Combat in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom focuses on both basic and advanced combat mechanics of the game and allowable actions you can do in-game such as Link's Abilities, managing durability, switching weapons, and learning controls. This page will cover the recommended usage of various Weapons, Abilities, Enemy details, and more. This guide will also provide information regarding combat in general as well as individual mechanics for the game.

General Tips for Combat in Zelda: ToTK

  • Repeatedly aim at the enemy's weak point to stun them.
  • Switch weapons depending on the situation.
  • Prepare meals for Health Management.
  • Get comfortable using Shields and executing Perfect Guard.
  • Observe your terrain and surroundings and use them.
  • Learn from enemies. Observe their attack patterns and adjust accordingly.
  • Aim with the arrow to take advantage of slow-motion effect.
  • Use Lock-On to help you with targeting enemies.

Zelda: ToTK Helpful Links

About Link: Story and guide on the main character's abilities, details, and other information
Stats: All the properties, buffs, and debuffs that will affect Link. 
Equipment: Full details on wearables in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
Weapons: All pieces of offensive equipment that Link can use to deal damage to enemies.
Upgrades: Learn about the upgrade system in Zelda, including relevant quests, and other requirements.
Crafting and Cooking: Learn about the recipes and unique mechanics of crafting in the game.
New Player Help: Information and guide to help new players.


Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Combat

Combat Mechanics
Link's Abilities
Elements and Environments
Weapon Types

Combat Mechanics

During the early stages of the game, combat can be a little difficult to deal with in terms of durability, availability of Weapons, correctly timing the parry, controlling Link, and much more. The combat mechanics of Zelda: Tears of The Kingdom can be a lot to handle at first and we came up with this Combat Guide for Tears of The Kingdom to cover all the basics and advanced tips to help you get settled in.

When controlling Link, he can protect himself by doing offensive moves and he can also attack by doing offensive moves to damage his enemies. We created a list here to guide you on your combat experience while journeying through the Kingdom of Hyrule.

  Defensive Controls ♦ Offensive Controls

Defensive Moves

Defensive Moves are designed to protect Link and prevent himself from getting damaged by Enemies or Bosses. These moves and controls do not need to be learned and are automatically available to Link and can be used in combat immediately.

  • DodgingZL + Jump + a directional button
  • BlockingZL
  • Stealth - Left Thumbstick
  • ParryingLZ and press A
  • Healing - Open the Inventory tab




Dodging is the most effective way to prevent Link from getting damaged and at the same time repositioning in battle. This can be performed by pressing the ZL + Jump + a directional button. Dodging will allow you to prevent the attacks from reaching Link. When a dodge is executed at the right time, Link will get a Perfect Dodge that will allow him to perform a counter-attack called "Flurry Rush". To effectively dodge attacks, take note of which direction your enemy is swinging and adjust your movements accordingly. 


Aside from dodging, you can also block enemy attacks by pressing ZL when you have a shield equipped. Note that each attack a shield receives, it chips away its health slowly reducing its durability, once its durability reaches zero, it will be destroyed and cannot be used again. Just like dodging, there is the Perfect Guard that you can perform if you can manage to parry an enemy attack by pressing A just before it hits. If you manage to land a Perfect Guard, you can execute a strong counter-attack as well just like how it rewards you for Perfect Dodging.


Stealth or Sneaking is the ideal option in approaching enemies in this game, as they tend to have an advantage in numbers most of the time. Sneaking allows you to eliminate enemies without alerting the other enemies in the area. You can hide in tall grass or behind different obstacles blocking the enemy's sight.

Press on the Left thumbstick to crouch and then slowly make your way behind the enemy. Once you are behind them, you can deal a critical blow, which deals more damage than trying to attack them head-on. Attacking from behind will most likely kill your opponent instantly. Some enemies leave their weapons unguarded lying on the ground when they are asleep, allowing you to sneak up on them and grab their weapons to use them against them.


Parrying is a good way to defend yourself while preparing for a counter-attack. To parry, simply hold out your Shield by pressing LZ and press A when an enemy attack is about to land. Parrying depends heavily on executing it at the right time and it's okay if you don't get it properly the first time. Successfully parrying an enemy's attack will leave them stunned and vulnerable to attack for a few seconds, giving you enough time to deal a high amount of damage.


Your Health in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will come in the form of Hearts, and the number of Hearts you have is your current HP. During combat, you will lose a portion of your Heart whenever you get hit by your enemies. When you run out of Hearts, Link will pass out and will be brought to a nearby checkpoint. To prevent this from happening, you can always open your inventory and restore your Hearts by consuming a proper meal, or fruits to recover health.

Always make sure to have enough supply of food to replenish your health when situations get tough in combat. A good strategy is to prepare meals before setting out for combat. Check out Crafting and Cooking for an in-depth guide.



