Tips for Playing Cadence of Hyrule: 14 Things the Game Doesn’t Tell You

Our Cadence of Hyrule tips are here to help guide you through this charming game.

Cadence of Hyrule didn’t quite come out of nowhere, but it was still a big surprise. Nobody really expected Nintendo to rent out its marquee Zelda franchise — particularly to the little-known makers of Crypt of the NecroDancer. It turns out that was a match made in heaven, however, and Cadence of Hyrule is a surprise hit of the summer. But how does one play this bizarre, charming little mashup? We’ve got that question covered with our Cadence of Hyrule tips guide. Now let’s take a look!

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Dig Deep, Dig Often

A lot of good Cadence of Hyrule tips carry over directly from Crypt of the NecroDancer. One such tidbit is that you don’t just get diamonds from combat. Digging is also a useful way to earn the all-important currency — if you know where to look. Specifically, dirt walls in dungeons will reveal free diamonds if you dig through them. And since there’s no time limit, like in Crypt of the NecroDancer, you might as well check for the precious minerals!

What to Buy First

Of course, you need to actually spend your diamonds for them to be useful. You can access the diamond shop — which sells both permanent and temporary upgrades — each time you die. And while Cadence of Hyrule doesn’t really indicate what to grab first, some picks are much more useful than others.

That’s because you really, really want those permanent upgrades first. These include a pair of heart containers (which increase your maximum health). Once you buy those the first two times you die, assuming you have enough diamonds, grab the spear. This is a permanent upgrade you can equip from your inventory at any time. It’s also damn useful — allowing you to attack enemies up to one tile away.

What to Know About Water and Pits

Water and pits go with The Legend of Zelda like boomerangs and bombs. That is to say, you’re definitely going to stumble into some. And you really ought to know the difference! Both types of traps work just a little bit differently in Cadence of Hyrule, so it’s worth learning the specifics.

Bottomless pits work pretty much like you expect. They shave off one half of a heart each time you fall in. After which you respawn right where you tipped over. The danger is only slightly greater since you’re almost always moving in Cadence of Hyrule. It’s easy to walk your way into a corner, trapped by big monsters and a pit, if you’re not careful. Try to avoid this whenever possible!

Deep water (indicated by a darker blue color than shallow water) does not damage you. Instead, it will eventually douse your torch! Most items in Cadence of Hyrule come with a durability meter. The torch is no different, except that it’s susceptible to water damage. Losing the torch will leave you unable to burn bushes (not the end of the world) and unable to see far in dungeons (a much bigger conundrum).

Cadence of Hyrule Tips

Talk to the Old Woman

Been to the Grassland lately? Odds are that you have, if you’re even a few minutes into the game. If not, though, you definitely want to stop by soon. There’s an old woman living in a hut — marked by a giant eyeball symbol — waiting for you. She’ll sell you health and stamina potions. Those are great! But what’s even better is the advice she can offer. For just 10 rupees, the seer will put a waypoint on your map that leads to a dungeon you haven’t finished yet. It won’t indicate exactly how to reach said locale, but it’s a great start!

Hearts Matter More

Extra hearts (a.k.a. more maximum HP) are an iconic part of Zelda games. That’s true in Cadence of Hyrule, too. In fact, more health is likely more important than ever. Whereas most Zelda games allow you to slop your way through combat without much trouble, Cadence of Hyrule gets a bit tricky right from the get-go.

That’s why it’s absolutely worth your time to grab every heart piece you come across in the world. These are usually plainly visible — typically on top of platforms out in the open. You might have to solve a short puzzle, or enter the zone from a different direction. It’s well worth the time, though.

Find the Dungeon Shops

Speaking of heart pieces, there’s a more surefire way to find a few. Shops inside of dungeons (marked by gold walls and the sound of singing) nearly always sell at least one. And every dungeon has a shop or two! The only catch is that they’re slightly hidden. You might have to dig through destructible walls, or fight off rooms of enemies to find them.

Cadence of Hyrule Tips

Create Choke Points

Speaking of enemies, you’ll often find them in pockets behind walls of destructible dirt. These semi-secret rooms hold chests with items, rupees, or other goodies. The downside is that you have to fight huge swathes of clustered foes to get at them. And since so many enemies have different attack patterns, and you won’t have room to move, that’s a dicey dilemma.

