How to Beat Guardians in Zelda: BOTW

They're tough to beat, but these tips make it easier

Guardians are some of the toughest enemies in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. When you encounter them in a shrine or have the bad luck of coming across one (or more!) while out adventuring, you need to be prepared. With these tips and tricks, you will be. Read on to learn how to beat Guardians in Breath of the Wild.

How to Beat Guardians in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

There's no single way to beat Guardians in BOTW. You can use different combinations of weapons, attacks, and defenses depending on the Guardian you're fighting, where the fight is happening, and your personal playing style.

Use Guardian or Ancient Weapons

Screenshot of the Breath of the Wild inventor showing an ancient sword

Works Against: All Guardians

These great weapons aren't available until you get some Guardian or Ancient Weapons by beating a Guardian or buy some Ancient Weapons, but it's one of the best and most effective ways to beat Guardians. Guardian and Ancient Weapons are marked by their blue glow and a slight hum when they're equipped. Ancient Weapons that you buy do more damage than those you get from Guardians, but they're all much more effective and durable than normal weapons when fighting Guardians.

You can buy some of the most powerful Ancient Weapons in BOTW at the Akkala Ancient Tech Lab.

Wear Ancient Armor

Screenshot of the Breath of the Wild inventor showing ancient armor

Works Against: All Guardians

When going up against Guardians, you don't just need a good offense; you also need a good defense. Make sure to buy and equip yourself with as many pieces of Ancient Armor as you can. You can get the Ancient Helm, Ancient Cuirass, and Ancient Greaves. Each item protects you from laser attacks. When you wear all three simultaneously and upgrade beyond two stars, they also convey an Ancient Proficiency that significantly increases your Ancient or Guardian weapons' power.

You can substitute the Diamond Circlet for the Ancient Helm, if you have that instead.

Use a Shield to Reflect Their Attacks Back at Them

Screenshot from Zelda: Breath of the Wild using a shield to reflect a laser

Works Against: All Guardians

Mastering this attack's timing is tough, but when you get it right, it's one of the most incredible ways to beat a Guardian. Use your shield to reflect the Guardian's laser attack at it, which both does significant damage and stuns the Guardian, giving you a chance to run in and attack.

Watch for the Guardian getting ready to fire its laser at you. Hold your shield in a defensive pose, and then, when the laser fires, time it and press A to reflect the laser at the Guardian. This maneuver will take a few tries to perfect, but once you get good at it, you'll want to use it all the time.

Shoot Them in the Eye

Screenshot of shooting a Guardian in the eye in Breath of the Wild

Works Against: All Guardians

Guardians are challenging because they move fast, their movements can be harder to predict, and their weapons do so much damage. Because of that, any chance you get to slow a Guardian down helps. The simplest way to stun a Guardian is to shoot it in the eye with an arrow. You'll know you hit it when the Guardian is stunned, allowing you to charge in with a strong attack.

Shock arrows can be particularly good to use, since they electrocute the Guardian and stun it longer.

Use Bomb Arrows

Screenshot from Zelda: Breath of the Wild using a bomb arrow on a Guardian

Works Against: All Guardians

This weapon results in a brute-force attack, and it won't work in close quarters, so we don't always recommend it, but it can work in some cases. Bomb arrows do a ton of damage to high-health enemies, so they can be good for beating Guardians. Just make sure to equip a high-quality bow and fire from far enough away that you don't get caught in the blast.

Cut Off Their Legs or Propellers

Screenshot of cutting the leg off a Guardian in Breath of the Wild

Works Against: Stalkers and Skywatchers

It's easier to fight a stationary opponent than a mobile one. So, if you're facing a Stalker or Skywatcher Guardian, stop it from moving. With Stalkers, attack their legs. A few shots to the leg from a powerful weapon, and you'll cut it off. Cut off enough legs, and it won't be able to move at all, making it much easier to kill.

The same principle applies to Skywatchers, but aim for the propellers (you may need to use bomb arrows for this). Once you knock out enough propellers, the Skywatcher will crash to the ground, and you'll beat that Guardian in no time.

Use Elemental Weapons

Screenshot of freezing a Guardian in Breath of the Wild

Works Against: Guardian Scouts

One excellent way to stun the frenetic Scouts is using Elemental weapons. Any sword or arrow with ice can freeze a Guardian, and a shock weapon can stun them. Use those to slow the Guardian down and then switch to high-damage weapons and attack. Ice is effective because breaking the ice triples the amount of damage done by your attack.

Use Obstacles Against Spinning Blade Attacks

Screenshot of hiding from a Guardian in Breath of the Wild

Works Against: Guardian Scouts

Some Guardian Scouts carry big swords or axes. These weapons are particularly dangerous when the Guardians perform a Spinning Blade Attack. One of the best ways to avoid getting hit by these is to use obstacles to block and stun the Guardian.

If there are pillars in the Shrine where you're fighting the Guardian, duck behind one at the last moment before the Guardian hits you, and you'll stun it. If the Shrine has water or metal objects, use Cryonis to create an ice block or Magnesis to raise the metal block and hide behind it. Then when the Guardian is stunned, attack!

Use Paragilder Against Spinning Laser Attacks

Screenshot of shooting a Guardian with an arrow in Breath of the Wild

Works Against: Guardian Scouts

Much like the Spinning Blade Attack, the Guardian Scouts' Spinning Laser Attack is hard to dodge and devastating. The trick here is that this attack creates wind in the Shrine. When this attack is happening, press X to jump and then X again to open your paraglider. As you rise on the wind, hold down ZR to draw your bow and slow downtime. Release ZR to shoot the Guardian with arrows.

When Guardians Respawn in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Like other enemies in Breath of the Wild, the Guardians you've beaten respawn during a Blood Moon.

Expect a Blood Moon to bring back your vanquished foes after about seven days of in-game gameplay. So, after you've played around seven days in the game, you should see a Blood Moon bring back monsters and Guardians on the 8th or 9th night in the game.

Where to Find Guardians in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Because most Guardians are such formidable enemies, you want to prepare when you may have to fight them. The best way to do that is to know where they are. You'll only run into Guardian Scouts in shrines (and not all shrines; some are puzzles that don't have Guardians. Though, some puzzle shrines have Guardians in them, too!). Guardians are in these locations:

Guardian Name  Health Points  Common Locations 
Decayed Guardian 500 Great Plateau, Death Mountain
Guardian Scout I 13 various Shrines
Guardian Scout II 375 various Shrines
Guardian Scout III 1,500 various Shrines
Guardian Scout, IV 3,000 various Shrines
Guardian Skywatcher 1,500 Hyrule Field, Akkala Highlands
Guardian Stalker 1,500 Hyrule Field
Guardian Turret 1,500 Hyrule Castle
Sentry 1,000 Hyrule Field, Hyrule Castle
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