The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild is a modern classic. The first open-world entry in the Zelda franchise presents Hyrule in a way that makes the entire world feel vibrant and alive. And it’s also the first Zelda game to include DLC.
The first DLC pack introduced the challenging Trials of the Sword as well as a few key items that helped ease the strain of tedious tasks like finding treasure chests and Korok seeds. And the next DLC pack, called The Champions Ballad, will focus on a “new dungeon and a new original story.” But pack could introduce a few additional tweaks as well.
Just as DLC Pack 1 introduced new mechanics like a warp point that you can place anywhere in the world and a Hero’s Path option that lets you see almost every step you’ve taken, there are several quality of life improvements that could make Breath of the Wild’s next DLC pack (or a future free update to the game) even better. Here are 12 suggestions for what I’d like to see in The Champion’s Ballad.
There are light spoilers for the main game here, so proceed with caution if you haven’t already completed your own Hyrule adventure.
Quick-swap for chest items
When you open a chest, if your inventory is full, you should be able to swap out items on the fly. This suggestion is less something that should be in the DLC, and more a bigger fix that should be part of a free update at some point.
Early in Breath of the Wild, you burn through items so quickly that the occasional need to go into your menu and move items around before you can retrieve a new piece of equipment isn’t that frequent. But late in the game, when your inventory is always overflowing, almost every time you open a chest requires you to close a dialog box saying you can’t carry any more weapons, toss out one of your current items, then open the chest again. It’s an unnecessary extra step, but there’s a potentially simple fix: change the dialog pop-up so that it gives you a choice of keeping the new item or letting it stay in the chest. If you choose to keep it, the game could bring up your item scroll wheel and let you immediately pick an item to swap out.
You carry a lot of extra loot in Breath of the Wild, and while you can use some of it to make potions or food, most of it eventually feels like filler. But what if you could use your extra items and consumables to craft weapons?
Weapons are already a disposable item, so being able to craft them wouldn’t feel out-of-place in the game, and there are times when you need a specific weapon for a quest, or a sword with a particular power would be especially helpful for an upcoming battle. Or maybe you’re just tired of finding two-handed weapons and you’d rather have a full set of swords and shields. Chasing down those specific weapons, even using the game’s built-in radar, can be an unnecessary chore.
Sure, you can find a wide array of elemental weapons in the Coliseum ruins, but that’s still relying a bit too much on random luck. And there’s a precedent for re-acquiring some special Champions weapons by going back to the leader of each major village. However, setting up a crafting table in each town, or even just one in your own house in Hateno Village, would give you a little more control over what you decide to carry. And a crafting system wouldn’t necessarily make the game too easy–after all, you’re not getting weapons you want on demand in the heat of battle–and it could introduce a fun new crafting mechanic to the game.
More house customization
In addition to the crafting table, having more options to customize your Hateno house would be another nice feature to take advantage of the materials and money you amass late in the game. Once you’ve finished the full list of limited upgrades, your house goes almost unused for the rest of the game. But what if you could upgrade the bed, making it something comparable to resting at the Gerudo village’s inn? Or if you could further increase your storage capacity? These small upgrades would make it feel like a useful addition to your quest, a real “home” you’d want to come back to, instead of just a pit stop on your journey.
And beyond that, why not add cosmetic changes as well? Going full “Animal Crossing,” with a rainbow of interior and exterior paint choices, more furniture, and a place to display other collectibles would make Link’s Breath of the Wild house an even more appealing.
Like finding just the right weapon you need can be a pain, sometimes you also need a specific recipe ingredient, but it just doesn’t grow in the abundance that you need. Kakariko village has swaths of unused fields that would be perfect for establishing the Link Ranch, a place to plant berries, trees, and other consumables for easy-harvesting.
The farm doesn’t need to be limited by normal crops either–maybe you could plant a few star fragments to grow star fragment bushes. Finding enough of those to upgrade all of your armor can be one of the grindiest tasks in Breath of the Wild. However, collecting the game’s other hardest-to-find item set requires a different solution entirely…
This is another suggestion that should really just be part of a free update. There are two items that make upgrading your armor a joyless slog: finding Star Fragments (which could be solved by Star Fragment farms in the previous slide) and harvesting dragon parts.
When you’re trying to collect pieces of the four big dragons that float around Hyrule, you can only get one item from them per appearance. This artificial increase in rarity makes the parts feel special, but when you need a dozen different pieces to upgrade your armor, it means you spend a lot of time camped in one spot, shooting a dragon for a single piece (that you hope doesn’t get lost by going off the edge of a cliff or landing somewhere inaccessible). Then you light a fire, warp ahead to the next day, and repeat.
The dragons themselves appear so infrequently in the course of regular gameplay anyway that you should be able to knock off a part for every arrow you can land on their hulking bodies.
You’re late in the game. You have a full three rings of stamina, full hearts, every piece of armor, and you’re scouring the mountains looking for every last Korok seed. Without warning, a flash rain comes in, and now you can’t climb. Your options become, setting the controller down and waiting for the rain to pass, hoping that you’ve got enough Revali’s Gale to get you to where you’re going, or leaving and warping off someplace else.
