My Dog Won’t Help Me Find Buried Treasure – And That’s Okay!

The Appeal of Canine Companions in Gaming

Ever since the early days of video games, players have delighted in being accompanied by canine companions. From Resident Evil’s Loyal Beagle to Fable II’s faithful mutt, there’s just something special about exploring an in-game world with a dog by your side.

According to research, our affinity for animal companions in games is rooted in science. Interacting with virtual dogs triggers the same neurochemical response as bonding with real dogs, releasing hormones like oxytocin that promote feelings of happiness, calm, and connection (source).

With the immense open world of Breath of the Wild, a canine companion seems like the perfect exploration buddy. The Wolf Link amiibo makes it possible, but does he live up to the idealized video game dog?

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an open world action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch and Wii U consoles. Released in 2017, Breath of the Wild received widespread critical acclaim for its nonlinear gameplay and large open world environment.

box art for breath of the wild game

One unique feature of Breath of the Wild is the ability to summon Wolf Link as a companion. Wolf Link is a wolf version of the main protagonist, Link. Players can summon Wolf Link by using the Wolf Link amiibo figure. Wolf Link will then accompany and assist Link on his adventures through the game’s massive open world of Hyrule.

While not a central focus of the game, Wolf Link provides an additional element of fun and companionship as players explore the vast landscape. However, as outlined below, Wolf Link has some key limitations in his treasure hunting abilities.

Acquiring the Wolf Link Amiibo

The Wolf Link companion in Breath of the Wild is unlocked by using the Wolf Link amiibo figure from the Twilight Princess series. This amiibo was originally released in 2016 alongside Twilight Princess HD for the Wii U. While the Wolf Link amiibo may be difficult to find new in stores these days, you have a few options for acquiring one:

  • Check the amiibo sections at major retailers like GameStop, Best Buy, Target, etc. They may have some Wolf Link amiibo still in stock.
  • Look on resale sites like eBay where Wolf Link amiibo are often available, but likely at inflated prices.
  • Join amiibo trading/selling groups on social media and put up an ISO (in search of) post for a Wolf Link amiibo.
  • Check your local classifieds like Craigslist for anyone selling or trading their Wolf Link.
  • Wait for Nintendo to possibly re-release the Wolf Link amiibo, as they have done with other hard-to-find amiibo in the past.

wolf link amiibo figure

Once you have the Wolf Link amiibo in hand, you’ll be ready to unlock the wolf companion in Breath of the Wild.

Summoning Wolf Link

One of the most unique features of Wolf Link in Breath of the Wild is how you actually summon him. Unlike other companions Link can acquire in the game that appear automatically, Wolf Link requires a special item to summon: raw meat!

That’s right, to summon Wolf Link you must offer him bundles of raw meat. The meat is used as a sort of “fuel” to determine how long Wolf Link can remain summoned in your game. Each piece of raw meat offered will fill up one heart of Wolf Link’s total, with a maximum of 20 hearts.

For example, if you offer 10 bundles of raw meat, Wolf Link will have 10 hearts available and can stick around for a decent amount of time. However, if you only have a couple pieces of meat on hand, he may vanish quickly after being summoned since his “fuel” runs out faster.

This unique mechanic adds an interesting dynamic to using Wolf Link. You must plan ahead and stock up on raw meat if you want to keep him around for treasure hunting or fighting enemies. Just don’t expect Wolf Link to lead you directly to hidden treasure chests around Hyrule solely through your bond like the name may imply!

Wolf Link’s Abilities

Wolf Link has several abilities that can aid Link on his adventures in Breath of the Wild. As a wolf, Link is able to effectively hunt and track animals, which can help find food and ingredients. According to the Zelda Wiki, Wolf Link can communicate with other animals across Hyrule to gain information [1].

In terms of combat, Wolf Link can perform various attacks with his teeth and claws. The Zeldapedia notes that while these attacks aren’t as strong as Link’s usual weapons, Wolf Link is very agile and can lunge swiftly at enemies [2]. This allows him to strike quickly and evade attacks. Overall, Wolf Link provides enhanced hunting, tracking, communication, and agility abilities.
wolf link attacking enemies

Wolf Link’s Limitations

One of the most common complaints about Wolf Link is his limited abilities and lack of guidance to treasure. While Wolf Link can aid Link in combat and sniff out items, he does not actually lead players to hidden treasure chests or resources. This is because Wolf Link has a set path and behavior, regardless of what the player wants him to do.

