Quick note - you probably don't want to view this page over a mobile network. I have something like 20mb of images here because I'm too lazy to compress them. That is roughly 1/3 the size of the average catalog scan I've posted, the difference is those have thumbnails. I didn't do that here because, again, lazy.
I only recently figured out you can take screenshots on the Nintendo Switch. It's my fault for not reading manuals. I assumed the capture button worked like the PlayStation 4 share button. Go ahead and mock me for this. Anyway, I now plan to use it until it wears out. Let's start with an unorganized half-article/half-gallery thing for Breath of the Wild.
Breath of the Wild was my pick for best game of the 2010s. After finishing it the first time I started Final Fantasy XV. Breath of the Wild does every single thing better than Final Fantasy XV. I don't think that's a controversial statement. The most memorable thing about Final Fantasy XV for me was the safe haven/camping part. The nights of Final Fantasy XV feature a non-stop barrage of terrifying enemies that can wreck even a high-level party. The only way to avoid them is to stay in your vehicle, find a town, or camp in a safe haven. At the campsite you also cook a meal and gain levels while watching a relaxing scene. Final Fantasy XV needed more of that and less of whatever the story was about. It was Hamlet with more hair gel right? After two years that's all I remember of the story. In a few more I'll only remember it as a game about a goth price and Roman Reigns going camping.
So yeah, the camping thing, that was my favorite feature of Final Fantasy XV. The only part of it that was done a little not-great was the placement of the safe havens. Most are a short walk from the road, a place where you're already safe.
Nighttime in Breath of the Wild also features armies of monsters - Stalfos and bats at least. Bats being the worst enemy in the Zelda series as usual. Somehow all those enemies ignore Link if he happens to be sitting next to a small fire. If it's raining then you're completely stuck, and it's always raining at the worst time. Even worse are the lightning storms where your weapon choices determine your survival. It would be nice to have a few spots where you can wait this all out. Something like the Final Fantasy XV safe havens could work out here.
I realize this is not an idea that would improve Breath of the Wild at all or that most people would enjoy. Part of the fun is being able to do whatever you feel like. Camping anywhere is included in that:
No way will any enemies find you there right? It's great that you can camp anywhere. I wouldn't change that at all. What would be kind of fun is having safe haven locations hidden on the map where you gain some bonus from camping at them. Like, I dunno, you gain some hearts back from resting there. Or there could be some NPC that gives you a reward if you find them all. You know, the crazy old man obsessed with camping. Maybe you could even cook skewers there, I don't know how Link was making those in a pot in the first place. That could be kind of fun while giving you a place to avoid nighttime and weather-related annoyances.
I also get that the towns and stables serve this purpose. The overworld map is giant and there just aren't enough of them. It's very easy to find yourself far from either at sunset. Yeah, yeah, I know about fast-travel. Given that I didn't know about the screenshot button it's reasonable to assume I'm oblivious to all sorts of things. I prefer to play without using fast-travel often. It's more fun or immersive that way I guess.
At the start of the game, Link immediately finds a little spot that works.
It's not luxurious but it's covered and a good distance from enemies.
While still trapped on the Great Plateau there's also a small cave with some treasure chests that works too.
This is exactly the type of camping spot I'm thinking of. It's out of the way and not exposed to the elements. Link could setup camp there and drift away to the sound of the waterfall.
Look I know, everyone has a game idea. I tried making a game mostly from scratch in 68000 assembler and I promise it's 1000s of times easier to dream up ideas than to implement then. Without spoiling the "story" of my first Sega Genesis demo, the idea of camping in odd places comes up. Clearly this is some weird obsession I have and I should make a demo game that's all about finding camping spots. Yeah.. a game where all you do is wander around an environment and look for places to construct camps. I'd probably play something like that for hours.
Well until I (or someone else) write (or find on Google) that game then let's settle for re-creating the experience in Breath of the Wild.
I'm going to start by getting these camps out of the way. They're not really what I'm thinking of since they're campsites someone else found or created. Throughout the world of Hyrule there are a small number of NPCs who askew the village or stable life. They're either wanderers or people who carved out a small living space. As we'll see, some of them picked really bad spots.
Let's start with this one on the path to Dueling Peaks. There's an abandoned enemy tree fort. No amount of blood moons causes anything to appear there.
Someone already decided to make this their home though. I don't blame them, this is a really nice spot. There's a river view and probably a lot of visitors if that's your thing.
