Even though it's generally a foregone conclusion that Nintendo is always hard at work on the next Legend of Zelda game(s), we never quite know what the company has in store for its second most iconic franchise. Sometimes a core Zelda installment gets a direct sequel, and sometimes it doesn't, but there seemed to be a consensus the the acclaimed Breath of the Wild would have at least one follow-up before Nintendo completely shook up the series again.
Those suspicions were confirmed this past June when Nintendo unveiled a brief teaser trailer for a sequel to Breath of the Wild. Like the best teasers, the video revealed little but still hinted at just enough to set fan speculation on fire. Here, we have compiled the most interesting fan theories we've read so far, even if some of them are a lot more far-fetched than others. You never know, right?
20 Zelda Will Be A Playable Character
When the teasers for the original Breath of the Wild were first shown, Link's appearance seemed oddly mysterious and, to so some, a bit feminine. This led to speculation that the game would be the first mainline Zelda game to feature either Zelda herself as a playable character, or at least a female version of Link.
Of course, neither of those theories came to pass— but given Zelda's prominence in the Breath of the Wild 2 teaser, Nintendo seems to be hinting that the princess might finally be given the chance to take the lead in a core Zelda game.
19 It Will Feature Multiplayer Co-Op
So, if Zelda is playable in Breath of the Wild 2, does that mean Link won't be? Not likely. So this leads to the conclusion that the game will have the pair teaming up and both being playable in some manner.
Nintendo could go the AI-controlled companion route, or have players switch between Link and Zelda at specific points in the story... or, if many popular fan theories are to be believed, we might finally get multiplayer co-op in a core Zelda game. How awesome would it be to be able to tackle Breath of the Wild 2 with a friend?
18 It Will Have A Companion Mobile Game
Nintendo has been in the mobile space for a few years now, even bringing huge properties like Super Mario and Pokémon to smartphones and tablets, but we've as of yet seen The Legend of Zelda take the plunge, and many have wondered what form a mobile Zelda game might take.
Some have speculated that Zelda's first foray into the mobile space will be via a companion app for Breath of the Wild 2, where you'll be able to do things like train horses, cook food, customize your house, buy weapons, and so on and then have that transfer back to the main BotW2 game. Let's just hope it doesn't turn into a microtransaction free-for-all if this ends up becoming a reality.
17 It Will Be A Prequel
In general, people didn't have many huge complaints about Breath of the Wild, but some did say they wish that they didn't have to mostly settle for exploring ruins, wanting instead to see how the world looked before it was largely decimated.
One way to make that right would be to have Breath of the Wild 2 be a prequel, taking place in the same world but when it was still full of whole, beautiful buildings and structures. It would definitely give Nintendo the excuse to reuse BotW's same map and still have players feel like they have something fresh and "new" to explore.
16 The Spectral Hand Will Let You Control Enemies
Nintendo likes to share ideas between its various franchises, and we often see Mario, Zelda, et al all do similar things among the installments released in close proximity of each other. For instance, both Super Mario Sunshine and The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker both happened to have a heavy emphasis on water, which was likely not a coincidence.
With this in mind, many have wondered how Super Mario Odyssey might come to effect Breath of the Wild 2. The teaser prominently featured some kind of spectral hand that Link can wear, leading some to speculate that Link might use hand that to "possess" and then control enemies, much like Mario does with Cappy in Super Mario Odyssey.
15 It Will Feature "Light" And "Dark" Worlds
Given that Nintendo said Breath of the Wild 2 was born out of them having too many ideas for DLC for the original game, it's safe to assume that the sequel will reuse a lot of the same areas as the first game. But people aren't going to necessarily be okay with paying full price for a game that literally just retreads the exact same ground.
One solution to this, as many have speculated, would be to revisit A Link to the Past's dual worlds concept, with one being the normal/light version and the other being a sort of dark version. This would allow Nintendo to get a lot more mileage out of the existing assets while still giving them enough of a visual twist to make them feel fresh.
14 You Will Able To Pilot The Divine Beasts
It was really cool to watch the Divine Beasts walk/crawl/fly around in the first Breath of the Wild, and while it was great to get them back on our side again, it did feel a little disappointing that all they did was sit stationary and fire a continuous laser once they were tamed.
Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but some people have theorized that Breath of the Wild 2 is going to let us fulfill our dreams of actually being able to pilot the Beasts around Hyrule, which would be awesome indeed. And it might not just be the original four that we take control of— many think that the BotW2 teaser trailer showing Hyrule Castle going airborne suggests that it is actually a secret fifth Divine Beast!
13 Your Breath Of The Wild Save File Will Carry Over
People put a lot of time into Breath of the Wild— it's not unusual to find a fan of the game who has poured multiple hundreds of hours into the game. That stuff also carried over to the DLC, which opened up the opportunity to get even more items, weapons, clothing, and even vehicles.
So, will Nintendo do the usual sequel thing of coming up with some silly excuse to rob Link of all the weapons, outfits, and abilities he acquired (and his fans played/paid so much for)? There are theories that suggest that Breath of the Wild 2 will follow the lead of some RPG franchises and recognize our previous game's save, allowing us to keep all the stuff we worked so hard for and not feel like earning it was all for nothing in the grand scheme of things.
12 It Will Be Structured Like Majora's Mask
The most direct Zelda sequel so far has got to be Majora's Mask, which took place with basically the same assets as Ocarina of Time, looking and playing almost identically. To make it feel like a new game, Nintendo introduced a Groundhog Day-esque system in which Link has to keep repeating the same stretch of time over and over again until he figures out how to save Termina from an encroaching evil moon.
Naturally, when it was first revealed that there'd be a direct Breath of the Wild follow-up, many assumed it would follow Majora's Mask's lead and take the basic world and mechanics of BotW but remix them in a fashion similar to MM, even down to borrowing the latter game's looping time conceit.
11 User-Generated Content Will Be Supported
Nintendo is slowly embracing online play, but they are still years behind what Microsoft and Sony are doing. While there are plenty of mods out there for Breath of the Wild, none of them are official and involve methods that aren't the least bit legal.
While Nintendo isn't likely to let people create mods where Zelda is wearing a bikini, people are speculating that Breath of the Wild 2 would be a good chance for Nintendo to loosen the reigns a little, get with the times, and allow for official user-generated content. Some theories include custom items for Link's house, being able to add/edit stamps onto Link's armor, and even basic dungeon creation tools like those being tested out in the Link's Awakening remake for Switch.
10 It Will Include Real (Non-Labo) VR Support
A VR mode was patched into Breath of the Wild earlier this year, but it was flawed, to say the least— mainly because it required the use of the Nintendo Labo and forced players to literally hold the Switch table against their heads.
VR finally seems to be here to stay in gaming, and Nintendo should probably think about taking it seriously as well. What better way to convince people to try out some new (and probably pricey) dedicated Switch VR headset than to feature full VR support for a Zelda game— and Breath of the Wild 2, which is likely already going to be more experimental than a typical mainline Zelda game, would be a great excuse to take that gamble.
9 Traditional Zelda Dungeons Will Return
Even though many longtime Zelda fans were growing tired of the typical dungeon-overworld-dungeon churn of the series and were happy to see things get shaken up in Breath of the Wild, something still seemed to be missing having a Zelda game with almost no traditional dungeons.
Nintendo doesn't always act like it hears fan feedback, but they do— and they've no doubt heard people say the missed the dungeons in Breath of the Wild. So it's not a huge stretch to imagine that classic-style dungeons will make a return in Breath of the Wild 2, with the alternative— just more shrines— running the risk of the game feeling too much like BotW1.5.
8 It Will Be A Loose Remake of Zelda II
Breath of the Wild didn't just feel like a refresh for the series— it also felt like something of a spiritual remake of the original The Legend of Zelda, meant to actually look and play like what we saw in our imaginations when we played the original as kids.
With this in mind, some fans have suggested that Breath of the Wild 2, in turn, will be a spiritual remake of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (which was also one of the rare direct Zelda sequels). Given that Nintendo has been keen to remake some of the more cult classic-esque installments of its franchises lately— from the Majora's Mask and Metroid II remakes on 3DS to Link's Awakening for Switch— it seems time for Zelda II to get its due.
