In the Zora area of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild you will encounter a Lynel when you’re trying to stock up on Shock Arrows. This article covers how to defeat the Lynel in Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as well as how to complete the Lynel Safari side quest so you can earn the Zora Greaves for your trouble. You don’t have to defeat the Lynel in order to complete this portion of Breath of the Wild, but if you do want to defeat the Lynel we’ve got you covered!
Defeat the Lynel
As previously noted, you do not have to fight the Lynel before you face off against the Divine Beast. As long as you have the Shock Arrows you can head straight for the Divine Beast and jump over to our article covering that battle. Even if you don’t have enough arrows, you can run around collecting arrows from the trees around the battle, then run once you have enough.
If you decide to fight the Lynel, before you head out to defeat the Lynel, stop and speak with Laflat at the eastern exit. If you’re having trouble finding the exit you should take, head up the innermost stairs (not the ramp along the edge of the area) that leads up to the royal chamber where the king sits. Before you head up the final flight of stairs to the King’s chamber, go around to the right and you’ll find Laflat standing by the eastern exit path.
Speak with Laflat to begin the Lynel Safari side quest, which tasks you with taking a picture of the Lynel and reporting back to Laflat. While you can take a picture at any point during the fight, you can wait until the Lynel has been defeated, then take a picture just before it vanishes and it will still count toward the quest.
When you’re ready to head out, take the eastern path and head up the series of waterfalls to the left (if you go right you’ll head to Vah Ruta at the East Reservoir Lake). When you reach the summit of the mountain you’ll see the Lynel and a short cutscene will play. After the cutscene Link hides behind one of the large boulders. If you don’t immediately crouch the Lynel will almost certainly see you and start attacking.
While you can sneak around for a bit, unless you have exceptional timing you won’t be able to sneak up on the Lynel. When the fight begins, keep your distance and make sure you have a shield at the ready. Even if you’re using a two-handed weapon, put it away (press B) so you can use your shield.
Keep your distance and Lynel will charge at Link. Just as it reaches you, dodge to the left or right (left seems to be easier) to get a Perfect Dodge. If you time it right for the Perfect Dodge, and follow with a Flurry Rush, the Lynel will be very close when the Flurry Rush concludes and will attack again very quickly. If you have good timing you can get three or four Perfect Dodges into Flurry Rushes before the Lynel backs away again.
If your timing isn’t that great, you should still be able to block the attack with your shield to prevent Link from taking damage. While you can simply fight the Lynel head on, it has deceptive range and most of its attacks are difficult to dodge if your timing isn’t good. Alternatively, you can hit it in the head with arrows from a distance until it falls to the ground temporarily. When this happens, run up quickly to hop on the Lynel’s back (like a horse) and attack as much as possible before it bucks Link off. Even with this strategy you’ll still have to dodge when the Lynel rushes you.
Occasionally the Lynel will stay back and either shoot Shock Arrows or fireballs. Both of these attacks can be dodged by running left or right. Make sure you don't run until you see the attacks start or else you might run out of stamina before you dodge everything. The Lynel generally shoots two or three conseuctive fireballs, so watch your stamina as your run to avoid them. If you still have trouble with the Lynel battle, in addition to the embedded YouTube video above, you can watch a second fight against the Lynel to see this strategy in action.
Once the Lynel is down, collect all of the Shock Arrows from the trees surrounding the area. You should have well over 30 by the time you collect all of them, but if you have good aim you’ll only need four. Anything over four is just extra in case you miss or for battles later in the game.
Head back to the Zora Domain and speak with Laflat again. You can save time and fast travel to the Ne'ez Yohma shrine in the Zora Domain if you went in before leaving. Give Laflat the picture and you’ll receive the Zora Greaves in return. Now you’re ready to take on the Divine Beast.