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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD

What's New in Skyward Sword HD?

Vincent Lau

The original Skyward Sword was released on the Nintendo Wii way back in 2011; a full decade later, it was remastered for the Nintendo Switch in 2021.

Naturally, the HD remaster boasts improved resolution and textures, while also offering smooth 60 FPS gameplay. There are other changes besides these too.

Optional Motion Controls

(1 of 2) In button mode, the right stick is used to control Link’s sword.

In button mode, the right stick is used to control Link’s sword. (left), Pushing the left stick inwards will raise Link’s shield (instead of waggling the nunchuck). (right)

Previously, Skyward Sword could only be played using motion controls–swinging the Wii remote to direct Link’s sword, waving it to fly the Loftwing or pointing it to aim projectiles etc.

However, Skyward Sword HD adds an optional button-only control scheme, where all the motion-controlled aspects can be replicated with buttons. For instance, you can use the right control stick to swing Link’s sword or push in the left control stick to use a shield.

The button-only controls are always enabled when playing in handheld mode or if playing on a Nintendo Switch Lite.

Free Camera

This is something you might take for granted, but the original Skyward Sword lacked the ability to freely control the camera. Instead, the camera would cleverly (as possible) follow Link and you could Z-target to re-focus the camera.

In Skyward Sword HD, you can swivel the camera around to your heart’s content by moving the right control stick (when motion controls are enabled) or by holding the L button and moving the right control stick (when button controls are turned on).

Less Hand-holding

A big complaint about the Wii version of Skyward Sword was the frequent interruptions from Fi, Link’s travel companion. Nintendo have acknowledged this issue by making many of Fi’s previously mandatory advice optional.

Similarly, portions of the early-game dialogue have been streamlined, so you’re not force fed basic information like a baby. You can also fast-forward dialogue and skip cutscenes (although we’d only encourage this during a second playthrough)!

Additionally, when you obtain a collectible, a message box will only appear during the very first instance and never again. Originally, each time you loaded a save file, another message would appear when you picked up the same collectible for the first time during that play session.

Fast Travel (with amiibo)

(1 of 2) The Zelda and Loftwing amiibo is very cool, but locking a gameplay feature behind it is kind of…

The Zelda and Loftwing amiibo is very cool, but locking a gameplay feature behind it is kind of… (left), Anyway, you can scan the amiibo by summoning Fi with the D-pad. (right)

This feature has caused some controversy among fans, but gameplay-wise it’s not a big deal.

If you own the Zelda & Loftwing amiibo, you can scan it in-game (via Fi’s menu) to instantly travel from the ground to the skies (and back again). When you use the amiibo to return to the ground, you’ll be placed exactly where you last left off.

Although this sounds extremely useful, it doesn’t really save that much time because the game is full of bird statues, which take you back to the sky and act as beacons to return to. That said, it could be useful if you have an emergency in a dungeon.

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
  • Platforms,
    Switch, Wii
  • Genre
    Action Adventure
  • Guide Release
    16 July 2021
  • Last Updated
    20 August 2021
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Daniel Chaviers

Share this free guide:

You are Link, a resident of Skyloft–a floating village in the vast sky. For ages, you’ve been training at the Knight Academy and, today, the day of your graduation has arrived. While your life thus far has been peaceful, soon nothing will be the same again, when your beloved friend, Zelda, is stolen from you…

Our strategy guide for The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword (HD) contains all the necessary knowledge to search for and rescue Zelda, such as a full walkthrough with detailed maps. Plus every hero needs a rest; if you want to grab all the collectables and fix other people’s problems (sidequests), we can help you with that too!

Newly added:

  • Revised and re-structured the walkthrough to make it more accessible.
  • Added dozens of useful maps.


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