The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is a big game, and it can be easy to miss some of its best quests if you don’t know where to look. In the same breath (of the wild), it’s also easy to get really overwhelmed trying to cut through the noise to find the good shit. That’s what we’re here to talk about today. To set some ground rules, this is all content that is off the beaten path of the four main quests across Hyrule, so while some might be called a main quest in the game’s adventure log, you still have to go out of your way to find them. Here are some of the best sidequests worth seeking out in Tears of the Kingdom.
It’s actually kind of annoying that the Camera isn’t just given to you early on, because who doesn’t love taking photos of all their adventures throughout Hyrule? Who would spend hours in the dye shop making the perfect fit and not want to show it off? If you want to free your inner photographer, head to Lookout Landing in the middle of the map and do the Camera Work in the Depths quest. This mission has Link teaming up with researchers Josha and Robbie to scout out underground Hyrule. The quest is short and sweet, but it ends with Robbie unlocking the Camera app for you so you can take all sorts of pretty pictures throughout Tears of the Kingdom. Do it early and if you need some guidance, we’ve got you covered.
After Robbie unlocks the Camera for your Purah Pad, you’ll get a new quest called A Mystery in the Depths. As the name implies, you will head back into Hyrule’s underground for this one, and it will require a lot more time and effort than unlocking the camera. Josha will send you back down to the Depths to follow a set of statues, each pointing to another statue, ultimately leading to a destination where you’ll unlock the final Ultrahand ability. We won’t spoil what it is for you, but suffice it to say it will make building a lot more simple moving forward. Do, however, expect a boss fight at the end. It’s not a challenging one, but bring some healing supplies and arrows down to the Depths with you.
While the Hyrule Compendium gives you one reason to take photos of enemies you come across in Tears of the Kingdom, there’s also a quest in Tarrey Town called A Monstrous Collection that turns your photos into statues for you to arrange for your enjoyment. Kilton, who you’ll remember from Breath of the Wild as a monster enthusiast, asks Link to take photos of specific monsters he faces throughout Hyrule. Once you bring those photos back, he’ll make the creatures whose photos you captured into statues that can be posed in dioramas. It makes for great photo ops, and gives you a reason to fill out the Hyrule Compendium along the way. Just be prepared for a difficulty spike as the quest goes on. You’ll start out taking pics of minor threats then it rapidly escalates into some of the game’s most vicious foes.
One of the first things I did in Tears of the Kingdom was work with the Lucky Clover Gazette. The newspaper is investigating possible sightings of the titular princess, who disappears at the beginning of the game. I lucked out by stumbling upon this 12-part questline on the outskirts of Rito Village, because it’s a pretty thorough tour of Hyrule and requires you to visit 12 stables all around the map. It’s a great framing device for seeing swaths of the map, and gives you a reason to seek out shrines and Skyview Towers for fast-travel points. By the end, you’ll have acquired a nice nest egg of rupees, a golden horse, and an armor set that helps you climb without slipping in the rain. Plus, you’ll have spent hours with Penn, the best reporter in all of Hyrule.
Yes, Ganondorf is causing cataclysmic trouble for the citizens of Hyrule, but there’s still time for local politics. The Mayoral Election is one of the standout moments in the Hateno Village. It follows two candidates for the village’s mayor position, one who represents the fashion-forward youth and the current mayor who has the interests of the community’s agricultural trade at heart. Link ends up interfacing with both candidates in a series of quests, and sees a lot of the cultural backbone of Hateno in the process. While many sidequests in Tears of the Kingdom have you shuffling around across the map and seeing sights, The Mayoral Election is contained within the boundaries of Hateno Village. It’s an intimate reminder that not everything Link faces is a Ganondorf-sized threat.
Tears of the Kingdom has plenty of collectathons across the map between Korok seeds and shrine activation, but a new addition in the sequel is the inclusion of Addison, an avid carpenter advocate who is doing the absolute most for Hudson, who runs a construction company in Hyrule. He’s erecting signs promoting Hudson’s restoration program, which is trying to rebuild Hyrule after Ganondorf’s destruction put the world in a state of ruin. However, almost none of the signs are on stable ground, and Addison, unwilling to let Hudson be disrespected by the laws of gravity, is holding them up all by himself. But you, as an upstanding citizen, can help these signs also be upstanding by using the Ultrahand ability on materials found next to each sign to prop it up so Addison can let go and get on with his life.
They’re a silly framing for an interesting microcosm of Tears of the Kingdom’s design of giving you a problem and telling you to figure it out. No parameters, just tools at your disposal. They’re fun little brain teasers all around Hyrule, and who doesn’t want to help Addison find a new hobby?
In keeping with Zelda tradition, the Great Fairies are good friends to have in Link’s corner as you travel around Hyrule. However, the giant magical ladies have gone into hiding since Breath of the Wild, and they only come back to the surface when they hear their favorite music. In the process of awakening the Great Fairies, you’ll also reunite the Stable Trotters, a band of musicians scattered across the map. There are four Great Fairies to find, but you’ll have to guide members of the Stable Trotters to their bulb-like homes, usually by using the Ultrahand ability to fix their carts. The reward is some lovely music and an ally to upgrade your armor. However, keep in mind that in order to start these quests, you’ll have to progress through some of the Lucky Clover Gazette quests.