With the release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom just a few short weeks away, there is no better time to delve back into Breath of the Wild. But with approximately 50 hours of Side Quests and Activities to complete, things can quickly get overwhelming, as there are over 76 Side Quests alone for you to explore.
So if you're running short on time or want to experience the best stories the game has to offer first, we've compiled a list of some of our favorite, must-play Side Quests and Activities below that we highly recommend checking out during your playthrough.
If you're experiencing Breath of the Wild for the first time or just jumping back into an old save, check out our expansive BotW Wiki Guide, which will help you navigate your journey across Hyrule.
The Priceless Maracas
When following the path south of Kakariko Village, you’ll discover a giant Korok named Hestu, who you learn has lost his priceless instrument, a pair of maracas – which can be found at a henge-like rock foundation nearby. After defeating the Bokoblins guarding the Treasure Chest, return to Hestu, where he'll reveal that the Maracas have no seeds inside, so he'll recruit your help in collecting Korok Seeds – a unique collectible that can be traded to Hetsu in exchange for a very valuable reward, extra inventory slots.
While there are hundreds of Koroks Seeds to be found across Hyrule – 900, to be exact – you’ll need to collect hundreds in order to max out each inventory category. So, if you’re in need of some extra inventory slots or just want to collect em’ all, be sure to check out our Interactive Map and Korok Seed Locations guide for all the details.
Slated for Upgrades
When speaking with Purah at the Hateno Ancient Tech Lab in the Hateno Region, you’ll have the chance to start the Slated for Upgrades Side Quest – arguably one of BoTW’s must-complete quests.
In return for delivering materials dropped by Guardians – such as Ancient Screws, Ancient Shafts, and Ancient Cores – Purah will upgrade your Sheikah Sensor, Remote Bomb Rune, and Statis Rune with increased stats and brand-new features.
Upon reaching Hatano Village, you’ll discover a group of men from Bolson Construction working to demolish an abandoned house just West of Myahm Agana Shrine. When speaking to the men, you’ll unlock the Side Quest, Hylian Homeowner, and upon further convincing, they’ll agree to sell you the home for 3000 Rupees and 30 bundles of wood.
Once purchased, you’ll have a place to call your own, which even comes complete with a free weapon mount that allows you to place any weapon you own on it – including those of the champions.
The features don’t stop there, as you can further upgrade your homestead to add extra weapon mounts, bow mounts, shield mounts, a bed, a flowerbed, trees, and so much more.
The best part, though, is that it unlocks one of the best Side Quests in the game – From The Ground Up.
From the Ground Up
After completing Hylian Homeowner, you'll be able to visit Lake Akkala, where you’ll find Hudson from Bolson Construction has started his very own town – Tarrey Town.
However, in order to populate the town with people, he’ll need your help to find and gather materials needed to construct other buildings and homes.
The more you delve into the Side Quest, the more the town becomes built because of your actions and the more merchants that will open up shop – including Grante, who will resupply one of the most powerful items in BoTW, the Hylian Shield, should you have lost it in battle, for 3,000 Rupees.
The Thunder Helm
Fancy yourself a problem solver? The Thunder Helm Side Quest will have you solving everyone’s problems in Gerudo Town – five to be exact. While that may seem like quite the ask, each of these sub-quests offer fun interactions such as challenging miniboss encounters, hunting down Wildberries, eavesdropping on town folk, and even unlocking exciting rewards such as:
- The Search for Barta
- Reward: Silver Rupee (100)
- Medicinal Molduga
- Reward: Gold Rupee (300)
- The Mystery Polluter
- Reward: Hydromelon
- The Secret Club's Secret
- Reward: Access to a secret store where you can purchase two complete armor sets: the Radiant Set and the Desert Voe Set.
- Tools of the Trade
- Reward: A choice between the Ruby Circlet (cold-resistance), Sapphire Circlet (heat-resistance), and the Topaz Earrings (electric-resistance)
Troubling yourself with all these sub-quests won’t leave you empty handed, as Riju will reward Link with the prestigious Thunder Helm. This headgear is a precious heirloom passed down among the Gerudo and is known for its ability to deflect lightning strikes.
If you find yourself swimming quite a lot or fancy unlocking the ability to swim up waterfalls, the Lynel Safari Side Quest may be one to consider completing. Painstakingly crafted by each generation’s Zora princess, the Zora Armor Set offers several unique abilities and a base defensive rating of 3.
While you will need to complete a relatively short quest to obtain the first piece of the Armor (Zora Greaves), you can find the remaining two pieces by simply looting a Treasure Chest at Toto Lake and during the main questline when speaking with the King in Zora's Domain.
If you’re after reliable access to anti-guardian weapons and armor, look no further than Robbie’s Research Side Quest. As a reward for helping reboot the Akkala Ancient Tech Lab, you’ll gain access to Robot Cherry’s store, where you can trade Rupees and Ancient Parts in exchange for special weapons and armor not found anywhere else in the game.
A complete list of all available Ancient Weapons and Ancient Armor pieces can be found in our Akkala Ancient Tech Lab guide.
Hunt for the Giant Horse
Speaking with Straia at the Mounted Archery Camp, just west of the Highland Stable in the Faron Grasslands area, Link can start the Hunt for the Giant Horse Side Quest. Here, he’ll learn that a rumor is swirling of a mysterious black and orange-haired horse roaming the Taobab Grassland in the Lake Region.