For an adventurer who’s already made it through tens of hours, there should be some solution for getting up the sheer cliffs of a mountain without getting stopped completely by a sprinkling of rain. The next round of DLC could introduce gloves that let you grip rocks in the rain. Or the game could re-introduce the classic Ocarina, with one specific tune: The Sun Song–a little ditty to make the sun shine again.
A recipe book
One of the few things that truly feel “missing” from Breath of the Wild is a comprehensive in-game recipe book.
You never really need to know anything beyond “make food with one hearty ingredient.” That one “recipe” will provide you with consumable that will max out your hearts every time. But the completionist in me still wants to know every unique recipe in the game. How many have I found and created? What combinations are left to discover? A recipe book for both keeping stock of what I’ve made as well as making it easier to create those recipes again would be a godsend.
Oh, while we’re fixing the recipe tracking, why can I stack a seemingly infinite number of apples, fish, and mushrooms, but as soon as I cook them into a dish, they become individual items? Please patch in stacking for prepared foods!
Traditional Zelda dungeons
The Divine Beasts present an interesting set of puzzles and a fresh take on the classic Zelda dungeon structure. But bringing back the lairs filled with devious puzzles, mini-bosses, doors to unlock, and maps to find would provide the perfect mix of nostalgia and fun for The Champion’s Ballad DLC.
Changing the previous games’ formula for Breath of the Wild made sense, and the ability to manipulate the layout of each dungeon from your map made exploration a sometimes complex riddle on par with the best Zelda dungeons. But there’s a certain charm in some of the series’ more traditional elements, like tracking down the master key in a massive, multi-story tower filled with monsters and dead ends.
More “surprise” story moments
The flashback memories in Breath of the Wild were a delight. They provided snippets of a story that required you to actively seek them out, and deciphering their order and meaning was just another part of the magic. But the moment-to-moment story lacks any immediate sense of danger. When the Rito people complain about the threat of the Divine Beast Vah Medoh, or when the Gerudo mention that they fear the imminent destruction of their desert town, but then everyone goes about their day as though nothing particularly worrisome is going on, it robs Link’s journey of urgency.
Admittedly, that’s always been an issue with Zelda games (except for maybe Majora’s Mask). You have a desperate populace begging for your help, a dark threat looms in the distance, and you’ll get around to it immediately…right after you finish going fishing for a few days and collecting some well-hidden treasures. But the Hero’s Ballad is Nintendo’s chance to show that they can tie together the quests and gameplay more cohesively.
The moments that stand out clearest for me in Breath of the Wild are the random characters that I came along seemingly in the middle of nowhere. When I stood on top of a bridge, and an NPC ran up to tell me not to throw my life away. While not tied to an overarching story, it showed an awareness of where I’m going and what I’m doing in the game. They were scripted moments, but it didn’t feel like the NPC was just waiting for me to come along; it felt like I’d discovered this special moment. Those types of characters felt like they were truly part of the world, and I hope those surprises are part of how The Champion’s Ballad story unfolds, rather than just the standard mission-based cutscenes.
A reason to be fully powered up
If you finished Breath of the Wild chances are you have multiple stamina bars, an abundance of hearts, and a powerful Master Sword. And even before the Trial of the Master Sword came along to raise the power of the game’s primary weapon even further, the end already felt far too easy. Sure, Master Mode lets your reset everything and try the game on a punishing new difficulty, but what I’d like to see in the next DLC is a reason to play with the fully powered-up Link in my primary game.
I want the odds stacked against me with Trials of the Sword-like challenges, but where I get to use every piece of fully upgraded armor and Divine Beast power in my arsenal. Part of that would come down to the types and numbers of enemies you find in dungeons, and the ways that dungeons are laid out. But it’s something that could also by aided by my next suggestion: golden enemies.
I actually thought this would drop in the last DLC pack, or that it would at least be a part of Master Mode, but Breath of the Wild is ready for a new enemy class: Golden. Or rainbow-colored. Or some kind of neon. The color doesn’t matter as much–I just want to see a new class of monster that ratchets up the general difficulty for each enemy just a little higher.
These new enemies should have even more loot, and maybe they’ll introduce another set of even stronger weapons. But you get to a point in the game where the only thing to fear are Silver Lynels, and even they can be taken by a skillful fighter. The Master Mode is too separate; I’d rather have something crazy and new to face in the main game.
Playing as someone new
While Nintendo’s devs seem to have been pretty clear that you won’t be playing as Zelda in Breath of the Wild, I’d like to try out a new Hero’s abilities. Link’s a blank cipher who can take any personality, which makes him a fitting protagonist, but being able to take on a new set of magical attacks and power from Zelda or one of the other Champions could introduce a novel way to change up the gameplay and re-balance the game’s difficulty.
Given the title is The Champions Ballad, the four characters you save in the main game will feature prominently in some way in this DLC. And even if that’s just within a dungeon or some other limited space, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to get to play as them as well. The new heroes would provide an exciting change to Breath of the Wild’s core gameplay, providing a strong incentive to jump back in, no matter how many tens (or hundreds) of hours you’ve already played.
What would you like to see added to Breath of the Wild for the Champion’s Ballad DLC? Did you we leave out anything important, or did any of our suggestions really resonate with you? Let us know in the comments below!