Like its predecessor, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom straddles the line between open-world adventure and survival simulator. Players don’t have to maintain Link’s hunger, thirst, and sleep levels, but they do have to collect tons of items to stand a chance against dangerous monsters and even deadlier extreme biomes. The game doesn’t mess around, and weapons can disintegrate almost as fast as health bars. Players are encouraged to pick up everything they find, but why bother when you can just break reality in Tears of the Kingdom and create matter out of nothing?
Item duplication glitches are nothing new to the world of video games. Players can clone items in Minecraft, Pokémon, and even The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. This particular exploit has returned with a vengeance for Tears of the Kingdom, and we don’t just mean Nintendo didn’t patch the glitch out of the code for a sequel. While many gamers refer to the item duplication glitch in the singular, it should actually be referred to in the plural since two separate dupe glitches make their home Tears of the Kingdom.
The first iteration of this glitch, which was reported by Twitter user Modoki_returns, is primarily used to copy weapons and shields. Or to be more specific, the glitch transmogrifies weapons and shields into stronger versions.
This exploit is easy to duplicate (pun definitely intended) so long as you follow key steps to the letter. First, find a weapon, bow, or shield you haven’t picked up yet (i.e., any piece of equipment labeled as “???”). Then, unequip all weapons and shields. When you pick up the item, a text box describing it will pop up. Immediately press the + button and scroll to the appropriate inventory screen. While still on that menu, reorder your stock by strength. Then, unequip what you picked up and equip the weakest item of the same type, which should be in the rightmost inventory slot. Finally, close out of the menu. If you did everything correctly, the new weapon’s model will spawn on Link, yet if you visit your inventory, the game will claim you have equipped the weaker item. Now all that’s left to do is drop the equipped item and pick it up. The game will think you dropped a copy of the newer, more powerful item and reward you with another one.
Because this glitch relies on picking up “???” items, it is inherently limited. Sooner or later, you will run out of powerful weapons and shields to discover, and when that happens, you can no longer use the glitch. Plus, you also need to sacrifice a piece of equipment for the glitch to work. A small price to pay for stronger stuff, but do you really want to sacrifice your shield/minecart fusion combo? That thing’s like a medieval skateboard.
The term “Item duplication glitch” also applies to a similar exploit that lets players photocopy materials. This glitch only works with items you can attach to arrows since it relies on the bow and lightning-fast reflexes. To start, equip a bow and fuse the mat you want duplicated by pressing up on the d-pad. Once the material is fused to the arrow, DO NOT FIRE. Instead, press the + button, select the equipped bow, drop the item, and equip a new bow. However, don’t exit the menu just yet because the next step requires proper timing. As fast as you can, press the + button twice to unpause and pause the game in rapid succession. Select the new bow, drop it, and unpause the game one more time. Finally, pick up both discarded bows. If you unpaused and paused the game fast enough, you should have one more copy of the material you bound to the arrow in your inventory. If not, try again.
Unlike the equipment duplication glitch, you don’t have to sacrifice any items to amass duped materials. Plus, you can potentially repeat this process infinitely since it doesn’t rely on picking up undiscovered items. However, as previously stated, this bug requires proper timing, as well as patience since you have to repeat the steps every single time. Of course, it takes even longer if you don’t get the timing down.
That’s all you need to know about the item duplication glitch…sorry, glitches…in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Only time will tell if Nintendo patches them out of the game, but since Breath of the Wild’s dupe bugs are still intact, that seems unlikely.