For those of us who like to explore games for a while before checking out any walkthroughs, wikis, or playing guides, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a game that gave us a lot of rude awakenings. This is a game that created a world that followed rules very similar to parts of the real world, defying “gamer logic” and thus creating some really interesting challenges for experienced gamers.
One of those was having a game suddenly end because your screen flashed and you literally exploded when you were hit with a lightning strike. Oops.
Getting hit by lightning is an instant game over in most situations in Breath of the Wild, so those storms become something to be feared. Yet if you’ve gone far enough in the game, you know that dealing with some electrical storms is just going to be inevitable. The good news: if you want to know how to avoid getting Link electrocuted in your next playthrough of Breath of the Wild, you’ve come to the right place.
For the TL;DR with avoiding lightning damage in BOTW, check out this excellent YouTube video.
How Do I Not Get Struck by Lightning in Breath of the Wild?
There are four easy strategies that players can invoke to wind their way through lightning storms in BOTW safely without electrocuting link and thus losing the game.
We’re going to go through all four because when it comes to how to not get struck by lightning in Breath of the Wild you have options, and better to know them before the potential “Game Over” screen than after!
Method 1: Back to Wood!
The lightning in game follows many of the rules of lightning in real life. When a storm is coming or you must approach and area with lightning, switch out of active metal armor and weapons and switch to wood.
Wood armor or weapons won’t attract lightning, which means when you look at your inventory screen, these should not have the glowing or sparkling effects that all of your metal armor and weapons will be displaying when heading into a danger zone.
Method 2: Throw the Sparking Weapon
For the dare devils, or those who have been negligent in keeping a non-metal weapon, the weapon that is attracting lightning will start sparking to give off a warning before you get hit with lightning. With enough practice you can time when the lightning strike is about to happen and toss it away.
The lightning will strike the weapon instead of the player. Pick the weapon back up and repeat, staying careful to stay in front of the next lightning strike.
But you will almost certainly die the first few times while trying to learn how to do this.
Method 3: Double Upgraded Rubber Armor
Rubber armor isn’t very conducive to electricity and once it’s upgraded twice, you can withstand a lightning strike from say, a metal weapon you don’t want to put away.
Double upgraded rubber armor will prevent health damage from a lightning strike, which lets you run through even the most dangerous lightning storm with ease in BOTW.
Method 4: Wear the Thunder Helm
There is also a special item worth mentioning: The Thunder Helm.
When you’re wearing the Thunder Helm you can still be hit by lightning, but you take no health damage. Since the lightning does not affect equipment in this game but only health, that makes you good to go even in the gnarliest of electrical storms.
Why Am I Getting Hit by Lightning in Breath of the Wild?
Why don’t you carry big metal weapons and shields and run around when a thunderstorm rolls in? The same logic applies to Link in Breath of the Wild.
When a storm is coming in, you can actually look at your inventory screen and you may see a glimmering over most of your weapons and armor. If you look closely, all your metal weapons will have a flashing effect that looks very much like a lightning strike when a storm is coming in, indicating that they are going to attract lightning, as metal out in the open would in real life.
The good news is that you don’t need to throw all these items out of your inventory, but you need to make sure they’re not equipped. So always having one good wood weapon and wood armor is a good idea during a storm, especially before getting the upgraded rubber armor or special items that allow you to ignore this major early and mid game hazard.
How Does Lightning Work in Breath of the Wild?
Link getting struck by lightning, Link dies. At least that’s how it works at the beginning of the game. You can try waiting out thunderstorms in Breath of the Wild as they occur, but this still doesn’t solve your problem if you have a metal weapon or armor in use.
Lightning comes with storms or some special locations. The metal gear in your inventory that can attract strikes will give off that tell-tale sparkle letting you know that maybe it’s time to move.
If the lightning strikes the player and they do not have special equipment or armor, they will die. As in literally explode on screen. So if you have a friend complaining about just exploding or vaporizing in BOTW, send them this way. They’re getting hit by lightning and really need this help to get through that part of the game.
Lightning BOTW FAQ
Why am I getting hit by lightning in Breath of the Wild?
Equipped metal weapons, armor, or shields attract lightning strikes. When a storm hits you need to switch to non-marked equipment to avoid the danger of getting hit.
Why did I explode breath of the wild?
Link and lightning don’t mix. If you just “exploded” that means your character was struck by lightning. Switch to wood gear to avoid this problem when a storm is in range or on the way.
How do I not get struck by lightning in BOTW?
Avoid equipping the metal gear when around a storm. Having it in your inventory does not affect you, so you can still carry it. You just want to stick with wood, rubber, or whatever gear you have that isn’t sparkling with the symbol of a lightning burst as you close in on stormy weather.
Just remember, whatever the dangers in the area the lightning is probably worse.
BOTW Lightning Damage: In Conclusion
While I can understand why some players are annoyed or upset by the sudden revelation that this is a game where lightning isn’t just background graphics showing off good programming, it’s a nice touch to a game where the post apocalyptic remains of Hyrule, the setting, really is the main character in the story.
Having natural occurring hazards such as lightning furthers that setup of the fact that the world you are exploring, the world that made Breath of the Wild such a huge hit, really is alive, active, and at times threatening. While lightning can be a nuisance early on, if you can laugh at your first death and take it in stride, the tips in this article will help you navigate your way through without a problem.
Lightning doesn’t have to be the end of the world, especially in one as great as BOTW’s Hyrule.
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Proud to embrace the locally created moniker of “Corrupt Overlord” from one of the all time great Lords of Waterdeep runs, Shane is one member of the Assorted Meeples crew and will be hard at work creating awesome content for the website. He is a long-time player of board games, one time semi-professional poker player, and tends to run to the quirky or RPG side of things when it comes to playing video games. He loves tabletop roleplaying systems like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Werewolf, Fate, and others, and not only has been a player but has run games as DM for years. You can find his other work in publications like Level Skip or Hobby Lark.