One of the best things about huge open-world games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is that you can go wherever you want to, but that can also be an overwhelming decision. While you have a large degree of self-determination as you explore Hyrule, there is a relatively set story order that offers the smoothest difficulty progression.
Technically, your objectives are non-linear. However, some areas are definitely easier than others and make for an easier ride if visited first.
As a general rule-of-thumb, the enemies in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom get more difficult the further south you go. That means it’s best to work your way down the map, top-to-bottom, finding new equipment and increasing your power to take on more difficult challenges as you go.
With that said, outside of a few super-tough foes and boss fights you can weasel your way through just about anywhere if you can run away fast enough, so don’t be scared of exploring high-and-low for fear of running into something you can’t defeat.
Everywhere in Hyrule is accessible right from the start of Tears of the Kingdom, and there’s nothing stopping you from skipping into an area, activating the Skyview Tower or doing a Shrine or two, then leaving before any of the strong baddies realise you’re underlevelled.
As you strike out to all four corners of the world though, make sure you also mix in a good helping of Side Adventures, Shrines and diversions. These not only help you gather useful items, but prepare you for story missions too by introducing mechanics and honing your skills.
Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Story Order - Where should you go first?
- First, after you have completed the Great Sky Island, complete your task at Hyrule Castle from Purah at Lookout Landing.
- Next, explore Hyrule Field south of Lookout Landing to get your bearings with the controls, complete a few Side Adventures and Shrines to collect money and power up your hearts, and open up the underground with the Camera Work in the Depths Quest.
- After that, make your way northwest to the top-left corner of the map and visit the frigid cold of Rito Village and the Lucky Clover Gazette. On your way start Impa’s Geoglyph quest, The Dragon’s Tears.
- In terms of combat difficulty, your next port of call should be Goron City in the northeast. However, you will need a flame-proof outfit that is very expensive (nearly 2000 rupees). So take on some sidequests and sell some gems to scratch up the necessary money.
- Following that, now’s a good time to return to the underground to complete the Mystery in the Depths. This will give you a new series of Side Adventures to work through.
- When that’s done, move southwards to Zora Domain in the east of Hyrule. Make sure you have plenty of Hydrant devices and Splash Fruit ready!
- Finally, make your way down to the southwest area of the Gerudo Town. This is the most combat-intensive of the four objectives and has the toughest enemies. You will need ways to resist both cold and heat, as well as easy access to elemental damage like shock or fire (either attached to a weapon or by throwing fire fruit).
- As you make your way around the world, you should complete Skyview Towers and Geoglyphs as you come across them. You could go around unlocking every Skyview Tower immediately to make fast-travelling easier if you want (that’s what I did), but I would recommend doing the Geoglyphs in a more natural order. If you view them all at once it will spoil a key story element which is best saved until you have visited the four Regional Phenomena.
- With that, return to Lookout Landing and speak with Purah, who'll send you to Hyrule Castle to complete the Crisis at Hyrule Castle quest. Here, we'll face a bunch of minibosses before going against a ghostly foe.
- Once that's done, you'll need to return to Purah again, who will then send you on a mission across land, skies, and The Depths, to locate a fifth sage for our team. The first part of this quest will have us finding the Secret of Ring Ruins.
- After paying a visit to Kakariko Village and exploring the Ring Ruins, we'll need to investigate the Faron Zonai Ruins. Here, we'll get a new set of armor, which is pretty exciting and will help us in the next area.
- Our time in the Faron Zonai Ruins will reveal the Thunderhead Isles. Up next, we need to travel up the isles and clear them to reach a Zonai Relic at the end. It's very stormy up here, though, so prepare yourself!
- After clearing Thunderhead Isles, it's time to complete the Guidance of Ages Past quest and explore wherever this Zonai Relic is pointing to. This will see us going down to The Depths, where we have to collect relics from four storehouses to give a physical body to the spirit of our fifth sage, Mineru. You'll be going to Left-Leg Depot, then Left-Arm Depot, then Right-Leg Depot, then Right-Arm Depot. You can do the storehouses in any order, but this is the order we guided them in!
- With a body for Mineru's spirit finally built, we can now test the Zonai mech out. We're not done in The Depths just yet, however, as we need to retrieve the secret stone of spirit for Mineru first.
- Our journey to find the secret stone of spirit for Mineru will wind us up at the Spirit Temple, where we need to beat an unruly robot; the Seized Construct.
- After defeating the Seized Construct, you'll unlock Mineru as a permanent sage. Up next, we'll have to retrieve the Master Sword. If you already know where the sword is, go grab it and start the next step in this walkthrough. If you don't know where it is, you'll want to check out how to get the Master Sword, which will also see us going through the Lost Woods to Korok Forest .
- Last, but not least, with five sages by our side and a Master Sword on our back, we can beat up Ganondorf. You'll have to venture down into The Depths to find him, and then take part in a rather epic boss battle that has too many phases to count. Here's where to find and how to beat Ganondorf, and ultimately, finish Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom!
To fill in the gaps as you explore Hyrule, we have guide pages on many of the systems and quests you will encounter throughout your journey. We will be constantly updating this page with more advice, so check back as you continue your adventure!
