Hyrule Warriors: A Guide to fight the Age of Calamity
Tips and tricks to take full advantage of the many new Zelda systems introduced to the musou spin-off.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity released yesterday exclusively on Nintendo Switch and our Gamereactor Warriors Stefan Briesenick and David Caballero have been playing countless hours already to give you, besides the game's review, a series of useful tips and tricks.
This is a musou game, true, but not your typical as it's also been heavily modified based on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's world and systems. As such it offers players a bunch of advanced techniques along with some very unique moves and tools, including Sheikah Rune powers and elementary actions. Here are some pointers, secrets and recommendations.
Fuse Weapons, forge better combat tools
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In Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, there are essentially two ways to become stronger: By either gaining experience points or by forging better weapons. As soon as you have unlocked the Hylian Blacksmith Guild, you can melt down unwanted weapons there to strengthen your armoury. Besides higher damage values, this process unlocks various passive bonus advantages (as Seals) and if you fuse the same effects with each other, you even increase the corresponding stats.
Since some heroes can equip several branches of weapon (which, by the way, also affects the character's playstyle as well as their combos), you should make sure to always fuse the same weapon types together. For example, main hero Link can equip a short sword, a two-handed weapon, or a spear. If you melt swords into his spear, you will make far less progress, your bonuses will be lowered and the whole process will get really expensive.
Melting cheap weapons into your mighty Master Sword doesn't bring much to the table in the long run, because you need high quality/level equipment for some real progress. Therefore, either fuse bad material or sell it directly - there will always be more. Later in the game, you will unlock more options at the blacksmith, like renewing rusted weapons with Octo-Polish or changing unwanted passive effects. This usually comes for the price of a lot of rupees and it is not really worth until you reach the later phases of Age of Calamity, where you want to further specialise your favourite characters even more.
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You should get to know the forge as early as possible, as each of your main fighters needs a competent weapon. However, upgrading is very likely to tear a hole in your finances, so maybe focus on only one or two characters at the time, instead of having everyone up to date. Before you throw everything you have into the smithy, always check your pockets carefully. Some weapons have a high resell value and you should consider that option to fill up your rupee bag.
If you head out with the same character regularly, her or his weapon bag will fill up fairly quickly. Hestu can widen your pockets, but to do this you need Korog seeds, which are well hidden away in the campaign missions. Later in the game you can pretty much see where to check for these collectibles, but you'll have been playing for a while by then. If you played The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, you can likely guess some of the places you have to look for these tiny creatures, so keep your eyes open.
Character-related fighting techniques
As the game progresses, you will unlock new characters, which you should get familiar with as soon as possible. Not every player likes every playstyle, so feel free to try out the many surprises Koei Tecmo prepared for us. In addition to the aforementioned weapons, the standard combos (X/Y) and the special skills (ZR), you should also check the usage of the Shiekah powers (R), because Stasis, Magnesis, Cryonis, and the Remote Bombs sometimes allow for some exciting new combat options as they differ with each warrior. Mipha, for example, summons a persistent rain of bombs with which she can attack the weak spots of tall enemies (such as a Stone Talus), all while fighting normally at the same time.
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Dodge and block
Some enemies can take a while to beat, particularly when you aren't strong enough yet. In these cases, and in general, you better time your dodges (B) and blocks (ZL) right. Both will open enemies' defences for longer combos, and after some training you'll become a faster, more reliable warrior who doesn't depend too much on special powers.
Use Sheikah Runes against special attacks
The Sheikah Rune powers work with environmental elements and in combat, but instead of using them all the time unconsciously, once they're reloaded you better use them strategically, especially with enemies bigger than your typical grunts.
When one of these larger enemies starts a more elaborated or special attack sequence, a roulette will prompt on screen quickly to stop on one Sheikah Rune (a lock, a magnet, a snowflake, a bomb), and that's the Rune you have to use to counter them. If you're successful (not only do you have to be quick and learn patterns - you also need those Runes to be cooled down and ready to use again), you will both stop their attack and break their defence meter quicker, which is a must to finish enemies, especially if you're in a hurry. As such, this stopping/countering technique is one of the very first you need to master, as you might not really care at first. Consequently, upgrading your Sheikah Runes must go high on your priority list of Quests.
Elementary, my dear warrior
If Runes are used with R, then fire, ice, and electricity elementary rods enter a rock-paper-scissors type of game when in combat with L. You need to refill your rods by killing elementary enemies (the Wizzrobes are the most obvious, but other enemies such as Moblins and Lizalfos are powered/modified by the elements) and by finding elementary shards.
Same as with Runes, don't waste this nonsensically. We advice you save some elements in case you have to face an opposing-element enemy later on a given mission. Fire beats ice, ice beats fire... and lightning is just very useful to stunt enemies, way more so if they're close to water or metal. In fact, you should look around and see if the ground can be burnt, for example, for better effect. Another tip is that you save some Rod power as an additional resource against the most resistant and annoying bosses.
By the way, enemy types also differ greatly from one another. Lynels, for example, shoot electric arrows in any form, but not every subspecies spill fire balls at you or run you over with a spear. Shiekah abilities are usually paired to these behaviours, so they will also differ. Again, be vigilant and learn how to react to these patterns. Then you can carry out the appropriate counter-reactions faster and break holes in the enemies defences.