There's the woman obsessed with bad cooking who picked a spot that's hard to find on the map and doesn't offer many amenities. It looks like it's directly under the sun most of the time and there's nothing interesting nearby.
This guy also carved out a spot that isn't terribly impressive. He must enjoy the quiet forest life.
While exploring you're certain to see this camp in the distance.
I think this is one of the better spots in the game already. It's similar to the one near the start of the game. The hill it's on is also reminiscent of the safe havens in Final Fantasy XV.
The we have the guy with the giant horse obsession who seems content to live under this tree.
On the way to the southern jungle there's this camp off the road.
This woman with the ancient machine fascination managed to find a good beachfront location.
This dude picked a terrible spot. Every few weeks he's being attacked but can't bring himself to move. Also he must get completely drenched by runoff from the hill every time it rains.
This would be a good spot except (a) there's a house right there (b) the NPC there is planning to assassinate you. That house, by the way, is one of my favorite spots in the game.
OK, now let's look at a few areas that count as good camping spots.
If you head toward Gerudo Desert at the beginning of the game you're bound to find this location.
There's an obviously breakable wall that makes it easy to find.
Inside is a spacious cave and boulders that can fabricate a small door for extra privacy.
I probably should have grouped these together by region. Oh well. Here's the next spot.
It's a little more cramped in this cave but it'll work.
Another really obvious spot is near Gerudo Tower.
The entrance is blocked by boulders but still easy to spot.
There are some handy weapons in here and plenty of space to relax.
Let's hop over to the Hebra region for a few spots. Maybe I'm weird, OK definitely, but this region is one of my favorites. I almost always like winter levels in games. So I guess this roam around and camp simulator I'm thinking of would have to take place in Antarctica or something. Anyway, the first spot is over at the Secret Hot Springs. You know they're a secret because they're labeled "secret" right there on the map.
There is a small cave area that makes for a good campsite. There's no rain or lightning to worry about in Hebra but an ideal spot would be able to trap heat a bit.
Also in Hebra is an abandoned campsite near one of the shrine door puzzles.
There's never an NPC here and I assume they did not survive whatever crazy idea they had in coming here.
There's a large waterfall in Hebra and you already know I like looking for caves behind them.
This isn't a cave so much as it is a ledge. There's enough room to setup a fire and somehow it stays dry.
There's another abandoned campsite in the Gerudo Highlands.
This is kind of a bad spot though since it's right next to an open snowfield with monsters roaming about. I assume that's why the original camper is no longer with us.
If you like exploring the edges of the map then here's a cave worth visiting.
Beside being filled with gems there's just enough space to setup a fire and hide for a while. If someone made a Hide and Go Seek mod for Breath of the Wild this would be the first place I'd go.
There's a large cave over by Telta Lake.
Most of the cave is water except this little island were you could spent a quiet evening fishing and having the same conversation with the Korok.
There is another abandoned enemy camp in the West Hyrule Plains.
There aren't any stairs but you have several creative ways to get up there.
There's just barely enough cover to setup a fire during a storm. The difference in hearts between the last two pictures is because the rusty spear on the platform attracted lightning and I was too busy setting up the fire to notice.
In my first playthrough I tackled the Zora region first. I don't think I'd recommend that for a first-timer. The constant rain with low stamina paired with frequent Lizalfos encounters make for a tough journey. Getting Revali's Gale first makes life a lot easier. Or for the very patient you can use Cryonis to climb your way up the waterfall connecting Akkala and the Zora region. If you try going the way the game intends you'll want to find a few good places to take a break. There aren't a ton of options, one of them is near Ruto mountain.
Under the cliffside there's a decent spot that's away from enemies.
Although it's not an awesome spot, the view makes it worth visiting.
This next spot you'd also visit if you try the Zora Stone Monuments sidequest.
Like the previous spot it's a cliffside that provides cover. It also has an extremely relaxing view.
Over by Bremen Peak there's an alcove that also contains gems.
This place feels hidden and out of the way, it definitely would make for a good safe haven.
Also nearby is a waterfall that one of the stable regulars tells you about.
It's almost like an apartment up there. Link could try waiting this whole Ganon thing out while gazing at the mountains.
Now let's head over to this spot near Deja lake.
This is more of a tunnel but it provides plenty of cover.
Exploring the southern coastline was another favorite thing of mine in Breath of the Wild. Along the way there's an alcove with a Korok.
It's not a huge spot, just enough space to camp until it stops raining for the 1,000,000th time.
