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How to increase max energy cell capacity in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

What to do with your Zonaite, Zonai charges, and crystallized charges

Link stands in front of shelves at a forge construct, where crystallized charges and Zonai charges are lined up in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon
Mike Mahardy leads game criticism and curation at Polygon as senior editor, reviews. He has been covering entertainment professionally for more than 10 years.

It turns out that the Zonai, an ancient race of sky-dwelling magical engineers in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, had a pretty complex economy. So it’s natural that, as protagonist Link, it might take you some time to sort through the ins and outs of Zonaite, Zonai charges, crystallized charges, forge constructs, and crystal refineries as you take your first steps in, above, and below Hyrule.

Fortunately, we’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll explain how to gather the precious material Zonaite, how to turn it into crystallized charges, how to spend said charges to increase Link’s max energy cell power, and what to do with all of your leftover Zonai charges.

Where to find Zonaite

The first step toward increasing your max energy cell power in Tears of the Kingdom is fairly straightforward: Gather all of the Zonaite you can.

To do so, simply head into the Depths, the vast underground map that mirrors the world on Hyrule’s surface. You can access the Depths by diving into any of the red holes shown on the surface map. If you haven’t yet uncovered much of the map with Skyview Towers, follow Robbie the Purah Pad scientist’s quest line. He’ll lead you into the Depths once you speak to him at Lookout Landing.

Once you’re down in the Depths, gathering Zonaite is fairly simple. Keep an eye out for Zonaite deposits — those stone formations that are often clustered around larger boulders, like the one below:

Link looks at several zonaite deposits in the Depths in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

After breaking them with a stone- or boulder-Fused weapon, they’ll drop at least three clumps of Zonaite a piece. Furthermore, any enemy you kill in the Depths — be they Bokoblins, Moblins, or Lizalfos — will drop Zonaite upon dying. Froxes, those froglike monsters wandering the Depths, will drop a large Zonaite after they die. (Large Zonaite serves the same function as its smaller counterpart, but we’ll get to that below.)

Simply put: If you spend any amount of time in the Depths, you’re likely to resurface with a healthy amount of Zonaite. Although it’s ultimately most useful for buying crystallized charges and increasing your max energy cell power (which we explain below), it can also be spent to make Autobuild creations that you don’t have the necessary parts for.

Where to trade Zonaite for crystallized charges

Once you have a good amount of Zonaite, it’s time to head to a forge construct. If you found one already, it will be marked on your map as a brown jar on one of those beige squares, as shown below:

A forge construct icon, shown on the Purah Pad map, at the Great Abandoned Central Mine in the Depths in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

While there is a forge construct on the Great Sky Island (Tears of the Kingdom’s tutorial area), we’ve found it easier to fast travel to the Great Abandoned Central Mine, which you’ll unlock as a fast-travel point simply by following Josha and Robbie’s questline after first arriving at Lookout Landing. If you haven’t done that quest yet, fret not: You can simply head west after diving into the chasm at Eastern Abbey, as shown below (the yellow arrow shows Link’s location in the Depths as it relates to the surface):

The map of the surface of Hyrule, showing a chasm at Eastern Abbey, witrh Link at the Great Abandoned Central Mine, which sits in the Depths below the Great Plateau Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

There’s a forge Construct only a few feet from the Great Abandoned Central Mine fast-travel point. Speak to it (if you haven’t yet) and then walk over to its shelves, on which you’ll see an array of shiny blue/white items.

You’re looking for crystallized charges, the pyramidal items on the shelves on the right. Simply exchange your Zonaite for as many crystallized charges as you can. If you have any large Zonaite, swap those for large crystallized charges, which are worth 20 normal crystallized charges. (You can also spend Zonaite on Zonai charges and large Zonai charges, but those are so plentiful as Zonai enemy drops, and in defunct Zonai Constructs in the sky islands, that we don’t recommend wasting Zonaite on them.)

Link peruses a shelf of crystallized charges and large crystallized charges at a forge construct in the Depths in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Once you have a total of at least 100 crystallized charges, you’re ready for the final step toward acquiring an energy well, and increasing the max power capacity of Link’s energy cell. (These names are getting confusing. But basically, the energy cell is the Zonai item on Link’s belt that powers Ultrahand creations and Zonai items when there are no Zonai batteries attached. Its the third “meter” Link can increase in Tears of the Kingdom, alongside the returning heart and stamina meters.)

It’s worth noting that you can also find crystallized charges and large crystallized charges by exploring other Abandoned Mines in the Depths, and by killing certain Construct enemies in the sky islands. However, using forge constructs is the easiest method we’ve found for gathering this valuable resource.

How to increase max energy cell capacity

In order to finally gain an energy well, which will increase the max capacity for Link’s energy cell, you’ll need to head to a crystal refinery. If you did even a modicum of exploring during the Great Sky Island tutorial section, you may have stumbled upon one without noticing.

Fast travel back to Nachoya Shrine on the Great Sky Island — there’s a crystal refinery just to the west of the shrine, in the very same room. Speak to the Construct NPC, who will give you one energy well for every 100 crystallized charges in your inventory. Each of these energy wells will grant you one more green bar in Link’s battery-like energy cell meter.

Link turns in 300 crystallized charges at a crystal refinery in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom for 3 energy wells Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

The higher your energy cell capacity, the longer you can pilot Ultrahand and Autobuild creations without having to rely on Zonai batteries or the Zonai charges in your inventory. These materials are better spent on the gumball machine-like Zonai Dispensers scattered around the sky islands.