Zelda: Breath of the Wild Hylian Shield - how to get and repair the best shield in the game
If you think of the iconic image of Link, people tend to think of him clutching one shield in particular. From wearing it on his back to protect himself from volcanic eruptions as a kid to wielding it to fight Ganon, the Hylian Shield is the most iconic piece of defensive equipment in Zelda.
But in Breath of the Wild, it's not easy to come by. The Hylian Shield is downright hidden, in fact, and is only found in one place in the game. Want to get yourself an iconic shield to go with that Master Sword? We've got you covered. Spoilers, obviously... if you'd rather discover this one for yourself, turn back now.
BOTW Hylian Shield: where to find it
The Hylian Shield is only found in one place: Hyrule Castle. That's right - you're going to have to venture into what is essentially the game's last dungeon in order to get it. The good news is this: Breath of the Wild allows you to go straight into that dungeon from the moment you leave the Plateau, the very short and remarkably open tutorial area.
The first thing you're going to need to do is head towards the back of Hyrule Castle. This is towards the northern end of the map; loop around the castle until you're on the hills and plains behind it. Right in the middle of the castle there's a broken bridge into the back of it.
We want to be on the Western side of that bridge - or, when facing the castle, to have the bridge just to your right. See the image below - pay attention to the mini map as well as the visuals.
Okay, now... look closely. Get your glasses. Squint. You see how there's some glowing blue orbs in the distance in that screenshot? Those are luminous stones. They're a rare gemstone found quite commonly around the Hyrule Castle area, and there's some sidequests around them. Grab some if you want, though we're not interested in the stones - for us, they're just a marker.
We're going to jump, and we're going to glide. Those stones mark the bit of the castle we need to reach. Just in front of where those stones are there's a platform that snakes around towards the water. It ends quite low, so we should be able to glide there with ease.
Do that. Once you reach the other side, be aware there's a guardian right above you and it is awake. If you consult the Hyrule Castle map, you'll see at the top of the ramp and past the Guardian is a door into the castle. We need to go there. Make a run for it and avoid getting shot - it is absolutely doable.
When you dash through the door, hug the wall and you'll be safe from the Guardian. Phew. In front of you is a gate, and beneath the gate is water. Use your Cryonis Rune to lift up the gate for yourself and walk through - this is the Lockup.
Navigating lockup to get the Hylian Shield in Breath of the Wild
The lockup is full of enemies, most of whom are locked in prison cells. Switches in the middle of the room open doors, and the cells with doors that are trapped shut can often be entered through bombable walls. There's quite a lot of good loot in here so go wild - I picked up a Blizzard Rod and some good swords my first time down here, but that does involve taking out all the enemies.
When you're ready, head to the very end of the room and look into the available sideroom. There's a large skeleton inside. Skeletons rarely stay down for long in Zelda...
As expected, when you enter the room the skeleton comes to life and is a giant Stalnox - a skeletal version of a Hinox, a boss you might have fought out in the overworld. The same basic rules apply: hit the eye with your bow and then attack when he falls over with melee weapons. If you have access to the upgraded version of your Stasis Rune you can freeze him for long enough to pop him in the eye, making the battle a cinch.
Also don't forget that if you have the Master Sword it's at double power - so 60 attack - inside Hyrule Castle!
Once the Stalnox is dead, a chest will spawn. Pick up the drops from the Stalnox if you need them - then open the chest. Inside is the Hylian Shield. It is the best shield in the game by a long way. It has about 20 times the durability of its nearest rival and a massive defensive stat. It's brilliant. It's also iconic. Enjoy it. If you don't have the Master Sword, now's the time to complete that iconic classic Link set. Go get it.
How to get another Hylian Shield if it breaks
Despite being the best shield in the game and despite having a huge, impressive durability stat, the Hylian Shield is nevertheless like all other items in BOTW except the Master Sword - it's breakable. Use it too much, and that iconic, beautiful shield will break, shatter. Heartbreaking. That means it's lost. Or... does it?
Sadly, the Hylian Shield doesn't respawn once it breaks, but you can get another by completing a specific long quest line - which is genuinely quite rewarding and one of the better side quests in this Zelda.
To unlock the ability to get back the Hylian Shield, you'll need to complete a quest to found Tarrey Town, which comes from completing a specific set of quests. For more on that, check out our guide on Tarrey Town and the From the Ground Up quest. It's a neat mission that sees you build a new town from scratch.
Once the town is built via that quest, a vendor will be there that sells any one-off items, including the Hylian Shield, if you ever lose or break them. Simple! You can repeat this as often as you need to.