Let’s Mess Around With… The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Glitches!
Earlier this year, The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild was released to massive critical acclaim. With an expansive and content filled world, fantastic characters and fun gameplay mechanics galore, the game has become one of the highest rated titles in the entire Zelda franchise.
Like Zelda 1, A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time before it, it’s become a modern classic.
And just like those other Nintendo classics, Breath of the Wild is filled with fun glitches to try out. From auto healing on a horse to clipping through walls and getting objects stuck in houses, the game is absolutely jam packed with interesting bugs for the bored player to mess around with.
So join us, as we go and look at some of the best glitches you can do in Zelda Breath of the Wild!
Blood Moon Clipping
Starting with an extremely interesting one based around the game’s Blood Moon mechanic. Basically, if you haven’t played Breath of the Wild, Blood Moons appear on random days and reset most of the game world to its default state. In other words, they cause enemies and weapons to respawn so players can fight/get them again.
It’s a clever mechanic, and a neat way to keep the open world lively once the player gets powerful enough to clear it out. However, Nintendo didn’t think of certain effects it might have on the game.
Like in this case, what happens if an enemy respawns on top of the player. So what happens?
Well, Link gets shoved through the floor, that’s what. And in Hyrule Castle (where Blood Moons can only be activated by a campfire), that has some… strange effects:
Such as being trapped under a Guardian Turret until you warp out or reload your save file. Or being forced into deadly Malice until Link keels over due to the poison.
But most interestingly of all is what happens when you try this on a Turret near the Sanctum. Why? Well, see for yourself:
Link goes straight through the castle! The results are absolutely spectacular.
Cause yep, you can see absolutely everything in the castle from one spot. Yet that’s not all that’s interesting here.
Oh no, the game’s physics for the castle… weren’t really built for you to come at this angle. So the game absolutely freaks out with things like water physics, with Link doing stuff like floating up 20 feet through invisible water or even being able to swim diagonally down a stream of water coming from a chamber at a higher elevation.
It’s quite a sight to behold, and definitely worth checking out if you’ve got the free time. But before you do that, I think it might be time to look at another bug in the game…
Kilton Lag Hell
One which exists because Nintendo forget a minor failsafe in Breath of the Wild. Namely, forgetting to check if an object was on the spot where Kilton’s shop appears before it loads in.
Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh. They do check that to some degree. If Link is sitting on the spot where the shop should be when night comes, it doesn’t appear. Instead, it waits until Link is a certain number of metres away and looking in the opposite direction first.
Unfortunately for Nintendo, that’s all they bothered to check for. So if a horse, giant metal crates or a Guardian happens to be on the spot where the shop should appear, it will appear like normal. And that’s when things go a little out of control:
That’s because the game’s engine is designed to push overlapping objects away from each other. But things like horses, boxes and Guardians are giant objects with lots of parts and various laws of physics applied to them.
The engine cannot cope with this at all, and the frame rate basically falls to about 3 FPS as a result. It doesn’t quite crash, but it’s clear the game is about to, and it’s possible a few more objects there would send it falling down like a house of cards.
Either way, that’s not all the bug does either. Oh no, when a box or object is inside Kilton’s shop, where do you think Kilton ends up?
Well, he gets pushed out of the shop, that’s where. So not only does the game lag to hell and back, but poor Kilton gets stuck wandering in circles outside the shop as well! It’s pretty cool really, especially given how he has animations you will never be able to see in normal gameplay.
Oh, and talking about overloading the game…
Permanently Lost Inventory
The developers of this game also overlooked what would happen if your inventory was full before being given a piece of armour by an NPC. Now, for those that don’t know, you can have a maximum of 5 pages of armour pieces in your inventory at any one time. You’ll never get there of course (since even with all Amiibo and DLC you won’t reach page 5), but that’s the limit.
This is fine when your next armour piece is from a store (you get told you can’t buy it), or a chest (it automatically closes itself back up again). Both situations have fallbacks to cope with this unlikely situation.
Talking to NPCs… usually doesn’t. So you’ll go and say, ask Riju for the Thunder Helm, and this will happen:
Yep, it’s just gone forever. No message or anything. Just whatever item you were going to get being permanently erased from existence.
It’s the kind of thing that’d usually be a pretty serious bug. However, that’s not really the case here.
Why? Well for one thing, 90% of armour handed to you by NPCs is optional. If you lose one of these:
- Thunder Helm
- Rubber Helm
- Champion’s Shirt
- Zora Greaves
It’s awkward, but you can live without it. And while the Zora Armour being lost can make part of the quest unwinnable, this situation will never happen in normal gameplay. You would have to be out of your mind to have filled five pages of armour before going after the Divine Beasts. It’s like running out of sand in Super Mario Bros 2. Or locking yourself out the Nautical Exhibit in Luigi’s Mansion 2.
