The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s opening salvo takes place on the Great Plateau, which is full of secrets, hidden items and treasure. We document your canonical adventures — raising the tower, finding and beating the shrines, getting the paraglider — in our Great Plateau walkthrough. In this guide, we’ll show you the Great Plateau’s secrets, many of which contain great early game weapons.
How to find hidden items in Breath of the Wild
Before we dig into the specifics about the Great Plateau, it’s worth learning how to find collectibles in Breath of the Wild. There are a few general rules that you should follow — and (as is so often the case with this game), you can start creating lucrative habits on the Great Plateau.
Whether it seems obvious or confusing, Breath of the Wild tasks you with figuring out where to go. It would rather not tell you.
Figuring out where to go is all about exploring. Look around. Take the scenic route. You’re bound to find something on the road less traveled. And also on the road frequently traveled. And, now that we think of it, in the space between the roads. And also underwater. And on top of mountains. And in the air. So, yeah, explore.
Go where you’re not supposed to go
Dozens of hours into Breath of the Wild, we’re still surprised at how full the world is. Walk a line from any position on the map, and within a minute you'll find something to do. The upshot? Exploring always pays dividends, and you're bound to stumble upon secrets.
On the Great Plateau, there are a few areas you have to visit before you leave (all of which we discuss in our Great Plateau guide). But if you were to look at a map of the area, you’d notice that there’s a good chunk of land that you never actually have to explore. (In the image below we subtly hint at the relevant area using giant pink arrows.)
This area is full of goodies. It's the perfect example of how wandering won’t waste your time. To make exploration a habit, figure out where you’re not supposed to go, and then go there. You’re all but guaranteed to find interesting things.
Use your eyes and powers to find hidden items
Hey, so welcome! You’ve taken our advice, and you’re now in the middle of some vast, unexplored area. But what the heck are you supposed to do now? Couple of things, really.
- Walk around. Crazy, right? But honestly, often the best way to find things is to just wander. Breath of the Wild has a big, beautiful world. Take the time to amble through it and collect its hidden rewards. You’ll miss an incredible amount if you’re just zooming between quests.
- Fight. If you see a group of enemies clustered around … well, anything, then wipe them out. All of them. At the very least, you’ll get items drops and monster parts that you can use to create elixirs (which we discuss in our Breath of the Wild cooking guide). Better yet, in some areas, the baddies will be defending treasure. Kill the monstrosities, and you’re likely to find a treasure they were guarding.
- Use your powers. Cryonis, magnesis and stasis — the powers you get from runes in the Great Plateau’s shrines — are modal. You press the L button, and the lens through which you see Breath of the Wild changes to show you that you’re doing something special. When you’re looking for secrets, these are valuable tools because they can reveal hidden items. Imagine, say, a treasure chest sitting at the bottom of a lake, deeper than you could see with your naked eye. Invoke magnesis, though, and you’ll see the outline of something you’d never have known was there. (That’s a real thing. Check out our section on Mount Hylia below.)
Forest of Spirits, Hopper Pond and the Oman Au shrine
The Forest of Spirits effectively covers the top third of the Great Plateau, enveloping Hopper Pond — and the Oman Au shrine where you got magnesis. As we wrote above, you don’t have to go through most of this area to complete your quests. But you should, because the rewards are worth it. In this section, we’ll show you what’s waiting there for you.
Treasure in a pond
Just outside of the Forest of Spirits’ northeast border, you’ll find the Oman Au shrine, where you get magnesis. And just outside the shrine, there’s a pond where you can uncover treasure.
Use magnesis to lift the treasure chest out of the pond and collect amber, which you can sell or use to create items later in Breath of the Wild.
Killing bokoblins for treasure
To the west of the Oman Au shrine, you’ll find a bokoblin camp. Defeat all of the enemies to unlock access to a treasure chest, in which you’ll find the traveler’s sword, a great early game weapon.
The muddy pond
Just around the corner from the Oman Au shrine, you’ll find a muddy pond. There are two things to collect here, using the powers you gain from the Great Plateau’s spirit shrines.
Korok in the mud
On one side of the pond, you’ll see a boulder chained to a tree stump. Use magnesis to pick up the boulder and place it in the stump. A korok will appear and give you a Korok seed, which you can use later to expand your inventory.
Treasure chests in the mud
On the side of the mud pond opposite of the boulder on a chain, you’ll find a platform with two treasure chests. Head back to the pond just outside of the Oman Au shrine. Use magnesis to lift and carry the long, rectangular plank over to the ledge leading up to the platform. Place it, walk over it, and unlock each of the two treasure chests to collect five fire arrows and five ice arrows.
Inside the Forest of Spirits
Our advice for the Forest of Spirits is simple: Explore every inch of it. There are tons of items here from honey to mushrooms for stealth and critters like fish and frogs to collect. Use them all to cook.
Don’t worry about filling your inventory, either. It’s not like weapons and armor, where you’ve got a small limit to the number of items you can carry. You can collect as much as you want.
Inside the Forest of Spirits, you’ll find a gigantic hollow tree stump lying on the ground. In the middle, you’ll see a flower. Walk on top of it, and it’ll disappear. Find where it reappeared and repeat the process until a korok appears to give you a korok seed.
Flint in a cave
In a nondescript corner of the forest, you’ll find a small cave. Walk into get some flint. Strike this with a weapon near wood, and you’ll create your own campfire. This is particularly useful in the cold area surrounding Mount Hylia. (If you need wood, knock down a tree.)
The Temple of Time and vicinity
The Temple of Time towers over the Great Plateau, and you can find treasure within and around it.
