27 things I wish I knew before starting The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

11. Use your paraglider 

This might sound like an absurd suggestion,  but get using that paraglider. While of course you can clamber everywhere, run, or even ride across the planes, there's nothing like sailing over valleys from the top of the nearest tower. There's even the added bonus of being able to do stealth attacks from above - so sail over your your foes, grab your weapon or your bow and arrow, and do some serious damage before they even know you're there. The bow and arrow is ultra helpful as you go into a bullet style slo-mo sequence to make sure you snare the right shot. 

12. You can use food to bait fish

Food is clearly the quickest route to friendship in Hyrule. In the same way you can leave it for dogs to eat (more on this later), you can also drop food into bodies of water to attract fish. Why? Because a school of salmon gathered together nibbling a single morsel is easier to catch than a bunch of speedy individuals darting off in all directions. Different food pieces work, so experiment with whatever items you have a surplus of. We found most varieties of mushroom give the best results. We used this technique to catch a bunch of Hyrule Bass for the Great Fairy to the south of Tabantha Tower, which resides due west on the map, who uses them to upgrade your armour. Incidentally, you could also try stranding fish on dry land - if you swim up behind them and herd them towards the shore, they’ll actually leap onto the earth in sheer panic.

13. Rewards help you bond with your horse

If you notice your horse isn’t obeying your commands, and keeps veering off course and running into trees and generally giving you cause for concern that your controller is broken, worry not. It just means it doesn’t trust you yet (your horse, that is, and not your controller). For this you must reward your horse. Do it by pressing L while riding and giving it a nice pat when it’s done something you tell it to do. You’ll know it’s worked if you see a pink cloud of love gas. If it turns left when you tell it, for example, pat it. Soon enough the bond rating will rise. If your horse really isn’t paying attention, a quick fix is holding ZL to enter targeting mode. Moving in this mode makes the horse take smaller, more precise steps.

14. Octorok guts can make items fly

In what’s surely Nintendo’s ode to the marvellously strange Metal Gear Solid 5, Breath Of The Wild lets you attach balloons to objects to make them float in the air. To be more specific, the ‘balloon’ is officially called an Octo Balloon, an “inflatable Octorok organ with a lot of lift,” as its description reads. You loot them from the Octoroks - Zelda’s classic, river-based, rock-throwing enemies. You simply hold it in your hand then attach it to objects to see them float. Object too heavy? Attach multiple balloons. The Korok Leaf comes in handy here, too, because you can tie two balloons onto one bomb then waft it into enemy encampments. 

15. You can light grass on fire for updraft

Fire is more than a tool of destruction. When you start a blaze in a patch of grass (or anywhere else dry enough), it actually creates an updraft. Use this rapid air swell to your advantage by whipping out your paraglider, jumping by using X, then pressing X again to glide on it and get boosted way up into the air. This is handy if there’s a sheer rock surface you want to climb that Link’s stamina wheel isn’t big enough for, or if you want to get the drop on an enemy camp by approaching from the sky like a terrible eagle of death. Press Y to slash in the air and Link will do a devastating downward plunging attack. And it’s all thanks to fire. Thanks, fire.

16. Make the most of your Korok seeds

Remember those crafty little Koroks? This bizarre race of leaf-masked tree people first appeared in Wind Waker as pals of the Deku Tree. Hundreds of them are hiding throughout Hyrule - they emerge from the ground if you jump and land within any suspicious circle of rocks you see; they appear if you use your magnet to manoeuvre metal cube arrangements; some hide under lone grey stones; and some if you tread on their pressure-sensitive plates then trigger and complete their target shoot-out. Collect the Korok Seeds they drop as you'll need plenty for the later upgrades they count towards, which we won't spoil here. To track them down, take a look at our The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Korok Seed and Hetsu locations guide.

17. Strike the ghost bunny to get rich quick

One time, after spawning at the Ta’loh Naeg Shrine nearest Kakariko Village, I headed up the grassy hill to its right and found something very strange: a glowing blue bunny-type animal in the distance. It was a skittish little fellow and scrambled off as soon as it caught wind of me. I did, however, score a few meaty hits with my halberd, at which point it dropped pure money, green and blue rupees spraying out of its backside. I’ve seen this fruitful little guy approximately one time, and it won’t seem to spawn again, but I’m remaining vigilant for the ghost bunny.

Update: Commenters are suggesting just to leave the area if you don't manage to catch the bunny and then returning straight away.

18. Capturing fairies will help you cheat death

Do you want to live forever? Head to a Great Fairy Fountain and pick up some of the smaller, apparently less great fairies hovering around the gigantic flower petals. Having one in your possession is extremely useful, because it instantly revives Link when he dies. Even better, you can carry plenty of the blighters at any one time, meaning you can essentially cheat death. The fairies are quick, so you’ll need to sprint, paraglide, or shield surf in before they scatter. Alternatively, you can stealth in to save any chasing. An early Great Fairy Fountain lies just beyond Ta’loh Naeg Shrine nearest Kakariko Village. Fairy underlings - they’re still pretty great to us.

19. Found a rusty weapon? Fix it with an Octorok

Found a rusty weapon stuck in the ground? (Or indeed, stuck anywhere.) Here's some good news - if you throw it at an Octorok while it's inhaling, it'll suck it up and spit it back at you in pristine condition. You can also bounce Octorok projectiles back at them using a shield, in classic Zelda style. Tenta-cool. 

20. You can recruit canine companions

When you see a dog, you’ll immediately want to run up and pet it, because it’s a dog. Sadly, this isn’t Watch Dogs 2, and no such button exists. What you can do, though, is drop a juicy cut of meat for any canine you see and make friends with it. In turn, your new poochy pal will follow you around panting excitedly. It can also potentially lead you to treasure if you keep feeding it so if it just darts off, you'd better follow and see where it's heading. Sadly you can only have one furry friend, putting an outright damper on your dreams of a dog army with which to battle Calamity Gannon. Also, don’t try this bonding exercise with wolves, as they’ll just attack you. But yay! Doggos!