Tears of the Kingdom weapon durability explained

Tears of the Kingdom weapon durability explained
Alex Raisbeck Updated on by

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Understanding Tears of the Kingdom durability is key to helping you get the most out of your weapons. While you might find the durability system frustrating, knowing how it works will give you an easier time when it comes to managing your arsenal.

If you haven’t upgraded your Tears of the Kingdom weapon slots and need to take care of your limited supply, we have all the info you need so you won’t be forced to rely on your Tears of the Kingdom abilities in a pinch.

How does weapon durability work in Tears of the Kingdom?

Aside from the Master Sword, every weapon in Tears of the Kingdom degrades over time, and will break after its durability reaches zero. This means that everything from a lowly tree branch to your fancy Great Flameblade will eventually break if used enough times.

Weapons can be damaged in a variety of ways. The most obvious is by using them to hit enemies. This will deal the lowest amount of damage to a weapon’s durability. Be careful though, as if your enemy blocks your attacks with a shield, this will deal much higher durability damage, so make good use of flurry rushes where you can. This applies to bows too, with every arrow fired causing damage to durability.

You should save your strongest weapons for stronger enemies. If you have one sword that does 50 damage and another that does 10, there’s no point using the stronger sword on an enemy with only 10 health. Pick your weapons to match your enemies and make sure that you’re not too wasteful.

Tears of the Kingdom weapon durability: Link sneaking up on a construct in a cloud of smoke.
Copyright Nintendo

There is one major way to avoid weapon durability damage in combat, which is to perform a sneakstrike. By sneaking up behind an unsuspecting enemy, you will have the opportunity to perform a sneakstrike. Not only will this deal 8x damage to enemies, but it will also deal zero durability damage to your weapon. This makes it a great opportunity to put your strongest weapon to good use, potentially bagging yourself some one-hit kills in the process.

When a weapon is about to break, you will receive a message in-game saying “Your [weapon name] is badly damaged”. This means that one more hit will break the weapon. When you break a weapon by hitting an enemy, this attack will deal double damage. It’s often a good idea to throw an almost broken weapon at an enemy from a distance so that you can safely equip a new one before the enemy recovers. You can also see if a weapon is about to break, as it will flash red in your inventory.

Tears of the Kingdom weapon durability: Link fighting a construct. A message says "Your Tree Branch is badly damaged."
Copyright Nintendo

Tears of the Kingdom weapon durability outside of combat

Weapons can also be used outside of combat but will take extra damage from this. Actions like cutting down trees, mining ore, or lighting wooden weapons on fire will deal a large amount of durability damage, so avoid using your best weapons for things like these. An exception to this is special weapons designed for these purposes, such as using axes to cut down trees, hammers to break ore deposits, and torches to light on fire. Specialised items like these take almost no damage from using them for their designed purpose, and are the best tools for the job.

Shield durability in Tears of the Kingdom

As well as weapons, shields also have durability in Tears of the Kingdom. Every shield in the game is breakable, although the Hylian Shield has such high durability that it will last far longer than any other. Shields can lose durability by blocking enemy attacks, or by using them to Tears of the Kingdom shield surf. Shield surfing on sand and snow, however, does not cost durability as the surfaces are smooth. If you manage to parry an attack, this will not cost durability in the same way that simply blocking does, so if you can, knowing how to pull off the perfect Tears of the Kingdom parry is the way to go.

Tears of the Kingdom weapon durability: Link parrying an attack from a construct.

Especially in the late-game, many weapons you find will have modifiers which alter their stats, such as increasing damage or throw distance. One of these modifiers is ‘Durability Up’, which, shockingly, increases the durability of your weapon or shield. If you’re someone that prefers to stick to one weapon rather than switching, finding yourself a weapon with this modifier should be high on your priority list.

Early on in TotK, you may find yourself avoiding combat for fear of losing your weapons, but you shouldn’t. There is no end to the weapons you can find while exploring Hyrule, with enemies dropping them, chests in the overworld and shrines containing them, and even some just lying around in certain areas. A sword breaking can also give you a good chance to try out a spear or two-handed sword. TotK is all about experimenting and trying new things, so don’t be afraid to use your weapons however you see fit.

That’s everything you need to know about Tears of the Kingdom weapon durability. Love it or hate it, it’s a major part of the game, so understanding it is key. If you’re on the hunt for some combat tips, our Tears of the Kingdom how to dodge guide might help you out. And if you’re looking for a way to get more health, you should check out our Tears of the Kingdom how to get more hearts guide.