THE best exploration vehicle in Zelda: TOTK
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has a huge world - nearly 3x bigger than its predecessor Breath of the Wild when you factor in the new areas. Thus this game is just as much about exploration as it is survival.
Not only is this map massive (I have 40+ hours and still haven't unlocked all of it) but your navigation will be obstructed by all sorts of challenges from giant cliffs to large canyons / rivers to near complete darkness to impossibly high sky islands.
So how can we overcome this array of navigational changes?
The best exploration vehicle in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
The game gives us ample tools to come up with creative solutions to these problems in the form of Zonai devices - from large wooden bridges to rocket shields to stacks of springs linked together.
But in my 40+ hours of gameplay and dozens of Zonai machine iterations, one vehicle has outperformed all the rest at solving these exploration challenges: The FanBike.
If you've been watching gameplay videos / tutorials lately there's a good chance you've come across a version of this contraption. In the rest of this post I'm going to be diving deeper into what makes this machine so good and how to build it yourself.
How to build the FanBike
The FanBike is a simple machine to build:
- 1 Steering Stick
- 2 Fans
The one caveat is that you may need to build it a few times to get the angles right. Ideally it will go parallel-ish to the ground when you aren't moving any thumbstick to optimize for speed / control.
Why the FanBike is so good
There's a few things that make the FanBike such a good vehicle for exploration but most of it revolves around it being so simple. In this case 3S (Simple Scalable Systems) really shines through and we'll explore several cases that make this vehicle better than most others when it comes to exploration.
It can navigate pretty much anything, fast.
It's essentially a silver bullet for navigation - so long as you aren't trying to transport anything besides Link.
- Land (faster than most land vehicles)
- Cliffs / Canyons / Waterways - can just zip over
- Depths - Throw a Brightbloom on it and you've got mobile light
- Sky Islands - This thing is fast and energy efficient and uses parts that rarely expire (unlike wings and ballons) so you should be able to get to even the hardest to reach sky islands with enough batteries / Zonai charges
Very cheap to build.
It's hard to get a working Zonai vehicle with less parts. The FanBike uses 3 very common parts so it's easy to build it with parts acquired from vending machinesbut even if you're missing them it only takes 9 Zonaite (3 per missing part) to fully build. This means that you don't have to worry too much about losing the bike when you enter a shrine / quit the game / toss it off a cliff because creating a new one isn't a big deal.
Very power efficient.
A side effect of the simplicity of this build is that it doesn't weigh very much. This is important as Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom factors in the weight of builds to determine how much force is needed to move a thing and thus how many devices are needed to make it move. As you might expect, the more devices required to move a thing, the more power it takes to do so.
Fans aren't the most efficient Zonai devices for movement (wheels are much more power efficient) but 2 of them is about as low as you can get while still getting Link off the ground and moving at a decent speed. Altogether, this low power consumption means you can stay in the air exploring longer (and also get value out of this build earlygame before you've expanded your Zonai battery much).
Give the FanBike a try and let me know if you come across any other vehicles you like for exploration / navigation.
I've been playing around with other kinds of Zonai contraptions, so check those out if you're interested in other OP builds.