Skip to main content

How to beat Gloom Hands in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom

The best ways to kill this nightmare fuel enemy.

The grotesque Gloom Hands enemies. These foes emerge from the ground, and look like a long arm and hand with an eyeball in each palm.
Image credit: Nintendo

Gloom Hands in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, also known as Gloom Spawn, are enemies that appear near areas covered in gloom, and are most commonly found while exploring Chasms in the underground section of Hyrule.

We suggest running from Gloom Hands, or climbing up a surface to avoid their creepy attacks, as killing the hands will spawn a Phantom Ganon enemy, and it can take a lot of firepower to kill both the hands and Ganon!

We've went over how to beat Gloom Hands in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom if you do want to take them on, which you might have to as part of a quest, or maybe you just want the useful items dropped by a Phantom Ganon after besting the creepy hands.

On this page:

10 Things We Wish We Knew Before Starting The Legend of Zelda Tears of the KingdomWatch on YouTube

If you would like to learn more about Link's adventure, visit our Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom walkthrough.

How to beat Gloom Hands in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom

As if they weren't terrifying enough, the most important thing to remember when battling Gloom Hands is that if you don't kill all of the hands quickly enough, more will come back.

Because the hands come back, you should ideally use weapons or items that have a large blast radius to beat Gloom Hands in Tears of the Kingdom. Or, kill them with ice so the hands don't return.

Link using his bow and arrow to fire a bomb at a group of Gloom Hands enemies.
Image credit: Nintendo

We've found that attaching materials that have a large blast radius to arrows is the most consistent way to harm Gloom Hands while not getting grabbed, as you can fire from a distance, or climb above the hands.

Some of the best items to use against Gloom Hands in TOTK are:

  • Bombs
  • Sapphires
  • Ice boomerangs
  • Ice magic wands
  • White chuchu jelly
  • Ice fruit

Our personal preference is to kill Gloom Hands with bombs, as bombs are the easiest resource to find that can kill the hands quickly - just be careful not to blow Link up if he's standing too close to the blast! It can take up to ten bombs to kill all of the hands, but you'll use less if you're consistently firing at the middle of the Gloom Hands.

If you run out of bombs and there's only a couple of hands with low health, quickly finishing them off with ordinary arrows can work if you want to save some ice materials.

Link drawing his bow and arrow as he attacks a few remaining Gloom Hands enemies.
A few normal arrows against these two was enough to beat the Gloom Hands for good. | Image credit: Nintendo

Sapphires (and some other gems) also have a huge blast radius, but they're harder to find, and you might want to hold on to them for their sell value instead.

If you don't have bombs or gems, then using anything that produces an ice effect is useful for freezing the hands in place and ensuring they don't come back. Freezing them also gives you some breathing space if you need it, while creating a small blast that can harm multiple hands at once.

Link gathering some white chuchu jelly in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
Throwing white chuchu jelly at other chuchus will produce even more white chuchu if you need it. | Image credit: Nintendo

If you happen to have a boomerang with an ice effect, we recommend using it instead of white chuchu jelly or ice fruit, as it's far better for damaging multiple hands at once!

In-game description of the Giant Boomerang in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
Fuse ice materials to a boomerang weapon to turn it into an ice boomerang. | Image credit: Nintendo

Additionally, if you're fighting in a low temperature environment, we also recommend equipping a part of the Frostbite armor set, like the Frostbite Shirt, as it adds ice damage to Link's attacks. This won't work in warm or normal temperatures though.

zelda tears of the kingdom link in frostbite shirt

Tips for beating Gloom Hands in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom

Even if you have all the right gear and materials, killing Gloom Hands can be a tough job, so here's some general tips and useful information to keep in mind when taking on Gloom Hands in Tears of the Kingdom:

  • If you get grabbed, jiggle both thumbsticks to break free - If you're quick enough, Link won't take any damage.
  • Use meals that restore broken hearts - Gloom temporarily breaks Link's heart containers, meaning you can't restore all of his health with traditional meals. Eating food that contains materials like Sundelions can bring these hearts back to normal.
  • Equip armor with gloom resistance - The Armor of the Depths set increases Link's gloom resistance, making fights against Gloom Hands more manageable. You have to spend Poes at multiple Bargainer statues to acquire all three pieces of the Depths set though, so it can take a while to get a hold of.
  • Link surrounded by Gloom Hands enemies which are attacking the player and eating away at the life bar.
    Image credit: Nintendo
  • Get to high ground - To avoid taking damage altogether, try climbing up to an area where the hands can't reach Link, then pick them off with arrows and items from above. The hands can also sometimes just disappear on their own after waiting a while.
  • Don't kill Gloom hands unless you really need to - Killing Gloom Hands can clear areas covered in gloom, but unless you need to do this to explore, or have to kill them as part of a quest, the best way to deal with Gloom Hands is to just run away from them, partly because of what spawns after beating them...
  • Killing Gloom Hands summons a Phantom Ganon - Yep, you have even more fighting to do after the hands are bested, and Phantom Ganon is no pushover. He does drop powerful weapons, however, so if you're feeling brave enough, then it might be worth fighting both enemies.
  • Make sure you kill Phantom Ganon before leaving a story area - We found this out the hard way, but if you leave a story area after beating Gloom Hands but leave Phantom Ganon, he will disappear and you'll have to kill the hands again to summon Ganon. This might not apply to regular Gloom Hand encounters, but just to be safe, we recommend killing both before leaving any area if you don't want to waste resources.
Link lays on the ground on fire after trying to fight the fearsome Gloom Hands enemies, and getting too close when firing a bomb.
And don't get too close while firing bombs... | Image credit: Nintendo

Good luck taking on Gloom Hands in Tears of the Kingdom!

Read this next