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

Breath of the Wild 2 will likely follow on from Breath of the Wild
(Image credit: Nintendo)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 is one of the most hotly anticipated games on Nintendo Switch. And, thanks to a Nintendo Direct at E3 2021, we now have a few solid details about it, including a release window. The sequel to the best video game of the last decade will come out in 2022, and feature temples in the sky for Link to explore.

Aside from that, we know that Breath of the Wild’s iterations of Link and Zelda are back, we know that the story will pick up where the first game left off, and we know that the game will come out for the Nintendo Switch. 

Read on to learn everything we know about BotW2 so far — although for such a highly anticipated game, there's precious little information to go around.

Breath of the Wild 2 release date window

(Image credit: Nintendo)

At the E3 2021 Nintendo Direct, Nintendo gave us a release window for Breath of the Wild 2: 2022. A 12-month window is admittedly pretty large, but it's at least more specific than what we had before (which wasn't much).

Historically speaking, we've seen new Zelda games come out in March, June, November — there's no specific pattern. Since the original Breath of the Wild came out in March, it's nice to think that BotW2 might follow suit. But just about every major game suffered development setbacks due to 2020's public health crisis, so late 2022 might be more realistic.

Breath of the Wild 2 pre-orders

You read that correctly: Breath of the Wild 2, a game we don't even have an official title for yet, is available to pre-order from Amazon U.S. and Best Buy. Both stores just have placeholder art and release dates for now, but if you want to get your $60 locked in early for a copy, you are free to do so.

Breath of the Wild 2 trailer

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.

Breath of the Wild 2 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.

Breath of the Wild 2 latest news

The latest Breath of the Wild 2 news comes from E3 2021, where Nintendo shared a brand-new trailer and a release window during a Nintendo Direct livestream. The trailer is embedded above.

Marshall Honorof

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.