The Depths Guide and Overview - The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Guide - IGN (2023)

While the Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom may seem to prominently feature the arrival of new Sky Islands, the bigger mystery is what now lurks below the surface of Hyrule itself. This new feature allows Link to explore a truly massive underground world called The Depths, located below the surface by free-falling down several foreboding chasms that have opened up all across the land.


The strange pitch-black world of the Depths is largely left unexplained and unexplored the first time you encounter it, and our guide will help you to understand how The Depths works, how to reach it, and how to survive its dangerous terrain.

This Depths guide includes:

  • How to Enter the Depths
  • Exploring the Depths - How to Create Light
  • The Gloom
  • Enemies in the Depths
  • Why You Should Explore The Depths
  • The Depths Map
  • Secrets and Armor
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How to Enter the Depths

As soon as you leap down from the Great Sky Island towards the surface of Hyrule, you may likely spot strange black marks on the landscape oozing red murky smoke. These are known as Chasms, and they have appeared all over the surface of Hyrule — some of them in truly surprising places.

Note that not all Chasms are the same - some are big, some are smaller, and some are locked behind special areas or found in caves that obscure their location when seen from above!

These Chasms will be added to your map when discovered, and feature giant pits leading into the bowels of the earth — about the same distance from many of the Sky Islands to the surface. For that reason, you should not attempt to dive into one until you have completed the first few Main Quests and activated the first Skyview Tower to gain the Paraglider, as you’ll need to land carefully.

Once you have the means, it’s a good idea to speak to Josha and Robbie at Lookout Landing to gain a Main Quest - Camera Work in the Depths - as it gives you a small primer on how this area works, and even gives you some supplies for your first trip.

As you enter a chasm by jumping into it, free-fall by tapping R to view the darkened land below after you exit the gloom-lined chasm. In many cases, visibility will be extremely low as you first enter, as much of The Depths is completely dark.

Try to focus in on any light sources and use your Paraglider early to avoid smashing into the ground.

Exploring the Depths - How to Create Light


The first thing you will likely notice about The Depths is the oppressive darkness that surrounds you. It essentially turns this giant underground region into one big mystery, and one that you have to slowly map out piece by piece.

Your main goal should always be seeking out the large root clusters with a dull orange glow that can be seen even through the gloom. These Lightroots function similar to both Skyview Towers and Shrines: They will create a fast travel spot when interacted with, and will also map out part of The Depths region around them — though they cover a much smaller surface area than a Skyview Tower.

However, they also brighten the mapped area to make it much easier to traverse and explore points of interest now illuminated nearby. The only catch is that Lightroots are often located far apart from each other, so you’ll always need to travel back through the dark to the next Lightroot.

If you need to leave the Depths behind, you can view the map later to spot a yellow flag that marks the last spot you were exploring before you left!

Since the biggest hurdle is vision, there are a few ways to remedy the low visibility present in the depths:

  • Your number one tool should be Brightbloom Seeds. These are found in large clumps in many of the caves and wells you can explore in Hyrule, and should always be gathered when found. By tossing them (Holding R and Up on the D-Pad to select), or fusing them to an arrow (Hold ZR and up on the D-Pad to Select), they will sprout when touching any surface to immediately illuminate the surrounding area. Giant Brightbloom Seeds are more rare to find, but shooting one a farther distance away will create an even bigger light source to gain your bearings. The best part about Brightbloom Seeds is the location they sprout remains static in the world for an exceptionally long time. This means you can create a trail of them deep into the darkness, leave, and come back later to find the trail still there — though they may not truly last forever.
  • Self-Illumination is a surprisingly good workaround if you ever run low on Brightbloom Seeds, or just need to be aware of any threats close at hand. Luckily, there are a few new types of creatures and materials both on the surface and below ground that can help, as they can be cooked into elixirs or meals to create a decent glowing effect around you: Brightcaps are mushrooms often found in caves and wells, alongside Glowing Cave Fish found in the pools or rivers within. Down in the Depths, you can also find docile swarms of Deep Fireflies that can be nabbed if you approach quietly.
  • Certain armor found only in the Depths also provides a glowing bonus that will illuminate a small portion of your surroundings
  • Many Zonai ruins lay dormant in The Depths, and just as the surface of Hyrule often has construction stations to make use of, you can find many Zonai armories and storerooms all over the underground region to create your own vehicles to help you traverse. Many of these depots contain Zonai Devices that are Lights, that will shoot forth beams of expansive illumination — but will also cost battery power to maintain
  • In a pinch, you can set campfires, light torches, or otherwise create effects to simulate light, but they will likely not help for more than a few feet.

