The gameplay of Breath of the Wild is a strong departure from recent games in The Legend of Zelda series, as the game takes place in an open world environment, approximately twelve times the size of the overworld featured in Twilight Princess, with less emphasis on defined entrances and exits to dungeons. Similar to the original The Legend of Zelda, the player is placed into the game's overworld with little to no instruction and is allowed to explore freely at their own pace.Players control Link, who now has the ability to jump and climb up almost any surface. By exploring the environment, Link can find various weapons, including melee weapons, shields, and bows, as well as equippable clothing and food items that can be eaten or cooked to restore health. Weapons break after excessive use, but many weapons have multiple uses; for example, tree branches can be used to light fires, and shields can be used as makeshift snowboards.Throughout the game, Link possesses a piece of technology known as the Sheikah Slate, which provides players with a map and allows Link to create waypoints and investigate enemy stats. By discovering various runes, the Sheikah Slate can be upgraded with various powers, including creating bombs, controlling objects with magnetism, and stopping time around objects and enemies.
Additionally, the game supports multiple Amiibo figurines which can alter gameplay. For example, the Wolf Link Amiibo, which can copy data over from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD, summons Wolf Link as a partner character. Wolf Link carries over the amount of hearts that are saved onto the Amiibo after playing through the Cave of Shadows inTwilight Princess HD. Wolf Link can be summoned once per day.