According to discussions on Reddit, Wolf Link will not stray from his predetermined route to locate treasure, even if the player tries to guide him (“Is wolf link worth it”, 2019). He acts independently, occasionally stopping to sniff spots on the ground or growl at enemies. But players cannot direct him towards objectives.

Additionally, Wolf Link despawns after a certain amount of in-game time, which many players estimate to be around 5 minutes of active playtime. This means he cannot be relied on for long stretches of exploration or combat (“Wolf link limitations botw reddit”, 2017).

While Wolf Link makes a loyal companion, he has a limited AI that restricts his abilities. He will not lead players to hidden treasure chests or resources around the world of Hyrule.

Treasure Hunting Tips

One of Wolf Link’s abilities is seeking out hidden treasure chests, though he has some limitations. Wolf Link can detect treasure chests buried underground and lead you to them by digging and barking at the spot. However, he cannot detect treasures that are hidden inside objects, under rocks, or in other complex environmental puzzles (IGN). Wolf Link also cannot discern the value of the treasure; he may lead you to common treasures just as often as rare ones.

To make the most of Wolf Link for treasure hunting, summon him in new areas you explore and watch for his digging cues. Treasure chests often contain useful weapons, bows, shields, and ingredients, making them worthwhile to seek out. But don’t rely solely on Wolf Link; also search the environment yourself for chests tucked away in nooks, under rocks, or inside breakable objects. Use the magnesis rune to detect treasure chests buried underground. Refer to treasure maps found in the game or online guides for chest locations (ScreenRant).

With patience and thorough exploration, Wolf Link can aid immensely in amassing weapons, arrows, ingredients, and other valuables from treasure chests all over Hyrule.

Fan Reactions

Many Zelda fans have expressed disappointment with the limitations of Wolf Link in Breath of the Wild. While excited to see Wolf Link return, fans were let down that he cannot lead you to treasure or help solve puzzles like some expected based on previous Zelda games [1]. Fans point out that Wolf Link is purely a combat companion and serves no other in-game purpose besides fighting enemies. There is no treasure finding or puzzle solving associated with Wolf Link.

Some Zelda fans felt misled about Wolf Link’s functionality and limitations. Many assumed he would have expanded capabilities compared to Twilight Princess, but his role was actually diminished. Fans hoped he would be more integrated into Breath of the Wild’s open world gameplay and exploration [2]. Instead, Wolf Link cannot go beyond fighting enemies, disappointing fans who wanted deeper integration and rewards for using the Wolf Link amiibo.

Potential Improvements

Wolf Link’s AI and abilities could be expanded and improved in future Zelda titles to enhance the companion gameplay experience. Some ideas for improvements include:

Smarter pathfinding and navigation – Wolf Link can sometimes get stuck on objects or not be able to find paths up cliffs or around obstacles. Improving his pathfinding intelligence could allow him to navigate more complex terrain and keep up with Link better.

potential improvements for wolf link ai and abilities

Expanded moveset and interactivity – Enabling Wolf Link to dig and fetch items, track scents, or perform tricks on command would make him feel more like a real wolf companion. More interactive playstyles beyond just attacking enemies could be fun.

Dynamic bonding system – Having Wolf Link’s aid and abilities improve the more time you spend together through feeding, commands, etc could make the bond with him feel more meaningful.

Side quests/mini games – Side quests focused specifically around Wolf Link, like hide-and-seek challenges, racing against him, or teaching him new skills could flesh out the companion gameplay.

Pack commands – Being able to direct a whole pack of wolf companions, like Wolf Link and additional wild wolves, would enable more strategic and complex combat scenarios.

The Wolf Link amiibo functionality has a lot of potential for expansions. Hopefully future Zelda games can build on these ideas to create an even more immersive and rewarding companion experience.


To summarize, Wolf Link can be a fun and useful companion in Breath of the Wild, but has some limitations. His main benefits are helping hunt animals, attacking enemies, and providing some extra attack power. However, he can get distracted easily, disappears frequently, and doesn’t directly lead to finding treasure. While not revolutionary, Wolf Link adds some enjoyment for players who unlock the amiibo. Overall, he provides a nice but non-essential addition to the Breath of the Wild experience.

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