Breath of the Wild: How to Beat the Lynel

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the Lynel is one of the toughest opponents you’ll face. With 2,000 HP and a bevy of attacks that can take you out of the game in just a few hits, these guys are tougher than a lot of the game’s dungeon bosses. To make matters worse (or better, if you’re the type of person who digs a good challenge) there are tons of Lynels roaming the wilds throughout the game, and you’ll need to bring down quite a few of them if you want to fully upgrade the Barbarian Armor set.

However, there are a few tricks you can use that will make these battles a bit easier. Note that there are several types of Lynel in the game, and this guide is primarily for the standard, red-maned version. (And if you think this guy is tough, the Blue-Maned Lynel has 3,000 HP, the White-Maned Lynel has 4,000, and the Silver Lynel has 6,000.)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Like so many things in Breath of the Wild, these battles take a bit of preparation. You’ll want to have as many healing food items as possible, especially ones that increase your armor, defense, and elemental resistance. Food that gives you extra hearts is great too.

If you plan on using the bow and arrow method of defeating the Lynel, you should try to have at least 100 arrows on hand. If you’re going to tackle this beast melee style, make sure you have as many good, strong shields as you can carry. You can upgrade your inventory slots by trading Korok seeds with Hestu, so you’ll probably want a few extra shield slots before attempting one of these fights (you’ll need those later in the game anyway, so it’s smart to get some unlocked as soon as you can.)

It’s kind of a big order, but thankfully, you can farm arrows and shields on the road to Zora’s Domain, especially the section that runs through Tabahl Woods. Many of the Lizalfos you’ll encounter drop 5 to 10 arrows, and several will drop Reinforced Lizal Shields, which aren’t all that shabby. Whichever strategy you intend to implement, the road to Zora’s Domain has what you need. Just be prepared to face a gauntlet of archers with shock arrows.

Oh. and I would recommend having at least ten hearts before challenging one of these foes. They hit like a freight train, and if one of them gets multiple hits off at once — say, if you’re staggered — the fight is basically over.

You’ll also want a fast weapon for this battle, since the time between swings is enough with a slow weapon for the Lynel to bring you from full health to zero. Anything with a slow recovery time or a long strike animation is out. Try a fast sword — the Royal Broadsword is a decent choice if you can find one — or even a spear to extend your reach.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Perhaps my favorite option, however, is the Eightfold Longblade. It has a combination of power and speed that makes it pretty much ideal for Lynel fights.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I also happen to know exactly where to find one. On one of the peaks overlooking Lantern Lake (which is on top the cliffs just west of Impa’s place), there’s an Eightfold Longblade stuck in a stone.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Now, for the actual fight, the method I’ve seen recommended is to get in fairly close, then block with your shield. When the Lynel comes in for a rush attack, use the Perfect Guard to stagger it and get a few hits off before putting up your shield again. Sometimes, the thing will recover faster than expected, which is why you’ll definitely want a fast weapon. Sometimes, the Lynel will perform a bull rush, and when this happens it’s best to dodge out of the way so you don’t get stampeded.

Also, though you might be tempted to fire the occasional arrow, don’t do it. Due to limitations of the control scheme (and because the bow is a two-handed weapon), Link must transition from a bow to a melee weapon before he’s able to use his shield again. This is plenty of time for the Lynel to deliver a devastating strike.

It’s a long battle, and messing up just a couple times throughout will end in failure.

Of course, this is why I prefer the alternate method.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

You don’t want to put too much distance between you and the Lynel, because if you do he’ll pull out a bow and fire deadly elemental arrows at you. It’s better to get just far enough away that he’s still using his melee weapon, then fire off arrows as fast as you can. Aim for the head. If you can land a shot directly in his face, you’ll stagger him.

If you find a good rhythm with this method, and your stockpile of arrows is large, the Lynel won’t even have a chance to pull off an attack.

And those are the tactics I’ve been successful with so far. Keep in mind that higher level Lynels also have fire-based attacks, so proceed with caution. However, you can take advantage of this by using the updrafts caused by the fires started by the Lynel’s fire attacks to lift off the ground, then get the slowdown bonus for firing while in the air. If you can do this successfully, getting those face shots is a breeze.

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