The destructible wall by the pond
On the side of the pond where a sword sits on an outcropping, part the wall will look like a collection of loose stones. Go there, drop and detonate a bomb, and the wall will disappear. Inside, you’ll find a treasure chest with an opal.
Hylian trousers in a treasure chest
In one of the structures outside of the Temple of Time proper, you’ll find a treasure chest with Hylian trousers, a solid upgrade from the cruddy pants you’re wearing.
The traveler’s bow
Inside the Temple of Time, you’ll find a treasure chest with the traveler’s bow, a solid upgrade from the low-level bows you’ll get from defeating enemies.
The Jai Baij shrine and vicinity (Eastern Abbey)
In the ruins surrounding the Jai Baij shrine, use magnesis to lift a treasure chest out of a pond, and open it to get some amber.
Mount Hylia and the vicinity
Mount Hylia, the southwestern region of the Great Plateau, requires protection from the cold. The path to two shrines leads through here, and there are secrets within and just outside of its borders.
The bokoblin tree fort and chests
On the eastern edge of Mount Hylia, there’s a tree fort filled with bokoblins. You can kill every one of them from a distance if you have enough arrows. Or you can just use fire arrows (or ignite your regular arrows at the fire burning on the ground) and target the ropes that suspend the ramp that leads up there.
Fire your arrows and pillage the treasure chests for amber and five arrows. There’s also a large pillar you can climb up near here with a treasure chest on top.
Mount Hylia (the cold place)
Mount Hylia is the coldest area in the Great Plateau. The Keh Namut shrine sits to the west of Mount Hylia’s peak, while the Owa Daim shrine sits just out of its eastern side. There’s plenty to find in the area between the two. Before that, make sure you’re protected from the cold.
There’s a very simple recipe to make your trip easy: Cook five spicy peppers, and you’ll create spicy sautéed peppers, which gives you five hearts and 12 minutes 30 seconds of low-level cold resistance. Don’t be concerned about the name. It has all of the protection you need to survive around Mount Hylia.
To be clear, you don’t have to cook all five peppers. But every pepper that you add to the recipe increases your resistance to the cold. And if you’re looking for spicy peppers, check the western entrance to Mount Hylia (the one where you see a raft in a lake as soon as you walk in). There are plenty around that location — and there’s a cooking pot inside a camp of bokoblins to the east of the entrance where you can find more spicy peppers and cook your meals.
Also, if you find the Old Man during your travels, he may give you the warm doublet, a shirt that protects you from the cold.
If you don’t find him, you can purchase the armor later from a vender. Or you can just return to his house, read his journal and find it in a treasure chest.
Hidden chests in the lake
When you enter the cold Mount Hylia region from the gate by the lake, turn left instead of right. Use magnesis, and look into the lake. You’ll find two treasure chests that you can lift out, put on solid ground and pillage.
The waterfall treasure
Enter Mount Hylia’s snowy area from the western side of the map, turn left and follow the path around the lake. Be prepared to fight a few chuchus (and keep your distance because they can freeze you in place).
When you reach the broken bridge, use magnesis to lift the metal platform and place it down to cover the gap in the bridge. Cross the bridge, turn left and keep the lake on your right. Behind the waterfall, you’ll find soldier’s broadsword, five arrows, five fire arrows and a spiked boko bow.
The frigid pond
Inside the frigid pond just outside the Keh Namut shrine, use cryonis to create a block of ice underneath a treasure chest. Dive in, climb up and open the chest for an opal.
Melt the ice for a korok seed
Over a ledge near the Keh Namut shrine, you’ll see a large block of ice. Either bring a lit torch all the way up there, or use some flint and wood to create a fire as we do in the image above. Either way, stand close to the ice with fire in hand. When it melts, you’ll meet a korok with a korok seed.
Killing bokoblins for treasure
In the area to the east of Mount Hylia, there is a blue bokoblin and a group of brown(ish) bokoblins below it. Attack the blue bokoblin first, then open the treasure chest behind him for some amber. Then peer over the ledge and take down the three other bokoblins with your bow and arrow, climb down and open the chest they were guarding for five arrows.
Near the Owa Daim shrine
Just outside of the Owa Daim shrine, you’ll find a boulder. After completing the shrine and getting the stasis ability, use it on the boulder. Whack away with a heavy weapon (the sledgehammer you got inside the shrine is the perfect tool) and you’ll uncover a treasure chest with a traveler’s bow, a powerful early game weapon.
The Old Man’s house
The Old Man’s houses sits at the southeast corner of the Great Plateau. Climb up to its roof, and you’ll find a Korok seed.
You can also enter the house, though you’ll find different things depending on where you entered. If you didn’t bump into the old man before completing the shrines and getting the paraglider, you can return to the Old Man’s house to read a note in which he explains his deception. Next to the table, you’ll find a treasure chest with the warm doublet shirt, which protects you from the cold.
It’s also worth remembering that there’s a torch here, so if you’re ever in need of one, warp back here to grab it. (The Owa Daim shrine is the closest fast travel location.)
More From Polygon
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild review
- Nier: Automata review
- The $70 Nintendo Switch Pro controller has a special message for those who bought it
- Zelda fans translate Breath of the Wild’s fantasy language and discover a hidden message
- Horizon Zero Dawn designer responds to appropriation criticisms
- Nintendo Switch tear-down video violates the warranty so you don’t have to
Players outside of the Americas will have to start paying up
This is basically Joanne Wick
“Han shot first!”
But replacement docks remain hard to find for those in need
by Ben Kuchera
Why kids may be safer from the film than adults