It could happen, but if you’re not doing it deliberately, you are the worst player on the planet. Still, if you’ve got a file you want to screw up, it’s one to try out.
Still, back to less ‘dangerous’ bugs now. With a well known one called horse clipping that lets you bypass walls in the game.
How does it work?
Well to put it simply, if you jump off a horse, save in mid air and reload, the game puts you behind the horse when the game restarts.
What it doesn’t do however is check if there’s a wall there. So you can move a horse up to a wall, jump off, save in mid air and reload to clip inside it.
Normally the effects of this are pretty limited. You go up to a cliff, use the glitch and then realise that there’s another wall behind the first one. So you’re trapped in about 6 feet of empty space with no way out.
But this changes when buildings are involved. With a Sheikah Tower, Link can clip inside the tower itself and realise the light pillar isn’t solid. With a house, Link can actually end up standing on someone’s bed (maybe even with them in it!).
And in a few other cases, he can end up inside objects like rocks, dead Guardians and random obstacles. These also turn out to be completely hollow on the inside.
So yeah, go and experiment with it if you’re bored. Because depending where you are, absolutely anything could happen here…
Shrine Wrong Co-ordinate Warping
Which is also something you can say about this shrine glitch too. Basically, it lets you change where you enter the shrine from, allowing Link to end up out of bounds.
So how does it work?
Well to begin with, you’ll need to find a shrine and enter it. Once that’s done (and the auto save made), return to an older save file and go to a ledge you can jump down from.
Next, press A to jump down and pause at the same time. Save the game, and then reload the file with the shrine…
Voila. The cutscene goes all wrong and Link ends up starting miles away from where he should be. Usually this means a trip to the endless void (since he loads outside the shrine’s walls), but occasionally he can also appear in walls, on top of high ledges or even in the final room next to the Monk!
You just have to hope you get lucky punk!
On Top of a Shrine Roof
But hey, if you don’t want to rely on luck, there’s another way out of bounds in a shrine too. To use it, first pick the Kah Okeo Shrine on the South Tabantha region.
Once you’re there, make your way to the giant tower of blocks you destroy with bombs. Now here’s where it gets a bit nuts.
Basically, land on the platform, then blow it up with you nearby. You’ll plummet into the pit as the tower crumbles, and when the game reloads…
Link will be on top of the shrine’s roof. That’s because your destinated spawn point was the tower, which doesn’t exist.
So as a fallback, the game placed you at the same position on the nearest piece of ground available. Aka, the invisible roof.
Have fun gliding into the distance!
Horse in a House
Or maybe not, because there are a few more interesting glitches to look at next. For example, have you ever wanted to ride a horse inside a house?
Eh, nor do most people. But thanks to a bug in Tarrey Town, you can!
To use it, start out by going to the town while its being constructed. You’ll notice at least one giant rock that hasn’t been removed to build a house yet.
Next, ride your horse onto the rock. It’s surprisingly easy to do if you hold L and carefully make the horse saunter up.
Finally, finish the sidequest and come back.
You’ll notice the rock is gone, but your horse is nowhere to be seen. So where is he?
Well, enter the house where the rock used to be, and you’ll find he’s trapped on the 1st floor (2nd floor to you American types). Yeah, good luck getting him down from there, since he’s too big to fit through the door.
But hey, at least you can ride him around someone’s attic! That’s interesting I guess?
Hot Spring Storage
Regardless, let’s move onto something new. Namely, a neat way to auto regenerate health in Zelda Breath of the Wild!
No, you’re not reading that wrong. There’s a way to auto regenerate health while riding a horse in this game. It all has to do with a glitch called ‘Hot Spring Storage’.
What do I mean by that?
Well in this game, there are hot springs you can heal Link by having him stand in them. Fair enough, that’s how they’ve worked in Zelda games for a while now.
But Breath of the Wild is no ordinary Zelda game. Oh no, the save system… is a tad broken.
Why? Because it doesn’t clear the game’s memory when you reload a save file. At least, not until Link touches the ground.
That’s fine if Link is on the ground when it reloads. But if he’s on a horse?
Then effects carry over from the previous save state. One of which is that hot spring healing effect mentioned earlier.
So what you want to do is to stand in a hot spring with the water up to about Link’s knees.
Next, reload a save file while you’re on a horse.
And then just watch. Link will start automatically healing there and then, and will continue auto healing until he gets off the horse! It’s a pretty cool trick for getting through dangerous places (like snow covered mountains), since the healing often overrides the weather damage!
Just don’t try and do this after standing in icy cold water…
Icy Water Storage
Otherwise oh god do things go pear shaped very quickly.
That’s because like with hot springs, the icy water’s auto damage state continues while on the horse. Problem is, it also thinks you’re deep below the surface.
