So, Lynels are these nasty customers in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. They're lion centaurs, usually with around 2000 or so HP. They charge right at you and hit real hard.

I've tried to fight them a few times, but they have a preference for jousting making on-foot combat a risky proposition. What strategies can I employ to battle these fiendish adversaries?


9 Answers 9


Lynels are extremely strong enemies compared to how early you'll find them in the game (for a lot of playthroughs).

If you want to know how to defeat the Lynel because you're looking for a challenge or you need to kill it I'd recommend the following things:

Have a shield equipped
You don't need to use a one handed weapon but having a shield can be extremely useful since it blocks all the damage in a risky situation. Lynels can hit extremely hard and blocking those 6-10 hearts of damage is an absolute lifesaver (especially early).

Use buff-food
The loading screen tips are absolutely right: Don't just run into a monster over and over again but try to prepare for the fight with some elixirs and buff-food. Depending on your health you can run defensive boosts but usually you should go for shock resistance, damage up and speed up.

Have lots of weapons
2000 HP is no joke. If you want to kill this thing with your melee weapons some of them will break. If you're still in the early game multiple, maybe even all your weapons will break. Keep that in mind when fighting this guy. You don't want to find yourself in a situation where your only option is using bombs.

Learn to side-hop, or backflip his attacks
ian_itor has already pointed this out in his answer but I want to mention it again since it's probably the most important thing when fighting Lynels. Dodging and counterattacking are extremely efficient. The attacks are slow and predictable. If you get the timing right you can land a lot of free hits with Flurry and it's great practice for dodging in general.

Aim for the head/use special arrows and Chuchus
If you want to use ranged make sure to aim for the head for a stagger and increased damage but also don't be afraid to use special arrows and elemental Chuchus. Freeze, shock and fire are your allies in this fight. Each element has it's own advantages and they can make the fight a lot easier when used correctly. Also be sure to not stand in a puddle and pop a lightning resistance elixir when going for a ranged method.

To kill the Lynel only two of the above mentioned points are required: A lot of weapons and good dodging. The others I've mentioned are additional help and are available from the start. I've excluded points that are unlocked since it's very possible to find a Lynel before you have access to certain advanced gadgets or powers. Obviously the fight gets easier the more you progress into the game because of better weapons, armor and powers but if you follow these steps you'll be able to kill the Lynel with little health and a bit of patience and practice (doable with Zora weapons and about 4 hearts).

One final note:
If you simply want to complete a quest with a Lynel near the objective, I'd highly reccomend checking if you can't just sneak around it since the rewards are usually not worth the trouble they cause (at least in the early game).


You can stop a charge by using upgraded Stasis on them. It'll hold them for around 1-2 seconds, which should be just enough to fire an arrow into their face. When they come out of stasis, they'll be staggered and their charge will end.

My favourite strategy is to try and stun lock them. First, you need to hit it in the face with a powerful enough bow. Doing so will force it down on it's knee for a short while. While in this state, you can approach them and press 'A' to mount them. This allows you to get about 5 hits in depending on your stamina and how fast you can mash Y.


The strategy I have discovered allows me to run through several of the most powerful Silver Lynels in a row, without the need of a bunch of weapons.


  1. Complete Ancient Armour set, upgraded at least twice each. The set bonus, Ancient Proficiency, doubles the damage of Ancient weapons. If the armour is upgraded four times, it also has the highest defence in the game.

  2. A high damage Ancient weapon, of any type. I had a 60 damage Ancient Battle Axe++.

  3. A fair number of arrows, of any type. A good damage bow doesn't hurt, and you'll get a new one off the Lynel.

  4. Some food or an elixir which increases attack or defence isn't a bad idea. Environmental protection is another option, if you'd rather not take constant damage if in a cold or hot area.


  1. Run away from attacks, and keep a medium distance. Far enough that he tries to charge at you, but also not so far that he pulls out his bow. Make sure you get away from his ground stab which makes a sphere of fire around him.

  2. Shoot arrows at his face whenever you get the chance. This will stun him. The type of arrow doesn't matter, and while bomb arrows will deal more damage at this stage, they do not make it any easier to stun.

  3. Whenever he's stunned, run up and mount him, then attack. Weapons do not lose durability while mounted on a Lynel. Your double damage Ancient weapon will take out a hunk of his health.

  4. Run away. It's helpful to move the camera facing forward before being kicked off the mount, to more easily keep him in view afterwards. Rinse and repeat.


One easy way is to use the lightning strike from the Gerudo Divine Beast - it deals about 500 damage per hit. Given that it'll also stun the Lynel, you can probably kill it very easily between uses.

Melee attacks are your best bet, since at range they have some pretty nasty arrows.