Offensive Moves

  • Charged-up Attack - Hold Y button
  • Locking On - Press ZL while aiming at an Enemy
  • Melee Combat - Y button
  • Ranged Attack - R button
  • Air Dive Attack - to jump followed by to attack
  • Throwing Weapons - Select bow with directional buttons then to attack



Charged Up Attacks

Different Weapons perform different types of charged attacks. Link can perform a Charged Up attack by holding the Y button to power up your weapon and perform a special attack. By doing this, your strike will do high damage but it will cost a higher amount of Stamina compared to normally attacking. Charged-up attacks will also decrease the durability of the equipped weapon.

Locking On

Pressing the ZL button will allow you to lock onto a single enemy, which will let you focus all your attacks on them. This is also especially useful when you are dealing with groups of enemies and you want to eliminate a certain enemy to make the fight easier. This will also allow you to move around easier while keeping the focus of the screen on your target.

Melee Combat

There are various melee weapon choices for Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, from One-Handed Weapons, Two-Handed Weapons, and Spears. When you engage in combat with a melee weapon, it is important to note that every time you use the weapon to attack, it slowly chips away the durability of the weapon, and when the durability of the equipped weapon reaches zero, it will be destroyed and cannot be used again.

However, there is an exception to this rule, which is The Master Sword. The Master Sword is everlasting and while it does not have a durability, the sword goes on "cooldown" before it can be used again. In the present time in Zelda: Tears of The Kingdom, the Master Sword is now broken. There might be a few weapons that can be repaired if broken, we will have to see once more information is released.

Air Dive Attack

When you are in midair and you press the attack button, Link will dive down and hit the ground creating a shockwave that will knock back enemies within the area. This is a good way to engage in combat, especially when you are at high ground and you see enemies below you, you can jump and glide over them to perform this attack.

Throwing Weapons

Link can throw the weapon he has equipped in hand. In order to do so, players have to press and Hold R, and then release it when they want to throw the weapon. Throwing a weapon at an enemy deals a Critical Hit, dealing twice the weapon's damage.

Ranged Combat

Using the Bow while to unsuspecting enemies is very advantageous in terms of clearing out enemies. It can make things easier if you pick them of one by one, or you initiate the battle by aiming for an explosive barrel or a bee hive that is within the enemy's range. You can also activate a slow-mo when you jump and aim with your bow, same goes when you jump off your horse. Aiming for the head is the ideal spot when using the bow, as it can instantly kill the enemy if they are weak enough. Note that there are different kinds of bow ammunition that can be used in different situations.

Hitting an enemy's head with an arrow to perform a Critical Hit that deals 2x damage.

Flurry Rush

A Flurry Rush can only be executed after performing a Perfect Dodge. When a perfect dodge is executed,  the time will be slowed and players can then press Y button to perform a series of heavy attacks on their enemy, this is the Flurry Rush attack.

This is an effective way to take down your enemies efficiently while minimizing the damage that an be done to yourself.


Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Link's Abilities

At the start of your journey in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Link will start out without Abilities. Then later on, throughout your journey, Link will be able to pick up and learn his Abilities again which will allow him to excel in combat and in exploration. Having these Abilities will greatly help Link in overcoming formidable Enemies and Bosses.

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Using the new Ultrahand ability, Link can pick up, move, and rotate objects. He can even attach things together to create bridges, vehicles, and more! Ultrahand also lets you combine Weapons with Zonai devices that will allow Link to craft deadly weapons. Keep experimenting and you'll discover a lot of combinations possible in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

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Add a new dimension to your exploration with Ascend, which gives Link the ability to pass through solid objects above him. Rise up through ceilings, hillsides, and even certain enemies to create seemingly impossible shortcuts. You can also use Ascend in combat, by giving yourself the high ground, you will be able to shoot your enemies from afar with a Bow and Arrow.

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Magically fuse objects to Link’s current weapon, shield, or arrow to increase durability, damage, or even add a new effect. Experiment with lots of different combinations to come up with surprising—and sometimes hilarious—results! A recommendation for Fuse is to combine arrows with elemental materials to create deadlier ammo for combat.

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Use Recall to reverse an object’s movement, letting Link ride fallen boulders skyward, recover thrown weapons, or send projectiles back where they came from. You can greatly use this ability in combat when your enemy decides to throw an object toward your direction, feel free to use the recall ability and rewind the time, and deal damage to your enemy instead. This takes time and practice but is definitely useful in combat.

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Elements and Environments

There are multiple elemental and environmental effects that greatly affect Link in combat. These effects can allow certain Weapons to deal stronger or weaker damage, depending on certain situations. During the fight, you can take advantage of the elements and turn the tides in your favor. There are also certain environments that would require Link to wear a specific set of armor to help negate the damage from being in that location, or when fighting certain Enemies.