What’s the result?
Well, you take ridiculous amounts of damage in a very short period of time. Like, 30 hearts per second short:
Holy crap that’s scary. Forget Guardians or Lynels, this glitch causes Link to lose 10.7 hearts a second, and can kill a fully healed, max health hero in 3. Still, you want Hard mode? Play through as much of the game with this glitch active as possible!
Or don’t, because that’s absolutely insane. Which is also something you can say about this related bug too.
Why? Because to use it, you have to do the same thing as with the last two glitches, except with lava instead of icy water or a hot spring.
Once you do, Link literally sinks through his horse and crashes the game half dead:
What a way to go eh?
Drown on Horse
Still, reloading a save state on horses is hardly the only issue they have in this game. Nope, merely getting on a horse from a certain substance can have effects too.
Like the infamous drown on horse bug in the game. What you have to do here is make the horse stand next to (or in) some mud, then climb on from the side with the mud (so you never touch normal ground in between).
If you can do this, then things get odd as you go downhill. Namely, like with Hot Spring Storage, the game thinks you’ve sunk into the mud.
This has… interesting effects. For one thing, you may drown a bunch of times in a row, since you respawn in a location the game considers ‘underwater’.
Additionally, it also doesn’t load you sitting on the horse afterwards. Instead, Link is standing on top of it, unable to get off his steed but still able to access his weapons. And able to move the camera away from his body too. So this glitch somehow gives him astral projection powers in addition to expert horse riding skills.
What it doesn’t give him though are the ability to move the horse nor the one to breathe underwater. So not only is killing your horse (or teleporting away) the only way to escape, but having your horse die in water will take Link down with it. Since hey, his legs are apparently anchored to the horse’s body at the bottom of the lake/river/ocean.
Maybe that’s karma…
Or maybe the horse is a just a bit of a jerk. After all, he also likes to screw you over if he gets caught near a shrine teleport pad.
Don’t know what I mean? Well, stick a horse on the teleport pad at the entrance to a shrine (or a tech lab), and then teleport there.
Then watch in abject horror as poor old Link ends up spawning inside his own horse, being unable to move or do anything until the end of time! Or maybe til you teleport out of there.
Whatever one comes first.
Granting a Guardian to Hell
Still, let’s leave Link alone for a bit, shall we? Instead, let’s look at an interesting little bug you can do with the Guardian Stalkers in this game.
Basically, there are certain Guardians that pretend to be dead, but then reactivate and walk around when you get close to them. You know, as a sort of trap for the unwary.
Sadly for them though, Nintendo forgot to disable Stasis on them prior to their activation. So what happens when you use it on an inactive Guardian Stalker?
Well it falls straight through the ground when it wakes up:
Bye! Enjoy joining the rest of Ganon and Demises’ forces in hell!
Infinite Food for Horses
Yet that’s not the only glitch in this game that’s really helpful for Link. Oh no, infinite items can be gotten in the game too!
Well, infinite items for horses anyway. Because if you put an apple away just as your horse eats it, you end up feeding your steed without the fruit vanishing from your inventory:
Pretty useful if you want to max out a horse’s bond and you only have a couple of apples left. Or you want to use infinite Endura Carrots for whatever reason…
But hey, I hear what you’re saying. “Feeding the horse is nice and all, but what about me? When do I benefit from an infinite items glitch?”
Well, by using this one of course! Because the item duplication glitch lets you get as many of the same melee weapon, bow and shield as you want without having to find them in the overworld!
To start off, you’ll need to go the Gerudo Great Skeleton in the Gerudo Region. You know, the one with the Fairy Fountain in the south west of the map.
Now, make sure you have the following:
- A Bokoblin Mask
- At least 12-15 multi shot bows
- An electric sword of some kind
Once you’re sure you have that, head north til you find a Bokoblin encampment. Then, put on the mask, equip the electric weapon and disarm everyone. Really, disarm every Bokoblin, and take their weapons away to make sure they can never get them again.
Next, drop all your multi shot bows on the ground. The Bokoblins will now pick them up, which causes them to launch a barrage of Shock Arrows in your general direction. Dodge like hell until every last Bokoblin has a shiny new bow.
At that point, you’ll notice things getting a little… weird. There’ll be lag everywhere, bits of Link will vanish in the inventory screen, items won’t switch properly, that sort of stuff. Once that starts, that’s where the best part of the glitch happens.
Basically, you have to choose the weapon you want to clone, then change to another weapon while the game is messing up. If you do this correctly, the inventory slot selected will change, but the weapon Link is holding will not.
Then, drop the weapon. Once you do so, you’ll notice it’s the first weapon rather than the one it should be.
