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Here's how Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom's secret levelling system works

The proving grounds.

Link soars in the air from a tower in Tears of the Kingdom
Image credit: Nintendo

If you've been playing Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, you will have noticed the difficulty of enemies gradually scaling up as you progress.

It turns out this is due to a secret levelling system in the game that isn't explicitly revealed.

YouTuber Austin John Plays has released a new video that dives into some of the details of this system (thanks for spotting, IGN).

Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Performance: Portable Play, Overclocking, Pre-Patch Code!

Much of his knowledge is derived from Breath of the Wild dataminers. It appears Tears of the Kingdom uses a similar system, albeit more complex.

As in the previous game, Link receives a set amount of experience for each enemy defeated, but this only counts for the first 10 of any enemy type. Bosses also provide a large chunk of experience.

Once Link hits a certain threshold of experience, more advanced enemies will appear in the world - red moblins turn to blue, for instance. What's more, more powerful weapons will also appear.

This allows Nintendo, in both games, to provide a steadily increasing difficulty based on player progression, while rewarding their efforts accordingly. It also means it's possible to find better weapons in the world by repeatedly defeating tough enemies but not bosses.

Austin John Plays notes that not all enemies scale with progression, citing certain soldier constructs in the Great Sky Island as an example, which makes sense with this being the opening area. The Proving Ground shrines - those where Link is stripped of his equipment - also contain enemies that do not scale.

He also points out some other scaling rules. For instance, the weapons hung on a Hinox will improve when sometimes the level of the Hinox itself will not. Also, weapons handed to Link by wraiths in the depths do scale with progression, making it a handy location for finding high level equipment.

It's important to note that Austin John Plays has made these observations in Tears of the Kingdom based on knowledge from Breath of the Wild. Further, no specific numbers on experience points gained are known.

Still, this is useful knowledge for players looking to maximise their progression through the game.

It'll also come in handy for speedrunners - already the game has been completed in under an hour.

You can watch the full Austin John Plays video below.

The Secret System of EXP Level Scaling in Tears of the Kingdom Explained

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Ed Nightingale

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Ed has an interest in streaming, people and communities, and giving a voice to marginalised people.