Hearts or Stamina: What to get first - The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Learn whether to get Heart Containers or Stamina Vessels with your Lights of Blessing.


Heart Containers and Stamina Vessels are two of the most important items in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Hearts will let Link take hits from bigger enemies while Stamina will let him climb, glide, and swim for longer. Working out which one to get using your Lights of Blessing can be tough, especially early on when you’ve only got a handful to spend.

Heart Containers or Stamina Vessel

A goddess statue with a Heart Container and Stamina Vessel superimposed over the top

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Whether you get Heart Containers or Stamina Vessels first will ultimately come down to personal preference. However, there are a couple of things to consider that may change your opinion one way or the other. Firstly, Link needs two Stamina wheels to unlock the Master Sword (gold wheels don’t count). Secondly, most enemies can one-hit Link if he has fewer than seven hearts.

Why choose Stamina Vessels?

Link buys a Stamina Vessel from a goddess statue

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As mentioned above, unlocking the Master Sword requires Link to have two Stamina wheels. While Link needed Hearts to get the sword in Breath of the Wild, Tears of the Kingdom uses Stamina. Additionally, gold Stamina wheels from food and elixirs don’t count.

Getting a full, second Stamina wheel requires five Stamina Vessels be purchased from any goddess statue. This means you must complete at least 20 Shrines in order to get enough Lights of Blessing.

The other benefit of having more Stamina is Link will be able to glide further and climb for longer. This makes unlocking the map a breeze, especially if you’ve completed Tulin of Rito Village. With two Stamina wheels, you can easily traverse great distances from Skyview Towers, unlocking new Shrines to fast travel to whenever you need.

Why choose Heart Containers?

Link gets a Heart Container from a goddess statue

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The alternative option is to unlock Heart Containers. The advantages of having more health are clear and evident in Tears of the Kingdom. With more Hearts, Link will be able to survive longer in harsh environments like the snow, which is especially useful if you don’t have Cold Resistance armor. He’ll also be able to tank more hints from foes and have more Hearts to spare when afflicted by Gloom.

Getting Heart Containers before Stamina Vessels will make the first few dungeons far easier to handle. Without any Heart upgrades, Link will be one-shot by just about every enemy in a temple. The good news is that temples reward a Heart Container, which means you won’t need to buy too many.

Respec Hearts & Stamina

The Demon Statue offering Link a bargain

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It’s possible to respec Link, swapping Stamina Vessels for Heart Containers and vice versa. This is only possible if you complete the quest, Who Goes There? Find this quest in the Emergency Shelter in Lookout Landing. This is also how you can unlock Soldier armor.

This quest will take you to the Demon Statue, which lets you trade Hearts for Stamina or Stamina for Hearts. The statue will buy one off you for 100 rupees and then charge you 120 rupees to choose which one you want back. This effectively means it only costs you 20 rupees.

Use this method if you want to focus on getting the Master Sword first and then switch the Stamina into Hearts. This is probably the best thing to do, as it will only cost you 100 rupees to remove the second Stamina wheel and replace it with five Hearts.

Picking which to get first, Heart Containers or Stamina Vessels, is quite a tricky decision. For most players, more Hearts will be the best way to go to ensure Link survives. However, getting another Stamina wheel means an easier time exploring and nabbing the Master Sword early. The choice is yours! Check out our Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Strategy Guide for more help navigating this huge game.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can message him on X: @SamuelChandler 

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