On TikTok, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom players have been sharing videos of the amazing machines they’ve built in the game since its release in May. These machines include military weapons and mining machines, leading many to compare them to the “industrial revolution” in Hyrule. However, despite the freedom that Tears of the Kingdom offers, there are limits to what players can create, which reveals developer priorities.
The protagonist of Tears of the Kingdom, Link, has new abilities that allow him to lift and rearrange objects, as well as combine them to create larger structures. While some players use these abilities to create simple structures and vehicles for exploration, others have gone further by building complex machines. Groups such as the Hyrule Engineering Club have even formed to explore the possibilities of these abilities.
Although some players have created amazing wonders, they still face limitations in the game. Some aspects, such as 45-degree rotation when positioning an object or the 21-component limit for robots, make it difficult to implement ambitious plans. In addition, the Nintendo Switch hardware itself imposes limits on what can be built.
The game also features a built-in memory reset that triggers a “Blood Moon” event when the game is overloaded with items. This can cause items to be removed and enemies to drop. MiztrSage, an active member of the Hyrule engineering community, explained that these limitations are related to the processing power of the switch.
Compared to games like Minecraft, Tears of the Kingdom has more restrictions. Minecraft allows players to build with no size limits, leading to the creation of entire cities and even copies of other games. It also allows for more in-game technology such as construction calculators or fully automated farms. According to MiztrSage, Tears of the Kingdom may not be able to reach this level of difficulty due to current restrictions.
While the Tears of the Kingdom community may continue to push the game’s technical boundaries, it’s unlikely to achieve a full-blown automated industrial revolution. This reflects the priorities of game developers, who aimed to give players more choice and freedom without excessive complexity. The simplicity of the building system allows anyone to play.
Ultimately, Tears of the Kingdom is not a building game like Minecraft. It offers a limited set of Lego-like building tools rather than unlimited clay sculpting. Despite these limitations, the game still offers players fun and the opportunity to appreciate the complexity of things as simple as bridge physics.