How to Unlock Maps in Tears of the Kingdom

Let your curiosity take you to the captivating reimagining of Hyrule in “Tears of the Kingdom” (TotK), the newest Legend of Zelda series installment. On your journey through this new entry, unraveling the secrets of its majestic landscapes is one of the most enticing parts of the adventure.

How to Unlock Maps in Tears of the Kingdom

But before you can explore the land, you must unlock your map. This guide helps you unlock maps along the way with easy-to-follow steps and insights to make your exploration more enjoyable.

Unlock the World Map With Skyview Towers

If you’re ready to uncover the secrets of the Kingdom, your first port of call is the Skyview Towers. These will be familiar to all the seasoned “Breath of the Wild” players. Before encountering these towers, most of your map will be obscured. To make progress, you’ll need to activate them to learn what’s around you.

These beacons scattered across the land unlock parts of the map and serve as easy-to-find waypoints for fast travel. Here’s what you need to know to get started:

  1. Look around for a Skyview Tower to climb.
  2. After you make your way up the tower, there’s a terminal waiting for you. Go ahead and interact with it to unlock the fast travel point.
  3. Step onto the platform in the tower’s center and press “A” to launch the Skyview. The magical power will carry Link high up into the clouds, scan the land and update your map.

There are plenty of places in the game where you can find a Skyview Tower. Lookout Landing and Hyrule Field are notable ones you can find early on. These will be available once you’ve completed the main storyline quest, “Crisis at Hyrule Castle.”

Once you activate a tower, the surrounding region will appear on your Purah Pad (the successor to the Sheikah Slate) map. The fast travel points at the towers will save you some time when you want to come back to their region.

Journey Below the Surface Into the Depths

Climbing up the Skyview Towers may make you feel like you’re on top of the world, but beneath the surface lies a hidden land waiting for you to find it. To unlock the secrets of the Depths of Hyrule and the underground map, you must go deeper and activate mysterious Lightroots. Here’s how:

Find a Chasm

To explore the Depths, you’ll need to find an entrance to a chasm. More than 30 of them are scattered across Hyrule Field, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find one close by. But keep in mind, the farther away you get from Hyrule Field, the less accessible they will be early on in the game.

Find Lightroots

Descend into the chasm through one of these entrances, and you’ll find Lightroots hidden here and there. Like the towers, unlocking them will clear the fog of war and provide you with fast travel points to get around the depths quickly.

Unearth Ancient Treasures With Old Maps

Fast travel maps are ubiquitous these days. They don’t feel that special anymore. But “Tears of the Kingdom” lets you do more cartography than unlocking fast travel points.

As you traverse the land, you will eventually come across Old Maps. These ancient scrolls, exclusively scattered about the Sky Islands, can appear quite perplexing at first. But they contain the answers to unlocking long-lost secrets and treasures. Here’s a tip on how to interpret them:

Find the Old Maps

Look for Old Maps once you reach the Sky Islands. Unlock hidden chests and challenge yourself with mini-bosses, and you will find these maps as loot. These maps can only be acquired in the Sky Islands, not on the surface or below, so it’s your chance to own a rare item.

Plunge Into the Depths

With an old map in hand, you’ll need to plunge into the Depths. While the Old Maps can only be found as loot on the Sky Islands, they become useful in the Depths. Activate one of them once back in the Depths of Hyrule.

Activate the Maps

When you activate the old maps, mysterious X marks will appear in the Depths. These are indications of forgotten riches waiting for you to discover. You should equip a light source to find your way through the dark.

A Bird’s Eye View From the Skyview Towers

Climbing the Skyview Towers will give Link a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the terrain below. Even after using a tower to update the map, you can use it to launch Link into the sky for a vantage point.

It won’t unlock anything now, but it can help you find points of interest and inspect the surroundings. Whether it’s a secret cave or even an interesting rock formation, climbing to the top of these towers usually brings some new surprise or at least a new perspective. The exhilaration of discovering something unknown is a big part of what makes exploration so rewarding in this game.

The Sky Islands – A World Above

The wondrous Skyview Towers presents a map that directly reflects the geography of their surrounding land. However, while “Breath of The Wild’s” Hyrule peaked on top of its towers (not counting Death Mountain), “Tears of the Kingdom” takes Link higher. “Skyward Sword” players will feel right at home. Many secrets (and a bit of nostalgia) are now hidden among the otherworldly floating Sky Islands.

How to reach these islands isn’t immediately apparent, but you can use your new (and improved returning) abilities to get to them. You may be able to reach some of them with a trusty paraglider, but over time, you’ll acquire launchpads, hot air balloons, and even rockets.

The Depths – A World Below

Not only does TotK expand the world upwards, but so it does downwards. As you venture into the Depths, be prepared for a complete shift in ambiance from the surface’s open sky or the Sky Islands’ brightness.

The Depths are something not seen recently in a Zelda game, but it brings back vibes of some darker areas from older games. The dimly lit caverns and twisting tunnels will test your fortitude, but the hidden treasures scattered throughout make it worthwhile.

Don’t forget to bring a reliable light source to pass through the darkness comfortably. Of course, before coming here, keep your eyes peeled for the Old Maps so you don’t miss out on a considerable chunk of content.

The Lightroots

The Lightroots in the Depths are extremely useful. First, they blast away the fog on the underground map and then create neat fast-travel points you can bounce between. With so many of them scattered all over the place, over 100 to be precise, exploring the Depths will be much more convenient than it might’ve seemed initially. With them, you can zip around to your heart’s content.

The Chasms

The chasms are like portals to a hidden world and another activity for all the completionists out there to get excited (or overwhelmed). There seems to be a new entrance into the Depths everywhere you look. Each of them opens up a mysterious area. As you make your way through the game, more of these entrances will show, giving you access to the previously unknown parts of the Depths.

Map Out the Land

Learn the secrets of “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” by taking on the epic quest to… unlock your map. Activate Skyview Towers, brave the Depths, and gain insight through Old Maps. Along the way, you’ll uncover mysteries and experience thrilling moments that will expand your knowledge and appreciation for the ever-changing realm of Hyrule. Don your most heroic gear and discover this new yet familiar rendition of Hyrule.

Have you already unlocked the entire “Tears of the Kingdom” map? Do you prefer the mysterious Depths or the majestic Sky Islands? Tell us about your adventures in the comments.

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