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Everything you need to play 'The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom'

Everything you need to play 'The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom'

Are you prepared to save Hyrule in "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom"? Whether you're a die-hard "Zelda" fan or a newcomer to the timeless game series, you'll want to make sure you have everything you need to fully immerse yourself in this Nintendo Switch sequel to "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" when it debuts on May 12. 

Top Zelda gear in this article:

Pre-order the game: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, $70

Get the special-edition Switch: Nintendo Switch OLED - The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Edition, $360 

A Zelda controller: Hori Nintendo Switch Horipad (Zelda Edition), $85 

We've laid out everything you need to become the Hero of Time himself, from the best Nintendo Switch console (the OLED Zelda limited-edition console, of course) to accessories created exclusively for "Zelda" fans. Most importantly, they're meant to give you the best experience possible as you explore dungeons, solve puzzles and defeat enemies in "Tears of the Kingdom".

Related: How we choose our products

So, get ready to enter the world of "Zelda", armed with the best gaming equipment available as we present you with the ultimate setup for an unforgettable adventure. Follow along as we reveal the essential items that will elevate your "Tears of the Kingdom" experience.

Everything you need to play 'Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom'

Not sure where to start to have the best "Zelda" experience? This is everything you need to prepare to play "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom" and then some. With these goodies, yon't have to worry about anything standing in your way when the game launches.

'The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom'

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

This might be a no-brainer, but you're going to want to actually purchase "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom" if you want to play it. This Nintendo Switch exclusive releases on May 12, and you're going to want to make sure you lock in a copy early. This sequel promises an even bigger world for Link to explore while building on the sprawling story from the previous game. 

The land of Hyrule is in trouble once more, and under a new threat. Luckily, the Hero of Time has new abilities up his sleeve, too. This will arguably be the biggest Switch release of the year, so don't wait until the last minute to make sure you score a physical copy.

Nintendo Switch - OLED Model - The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Edition

Nintendo Switch OLED - The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Edition

The new Nintendo Switch Zelda collector's edition console is the perfect companion for your journey. You'll appreciate the OLED model's upgraded features over the original Switch, like the standout 7-inch OLED screen that brings every game's magnificent landscapes and characters to life with more vivid colors and sharper contrast. Improved audio makes for a more immersive experience, too. 

With a storage capacity of 64GB, you'll have plenty of room for game downloads, updates and extra material. The adjustable wide stand improves stability, which means you can play comfortably in tabletop mode at home or on the go. 

This Amazon purchaser said the OLED model is worth the upgrade even if you own another Switch: "As someone who came from a Switch Lite, this was definitely a great upgrade. Although it seems small, the OLED screen and dimension size change was different enough to justify the $50 increase. Great for handheld use."

Nintendo Switch OLED - The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Edition, $360 

'The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild'

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild + Expansion Pass

"The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" is a must-have for those looking to embark on an epic adventure in "Tears of the Kingdom." With its open-world exploration, captivating narrative and innovative mechanics, the game revitalized the Zelda series and remains one of the highest-rated games of all time. Plus, if you want to know what's going on in the sequel, you'd better start here. 

"Breath of the Wild" will prepare you for "Tears of the Kingdom" by immersing you in the vast world of Hyrule, introducing you to key characters and familiarizing you with the game's mechanics. You'll travel through various environments, solve complex puzzles and engage in thrilling battles against formidable foes, honing the skills required for success in the sequel.

This Amazon buyer says the game is good even for people who don't typically game: "My husband loves this game. This is his first Zelda game ever and he really enjoys it. He is not a gamer so he isn't that familiar with the characters or anything. It's beautiful graphics and good storytelling"

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild + Expansion Pass, $80 

Game Traveler 'Zelda' Nintendo Switch Case

Game Traveler Zelda Nintendo Switch Case

This carrying case protects your Nintendo Switch with some serious Zelda flair. Inspired by the iconic Sheikah Eye symbol, it's a convenient way to keep your console safe while showing off how much you love the game series. Its rugged hard-shell structure protects your console from drops, while the soft inside lining keeps the screen from getting scratched. It features separate compartments for your Switch, Joy-Con controllers and extra game cartridges. It also has a rubberized handle to make everything easier to carry.

This Amazon customer appreciates the case's build for the price: "I do like this case! Very well constructed! Fits my OLED Switch perfectly, along with several games and memory cards. Hard enough to protect the screen and unit, but not overly rigid like a plastic case. Worth the money!"

Game Traveler Zelda Nintendo Switch Case, $20 

Hori Nintendo Switch Horipad (Zelda Edition)

Hori Nintendo Switch Horipad (Zelda Edition)

This Horipad Zelda Edition controller. eatures the iconic Hylian Crest and a chic gold finish. It also boasts a comfortable, ergonomic design that lets you play for long periods of time without straining your wrists and hands. It has a responsive D-pad, nice, clicky buttons, and programmable rear triggers. It's wireless, so you can play and charge it up when you're ready for another round. Plus, it charges via USB-C, so you don't have to add yet another charging cord to your arsenal. 

This Amazon customer says the product is one of the best third-party controllers: "Works great! We tried a few of the "knock off" brands, none worked longer than one day, if even -- most had sticky buttons or the would just stop working all together. But this gem worked immediately out of the box - perfectly. After several months of use (charging and heavy playing, mostly Fortnite), it still works perfectly. Holds a long charge (sometimes for days!). Buttons work flawlessly. Has a good feel. No complaints - would definitely purchase this one again."

Hori Nintendo Switch HORIPAD (Zelda Edition), $85 

SanDisk 1TB microSDXC Card

SanDisk 1TB microSDXC Card

Boost your Nintendo Switch with the SanDisk 1TB microSDXC UHS-I Memory Card designed to improve console performance. Add this to your system so you have plenty of space for game installations, software updates, and other content. With its fast read and write speeds. Plus, you'll have reduced load times and 1TB of storage, which means storing effectively over a hundred Nintendo Switch games. And if needed, just pop it out and into another Switch instead. 

This Amazon buyer says their entire game library fits on the card with a ton of space left over: "I wanted to go all out when upgrading to the OLED, and this is definitely worth it. I was able to download my entire game library with most of the space still available."

SanDisk 1TB microSDXC Card, $150 

Do I need to play 'The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild' before 'Tears of the Kingdom'?

With "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom" right around the corner, you might be wondering whether the previous game, "Breath of the Wild", is required to truly appreciate the upcoming game. Although it's not technically required, playing "Breath of the Wild" before tackling "Tears of the Kingdom" has many advantages, namely the storyline.

"Breath of the Wild" introduces the expansive world of Hyrule, allows you to meet key characters, and sets the stage for the next installment in the series. Its groundbreaking open-world exploration and innovative gameplay mechanics will deepen your understanding of the "Zelda" universe and its mythology. So when you start "Tears of the Kingdom", you won't be totally lost as to what's going on. 

Also, playing "Breath of the Wild" helps you sharpen your combat, puzzle-solving, and exploration skills, making sure you're well-prepared for the challenges in the sequel.

However, if you don't have time to play the first game (which is every bit of 40+hours), there will likely be a recap in "Tears of the Kingdom" for you to catch up on the plot so far. 

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