10 ways Zelda: Breath of the Wild could have been better

There’s always room for improvement. And while Breath of the Wild is one of the best Zelda games we have seen in quite some time, it isn’t perfect. Here are just a few ways we think Nintendo could have made Breath of the Wild even better – take it as advice for the next big open world Zelda project!

The Hookshot

While I understand that some iconic Zelda items needed to be cut to fit the game’s new open world aesthetic, I don’t think the hookshot needed to be one of them. It was said that the hookshot was cut because the devs didn’t want to make it feel as if you absolutely needed any one item to beat the game. However, I think that the hookshot could have been envisioned as a generic weapon, like boomerangs, torches, rods, and Korok leaves. Using the “throw” command will fire the hookshot at a surface, stick in, and pull Link up, though doing so would use up durability. Link would be unable to use the hookshot when not standing on the ground (or in mid-air), just like any other melee weapon, meaning the most the hookshot could do is give Link a starting boost on any climb. Considering there are already a ton of ways to do that, like Revali’s Gale, one more wouldn’t totally unbalance the game.

The Ability to Craft Arrows

Cooking is one of the most fun parts of Breath of the Wild. You can make meals or elixirs, or any number of weird things to help you in your travels. What you can’t do, however, is craft, and it really seems like you should be able to. You get a whole bunch of elemental monster parts and stones, and you can carry wood in your inventory. You’d think if you put these all in a pot, some arrows would come out. But they just don’t. It’s frankly a little disappointing.

Farming

Similarly, there are tons of farming tools in Breath of the Wild that you can pick up off of enemy corpses, but you can’t really use these as anything but weapons. A cool extra use for them would be actual farming. Place a fruit in the ground, smack it with a hoe, wait for it to rain, and get a bunch of fruit back. Why not?

Armors That Give You Classic Zelda Abilities

All of the classic Zelda armors give you the same ability, a buff to the Master Sword, and while that’s useful it’s not very interesting. I think it would be cool if classic Zelda armors reintroduced classic Zelda game mechanics. For example, one armor could give rupees a chance to spawn when you cut down grass or trees or when you smash pots. Another could give hearts a chance to spawn, and another, arrows.

More Armor in General

Armor is incredibly important in Breath of the Wild but it’s hard to come by. Not only is it prohibitively expensive, upgrading it at Great Fairy Fountains involves a difficult sidequest, a hefty rupee investment (11,600 rupees for all four fountains), a ton of scavenged monster parts, and more. It’s not unusual for players to totally pass up these fountains, putting them in a position where common enemies end up doing massive damage. At the very least, give players more opportunities to find armor in the wild, since the game is set up to make them explore anyway.

Fewer One-Shot Death Enemies

Frankly, some enemies in Breath of the Wild are unfair. Guardians that take off 10 hearts per hit, Yiga clan members that kill you in one hit and bypass any revive abilities, a massive lion centaur that can make you drop your equipment and trample you to death. There is no shortage of enemies that hit far harder than Ganon does, and something seems very wrong about that.

Better Sidequest Rewards

There are a ton of sidequests available in Breath of the Wild, but few are actually worth doing. Some of them only reward you with rupees and don’t give you any item rewards at all, except for whatever you picked up along the way – which you could have found without actually taking the sidequest in the first place. As it stands, an active explorer can see the whole game without following a sidequest even once.

A More Reliable Way to Farm Rupees

Rupees are not particularly rare, but they are tedious to acquire. You can farm all the rupees you like by shooting whatever animals you see with arrows, cooking them up, and selling them to any vendor. But this takes time. Even cooking and selling a small meat stash takes a good half hour, and you only end up getting a couple of hundred rupees for it. Remember, armor costs thousands of rupees, and just unlocking the final Great Fairy Fountain costs 10,000 rupees, so you’ll be here a while. It would be nice if rupees were just a little bit easier to acquire.

Totally Redo the Yiga Clan Hideout

This part of the game is so poorly constructed that I wrote an entire article about it. Some of the faults of the Yiga Clan Hideout include: one-hit death enemies, a removal of core game mechanics, a restriction of your movement space, and no ability to save. It’s just the worst. Read my full article to see how rage inducing this one poorly constructed piece of a dungeon really is.

Difficulty Modes

Finally, I think that players need to be able to alter the difficulty of the game in some way. For example, I ended up taking out Ganon with just 16 hearts and major parts off the map were still unexplored. Yes, I can explore these areas of the map as post game content, but I don’t really have any reason to. I know that Ganon is beatable relatively easily even early on in the game, and there’s no post game optional boss that makes it worth getting yet more power. If there was some way to turn up the difficulty I would have a reason to seek out the rest of the game’s content. Maybe even a harder New Game + would be nice. I suppose we will see what else Nintendo has in store when they release Breath of the Wild DLC in the future.