How to use the Sensor+ in Zelda: Breath of the Wild to find treasure chests and more

The Sheikah Slate’s Sensor functionality is one of the most useful items you’ll receive in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but unfortunately it’s also one of the most poorly explained. When it comes to the Sheikah Slate, for the most part you can toggle its powers with the up button on your D-pad to cycle through things like Magnesis (moving metal objects), Stasis (freezing objects in time), and both square and circular bombs.

But one of the Sheikah Slate’s most valuable abilities, the Sensor, is never fully explained. Not only can it be used for locating shrines that you haven’t found yet, but it can also be used to track virtually any named object or thing in the entire game, period. Let’s start with the basics.

How to Use the Sheikah Sensor

Early on in the game, you’ll be granted the Sheikah Sensor ability. Just navigate to your map screen and turn on the Sensor to start tracking the location of nearby shrines. It’s simple and doesn’t do much else, but unfortunately it makes very little sense at first.

Unless you’re actively looking for shrines, I’d recommend turning this feature off. It’s loud and annoying when it doesn’t have your full and complete attention. The Sensor works by scanning the world and finding the closest Shrine. By following its prompts and sounds, it acts like a compass pointing you in the right direction.

To use the Sensor effectively once activated, just start running in any random direction. If you don’t hear any beeping, then alter your route to the left or right. Keep veering to the side until the beeping intensifies. Once you hear the highest volume and frequency (along with the icon on the bottom right lighting up all of its radar) then you’re running in the correct direction.

If you’re standing still, you probably won’t hear any beeping. It’s important to keep moving so it can track where you are in relation to the location of the Shrine itself. It’s also worth noting that it doesn’t really do a great job of directing you in terms of altitude. If you’re a few minutes away from a Shrine it will just tell you which direction it’s in, not if it’s up high or down low. Once you get to the general area, you’ll have to assess the environment’s terrain and the Sensor’s beeping intensity for yourself.

Upgrading to the Sheikah Sensor+

Since Shrines are important as fast travel points, gear spots, and the only way to get valuable Spirit Orbs, the Sensor’s ability to find them is very useful. However, it’s utility extends far beyond that. You’ll need to advance the main storyline at least up to the point when Impa asks you to travel to Hateno Village and upgrade the slate before you can unlock additional functions.

Once there, you’ll be able to get the Camera ability, which lets you whip out the slate and hold it up like you would any digital camera. You can snap pictures of environments, people, places, things, or even take a selfie with a variety of poses for Link. But what’s most important is how this interacts with the Sheikah Sensor.

Once you have the Camera and Sensor+, you can take a picture of anything (such as a treasure chest, plants, animals, enemies, specific weapons you like, and so much more) and have the Sensor+ track the location relative to where you are. It works just like it did for the Shrines – run in any direction and search for the beeping – except it can lead you to specific objects instead of just a Shrine.

You can toggle between tracking objects and Shrines – or turning the Sensor+ off altogether – from within the Map menu in the game. As stated before, unless you’re actively searching for something, I’d turn it off. The beeping will drive you crazy otherwise.

Search Suggestions for the Sheikah Sensor+

There are lots of uses for your new Sensor+, some of which you’ll probably never think of on your own. I had cleared nearly 40 shrines before I realized I could take a picture of a treasure chest and have the Sensor locate them for me. That’s a function that would have been incredibly useful to find out about as soon as possible.

Here are some ideas for things you should take pictures of to track and locate using your Sensor+ once you get the upgrade:

  • As mentioned, treasure chests for sure. They’re everywhere in the world and scattered throughout Shrines with precious loot.
  • Guardians. They’re fearsome foes, especially early on, but once you get the hang of fighting them they’re not so bad, and they drop great resources used for crafting some of the best gear and weaponry in the game. Tracking them makes them much easier to hunt.
  • Valuable ingredients. If you ever find yourself in dire need of a Spicy Pepper or some Zapshrooms due to weather conditions or enemy attacks, you’re gonna wish you had a way to find some quickly. Luckily, you totally do.
  • Elemental weapons. All of the fire, ice, and electric weapons in the game are incredibly useful in fights, but when they break it’s a sad day. That’s why you should snap pictures and track them so you can go out and nab fresh versions when needed.
  • Hyrule Castle gear. Venturing into the deadly depths of Hyrule Castle is scary and often suicidal, but the keep is home to some of the best gear the game has to offer. Take a picture of each weapon, shield, bow, and piece of armor you want to make sure you can find them again later.

These are just a few specific ideas, but you can take pictures of virtually anything to track it for hunting and farming or just locating. If you’re ever bored, turning on the Treasure Chest tracker and setting off in search of treasure and adventure is a great way to kill some time and have fun.