How to Beat Guardians in 'Zelda: Breath of the Wild': Guardian Shield and other tricks

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In Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Guardians are a class of enemy that specialize in moving fast and lighting you on fire with powerful lasers. They can be quite intimidating the first time you see one — and you might even die before you have time to react. 

Guardians are literally crawling all over Hyrule and are a big part of the main story, so it's imperative you know to fight them in Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Let's break it down.

How to beat Guardians in Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Practice on the grounded ones

The first time you face a Guardian in Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it will thankfully be stuck in the ground and unable to chase you. This is the perfect opportunity to learn how to fight a Guardian before you take on its more mobile cousins. In this WildernessGames video, you can see that fighting a Guardian is all about poking.

Source: WildernessGames/YouTube

With the stationary ones, you'll want to use the nearby cover to your advantage and shoot some arrows — bonus points if you can land it on the laser eye. That'll leave it vulnerable long enough for you to land a few melee strikes. When it's not facing you, you'll have an opportunity to give it a few more hits. 

When the Guardian sees you, it'll lock on. So the longer you keep out of its sights, the better time you will have beating it up. 

How to beat Guardians in Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Guardian Shield and other tricks

Source: BlazeLombax/YouTube
Source: BlazeLombax/YouTube

When you're fighting a regular walking Guardian, speed is key. If you have a horse, that'll make the job easier. Keep moving around and launching arrows at the enemy to inflict some initial damage. 

The best way to defeat the Guardian is with a Guardian Shield. You should only equip the shield to fight Guardians — they really are a game-changer and you don't want to waste them on regular enemies. However, you can also use a regular shield as long as you get the timing right.

With your shield equipped, approach the Guardian and parry it's explosive laser. You'll have a small window of time to deflect the blast. This technique does a lot more damage than anything else, so it's probably your best chance at success.

Guardian Shields can be found in various shrines around the game. They're also good for fighting off the Guardian Scouts found in some shrines. I got mine in the Soh Kofi Shrine right outside Zora's Domain, where you meet Prince Sidon.

March 9, 2017, 11:17 a.m.: This story has been updated.

More Zelda: Breath of the Wild tips, tricks and guides

Find out all there is to know about Zelda: Breath of the Wild, including what to expect from the Wii U version, how to preserve your items, how to beat bosses like the Stone Talus and Lynel, the best recipes for Link and how to take on the game's shrines. You'll also want to find out where all the great fairies in the game and how to use amiibo with your version of Zelda.