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Spoiler-Free Survival Guide to the Depths in Tears of the Kingdom

The Depths may seem dark and full of terrors, but with careful planning, you can become an expert explorer in no time!

The Depths in Tears of the Kingdom are one of the more terrifying additions to the game. It can be tempting to skip them and jump right into the search for Zelda, but for anyone who wants to uncover the great mysteries (and horrors) of The Depths, you need to prepare yourself beforehand. Below are a few beginner-friendly tips for first time explorers — spoiler free!

What makes The Depths different

If you follow the game’s quest lines, your first interaction with The Depths will be the quest “A Mystery in The Depths.” It will walk you through the basics of the Depths and lead you to the first Lightroot (more on those below). In order to trigger the quest, talk to Josha in Lookout Landing after you finish the first “Regional Phenomenon” quest.

The Depths can be explored at any level, though I would suggest having at least 5 hearts and 1.5 stamina wheels before really exploring beyond the initial quest from Josha.

The Depths follow the same basic pattern of the rest of world: you start with an unfinished map so you must explore and fight monsters (or sneak around them) to uncover check points. However, The Depths pose 2 major differences: it’s entirely dark, and monsters cause gloom sickness.

How to see in The Depths

Link The Depth TotK

There are 3 major ways to see in The Depths:

  1. Find and activate Lightroots - Lightroots are similar to the towers on mainland Hyrule: Link finds them, activates them, and a portion of the map is then filled in. Lightroots also illuminate the surrounding area and will heal gloom sickness.
  2. Use Brightbulb seeds – Brightbulb seeds can be found across the surface of Hyrule, mostly in caves or down wells. If the seeds are hit, they sprout into a small plant that gives off light. The best way to use them in The Depths is to fuse them to arrows and shoot them into the darkness, which maximizes the radius of light they give off.
  3. Drink Bright Elixirs – combining a monster part and a Deep Firefly in a cooking pot creates a Bright Elixir, which makes Link glow. Deep fireflies are found in The Depths, so you will have to do a bit of exploring before being able to craft this elixir.

Gloom Sickness

Monsters in The Depths are covered in Gloom. Whenever you sustain damage from a Gloom-covered monster, your health is semi-permanently depleted (shown by the broken heart in your health bar). Normal food will not fully heal you. Instead, you will need to either find a Lightroot to heal you from Gloom Sickness, or eat a dish made with a Sundelion. Sundelion is a rare flower but can be found more frequently on Sky Islands and are notable by their golden color.

What to Stock Before Diving into The Depths


The Depths won’t have a lot of re-stocking options, so you’ll need to sufficiently pack before you start exploring. You’ll need:

  • Brightbulb Seeds – these will be vital in dispelling darkness. I would suggest having around 40-60 seeds when first exploring.
  • Bright Elixir – while not necessary, these are helpful. The only catch is you need a Deep Firefly to make this elixir, and those are only found in The Depths. Have enough to last 10-15 minutes of exploring if you want to use elixirs instead of brighbulbs.
  • Bows and Arrows – arrows are the most efficient way to activate brightbulbs, and also the least risky way to handle gloom-covered monsters. Having 80-100 arrows is a good start.
  • Dishes made with Sundelion – while the best way to deal with gloom sickness is to sneak around monsters and gloom puddles altogether, you can’t always avoid it. Have at least 2-3 Sundelion meals while exploring for a solid safety net.
  • Plenty of Weapons and Shields – while not impossible, it is harder to find weapons in The Depths. Make sure you are fully equipped with your preferred weapons before going down.
  • Sneaky Elixirs – or maybe you don’t want to risk fighting monsters at all — which is fair! The darkness is scary enough without having to deal with gloom monsters. Just make sure to pack enough Sneaky Elixirs so monsters are less likely to notice you.

Final Tips and Tricks

  1. Bring more than you need – while I do suggest certain amounts of each resource (listed above), you can never be overprepared! If you’re a bit scared for your first foray into The Depths, gather more supplies before going down so you feel extra secure.
  2. Sneak Around Monsters – there’s no shame in sneaking around monsters, especially if it’s your first time exploring. The Depths are scary enough as it is! Might as well avoid monsters while you’re at it.
  3. Mark Lightroots with the Purah Pad – At each Lightroot, you should be able to see a distant, orange glow. This is the next Lightroot you can reach. Use your Purah Pad to mark the spot and make it easier to find it as you make your way around.
  4. Bring a boulder-infused weapon – The Depths offer a lot of mining opportunities, so come prepared!
  5. Approach the shadow figures on rocks – these are called shadow soldiers, and each have a special item you’ll find useful. Trust me, they aren’t as ominous as they seem, and they won’t cause any damage.

Why Explore The Depths

Zelda Lightroot

This is a spoiler-free guide to The Depths, so I won’t go into heavy detail, however, exploring The Depths offers a lot of extra content and questlines in the game. For anyone who misses the bombs of Breath of the Wild, Bomb Flowers are more plentiful in The Depths, along with a new useful skill, another armor set, and of course, plenty of Zonaite.

The Depths offer the chance to meet some familiar foes, get a lot of extra resources, and expand on the history and relics of the Zonai. So explore and have fun!

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