How to easily kill Guardians in Breath of the Wild

The first time the world saw footage of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (when it was simply known as Zelda Wii U) back in 2014, the Guardians were seen as a force to be reckoned with. Their massive laser beams laid waste to entire forests, setting fire to everything around them. When Link leaps into the air at the end of the trailer, nocking a magical blue arrow, it seems like something ripped out of a sci-fi/fantasy hybrid universe that looks unlike anything we’d seen before in a Zelda game.

As it turns out, that original footage wasn’t too far off from what it actually feels like to play Breath of the Wild. The first time I saw a Guardian in the game, stomping around a field on its tentacle legs, I immediately hid. It found me still and I tried to run, but it was relentless in its pursuit, blasting me away just as quickly as it had opened fire. That encounter made me terrified to visit that entire region for hours, let alone face a Guardian again.

Eventually, though, I stopped being scared of the Guardians - especially once I realized how easy they are to deal with when presented with the right plan and arsenal.

Different Types of Guardians

Before discussing how to deal with Guardians in the world of Breath of the Wild, it’s important to differentiate between the different types of Guardians you’ll come across. They’re split into two main categories: Guardian Vehicles and Guardian Scouts. Since you’re probably most familiar with the larger Vehicle variety, we’ll focus on those first.

There are five subcategories of Guardian Vehicles: Stalkers (the large, tentacle ones seen in trailers), Skywatchers (large drones that fly in the air), Turrets (exactly what they sound like), Decayed (partially destroyed immobile Stalkers that are stuck in the ground and come back to life), and finally Sentries (tiny drones that fly around).

Then there are the Guardian Scouts, of which there are four varieties of ascending power – from Scout I-IV. The only thing that really differentiates them is the power and quantity of their weapons, the amount of health they have, and how much damage they do. Their movesets are mostly the same.

Dealing With Large Guardian Vehicles

If a Guardian Vehicle spots you (and, let’s be honest, chances are they will see you before you see them), then it’s probably too late to hide. That means it has zeroed in on your location with a red dot on your body. You’ll hear a high-pitched chirping that increases in intensity just before it fires. This is exactly what you want to happen.

Regardless of which Guardian Vehicle you’re up against, the most effective and efficient way to kill them is to parry their beams right back at their eyeballs. You do this by holding up your shield with L and then waiting until just the right moment to hit A and knock the beam back at the Guardian. If you do it too early, the beam will hit you and probably kill you. If you do it too late, the beam will just hit your shield and probably destroy it. No pressure, right?

The best tip is to stand a good distance away from them, wait for the beam to shoot (just after the blue flash), and time your parry. Some of them take multiple parries to kill (such as Stalkers), while others only require one or two. If the Guardian is too close, you’ll have to start the parry just before the beam shoots as the blue effect appears. If it’s far away, it’s all a matter of timing and practice.

If you’re not confident in your quick reaction shield parrying abilities, then there are luckily a handful of other ways to take care of them. You can freeze them in place with Stasis and unleash a ton of damage. You can shoot them in the eye with an Ancient Arrow for massive damage. You can even cut off their legs (if it’s a Stalker) to render them immobile. Ancient weapons do more damage than others, but keep in mind how fragile they are. The Master Sword also gets a boost against Guardians and won’t lose its charge.

Dealing With Small Guardian Scouts

The smaller variety of Guardians, known as Scouts, won’t be out roaming the fields of Hyrule; they are instead positioned at various Shrines around the world. You’ll also run across them within each of the four main dungeons in Breath of the Wild.

Your strategy won’t change based on which rank of Scout you face, but the difficulty will increase. For example, a rank I Scout wields zero weapons, whereas a rank II Scout has one. A Rank IV Scout on the other hand has three ++ grade melee weapons.

Every time you fight a Scout it’s important to assess your surroundings. Many of them will open with a flurry of quick shots that you can’t parry, so it’s best to just sidestep until it stops. Once in range, it will likely try to swipe at you with its weapons, which can do a lot of damage if they hit but are thankfully quite slow. Time your dodge to initiate a powerful flurry rush of attacks.

One of the Scouts main moves has it back up far away from you then start spinning wildly as it races towards your location. Instead of running or trying to dodge, you can instead hide behind a pillar (or create one from the water or metal in the ground). This will cause it to crash and stun itself, opening things up for a big attack.

Another excellent method is to freeze it either with an ice weapon or an ice arrow then switch to your most powerful weapon and deliver a huge strike. Hitting an enemy while they’re frozen does triple damage, and you can repeat this until it’s dead if you’re really stuck.

Near the end of the battle, the Scout will likely retreat and start powering up its laser just like the larger Vehicles tend to do. You can parry this to finish it off just like the others, shoot it in the eye, freeze it, shock it, or something else to try and interrupt the blast, or just rush in and finish it off before it can shoot. Just as with the other Guardians, your Master Sword gets increased damage and prolonged charge when facing Guardian Scouts.

What are some of your favorite ways to deal with Guardians in Breath of the Wild? Let us know down in the comments below.