Publication date of the original Japanese article: 2021-09-06 10:35 (JST)
Translated by. Braden Noyes
A new levitation bug has recently been discovered in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Originally discovered by user LegendofLinkk, Japanese users have already done extensive research to understand the conditions and steps necessary to reproduce this bug. Surreal videos of Link racing across the skies of Hyrule have been popping up on social media sites one after another.
As the name suggests, the levitation bug makes it possible for Link to float through the air along a horizontal plane. The most interesting thing about this, though, is that it can be reproduced in nearly any situation and location. Checking out the various videos, you can see some players shooting across the sky like LegendofLinkk, while others move along at a much more relaxed pace. The speed you travel and the height at which you soar seem to be determined by a few different factors.
The specific steps involved in reproducing the levitation bug are as follows:
1. Make sure there is an object nearby which can be picked up, such as a Remote Bomb
2. Equip a bow and shield
3. Hold your bow in your hands
4. Press B, and as Link is still in his unequipping animation, open the Pause Menu using the + button
5. In the pause menu, unequip your current shield (if you did these steps correctly, Link should now be holding his bow strangely)
6. Re-equip your shield
7. Pick up the object you prepared in Step 1
8. While holding the object, quickly do the following: jump (X button) → B button → open pause menu (+ button)
9. Unequip your current shield (if you did these steps correctly, the object Link was holding should now be oddly attached to his body)
10. Press right on the d-pad to swap your bow to another weapon
11. Hold the B button and move with the left joystick until you run into some kind of sudden step-up in the terrain
12. Congratulations, you are now levitating
The article’s original author tried reproducing this bug himself and found it rather difficult. Steps 4 and 8 in particular can be rather tricky and may require a bit of practice. They have to be performed incredibly fast, almost to the point that you’re pressing the buttons simultaneously. If you’re having trouble, try using both hands to press the required buttons as quickly as possible.
Describing the entire process with text alone is somewhat lengthy and can be a little difficult to understand, but check out YukinoSan’s YouTube video or @smaho_neko’s explanation to get a better understanding of the steps involved. If you’re looking for a place to practice, we recommend somewhere you won’t get interrupted by any monsters. It’s also helpful to pick somewhere higher up, such as the top of a Sheikah Tower. This will make it much easier to find a clear flight path after liftoff.
Users still aren’t quite clear as to what exactly causes this phenomenon to occur, but it seems to be a derivation of the recently discovered bug in which objects become stuck to Link’s arm. (Original Article) It’s thought to be the result of the interaction between the many complex processes which make the game run, such as the physics engine and how it deals with held objects.
This bug isn’t for the faint of hand, though, as players will need to continuously hold the B button and the joystick once Link begins to levitate. Players have also noticed Link’s movement speed during levitation varies depending on which object is used in the first step of the process. Moving the joystick back and forth once Link is in the air also increases his speed. As for vertical movement, the nature of the bug results in Link only moving across a horizontal plane, so the higher you are when you activate the bug, the better your view from the sky will be.
To be fair, this isn’t the first time a levitation bug has been discovered in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. However, the conditions for reproducing the first one, dubbed the “Horseback Archery Hover,” were much more rigid. (Original Article, in Japanese) The fact that this latest bug can be done anywhere makes it much more attractive to players.
As mentioned earlier, the article’s original author had a bit of difficulty getting the bug to work. Once you get the hang of it, though, you’ll be able to pull it off anywhere with any item. There’s a simple pleasure in gazing out across the vast expanse of Hyrule as you zip along overhead, and we have a feeling this levitation bug will remain popular among the speedrunning community for quite some time. In fact, this has already given rise to one such demonstration of skill in the form of the ice-carrying challenge.
The levitation bug can be cancelled at any point by releasing the B button or the joystick. However, please do keep in mind that all bugs are essentially defects in a game’s code. If you choose to reproduce them yourself, you do so at your own risk.