Efficient Economy: Invest your rupees wisely
If your wallet is running low and you're short on rupees, it can be worthwhile to sell some of the more commonly gathered monster materials you find throughout the missions. However, note that you might find yourself in need for specific material later in the game and therefore, having a base supply of everything is a good idea. If in doubt, don't be afraid to replay an already completed mission, because this helps you gain experience points (away to not spend a rupee levelling up characters at the Military Training Camp) and it also puts some more resources into your pockets. Diligence doesn't hurt, because Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is an extensive game that will keep you busy for a while anyway.
It also makes sense to work a little towards the new next story mission you are about to tackle, as they usually take a longer time to complete (half or even a full hour instead of your typical 10-20 minute Challenges). Try to adjust the level of your troops before you head there - the Military Training Camp will help if you have the necessary amount of rupees, but there's always a level cap. Also, cook something tasty so that you can get important bonus advantages like additional XP, more battlefield-specific raw materials and the likes. If you farm for a specifically raw material, adjust your meal and, if necessary, your equipment, too. And always remember: Large crowds of opponents are not only good for your experience bar and to quickly refill your special attack, but they help you get valuable resources that might come in handy later.
Lists make Hyrule Map work as a handy menu
As the game progresses, the world map becomes very crowded, making navigation more difficult. With L you come to the "Services" tab, which lists the most important points of interest as well as shops. Go through this list regularly to replenish rare resources (also, the merchants replenish their stocks after each successful mission).
Likewise, with R you access Chapters (story missions), Challenges (side missions sorted by recommended levels and also Divine Beast Battles, and Quests (errands you normally pay with resources, and here you find some as important as upgrading Sheikah Runes, improving allies, or unlocking and enhancing Services).
Remember: if you're looking for that sneaky material, just assign it to the Sensor in this menu, and the related battles will be highlighted on the map. Isn't it cool?
It's a secret to everybody
Some longer story missions allow you to go Onward with several warriors, but they might also include more than one boss or require some specific abilities. Some times it's not enough to meet the recommended level, so you might want to test the ground and then go back to grind/level up or to choose another hero. This applies to specific challenges as well, for example when you cannot be hit or when there are time constrains. Besides, for some bosses you enter alone with one playable character, even though you started the mission with more. A pro tip here is that you collect all the elements shards and all the food for that main character who will take the big fight.
Another useful, time-saving trick is that, have you seen those wooden watch towers? They usually host some enemies and a special skull chest with a rare item, right? Well, the fastest way to clean it is with a bomb from the ground: it'll be instantly demolished, the treasure ready for you to collect.
Other than this, and same as with Breath of the Wild, keep reading the tips showing up during loading screens, as you'll learn about some really cool stuff. What they won't tell you is that, on those screens, you can use L/R, B and X to control the Small Guardian. It's so cute!
Unlock more characters
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity has 20 story missions and you will regularly unlock new characters as you play through the game normally. By reaching the final chapter, you will already have 14 playable heroes, but there are actually four more guests hidden in this latest Musou adventure. We'll tell you how to unlock them.
If you want to control the Great Fairies, you have to capture Cotera, Kaysa, Mija and Tera in four individual side-quests. Look out for a mission called "Offering Help on the Road", which you unlock at the beginning of chapter four. It's located in Gerudo and all you have to do is pay 4500 rupees to access three follow-up quests (which, by the way, are an excellent source of income). Once you do those, you have to lure out the fourth fairy in the mission "Fairy Fountain: Battlefield" (which you can find in Akkala). Upon defeating her, you will unlock the whole troop for your cast. The tasks range from level 25 to 29, so you can do that very early on.
If you want to bring Calamity Ganon's hordes to justice with the mighty Sheikah Monk Maz Koshia himself, you must complete three delivery quests, which also become available in Chapter 4 (they unlock after you clear the story mission "Destroy the Yiga Clan!"). Two of them are waiting for you in Faron ("The Trial of the Mighty Foe" and "The Trial of Stones"), the last one ("The Trial of Monsters") is located in Gerudo. After you deliver everything, you still have to prove your strength to the monk so that he offers you his help. Koei Tecmo recommends level 38 for completing this final challenge, called "Trial of the Ancients".
You can get the first two additional members fairly early on, but for the last two newcomers you have put in some real work. To unlock the little guardian of time you first have to repair him after finishing the main story. To do this, you have to complete "Terrako's Return" in Central Hyrule, which requires that you gather all 50 Terrako components. Across several fetch quests and battlefields, most of them will pop up in all regions after completing the 20th story mission, rewarding you with the necessary components. You have to collect them all to see the Secret Ending and play as the little robot yourself.
Link's archenemy Calamity Ganon can only be unlocked when you have completed almost all of the game. The missions linked to this character are among the most challenging ones in the game and they require a minimum level of 70, so you need to be levelled properly. In order to stop Calamity Ganon and his minions... with Calamity Ganon himself, you must have unlocked Terrako, too. The level 74 mission "Versus Calamity Ganon" in Lanayru is the final hurdle. There, you have to defeat Astor, Harbinger Ganon and Calamity Ganon one after the other within twelve minutes.
Do you have any other tip for Hyrule Warrios: Age of Calamity? Share it with the Gamereactor community below and we might include it! FOR HYRULE!