The Blood Moon is an event in the game which resets the world so that all the killed enemies revives and some weapons you can pick up from the world itself reappear, along with those skull-shaped chests you find at enemy camps.

It is supposed to happen regularly after a certain number of ingame days. What gives rise to my question(s):

  • How long does it take the Blood Moon to show up in ingame days?
  • How much real time does this translate to?
  • How much do day and night lasts in real time?
  • Is there any event that can trigger the Blood Moon out of the schedule?
  • Which is the list of elements in the game, in addition to the enemies, that will respawn after the event? (Differentiate between normal, skull-shaped and shrine chests will be appreciated)
  • I haven't measured, but it feels like the blood moon is on a variable schedule. It could even be tied to a memory limit for tracking defeated enemies.
    – CyberSkull
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 9:53
  • @Pyritie I'm pretty sure the skull shaped chests don't respawn but i'm afraid to be wrong undoing your edit...Would be glad if someone can confirm it. Will edit the question to fit the new doubts.
    – Grirg
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 10:02
  • @Grirg I know the skull chests that unlock after you defeat all the enemies in a camp (with the boxing ring bell sound) definitely respawn after a blood moon. I once cleared a camp, looted the chest, had a blood moon activate like 5 seconds after, then the chest and the camp were back as if nothing had happened.
    – Pyritie
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 10:07
  • Good question! I'd also like to know more about this.I usually sleep through the blood moon.. too scared :D
    – Ian
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 10:10
  • (Another unintuitive thing that respawns when blood moons happen is the guardians you find inside those test-of-strength shrines -- useful if you want to farm them for weapons)
    – Pyritie
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 10:11

2 Answers 2


1: Blood Moon spawn rate is tied to the number of enemies that have been killed, modified by a seemingly random value. It has no fixed spawn rate, but can glitch to happen very often, and not at midnight. This can be fixed (reportedly) by completely closing the game, removing the cartridge from the slot, then reinserting it.

2: As said above, it doesn't happen at a fixed rate so can't be tracked in real minutes.

3: 1 second in real life equals 1 minute in game time. It takes 24 minutes for a full in game day to take place. This means it takes 16 minutes for a day cycle (5AM to 9PM) and 8 minutes for a night cycle (9PM to 5AM).

4: No, apart from the glitch, which doesn't count as an event

5: All weapons/shields/bows/materials/ore rocks that appear in the overworld, as well as monster camp chests. Shrine enemies will respawn (including "Test of Strength" guardians), but shrine chests will not.

  • 2
    I have not seen shop inventories restock with blood moons, at least for arrows. I believe there may be checks for the number of carried arrows before restocking occurs. I guess the game didn't like when I scoured all sellers to collect nearly 400 arrows.
    – Gwellin
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 14:39
  • 3
    For point number 1, do you have a source for that? I know it has been theorized, but I was under the impression it was just a fan theory
    – GarrettJ
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 15:05
  • @GarrettJ There's no oficial data about it. I've been testing this matter by myself; spend a few hours teleporting and going around the map peacefully, picking up colectives, kologs and completing shrines and no blood moon appeard. In the other hand after a blood moon, rushed a few enemy bases killing everybody and another blood moon appears after 15-30 minutes (reproduced multiple times consecutively). Still we don't have the formula behind blood moon rising, I now consider the fact that it is directly related to enemies killed more than a fan theory.
    – Grirg
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 13:59
  • @Grirg I'm fairly certain it's still a fan theory because when I was farming star fragments, killing no enemies at all, I would get blood moons. It is possible that killing enemies may accelerate the cycle, but the game still enforces that it happens after a set time. From the data it looks like it is 4 moon cycles (there's 8 days in a moon cycle)
    – GarrettJ
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 19:35

It seems there's tons of misinformation on how blood moons actually work, which is unfortunate. The current accepted answer is totally wrong for questions 1 and 2. Blood Moons have absolutely nothing to do with enemy kills. They are simply based on a timer.

A few days ago I posted a pretty in-depth explanation of how time, blood moon and Lord of the Mountain spawns work here. Here are the relevant parts about the Blood Moon scheduling mechanism:

[...] It turns out that time, Blood Moons and the LotM are all handled by the same system (which I'll call the time manager) and based on time, so first let me clarify how time works.

