Breath of the Wild is the newest installment in the legendary Zelda franchise, offering players an immersive adventure set in a sprawling open world.
Besides the main quest, players can discover countless hidden treasures and indulge in various quality-of-life actions that take the gaming experience to a new level. While these features may not be necessary to complete the game, they significantly make it more immersive and enjoyable.
As players explore Hyrule in Breath of the Wild, they’ll encounter various non-playable characters, take on numerous side quests, and acquire multiple abilities. One such ability that may take time to become apparent to players is diving.
Unlike previous Zelda games, diving in Breath of the Wild doesn’t serve as a means of underwater exploration. Instead, it triggers a graceful animation useful for a specific side quest.
Before attempting a dive in Breath of the Wild, players must locate a high ledge overlooking a body of water. It is essential to mention that the definition of a “high ledge” can differ. Still, from conducting tests, any ledge taller than Link’s height can activate the diving animation. Once a suitable spot is found, players can execute the dive and enjoy the graceful animation.
Performing a dive in Breath of the Wild is easy once you find a high ledge. To execute a dive, approach the edge, jump by pressing X, and activate the diving animation by hitting A. As there are no visual indicators, timing can be challenging to master.
Still, since diving is only necessary for a single-side quest and not critical to the main storyline, players have plenty of opportunities to practice and improve their technique. With enough practice, executing a dive can become effortless.
To familiarize players with the diving mechanism, the game includes a side quest called ‘Diving is Beauty’ that can be started by speaking to Gruve, a Zora character in Zora’s Domain. During this quest, Gruve will task Link to dive down a waterfall and swim back up using the Zora armor. Once players complete the challenge and speak to Gruve, they will be rewarded with five Fleet-Lotus Seeds. This side quest is a fun way to discover the diving mechanic in the game.
However, it has been reported that players in Breath of the Wild cannot engage in underwater exploration because the game lacks a dedicated “dive” button that existed in previous 3D Zelda games. To perform a dive, players must jump off a high ledge which automatically triggers a diving animation, but there is no control over it, and Link quickly resurfaces. It is unfortunate news.
On the bright side, players need not dive since swimming is more perilous than in previous Zelda games. When Link swims, his stamina drains, and the game immediately ends if it depletes while he is in the water. Hence, swimming for an extended period is not advisable, and investing in stamina is necessary to swim safely in Hyrule.
Although the Zora Armor in Breath of the Wild is not an effective means of swimming, it does provide an alternative method for getting out of the water. Players can use this armor for swimming up waterfalls like a salmon until they reach the top. From there, they can launch off the waterfall using Link’s paraglider to safely land on dry ground, avoiding running out of stamina and drowning.
Instead of relying on the Zora Armor, players can use the cryonis rune to their advantage in the water. By creating temporary platforms with this rune, players can move across the water without getting wet, thus avoiding any risk of drowning.
To retrieve treasure chests located in bodies of water, players can use the magnesis rune to drag them up from the bottom, avoiding the need to swim to retrieve them. It is a much safer strategy than attempting to reach the bottom of the body of water and risking drowning.
While a select few players may feel let down by the lack of underwater exploration in Breath of the Wild, particularly those who enjoyed the Water Temple in Ocarina of Time or the swimming mechanics of Twilight Princess, most players seem to be quite content with this omission.
Many players may be relieved since water in Breath of the Wild poses a greater hazard than in previous Zelda games and can quickly lead to a game over if Link’s stamina depletes entirely while swimming.