Having trouble trying to beat Lynels in BOTW? This guide will help players figure out the most efficient way to take down Lynels. For this and more, visit our BOTW guides.
Breath of the Wild is a game that rewards a strategic approach, something fans of the Legend of Zelda series rightfully expect. Brute force isn’t usually the best answer to most challenges when a bit of careful stealth or savvy travel can do instead, and many dangers can engaged from a distance if they can’t be avoided altogether. But one foe stands above the rest as an exception that tests the reflexes: the mighty Lynel.
Depending on the state of your progress, any Lynel can range from a genuine threat to a challenge equivalent to any boss fight. They are strong enough to severely wound Link with one blow or even KO him outright earlier in the game, and tough enough that a battle with a Lynel will rarely end quickly. Dealing with them well demands a combination of preparation and mastering the combat tactics learned at Ta’Loh Naeg Shrine near Kakariko Village.
What Types of Lynels are there in BOTW?
There are five types of Lynels, the Blue Lynels, the Red Lynels, the White Lynels, Silver Lynels, and Gold Lynels. Lynels drop Lynel Guts, Lynel Horns, and Lynel Hooves when defeated. Silver Lynels can also drop star fragments or rare gems. Silver Lynels and Gold Lynels may drop Diamonds, Rubies, Sapphires, Star Fragments, and Topazes and the standard guts, horns, and hooves. Gold Lynels exclusive to the Master Mode.
Lynels may carry melee weapons in the form of swords, crushers, spears. They may also have shields and bows. Red Lynels will use standard Lynel weapons. Blue Lynels carry Mighty Lynel weapons. White Lynels and Silver Lynels have Savage Lynel weapons. White Lynels may have Mighty Lynel weapons as a rare drop.
Lynels are the smartest enemies in Breath of the Wild. They can detect Link from very far away, whether he’s on foot, horseback or mid-air. Once detected, Lynels can hit our hero of Hyrule with seeming laser accuracy from wherever they are. Some remain at the same difficulty throughout the game, and other Lynels increase in difficulty depending on the number of enemies Link has taken down.
Dashing Toward Victory – Lynel Strategies in BOTW
Lynels are fast, but like most foes they also telegraph many of their moves. Melee attacks are signaled by a raised weapon can be countered by a well-timed shield bash, which will stagger and create an opening to attack. This can be viable against sword wielders, just never try it against a wielder of the club-like Lynel Crusher – it has that name for a reason.
Whenever a Lynel puts its head and arms down, it’s preparing to charge Link. If you’re feeling bold and confident in your timing, Link can side step the charge and strike back with a flurry rush. Very often though, the safest and best movie is simply to run! Once a Lynel has gained momentum in a charge its direction is set, and a timely dash can avoid danger and set you up to attack from behind or the side.
Similarly, staying on the move is the answer to ranged attacks when trying to beat Lynels in BOTW. Whenever a Lynel draws a bow to fire, it’s creating an opportunity for you to get closer and exploit an opening. Dash toward the enemy on an angle – not head on – and your odds are very good of avoiding damage. The Lynel is targeting where you are, not where you’re going to be.
Fire attacks might be the most dangerous thing in a Lynel’s arsenal. Fireball attacks are signaled by the fire in a Lynel’s mouth, and always come in successive bursts of three. Dashing sideways for the duration is a reliable way to avoid damage, and this is a meaningful stamina check for Link. If you’re challenged to evade fireballs without getting tired, it means you need to come prepared with potions or more stamina upgrades.
Then there’s the explosion. A Lynel will telegraph a fire explosion by standing on its hind legs and raising its weapon as flame builds up. Whenever you see this, RUN. Run if you’re close, run when at a distance even if you think you’re safe. The radius of the blast is wide, the damage is severe, and Link will be knocked down if it hits. On top of all that, the charge happens very fast and can’t be interrupted in most cases. Discretion is the better part of valor here.
Tools That (Don’t) Work
Lynels can be scary to deal with in no small part because of their unrelenting aggression, which makes taking any opportunity to disrupt their actions valuable. They resist elemental damage and bombs aren’t of much use either, but ice reliably halts any action the enemy takes. The pause isn’t long, but it can be enough to get clear of an attack or take the offensive. The same is true for the Stasis Rune, especially after it’s been upgraded. Timely use of Stasis is essential to master since that ability is always with you, while Ice arrows and weaponry are finite.
The other essential tool for stuns is simple, but tried and true: Link’s staple bow and arrow. Precision shots to the head will stagger a Lynel even with normal arrows. This is a tricky tactic to master, since it demands both good aim and intuition – take too long to line up a shot and you can find yourself getting charged or fired upon from a distance. Remaining still is a terrible position to be in during Lynel combat, Link should always be moving or prepared to dash. It’s much better to quickly take your shot and maybe miss than to delay and risk a world of hurt. Learning to fire quickly and move on in the thick of the action is an important skill, and this can be practiced against weaker enemies like Bobokins until you’re comfortable with it.
If you’re challenged to stun in the heat of battle, the value of the attack Urbosa’s Fury – acquired by clearing Divine Beast Vah Naboris in Gerudo Desert – can’t be overstated. It deals significant damage and disrupts as well, and it can be chained to create an invaluable window of opportunity for attack. One bold tactic is to equip your best two-handed weapon up close and begin your charge attack while constantly moving, and releasing the moment you think an attack is coming. When doing this, it’s important to stop short of consuming all stamina so Link can be ready to engage again or escape danger quickly. Consuming no more than one wheel of stamina on a two-handed attack is a good rule of thumb to follow.
Finally, there’s no way around it – Link needs protection to beat Lynels in BOTW, and you owe it to yourself to give yourself room for error or the unexpected. Upgrading your armor of choice at least twice is an excellent idea, and it’s advisable to invest in the Soldier’s Armor from Hateno village for the best protection. Consider having at least 8 hearts before you engage. With a little stealth Link can stock up on faeries at any fairy fountain, giving you a lifeline if things get rough. Consuming attack-boosting food is also a major help, ideally a meal that will give a medium or high level boost. Cooking meals dominated by regents like mighty bananas, mighty thistles and razorshrooms will produce the kind of results you need.
Where Can You Find Lynels to beat in BOTW?
Lynels may be found in:
- Akkala Wilds (Deep Akkala)
- Central North Tabantha Snowfield (Tabantha)
- Coliseum Ruins (Central Hyrule)
- Deplian Badlands (Central Hyrule)
- Drenan Highlands (Central Hyrule)
- East Deplian Badlands (Eldin)
- First Gatehouse (Hyrule Castle)
- Gerudo Summit (Gerudo)
- Great Plateau (Great Plateau)
- Hebra West Summit (Hebra)
- Kamah Plateau (Faron)
- Lanayru Road – East Gate (Necluda)
- Laporah Mesa (Laporah Mesa)
- Lodrum Headland (Lanayru)
- Nautelle Wetlands (Faron)
- Northern Tabantha Snowfield (Tabantha)
- North Akkala Valley (Deep Akkala)
- Northeast Tabantha Snowfield (Tabantha)
- Oseira Plains (Faron)
- Ploymous Mountain (Lanayru)
- Rowan Plain (Hyrule Field)
- Second Gatehouse (Hyrule Castle)
- Tabantha Bridge Stable (Central Hyrule)
If this BOTW Lynels guide was helpful, check out our other Breath of the Wild Guides.