Updated 1/14/2017

Here’s everything we know so far about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the open world Zelda game for Wii U and Nintendo Switch set to release in 2017.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was properly unveiled to the world at E3 2014, with a stunning gameplay presentation that left many fans hungry for more. Almost three years later, the game still has yet to launch, with multiple delays keeping it from hitting store shelves. However, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is finally nearing the end of its development cycle, with an expected release some time in 2017.

For those that want to know why fans are so excited for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, we’ve compiled everything we know about the game so far in one convenient location, including gameplay features, story details, and more.


Instead of a semi-linear action-adventure game like most Zelda titles, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild features an entirely open world Hyrule, with players free to complete the dungeons in any order they wish. To help them conquer the challenges of these dungeons and defeat the enemies within, players will have access to the most versatile version of Link yet.

Link will be able to climb up walls, snowboard with his shield, glide through the air with a makeshift glider, and more. If he takes damage during his adventures, which he is bound to do, players will be able to restore his health using another of Link’s newly acquired skills: cooking. As it turns out, Link will be able to prepare a variety of recipes that will heal him, and likely offer various other status effects as well.

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Cooking will be integral to surviving this huge, open world take on Hyrule, as will be acquiring the necessary equipment to battle enemies. In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Link’s equipment is breakable, so players will have to scavenge for new weapons and gear on a regular basis. In addition to standard weaponry, special key items, such as wild runes, will be found hidden in the open world and in dungeons that will give Link brand new abilities to better traverse the landscape.

Outside of the game itself, players can net themselves an advantage when exploring open world Hyrule by utilizing amiibo figures. The Wolf Link amiibo can be used in the game to summon Wolf Link for some help battling enemies, and other Zelda-themed amiibos provide other advantages as well, like giving players extra fish (Toon Link), barrels (Ocarina of Time Link), and plants to work with (Toon Zelda).

Link will need all the help he can get to battle the enemies in Breath of the Wild, which will include robotic Guardians, devilish Moblins, and more. Link’s main adversary in Breath of the Wild will be a new take on his longtime nemesis Ganon, with the game’s story all about Link becoming powerful enough to defeat Ganon and saving Hyrule from his wrath.


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild New Release Date Leaked by Target - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild climbing concept art

Like past Zelda games, the main goal of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is to defeat Ganon and save Hyrule. Speculated to be set late in the Zelda timeline, Breath of the Wild‘s Ganon is known as Calamity Ganon, and he has been locked away in the ruins of Hyrule Castle for years, with the diabolical plan of one day unleashing his evil on the world.

Beyond Hyrule Castle, players can expect to see other familiar locations in the open world. Perhaps the most notable is the Temple of Time, the iconic location from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. As fans may recall, the Temple of Time is what allowed Link to travel back and forth through time, and so one has to wonder if it will serve a similar function in Breath of the Wild, or if it’s just there for show.

Players will also interact with familiar characters and races. As seen in the game’s latest trailer, Zelda will play an active role in the story, and it appears her alter-ego Sheik will be involved as well. Gorons, Zoras, and Ritos will also be around to help Link on his epic journey in Hyrule.

Additionally, Breath of the Wild is the first Zelda title to feature voice acting, and on top of that, the Xenoblade Chronicles team is assisting with development. It seems like it has all the tools to provide a satisfying story, but it remains to be seen if Nintendo will capitalize on this opportunity.

Release Date & Platforms


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be available for both Nintendo Switch and Wii U. The game is basically the same regardless of platform, with just minor exceptions. For example, the biggest difference between Breath of the Wild on Wii U and Switch is that the Wii U version will utilize the GamePad so players can keep a constant eye on the world map and Link’s inventory. The Switch version also has faster load times and increased resolution when compared to the Wii U version of the game.

Both the Wii U and Nintendo Switch versions of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be available on March 3rd, 2017. Besides the standard game, players also have the option to purchase the game’s Special Edition or Master Edition for added goodies.

For $129.99, players can acquire The Legend of Zelda; Breath of the Wild‘s Master Edition. The Master Edition comes with the game, a statue of the Master Sword, a Joy-Con controller carrying case, a map of Hyrule, a collectible coin, and a CD. The less expensive Special Edition costs $99.99, and it comes with everything available in the Master Edition, with the exception of the Master Sword statue.


In the next month leading up to its release, Nintendo is likely to let slip even more morsels of information about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. But if the Big N decides to stay quiet until launch, at least fans won’t have to wait long to experience Link’s next grand adventure for themselves.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is in development for Wii U and Nintendo Switch with a planned 2017 release date.