While they’re not talking about storyline or characters just yet, Nintendo has made sure that the focus on its Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild gameplay reveal today has been all about exploration.

So, while in a game demo, we took it upon ourselves (with the blessing of Nintendo, of course; the demo host confirmed photos were allowed) to snap a few photos of the entire Breath of the Wild map.

After playing the game for about an hour, by our approximation, when fully zoomed out, each square on the map translates to roughly 1 square kilometre (0.4 square miles). The E3 demo is contained within a relatively small section of the map, a section that appears to be about 2 km by roughly 1.5 km. Though the size of the square grid on the map doesn’t scale with the map itself, the calculation is the same: the entire map appears to be roughly 360 square kilometres, or roughly 140 square miles.

The play area afforded to players at E3 is visible below, as is our compiled version of the entire Breath of the Wild map. In all, there is a lot of the map even within the E3 demo area that can’t be accessed without teleporting to it, whether it is because Link can’t swim without his tunic (which he doesn’t have in the demo), or because the area is separated by a large and dilapidated bridge that is not crossable.


Within the map itself are regions, separated by the light blue lines. It is currently unclear how Link traverses between these regions as they appear to be separated by mountains, bridges, or a river network of some kind. In each region is a tower–in the region of Hyrule we played, it’s called Resurrection Tower–which Link must find and activate with his Sheikh Slate, a sort of ancient tablet computer of sorts, which then stores the regional information and provides clues as to enemy locations, beacons, ruins, and other points of interest.

Some regions are clearly larger than others, but there is still plenty to do within the small region we played. After an hour of playtime, we feel that there is still much to do within just that small section of Hyrule.

During their live presentation at E3, Nintendo specifically said that the demo of Breath of the Wild playable on the show floor represents roughly 1% of the game’s total size, which lines up with our estimation nearly perfectly.

Let us know what you think about the size of the Breath of the Wild map and how large you think the game could be. It seems pretty incredible to think that there could be that much land in this world, but the scale really does seem to hold true based on the number of times we’ve been back to play and by a rough estimation of Link’s walk, draw distance, and comparing the height of objects with their distance to other landmarks.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild launches on Wii U and Nintendo NX sometime in 2017.


17 Responses

  1. Gizmo

    Tbh Xenoblade Chronicles X, another wii u open world, is 400 kilometers, or 154 square miles (compared to zeldas 360 kilometers, or 140 sq miles.) Regardless, they are both massive open worlds (They both are bigger than fallout 4 and witcher 3 by a ton) and they both look like they offer a lot of content. Cant wait for Zelda!

  2. Loren

    Errr… 1kilometer is 0.621371 miles.

    So the map would be 223.694 square miles.

    Please research efficiently before publishing articles.

    • Loren

      Ok you’re right I’m wrong! DERP. I didn’t read it correctly heh, fancy that!

  3. DavidGX

    This would make it just about 9x the size of Skyrim. That’s really impressive if true. I hope they can fill that world with enough interesting things to see and do. No wonder they delayed it.

  4. Joakim

    How did you do these calculations? Because they feel really off. If one square in the zoomed out image is around 1 square kilometer that would meen that the temple of time is at LEAST 100 meters long, which it definitely is not. lets say the temple of time is 30 meters long. Then the size of a square in the zoomed out map would be around 300 square meters. Less than a third of what you are suggesting. I could be wrong though.

  5. Arquay

    Nice calculation 🙂 Though how certain are you with your measurement? I have to admit that I have not played the demo but base my estimate on the size of the clearly visible temple of time on the zoomed in view. It appears to be roughly 2.5 subsquares long. Going by your estimate this would correspond to a length of ca. 120m which based on the video footage I would find too large. My estimate is that 1 large square on the zoomed in view is about 100m, that gives the temple of time a length of 62m and the Great Plateau a size of about half a square kilometer. Thus the whole game area would only be 50 square km which is also more in accordance with previous estimates. What do you think about this?

  6. afra

    Hi … I’m suprised by a fact that when I was watching Treehouse videos I noticed an interesting thing about map , in The video which Master Aonuma and Bill playing together( Not the first video ) after showing sun rise Bill opened map and zoom out there is giant large black space area at the left and right and even below side of the map .I’m sure Bill intentionally showing this to us and If you look at it closely you an see that lines on the map at the edge of the dark-blue area being cut so it seems lines can extended to become complete area or route !
    Please take a look at the mentioned video (I mean second one that features Mr aonuma and bill then tell me what do you think of it . Why they put lot of dark space at the each side of the map ?
    It’s almost 2.5 inches of black space each side of map , so it got me to this point that they will be unlocked later . Now interesting thing is in this case map will be much much larger ! let me know what do you think .

  7. John

    I’m sorry but there’s no way those squares are 1 km in length each. I’d say 500m is much more likely, it’s the measurement they used in WW. And that’d make it roughly 94km squared which is still huge and fits better with the “it’s 12 times bigger than TP” statement (TP being roughly 8km squared). If it were 360km squared that would mean twilight princess is 30 km squared which is absolutely not true.
    The “it fits in perfectly with our estimation” bit is misleading and doesn’t back your argument at all. Yes the plateau is about %1. based on 1km squares, your estimation of its size is 3km sq and thus the world being about 300km sq +. If you had said .5km squares that rough scale would still have worked out and seemed to “fit perfectly” with that estimation

  8. john

    actually thats not the full map the the shaded black region is also part of the map its actually undiscovered land according to reggie

  9. SilentResident

    I am finding this to be very promising and fascinating. An open world of that size, and freedom of exploration, will ensure that the players will get different experiences each. This couldn’t be possible with the past linear Zelda titles, which forced you to experience the game in a very linear way.


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