Zelda BotW without a map, without food and other exciting challenge runs

This listing is for anyone who isn't satisfied with the normal challenge in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

This listing is for anyone who isn’t satisfied with the normal challenge in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Do you already know Zelda BotW by heart and the successor is still a long time coming? No problem: many fans set themselves special challenges and complete so-called challenge runs. They make the game fresh and different because you have to pay attention to different things. This offers a whole new experience and is also suitable for real role-players.

Even a huge game like Zelda BotW you have explored completely at some point. Then comes the moment when you have grazed all upgrades, shrines, trials, side quests and Krog seeds – in master mode.

Then only one thing remains besides speed runs: Put yourself to the test with special conditions. It can be anything from not using certain items and weapons, to role-playing ideas that make Link vegetarian, to the strangest of challenges. Here we present some of them:

Challenge Run #1: Play Zelda BotW without a map

Hyrule offers countless areas and you can explore them all. The map usually helps with this. Climbing a tower unlocks the surrounding part of the map. Of course, this serves as a magnificent tool and for orientation.

However, a tricky and at the same time very popular type of challenge is to master Zelda BotW completely without the help of the map. You can climb towers and keep a lookout, but you cannot activate them and you have to use geographical conditions as a guide.

The complete map of the game world, all areas and interactive map


Zelda BotW:

The complete map of the game world, all areas and interactive map

Challenge Run No. 2: No spot may be entered a second time

For this challenge you should own the first DLC The Legendary Trials. It allows you to use the “Hero’s Path” function to see exactly where you’ve been on your map and where you haven’t been.

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If you set foot on a piece of earth, you must not set foot on it again. Can you defeat Ganon and complete the game without going to the same spot twice? It is particularly exciting and tricky to finish off all the titans.

This is what it can look like on the map in Zelda Breath of the Wild when you use the Hero's Path feature.

This is what it can look like on the map in Zelda Breath of the Wild when you use the Hero’s Path feature.

Challenge Run #3: You are not allowed to teleport

Anyone who prefers conventional means of transport should rejoice here. You can move around the world of Hyrule as normal, just don’t use teleportation. This can be combined particularly well with the previous challenges (don’t use a map and don’t step anywhere twice) and provides an even more exciting route through the game.

Of course, various horses or the motorcycle called Eponator Zero can help you. However, you can only unlock the latter if you play through the second DLC, The Ballad of the Warriors.

A horseless run would probably only be moderately exciting. After all, we can teleport almost anywhere or even ride a motorbike (but of course nothing stands in the way of a Link-is-only-on-foot-walking run). But have you ever tried to play through Zelda BotW riding a horse everywhere, even during battles?

While many areas are easily accessible on horseback, others are completely excluded. For example, your mount can’t stand the heat of the Gerudo desert. Accordingly, you would at least have to do without the Titans there or resort to wind bomb techniques and the like. But what is allowed and what is not is of course up to you.

Challenge Run #5: Heal without food, just sleep

In your Challenge Run, Link can be a vegetarian, eat exclusively vegan, be lactose intolerant or simply abstain from any food intake at all. You can take the whole thing to the extreme, for example by only allowing yourself to be healed by overnight stays.

That would mean that you have to pay face value for every healing, but at least you never have to cook. At the same time, for better or for worse, you do without all the bonuses that Link can receive from the many different dishes. This makes some fights much more challenging. Of course, it would also work the other way around: What if Link is only allowed to heal himself by eating and never sleep?

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Fresh gameplay features weather effects and landscapes


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Fresh gameplay features weather effects and landscapes

Zelda BotW, but without specific weapons, items or armor

Do you have certain favorite armor sets in Zelda BotW? Then try not to do it at all. You’ll probably find that some things play quite differently as a result. Or complete a run directly with Link only wearing underwear or the starting clothes! Of course, you can also just forgo upgrades or force yourself to only wear a single armor set all the time.

Without Master Sword: If you use the Master Sword a lot in Zelda BotW, you might just not get it at all. Or you try out how the fights feel when you are only armed with a pot lid, soup ladle, rake or branches. Otherwise, you can play your link exclusively as a melee fighter or archer.

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Absolute hardliners also play through Zelda BotW completely, without using the parasail once. So you can’t save your life at the last second if you fall from lofty heights and don’t easily cover long distances through the air. But there is another way:

Player crafts flying machine + glides all over Hyrule

Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Player crafts “Flying Machine” & glides all over Hyrule

No Hit 100% Run: The absolute premier class in Zelda BotW

Let’s say you know Hyrule like the back of your hand and are looking for it ultimate challenge. Then try playing through Zelda BotW without getting hit by an opponent once – optionally with all 120 shrines, 900 Krog seeds and so on, of course.

It’s even more extreme if you completely without damage want to get by, i.e. not through cold, heat, falls or the like. In any case, it’s not impossible, as you can read in this GamePro article:

First Zelda fan completes 100% BotW without taking damage


more on the subject

First Zelda fan completes 100% BotW without taking damage

If that’s still not enough of a challenge, you can of course combine all these challenges as you wish or tackle them directly in Zelda BotW’s more difficult master mode.

Have you already played one of these challenges? Can you think of any others that bring variety into BotW?