.
Breath of the Wah’ld!
Breath of the Wild modders have been busy adding Minecraft characters, replacing the game’s Hinox with Shrek skins, and even making Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas’ Carl Johnson a playable character. Waluigi is the latest entry to Breath of the Wild’s colourful cast and he’s never looked so out of place. The purple loving plumber finally gets to star in his own game, even if he did steal it. It’s rather jarring to see the Mushroom Kingdom’s most pitiful villain in Nintendo’s prettiest game of the year, but if Luigi can star in his own games so can Waluigi, just don’t blame me if every Guardian, Hinox and Bokoblin can spot you a mile off.
Modder Fooni is currently working on an ambitious mod that will allow two player local co-op in Breath of the Wild. It will be a while before this mod is fully functional or at the very least in a playable state, but from the images above it looks promising. The mod works by changing the location of an NPC, and model swapping them with Link. However, it's currently unclear how co-op will impact things like talking to NPCs or entering shrines and dungeons, but it looks as though you’ll be able to run around Hyrule with your best bud sooner than later.
Classic weapons pack
There are plenty of mods that add fan-made items into Breath of the Wild, but if you want to be armed to the teeth with classic weaponry from past Zelda titles then look no further. This mod replaces Breath of the Wild’s swords and shields with Deku, Kokiri and Ordon counterparts. You can even use the Mirror Shield from Ocarina of Time and the Gilded Sword from Majora’s Mask. All of the weapons in this mod have been taken from previous games and painstakingly remoulded and textured, so you don’t have to worry about them looking out of place in their shiny new surroundings.
Link of Rivia
Link and Geralt of Rivia both love exploring dark dungeons, slaying monolithic beasts and saving the day from tyrannical villains. It was only a matter of time that the modding community gave the Butcher of Bokoblin a more fitting look. Link may not be much of a talker nor does he spend his days playing Gwent, but he does look rather dashing in his new Witcher gear. This texture mod doesn't change Link's model but it does replace his hair and eye colour, while also donning him in a custom armour retexture made to look like Geralt's starter mail in The Witcher 3. Who knew anime Geralt could look this good?
Create your own Link
Creating an avatar or character that resembles yourself has been a long-standing feature in most RPGs, but The Legend of Zelda has never included this feature. This mod simply adds a bunch of customisations to Link’s skin, eye and hair colour to best fit your preferences. If you’ve ever wanted Ganondorf’s Gerudo red locks or simply wondered what Link would look like with pink hair then look no further. Just make sure you download this armour patch so that your hair colour stays the same when wearing various head gear.
One of the biggest complaints about Breath of the Wild is the lack music that plays as you’re traversing your way through Hyrule. After the phenomenal orchestral soundtrack in Skyward Sword and iconic themes from past games, it can feel a bit strange silently wandering through dense forests and arid deserts with only ambient music playing in the background. I personally love the dynamic music in Breath of the Wild and feel it helps to truly immerse me in my surroundings, but if you can’t stand the silence, then this mod will have you humming the Hyrule Field theme in no time.
Spirit Tracks 2.0
Do you ever wish you could ride around Hyrule on Thomas the Tank Engine while holding Cloud’s trusty Buster Sword? If the answer’s yes, then you’re in luck. Steamrolling your way through droves of Guardians has never looked so beautiful thanks to modder Hefty’s fine work. This humorous mod replaces the game’s giant horses with some really useful engines. The Skyrim modding community may have beaten Hefty by a few years, but the sentient engine has never looked so happy to be part of Link’s grand adventure. If you like the idea of barrelling through Hyrule at breakneck speeds and striking fear into all your enemies, then take this mod for a ride.