Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom multiplayer - Is it co-op?

A screenshot of Princess Zelda and Link from the Breath of the Wild. Zelda is in the foreground with her hand out holding something, while Link is in the background. They are both dressed in blue, stood in a red, misty cave setting.
Credit: Nintendo

A screenshot of Princess Zelda and Link from the Breath of the Wild. Zelda is in the foreground with her hand out holding something, while Link is in the background. They are both dressed in blue, stood in a red, misty cave setting.
Credit: Nintendo

If we can gather anything from The Game Awards nominations for the last three years, it’s that The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom is one of the most highly anticipated releases lined up for 2023. The follow-up to the Nintendo Switch launch title includes content like caves that were cut from the original release. But is Tears of the Kingdom multiplayer? It wouldn't be the first game in the series to offer it.

Rumours were rife from the moment the game was revealed. After all, exploring the sprawling world with a friend was such an enticing idea for some that they even created a mod to facilitate their dream. And when Nintendo swiftly took it down, some speculated that it came too close to their own ambition for the upcoming sequel.

Is The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom multiplayer?

Essentially, no. There's no Tears of the Kingdom multiplayer mode for you and a friend to get stuck into.

Originally, one popular theory was that it'd be possible to play Tears of the Kingdom as Princess Zelda. Having multiple playable characters would have also opened the door to co-op or multiplayer modes in the game.

Co-op gameplay rumours surfaced on Reddit when one user pointed out that Dutch adverts for Tears of the Kingdom included a Switch Online logo. Though this is likely referring specifically to cloud save support and possible DLC releases.

On the same advert, it states that the only compatibilities for the game are single player modes. You can see this in the bottom right of the advert, where it says the game can be played docked, using wireless controllers, or portably.

Notably, there is a one underneath each compatibility. That number denotes how many people can play the game in that mode. So even back then, it was pretty safe to say that Tears of the Kingdom wouldn't have multiplayer modes.

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Are any Zelda games multiplayer?

A number of previous titles in the Legend of Zelda franchise are multiplayer. The first one was Four Swords on the GameBoy Advance. And some level of multiplayer functionality is in a whole host of other games that also feature Toon Link, like Spirit Tracks.

  • Check out: How to use the Zonai gacha machine

More recently, Link's Awakening on the Nintendo Switch even included a dungeon-making mode where you could design your own puzzles for friends to solve.

It isn’t always Toon Link games that feature multiplayer modes, though. More recently, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity featured multiplayer gameplay. Aonuma also produced this game after saying he wanted to “fuse” what was learnt from the creation of Breath of the Wild with multiplayer mechanics in a new Zelda game. But even the smart choice of words hasn't equated to Tears of the Kingdom being the multiplayer sandbox extension of what came before.

With the game now live, we've got a couple of guides to get you go. Specifically, you may want to know how to recover Gloom hearts if you're adventuring out the Depths. Like your Zonai constructs? Learn how to use batteries to keep them going.

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