The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom release date, trailers, and news

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The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is mere months away from release. From what we've seen so far, the game appears to be building off of its predecessor in some very smart ways indeed. 

Releasing exclusively for Nintendo Switch, Tears of the Kingdom is the sequel to 2017’s Breath of the Wild, which is widely considered to be one of the best Switch games ever and was the console's biggest launch title. In other words, Tears of the Kingdom has some big shoes to fill.

Nintendo has kept pretty quiet on the finer details relating to Tears of the Kingdom, and we still haven't even see extended gameplay. The story is a mystery too, though there's clear hints towards darker themes. Here's everything we know so far about Tears of the Kingdom, including all of the latest news. As new details emerge, this page will be updated.

Tears of the Kingdom: cut to the chase

  • What is it? The upcoming sequel to 2017’s Breath of the Wild
  • When can I play it? May 12, 2023
  • What can I play it on? Nintendo Switch

Tears of the Kingdom release date and platforms

Enemies looking down into camera from a stone platform

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom launches on May 12, 2023. Unsurprisingly for a first-party Nintendo game, it'll be exclusive to the Nintendo Switch console family.

Tears of the Kingdom was initially due to release in 2022 but, in March of that year, Nintendo pushed the date into 2023, with series producer, Eiji Aonuma, telling fans it was out of a desire to “extend out development time a bit”. You can pre-order The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom now.

Tears of the Kingdom trailers

Latest trailer

Our latest look at Tears of the Kingdom arrived during a Nintendo Direct on February 8, 2023. A new trailer was shown off, which covered everything from new traversal mechanics to a peak at what the story might entail. 

Providing our best look at Tears of the Kingdom yet, we see all new enemies, as well as some returning ones. Vehicles are also featured, including a sort of car, and a flying vehicle as well. Check it out below:

More trailers

We've included some key Tears of the Kingdom trailers throughout this article but you can find all of the Tears of the Kingdom trailers that have been released to date on Nintendo's official YouTube channel.

Tears of the Kingdom story and setting

In terms of plot, we know very little about Tears of the Kingdom at present. It's a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild, and Link and Zelda seem to be traveling together to investigate a mysterious blight.

Back in 2019, Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma revealed that the game is going to have a darker tone than Breath of the Wild, and will even be “a little bit darker” than Majora's Mask (via IGN).

The trailer certainly supports this, with what looks like Ganondorf's corpse being resurrected by a disembodied hand, and seemingly imagery from 2006's Twilight Princess, which saw Hyrule turned into a bleak shadow realm – largely in response to the far cheerier and cartoonish The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. That said, it won't be all doom and gloom – visually at least – as recent trailers have at least indicated that we'll take to the skies and explore amongst the clouds.

Something that has been apparent since the very first trailer (which is embedded above this section) is that time will be a theme in Tears of the Kingdom. In the reveal trailer, the music appears to be playing backwards, as do some of the scenes shown. In recent trailers, this has been repeated, so it's likely that Tears of the Kingdom's story could revolve around time manipulation in some way.

Tears of the Kingdom gameplay

In the trailers we've seen so far, it's clear that the skies will be a big part of Tears of the Kingdom. We've seen Link free-falling, using a new glider, and even riding on the back of flying creatures. There looks to be a mechanic that allows Link to travel upwards through clouds and other objects, aiding in vertical exploration. In the latest trailer, we even saw a flying vehicle of sorts.

Three patents filed by Nintendo could give us an insight into the gameplay mechanics of Tears of the Kingdom. As spotted by GameReactor, the three patents have been registered with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). 

Each patent contains a diagram of what could be Link abilities for Tears of the Kingdom. The first patent, for instance, describes the ability “to perform a special action” while a character is falling such as “a shooting action of shooting a predetermined object.” The diagram in the patent shows a character falling through the air with their arms wide and it’s a strikingly similar pose to Link’s at around 25 seconds into the E3 2021 trailer. 

Something else that appears to be a theme in Tears of the Kingdom is time manipulation. In the trailer embedded above this section, we see Link holding onto a boulder as it rises upwards. By the looks of things, the boulder is actually reversing its falling trajectory. Similarly, time manipulation was used in the very first trailer. The music was clearly being played in reverse, as glowing particles moved inwards towards an ominous green light.

All in all, we've yet to see much Tears of the Kingdom gameplay, so it's likely that Nintendo is holding things back until just before launch. If we hear more, this page will be updated.

Tears of the Kingdom news

A glowing power glove featured in Tears of the Kingdom's first trailer

A new glove item may take the place of the Sheikah slate in Tears of the Kingdom (Image credit: Nintendo)

Tears of the Kingdom will be $70
Nintendo revealed the pre-order and pricing info for Tears of the Kingdom alongside a Nintendo Direct held on February 8, 2023. The biggest news was that Tears of the Kingdom will cost $70 at launch, an increase from the standard price of other Switch games

Nintendo clears up confusion around the title
During its September 2022 Direct, Nintendo finally announced that the game will be called The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, not Breath of the Wild 2 as it was long unofficially called. However, fans were still left with a question: is that ‘tears’ or ‘tears’? As in, should our confusion be making us tear our hair out, or should our eyes be filling up with tears?

Fortunately, Nintendo stepped in to clear things up, confirming to Eurogamer that it’s crying tears. That is at least one mystery around Tears of the Kingdom mopped up. 

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