Combat in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is tough. Like, really tough. Weapons can break, and the world is full of dangerous minibosses like Lynel and Hinox that may pop up at any moment once you've left the Great Plateau. If you want to save Hyrule from Calamity Ganon, you're going to have to become adept at mixing up elixirs, which, along with food, have taken the place of potions from previous Zelda games.
If you're not sure about where to start, we've got your back with some helpful hints for Breath of the Wild, and a handy elixir list as well.
Zelda: Breath of the Wild elixir guide: How to make elixirs and tell what their effects will be
There aren't any concrete recipes for elixirs in Breath of the Wild, so you'll have to make like John Coltrane and improvise if you want to figure out what does what. You cook up elixirs at cooking pots just like you would food, but the ingredients are different.
According to Polygon, you'll get an elixir any time you mix a monster part and a critter — which, in Breath of the Wild terminology, means small animals like bugs or lizards. Make sure you read the descriptions of what you're putting in your pot so you'll have an idea of what the effect will be. They also advise you not to mix multiple status effects, since you'll only ever get one benefit.
Additionally, you should always write down your recipes so you know what combinations provide what benefits. No one ever said adventuring in Hyrule after the collapse of society was going to be easy.
Zelda: Breath of the Wild elixir recipes: Strong sample elixirs to get you started
Although it's best to experiment with different monster parts and critters and write down what they create, we've written down some of the most helpful elixirs you can carry around, courtesy of Nemo's YouTube Channel.
Mighty Elixir: Combining a bladed rhino beetle and a Moblin horn will make give you a small attack boost for 2 minutes.
Tough Elixir: Combining monster parts and an animal with the "tough" descriptor will get you this defense-increasing elixir, which can help you survive fights that would otherwise stop you in your tracks.
Electro Elixir: By combining a Thunderwing Butterfly, Electric Darner and a Yellow Lizalfos Tail you can make this elixir, which grants you mid-level electricity resistance for 8 minutes and 10 seconds.
Fireproof Elixir: If you'd like to undercut Gaile's business model, combine a monster part and any fireproof animal to get this elixir, which gives you the very helpful Flameguard buff.
Spicy Elixir: Combine a Sizzlewing Butterfly with a Bokoblin Fang to get this concoction that, when drunk, gives you cold resistance. Perfect for exploring Mt. Lanaryu.
Chilly Elixir: A Cold Darner and a Red Lizalfos Tail will make you this elixir, which grants low-level heat resistance. Helpful if you're headed to the Gerudo Desert for that part of the main quest.
Energizing Elixir: If you combine a Bokoblin horn with a Restless Cricket, you'll create an elixir that restores your stamina when imbibed.
Enduring Elixir: Combining any monster parts with an animal like the tireless frog will allow you to make this elixir, which gives you extra stamina when you drink it.
Hasty Elixir: If you combine a Hot-Footed Frog and monster parts, you'll get a potion that gives you a low-level speed buff for 4 minutes and 10 seconds. Use more potent monster parts to increase the effect.
Sneaky Elixir: If you throw a Sneaky River Snail, Sunset Firefly and an Octorok eyeball in a cooking pot, you'll get this elixir, which gives a low-level boost to your ability to sneak by enemies.
Hearty Elixir: By combining monster parts with a hearty lizard, you'll be able to get bonus hearts, offering Link some much-needed survivability in the early game.
Fairy Tonic: If you combine a fairy, two Bokoblin Horns and two Bokoblin Fangs, you'll get this simple restorative potion, akin to the red potions of previous Zelda games.
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, Lynel, the Guardians and the Hinox, the best recipes for Link, how to take on the game's shrines and our coverage of the game's outfits, like the Climbing Set, the two sets of heat resistance armor you can find and how to dress Link in the classic green tunic. You'll also want to find out where all the great fairies in the game, all available stables, how to use amiibo with your version of Zelda and how to increase your health, stamina and weapon slots.