How to upgrade armor in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom

armor Zelda Tears of the Kingdom
(Image credit: Nintendo)

The Zelda Tears of the Kingdom armor upgrades are all associated with the Great Fairies, whose locations are uncovered by the Potential Princess Sightings side adventure that you can unlock. The Great Fairies each require a special quest to unlock - or rather, to coax them out of their flowers with help from the Stable Trotters, a group of travelling musicians. Once that's done, Fairies will upgrade armor when you give them Rupees and specific materials, the amount of times they can upgrade increasing for every new fairy you unlock (I guess they share smithing tips?). Whatever the case, I'll cover how to find all the Great Fairy locations below and upgrade armor in TOTK.

Upgrading armor in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom with Great Fairies

  • Visit the Lucky Clover Gazette Headquarters just south of Rito Village and begin the Potential Princess Sightings quest
  • Go to the stables near each Great Fairy flower bud and complete the Serenade the Great Fairies side quest at each
  • Bring the requisite items and rupees to a Great Fairy to upgrade that armor piece

Zelda Tears of the Kingdom armor upgrades

Link upgrades armor in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom

(Image credit: Nintendo)

To upgrade your armor sets in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom you need to find a Great Fairy to enhance them. These characters are spread around the world, hidden in giant Fairy Fountain flowers, and there are four of them: Tera, Cotera, Mija and Kaysa. Each of them can upgrade your armor, but you need to do a side quest for each specific Great Fairy first, about appealing to them with a serenade from the travelling musicians known as the Stable Trotters. We'll cover more about how to do that below.

Each time you unlock a Great Fairy, all of them become better at upgrading, able to enhance your armor even further than before. When available, Great Fairies will improve the defensive stats of a piece of armor when you give them items specific to that armor, as well as some Rupees to cover the cost (the quality of items and amount of Rupees goes up the more you upgrade a piece of armor in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom).

Tears of the Kingdom armor upgrades: Lucky Clover Gazette

Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Lucky Clover Gazette location

(Image credit: Nintendo)

To unlock armor upgrades in TOTK you must first visit the Lucky Clover Gazette headquarters near Rito Village and start Potential Princess Sightings. We've marked the location on the map above, but it won't show up on your map until you physically walk up to it. 

You'll want to make sure you visit the Gazette as soon as you can, since even if you see Great Fairy flower buds dotted around Hyrule, you won't be able to serenade the Great Fairies if you haven't started the Potential Princess Sightings side adventure first. Trust us when we say that missing this quest could make you struggle in Tears of the Kingdom for no good reason. 

All Great Fairy locations in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom

All great fairy fountain locations in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom

(Image credit: Nintendo)

There are four Great Fairies in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom, all near certain stables. Use the map above to find their locations for yourself!

  1. Great Fairy Tera (Woodland Stable)
  2. Great Fairy Mija (Snowfield Stable)
  3. Great Fairy Cotera (Dueling Peaks Stable)
  4. Great Fairy Kaysa (Outskirt Stable)

There's no difference between any of the Great Fairies in how they can upgrade your armor - as mentioned, they all get better each time you access one of them, though you need to do them in the order listed above. Speaking of accessing them, to start with they refuse to leave their fountains…

How to get the Great Fairies

Stable Trotters in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Great Fairies are the key to Zelda Tears of the Kingdom armor upgrades, but you need them to leave their flowers first. To get the Great Fairies to leave their flowers, you'll need to do a special side quest for each one, all of which are called "Serenade to (Fairy's Name)". These are always started at the Stable nearby, where you'll talk to the travelling band known as the Stable Trotters. 

Keep in mind that you have to have gone to the Lucky Clover Gazette Headquarters near Rito Village first and started the "Potential Princess Sightings!" quest. The following questlines won't trigger otherwise, from what we've seen.

