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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

What is Master Mode?

Vincent Lau

Master Mode is Breath of the Wild’s “hard mode”, available from purchasing and downloading the Expansion Pass. It’s geared towards players who seek a more challenging experience compared to normal mode.

How to Start Master Mode

(1 of 2) A “Play in Master Mode” option will appear on the title screen.

A “Play in Master Mode” option will appear on the title screen. (left), Choose this and confirm to switch to the Master Mode title screen. (right)

The only requisite is having the Expansion Pass installed. From the beginning, a new option called “Play in Master Mode” will appear on the title screen, below “Continue” and “New Game”. You don’t need to have completed the game in normal mode.

After selecting this, the game will send you to the Master Mode version of the title creen, which has its own settings and save files. Your normal mode save files are completely separate and can be accessed again by choosing “Play in Normal Mode”.

Changes in Master Mode

Upgraded Enemies

(1 of 2) Blue Bokoblins will roam the Great Plateau from the get-go.

Blue Bokoblins will roam the Great Plateau from the get-go. (left), They can take a lot of punishment and dish out a lot of punishment. Yikes. (right)

Compared to normal mode, most of the enemy mobs have been elevated one tier. For example, if there was a Red Bokoblin originally, it’s now a Blue Bokoblin. This means that enemies generally deal more damage to Link and take more damage to slay.

The upgrade mainly applies to enemies with color-coding or some form of natural progression. Such enemies include Bokoblins, Moblins, Lizalfos and Lynels. It doesn’t apply to elemental variants of enemies, such as Electric Keese–those remain Electric Keese.

Mini-bosses, such as Talus and Hinox, are also upgraded in a similar manner. However, no Hinox will upgrade to a Stalnox (those are considered separate).

(1 of 2) A Golden Bokoblin isn’t too scary.

A Golden Bokoblin isn’t too scary. (left), A Golden-maned Lynel though? Better be careful… (right)

To accomodate this change, there is a new tier of Golden enemies for certain groups. These are even tougher than Silver enemies, which were previously the strongest! Golden versions exist for Bokoblins, Moblins, Lizalfos and Lynels.

For all other enemy groups, if that enemy was already at the highest tier in normal mode, it will remain in the same tier. Eg. an Ice Wizzrobe will become a Blizzrobe, but a Blizzrobe will still be a Blizzrobe.

Enemies and Bosses Regenerate Health

(1 of 2) When fighting enemies, be careful not to knock them too far.

When fighting enemies, be careful not to knock them too far. (left), It can be nail-biting when bosses are hiding behind mechanics… (right)

All enemies and bosses (save for scripted bosses) will quickly regenerate health after a brief period of not being attacked. This is indicated by a flashing white HP bar. Slowly whittling down foes is no longer feasible; instead, you’re encouraged to be more aggressive.

The amount of health recovery is equal to 30% of the enemy’s maximum health, restored at a rate of 3% per second. The amount is reduced to 20% and 1% per second for enemies in shrines. The health recovery always begins from the lowest HP the enemy reaches after being attacked.

For instance, if you bring an enemy to 50% HP and stop attacking, that enemy can recover back to 80% HP. If you hit them again, without going below 50% HP, they will return to 80% HP over and over again. But if you take them further down to 30% HP, they will recover up to 60% HP.

Addition of Floating Platforms

(1 of 2) Triangular and square flying platforms will appear in familiar places.

Triangular and square flying platforms will appear in familiar places. (left), If you can’t reach the platforms, you can shoot them down by sniping the Sky Octoroks. (right)

Dotted all across Hyrule are new floating wooden platforms, held up by Sky Octoroks. These platforms usually have enemies and/or treasure chests. They’re typically found near bridges and towers. Their main purpose is to add new encounters and rewards.

Very often, you can reach these platforms by gliding down from a high place–for example, from a Sheikah Tower. As for the platforms near bridges, they’re typically just out of reach. But you can shoot the Octorok to bring down the platform. Or scoop up the treasure chest using Magnesis.

Like all other treasure chests, the ones located on the floating platforms are one-time only and will permanently disappear after being looted.


(1 of 2) Huh, what’s that over in the distance?

Huh, what’s that over in the distance? (left), Let’s take the long way around… (right)

A White-Maned Lynel can be found roaming the east side of the Great Plateau–yes, where you first begin the game. Unless you have a death wish, you’ll want to go around it, at least during your first visit.

Enemies have improved vision for noticing Link, making it harder to sneak past them. However, you can still take advantage of the usual tricks, like upgrading Link’s stealth stat, to get the jump on them.

(1 of 2) At this point, you’d parry, but the Guardian may delay its laser.

At this point, you’d parry, but the Guardian may delay its laser. (left), Now, it is possible to parry a delayed laser, but it’s less reliable than before. (right)

Guardian enemies (Decayed, Stalker etc.) occasionally add a delay to their laser attack, making it harder to shield parry their lasers. Besides that, they aren’t stronger or harder to kill.

Unrelated to gameplay, the loading screen will have a menacing red background. Moreover, there’s always a Triforce icon near the bottom left so you know you’re in Master Mode. (Y’know, just in case you forgot!)

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
  • Platforms,
    Switch, Wii U
  • Genre
    Action Adventure
  • Guide Release
    6 April 2018
  • Last Updated
    27 June 2023
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Cassie Sun

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You wake up in the mysterious Shrine of Resurrection and see a Hyrule you no longer recognize. All you have by your side is the equally mysterious Sheikah Slate and the voice of a stranger to guide you. Take up the mantle of the chosen hero Link and journey throughout the most expansive, open iteration of Hyrule yet in your quest to destroy the monstrous Calamity Ganon and recover your memories of what happened 100 years ago.

This guide will serve as your companion as you traverse the beautiful world of Hyrule. It currently covers the following content:

Version 1.1 (Updated October 2021)

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