The Gloom

Aside from the suffocating darkness of The Depths, another equally dangerous hazard is the Gloom. Recognized by its goopy red texture coating the ground, walls, and other objects, you’ll find more of it in the Depths than anywhere else.


Simply standing in the Gloom will start poisoning Link, as one of his hearts will start flashing purple. Stand in it too long, and the heart will be broken, and reduce Link’s maximum heart count even after eating meals. There are only a few ways to restore hearts lost by the Gloom, including standing under a Lightroot, returning to the surface, or eating meals made with Sundelion. Be sure to check our full guide on healing from the Gloom here.

Enemies in the Depths

To make matters more dire, enemies themselves are often found covered in Gloom, meaning their attacks won’t just damage Link — they’ll reduce your maximum hearts with every swing! This will make almost every battle you have in the Depths a harrowing one, requiring precision, tactics, and timing to minimize risk.

Many enemies found on the surface above can also be found below in the Depths, coated in Gloom — including Bokoblins, Lizalfos, Keese, and even Lynels!

Even the Yiga Clan appears to be establishing a foothold in the Depths, and is working tirelessly to make the secret power of Zonai Devices their own.

The depths also included both hostile creatures, as well as non-hostile ones like Stalhorses that can even be ridden across the Gloom with no penalty!

Another creature is the Frox, and while the Tiny Frox aren’t too dangerous (aside from eating your Brightbloom Seeds), the giant Frox are large minibosses that can swallow you whole. Many such minibosses can be found all across The Depths, both stalking its nightmarish plains, and guarding coliseum ruins and treasure alike.

Why You Should Explore The Depths

Aside from very few main or side quests, you’re actually rarely asked to explore The Depths, making much of it an entirely optional adventure that you can come and go to as you please.

That said, there are plenty of reasons to delve deep, as many optional rewards can only be found in the Depths, including these materials:

  • Muddle Buds are often found in underground forests and along the base of trees. A valuable material that has a good sell price, and striking an enemy with it will confuse them, turning them on former allies.
  • Puffshrooms can’t be cooked, but will create a blinding cloud of spores when struck, letting you escape or get in stealthy hits, also sells for a decent price.
  • While they can also be found in smaller quantities in surface caves, Bomb Flowers can be found on the ground in The Depths in much more abundance, and are incredibly useful for taking out multiple enemies at once.


  • Many abandoned mines are full of Zonaite Ore Deposits, and there are also many enemy camps that are mining the nodes as well. Far more than what you’ll find in the Sky Islands, The Depths is your best place to stock up on Zonaite which can be traded in at Construct Forges for Crystallized Charges, and then turned into extra battery power for your Energy Cell either up in the Great Sky Island, or outside Lookout Landing.

The Depths Map

Here's a basic map of The Depths with the Lightroot points on it, but to see a full with all of the Depths secrets, check out the The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Interactive Map!

Secrets and Armor

Even though you won’t find many quests or people down in the Depths, there is still plenty to find when exploring. Some surprising mini-boss battles await you in all corners of the Gloom, and many guard important treasures that can hold iconic weapons and armor.

You can also find Old Maps from chests on Sky Islands all over Hyrule that will mark a spot deep in the Depths to explore and uncover their secrets. Many of these may be familiar to those who used amiibo in Breath of the Wild, as they can contain legacy armor or weapons — as well as certain gear that was only available in Breath of the Wild’s DLC.

Poes and the Bargainer Statues

When first speaking to Josha and Robbie about The Depths, you can spot a strange statue head that will utter the word “Poes”.

Far down in the Depths, you can spot small dots of light among the gloom that are flocks of lost collectible souls called Poes. They become something of a currency, as you can “pray” to the Bargainer Statue to give them the wayward souls you’ve collected to trade in for materials found only in the Depths.

By finding more statues deep underground, you’ll unlock new reward options, like special armor not found anywhere else!

The Final Ability

After you’ve completed the initial Depths main quest and gone on to investigate and complete at least one of the Regional Phenomena, you can return Josha to grab an additional quest to seek out the mystery of a mural depicting statues pointing to something.


By completing this questline, you’ll unlock the missing ability in Link’s wheel of new powers, which will allow you to commit to memory anything you build, and quickly reconstruct it using available parts nearby, or converting Zonaite to fill the missing gaps. Simply fusing anything together with Ultrahand will automatically log it in your recent list, and you can mark creations as favorites so they don’t get removed over time.

In addition, you’ll be able to make use of Schema Stones that certain constructs will give you as building recipes, and also find Yiga Schematics at some of their bases deep within the Depths for more quick building vehicles.

Up Next: List of Side Quests and Side Adventures

PreviousThings to Do First in TotKNextList of Side Quests and Side Adventures

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