Heart Containers in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom are permanent upgrades for Link's Hearts or Health stat. Much like in Breath of the Wild, Heart Containers primarily acquired from Goddess Statues by turning in Lights of Blessing, which are key items obtained after completing each Shrine of Light. Each Heart Container grants Link an extra Heart, allowing him to take more damage before dying. Heart Containers share their primary acquisition method with Stamina Vessels and players are free to choose which upgrade they want for Link.
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Heart Containers Overview
How to Obtain Heart Containers in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom?
Heart Containers are closely tied to the Goddess Statues found in each major settlement and other locations in Hyrule. The main function of Goddess Statues is to reward Link with either a Heart Container which increases his maximum number of Hearts and allowing him to take more damage before dying, or a Stamina Vessel, increasing his maximum Stamina and allowing him to perform more actions that utilize this resource. Each Heart Container grants one Heart and each Stamina Vessel grants a 1/5 segment of a Stamina Wheel.
Link can obtain these upgrades by turning in 4 Lights of Blessing at any Goddess Statue. A Light of Blessing is awarded for the completion of each Shrine of Light, of which there are a total of 152. Link is free to choose which upgrade he wants when interacting with a statue, except for the very first one encountered at the Temple of Time near the beginning of the game which forces him to pick a Heart Container.
The Horned Statue from Breath of the Wild returns, providing Link with a means to respec his main stats. This demonic-looking statue is locked behind a hidden passageway in the Emergency Shelter, an underground bunker beneath Lookout Landing. To gain access to it, you must first progress through the Main Quests up to Regional Phenomena, a multi-part quest assigned by Purah. Complete at least one leg of this quest, including one of the associated Temples, then return to the Emergency Shelter and speak to Jerrin to begin the Who Goes There? quest. The small crawlspace in front of her should have now opened, leading to a bunch of rocks blocking the path. Destroy the first set of rocks you find and then the ones on the right to find a cell where the Horned Statue is waiting.
The Horned Statue functions the same way as it did in Breath of the Wild. Link can surrender one of his essences, namely a Heart Container or Stamina Vessel to the statue. For each one he surrenders, he will receive 100 Rupees. Link can then continue surrendering essences or choose the "I want one back" option, which allows him to pick between a Heart Container or a Stamina Vessel, essentially allowing him to trade Hearts for Stamina and vice versa. Note that each time you request for an essence back, you must pay the statue 120 Rupees. This technically means each stat costs 20 Rupees to respec.
What is the maximum amount of Hearts in Tears of the Kingdom?
Link starts off with three Hearts and can have a maximum of 40 Hearts. Since each Heart Container grants one heart, a total of 27 Heart Containers are required to reach max health, including the mandatory one obtained during the first Goddess Statue encounter at the Temple of Time.
There are a total of 152 Shrines of Light in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom— 120 on the Surface and 32 in the Sky Islands. This equates to 38 total Goddess Statue Upgrades which can be divided freely between Heart Containers and Stamina Vessels.
Should I prioritize Heart Containers over Stamina Vessels in Tears of the Kingdom?
Heart Containers and Hearts serve as Link's health gauge and while they are important stats to improve, Stamina Vessels and Stamina can be just as critical, if not more so. Stamina powers most of Link's actions in both exploration and combat, and having more Stamina can mean being able to avoid taking damage in the first place. Prioritizing your Stamina can also allow for the early acquisition of the Master Sword. Where in Breath of the Wild, acquiring Link's iconic weapon relied on his Hearts, Tears of the Kingdom switches it up by employing a mini-game that requires Stamina instead.
There are varying levels of challenge to be found in Tears of the Kingdom and it is ultimately up to the player to decide which stat to prioritize. With a massive amount of Shrines to complete and Lights of Blessing to obtain, it is entirely possible to max out both. Additionally, there are a plethora of Food items that can grant temporary increases to both Hearts and Stamina. Do note that Stamina-boosting Food or the ingredients to create them can be more scarce than the ones for Health.