Mounting this stunning Giant Horse, which closely resembles Ganondorf's mighty steed from Ocarina of Time, won’t be easy, as Link will need at least two full wheels of stamina (or a lot of Stamina Elixir) to mount this particular horse.
Returning to the Mounted Archery Camp won’t be a ride in the park, as you’ll need to pass by two different Lynels and a group of mounted Bokoblins.
Once you have returned, you can register the Giant Horse; however, don’t expect any unique rewards, as the horse is far too big to allow any customizations. That said, it will come with its own unique bridle and saddle.
The Royal White Stallion
In addition to the Giant Horse, Link can also discover a particularly fast and valuable white horse, known as the Royal White Stallion, that roams Safula Hill. Said to be a descendant of Princess Zelda’s white horse, you can start The Royal White Stallion Side Quest by speaking with Toffa at the Outskirt Stable in the Central Hyrule region.
After successfully mounting the rather skittish White Stallion, Link can return to the Outskirt Stable, where he’ll be able to register and name the horse. Upon speaking with Toffa, Link will be rewarded with a Royal Bridle and a Royal Saddle for his troubles. The White Horse is considered one of the best mounts you can get in BoTW without using an Amiibo.
Furthermore, the White Horse’s abilities make it the perfect participant for the Mounted Obstacle Course minigame. Taking place just outside the Highland Stable in the Lake region, successfully completing the event in less than 1 minute 30 seconds and 1 minute 15 seconds will earn Link an Extravagant Bridle and Extravagant Saddle, respectively.
Horses aren’t the only mounts you can unlock in BoTW, so be sure to check out our Horses and Mounts Guide to learn more.
Zora Stone Monuments
If lore is your thing, the Zora Stone Monuments Side Quest might be right up your alley, as despite rewarding just a Diamond, the quest will allow you to learn more about the Zora’s history.
To start the quest, you’ll first need to complete the Main Quest, Divine Beast Vah Ruta. Upon doing so, you’ll be able to speak with Jiahto, a Zora found by the stone monument below the Throne Room in Zora’s Domain, which is located in the Lanayru Region.
The quest will task Link with discovering 10 stone monuments that are hidden around Zora's Domain, with each monument offering a piece of history about Zora.
Activate the Great Fairy Fountains
While not technically a quest, the Great Fairy Fountains side activity is a must-complete for anyone looking to upgrade their armor effects and defensive stats. For every Great Fairy that you find, you’ll have the opportunity to increase your Maximum Armor Rank up to four stars.
In addition to armor upgrades, freeing Malanya will allow you to resurrect any registered horses that may have died under your care.
For a complete guide to finding all Great Fairies and the costs involved in upgrading your armor, see our Great Fairy Fountains walkthrough for more.
Put on your dragon-hunting boots, as there are three different dragons to track down and find in Breath of the Wild. While these dragons may not be associated with a particular quest, they are a fun side activity that we highly recommend checking out as obtaining a scale from each dragon will allow you access to hidden shrines.
As you might expect, your efforts won’t leave you empty-handed, as tracking down each of the three dragons – Dinraal, Farosh, and Naydra – offers a powerful reward in the form of Dragon Parts, which are obtained by shooting certain parts of each dragon. These parts are used to upgrade your armor and significantly improve the effectiveness of recipes.
Kilton the Monster Parts Merchant
Embrace Link’s inner dark side by unlocking a secret merchant named Kilton – who sells exclusive monster-themed merchandise in exchange for Monster Parts. Most notably, you’ll have access to the awesome-looking Dark Armor Set, which increases your speed at night and makes you look like Dark Link.
Unfortunately, tracking down Kilton isn’t easy, as he can potentially visit up to seven locations, all of which we have listed in our Kilton the Monster Parts Merchant guide.
However, the trouble to find him will be worth it, as once you’ve found Kilton – and cleared all the required Divine Beasts that are needed to unlock each item – you’ll have access to several new and exciting items that range from cool wearables that allow you to blend in with monsters, unique weapons, and even horse equipment.
Discover Hidden Shrines and Unlock Link's Classic Green Tunic
While Shrine Quests aren’t labeled as “Side Quests” in the Adventure Log, they're still pretty side-questy. Their primary purpose is to unlock hidden shrines that contain unique rewards such as Rupees, Spirit Orbs, and Armor pieces.
With just 42 of the Shrines offering Shrines Quests, we highly recommend checking out these optional quests, as they provide some unique and fun interactions in the form of puzzles, riddles, and even trials.
Here are just a few of the coolest ones we've encountered, and some that players tend to have trouble with:
- The Two Rings
- Secret of the Snowy Peaks
- The Lost Pilgrimage
- Trial of Thunder
- The Ancient Rito Song
- Stranded on Eventide
- The Desert Labyrinth
- The Bird in the Mountains
- The Serpent’s Jaw
Now, if you’re somewhat of a completionist, there is a pretty cool reward for completing all 120 Shrines, as you’ll unlock a secret Side Quest, A Gift From the Monks. This quest will have you tracking down the Forgotten Temple in the Great Hyrule Forest region. Inside this temple, you’ll find three Treasure Chests containing the classic green Armor of the Wild Set:
- Tunic of the Wild
- Cap of the Wild
- Trousers of the Wild
For even more on Shrines, we recommend checking out our article on the 10 Most Frustrating Shrines to Complete in Breath of the Wild.
Did your favorite quest not make the list? Let us know in the comments what Side Quests and Activities you think are a must-experience in BoTW.