Durability will cause your items, such as this Boko Club, to break after using it for a certain period of time in LoZ: BotW.

Durability is a gameplay mechanic in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Durability determines how long before Weapons and Shields break.

NOTE: Credit for this guide goes to /u/TobiasAmaranth from reddit

NOTE: You can look up specific durability values for weapons and shields. Just check the Weapons List and Shields List on this wiki!

Item's Current Durability[edit]

While the exact numbers aren't shared visibly in the game, there are a few ways to identify a weapon's current durability.

  • Almost Broken: The obvious one is flashing red. When in this state, a piece of equipment will break with only a small amount more usage. A thrown weapon will also be guaranteed to break when in this state.
  • Brand New: The less obvious status is a small sparkle in the top right corner. This means the item is unused and is at full durability.

Anything else will be somewhere inbetween those two states, but I believe that if you sort your inventory in the secondary sorting mode (the one that isn't 'sorted by highest number') then items that are identical to each other will have the lower durability copies further to the right in the list. In either case, if you make sure to avoid using the 'Brand New' items when you have other copies, you can be more efficient with your usage. Having two bottles of milk, both half consumed, is far less efficient than having one unopened bottle of milk and one in the trash, right?

What Damages Weapons[edit]

Traditional Weapons[edit]

Traditional weapons would be things like swords, clubs, and spears. These are your standard weapons that are best suited for destructive cartoon violence against enemies. Using them against enemies will impose the least amount of durability loss, provided you're not being blocked. That's right, the enemy blocking your attacks will drastically accelerate the destruction of your weapon. This will mean that weapons choice is very important. Use that heavy two-hander against the enemies with shields to knock it away. Make good use of Flurry Rushes.

Elemental Weapons[edit]

Using these weapons, the durability will decrease in exactly the same way as the traditional weapons they have parity with. That means that you can get away with using the flame weapons to light fires without it costing you any durability. Sadly, the elemental effect on these is fairly limited. You have to physically strike the enemy still in order to transfer the elemental effect. That said, they are fantastic at causing a status effect which can then be exploited further with a regular weapon. Attack them once with an elemental weapon and then switch to a traditional one.

Elemental Rods[edit]

These rods lose durability at a regular rate by slinging their magic. Be careful about using them up close, however, because directly hitting the enemy with one of these will speed up the durability loss by quite a large amount. You can also aim-cast with the throw button.

Utility 'Weapons'[edit]

This category of weapons consists of items that are better suited for things other than combat with the enemy. When using these items for their intended purposes, they will last a very long time! When using them for anything else, they will break very quickly. Use these to save your precious weapon durability on your combat weapons.

  • Axe / Double Axe: Use these two items when chopping down trees, or cracking open wooden crates and barrels.
  • Iron Hammer / Drillshaft: Use these two items when breaking ore, cracking open metal crates, or smacking boulders and flatrocks during Stasis.
  • Torch: Use this item to carry fire, which can be useful for melting ice pillars or as part of quests. Fire will not damage it.
  • Korok Leaf: Use this item to generate wind, which can be useful for pushing around the raft, and playing with the game's physics. Causing wind will not damage it. Tip - Be sure to toss that metal chest back off of the raft after opening it, or you risk breaking your Korok Leaf from smacking it!


Stuff like the Boat Oar, Farmer's Hoe, the mop, etc, are mostly in the game for flavor, and are highly useless in my opinion. If it's not in one of the above categories, you're either wasting your inventory space, or intentionally messing around.

In the end, using a weapon for a purpose other than what it is intended for will greatly speed up its destruction. Don't waste your combat weapons on crates or Stasis stuff if you have a better alternative. Oh, and if you use an Ancient weapon against a Guardian, it will do extra damage and hold its durability a little better. Other weapons will break easier against those Guardians. But really, we're just going to take a 5-shot Lynel bow and blast them with an Ancient Arrow and watch them vaporize, so ehh.

What does NOT Damage Weapons[edit]


Sneakiness has its rewards. In particular, it deals out x8 damage while inflicting minimal durability loss (but there is still at least a little). Switch to your highest raw damage weapon, stab them for most-to-all of their health, and move onto the next enemy. Sheikah Armor never sounded so good.

Thing You Ride[edit]

Fighting a Lynel? Nail them in the face, get on their back, and switch to your highest raw damage weapon. You'll nail them for 5 times that number before getting thrown off, and you won't lose even a point of durability on that weapon! I have a 100 damage Lynel club that lets me crank out 750 damage with Barbarian armor equipped.

What Damages Bows[edit]

Aside from wooden bows being set on fire, the only thing to damage a bow is actually firing arrows. It doesn't seem to care what it is hitting be it a Moblin, a shield, a piece of fruit, or splashing into the river 100 feet away.

What does NOT Damage Bows[edit]

That said, this means that you can draw your metal/ancient bow, stick the normal arrow into a source of fire, and use that flaming arrow while it's still in your hands to set fire to things and thaw ice. I've found this to be far more useful than spending an inventory slot on a torch or wooden weapon. The burning arrow will eventually burn up, so be sure to put your bow away then re-ignite the arrow before that happens.

What Damages Shields[edit]


Soaking the enemy's attack on your shield will eat away at its durability. There's likely some extra details about which shields are better for defense against which styles of weapon, but I admit I typically just used Flurry Rushes, and got hit by more stuff than I should have. Still, be extra careful against Guardians. If their beam hits your shield on a normal block, it's going to be destroyed. Almost all shields break in one beam, Royals in two.

Shield Surfing[edit]

Surfing in the sand or snow? Great! Hardly a scratch. Surfing down a rocky cliff? That's going to cost you. The type of terrain you choose to try to surf on will cause different amounts of durability loss to your precious shield. Grass is pretty easy on the shield, but the actual landing from when you impact your shield on the ground is going to take a little bit extra out of the shield each time you jump. Overall, though, just avoid trying to shield surf along those abrasive rock surfaces.

What does NOT Damage Shields[edit]


Activating a perfect block with your shield will not cost any durability at all. You can take your trusty Pot Lid and reflect back all the Guardian Beams you can muster, and it will never fail you! Master the perfect block and keep your shields in good shape.

Shield Surfing[edit]

As mentioned above, shield surfing on sand and snow will only cost you little durability. You know, those surfaces that require special boots in order to be able to run on? Those. Nice and soft.

Bigger Inventory[edit]

Korok Seeds. Keep those eyes peeled, and find as many as you can. More than the destructibility of weapons, the thing that personally bothered me in this game is how 'difficult' it is to expand the inventory. And heck, even maxed out, I still feel like I don't have enough inventory slots to spare room to hold one of each utility item. Overall you will need 441 seeds to upgrade everything, with most of that going to the weapon category.

Tossing out the Junk[edit]

Don't be afraid to throw items away. In almost all cases, there will be more where it came from! Just make sure you're throwing out the worn out versions and not the 'Brand New' versions. Watch for that subtle sparkle.

Saving your Precioussss[edit]

When you buy your house you will be able to gain access to three displays for each type of equipment. If there's something you want to store here for later, toss it on the stand and it will remain there while you continue to explore.

See also[edit]

    Main Page
     Orcz HQ
    Recent Changes
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