  • Interesting - I hadn't used the lightning strike on them. Is there any other way to stop their charging? That seemed to be the big killer for me.
    – two bugs
    Mar 13, 2017 at 2:41
  • 1
    @twobugs you can evade the charge by side hopping or running away to the side, usually. You have to be very quick after that, though, because I think that he turns around for another charge.
    – Ian
    Mar 13, 2017 at 7:11
  • 1
    @twobugs You could also take away their credit cards or take a plea deal.
    – DRF
    Mar 13, 2017 at 9:16
  • @twobugs stasis, freeze arrows, shock arrows, lightning blades are good choices.
    – Seiyria
    Mar 13, 2017 at 12:33
  • @twobugs Stasis+ rune is an excellent way to stop their charging / elemental breath attack. Mar 13, 2017 at 23:01

I defeated a Lynel like this:

First, you should have at least 8 hearts and proper defensive gear/armor, since his strikes deal heavy damage. In case you get hit, eat something immediately. Go for extra hearts, defense or damage with your meals. Fairies don't hurt either.

Never try to defeat him from distance! His aim is ludicrous and his shock arrows deal tons of damage.

Flurry is your friend. I dealt the most damage waiting for his melee attack (the one where he stands, not the one where he gallops) and backflipping in the right moment (Y + Analog Stick Down). Then you'll get the chance to do a flurry attack with Y, hitting him many times. Use a hard hitting weapon.

You have to be patient. Without spoilering, the special reward from defeating the elephant divine beast is a big help.

Good luck!


I have fought many Lynels before, the first one being during Vah Ruta's quest. I attempted to sneak around it but ended up being caught by the Lynel. I fleed from the scenario with my tail between my legs and nearly died from his nasty ark Shot, I came back again fully fitted in the Champion's Tunic mixed with the soldier's grieves and amber earrings. (They were enhanced to level 2 with the earring being level 3)I popped an electricity resistance elixir and began the fight, dodging was EXTREMELY important, as his attacks did nasty damage on my first try, so when I tried again, that's what I did, my friends were over,(Zelda fans)so when I beat it they were pretty shocked, not as shocked as me though. I was extremely afraid of Lynels at the time and constantly backed down from the quest. As a result, this was a huge success for me.


I found that if you use an ancient arrow you can kill him in one hit. You can get one from Beetle on "customer appreciation day" whatever that is. The sad thing is, you don't get any reward. ;-;

  • Ancient arrows will kill anything other than guardians and bosses (Gannon and the Blights) in one hit, but you won't get any dropped goodies since ancient arrows magically suck the enemy and everything with it into some other dimension (or something).
    – squidbe
    Sep 25, 2022 at 1:40

Listen: I killed a Silver Lynel (coliseum ruins) in 20 mins with max hearts and the master sword. This is extremely advanced in the game. I recommend killing the Lynel by skill, starting with the red ones and moving up.

My first Lynel was the Zora one (just to say, I bought all of the shock arrows in Gerudo Town and just killed him for fun) I had 3 hearts and a knight’s claymore. What works is stunning him, then charging a two-handed weapon attack. It works like a charm :) Mounting doesn’t always work, and if you have low stamina it doesn’t give you enough of a time window to attack well. (As a side note, I wish you could actually ride a Lynel like a deer or something, with him attacking you the second you dismounted.)

No matter where you are in the game, I recommend avoiding the Lynel.


A little bit of advice from a newbie (5 hearts, 12-15 armor, great fire sword as primary weapon, 40 shield, knight bow): The Lynels that I have found have typically been around cliffs. In attempt to avoid being seen, I climbed up them, and proceeded to shoot him with an ice arrow. After freezing him, I glided over until I was directly above him, hit B to drop, and Y for a flying attack with the great flame sword. This does MASSIVE damage. Fire and ice combo after being frozen is sweet. You may or may not be able to get a few more hits in after that depending on how lucky you are... Run away and repeat. Make sure he doesn't see you because his shot is impeccable! Repeat until you are out of ice arrows. Then, move to regular arrows and use the stun/mount trick previously mentioned. High, protective ground and a ton of arrows! Worse case scenario you throw bombs at him for forever. You can also try throwing a boomerang at him, as it is the right range to not be hit by the bow, but being able to avoid the charge and fire blast. I haven't really experienced this however... Good luck!

  • YOU CAN'T FREEZE LYNELS!!! Elemental things don't do anything to lynels other than doing extra damage.
    – StruckZeus
    Mar 16, 2021 at 15:01
  • Also, the opposite element (fire to ice in this case) won't do anything, except for the double damage with a normal weapon to unfreeze it. It's only in your imagination.
    – StruckZeus
    Mar 16, 2021 at 15:12

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