what happens during a blood moon in botw

The Blood Moon mechanic in the Legend of Zelda: BotW is a very important one. Here’s what it does.

Have you ever encountered a red, glowing sky as you’re running across Hyrule on foot or horseback? The ominous red sky and moon is a sign that Calamity Ganon’s power is overwhelming Princess Zelda in the castle. While that sounds pretty ominous, Ganon’s rise to power is actually pretty predictable.

What does a Blood Moon do?

Every single enemy you’ve killed in between Blood Moons will return to life. It respawns all enemies and camps, giving you more things to kill and weapons to collect. But it can also be a dangerous time if you find yourself still in a camp you’ve cleared when the Blood Moon strikes. Thankfully, there are other more important things to do during the Blood Moon.

botw blood moon

Blood Moon Benefits in BotW

Sticking around a campfire while the Blood Moon is going on is a great time to cook. Making food and potions gives a chance to grant a random bonus effect. Using your rare ingredients during cooking in a Blood Moon will give them a boosted effect. Dragon parts and star fragments can be used to cook – but they’re better saved for upgrades.

Blood Moon Bonuses

  • One Additional Temporary Heart
  • Three Extra Hearts
  • Buff Increased By +1
  • Buff Lasts Five Minutes Longer
  • More Stamina

The upside of the respawn mechanic is that all those rare ingredients you gathered will also respawn. Mushrooms, berries, peppers, animals you’ve harvested – they’re all reset during the blood moon. All weapons, shields, bows, materials, ore rocks, and monster camp chests will respawn. Shrine enemies will respawn too, but shrine chests do not.

How Long Does it Take a Blood Moon to Show Up?

The game’s Blood Moon spawn rate appears to be tied to an in-game clock that checks whether it should trigger one. There’s no fixed spawn rate, so the timing of when a blood moon will appear in BotW can’t be tracked. Shortly after launch there was a blood moon bug causing too many to appear – but Nintendo has since fixed that glitch.

Link must have left the Great Plateau for blood moons to begin triggering. If seven in-game days have passed since then, the game will flag the next night as a blood moon. Sometimes your status in the world can prevent a Blood Moon from triggering. Here’s a list of triggers that cause the game to skip a Blood Moon.

  • Not on the Hyrule Overworld Map
  • Inside Hyrule Castle
  • Fighting Dark Beast Ganon
  • The Vah Medoh Battle
  • The Vah Naboris Battle
  • Fighting the Vah Ruta Battle

The Blood Moon timer starts ticking as soon as you’ve left the Shrine of Resurrection normally. Passing time at a campfire or sleeping repeatedly does not help trigger a Blood Moon at all.

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