The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is going to be one of the biggest games of the year, and for good reason. Nintendo is returning to the sprawling sandbox version of Hyrule we first enjoyed in Zelda: Breath of the Wild, expanding it to include a kingdom above the clouds. We'll be able to experiment within this massive playspace with a suite of new powers and tool to experiment – seriously, Tears of the Kingdom is one of the most anticipated upcoming Switch games of all-time for good reason.
As the sequel to one of the best Switch games, Tears of the Kingdom looks set to expand on what came before by taking us to the skies above Hyrule, as well as offering up new items to play around with. First teased back in 2019 and given a full title during the Nintendo Direct September 2022 showcase, there's a lot to get excited about when it comes to Link's new adventure – particularly with a new gameplay direct set to go live on March 28. Read on below as we take you through everything we know so far about Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom release date
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom release date is set for May 12, 2023. The news was confirmed on September 12, as part of the Nintendo Direct September 2022 showcase. Tears of the Kingdom will launch as a Nintendo Switch exclusive.
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom news
There's been no shortage of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom news in recent weeks, thanks to a brand new trailer which confirms Ganondorf's return to Hyrule. This final look at the game ahead of release gave us a new look at the powers and abilities Link will be able to wield (which we've gone into detail for you below), teased the return of Demise, and a legendary boss from the original The Legend of Zelda. For more info, here's nine cool details you might have missed in the Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom trailer.
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom pre-order
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is set to be one of the biggest games of the year, and you'll need to act fast if you want to get your hands on a limited version of the game. Follow our The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom pre-order guide to find the best offers on the Breath of the Wild sequel and grab some great bonus items while you still can – it's here where we're tracking the latest deals, such as this early 25% price cut. We're also tracking the best Legend of Zelda Nintendo Switch OLED pre-order opportunities, and any discounts around the Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom collector's edition.
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom hands-on preview
We went hands-on with Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and found this sequel to be "bigger, bolder and more inventive than Breath of the Wild." This innovative and imaginative adventure was quick to impress, and it's already looking like one of the best games of 2023. To see how we fared in our preview, and to see all the mischief we will able to create with Link's new abilities, be sure to read our full The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom gameplay preview.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom gameplay
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom gameplay is set to build expansively on the more open traversal and combat systems that helped define the original Breath of the Wild. For starters, the world has extended into the skies – with Link swan diving from dungeons suspended above the clouds, and using all-new abilities (which are now powered by the glowing sword arm, rather than the Sheikah Slate) to quickly ascend from ground to air. Additionally, it appears that the large pool of available weapons (and degradation) is likely returning, with Link spotted equipped with a wooden axe, multiple swords, different shields, bow and arrows, and more throughout the three trailers. Between the new and returning Sheikah abilities and the addition of more open exploration, it looks like Tears of the Kingdom is set to build smartly on what came before it.
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom abilities
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will introduce a new suite of powers, all of which are designed to give Link new and inventive ways to combat the forces of darkness which are spreading across Hyrule. Like Breath of the Wild before it, there's a big emphasis on experimentation within the sandbox, and the four new powers will give you plenty of scope to play.
The four Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom abilities that we know about so far are:
- Recall – Rewind time and the path of physical objects
- Fuse – Create instant combinations of different weapons and items
- Ultrahand – Combine objects and items to create unique structures
- Ascend – Lets Link teleport vertically to new platforms and locations
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom vehicles
The Ultrahand ability in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will allow you to create a variety of unique vehicles – structures which will allow Link the opportunity to explore Hyrule at speed and traverse the expansive sky kingdom above the clouds. This looks to be one of the most inventive aspects to the Breath of the Wild sequel, and we've picked apart every detail in the trailers to see how the Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom vehicles will come together in the final game.
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom fusions
Fuse is one ability that we can't wait to get our hands on in Tears of the Kingdom, as it allows for some pretty wild new ways to play. This power will let Link create and wield brand new weapons, with different fusions allowing for the creation of new weapon variants. Want a bit more reach with a spear? Then try fusing two spears together to create a long stick to poke at enemies from a distance. There's plenty more where that came from too, as you'll find in our Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom fusions guide.
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom weapons
Given that this sequel is introducing a suite of new abilities which let you create your own tools, it should come as no surprise that there's a whole load of new Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom weapons that you'll be able to find, create, and wield throughout the adventure. This is key, because one of the most divisive elements of the original game is returning – yes, you'll once again need to be way of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom weapon durability. Thanks to the Fuse and Ultrahand abilities giving you the freedom to play with the sandbox, weapons breaking should only further our desire to build even wilder combinations.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom story
Nintendo resisted revealing the name of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom for fear of the subtitle spoiling too much of the story. Naturally, this has gotten the gears in our brains turning. From everything we've seen of this Breath of the Wild sequel so far, it would appear that the desiccated corpse of Ganon has arisen from beneath Hyrule Castle, and the tendrils of Malice as starting to spread once again. Naturally, the new trailer opened with mysterious Hylian writings and drawings, so that has sent the Internet into detective mode, while the prominence of "tears" in the subtitle has us wondering whether echoes of Zelda: Twilight Princess will play a role here – given the prominence of 'Tears' throughout the game GameCube adventure.
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The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom setting
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom setting is building on the world we first explored in Breath of the Wild. We'll once again be able to venture across the vast lands of Hyrule, although you'll now have a more vertical playspace to contend with. The skies have opened up, with Link able to move between floating islands and dungeons – if you haven't played The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, now may be the time as there's clearly some synergy here. Interestingly, Nintendo says that Tears of the Kingdom "will take you up into the skies and an expanded world that goes beyond that", so who knows where else the game will take us.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom trailers
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has received three trailers. The first was shown in 2019, setting the tone of this Breath of the Wild sequel as we see Link and Zelda exploring some creepy-looking ruins, before the Hero of Time finds himself grappling with a glowing magical arm. You can watch the Breath of the Wild Sequel reveal trailer above.
The second The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom trailer was shown at E3 2021, with this one showcasing gameplay for the very first time. It was through this trailer that we learned that Link will gain a suite of new powers thanks to his new magical arm, and that the playable space was expanding into the sky.
The new The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom trailer was shown during the Nintendo Direct September 2022 showcase. It teased new story details, showed off some of the stunning sky vistas we'll be able to explore, and confirmed that the Breath of the Wild sequel will officially be called "Tears of the Kingdom" when it launches on May 5, 2023.