Tears of the Kingdom doesn’t quite reach Elden Ring levels of difficulty, but it can be a challenging game. Granted, many of those challenges come in the form of some wicked puzzles, but some of them are based more on traditional combat and exploration hazards. That’s why it’s important to increase your Heart Containers and Stamina Wheel whenever possible.
When you first start the game, though, you’ll probably have no idea how to actually do that. Breath of the Wild fans may recall how the basics of those upgrade systems work, but even they may be thrown off by some of the twists that Tears of the Kingdom introduces to that returning mechanic.
That being the case, here’s a brief rundown of how to increase your Stamina Wheel and Heart Containers in Tears of the Kingdom, as well as how to respec both attributes should you need to do so.
Tears of the Kingdom: How to Increase Hearts and Stamina
To increase your Heart Containers and Stamina Wheel in Tears of the Kingdom, you’ll need to collect Lights of Blessings. Lights of Blessings can be acquired by completing Shrines. Each Shrine rewards you with one Light of Blessing upon completion, and it costs four Lights of Blessing to upgrade either your Heart Containers or Stamina Wheel.
Once you have four Blessings, head to a Goddess Statue. Those statues will allow you to turn in your Blessings for a Heart Container or Stamina Wheel upgrade. There are twelve Goddess Statues in Tears of the Kingdom, and you can find them all on this map.
For four Blessings, you will receive either a full Heart Container or an upgrade to your Stamina Wheel that amounts to about a 1/5th of a bar. You’ll have to repeat this process each time you want to upgrade, and you’ll need to turn in each group of four Blessings individually. So you can’t come in with 12 Blessings and ask to receive three Heart Containers. However, you can repeat this process as often as you have Lights of Blessing to trade.
There are 152 Shrines in Tears of the Kingdom, which means you can perform a total of 38 upgrades via this method.
What is the Maximum Amount of Hearts and Stamina You Can Have in Tears of the Kingdom?
The maximum number of Heart Containers you can have in Tears of the Kingdom game is 30. The maximum amount of Stamina you can have is three wheels.
At this time, it’s unclear if you can max out your Hearts and Stamina through Goddess Statues alone. However, that’s because you can receive additional Heart Containers by defeating certain bosses/challenges, which is what most players will do.
To test the Goddess Statue method, you’d have to complete every Shrine without acquiring any additional Heart Containers through any other method. That might be possible, but it would be incredibly difficult. However, it does seem you can eventually max out your Heart Containers and Stamina Wheels by using a combination of all available upgrade methods.
Is it More Important to Upgrade Hearts or Stamina in Tears of the Kingdom?
Generally speaking, it’s more valuable to upgrade Stamina over Hearts in Tears of the Kingdom.
As noted above, you can acquire additional Heart Containers by completing certain narrative milestones. Stamina, meanwhile, can only be permanently upgraded via Goddess Statues (at least based on what we’ve seen). “Permanent” is the keyword there, though. You can also temporarily upgrade your Hearts and Stamina via special recipes and other foods.
However, that’s another reason why it’s more valuable to prioritize Stamina over Hearts. The food that replenishes and buffs your Heart Containers is actually fairly abundant. The food that does the same for Stamina is, comparatively, a bit rare. I found it much easier to keep my Heart Containers full during the game, and you likely will as well.
Finally, you will need at least two full Stamina Wheels to acquire the Master Sword in Tears of the Kingdom. Since you will want to acquire the Master Sword in Tears of the Kingdom as early as possible, it’s a good idea to get your max Stamina where it needs to be to complete that task.
However, there are a couple of asterisks I should apply to that recommendation. If you find yourself dying quite a lot in the early game, you may want to increase your Heart Containers first to make things easier on yourself. Furthermore, there is a late-game mechanic that can reduce your total number of Heart Containers. It’s avoidable to some degree, but it’s obviously a threat.
So what happens if you invest in your Stamina and suddenly find yourself in need of Hearts? Thankfully, there is something you can do about that…
How to Respec Your Hearts and Stamina in Tears of the Kingdom
To respec your Heart Containers or Stamina Wheel in Tears of the Kingdom, you’ll need to visit the Horned Statue. The Horned Statue can be found in the Emergency Shelter in Lookout Landing. You just need to talk to an NPC in Emergency Shelter who will give you a quest called “Who Goes There?” That sidequest will lead you right to the Horned Statue.
The statue itself is a little strange. Basically, it will ask you to surrender and “Essence.” By choosing Heart Container, you will sacrifice one Heart Container. By choosing Stamina Vessel, you will sacrifice an upgrade to your Stamina Wheel. In exchange for your sacrifice, you will receive 100 Rupees.
However, you also have the option to buy back a Heart Container or Stamina Vessel for 120 Rupees. So, if you’re performing a 1:1 swap, you basically need an extra 20 Rupees to exchange a Heart Container for a Stamina Vessel (or vice versa). The swaps can be completed as long as you have the relevant resources. You also can’t trade in all of your Hearts of Stamina, so don’t even try.