Back to another abandoned tent, this one is near the shrine that appears after completing a wind puzzle.
There's again no sign of whoever left this.
On this island near Rito Village is another abandoned tent.
This would be a tough spot for the average Breath of the Wild NPC to reach... and even more difficult for them to leave without a paraglider and/or boat. I don't think whoever built this is around to tell the story.
The Goron region is my least favorite and as such I didn't explore it more than I had to. There are two potential camping spots that are interesting. One is this obvious location in Gorko Tunnel.
It even comes with a loud roommate I guess.
This spot is more interesting, it's an abandoned enemy base in the middle of a lava river.
I wouldn't want to live here but it's OK for a quick break.
Let's make a hasty exit from the Goron/Death Mountain region and stop at the Shadow Hamlet ruins.
There's one house just barely intact enough to camp out inside.
One of the worst shrine puzzles is that goofy snowball and shadow thing. I got it largely by accident in my first playthrough and never tried again.
Since it involves waiting around for a seemingly random time you really need a good campsite there.
I was kind of disappointed by the lack of interesting things under bridges in Breath of the Wild. Very little else in the game was a letdown. In previous Zelda games you could usually count on finding something worth the visit. In Breath of the Wild, there aren't even very many that are good for camping out. Kakariko Bridge has a pre-made one for you.
At some point someone was living down here. Probably some old man who gives out bottles.
Aquame Bridge has a very small potential camping spot.
It doesn't look very comfortable there but is out of the rain.
There's a region of the map that features an array of large dead trees.
One of the overturned trees would make an OK hidden camping location.
In the desert cover it's a big concern since Link never gets sunburn. I don't know what his secret is. It would be nice to have a couple spots where electric bats didn't approach at night. They are the worst of the worst. Many years ago I drafted an article called "Top 10 Most Hated Bats in Video Games" and if I ever finish it the electric bats in Breath of the Wild might top the bat from Adventure. There's one actual oasis in the desert where Link can catch a break.
The downside is there are a few enemies up here. Otherwise this resembles the safe havens that inspired this article-like piece.
Way down in the southwest corner there's another nifty spot.
It's a chill island where you could imagine camping out until morning.
Hey, here's a random tunnel that's a good spot.
A whole adventuring party could fit in there.
And last up is my favorite of all - Prince Sidon's room.
Time to change course and look at some spots that are interesting but flawed in some way.
Close but not really what I'm looking for
In the middle of Damel Forest there is an unoccupied camp.
Unfortunately the cooking pot is useless because it rains almost all the time there.
This abandoned base is perfect except it's right next to a stable thereby defeating the purpose of being a safe haven away from towns and stables.
If not for the flooding risk this would make a decent home.
Here we have a ruined village with no useful structures.
The giant Bridge of Hylia provides zero cover for the spots underneath it.
There's a spot on the way to Zora's Domain that's good other than always being occupied with Lizalfos.
I'm also disqualifying all the caves that have shrines because there's already something there. Yes, I am just making the rules up as I go along. Here's one example in Hebra.
Here's another Hebra example. I almost went mad trying to find this shrine the first time.
There are at least a dozen examples, like this one near a river.
This one is near Hyrule Castle and is very spacious.
Let's wrap-up with a couple fun spots to camp that aren't exactly safe haven type places... but where you are free from enemies at least.
Camping at the edge of the world
There's a 1% chance I'll do a follow-up article about extreme or absurd camping locations. Until then, here are a couple spots along the edge of the map. The nice thing about the far edges of the map is that enemies don't seem to spawn at night.
I knew this stretch of land would have an invisible wall but was bummed when I ran into it anyway. I thought maybe there would be like one rock with Korok under it.
It's awful windy but completely out of the way. Link should have built his house out here really.
The view isn't bad either. Maybe staring at a big box all day isn't for everyone though.
There are a lot of cool little covered cliffs along the edge of the map. I really got into exploring the boundaries of the world. I didn't expect to find much and that was the case for sure. It was more to see how far I could go before the game stopped me. It's not a bad way to travel, along the edge, because there are rarely any battles. There aren't a lot of resources either. Here's one spot for example.
You can drop down pretty far and enjoy the view of nothing.
There's plenty of room to setup camp for the night.
So that's it. Stay tuned for my next Switch screenshot feature - "A bunch of snapshots from Ys VIII with no context", or maybe "Screenshots I accidentally took while trying to enter sleep mode".