  • Extra Damage
  • Set the enemy on fire
  • Extra Damage
  • Freeze the enemy
  • Increase damage to frozen Enemies
  • Strong against Fire elemental Enemies
  • Extra Damage
  • Shocks the Enemy
  • Causes enemies to drop their weapon
  • Extinguishes fire
  • Solidifies Lava into a platform
  • Enhances Lightning Attacks
  • Used to clean sludge in Zora's Domain

Different enemies will have varying elemental attributes that will require players to change their tactics and strategy in order to beat them. For example, the Igneo Talus has Lava/Fire attributes, which would require players to put out the fire first before damage can be dealt to it. Once you are able to deal enough water damage to it, the Igneo Talus can be defeated.

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There are many aspects that can affect combat and Elements and Environment is just one of them. Make sure to refer to the table so you can take advantage of the Weapons you have in your inventory and how to use them properly in every fight. There are also Bonuses and Effects that can give Link higher resistances appropriate to situations. These bonuses and effects are granted to Link by wearing 3 pieces of the same set. For example, Flame Guard is an effect that is given to Link which reduces damage in flame areas and fire attacks. This is activated by wearing all pieces of the Flamebreaker Set.

You can view the full list of Armor to take advantage of the set bonuses offered. See Armor gallery here.

Weapon Types

When in Combat in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, your Weapons are stored in your inventory as you are traveling. These Weapons are then categorized into 5 different types based on the attack range, attack speed, and other attributes. Before you begin choosing your Weapon for a fight, it is also important to know when to use the better weapon which depends on the situation or battle requirements.

Zelda TotK enforces a durability system and players are encouraged to try different types of weapons to help deal with the durability decay. It's recommended to carry a selection of Weapons whenever you're out on an adventure to have options to switch to mid-combat. Weapons can be found from the ground, dropped by Enemies, opening treasure chests, or rewarded by quests.

Equipping any weapon will display its description and attack rating. A higher attack rating will deal more damage. It is recommended to adjust your weapon to each combat encounter, ensuring you use lower-level weapons early game against more common enemies. It's also important to remember that Weapons in Zelda: TotK will have different elements and will react differently to certain factors, which may cause the weapons to deal more or lesser damage. 

One-Handed Weapons

gloom sword weapon zelda totk wiki guide

One-Handed Weapons have a medium attack rate and damage stat. These weapons can also be charged but will require Stamina, and by releasing the charge, it will cause Link to spin and attack. This attack type can be used in combination with Shields

One-Handed Weapons also come in two types, namely Boomerangs, and Rods. Boomerangs can be thrown in a single direction and return to you after going a set distance dealing extra damage. Rods do low melee damage but are best when used at mid to long range, when you perform an attack or throw with it, an elemental effect will happen in a straight line.

Two-Handed Weapons

zora longsword+ weapon zelda totk wiki guide

Two-Handed Weapons have a slow attack rate but yield high damage. You can constantly spin with this weapon while charging an attack and end with a powerful ground smash once the charge is released, but it will also cost some Stamina.

When using a Two-Handed Weapon, you cannot equip any Shield as using this weapon requires you to wield it with both hands. In essence, a Two-Handed Weapon will allow you to deal damage at the expense of defense, which means being unable to equip a Shield.


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Spears have longer reach than the other melee Weapons, and have a quick attack speed but deal low damage. The attack sequence consists of five stabs, the last one dealing the most amount of damage and can often break through an enemy's guard or knock them back.

Similar to the Two-Handed Weapon, you also cannot equip a Shield when using this weapon as it requires two hands to wield a Spear.


Bows and Arrows

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Bows and Arrows are best used at long range, perfect for sniping enemies from afar. Bows also have different types of ammunition like Fire Arrows and other elements. Some Bows shoot multiple arrows at once, some allow you to even zoom in and gain a clearer view of the target you're aiming at. When you are airborne, a slow-mo effect will trigger when you aim with your Bow, you will also see your Stamina quickly being reduced while this is in effect.

In certain situations, a Bow and Arrow will be the best weapon to use but most often, fights will happen at a melee range. Choosing the right weapon for a fight is always important so observe your enemies and surrounding whenever.


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Shields are pieces of defensive Equipment that Link can actively use to defend against Enemies and Bosses. Shields have their own dedicated equipment slot and can be used while Link is empty-handed or wielding one-handed Weapons.

Raising a shield blocks attacks from the direction Link is facing, preventing him from taking damage if the shield is durable enough to deflect the damage. Much like Weapons, Shields have limited durability and will break upon continued use. Shields are Link's main defensive capability and are important tools for combat.

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