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Systems Walkthrough guides
- Best horses and stable locations
- Best weapons in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
- Tears of the Kingdom Fuse guide
- Tears of the Kingdom Zonai Devices guide
- Tears of the Kingdom Amiibo Rewards
- How to make money in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
- Tears of the Kingdom Skyview Tower locations
- How to upgrade Hearts and Stamina in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
- How to heal cracked hearts
- How to shield surf in Tears of the Kingdom
- Do you need to play Breath of the Wild before Tears of the Kingdom?
- How to use a Wing in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
- How to tame a dog
- Great Fairy guide - Where to get a Violin, Flute, Drum and Horn
- How to get the Travel Medallion in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
- Where to find Malanya, Horse God
- How to use Poes and Bargainer Statues
- Where to find Sunset Fireflies
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Story Quest Walkthrough guides
- How to complete the Temple of Time
- Where to find Captain Hoz
- How to climb the sky islands to the big cloud in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
- How to complete the Wind Temple in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
- How to beat Colgera in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
- Where to find Goron City
- How to climb Death Mountain
- How to beat Moragia
- How to complete the Fire Temple
- How to beat Marbled Gohma
- Where to find Prince Sidon
- Where to find Toto Lake
- Where is King Dorephan in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom?
- Where to find the Land of the Sky Fish in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom's Clues to the Sky quest
- How to fix Ancient Zora Waterworks
- How to navigate Wellspring Island
- How to complete the Water Temple
- How to beat Mucktorok
- How to get to Gerudo Town
- Where to find Riju
- How to solve the Gerudo mural pillar puzzle
- How to complete the Lightning Temple
- How to beat Queen Gibdo
- How to complete ‘Crisis at Hyrule Castle’
- Where to find the Secret of the Ring Ruins
- Where to find the Faron Zonai Ruins
- How to clear the Thunderhead Isles
- How to complete Left-Leg Depot
- How to complete Left-Arm Depot
- How to complete Right-Leg Depot
- How to complete Right-Arm Depot
- Where to find Mineru’s secret stone
- How to complete the Spirit Temple and beat the Siezed Construct
- How to get the Master Sword
- How to get through the Lost Woods and clear Korok Forest
- How to beat Ganondorf
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Side Quest Walkthrough guides
- Tears of the Kingdom Memories guide
- Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Mystery in the Depths statues guide
- Tears of the Kingdom Hestu location
- Lucky Clover Gazette quests guide
- How to fix Addison's signs in Tears of the Kingdom
- Yiga Hideout and Base locations
- Tears of the Kingdom Master Sword location
- Tears of the Kingdom Bubbul Gems guide
- Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Misko's Treasure locations
- Rumored Beast location
- Zelda's Golden Horse quest
- Gourmets Gone Missing - Hylian Rice
- Gleeok locations and boss guide
- How to rebuild the Lucky Treasure Shop, Restaurant and Inn in Lurelin Village
- How to save Lurelin Village from pirates
- How to complete A Call from the Depths
- How to Investigate the Typhlo Ruins
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Shrine Walkthrough guides
- Ukouh Shrine solution
- In-Isa Shrine solution
- Gutanbac Shrine solution
- Nachoyah Shrine solution
- Mayachin Shrine solution
- Tsutsu-um Shrine solution
- Jinodok Shrine solution
- Susuyai Shrine solution
- Tukarok Shrine solution
- Sitsum Shrine solution
- Sinakawak Shrine solution
- Runakit Shrine solution
- Ren-Iz Shrine solution
- Ishodag Shrine solution
- Ijo-o Shrine solution
- Mayaumekis Shrine solution
- Oromuwak Shrine solution
- Gatakis Shrine solution
- Mogawak Shrine Solution
- Ihen-a Shrine Solution
- Jochi-iu Shrine Solution
- Serutabomac Shrine Solution
- Joku-usin Shrine Solution
- Soryotanog Shrine Solution
- Kamatukis Shrine Solution
- Gikaku Shrine Solution
- Josiu Shrine Solution
- Ukoojisi Shrine Solution
- Kumamayn Shrine Solution
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Location Walkthrough guides
- Unlock Sahasra Slope Skyview Tower
- Unlock Eldin Canyon Skyview Tower
- Unlock Popla Foothills Skyview Tower
- Unlock Rabella Wetlands Skyview Tower
- Unlock Thyphlo Ruins Skyview Tower
- Unlock Upland Zorana Skyview Tower
- Unlock Gerudo Canyon Skyview Tower
- Unlock Pikida Stonegrove Skyview Tower
- Unlock Rospro Pass Skyview Tower
- Tarrey Town location
- Hateno Village location
- Kakariko Village location
- Twins Manuscript stone puzzle solution
- Pirate Manuscript location
- Heroine's Manuscript location
- Rumored Beast Location
- Ancient Hyrulean Text locations
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Armor Walkthrough guides
- How to find the Fierce Deity Set for Misko's Cave of Chests
- How to get the Depths Armor set
- How to get the Dark Armor set
- Glide armor locations
- How to get the Climbing Gear
- How to get the Rubber Armor set
- How to get the Froggy armor set
- How to get the Snowquill armor set
- How to get the Royal Guard Armor set
- How to get the Barbarian armor set
- How to get the Desert Voe armor set
- How to get the Radiant armor set
- How to get the Ember Armor set
- How to get the Miner’s armor set
- How to get the Soldier's armor set
- How to get the Zonaite Armor set
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