Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will never get an ‘industrial revolution’

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has captured the attention of players on TikTok, with thousands of videos showcasing intricate machines and stunning contraptions built within the game. Nintendo’s flexible systems allowed for a wide range of design possibilities, leading many to believe that the game represented the arrival of an “industrial revolution” in Hyrule.

However, despite the excitement surrounding Tears of the Kingdom’s innovative features, it quickly became apparent that the game had its limitations. These limitations speak volumes about the developers’ priorities and shed light on the true nature of the game as a medium.

New Abilities and Expanded Possibilities

In Tears of the Kingdom, the protagonist Link has acquired new abilities that enable him to manipulate and combine objects to build larger structures. This addition significantly expands the sandbox possibilities compared to its predecessor, Breath of the Wild. While many players use these powers to create basic structures and vehicles for navigation, some have taken it a step further by constructing complex machines reminiscent of the Fordian and Goldbergian eras.

Pushing the Boundaries of the Game

Groups like the Hyrule Engineering Club have sprung up, serving as central hubs for players eager to test the limits of Tears of the Kingdom’s building mechanics. These expert builders have achieved extraordinary feats, such as constructing a 1-bit calculator or jets capable of traversing Hyrule in minutes. As impressive as these creations are, they still face challenges imposed by the game itself.

Limitations and Hardware Constraints

Some aspects, like the 45-degree turn limitation and the cap on 21 components for robots, hinder the realization of grand architectural plans. MiztrSage, an active member of the Hyrule Engineering community, explains that these restrictions can be “insanely limiting” for builders. Furthermore, Tears of the Kingdom’s hardware imposes additional constraints, such as the automatic triggering of a Blood Moon to alleviate performance pressure caused by excessive objects in the game.

Comparisons with Other Sandbox Games

Minecraft, a popular sandbox game, boasts fewer limitations and allows players to reconstruct entire cities or even recreate Breath of the Wild within its virtual world. Additionally, Minecraft’s in-game technology allows for the creation of advanced contraptions, ranging from running games like Pokémon: Red to building graphing calculators. The game also supports fully automated industrial-scale farming, producing millions of items per hour.

Will Tears of the Kingdom Reach the Same Level of Complexity?

When asked if Tears of the Kingdom’s building community could achieve the same level of complexity as Minecraft, MiztrSage believes it is highly unlikely due to the game’s current limitations. Dedicated builders may find this disappointing, but it aligns with the developers’ priorities.

Developers’ Vision and Design Choices

The developers, in an interview with Polygon, expressed their desire to provide players with more options and freedom while also ensuring the game remained accessible. Balancing the technical capabilities of the Nintendo Switch and the risk of overwhelming players with complex building systems led to the implementation of certain limits.

Tears of the Kingdom: Not Just Another Building Game

Tears of the Kingdom should not be approached as a building game in the same vein as Minecraft. Instead, it offers a Lego-like experience where players have a set of tools and directions to construct within certain bounds. The game’s simplicity and versatility aim to cater to a broader audience, ensuring that anyone can pick it up and enjoy it, regardless of engineering prowess.


While Tears of the Kingdom may not bring about Hyrule’s industrial revolution, it remains a captivating game that allows players to appreciate the intricacies of its building mechanics. The developers’ focus on simplicity highlights their commitment to accessibility and broad appeal.