The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword HD: Release date, trailer, new Switch features

Daniel Megarry
Zelda Skyward Sword HD

A decade later, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is finally getting a long-overdue HD remaster on Nintendo Switch, and we’ve got all the information you need including a release date, details of new features, and trailers.

Of all the entries in The Legend of Zelda franchise, Skyward Sword is arguably the most underrated. The game released on the Nintendo Wii in 2011 to critical acclaim, but never matched the popularity of its predecessor, Twilight Princess, or its successor, Breath of the Wild.

But now, in honor of Zelda’s 35th anniversary, Skyward Sword looks set to finally get the attention it deserves as the game has been remastered in HD for the Nintendo Switch. With improved controls and updated graphics, it looks absolutely glorious.

Here’s everything we know about Skyward Sword so far, including when you’ll be able to get your hands on a copy, essential plot details, and the new features that have been announced for the Switch edition.

Zelda Skyward Sword HD release date

Zelda Skyward Sword Link
Link returns in Skyward Sword HD.

While most Legend of Zelda fans went into February 17’s Nintendo Direct presentation hoping for an update on Breath of the Wild 2, they were instead left pleasantly surprised by the announcement that Skyward Sword is coming to Nintendo Switch.

Even better, there’s not long to wait until gamers can revisit the floating island of Skyloft, as the HD remaster of the classic game will land on Nintendo Switch on Friday, July 16, 2021, and it’s available to pre-order on the eShop now.

Zelda Skyward Sword HD trailer

The first trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD was released during February 17’s Nintendo Direct, alongside the release date announcement. It features plenty of footage showing off the updated HD graphics.

There’s also an appearance from Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma, who details some of the “intuitive” gameplay mechanic changes that fans can expect to see when the game arrives.

What is Skyward Sword about?

Skyward Sword HD
Loftwing plays an important part in Skyward Sword.

The original Skyward Sword is considered to be an essential part of the (somewhat confusing) Legend of Zelda timeline, as it takes players right back to the beginning to discover the origins of the Master Sword.

Players take control of Link as he travels between a world above the clouds and the great unknown below in search of his childhood friend Zelda. With the help of his trusty Loftwing, Link is able to soar through the skies as he solves puzzles, fights monsters, and ultimately takes on Demise.

Skyward Sword also introduced a lot of new features that would later appear in Breath of the Wild, such as the stamina gauge while climbing and running, collecting items to upgrade gear, and an early version of the paraglider called the sailcloth.

As the new release is a straight-forward HD remaster, it’s expected that the game will follow the exact same structure of the original – although fans will no doubt be hoping for some new additions or storylines.

Zelda Skyward Sword HD new features

Zelda Skyward Sword Motion Controls
Players can now use the Joy-Con to control Link’s sword and shield.

Aside from the improved graphics, there have been some controller changes to make sure the game runs smoothly on the Nintendo Switch console, and hopefully improve the experience for players.

The original game utilized the Wii MotionPlus peripheral to control Link’s sword. In this HD remaster, gamers will use the right Joy-Con to control their sword and the left Joy-Con to raise their shield, with the promise of greater accuracy this time around.

Zelda purists and Switch Lite owners will be glad to know that the HD remaster will also give players the option to use button controls instead of motion controls for the first time. In this mode, the right control stick will be used to swing Link’s sword.

It’s also been revealed by the game’s eShop listing that Skyward Sword HD will add Amiibo support to the game. Right now, it’s unclear what advantage players will get for using their Amiibo, but we’ll probably find out closer to the game’s release.

Zelda Skyward Sword special edition Joy-Con

Nintendo Switch Zelda Skyward Sword Joy-Con
These limited edition Joy-Con will be released alongside Skyward Sword HD.

To celebrate Skyward Sword HD coming to the Nintendo Switch, a pair of special edition Joy-Con controllers have also been announced that are themed around the classic game.

The left Joy-Con features a design based on the Hylian Shield, while the right Joy-Con takes inspiration from the iconic Master Sword. Both will be released on July 16, and should be available to pre-order soon.

We’ll keep this page updated with any new The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD information that gets announced, so make sure you check back soon.