Weapon degradation is back in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Breath of the Wild's polarizing weapon degradation system is back for the sequel.


While The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was incredibly revered by audiences and critics alike, the game’s weapon-degrading system was (and still is) a heavily debated mechanic. With how divided audiences were on the matter, many wondered if Nintendo would do away with it for the highly-anticipated sequel, Tears of the Kingdom. We now have our answer. Weapon degradation is back in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

We got our definitive answer to the topic during the ten-minute gameplay demo for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom released by Nintendo. The confirmation came during a combat encounter in which Link was fighting a Construct, a new enemy type in Tears of the Kingdom. While fighting the enemy with a branch, we see a warning pop up that the weapon is badly damaged. It then broke after a couple more strikes at the enemy.

A weapon being damaged in Tears of the Kingdom.

Source: Nintendo

While weapon degradation is present in Tears of the Kingdom, one of Link’s new abilities will change how players interact with their inventory of weapons, particularly the miscellaneous items that tend to break quickly. With Fuse, Link can combine weapons and objects to create new weapons with unique effects. In the gameplay demo, Link takes a stick that’s close to breaking, and fuses it with a rock. Not only did this increase the weapon’s durability, but it also improved its power.

Nintendo is doubling down on weapon degradation, a staple yet controversial feature of 2017’s Breath of the Wild. It remains to be seen if the new Fuse ability will assuage the concerns of the mechanics biggest detractors, but we’ll know soon enough as The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom launches for the Switch on May 12, 2023.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Scream nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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