How time works in BotW

Internally, time of day is stored as a float in the [0.0, 360.0] range. [...]

Every game tick

[...] if there is no active event/cutscene:

  • The game timer is incremented by 0.0083333 * elapsed frames. Effectively, this means that 1 in-game minute = 1 real-life second.
  • [...]
  • If the timer reaches 360.0 (midnight), the game performs special checks. See the next section.
  • A value called the blood moon timer is also incremented by 0.0083333 * elapsed frames.


Every time the timer reaches 360.0 (midnight)


If a Blood Moon is scheduled:

If Blood Moons are "prohibited" (see below for a full list of conditions), the timer is set to 2880.0 and nothing happens. Otherwise, the Blood Moon cutscene (Demo011_0) is triggered and the timer is reset to 0.0.

The game then determines whether to schedule a Blood Moon or not:

If the 'FirstTouchdown' flag is set (i.e. if the player has left the Great Plateau), and if the Blood Moon timer is > 2520.0 (7 in-game days):

  • The WM_BloodyDay flag is set to true, which means that a Blood Moon is scheduled for the next night.
  • The Blood Moon timer is reset to 0.0.

Otherwise, the "Bloody end reserve timer" is set to 150. This ensures that WM_BloodyDay is cleared 5 in-game minutes (= 5 seconds in real life) after a Blood Moon occurs.

Blood Moon inhibitors

If any of the following conditions are true, the Blood Moon cutscene will not be triggered.

  • Not on MainField (main overworld)
  • IsInHyruleCastleArea is set
  • LastBossGanonBeastGenerateFlag is set (fighting Dark Beast Ganon)
  • BloodyMoonProhibition is set
  • Wind_Relic_BattleStart is set (Vah Medoh battle)
  • Electric_Relic_Battle is set (Vah Naboris battle)
  • Water_Relic_BattleTime is set (Vah Ruta battle)
  • Something involving the Sky Manager

However, these do not prevent the Blood Moon timer from advancing, or the WM_BloodyDay flag from being set. [...]


Time starts at 05:15, not 11:00, and flows normally until 11:00 is reached. Activating the Great Plateau Tower sets the time to 11:00, shows the time on the UI and restores the normal flow of time.

Blood Moons occur at midnight if and only if the WM_BloodyDay flag is set. As far as I can tell, there is no way to force blood moons to be scheduled.

That flag is set the night before at midnight if you have left the Plateau and if the Blood Moon timer has reached 7 in-game days. Not 7 days and 15 minutes, but exactly 7 days (2520/360 = 7). Also, note that you do not need to pass time at a campfire after the WM_BloodyDay flag is set.

The Blood Moon timer starts ticking as soon as you've left the Shrine of Resurrection normally. Any time spent in a state where even the main game timer is paused does not count. However, you do not necessarily need to be in the open world: time spent in shrines, divine beasts, etc. does count.

Passing time at a campfire or sleeping repeatedly does not help trigger a Blood Moon at all. Quite the opposite, as the timer does not advance during cutscenes.

Let me be clear: killing enemies has absolutely no effect on blood moons. The time manager code does not even check for enemy kills... which proves that it is just misinformation.

  • 2
    Great answer! Thanks for taking the time to delve into the game code, hopefully this answer gets the recognition it deserves.
    – Malco
    Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 21:00
  • 2
    Any data on what causes BloodyMoonProhibition to be set?
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Jun 11, 2019 at 11:11
  • @OrangeDog it's set from tons of events to temporarily prevent Blood Moons from triggering (it won't get rid of the red moon and particle effects though). Search the text representation of events here to see which events set the flag (and when!) For a visual representation of event flows, use EventEditor or the event viewer here.
    – Léo Lam
    Commented Jun 20, 2019 at 16:16
  • 1
    @LéoLam search for what? The string BloodyMoonProhibition only appears 4 times.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Jun 20, 2019 at 16:23
  • @OrangeDog Yeah, it's mostly (kind of) abstracted away by the Common event flow. The flag is only directly referenced by Common<DisableSaveAndWarp> and DisableSaveAndWarp<EnableSaveAndWarp>, but those two events (think of them like programming functions) are called by many other events (e.g. minigames, boss fight events, etc).
    – Léo Lam
    Commented Jun 20, 2019 at 17:39

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