7 It Will Be Playable Entirely In First Person
A popular mod for Breath of the Wild sees the game fully playable in first-person mode, something that, so far, has largely been reserved for looking and aiming in Zelda games. An exception was Skyward Sword, which did allow for movement in first-person but no other action.
Following the lead of popular RPGs like Skyrim, and with Nintendo wanting to draw in more "serious" gamers with the Switch than its typical market of kids and families, many have wondered if Breath of the Wild 2 will see Nintendo experimenting with allowing for 100% first-person view play, including in battle. It would definitely be intriguing, not to mention a requirement if BotW2 is to have that true VR mode we already discussed...
6 It Will Take Place In Link's "Dreams"
The whole "it was all a dream" concept has been done to death at this point, and Zelda already did it with Link's Awakening— but that hasn't stopped fans from wondering whether Breath of the Wild 2 is just going to take place in some sort of dream land.
In this case, it kind of makes sense, as the original game opens with Link awakening from a 1,000-year slumber. So the theory goes that we'll be playing the various dreams Link had during that long sleep, combining dreams of past events with dreams that predict future events. It would definitely allow for some creative things to be done, and let the story and location jump all around freely, but it's always a risk to have players invest in a game where nothing actually "counts," so to speak.
5 It Will Feature Ocarina Of Time-Esque Time Travel
There is a lot of discussion about where in the Zelda timeline Breath of the Wild 2 is going to take place. As we mentioned, a lot of speculation leans toward it being a prequel to the original, while others maintain it'll pick up where BotW left off which is why Link and Zelda are seen fighting side-by-side.
But what if it's both? Ocarina of Time remains one of the most beloved entries in the series, and it's built around time traveling between the era of "young Link" and "adult Link." While it seems unlikely we'll see Link swapping between adult and child versions in BotW2, we could at least see a set up where we have to hop between multiple time periods to solve puzzles and such.
4 Link Will Finally Talk
Link has only spoken a few words in an official, canonical Zelda games, which made sense for a time, but it's beginning to seem awkward as all of the other characters in the series have begun to engage in full, spoken dialogue.
Given the popular belief that Breath of the Wild 2 will be a co-op adventure for Link and Zelda, it's hard to imagine how it's going to work to have an entire game where Zelda is doing all the talking and Link only nods and grunts in response. This has led to the logical conclusion that Link will finally, fully talk in BotW2, which would be a major milestone for one of gaming's most legendary characters.
3 It Will Take Place In An Entirely New Area
Not all fan theories have to be feasible or realistic. Sometimes it's fun to just brush aside logic and go for broke with predictions for an upcoming game, which fans have certainly done with Breath of the Wild 2.
One of the more far-fetched theories suggests that Nintendo is going to shock us all by having Breath of the Wild 2 take place in an entirely new world, subverting the generally-accepted belief that it'll largely take place on the same map or at least some basic version of the map from the original BotW. We seriously doubt this one, but root for its validity nonetheless.
2 Ganondorf Was Hyrule's Original Savior
A popular theory surrounding the original Breath of the Wild is that Ganondorf— Ganon's original, more humanoid form— was actually Hyrule's original legendary hero. The problem was that Zelda ended up using him to seal up the evil, which sent him to an alternate realm, and that deceit is what turned him evil.
With this in mind, some have theorized that BotW2 will further flesh out that backstory twist, showing Ganondorf as a sympathetic villain whose path to evil was somewhat justified and portraying Zelda (and, in turn, Link) as the antagonists of the story. Does this actually mean Ganondorf will be playable and Link and Zelda be enemies to fight? Now that would be interesting!
1 It Will Be "Mature"
While generally considered a very sanitized and kid-friendly series, the Zelda franchise has occasionally veered into edgier content, with a few games even earning 13+ ratings for violence and even light sexual content (usually via a busty townsperson or one of those horny fairies). But what if Breath of the Wild 2 is when Nintendo finally just lets loose and allows a Zelda game to go fully M-rated, with blood, language, and much more risque outfits and situations?
We ended with this one because it's the least likely of any of the theories on this list, and most of the people "speculating" about Zelda turning into The Witcher stem likely from wishful thinking. Still, it's intriguing to think about how an adult Zelda game might pan out— though don't count on Link and Zelda getting intimate on horseback anytime soon. At least, not outside of the confines of fan art...