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Stamina vs Magic

Azure Sage

Spread Smiles!
Staff member
ZD Legend
Comm. Coordinator
Jan 17, 2011
Magnolia City
Snow Queen: is azure sage trans
This is something I saw a lot of talk about with BotW, so I decided I should make a thread about it. Which do you prefer for the series, a stamina meter or a magic meter?

I'll take stamina any day, honestly. I really liked how ALBW tied item use to stamina. Rather than having you search for consumable items to refill it manually, I much prefer things that fill back up on their own. BotW handled stamina really well, too. Plenty of upgrades and logical usage, as well as quick ways to boost it when needed. I don't know if it's because I'm a dual blades main in MonHun but stamina management has always come easy to me and I rather enjoy the extra level of thought it adds to the gameplay.

With things like the magic meter in, say, OoT, I barely bother to use any kind of magic because I know I'll just have to go find some magic jars later. Tying magic items to stamina usage is more fun because then you can think strategically about using it in battle and not have to worry about running out of it because it'll refill by itself. Plus you can tie it to more things than just magic items, which is nice. I wanna see more systems like that. So, bye bye magic meter. I won't miss you.


passionate open autistic european female
ZD Legend
Apr 7, 2019
I'm very weak for resource management in games - being that kind of person that loves weapon durability - so managing and strategizing my stamina when I was scaling cliffs or fighting enemies was great fun to me.

An imbalance between magic use necessity and scarcity of magic jars can very well be easily imbalanced. Imbalance can be present in a stamina system too, of course - but I just find the former to come off as more annoying imo.


ZD Legend

... I prefer magic.
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~ ZD's Pug Dealer ~
ZD Champion
Jul 6, 2011
A self recharging magic meter would be good. But a stamina meter for actual running and sword swinging and stuff is just wrong and always has been. Link shouldn't get tired. He is a legendary hero and a warrior and should be fit enough for his physical stamina to never come into play.


Most Active Inactive User
Jan 16, 2012
Los Angeles
I find stamina a bit more appealing, just because it's more flexible. You can be more creative with your limited abilities if you don't need to find a pickup to fill the bar for em, and instead just have to hold out until you can use them again. Like you said, I really loved ALBW's stamina/magic system, I felt like I could be a lot more free with how I used my magic items as opposed to other games which had special abilities tied to pickups, like ALTTP or LA.

Of course, sometimes the magic system has it's uses. If you want to make more strategic gameplay, where you have to be careful when you decide to use special moves, it fits well. Mega Man and a ton of RPGs do this pretty well!

el :BeoWolf:

ZD Champion
Forum Volunteer
Feb 4, 2016
Shadow Moose Island
Magic is better I say. It would create more options to solve puzzles and fight enemies. Plus Hylians, at least for a time, are suppose to be gifted at magic. Only a few Links have been known to use magic spells like the hero of time, hero of legend of hero of Hyrule
Mar 18, 2019
These meters are done best when they are used for balancing and not realism, in BotW stamina was effectively a fancy way to item gate the player, at least in SS it was used to supplement the player and was only ever required when climbing vines in a set location. Other than that it was used as a way to make sprinting and spin attacks a thing while also preventing you from spamming. In this way you could say that magic and stamina are incredibly similar. In general magic has been done better than stamina, with SS being the only time stamina was done well (LBWs ran out WAY too quickly). Magic requires being smart, stamina requires spamming, hiding, and then spamming again.
Jul 14, 2019
I've never been particularly fond of magic bars in the way they've been implemented in the series thus far and most of that is down to how I perceive items and their uses. If I obtain an item in the game I expect to be able to use it, however the addition of some universal magic meter that limits my use of it makes me hesitant to use it at all as I then view it's use as a loss of something and try to find other ways around it. For example I never use fire arrows in Ocarina of Time outside of it's mandatory use to solve puzzles.

Generally a stamina meter works differently to me in that I view it as a limitation of my character rather than the implementation of the item itself. I never felt hesitant to use a spin-attack in SS or BotW because my stamina was never valuable and the instant regen meant I wasn't losing anything. It was an interesting way to limit my use of such tactics without making me feel as though I was costing myself something in the process.

Breath of the Wild's implementation of stamina worked better for me than Skyward Sword's, however. The reason being is that I felt restricted in Skyward Sword, yet freed in Breath of the Wild. Whilst the stamina fruits were an interesting addition in SS they served the additional purpose of turning stamina into a puzzle, rather than something I could utilise on the fly. Outside of battle, wherever I could make use of stamina based mechanics was usually inconsequential, as they wouldn't serve me much benefit unless such areas had been designed to make use of stamina. In which case, the room was usually dotted with fruits to tell me before I had even begun that some extended running, climbing or such would be required.

BotW approached this differently in that when I was using stamina, it was usually to accomplish things that I wouldn't otherwise be able to accomplish. Whilst places like shrines and dungeons had measures in place to keep you on track generally, the rest of the world was free for me to tackle as I pleased. I could use stamina to run somewhere faster, yes, but I could also use it to scale a mountain that otherwise would have required walking all the way around, or to explore the top of a building that had no other means of scaling. It became a tool for me to play the game as I wanted to and that's always a plus in my eyes.

The idea of taking away a stamina meter and replacing it with a regenerating magic meter seems pointless to me. At that stage it essentially is just a stamina gauge but without the benefit of providing faster running. Stamina is something I can understand and relate to personally so I take to it easier than a magic meter than only seems there as a functional limit for specific items without providing any other real effect on the game or noticeable way for me to discern it's limitations other than the bar on the HUD itself.


Peter Pan
ZD Legend
Aug 16, 2019
I wouldn't prefer both the reason being combat balance and the enhancement in reality due to the stamina gauge. You couldn't just swing away you Wii mote and kill your enemies,there's got to be a logical approach. Secondly the magic meter would also ensure combat balance. There should be another fruit for restoring your magic like stamina fruit.So yea it's a yes for both.

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