Tears of the Kingdom Ascend ability – how to unlock and use

Tears of the Kingdom Ascend ability – how to unlock and use
John Hansen Updated on by

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The Tears of the Kingdom Ascend ability is a game changer when it comes to exploring Hyrule. In TotK, Link’s Ascend lets him reach places he previously couldn’t have, solve clever puzzles, and discover the game’s best kept secrets.

Before you go exploring the new Tears of the Kingdom map, you’ll need the rundown on the Tears of the Kingdom Ascend ability, and all the ways it’ll help you out – especially when it comes to Tears of the Kingdom Sky Islands.

How to unlock the Ascend Ability in Tears of the Kingdom

The Ascend ability is unlocked after visiting Tears of the Kingdom’s Gutanbac Shrine, located east of the Great Sky Island.

It can be a little bit of a pain to arrive at Gutanbac Shrine, and it will require a bit of climbing to reach it. We’d recommend cooking a meal to warm yourself up from the cold, though you should reach Gutanbac in the end.

Once you have arrived, you’re going to be challenged with ‘The Ability to Rise,’ a Shrine challenge that will reward you with the Ascend ability before teaching you exactly how to use it.

How to use the Ascend ability in Tears of the Kingdom

In order to use the Ascend ability in Tears of the Kingdom, you’re going to need to have it equipped; you can tell that it is by the symbol of the person standing in the vertical tunnel in the top left corner of the screen. When equipped, press L and the camera will zoom in and look up. You will see areas above you marked in green where you can Ascend to by pressing A. There is a height limit, however, and if the ceiling is too high up, it will be marked in red and you will be unable to Ascend through it.

Tears of the Kingdom Ascend: The camera pointed at a ceiling with the UI for Ascend showing on it.

From what we have seen, it doesn’t matter how much there is to get through to get to the other side of the ceiling. It can be a short trip or take a little longer where you see Link swimming through the object. Once you get to the top, you are stuck in the floor and time is frozen, allowing you to survey your surroundings, and take note of any enemies that might be nearby. When you’re ready, you simply press A to hop out and go about your business.

What is the Tears of the Kingdom Ascend ability?

Ascend is an ability in Tears of the Kingdom which allows Link to float upwards and phase through ceilings, then appear on the other side. Unlike Breath of the Wild, which required you to walk or climb up walls if they wanted to reach higher areas, TotK’s Ascend will let you do that simply by standing underneath a ceiling and using the ability.

The Legend of Zelda director, Eiji Aonuma, mentioned that there are some restrictions to what the Tears of the Kingdom Ascend ability would work on, but we are not sure what those are as of this writing aside from needing a low enough ceiling above you. 

Tears of the Kingdom Ascend: Link's upper body poking out of the ground on a Sky Island.

As well as being useful to quickly get to higher areas, Ascend is sure to be essential when it comes to navigating the game’s Sky Islands, using it to travel from one Island to another above you. It’s sure to play a role in many secrets in the game, too, with hidden areas only accessible by using Ascend in a certain place.

Similarly, the added movement that the Ascend ability brings to the game pairs extremely well with some of the recently discovered Tears of the Kingdom glitches, one of which makes use of the TotK Recall ability in order to create a platform that can be used to cushion long-distance falls. Though perhaps not an intended function in-game, it’s certainly not cheating.

The Tears of the Kingdom Ascend ability is one of Link’s more situational, but that doesn’t detract from how useful it is. While Ascend has your vertical movement covered, check out our Tears of the Kingdom vehicles list to see some other ways you’ll be moving. And if you want to know more about building these vehicles, our Tears of the Kingdom Ultrahand ability guide has all the info you need.