Breath of the Wild is an action-adventure game set in an open world environment where players are tasked with exploring the kingdom of Hyrule while controlling Link. In terms of structure, Breath of the Wild encourages nonlinear gameplay, which is illustrated by the game's lack of defined entrances or exits to areas, scant instruction given to the player, and encouragement to explore freely.
Breath of the Wild introduces a consistent physics engine to the Zelda series, letting players approach problems in different ways rather than trying to find a single solution.
The game also integrates a "chemistry engine" that defines the physical properties of most objects and governs how they interact with the player and one another. For example, players may take advantage of the game's dynamic weather by throwing metal objects at enemies during thunderstorms to attract a lightning strike.