The idea is that the Great Fairies love music from a specific instrument, so each time you'll have to fetch a new musician for the Stable Trotters so that they can appeal to the Great Fairy with her instrument of choice. Here are the specific quests and how to beat them:

Great Fairy Tera

Link uses a cart in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The easiest Great Fairy quest to do is the Serenade to Tera quest. Just follow these steps to unlock your first chance to upgrade armor in TOTK:

  1. Talk to Mastro at the Woodland Stable. He'll explain he wants to visit the Great Fairy, but the cart is broken.
  2. Use Ultrahand to stick wheels on the cart. Make sure they're on properly and functional.
  3. Get a horse with a harness attached. If you don't have one already, you'll need to earn 3 Pony Points with a stable.
  4. Use Ultrahand to hook up the cart to the horse harness. Attach it to the little connecting piece at the front of the cart, or it might flip over.
  5. Bring the band to the Great Fairy. She's just up the road to the North, the colourful glowing flower. Don't flip the cart along the way, so ride carefully!

Great Fairy Mija

Location of Eustus in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Found in the Tabantha Tundra, Great Fairy Mija is unlocked with the following process:

  1. Talk to Mastro at Snowfield Stable. He'll tell you to find the horn player Eustus.
  2. Find Eustus at the spot marked above, near the Tabantha Great Bridge.
  3. Tell Eustus to get into the cart. He and the cart both need to get out of the pit, so you have to do them as one thing.
  4. Use Ultrahand to lift the cart and Eustus out of the pit. It seems like the game wants you to make it a flying machine, but we just… picked it up.
  5. Head back to Snowfield Stable and talk to Mastro. Now Eustus is there, he just wants a roof put on their cart for the journey.
  6. Use Ultrahand to stick two wooden boards on the cart. This'll be enough of a roof - talk to Mastro when it's done.
  7. Use a horse to pull the cart and Stable Trotters to the Great Fairy Miju. She should be in sight of the Stable, the big glowing flower on the hill to the North.

Great Fairy Cotera

Location of Beetz in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom

(Image credit: Nintendo)

This fairy is near Dueling Peaks, and you'll need a reliable drummer to lure them out.

  • Talk to Mastro at Dueling Peaks Stable. He'll put you on the path of Beetz, their drummer.
  • Head to the location above. Beetz is there and he wants honeycomb. You can give it to him there if you already have some, or follow the quest marker to find some (the bees are best killed with ice attacks if they attack you).
  • Bring Beetz the honey. He'll head back to the Dueling Peaks Stable after you do.
  • Talk to Mastro again. Now the band's back together, Mastro needs to cross the river to the Great Fairy Cotera.
  • Make their cart amphibious. You can use materials in your bag or those hanging around - we put the cart on a big plank with a couple of fans and a steering stick, and that did the trick.
  • Sail the cart to the Great Fairy. As long as the band doesn't get dunked, you should be good (though the water came up to their waists without us getting told off, so there's some leeway here).

Great Fairy Kaysa

Link hunts sunset fireflies Zelda Tears of the Kingdom

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The last Great Fairy is at Outskirt Stable - though the related bandmate is nowhere close.

  1. Talk to Mastro at Outskirt Stable. He'll ask you to go find Pyper… the piper.
  2. Head to Highland Stable. This is South of Lake Hylia and West of Faron.
  3. Speak to Pyper. He's up in a tree just North of the Highland Stable, and wants fireflies.
  4. Get 10 Sunset Fireflies for Piper. If you have them already, you can give them to him. Otherwise, you can either buy them from travelling merchants on the road, or head to the Faron Woods North of Highland Stable and catch them at night after 9.00PM. This isn't easy - they fly away as you get close, so either crouch-creep up to them, or glide down from trees to snag them mid-air.
  5. Bring Haite to Pyper after dark. She's the kid wandering around Highland Stable. After that, Pyper will head back to the Stable Trotters at Outskirt Stable.
  6. Turn the Stable Trotter's cart into a buggy. With no horse and the road ruined, you'll need to build up their cart into something that can handle the trip. We suggest putting it on a flat board, then adding the big wheels nearby and a steering stick.
  7. Carefully drive up the ruined road. You'll have to restart if the band members fall out, so you can't get too vertical or flip the buggy-cart.

With all this done, each of the Great Fairies will now be able to upgrade and enhance your Zelda Tears of the Kingdom armor to the max level! Admittedly this can be pretty expensive, but it's worth it, as it can greatly reduce the damage you take from the average Bokoblin pummelling. 

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Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.

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