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Breath of the Wild 2: Release window, trailer, pre-orders and latest news

The first official image of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
(Image credit: Nintendo)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 may have been a fun nickname for the next game in the historic Nintendo franchise, but now we have its official name – The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

The name was unveiled at the most recent Nintendo Direct September event alongside a new trailer and a release date of May 12, 2023 (5/12/23). 

Details are still limited about the game and likely won't be available for another few months, but this is the most information we've yet to see on The Breath of the Wild's highly anticipated successor and there's a lot to dissect.  

It'll be hard to follow on from what's widely considered one of the best video game of the last decade, but Tears of the Kingdom looks like it continues what made Breath of the Wild great but expands on it to ensure the formula still feels fresh. 

Tears of the Kingdom release date

Thanks to a trailer that debuted at the most recent Nintendo Direct event, we know that Tears of the Kingdom will drop on May 12, 2023 (5/12/23). 

There's still some time before then, however, so we're hoping that release date doesn't get pushed back.

Can't wait for the Tears of the Kingdom to get here? These are the 11 games to play while we wait for Breath of the Wild 2.

Tears of the Kingdom pre-orders

Before Tears of the Kingdom had an official title, the game was available to pre-order from Amazon U.S. (opens in new tab) and Best Buy (opens in new tab). Both stores will soon replace the placeholder art and release dates with the official assets from Nintendo, but if you want to get your $60 locked in early for a copy, you are free to do so.

Tears of the Kingdom trailer

Here's the latest trailer for the game from the Nintendo Direct event:

The first Breath of the Wild 2 trailer debuted at E3 2019. Here it is, in case you haven’t seen it:

As of June 2021, there's now a newer, much more detailed trailer to watch as well. This one covers some of the same territory, but also shows off detailed gameplay features, including a new traversal mechanic that will let Link travel to airborne locations.

Tears of the Kingdom story

breath of the wild 2

(Image credit: Nintendo)

While Nintendo hasn’t provided any additional context for the Breath of the Wild 2 trailers, we do know a few important things from them. First, this will be a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild, starring the same iterations of Link and Zelda. This is a relative rarity for Zelda games, which tend to reimagine Link, Zelda and Ganon for each new major installment. It’s not totally unheard-of, though; Zelda II and Majora’s Mask did the same thing.

We also know that Link and Zelda will investigate some kind of strange spirit energy, which can apparently reanimate the dead. A placid shot of Hyrule with an ominous rumbling suggests that this spirit energy may corrupt the bright lands of Hyrule and turn them into a dark mirror of themselves. Traversing light and dark worlds is old hat for the Zelda franchise, in everything from A Link to the Past to Twilight Princess.

The setup, then, would seem to be that Link and Zelda set off on a new journey after Breath of the Wild, as they promised to do in the epilogue. They make a strange discovery, and this evil power threatens all of Hyrule. The only question is whether Zelda will be an active player for the bulk of the story, as in Wind Waker, or whether she’ll need rescuing right away, as in the first Breath of the Wild.

If you want to learn more about the world of Breath of the Wild in the meantime, a prequel called Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity can answer your questions. The game debuted in November, and it's a lengthy, substantial game — albeit a hack-and-slash action title, not an open-world adventure. It's not Breath of the Wild 2, but it's another chance to immerse yourself in the same setting.

While Nintendo has been tight-lipped about Breath of the Wild 2 in general, expect to see some updates before the end of the year. After all, it's still Zelda's 35th Anniversary, which means now is the perfect time for Nintendo to keep us in the loop about our favorite Hylian warrior.

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi. 

With contributions from