Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity may feature characters from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and some familiar mechanics, but the game plays nothing like the main entry in the series. As the game is more of an hack and slash game rather than a proper action role-playing game, some Zelda fans may be overwhelmed by the amount of new things that have to learn to master the game and enjoy this engaging prequel story.
If you’re just starting out in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, you have come to the right place. In this guide, you will find some information on the game’s battle system and exploration mechanics that will help you get started on your new adventure.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity’s combat system isn’t particularly complicated, and you should have no problem dealing with hordes of Moblins even if you just stick to the basics. But if you want to have more fun, you will have to learn all of its ins and outs.
While all playable characters have their own unique combo strings and special moves, they control pretty much the same. The Y button is used to unleash regular attacks, while the X button is used to unleash a powerful heavy attack that can also be charged, like in Link’s case.
Regular combo strings can carry you quite far in the game, but you definitely want to spice things a little: Warriors games get repetitive, and mashing the same combo over and over is not a good way to make things fun in the long run. As such, you can unleash different combo enders by pressing the X button after a few regular attacks: these combo enders have unique properties, like launching the enemies in the air, that can be extremely useful to continue staying on the offensive with little to no delay.
Special Attacks, unleashed with the A button, work completely differently from Regular and Heavy attacks, as they can only be used once you have built up enough energy. These attacks vary depending on the character, but they are extremely powerful and you should use them to clear enemies quickly, or against bosses, as they also deal tons of damage to single targets.
Unique Actions, activated with the ZR button, are special abilities unique to all characters that further differentiate their movesets. If you are quick enough, you can also unleash them right after any combo string for additional efficacy.
The Sheikah Runes are another important tool in every Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity character arsenal. Inspired by the same runes seen in Breath of the Wild, they let you freeze enemies or blow them up at will.
The four Sheikah runes, activated by pressing down the R button and then the A,B,X,Y buttons are:
- Cryonis – A button – Create a wall of ice that freezes nearby enemies and can be used as a platform to jump
- Magnesis – B button – Grab any metal object and move it around to unleash lighting that disarms enemies wielding metal weapons
- Stasis – X button – Freeze enemies for a short time
- Remote Bombs – Y Button – Launch bombs at enemies to break their shields and damage them
In Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, it is also possible to unleash elemental spells via the Wizzrobes wands that are obtained by defeating the Wizzorbes wandering around maps. To unleash spells, you will need to use the obtained wands as items by pressing the L button and selecting them from the menu. Wands have limited uses, so think carefully before using one.
Exploring in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is much different from Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as you cannot roam the world freely, but only pick select locations from the map. Alongside the main mission locations, you can also pick other locations represented by different icons that are completely optional, but you should still explore as they unlock mechanics that can help you in your adventure.
The available map icons are:
- Character Icons indicate merchants that can teach characters new combat skills once specific conditions are met.
- Crossed Swords Icons are the locations of the main missions.
- Horse and Vase Icons indicate merchants that buy and sell items.
- Pot Icons indicate the location of food items and recipes.
- Single Swords Icons indicate combat challenges that grant experience once completed to level up characters.