If you’re 20 or so hours into Tears of the Kingdom and you don’t have Autobuild, you’re doing it wrong.
Last week, there was a tweet going around asking that now Tears of the Kingdom’s been out a few weeks, what advice would you share? Lots of people left valuable nuggets of information like fusing rubies to your equipment that can keep you warm during the Rito quest-line (just, y’know, don’t fuse ‘em to anything wooden). Another good piece of advice: use Ascend more! Are you using Ascend already? Great! Use it 1,000 percent more!
I shared that unless your Purah Pad’s power wheel is complete, you are not done with the tutorial, emphasizing that Autobuild is an easy-to-miss but life-changing ability. My mentions were then flooded with people saying, “Wait...what? What the hell is an Autobuild?”
What is Autobuild?
Autobuild is a Tears of the Kingdom ability that is essentially a 3D printer for Link’s Ultrahand. It stores your builds, allowing you to quickly remake anything you’ve made recently if you have the materials handy, or, if you don’t, it will make them at the cost of some chunks of zonaite.
What can you build with Autobuild?
Autobuild will only store a handful of your recent builds, deleting them as you make more stuff. But you can favorite builds, allowing you to remake them whenever you want. It’s handy if you need to make quick utility builds like a two-fan hoverbike or a quick battle robot.
As you progress through the Depths, you will occasionally run into items called schema stones. They are found either within Yiga Clan strongholds or doled out from steward constructs and are essentially blueprints for all kinds of machines. Schema stone blueprints cover a wide range of useful devices and are permanently stored in Autobuild’s memory, so you don’t have to worry about deleting them.
How do you use Autobuild?
Autobuild works two ways: it automatically builds something from components you source, or it creates them at a cost. For example, if you’re trying to build the Fanplane and you have three zonai fan machines and a glider available, Autobuild will make the plane. If you don’t have any of those components, Autobuild will still make the plane, but you will have to pay for any missing items with zonaite.
I’d recommend sourcing your own materials for Autobuild creations as much as possible, as it can get fairly expensive to create things from zonaite alone. Also, anything made with Autobuild from zonaite will have a green texture to it, and, critically, it cannot be removed from the device. For example, if you make something with a control stick and try to move that control stick to something else, it will disappear.
How to get Autobuild
Autobuild can be obtained shortly after arriving on Hyrule from the Sky Sanctuary. Once Link arrives at Lookout Landing, speaking to Robbie and Josha will initiate the quest Camera Work in the Depths. This quest will introduce Link to the underground area of Hyrule known as the Depths and add the camera function to the Purah Pad.
Once done with that and back on the surface, talk to Josha again to receive another quest to return to the Depths! This is the quest that’ll get you Autobuild. Essentially, she’ll ask you to follow the direction that the statue you took a picture of in the previous quest is pointing. It will lead you to the Great Abandoned Central Mine. There you will have your first encounter with an old foe from Breath of the Wild. Once that fight is done, a steward construct will give you the Autobuild ability and teach you how to use it.
(Note: I’ve heard conflicting reports on when Josha’s second quest becomes available. From what I can recall from my playthrough, I was able to immediately proceed from the camera quest to the Autobuild quest. Furthermore, you don’t need a quest at all to get Autobuild. Enter the Depths from the Hyrule Field Chasm and head southwest to the Great Abandoned Central Mine. Once there, you’ll simply start the chain of events needed to get the ability.)
As much as I enjoy Tears of the Kingdom, the game does a poor job of guiding you when you’re still too new to the game. Specifically, the Autobuild ability — one of the best time and life savers you can have in your toolkit — is easily missed because the game has already let you off the leash before you can get it, causing players to get 20-30 hours deep before they realize something’s missing. Hopefully, this handy guide will prevent future adventurers from getting lost.