Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild, Link looking down from a vantage point onto green fields, a forest and a castle in the distance.

How Playing Breath Of The Wild For 600+ Hours Changed My Life

Lizzie Fourman talks about what she’s done in 600 hours of playing BoTW.

I have a confession to make: I have logged over 600 hours on Breath of the Wild. I got the game last year (September 2017) as one of two games that I got with the Nintendo Switch. I wasn’t expecting to play the game as much as I have up to this point as I hadn’t played a Legend of Zelda game for several years.

The last game I had played that was in the franchise was Ocarina of Time on my Nintendo 3DS. I wasn’t expecting the game to be as good as that, nor was I looking for an open world game. I didn’t know ANYTHING about the game when I first started playing it on the way home from GameStop.

I was in for a huge but great surprise when finding that I could do things on my terms.

You know, instead of following a linear plotline that takes you to point A to point B by a certain time. I got to explore the world and just take my time in figuring out where things are in the world map.

But, back to my confession: I’ve logged over 600 hours in the game.  That’s, well, a lot.

I’m sure you’re wondering what one can even do in this amount of time. Why would anyone want to play a game this much instead of other games in their collection? I’m here to answer that question. This is for the both of us, I can promise you!

What would I even do in 600 hours?

For those who are unfamiliar with the game at this point, Breath of the Wild is an open world game. You can take things at your own pace when completing quests and the like. This is a lot of what I did, especially the more times I went through the plot. I’ll admit this as well: I’m on my 4th playthrough of the game at the moment as of September 2018.

The one thing I don’t like the game is that I’m not able to go finish other things once you completing the main storyline. When the storyline is done, you’re taken back to the main screen. I’m still looking for a way to continue finding Korok seeds and finding all the shrines after defeating the storyline. If there isn’t one, I’ll be fine with it and take longer going through the side quests before defeating Ganon.

Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild, Link running towards a cathedral in the distance surrounded by greenery.

I also farm Lynels and Bokoblin guts for the properties they give when making elixirs. I like selling them for some rupees, I’ll happily admit it. The more Lynel guts and other Lynel parts you use, the more rupees you’ll get when you sell them.

That’s how I spend most of my time when playing the game other than fighting Stone Talus(es) and finding new shrines I haven’t found in previous playthroughs. I’m still trying to find about 20 of them that are still undiscovered on my current file.

Why have I played the game so much?

The other question I’ve gotten from other players and my brother is why I play the game so much more than other games on my bookshelf. I’ve been obsessed with it from the first time that I played it. I’ve asked myself over and over why I’m obsessed with it but I have no answer for you at this point.

I think it’s just my love for the open world aspect that I haven’t really noticed with other games other than Dragon Quest Heroes II. I just feel rushed to get to my destination for the plot by a certain point in other games without the open world mechanic. Plus, playing the game and other games, in general, help me get my mind off my real life for a while.

I’m sure you’ve had troubling things in your life that you’d like to step away from every once in a while. Having an anxiety disorder and an autoimmune disease means my body tends to hate me from time to time as well.

Playing video games, especially Breath of the Wild, helps me focus my mind on other things instead of what part of my body happens to be in pain. I have video games to thank for that, as do we all! Thank you to Nintendo and to all who put their hearts into the games we gamers know and fall in love with each day.


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  1. I also have a painful auto immune disease, and one thing I didn’t expect was how good of a distraction from that BotW would be. When I started playing it, I noticed as I was going through that I needed fewer painkillers to get through my day, so I’m very familiar with how a good game like this can improve our lives. I’m glad you found it, and I’m glad you are continuing to enjoy it.

    • Hey Trinity, thank you so much for the comment! I know a little too intimately how painful an autoimmune disease can get. Mine leads to kidney issues that most specialists don’t want to touch, apparently. I’ve been forced to abandon the medications they give me because they don’t work. I treat it naturally because of this and that’s where BoTW comes in. I’m glad we both have a way to get our minds off the pain for a while, at least.

  2. Hi Lizzie,

    That’s a lot of time sunken into BOTW, I thought I was bad when I reached over 300. That’s going to get a lot higher though. Thanks to memory card corruption I lost my saves for all of my games. But you know what, I don’t really mind starting out again. I’ve already learned the games secrets and I’ll probably do things a bit differently this time out.

    I completely understand how you feel about your body sometimes working against you. I don’t have an autoimmune disease or anything along those lines. But I do have severe nerve damage, which can be a nightmare at times. Sure the cocktail of drugs takes the edge off the pain. But getting lost into a game like BOTW really can help take your mind off things a bit – for a little while at least.

    • Hey Stuart! It’s definitely bad because I’ve never played a game that much before that I can recall. I haven’t played it as much lately as I used to when I first got the game but it’s still fun to mess around with Lynels. (lol) I’m so sorry about you losing your save files! I’ve been there with other consoles before and it’s so aggravating but at least you’re having fun with the game. That’s the main goal here, right?

      I’ve never gone through nerve damage before but I’m sure it’s extremely painful. I can only imagine the pain you go through on a daily basis. Sometimes the only thing I can do to get around my own pain is to play video games or read a good book so I can relate to a certain extent. I hope the pain meds help you better than they do for me when some of the issues I have!

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Written by Lizzie Fourman

Lizzie is a Facebook strategist for female creative entrepreneurs during the day and a gamer by night. She helps her clients by scheduling things on their Facebook pages, interacting with people on those pages, and creating graphics to go with the posts. She also writes about video games on Grown Gaming.