The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Guide: How to get the Master Sword

One of the coolest things about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is just how open it is. You can pick a direction and run, and the only thing that'll get in the way is if you're simply not yet strong enough. One place you can run straight from the opening? Right to The Master Sword, the blade of legend.

The Master Sword is hidden away in the world of Breath of the Wild, and though a lot of people talk about it the game doesn't really do anything to make it absolutely obvious to you where it is. It leaves it for you to discover - but if you're struggling or if you just desperately need to know where it is, well, we've got you covered. Especially if you've been and picked up the BOTW Hylian Shield based on our other guide - you'll want to pair these two iconic Zelda weapons together.

If you want to know more about where and how to get the Master Sword, keep on scrolling. If you'd rather not know... well, turn back!


Getting through the Lost Woods in Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda's most iconic blade is hidden in a place that might not surprise series fans all that much: it's inside the Lost Woods, in a very similar place to where it was found in the excellent A Link to the Past. It was also found inside The Lost Woods - sort of - in Twilight Princess. 

You'll find The Lost Woods north of Hyrule Castle - it's slap bang in the middle of the game map in the top third of the map. The nearest tower you want is north-east of Hyrule Castle - the Woodland Tower. From the woodland tower you want to follow the road north and then west - it leads into an area that will immediately be familiar as the Lost Woods.


The video above will give you a hand, but here's the deal with the Lost Woods:

  • First, you need to follow the torches. This is pretty simple - head through the archway to the first torch, then head right, then left, then left again, and then right once more. 
  • You'll eventually end up standing in front of two torches that flank a tree with a face.
  • At one point we thought you had to follow the direction trees were pointing, and while this did work for us, the true solution appears to be to pick up the torch in front of the two torches and light it. Now as you walk watch the embers - look for which way the wind is blowing them, and always head in the same direction as the wind as indicated by the embers.

Once you're out of the Lost Woods you'll enter the Korok Forest. Once you walk in, the Master Sword is right in front of the Great Deku Tree in the middle of the area.


How to pull the Master Sword from its plinth & how many hearts it requires

Now, here's the real challenge: The Master Sword requires you to prove yourself worthy. That's a big challenge, because... well, being worthy of that blade is a big ask.

Walk up to the Master Sword and hear the Deku Tree's explanation of the blade. Now try to pull it - chances are, you won't be able to. The reason that's the case is that you actually need 13 hearts on your life meter to pull it. If you have any less, the sword won't budge. Worse, if you try to pull it all the way with less hearts, it will eventually kill you if you try your luck too much.

To be clear, this has to be 13 full, legitimate hearts. Bonus hearts from cooking or elixir does not count. 

The only way to get the Master Sword is to hit shrines - for every four spirit orbs you attain from shrines (one per shrine) you can trade it at a goddess Hylia statue (such as in Kaakairko Village or at the Temple of Time) for a new heart. Each main dungeon completed also gets you an extra heart.

Why the Master Sword is one of the best weapons in the game

Well... the Master Sword is iconic. So, there's that. More than that, however, it's actually one of the best swords in the game for two reasons.

First off, the Master Sword has infinite durability. It'll never break. That's a big one. It does need to charge, however - use it too much and it'll flash red like a weapon about to break and you'll be unable to use it for a while until it has rested.

Second, the Master Sword actually becomes super powerful in certain areas of the game. The sword has a respectable base damage stat of 30 - a great back-up sword considering it's unbreakable - but when you enter a location where the evil influence of Ganon is particularly strong, the sword will begin to glow bright blue. In these situations the sword will instead do 60 damage, double its base stat. This can make dungeon bosses an absolute snip, and is a must for some of the high end bosses such as the Silver Lynel in Hyrule Castle, where the sword glows constantly.

On top of all this the sword also has a classic Zelda ability hidden away - you can't throw or drop the sword, but if you have full health and try throwing it, the sword will fire out a beam instead, original Zelda style.