If you’re just getting started in the highly-acclaimed Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom game, there are several things you’ll need to know to set you on your journey across Hyrule once again. Among them is how to best set up your gear, both to keep you safe and give you an edge against the enemies you face early on. To help you go about making that perfect setup, here are the best early shields in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
10 of the Best Early Shields to Get in Zelda: TOTK
Given that you start Zelda: TOTK with literally no sword or shield to protect you, it’s imperative that you remedy that as soon as possible, and with the best options available. To save you the trouble of figuring out where to start on that, here are 10 of the best shields obtainable early on in the game.
The list is a mix of both “Normal” shields – that is, shields you simply find during your travels, and “Fused” shields, which can be crafted to improve stats and provide buffs. The fusion items indicated can all be found early on.
Radiant Shield – 35 Defense
This shield is fairly easy to obtain, as it can be found in enemy encampments scattered around the Gerudo region of the map. It has a 35 defense stat and can take a lot of damage before it breaks, making it a very decent choice early on.
Knight’s Shield – 40 Defense
The Knight’s Shield is found in the Gerudo Desert, and the easiest way to get it is at the Ancient Altar Ruins. It has a 100% drop rate there, and will even respawn there after every blood moon.
While on the heavier side, it has a very good 40 Defense stat and durability that can set you up good starting out.
The Muddlebud Shield is the first of our recommended Fusion-type shield options. All you need to do is fuse a Muddlebud plant, which can be found in Hyrule Field or any damp cave, to the front of your equipped shield, and find the nearest mob of enemies.
Upon striking a Muddlebud, spores will release and an enemy will instantly become confused and attack any other enemy standing near it. This can make for very good crowd control if you get ambushed or surrounded, and provides an additional type of protection early on.
Yet another fusion shield we suggest is made by fusing a shield of your choosing with an Ancient Zonai Spring. Similar to the powerful Hylian shield mentioned above, with this equipped you will be able to deflect incoming enemy attacks and send them hurling back at them. Of course, you can also use it to gain more altitude when traveling the skies.
Ancient Zonai Springs can be found early on at some of the first shrines you come across and from device dispensers on the Great Sky Island.
You read that right, you can literally make a shield with a flamethrower attached to it. To do so, fuse an Ancient Flame Emitter to the front of your shield and you’ll have the most flammable shield in the game. Once made, simply hold ZL to bring it out and light any enemy remotely near you on fire.
Ancient Flame Emitters can be found early on around Hyrule Field.
This is yet another type of fusion shield that is both very versatile and effective against enemies. It involves fusing one of the gemstones you can obtain from black ore deposits, which can be found in the caves of the Great Sky Island and the mountainous regions of Hyrule.
Each different type of gemstone grants an elemental defense when fused. So for example, a topaz-infused shield will inflict shock damage when an enemy strikes it, while a sapphire-infused shield will freeze them. This can prove very handy in your early trek through the game.
Daybreaker Shield – 48 Defense
In order to acquire this shield, you will need to first complete the “Riju of Gerudo Town” main quest, and after that complete the “Missing Owner” side quest to then unlock “Pride of the Gerudo”.
After fulfilling all of the above, make your way to Isha in Gerudo Town and she will ask you for an array of crafting materials which include:
- 4 x Diamonds
- 10 x Flints
- 1 x Gerudo Scimitar
- 1 x Gerudo Shield
Upon giving them all to her, she will make you the Daybreaker Shield which has a very substantial 48 defense and good durability. We recommend fusing this shield with helpful buffs to further increase its utility.
Royal Shield – 55 Defense
The Royal Shield is statistically the third-best shield in the game, with an impressive 55 defense and the ability to deflect attacks from some of the game’s stronger enemies such as Gleeok. It can be found inside a treasure chest within the ruins of the Great Plateau, which is just south of the Hyrule Field Skyview Tower.
Royal Guard Shield – 70 Defense
The Royal Guard Shield is the second-strongest shield in the game, also obtainable early, and is found at none other than Hyrule Castle. To get there, glide from the Lookout Landing Skyview Tower, and drop down through the opening to reach the Second Gatehouse.
Right inside lying on the ground you’ll find the Royal Guard’s Shield with a whopping 70 Defense stat. Finding this shield quickly is a big priority, however, there is one setback. The shield’s durability is very low, so you won’t be able to use it for long. Whatever you choose to use it for, we suggest saving it for one of the game’s tougher battles.
Hylian Shield – 90 Defense (Strongest in the game)
Last but not least, the best of them all, the Hylian Shield. Along with its classic look, this is the best shield in the entire game, with a staggering 90 Defense stat. It can deflect practically all projectile attacks, including a Lynel’s blast attack. Best of all, it can be found early on so you can maximize its use.
Make sure you have some Energizing Elixirs handy. Then once you’ve unlocked it, make your way to the Looking Landing Skyview Tower and use it to glide over to Hyrule Castle. Upon reaching it, drop down from the cliff near the shrine to find the Castle Docks.
While avoiding the Gloom Hands that spawn, get to the second floor of the docks and light all the torches in the area. This will make a treasure chest appear, and inside it you’ll find the one and only Hylian Shield.
That concludes our guide to the best early shields in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. We hope you find this useful while getting started on your journey across Hyrule, and let us know what your favorite shield is from the game.
Be sure to check out our other guides, such as How to Surf on Shield in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom.