Image: Nintendo Life

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is easily the biggest adventure in the long-running series yet, but it's also significant in that it does away with a lot of the traditions which have been present in the franchise for decades, such as Link's iconic green clothing and some of his key items.

For series veterans it might come as a shock that both the Master Sword and Hylian Shield are both optional pick-ups in the game; you can actually beat Ganon without owning them, and there's a good chance that if you're not using a guide you may not even realise they exist. If you're keen to get your hands on the Master Sword and don't know where to begin, worry not - we've got your back.

What's So Special About The Master Sword In Zelda: Breath Of The Wild?

So why is the Master Sword worth owning? For starters, it's unbreakable - which already makes it desirable in a game where most weapons are only good for a few swings. Also, in typical Zelda style, you can hurl magical beams with it when you have full health.

Image: Nintendo Life

That's not all; in a nod to The Lord of the Rings, the blade glows blue when you're near an enemy that it is especially powerful against, and its power stat doubles from 30 to 60. In Hyrule Castle - which is packed with tough enemies - it glows constantly, which makes your task a lot easier. There are limits to the Master Sword, however; it needs to recharge after a lot of use, so you can't rely on it entirely during combat.

Where To Find The Master Sword In Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

The Master Sword is located in Great Hyrule Forest, just north of Hyrule Castle. If you're looking for a tower to fast-travel to, then the nearest option is Woodland Tower. To the east of Woodland Tower you'll see a marked road - follow this and you'll arrive at The Lost Woods, a location which fans of The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past will know quite well.

Image: Nintendo Life

To begin with, follow the torches which are dotted around the wood. Eventually you will come across a pair of torches and a tree in-between them which has a scary face. This acts as a checkpoint, and from this point onwards you won't have any torches to guide you. Fans of Link to the Past will also know that navigating The Lost Woods isn't as easy as you might think; if you take the wrong path after this checkpoint then and you'll end up walking in circles.

Image: Nintendo Life

Thankfully, there is a way to find the correct route. Look for the trees with faces on them like the one at the checkpoint, then look for where their claw-like branches are pointing. It's a good idea to look for two of these trees and walk between where their arm-like branches are - you can see in the image below that there are branches pointing from the left and the right, suggesting that you should walk through the middle.

Image: Nintendo Life

If you do this correctly (it might take a few goes) then you'll end up in front of two cliff-faces (you'll see them on your mini-map); these lead to Korok Forest where the Master Sword waits in slumber, directly ahead of you as you enter. However, don't go sprinting up to it right away - before you do anything else, be sure to activate the nearby Keo Ruug Shrine (it's to the right as soon as you enter Korok Forest) as this means you can fast-travel to the Master Sword's location without having to fight your way through The Lost Woods all over again.

The reason you must make sure you activate the Shrine is because the Master Sword isn't about to allow any old weakling to pull it from its stone - you'll need to have at least 13 heart containers to extract it, otherwise it will simply deem you unworthy and kill you. Note that these have to be standard hearts - you can't use cooked meals to boost your heart containers temporarily. Remember, heart containers are gained by completing the challenges in Shrines and exchanging four orbs at various statues dotted around Hyrule (the most obvious of which is located in the Temple of Time near the start of the game).

Let us know if this guide helped you, and don't forget to check out our other content relating to this amazing game.

This is part of our Zelda Breath of the Wild walkthrough, which includes All Shrine Locations And Maps and help with specific shrines, including the Keo Ruug Shrine Puzzle Solution, Mirro Shaz Shrine Puzzle Solution, Sha Warvo Shrine Solution, Shae Loya Shrine Puzzle Solution, Eventide Island - How To Beat The Hardest Shrine Quest, and Shee Vaneer And Shee Venath Shrine Answers and Solutions.

If you're just starting out, Getting Started And Beginner Tips will be useful. We also have BOTW guides to help you with the Tarrey Town Quest, how to get equipment such as the Hylian Shield, the Master Sword, the Green Tunic, and the Radiant Set, plus advice on the Best Clothing And Armour Sets and How To Find Every Item in the Master Trials DLC. We can help you find key places such as All Captured Memory Locations, All Great Fairy Fountain Locations, and Where to find The Lord of the Mountain, too.

If you're looking for general advice on various topics, you might want to check out the Best Recipes And How To Cook Food, How To Farm Star Fragments, How To Farm Dragon Parts, How To Defeat Guardians, How To Shield Surf Like A Pro, and How To Get Unlimited Korok Seeds. And if you're wondering what amiibos work with the game, our guide to All amiibo Unlocks lists them all.

Nintendo has formally announced a direct sequel to the game, too — find out more about Everything We Know So Far About Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2.