The best solution is to create choke points. Just cut one hole into the death room you want to enter, wait for an enemy to pour into it, and bop them. Then back up and repeat the process. It shouldn’t take much effort! The enemies will likely line up behind each other, one by one, and save you some time. You usually don’t want to stand right in the entrance the entire time, though. Backing up lets you avoid counterattacks from enemies with high health.

Listen for Lyrics

Shopkeepers don’t just appear in dungeons in Cadence of Hyrule. They’re also scattered throughout the world — hidden in underground lairs. The easiest way to find these subterranean sellers is by listening for music. Of course, there’s always music playing in Cadence of Hyrule. So you specifically want to listen for singing. The shopkeepers continuously yodel in time with the tracks. The sound gets stronger the closer you are to a hidden entrance, too. Just look for shrubs, rocks, cracked walls: anything you can move or break to reveal a secret door.

Don’t Buy Torches and Shovels

Torches and shovels are undeniably useful in Cadence of Hyrule. They let you see farther and access more areas. You also really, really don’t need to buy them from the diamond merchant whenever you die. Enemies drop scads of these ultra basic items almost faster than you can kill them. In fact, they almost seem predisposed to drop more of them when you don’t have either item equipped. So save your diamonds for more useful items or situations.

Cadence of Hyrule Tips

Tips for Zelda Spells

Playing as Zelda comes with a couple of unique bonuses. First off, you get to play as Zelda. That’s rad! Second, she gets access to two incredibly powerful spells very early in the game: Din’s Fire and Nayru’s Love. You use them to block and deal damage. Simple, right? Except there’s much more to it than that. Both spells have unique effects the game doesn’t really describe.

Let’s talk about Nayru’s Love first. The spell specifies that it can block or deflect projectiles back at enemies. The catch is that it doesn’t explain how to do which. All you need to know is that casting Nayru’s Love early will lead to a block. Casting it at the last second — when the projectile is one beat away from hitting you — will deflect.

Din’s Fire is a lot simpler. You just cast and move a fireball on beat with the music. It’s not all that different from any other item you use in the game. The one major wrinkle is that this spell lets you hit enemies on different elevations. Whereas you can’t hit foes above you with a spear or dagger, you can do just that with Din’s Fire. It’s great for knocking out pesky ranged foes that have the high ground.

When in Doubt, Move Out

Cadence of Hyrule tips the balance of power towards your enemies with sheer numbers. You will regularly get swarmed and surrounded in ways that make it impossible to dodge every attack. As such, it’s often best to just run away. Enemies will often follow you in a straight line, making them much more predictable and easy to pick off one by one. Once their numbers are down, you can cut through the remainder much more safely.

Cadence of Hyrule Tips

Switch Weapons – A Lot

Different weapons are better in different situations. I personally prefer the extra damage of a rapier against normal enemies. Then, when it’s time to fight bosses or mini-bosses, I switch to the spear. Whatever your preferences, make sure to switch weapons often. There’s no penalty for doing so, and the beat is pretty generous. Even pausing your game to bring out a new kind of knife usually won’t throw off your rhythm too much. Even if it does, the added benefit of using the right weapon for the right job usually outweighs losing your tempo.

Pick Up Boss Hearts First

Here’s a very tiny tip. Bosses drop heart containers after you kill them. That’s just a normal Zelda thing! However, if you pick up the story critical items they drop first, you’ll instantly teleport out of the dungeon — leaving the container behind. You can go back to the boss room and pick it up, of course, but that takes time. It’s better to just grab the container first.

Headphones Can Help

Cadence of Hyrule isn’t tremendously hard… if you have rhythm. The combat typically depends on being able to move to the beat, dodging attacks and landing precise slices. You can ignore this aspect entirely, too, by switching to “Fixed-Beat Mode.” Just pause the game, go to System, and select Options. The Gameplay sub-menu gives you the option to play without the beat. Cadence of Hyrule will even ask if you want to turn this on automatically if you really mess up the flow.

But what if you don’t want to go that far? What if you just need a little extra help, but want to keep the rhythm game aspect? Well, thankfully, this is a Switch game! You can always undock the console and switch to handheld mode! then just plug in a pair of your favorite headphones. This “advanced” technique will tune out distractions and really make the rhythm stand out. This makes for a nice middle ground between playing the game normally and switching to Fixed-Beat Mode.

And there you have it! Those are all the Cadence of Hyrule tips you need to guide yourself through the game. Thanks for taking the time to read our list. Now make sure to get out there, save Hyrule, and maybe try out the other playable characters in the game. You never know what else you might find.