Pick it up, and hey presto, you now have two of the first weapon. Here’s a video in case you need a bit more help following along:
It’s a very useful glitch if you can do it right, since it means you can get multiple Hylian Shields, as many copies of that super powerful 100+ attack Royal Guard’s Claymore/Savage Lynel Crusher as you can carry and much besides.
Oh, and if the Master Sword gets dropped? It says it’s ‘returned to the forest’. So it’s a way to check out some beta dialogue too. Pretty neat for a mere bug, right?
Escape the Final Boss Battle
And that’s something you can also say about this final glitch too. Because the bug to escape the final boss battle… genuinely changes a large percentage of the game in all manner of unique ways.
But before I get to this, let me just give a quick warning.
There are spoilers ahead. I mean, you probably guessed there were already. You can’t write anything about the final boss in a game without spoiling anyone. Not unless it’s mostly common knowledge like in Pokemon Red and Blue.
Breath of the Wild isn’t quite at that point yet, so I’ll warn you now:
If you’ve not finished the game, don’t read any further. Otherwise you’ll know exactly who the final boss is way before you battle it.
Okay. In Breath of the Wild, the final boss battle with Dark Beast Ganon is usually surrounded by a glowing wall of light. Usually, this wall stops you going any further with a message saying “you cannot go any further” and a quick shock to stop Link’s horse if he gets faffing around with it too long.
However, if you ride parallel to it just ride (at a steady trot), you can get Link to dismount his horse through the wall. This lets him escape the arena and explore the rest of Hyrule as it is during the final boss battle.
Which is to say, completely empty. All shrines have become invisible, all static NPCs and enemies have vanished (Basically everything bar Hinox, Yiga Clan members, Keese, Chuchus and Stal enemies) and even parts of the towers are vanishing as well.
It’s an eerie state, and arguably makes you feel even more alone than you were on the Great Plateau.
But the invisible and missing objects aren’t the only side effects here. Oh no, you also get the Bow of Light to carry too.
And well, it actually works really well against just about everything in the game. 100 damage, infinite arrows, near infinite range… heck, even an average player can take down a Hinox in a matter of seconds with it.
Alas, you can’t hang it in your horse, nor can you save the game with it active.
Unless you do a bit of trickery. Cause you see, during a boss fight, the game will automatically disable teleporting or saving. This is to stop people getting trapped in situations like this one, or the earlier fight with Calamity Ganon in the citadel.
If you go to Lurelin Village and try the treasure chest mini game though… well, that changes the whole setup. All teleporting becomes active again, the save feature works like normal (complete with auto saving at certain points) and things like beds and cooking pots work as intended too.
Which in turn, lets you permanently save the game in this state.
But should you do that?
Well, maybe. After all, if you save in this state and reload, all enemies and NPCs will return to Hyrule as normal afterwards.
So if you want to experience the whole game with a fully charged Master Sword and the Bow of Light by your side, that can work. There’s nothing in game that stops you getting 100% completion in the middle of the Ganon battle.
At the same time though, it also permanently changes the world itself, and perhaps not for the better. That giant forcefield with Ganon in the middle? Will be there forever, since even defeating Ganon from outside the forcefield will put you back in this weird glitched state.
The Hyrule Castle music? Eh, good luck hearing it. Since Ganon is super close to the building, his theme overrides all nearby songs for good. It does change if you go in the castle itself, but it means the outdoor version of the epic theme is now unavailable to listen to ever again:
Additionally, it also means you can never see Calamity Ganon in his normal form ever again. That’s because the game crashes when you go into the Sanctum (assuming you skip cutscenes), or traps you there forever (if you don’t). So the first phase of the final boss fight is now lost forever.
But the most damning change is the save system. Put simply, you have to play a mini game (of some kind) to reactivate saving and warping every time you load the save file.
As you can imagine, this gets old very quickly. Okay, you don’t have to go all the way to Lurelin Village any more, but the mini games here in Hyrule are not very convenient to get to none the less.
Still, it’s all a trade off really. Does a nice 100 damage bow with infinite arrows and a permanently charge Master Sword really appeal to you?
If so, save in this state, since you can live with the other effects pretty easily.
If not on the other hand… eh you might want to keep a manual save from before the fight ready instead. Just as a means to experience Hyrule as it was meant to be experienced rather than in a battle that never ends.
But while Hyrule’s epic battle between good and evil can go on forever… I cannot. Yes, I could probably write about a hundred more glitches in this game if I wanted to. The possibilities in a title with such a ridiculously deep physics engine are virtually endless.
Yet it’s better to have some type of article up than none whatsoever. If I try and write an article covering every possible bug in a game, it’ll be completely irrelevant by the time it’s finished.
So for now? These are all the Zelda glitches I’ll be writing about on Gaming Reinvented. Hopefully they’re useful to someone, and give you a bit more insight into how Breath of the Wild works.