The Depths in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom are arguably the hardest area in all of Hyrule (or under it), with boss fights, strange creatures, hundreds of Lightroots, treasure chests in abandoned mines and a pervasive Gloom that damages your maximum health until you can escape or find a lightroot. There's… a lot to cover, but we'll lay out why you want to go down there, what it'll do for you, and the best way to approach exploring the Depths in The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom.
Full Depths map and all Lightroot locations
The full Depths map is laid out above, with the location of every Lightroot you can find to illuminate it (it definitely took a while).
You might've noticed that the Depths actually mimic the layout of Hyrule, but as a kind of… opposite. Where there's water above, there's walls below. Where there's mountains above, there's canyons below. Where there's cities up top, there's mines beneath. Use this to help get a sense of what's nearby! When you know the full Zelda Tears of the Kingdom map, you'll be able to explore the Depths a lot more easily!
What are the Depths in The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom?
The Depths in The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom are a whole underground realm that can explore beneath Hyrule, a vast network of caverns, caves and tunnels that contain some of the toughest challenges in the whole game, as well as some of the best rewards.
We recommend not going down here for long stretches of time until you've levelled up a bit and are comfortably in the mid-game, maybe obtained a few of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom's armor upgrades and some good weapons. It'll definitely get easier once you obtain the Master Sword, but then again, what doesn't?
How to get to the Depths
The Depths can be accessed by dropping down Chasms, huge holes in the surface of Hyrule surrounded by the red Gloom and marked on the maps when you get close. Once you drop in, you can glide down to a point near the Chasm's entrance, and once you find and activate a Lightroot, you can use it as a fast travel point, much like a Shrine, as a quick way to come back.
If you want to get out of the Depths, you can either fast travel up to a Shrine or tower, or use Ascend in specific locations where stone pillars are built down from the ceiling of the cavern, rising up through them. This is actually a way to get up to specific locations, such as being the solution to the Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Lost Woods puzzle.
What's in the Depths?
The Depths contain a variety of things to look out for - some good, some bad, some both. Here's everything you can expect to find:
- Unique treasure and armor
- Yiga Bases and Outposts
- Abandoned Mines and Schema Stones
- Boss Fights and Coliseums
- Poes and Bargainer Statues
- Zonai Vehicle Materials
You can click on any of these to find out more, or just scroll down! There's a pretty clear risk/reward balance at play in the Depths - not only is it more dangerous down here, but there are valuable rewards you either can't get at surface level, or are at least much rarer up there.
Unique Armor and Weapons
There's a lot of armor in the Depths that you can't get at the surface, usually found in chests in small mines spread throughout the Depths, or as rewards for beating coliseums down here. The armor you find down here is specifically easter egg armor, references to older games! You can dress like the Link from Ocarina of Time, Windwaker, and even get the famous Majora's Mask, which is good enough that it made our list of the best Zelda Tears of the Kingdom armor! You can also get it by buying it from Bargainer Statues - more on that below.
Lightroots are the main thing you need to find down here - not only do they act as fast travel points, but they reveal the map around them, and literally illuminate the area - you'll be working in darkness until you turn the nearest one on. They also cure any heart and health reduction you've taken from Gloom,
Lightroots aren't always easy to get to, but it's not too hard to work out where they are - Lightroots are always just below Shrines on the surface level of Hyrule (though not the Sky ones). So there's a Lightroot for every Shrine, and vice versa!
For collecting every Lightroot, you'll get… a Dispelling Darkness Medal. It doesn't do anything, but it'll sit in your Key Items as a little trophy of your achievement.
Gloom is a red substance that reduces your maximum hearts when you touch it. In the Depths it's either across the floor, something you can tread in or climb over, or there are enemies covered in it, so you get affected when you take damage from them.
To cure Gloom, you need sunlight. Either find a Lightroot, head back to the surface, or eat a meal cooked with a Sundelion. You can also cook meals with Dark Clumps or wear special clothing to gain Gloom Resistance, slowing the rate at which it affects you in the first place.
Enemies coated in Gloom are clearly more dangerous, but there was one upside - if you've found the legendary Master Sword in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom, it does double damage on all Gloom-touched enemies!
Yiga Bases and Outposts
The Yiga are down here! Not only will you have a variety of boss fights with Master Kohga when you follow their questline, but they have a variety of outposts spread around! Each one is defended by Yiga ninjas (usually on vehicles) and they're worth attacking - if you can beat the ninja with a red glow to him, you'll unlock a storehouse which contains some Crystallized Charges (used for upgrading your special Zelda Tears of the Kingdom battery), or some special blueprints for your Autobuild power!
Abandoned Mines and Schema Stones
Like Yiga Bases, you'll find Crystallized Charges at these abandoned mines, which are usually beneath cities on the surface. They can be bought from Stewards in these mines in exchange for Zonaite - and not only that, but you can find even more Autobuild schematics down here! Other Stewards will give them to you, as well the materials to test them out straight away.
Boss fights and coliseums
There's dozens of boss fights down here! Admittedly, most of them are bosses you can find on the surface, with the exceptions of the giant Frox, but they're still a chance to test your mettle once more against these monsters. There's also coliseums, which are huge arenas - once you step into them, the doors slam shut and you'll face off against waves of enemies until you get a final reward!
Poes and Bargainer Statues
There's lots of Poes down here, little blue spirits you can pick up. Though useless on their own, you can spend them at Bargainer Statues, little idols spread around here (and one at Lookout Landing on the surface), redeemable for unique armor and resources. As you find more bargainer statues, their inventory for sale will expand!
Zonai Vehicle Materials
Exploring isn't easy - so make some vehicles to speed it up! Spread around the Depths you'll find little platforms with shelves of Zonai vehicle pieces for you to play with, whether you want a buggy, a hot air balloon, or even a jet! They won't last long, but they can help you reach that next Lightroot.
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